Ask The Low-Carb Experts
Jimmy Moore Presents his latest podcast, Ask The Low-Carb Experts. Listeners like YOU can call in LIVE every thursday evening at 7PM US Eastern time. Just call (712) 432-0900 and use the access code 848908 or you can Skype the show for FREE by calling the username freeconferencing.7124320900.


Weight Loss Obstacles




June 2013
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AIR DATE: June 27, 2013 at 7PM ET
FEATURED TOPIC: "Anxiety, Bipolar & The CARB Syndrome"

NOTE: The audio will be published by midday on Friday

Think about the tremendous load of stress we are putting on ourselves in modern society and the impact that is having on our mental health and well-being. Here are some sobering statistics: The Centers For Disease Control estimates 1 in 10 Americans are clinically depressed, The Anxiety And Depression Association Of America notes that 40 million American adults have an anxiety disorder and The National Institute Of Mental Health says that another 5.7 million Americans are impacted with bipolar disorder annually. This is something our guest expert this week has seen up close and personal in his Northern Minnesota family practice. A few years back, Dr. Bill Wilson couldn't help but notice that his patients were getting fatter and sicker than ever before and the indelible effect this was having on brain health was alarming to him. That's when he sought to find answers and developed what he refers to as "The CARB Syndrome" which identifies the metabolic component involved in the health of your brain that can manifest itself in a myriad of ways. In Episode 41 of "Ask The Low-Carb Experts," we had Dr. Wilson zoom in specifically at answering YOUR questions about "Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar & The CARB Syndrome" solution.




Here are a few of the questions we addressed in this episode:

CODY ASKS: My 13-year old daughter wakes up every night and cannot get back to sleep for over an hour. This has been an issue as long as we can remember. She has always been very temperamental as well and is prone to quite a bit of anxiety. She is a super picky eater and attempting to change her diet in any way, shape, form or fashion causes EXCESSIVE trauma. She also doesn't like meat. She does love cheese (Kraft Extra Sharp Cheddar and Cheeseheads String Cheese are the specific brands she’ll eat) and a lot of fruits (she’s very aware of textures and doesn't like apples that are too crunchy, even the hint of a grape seed, etc.). But other than those two things, her go to foods are junk, such as Cheetos, crackers, Pringles, candy, pizza and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. She has asthma and eczema as well. She's seen 5 different psychiatrists and has received 5 different diagnoses. She's been on a handful of medications, all of which were either ineffective or made her worse. She is now off of all the meds and I supplement with a daily multivitamin, Vitamin D, Vitamin K2, B vitamins, magnesium and selenium. Do you have any suggestions on how we can help her?

DR. VAN DERVEER ASKS: Hi Dr. Wilson, I'm a psychiatrist in Boulder, Colorado. I'm seeing big improvements in my patients with anxiety and mood disorders by recommending the elimination of grains from their diets. Can you please share your insights on where we are currently with the science of a brain-gut inflammation connection?

NANCY ASKS: I just had lunch with an elementary school teacher today. She was telling me how the numbers for autism have skyrocketed and of course mainstreaming autistic kids into the schools. We talked about the effect this was having on the classroom environment and the fact that the parents of these children seem to be in denial about what their child is going through. Would our sugar and carbohydrate-laden diets have anything to do with this increase that has been happening?

MICHAEL FROM AUSTRALIA ASKS: At the age of 42 I had my first panic attack and I remember the exact time and day it happened. It has been relentless every single day for the last 22 years. I went down the conventional health path with various general practitioners, shrinks and psychologists—all to no avail! My shrink put me on Xanax and I think I have tried every SSRI known to man with no success. When I attempted to wean myself off of Xanax, my generalized anxiety disorder returned with a vengeance. It’s a miserable place to be in. I discovered the low-carb, high-fat way of eating over decade ago thanks to people like Dr. Mike Eades and Gary Taubes. Their advice had marvelous affects on all my physical health markers, including my lipids, BMI and blood sugars. However, it has not helped me with my anxiety at all. At this stage I am not optimistic of a cure, but do you have anything that can give me some hope for the future?

PHIL FROM THE UK ASKS: I currently eat a low-carb diet that consists of less than 30g of net carbs per day. I had a Vitamin D test and it came back as "insufficient." So I began supplementing with 4000 IU daily for a month and fixed that. I also take an EPA supplement that is extracted from fish oil. Is there any science around which if any omega-3 fish oil supplement is most effective for depression and anxiety issues? Does DHA in some way negate EPA if they are taken together?

RICK ASKS: How common is magnesium deficiency in those people dealing with anxiety problems? Also, considering your medical practice is in northern Minnesota, how often does you see people that are deficient in Vitamin D and do you use it in treating patients dealing with depression and anxiety issues? If so, what is the ideal blood level you are shooting for in your patients? Finally, have you used probiotics in treating depression?

Direct download: ATLCX-41-wilson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

AIR DATE: June 20, 2013 at 7PM ET
FEATURED EXPERT: Dr. William Graham
FEATURED TOPIC: "What Are 'Normal' Lab Values?"

Have you ever gotten back test results from your doctor and were relieved to see that you were in the "normal" range with your lab values? Did you ever stop to ask yourself how they came up with these numbers? What if you are in the normal range on a particular test, but you still have symptoms in your health that make it obvious you are still not well? These are just a few of the questions we addressed in this week's episode of "Ask The Low-Carb Experts" with a low-carb/Paleo-friendly family physician named Dr. William Graham from King, North Carolina. He has a special interest in measuring fasting insulin and ketone levels as well as testing his patients for vitamin deficiencies. As you will quickly see, Dr. Graham is quite opinionated and more than willing to stretch the boundaries of "traditional white coat medicine." That made him the perfect choice to answer YOUR questions about the topic What Are 'Normal' Lab Values? on this week's show.




Here are just a few of the questions addressed in this podcast:

KELLY ASKS: I’ve read that the "normal" ranges on most lab tests are actually averages of all the tests results that the lab has conducted. Why this is so frightening to me is because most of the people who are having tests run have something WRONG with their health. This means the supposedly "normal" values are really clouded with a lot of sick people’s numbers and the more tests run on sicker people the more "normal" sick actually becomes. Is this actually how it works or do I have it all wrong?

LESLIE ASKS: As with modern infant growth charts, I often wonder what's considered normal these days. My family doctor has joked with me that according to her charts I should be dead with blood pressure of 110/60 and a resting heart rate of 54 as a woman in my late 50s.

SIMON ASKS: I’m a lean, fairly healthy 26-year old man and I've been following a low-carb ketogenic diet since the beginning of April 2013 because I didn’t like feeling constantly hungry on a high-carb diet. I had a blood test done at the end of May and my uric acid levels were out of the normal range measuring 7.2 mg/dl. The normal range specified is 3.6-7.0 mg/dl. Should this be cause for concern? Are my kidneys perhaps still adapting to the presence of ketones? By the way, my total cholesterol is 223 mg/dl and my triglycerides are 139 mg/dl.

EDWARD ASKS: I was wondering if the lab standards for blood pressure are somehow biased. I'm an American born citizen of Asian descent and lived on a diet of rice for many years. It never bothered me that my blood pressure was considered Stage One Hypertension as I personally felt fine. However, with the medications I'm taking, I now feel tired and sluggish simply with the goal of lowering my blood pressure because it’s not in the right range. Can you help me understand this?

LISA ASKS: I had a regular CBC done recently and my BUN level came back as 23. The lab test states that normal is between 7-18. The doctor hasn't recommended anything for me to do about this. I follow a lower-carb diet compared to the SAD diet and I don't eat a lot of sugar. Should I be concerned about my BUN levels being so high?

TONY ASKS: Other than the typical blood test markers physicians run to gauge the general health of their patients, what are the top 5 blood markers people should be paying most attention to after the age 40? Are they different for males vs. females?

ARI ASKS: What do you think about the seemingly high prevalence of low-carbers, including Jimmy, who have very high LDL-P numbers but no other signs of imminent heart disease risks? I realize there is very little research on this right now, but would love to hear Dr. Graham’s personal experience on this subject working with patients eating a low-carb diet.

KEN ASKS: Between the standard lipid panel, NMR Lipoprofile test, CMP panel, and CBC panel, which 3-4 numbers should folks be most concerned about to determine their cardiovascular and overall health risks?

RICHELLE FROM AUSTRALIA ASKS: What is the significance of lactate in the blood particularly in the context of mitochondrial function? What other blood markers are good to keep an eye on to monitor mitochondrial function? Also, what are the best tests to monitor nutrient requirements in the body?

Direct download: ATLCX-40-graham.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

AIR DATE: June 13, 2013 at 7PM ET
FEATURED EXPERT: Dr. Michael Ruscio
FEATURED TOPIC: "All Things Thyroid (Thyroid 201)"

The thyroid gland serves one of the most under-appreciated and yet totally misunderstood functions within the human body. If someone is dealing with excessive weight on their body, you might hear them say something along the lines of it being due to having a bad thyroid. But there's got to be more to it than that, right? What is at the root cause of why your thyroid might not be functioning at optimal levels? And what steps can be taken to fix these thyroid issues without resorting to taking potentially harmful prescription medications? That's what we'll be exploring with a Walnut Creek, CA-based functional medicine physician named Dr. Michael Ruscio (listen to my interview with him in Episode 407 of "The Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Show").

Dr. Ruscio specializes in the subject of thyroid health (and has quite the personal story to tell) which is why he will being joining us to talk about "All Things Thyroid (Thyroid 201)." You might recall we had the great Chris Kresser on to talk about this subject back in Episode 10 to give a Thyroid 101 introduction to the topic. But Dr. Ruscio will help us dig even deeper into answering YOUR most pressing questions about thyroid health and how it relates to your healthy low-carb, Paleo lifestyle. If you want to get a taste for what his teaching style is like, then be sure to check out his YouTube channel for lots of informative videos on this subject and more. Dr. Ruscio joined us in Episode 39 of "Ask The Low-Carb Experts" to keep the conversation going on the vital importance of attaining and maintaining good thyroid health.

Here are just a few of the questions we addressed in this podcast:

DANIELLA ASKS: I'm a 36-year old mother who recently started eating a low-carb Paleo lifestyle. I consume 1500-1600 calories most days and take in about 50-60g of carbohydrates daily. My energy is great and I look and feel the best I have ever felt in my life. Sleep and athletic performance are incredible as well and my muscle definition at 5’3” tall and 110 pounds has never been better. My only concern is that I take 60mg Armour thyroid daily and I am concerned that my low-carb diet may interfere with thyroid function. I feel like I eat adequate calories most of the time, but should I be concerned? My last labs showed everything to be good: TSH 0.6, Free T3 at 2.2, free T4 at .8.

KATHERINE ASKS: I'm 39 years old and I've been on a low-carb diet (40-70g carb per day) for 22 months in response to pre-diabetic blood sugar levels. Since changing my diet, my T3 has dropped and is now borderline low. Initial thyroid tests 22 months ago were all normal. I've done some casual reading in recent months that a low-carb diet can suppress thyroid function. In other places I've read it can help it. Can you please help clear up this confusing issue?


NANCY ASKS: I have actually been struggling with the low-carb concept out of fear of ruining my thyroid. There is so much conflicting information out there with regards to low-carb being bad or good for thyroid. I’ve heard that women should not be on a low-carb diet for too long or at all because of the risks to their thyroid function. I am already obese at 5'1" and 184 pounds and I feel lost and not sure which nutritional path to take.

KEN ASKS: I've been eating Paleo over the last year and recently had an NMR test. My LDL particle count was very high at 1403 with my small LDL coming in at 492. HDL is 62 and triglycerides are 50. I was wondering if you could further explain the role the thyroid plays in the particle count levels and whether those of us eating a low-carb Paleo diet should be worried. It seems many of us eating this way, including Jimmy, have high LDL-P and I’m curious if our way of eating is making this happen.

JUNE ASKS: Do you have a preference between Armour vs. Nature Thyroid?

RICK ASKS: What are your thoughts on treating thyroid disease with high levels of iodine supplementation?

WENDY ASKS: I have been taking 30 mg of Armour Thyroid and have been Paleo/Primal since Jan 2011. I eat fish 2x per week. I avoid raw cruciferous veggies and take a drop or two of a concentrated iodine supplement weekly as I don't want to overdo it. I recently started adding kelp sprinkles daily to my food and would like to stop having to take thyroid medications if at all possible. Is this doable?

JACKIE ASKS: I had thyroid cancer in 2008 and had a total thyroidectomy. I'm currently taking 200 mcg of Synthroid daily. Since the thyroid controls metabolism, how do I increase my metabolism to lose weight? I’m 57 years old, 5'2" tall and weigh 260 pounds.

DEANNA ASKS: I did the HCG diet over 2 years ago and lost nearly 40 pounds. Since then I have slowly gained almost all of it back. I am having hypothyroid symptoms (hair loss, brittle nails, cold hands and feet) the main one being a total inability to lose weight no matter how hard I try. I eat mostly Paleo. What are your thoughts about the HCG diet and its effect on thyroid function? I have read that it could affect reverse T3 but there are a lot of functional medicine doctors advocating it.

PAUL ASKS: What are Dr. Ruscio’s thoughts on the Endocrine Society's updated clinical practice guidelines for the management of thyroid health in pregnancy? They seem to be quite controversial.

LINDA ASKS: I read that eating one Brazil nut a day is enough to bring up a low thyroid to normal levels. Is that true? What other foods can help with this?

JASON ASKS: Is the excessive fluoride typically added to the drinking water in local municipalities something to be worried about because of iodine absorption issues and by extension be a contributor to hypothyroidism?

INGE FROM MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA ASKS: I lost weight after my sister died in 1993 and at the age of 40 I developed a taste for alcohol that killed my thyroid. For 10 years the specialist put me on Thyroxin until my blood pressure became very high due to a lack of T3 stimulation. She then put me on 7 grains of thyroid extract and I started losing weight again. I’m now seeing an integrative doctor who is not happy about this high dosage of thyroid extract. He told me to back off of it and now I’m gaining weight again putting on 8 kg, I sleep 10 hours a night, I retain fluid, I can no longer exercise because I’m so exhausted all the time and I have severe brain fog. Do you have any suggestions for me?

MELANIE ASKS: I just got diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue that according to my doctor is causing Functional Hypothyroidism. So my Free T3 and T4 were in the normal range, but at the lower end. I need to fix the adrenal fatigue issue but I also need to be supporting my thyroid so that it doesn’t get any worse. I'm pretty familiar with ways to support the thyroid, but wanted to ask the opinion on taking animal glandulars. I wonder if Dr. Ruscio is familiar with the Xymogen T-150 thyroid support product (a freeze-dried, BSE-free, bovine, multi-glandular, mineral and herbal formula to support healthy thyroid function). Do you have an opinion on it? My doctor wants me taking it.

ROGER ASKS: Before I went low-carb Paleo, I knew my thyroid wasn’t functioning well. My Free T3 and T4 levels were horrible and I was feeling sluggish. Is a short-term supplementation of pregnenolone a good way to boost thyroid health and balance other hormones?

CATHY ASKS: I started Synthroid for hypothyroidism in January and quickly developed a bad case of acne. Is this just a coincidence or did the medication cause this?

AMBERLY ASKS: The thyroid tests done by my doctor were all normal, but then I started going to another doctor who specializes in bio-identical hormone replacement. He said that one of them was low, maybe the Free T3. He put me on Armour thyroid to treat it. When I asked him if this could have any negative effects, he said that it could shut my thyroid down, but that since my thyroid wasn't functioning as well as it needed to on its own. Thus, he convinced me it would make sense to go ahead and start the Armour since it wasn't going to get any better on its own anyway. My Free T3 is now slightly too high. Do you agree with this doctor’s aggressive approach?

Direct download: ATLCX-39-ruscio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:56am EDT

AIR DATE: June 6, 2013 at 7PM ET
FEATURED EXPERT: Diane Sanfilippo
FEATURED TOPIC: "All Things Digestion (Gut Health 101)"

The more we learn about diet and health, it seems that as our gut health goes so goes our overall health. And perhaps you have shifted your diet over from the Standard American Diet to more of a low-carb or Paleo lifestyle and you're still experiencing issues with your digestion that have you flummoxed. It can be frustrating when you start eating a real foods-based lifestyle and still dealing with things like bloating, IBS, constipation, low stomach acid and more. But Diane Sanfilippo from the "Balanced Bites" blog and podcast and the author of the New York Times bestselling Victory Belt book Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle has some real solutions to these most common problems associated with digestive health issues. Diane is joining us in Episode 38 of "Ask The Low-Carb Experts" to answer all of YOUR questions on digestion and gut health.




Here are a few of the questions we addressed in this episode:

PAM ASKS: I have been on a Paleo diet for several months now and I eat generous servings of vegetables three meals a day. Despite that I have less frequent bowel movements than I would like--less than once daily. I have accepted the fact that I probably have to take a fiber supplement. I currently use a formula that contains psyllium seed husks, non-GMO soy fiber, oat bran, acacia gum, and apple pectin extract. I chose this brand because of its reasonable price and high fiber content per serving, however I am concerned about the soy and the oat bran. Do you have any product recommendations that would not contain these concerning ingredients? Most of what I find in the stores seems to have too few grams of fiber per serving to bother with, or have other even more questionable ingredients in them.

ALLY ASKS: So for the last year and a half, my digestion has been utterly icky. I’ve had severe bloating, gas, diarrhea and more. I eat a very strict low-carb Paleo plan and was diagnosed with Candida requiring me to eat this way. However, it only made me worse. For the last month and a half, I've been following a whole-food based approach similar to Matt Stone's Diet Recovery, eating more carbs (rice, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, sugar), and my digestion is now AMAZING. It improved almost immediately and I've been doing great. The only problem now is I can't seem to lose weight. What's up with that? Why was my digestion so poor when I ate low-carb Paleo (which I LOVE), but it improves when I eat foods that I honestly would prefer not to? How do I navigate around this tricky situation?

KRISTIN ASKS: I'll keep it simple: Should my poop float?

JAMES ASKS: My 27-year old brother is suffering from some problems with digestion. For most his life he was eating the Standard American Diet, basically carbage. I have been low-carb and following a generic ancestral eating template for a year and a half now and he has adopted some of the LC/Paleo principles. However he still snacks on chips and candy occasionally. His GI tract seems to want to hold on to the food as long as possible. This results in feeling full and bloated with constipation. Without being too graphic, he has examined his stool and sees undigested food. This occurs more often with tougher cuts of meat such as brisket. He has tried more chewing and more vegetables to increase his fiber intake but it doesn’t seem to help. He does not appear to be malnourished but it does make life difficult and interrupt his day-to-day activities. What should he be doing next? Get a gastroenterology exam? Stool exam? My amateur guess is that his gut bacteria may be off, but I have no idea where to begin. Any pointers would be great.

JENN ASKS: What are the signs and symptoms of intolerance to FODMAPs? To be blunt, fruit causes me to be rather gassy and I'm trying to figure out if it is a FODMAP issue or a gut bacterial growth issue. Do you have any suggestions on how I can figure this one out?

DANIELLE ASKS: Low carb + FODMAPs = better digestion because...?

RACHAEL ASKS: Sometimes if I have too much fat I have an immediate and urgent digestive issue to contend with and at other times I'm totally fine! Are there certain fats that can cause more issues or are there any food combinations that I should avoid? I’m a huge, huge fan of Diane!

GEZ FROM THE UK ASKS: I follow a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb diet. Does it matter if some meals are mainly protein and fat while others are primarily vegetables and fat in regards to digestion? Or should I strive to make sure the macronutrients are balanced in each meal?

LESLIE ASKS: About 6 months ago, I had a tooth pulled that entailed taking antibiotics for 10 days - amoxicillin and using nitrous oxide during the procedure. Right after that, 15 pounds crept up on me within about 2-3 weeks. I have NOT been able to make the scale budge no matter what I have tried--Whole 30, low-carb with 25g carbs max daily for 6 weeks, intermittent fasting, fat fast, fish and salad--nothing is working. I have always taken a probiotic and added even more right after the procedure. This didn't help, as far as I can tell. I eat plenty of cultured foods. What else could be going on?

JOEL ASKS: Is it possible to eat too much sauerkraut in a day to help with good gut flora? I'm a tall guy (6'4") with a big appetite, but I've leaned out to a normal weight now (207 lbs) after eating a low-carb diet for 8 months. In a meal I will eat around 350g of sauerkraut. Is there any harm in regularly eating this much sauerkraut 2-3 times a week? Are there any benefits to eating this much?

Direct download: ATLCX-38-sanfilippo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT