Hormones and diet

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Hormones and diet

Postby malory » Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:37 pm

How Dietary Endocrinology Is Helping Me

During the fifteen years I have suffered from horrific breath odour, I only noticed a small alleviation in symptoms for a few days: when I did the raw diet, and when I gave up eating gluten. On both occasions, the effects did not last. I recently tried to repeat the effect of giving up gluten when I started the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Although I did this diet for 11 weeks, the initial effect on my odour did not last for more than a day. I assumed this fleeting success was due to a reduction in my ‘harmful’ gut bacteria and that my symptoms later returned because the gut bacteria had found another food source. Perhaps I was wrong. I had noticed my odour was always much worse after eating huge plates of spelt pasta and during periods of high stress. My symptoms began 2 months after some travel injections, 1 year after childbirth, and 3 years after a parasitic infection.

Treatment after diagnosis of TMAU
I was diagnosed in 2010 with TMAU (Trimethylaminuria) and began a low choline diet. Disappointed that the choline diet did not work for me, I experimented with further restricting my food intake and also tried the FODMAP (low fructose) diet. All the time, my symptoms were worsening and my stress levels increasing. I now had a much stronger body odour and, of course, the breath odour. I tried eating virtually nothing when at work, even though I knew I could be producing odorous ketones. I tried to counteract this by eating lots of carbohydrates in the evening. I felt really weak through the lack of protein and had muscle pains and poor concentration.

I have always concentrated on minimising the harmful gut bacteria through ozonetherapy, antibiotics etc. but I also suspected my hormones contributed to my bodily dysfunction. Disrupted choline metabolism can be caused by a combination of gut microflora and insulin resistance. So why did I only concentrate on the gut flora and not the hormonal influences. I saw an endocrinologist but…

Hormonal Control
A lovely lady in the US (with borderline TMAU, breath odour sufferer) e-mailed to tell me that she had managed to control her breath odour through using a non-lactose-containing contraceptive pill called Demulen. Unfortunately, the pill was withdrawn and replaced by Zovia, which contained lactose. She studied the ingredients of both pills and found there to be little difference, but the Zovia could not control her odour.

She then tried the insulin resistant diet, or Zone Diet created by the biochemist, Barry Sears (to help athletes achieve optimum performance). It helped her control her odour. I am also finding it helpful, and so is another sufferer (non-TMAU but with faecal body odour), so I would like to pass this information on to anyone who suspects that hormones could be influencing their odour.

How the Zone Diet works
Food is regarded as a powerful drug which has an immediate effect on our blood sugar levels and, ultimately, our eicosanoids, which are super-hormones which need to be kept in balance. Certain fatty acids are the building blocks of these eicosanoids and the diet uses the food intake to manipulate eicosanoid balance. As a vegetarian of 30 years, I always ate more carbohydrates than anything else. This situation worsened when I reduced my choline intake. Sear says (p.67 ‘Enter The Zone’): “But the most insidious effect of eating too little protein relative to carbohydrate is the overproduction of bad eicosanoids.”
The Zone diet says that when you eat excess carbohydrates, blood glucose rises rapidly and the pancreas secretes insulin to lower those levels. Glucagon, on the other hand, increases blood sugar levels. Ideally, there should be a balance between these two hormones.

When you manage to get the calorific values from the 3 major food groups in the correct proportions, then you can control your hormone and insulin levels. You need 40% of calories from carbohydrates, 30% from protein and 30% from fat.

The diet I’m doing
I use my calculator and scales to work out the ratios (‘The Formula’ by Daoust is good for this) and tailor the 40:30:30 diet to fit my needs. At the moment, I eat vegetables, beans, tofu and fruit. I will introduce oat bran and maybe some grains later. I seem unable to tolerate milk proteins.

Please note: I am not trying to ‘sell’ anything to anybody. I just hope that this information may help somebody. If you do try this 40:30:30 and have results PLEASE share this information with us. Perhaps we can instigate some kind of research into this area.
E-mail me any feedback or questions: karen.james@meboresearch.org
Posts: 218
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:16 pm
Location: London -west

Re: Hormones and diet

Postby malory » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:22 pm

News that I have another big ovarian cyst (had first one at age 15 and i'm now 45) plus a big fibroid, further convinced me that hormones play a big part in my odour. People on the bad breath site are frequently discussing the influence of hormones on their odour, and some have investigated into the function of their thyroid glands; TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) levels, and the response of their adrenal glands to ACTH (Adrenocortocotrophic hormone)

I visited an endocrinologist who assessed hormone levels in the blood. Some of my results, though not highlighted by the endocrinologist, had asterisks by them. When I asked about my progesterone level, the endocrinologist said that it was asterisked because it was rather low, but that it was not significant as the blood test may have been done at the onset of/during menstruation when progesterone levels are lowest. However, this was not the case; my blood test was done a week after menstruation, so I began to experiment on my own.

I then began to take a progesterone only pill called Femulen - though Progest E can also be used - (while doing the Paleo Diet using Zone Diet proportions). After 5 days of taking it, I had 4 days which were completely odour free, but the odour returned.

With the aid of another sufferer (who can control her odour completely through the insulin resistant zone diet), I was introduced to Dr. Ray Peat's theories about oestrogen dominance (in both males and females). Like the Paleo diet and the PH Miracle diet, Ray Peat does not adovcate eating any grains. I was very sceptical initially as his dietary recommendations include consuming large amounts of raw, unpasteurised milk/cheese and I have always avoided lactose (he also recommends organic orange juice plus raw carrots with coconut oil).

One week after doing this diet, and taking the progesterone only pill, my odour went. Of course, this may not last for long, but there is definitely a place for studying hormonal imbalances in odour sufferers. i am not cliaming to be cured but this 'hormone route' is the only thing which has helped me despite my TMAU diagnosis.

Please pursue this 'hormonal imbalance' route if you have tried the low choline diet and found it ineffective, or noticed the strong impact of your odour in relation to hormonal upheavals (menstruation, post pregnancy, puberty, acute stress).
Posts: 218
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:16 pm
Location: London -west

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