I went zero-carb for a few days around this time last year and it really seemed to help my digestion as well as my skin, but I introduced starches because my sports performance was going down the drain. For the last couple months I have been an avid starch consumer, and it has tremendously helped my athletic capabilities as well as constipation issues, sleep trouble, nail fungus and cold intolerance, I had before on VLC, but it has become hard for me to ignore that my high starch consumption has made my skin worse and the acne on my back flare up.
Seeing as how most starches are fermentable and have the ability of feeding a potential bacterial overgrowth (which I think is what's going on) and fruit doesn't treat me to well either, what do you recommend I do to get in enough carbs for my athletic lifestyle and prevent the symptoms I had on a VLC diet while not feeding a small intestinal bacterial overgrowth? Am I asking for too much.
EDIT: I just read Paul's very timely post where he recommends dextrose or rice syrup for people with gut disorders.
Have you thought about introducing beneficial bacteria and a overgrowth killing substance to swing the balance back into a positive? I really improved by eating a couple spoonfuls of kimchee a day and a couple of glasses of water a day with diatomaceous earth mixed in. Good flora will go up and is resistant to the silica, whereas the bad bacteria will be sliced to ribbons. In addition the extra silica is good for your hair and connective tissue.
Do a few days of no carb (sounds like you've already done that). Immediately thereafter, start adding back small quantities of either steamed potatoes or wild rice. Eat your starch meal without much fat (at least, at first) and some ginger (to speed gastric emptying). Then start adding more starch and fat with in until you reach your tolerance level. You may have no problem with starch, provided you don't combine it with FODMAPs.
I agree with rdizzle. Probiotics, particularly kefir--either dairy or water--not only encourage the good gut flora, but are believed to kill off the bad ones. That's why you have to start with very small daily amounts and work up gradually in order to avoid a "kill-off flu."
Have you tried HCL? Perhaps you have low stomach acid. The constipation, acne, and high TSH you've reported on here definitely indicate a thyroid issue. Have you tried Iodine? Low stomach acid comes hand in hand with low thyroid... I would definitely look into this, as you may not have SIBO.
I have SIBO and do just fine with winter squashes--butternut, spaghetti, etc. They aren't as carb dense as root veggies, but I can tell they're better for my tummy than a sweet potato. Also, they're delicious! Try searching for articles on how to eat a GAPS/SCD diet without going too low-carb.
Also, although coconut is really mostly fat, it does have some carbs and I find a spoonful of coconut butter really helps if I'm feeling low energy.
p.s. a lot of people here recommended rice, which I find bothers me, but actually lentils treat me pretty well. Especially if they're sprouted, they're a delicious source of carbs and some protein that might work for you. They're also considered GAPS-legal I think, because of the type of carbohydrates they have.
Raw carrot. The fiber is anti-microbial and actually helps combat bacteria. This is the one piece of advice that Ray Peat has that actually worked in my life. In fact, it worked so well that I just buy like one carrot and snap off pieces throughout the week, basically using it like a medicine, because too much at once makes me a little uncomfortable.