Overwhelmed with nutritional/vitamin information

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Overwhelmed with nutritional/vitamin information

Postby Luongo » Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:10 pm

I'm not a very good patient. I eat Taco Bell a couple times a month, I eat burgers, I drink beer... something tells me this stuff isn't on any of the preferred MS diets.

I want to eat right and keep myself held together as long as possible but unfortunately I can't sort it all out. There's so much information. Nutrition-wise, there's the Swank diet, the Wahls diet, the Real Man diet, the Paleo diet, the Jelinek diet, the "Best Bet" diet... I can't even begin to process all the information. And unfortunately I'm a bit dim-witted so the outlines of the diets are so abstract to me. Cholinesterase inhibitors? Goitrogenic? Raw crucifers/brassicas? I don't even know what I'm reading. I need help understanding in plain English what to eat and what not to eat.

And vitamin supplements... Vitamin B12, vitamin D3, zinc, magnesium, fish oil, probiotics, iron, cranberry pills, regular multi-vitamins... I feel like a junky popping so many pills (which I do at completely arbitrary and erratic intervals) and I don't see much benefit but I don't even know what the hell I'm doing. It would be an extremely humiliating death if I managed to overdose on cranberry tablets so I want to get this figured out. And while I'm at it...

http://www.naturesbounty.com/

...this is the brand of vitamins I buy. This and some brand called SunDown are the only ones they sell at my local store. Is there something wrong with these? Various MS related persons have me believing that the only PROPER place to buy magnesium is from an Internet site run by the monks of a Shangri-La Tibetan monastery and only THEY really supply the good product which costs some unholy amount and that my current vitamins actually offer no greater benefits than your average rabbit's droppings. And I'm sorry, I just don't have the money to spend on some of these insane vitamin regiments as offered on many of these sites.

I just need some direction. I feel like I'm trying to paint the walls of my house with a paintball gun set on autofire... I might land some paint by blasting erratically (it definitely won't look pretty) but I might blast out a window or two, causing damage in the process. I need a little guidance here.
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Re: Overwhelmed with nutritional/vitamin information

Postby Scott1 » Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:15 pm

Hi,

Welcome to the world of choices and crackpot ideas! Whatever you do, work from knowledge not guesswork. Foods that have a bad reputation across the spectrum usually deserve it but not always. Some dietary recommendations were developed by politicians not scientists so be careful of absolutes.
Instead of viewing it as lots of advice, start with yourself. What are your symptoms? What tests have you done and what were the results? Do you have allergies? How much are you prepared to spend in terms of money or in terms of time? You can invent the questions then look for things that resemble answers. There are plenty of answers but they may not be the right ones for you.

Do develop as much knowledge as you can and work out from there. Don't expect to pick an answer off the shelf. There are more opinions than facts on just about everything. You need to start with what you know about yourself which is someone only you can list. You don't have to know it all.
What tests have you had done? Do you know the results of them? Do you know how to interpret them? Have you asked for opinions about those results?

Diets are like boxes of breakfast cereals. They all claim to be the best.
Stop looking at them and look at your symptoms and test results first. You are peeling an onion so deal with each layer one at a time.
If you want to share what you know you may get a few ideas back.

Regards
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Re: Overwhelmed with nutritional/vitamin information

Postby scdiva81 » Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:37 pm

I second Scott. Start slowly and figure out what works best for you and your individual needs. There is a plethora of information and misinformation available so be sure to start from knowledge.....perhaps ask your doctor for some blood work to see what specific nutrients in which you are deficient and work from there. However, do your homework because lab ranges for what is deemed "normal" can vary greatly.
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Re: Overwhelmed with nutritional/vitamin information

Postby ElliotB » Fri Jan 30, 2015 1:46 am

Nice post! Put a smile on my face!!!

You seem to understand everything very well, actually. Better than you think. Better than many.

With regards to Diet: pick one and follow it. They all work for some. Pick one that fits into your lifestyle. Most are similar to each other. The Wahls diet is the exception.
(And you are correct Taco Bell and beer are not on any of them. Not much hope for beer being on any of these diets (but the good news is that home made tacos and burgers are on some. And beer does have some nutritional value. Alcohol probably does not, especially for MSers. Have you considered alcohol free beer? I am not a beer drinker but you may find a brand that tastes good to you.)

With regards to vitamins: You are taking what many consider the right ones (I take all the ones you list and then some). While some brands may be better than others, there is no way of knowing for sure. Marketing hype is well, just that, marketing hype. The best way of knowing if you are 'on track' with what you are taking and the frequency you are taking them at is to have your doctor check your vitamin levels through blood work. And adjust if necessary. Understanding why we take supplements may give you a better reason to take them on a regular basis. And if you are deficient in any, that too may give you a better reason to take them on a regular basis.

Direction? If you are feeling good, keep on doing what you are doing! If not, adjust as necessary.
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Re: Overwhelmed with nutritional/vitamin information

Postby jimmylegs » Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:26 am

hi luongo,

i would say pick the aspects of the various diets that make sense for YOU. if your previous status quo made you feel bad, don't pick a diet that emphasizes more of the same.

have a detailed look at your status quo and how it meets your nutritional needs. see what YOU need to change. you could start with tracking what you eat, and you can evaluate its nutritional value at a pace you can handle, one essential nutrient at a time.

you can get even more strategic and not worry about ALL the essential ones out there - shorten the list with attention only to the nutrients known to be low normal in ms patients.

the more you can do with food, the less you'll be rattling around full of a bunch of pills :)

that said, for a baseline supplement, a good choice would be one that needs to be taken spaced out over the course of the day, to maximize absorption. in the past i used one for athletes, since the amounts of each vitamin were higher. lately, i get this product: http://www.aor.ca/products-page/advance ... -basics-3/

if you have access to bloodwork, a couple of tests can't hurt either.

i'm curious how you actually feel, ie which are your most persistent symptoms in spite of your work so far?
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!
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Re: Overwhelmed with nutritional/vitamin information

Postby Luongo » Sat Jan 31, 2015 1:52 pm

Thanks for the replies.

My current dietary routine is pretty much a caprese salad for lunch and a typical meat/veg/starch dish for dinner. Chicken, usually. Like I said, I break and eat junk now and again, but it's not as if I'm constantly eating crap. And honestly, when I break and have one of my knock-down drag-out Taco Bell genocide meals, I get a huge endorphin rush and feel great. So the food may be terrible for me, but there's got to be something said for that wonderful feeling? Right? Right? Are you buying this rationalization yet?

My last bloodwork showed low Vitamin D and mid-low B12. I didn't have any requests for specific magnesium or zinc at the time. I was also flagged for having high ACE levels but apparently that's fairly common in MS.

Here's the backstory: my symptoms are fairly minor. I have visual disturbances that I was unable to articulate for several years until my wife managed to pinpoint it (http://eyeonvision.org/visual-snow.html is an accurate description, but approximately zero doctors I have ever seen have heard of it), I had numbness that went away... my biggest problems currently are hyperflexes that make me completely jittery at all times and some sexual dysfunction (lack of libido). I feel good in the morning and at night but usually get bogged down in fatigue in the afternoon. In general I felt okay until recently...

...I've been having peculiar symptoms. I generally do not have an appetite and experience a lot of burping and I can't eat very much without feeling full. I now have anxiety approaching meals, wondering if I'm going to be able to eat anything. On the surface this doesn't seem like typical MS symptoms, but after an endoscopy, a CT scan, an MRI, a gastric emptying study, x-rays, and a HIDA scan that all show a whole lot of nothing, I'm resigned back to my normal pit of anxiety where doctors shrug their shoulders and just label me as weird. And at the end of the day, MS can pretty much manifest itself in any number of disturbing ways so I don't have much else to do other than stew and chalk it up as par for the course.

It's not that I think my symptoms are horrible. I'm sure the number of MSers who would opt for a symptom-trade are legion. But regardless of whatever is going on with me right now, I feel that a diet change would be a great preventative measure... not that I'm specifically trying to ease any particular symptom or symptoms. Obviously this new kink makes diets and eating a whole ordeal in general, but I'm only 30 and with the wife and I planning for kids in the near-future, I want to make sure I have a good enough shot going forward to be a fit dad.




...sorry. That got more ranty than I intended.
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Re: Overwhelmed with nutritional/vitamin information

Postby cheerleader » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:40 pm

Hey Luongo--
Yup, it is overwhelming. You can rant all you want on here.
Your high ACE numbers point to something very specific--
Slowed blood flow and narrower blood vessels--called vasoconstriction, which can also affect cerebral blood flow, and yup...sexual function. In fact, that's how viagra works. It increases blood flow via the endothelium. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1502382/ High ACE numbers point to endothelial dysfunction. This can also be related to gut problems and digestion--like leaky gut. ACE inhibitors are used to combat high blood pressure and narrowed vessels in cardiovascular disease--and diet and exercise are also recommended.

Hypoperfusion (slowed cerebral blood flow) is a known problem in MS, as is endothelial dysfunction. I put together a program for my husband's MS that looks at the connection to blood flow and vessels and deals with it using lifestyle, food and exercise. He used to have high ACE, SED rate, CRP and liver enzymes. It took awhile to get my meat, cheese, sausage and soda loving husband to turn into a whole food, salad, iced green tea, no cheese or red meat kind of guy. But he feels better and no MS progression in 8 years. He's 51 and still jogging, and was an active Dad raising our son. One day at a time. http://ccsvi.org/index.php/helping-myse ... ial-health

Try substituting the cheese in the caprese salad with chicken. Stay away from Taco Bell (too many transfats, salt and processed stuff)--do you have a Chipotle? Get a bowl with chicken, grilled veggies, pinto beans, lots of guac and salsa (yes, it's good for you!) no rice or cheese. Stay away from white foods...like breads, pasta, cookies. Go for snacking on nuts, colorful fruits and veggies. You'll get there!! All the the diets you mentioned stress whole foods, more vegetables and fruits, healthy omega 3 fats, less sugar, less processed foods, less dairy and gluten.
As far as your burping and lack of appetite--I'd recommend looking into a good probiotic (we like Primal Defense) and a digestive enzyme, like papaya--to help break down foods and keep them moving down the chute. You also may have some food allergies, lots of MSers do. Keeping a food diet and seeing what makes you really feel lousy might help.
Hope it helps!
cheer
Husband dx RRMS 3/07
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com
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Re: Overwhelmed with nutritional/vitamin information

Postby CarpeDiem2015 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:18 am

one place I like to visit is PatientsLikeMe as there are summaries of the vitamins and doses that people take.
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Re: Overwhelmed with nutritional/vitamin information

Postby Youarethecure » Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:53 am

Just make one that works for you or follow one that works for you.

I was on a very strict diet after being diagnosed last yar but I had a little mini flare up recently so I slowly introduced some things back into my diet. I have gone from perfect health to symptoms then back to perfect health and what I eat did not seem to have an affect on anything.

Now with that being said, compared to a "normal" person I still eat a VERY good clean diet. But I am just not super crazy and strict with it anymore. I eat a lot of fruits and veggies along with a lot of different types of fish. I eat salmon 2-4 times a week as a meal. I eat my fair share of junk but like everything else only in moderation. I have only had 3 cheeseburgers in the last year and I hardly ever touch fried foods.

I also take vit d3, magnesium, b12, zinc, vit c, and a daily.

Along with that I feel that exercising is SUPER important. I am a gym rat and have been for the past 7 years.

best wishes,

Chris
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Re: Overwhelmed with nutritional/vitamin information

Postby vesta » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:38 pm

"Matt is Ashton Embry's (founder of Direct-MS) son. Matt was diagnosed with MS 20 years ago. He's not selling anything....just offering some hope and healing.
Kudos to Matt for going public with his MS diagnosis and sharing this important information.
He's a film maker...so these videos are really well done.

http://www.mshope.com


cheer"

cheerleader posted this on Jan 17, 2015 and in my opinion it's a good basic guide to start from. Vesta
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Re: Overwhelmed with nutritional/vitamin information

Postby ElliotB » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:32 pm

Recipe for a healthy cheeseburger (possibly as healthy or healthier than wild caught salmon):

100% Grass fed ground meat , 15% - 22% fat, which is loaded with Omega 3s and other EFA (essential fatty acids) as well as many micronutrients, onions, cheese made from milk from 100% grass fed cows), large leafs of romaine lettuce (used as a bun).

I each cheeseburgers regularly - they are delicious and nutritious! I ate so much salmon last year that I am all salmoned out and rarely have it any more.

Salsa? Healthy? I just discovered that tomatoes can contribute to inflammation. Tomatoes can contain many healthy and protective antioxidants, but they also contain a chemical called solaine and may not be a good choice for anyone with arthritis or inflammation. Needless to say, no more homemade chili, tacos or pasta sauce for me. My highly restrictive diet has become even more limited.
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Re: Overwhelmed with nutritional/vitamin information

Postby cheerleader » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:09 pm

Tomatoes are just fine, unless you have an allergy to nightshades (like my Mom.) Which is why I suggested allergen tests to Luongo.
No "healthy" food is good for you if you have an allergy to it.
Also, there's no such thing as solanine in tomatoes...that's a potato alkaloid.

But there’s scant evidence for tomato toxicity in the medical and veterinary literature. I found just one medical case, an undocumented reference to children having been made sick by tomato-leaf tea, in a 1974 book on poisonous plants. In contrast to the few anecdotal accounts of livestock poisoning, a controlled study in Israel in 1996 showed no ill effects when cattle ate tomato vines for 42 days.

And it’s a chemical gaffe to attribute tomato toxicity to solanine. Dr. Mendel Friedman of the federal Department of Agriculture, who has studied potato and tomato alkaloids for two decades, wrote in an e-mail message that commercial tomatoes contain tomatine. Solanine, he added, is a potato alkaloid.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/29/dinin ... wanted=all

and it's a myth that tomatoes cause inflammation (unless you have an allergy to nightshades)
Tomatoes rule! Lycopene, antioxidants, phytonutrients. Yum!
http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA401017/T ... atoes.html

enjoy those cheeseburgers Elliot! To each, their own!
cheer
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dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com
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Re: Overwhelmed with nutritional/vitamin information

Postby Luongo » Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:13 pm

Thanks to everyone for the guidance.

ElliotB wrote:Salsa? Healthy? I just discovered that tomatoes can contribute to inflammation. Tomatoes can contain many healthy and protective antioxidants, but they also contain a chemical called solaine and may not be a good choice for anyone with arthritis or inflammation. Needless to say, no more homemade chili, tacos or pasta sauce for me. My highly restrictive diet has become even more limited.


cheerleader wrote:and it's a myth that tomatoes cause inflammation (unless you have an allergy to nightshades)
Tomatoes rule! Lycopene, antioxidants, phytonutrients. Yum!
http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA401017/T ... atoes.html

enjoy those cheeseburgers Elliot! To each, their own!
cheer


I think this exchange really encapsulates the situation. Good, bad... seems like you can find anything to support or decline dietary decisions (well, Taco Bell still appears to be a hard 'no'). It's very difficult to sift through and take away anything concrete.

I guess my last question is... how long should I stick with a diet before I reassess things? I want to make dietary restrictions more as a preventative measure so it's hard to say if it's doing well if I'm just staying the same.

EDIT: I figure I might as well ask this here instead of making a whole new thread... I don't currently take magnesium. The next step is to grab some from the usual brand I buy when they go on sale at the grocery store (Earth's Bounty). But I feel like I remember hearing that there are different types of magnesium supplements... one that is magnesium oxide and is basically like a laxative? And another one? What is it I should look for?
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Re: Overwhelmed with nutritional/vitamin information

Postby jimmylegs » Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:31 pm

hi luongo can you possibly share which foods you currently eat from this list of healthy magnesium rich choices? http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tnam ... #foodchart

you are correct there are different kinds of mag supplements but emphasizing dietary intake first is a key. you want to avoid magnesium oxide. higher quality mag supplement would be mag glycinate. but, it should be topping you up. not replacing dietary. when you're working on that low d3 the mag will defs be important :D

on a perhaps seemingly but not really unrelated note, have i already asked you what your main fluid intakes are through the day? (besides beer? ;) )
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!
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Re: Overwhelmed with nutritional/vitamin information

Postby Luongo » Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:49 pm

Of that list... I eat spinach the most consistently. I'd say I stretch an 8 oz. bag across 3 days, eating salads. Everything else is inconsistent. I eat tomatoes the next most (also in salads and in the form of red sauce) and everything else is just here or there depending on what is in the cupboards or what I feel like eating.

My main fluid intake changes depending on what day it is. During the week, I have a cup of coffee (I had made a post questioning whether coffee/caffeine is negative or positive several months... I think personal verdict is that it needs to go) and not much else until dinner where I have a glass of water. I have definite dehydration issues. My blood tests have thrown off doctors who are terrified my kidneys are imploding until we go through the usual dehydration discussion.

What's your personal intake for magnesium? I like my salads but I don't know too much about swiss chard and eating 2 cups of boiled spinach everyday is a slog.
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