Gut Health, Troubleshooting, Suggestions
It seems I need a little help on my biohacking adventure. First, I'd like to share my story, but by all means skip over it, if it doesn't interest you. My present complications are of my highest concern, and I will tremendously appreciate some advice.
My childhood consisted of fast food, large amounts of sugar, low-fat meals administered by my mother who was on weight watchers at the time, ADHD, mood swings, and severe difficulty in school.
In middle school, I developed rosacea, was eating exclusively school cafeteria and fast food, and consuming large amounts of soda. I was off and on, taking various ADD meds and antidepressants, self-medicating with cannabis, and occasionally experimented with vegetarianism. This basically went on throughout high school.
Age 18, my mother, who had experienced some success with metabolic and mood issues while giving Atkins a go, talked me into trying low-carb. The transition from granola and naked juice to fried eggs and yerba mate changed my life. I began to have hope succeeding in school, decreased my dependence on marijuana, and felt like a brand new and capable person, relatively speaking. I have never been overweight, in fact I err on the too-skinny side. My symptoms seemed to be exclusively mental/energetic. My sister, on the other hand, who was obese, made very similar lifestyle changes, and lost 200 lbs.
I am now 26, 6'0", 165 lbs. While I did experience some success from initially decreasing carbs and processed foods and increasing protein/fat consumption, I generally knew I was not where I wanted to be. I was very dependent on caffeine for functionality, and still prone to mood swings and occasionally hitting a strange energetic wall that was like being on an unpleasant drug.
I discovered paleo about 3 years ago after a short and disastrous experiment with with low-carb vegetarianism, and reading Rob Wolf's book. I then began attending yoga classes regularly, following a strict low-carb, paleo diet, and had some initial success. I didn't know much about what I was doing, but I typically had eggs for breakfast, grassfed beef, steamed broccoli with coconut oil for lunch, and a gigantic mixed super-greens salad with chicken and tons of olive oil, tahini, herbs, and lemon juice. I was so certain that this would repair my health, that I followed this lifestyle religiously for several months. About all at once, however, I started feeling extremely depressed and lethargic after lunch not every day, but a lot of the time (which I decided was due to excess protein), and I began to suffer from crazy belchiness, heartburn, and acid reflux. This continued for perhaps 5 months, because I was stubborn and thought it would just sort itself out if I kept doing the same thing.
About 1.5 years ago a coworker told me about Dave Asprey and Bulletproof Coffee. I was superman the first few times I tried intermittent fasting. I dabbled in reading the blog, I stopped eating so many raw cruciferous vegetables, and things seemed promising. The problem was I started belching A LOT after bulletproof coffee and would feel an uncomfortable tightness in my chest after lunch, and would get plenty of bloating and heartburn a lot of the time. Concerned I was sensitive to butter, I tried adding an egg yolk and coconut oil to my coffee instead for a few months, but it didn't seem to help.
About 8 months ago, I saw a doctor who specializes in paleo/ketogenic dieting, and she advised me to eat more carbs and try Betaine HCL. Before seeing her, I had tried enzymes, an HCL/pepsin supplement with about 250mg of HCL, and Ox Bile, but saw no results. After seeing her, I began the gradual increase of of 650 mg HCL/pepsin capsules at meals, and it made a huge difference. I'm certain now, that it had something to do with low stomach acid, because more often then not, I feel like I can handle regular bulletproof coffee with butter and brain octaine just fine.
If you didn't want to read the whole story, please jump to here. Thanks! I love you!
Now-a-days I am well versed in the bulletproof diet and follow it practically perfectly. I take Dave's recommended dosage of D3, C, K, Mg, and kelp, take about 1- 660mg capsule of Betaine HCL per oz. of protein I consume (which is about 12-15 oz of grass-fed beef, wild fish, or substitute 1 pastured egg or 1 tbs of collagen protein for 1 oz of meat. I also take a high-potency pancreatin tablet, 3 times a day, and a papain/bromelain supplement.
This works pretty well, but I still get more bloating, heartburn, and lethargy/sleeplessness than what I'm willing to accept. It's difficult for me to gauge my actual hunger, and I'm still playing with the amount of HCL, as too much/too little seem to give me the exact same kind of pain. I just started taking inulin and cold white rice along with some Inner-eco coconut water kefir in the evening as well, though I can't tell if it's helping.
I can't understand why I'm so close, but so far with my success. I'm a believer for sure, but something's not right. Pleease haaalp!