I'm gluten sensitive, pre-type 1 diabetic and pre-hashimotos. My bloodwork I had in December was great.
Hemoglobin A1C - 5.3%
Total cholesterol: 170
B12 went from 100 to 900 in a few months after eliminating wheat. That's been a great thing.
Anyway, I've been trying to read up more on this way of life. To be honest, I'm pretty nervous I'll have bloodwork again in June and it will be bad. I just don't have my full belief that eating all this fat is healthy.
Here's my current intake (I track on myfitnesspal):
1200 calories (I eat more when I exercise which is often, but I don't go crazy with calories still)
I'm happy with my current weightloss (about .5-1lb a week) but I'm really nervous about what this could be doing to my heart. I don't have heart disease in my family, however, my mother has struggled with cholesterol and has had a few heart attacks (likely due to her not taking care of her type 2 diabetes though according to her doctors).
Please help. I know I ultimately make the decision of what to do, but I'm afraid of ruining things for myself and it being difficult to change 6 months down the line.
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@Matt 11 No, I haven't.This is about lifelong health and fitness. My parents are VERY ill. Both have had cancer, my father has Parkinson's, and my mother has had 4 heart attacks (due to not taking care of her type 2 diabetes and bad cholesterol), high blood pressure and rheumatoid arthritis. Being the youngest in my family and still living home with them, I have to be their caretaker. I NEVER want to end up like them. My parents are from a different generation where maybe fitness etc. wasn't as stressed. They didn't know as much as we know now, and I'm trying to use that to my advantage. I want to be the best "me" I can. I go to the doctor, get regular blood work and thus far I'm pretty OK. I am gluten sensitive, and I get HORRIBLE pains when I eat anything with gluten (but I tested negative for celiac), so my doctor recommended I just go as gluten-free as possible. My endocrinologist told me I have to cut carbs anyway to bring down my hemoglobin A1C (was at 6%, now down to 5.3% and she wants it even lower) and it's smart to perhaps "preserve" my pancreas for as long as I can. I also have antibodies to my thyroid, which right now, is working normally. My thyroid hormones were on the low end of normal, but have since stabilized with my change in diet. I was tired, had dull, dry skin, nearly no motivation to do anything. My B12 was around 75-100, and has since increased to 900 with my change in diet. I know I am heading in the right direction, but I can't get my head wrapped around the fact that eating so much fat may not cause my cholesterol numbers to go crazy - especially with a family history.
That is why I am so concerned with my eating and exercise plan.
If that's what you're worried about, you can get a "Heart Scan" done - this is a test that scans for calcium deposits in arteries. see:
You can get one now as a baseline, and another say, 6 months or a year from now. Meanwhile, if you take vitamin K2 along with magnesium, and Vitamin D3, you can set the stage for removing arterial plaques, and be sure to avoid supplementing with calcium as excess calcium is the cause of these plaques.
Most cholesterol tests are completely useless, they don't give enough detail to tell you whether something is actually wrong or not. You'd want to look at Chris Masterjohn's various articles about this:
http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/ You might want to google his name and listen to some of the interviews on various podcasts with him for details.
It absolutely is. I'm kind of glad gluten irritates me, or else I'd want it! Anyway, my A1C dropped from 6% to 5.8% after just "dieting" and down to 5.3% after eliminating gluten for 2 months.
Your biggest fear is and should be diabetes--you've got that under good control--it would be nice to see the A1C even lower and you do that be staying the course.
Consider the alternative--going back to a SAD or low fat, high carb diet? You'll see your numbers deteriorate for sure, especially the A1C which will go up a lot along with triglycerides. HDL will plummet, LDL, will probably go down, which will please your doctor but doesn't mean anything much in the scheme of things. (It's not high to begin with).
The only numbers that are likely to be "worse" next time if you stick to what you are doing are your HDL (that's a good thing!) and as a consequence your total cholesterol. Do the research--you'll find that total cholesterol does NOT correlate to heart attacks. But increases in A1C and in triglycerides do. BOTH of those go up with grains and increased carbohydrate consumption, NOT fat. So staying the course is your best bet for a long and healthy life.
I have a few pieces of advice:
1) Do a lot of research. It sounds like you're on the right track already but knowledge is power. With the paleo lifestyle, the better you understand it the better you will probably do. I loved the book "Perfect Health Diet" and it really put everything together for me. I'm now very confident that what I'm doing is "perfectly healthy" but I'll continue routine testing to make sure I don't mess things up.
2) Don't freak out over your n=1 testing. It sounds like you're pretty healthy aside from the noted "pre" conditions. You could probably ravage your body through diet for a whole year and then easily recover in 6 months, but more likely you'll discover that you can finally be all you can be by eating this way and living this lifestyle.
Give it some time, don't worry about dietary cholesterol (ever, but at least for the next few months) and see how you feel. Get your bloodwork done again and make your own interpretations. The doctors don't know as much as they think about the results. Make your own judgement calls. Listen to your body and use your own brain.