KatWoman63 wrote: I was not aware of a possible connection between MS and insulin. My husband is diabetic and my daughter has shown high insulin levels in her lab work so I've done some homework about carbs and the glycemic loads of individual foods. For that reason I'm familiar with the 'white food' taboo. Can you clarify some things concerning a low carb diet, though. I tried the first stages of the Atkins diet not long ago and it made me so constipated that I could barely function. I've since gone to a no artificial sweetener, no processed foods, mainly vegetarian diet, which I enjoy because I'm not a huge meat fan in the first place and the issue of humane treatment of animals concerns me (although organic meats seem to be ok, still learning). I have major digestive problems, which I didn't mention in my intro, and they were immensely reduced by just cutting the artificial sweeteners from my diet.
When you say low carb, do you mean all vegetables and fruits too or just the white, refined, processed, etc.? I know that fruit generally has a higher glycemic load than vegetables and greens, but they both have a much lower glycemic load than the white foods and grains, so where does that put me? Is a vegetarian diet bad for me then?
Oh that leads me to another issue. In 2009 I had my gallbladder removed (speaking of the liver) because it was virtually non functioning (very low refraction rate) and causing sever pain and increased IBS symptoms with literally every time I ate. Upon examining the organ after it was removed, the surgeon told me that there were no stones, but that it showed signs of unexplainable sever scaring. Could that be related to insulin production as well? Those symptoms were greatly improved with the surgery, but not eliminated completely so I still watch my trans and sat fats, almost avoiding them like the plague.
OK. So, I've cut all these things as well as most gluten (which is killing me btw because I can't find a decent GF bread or tortilla or recipe for them) and what seems to be left is the carbs from fruits and veggies and the occasional whole grain.
There is no official recognition of a "connection between MS and insulin." It is my opinion from personal experience and reading that insulin is a major factor in my MS.
Concerning your experience with the Atkins diet and constipation, I would assume constipation occurred because the diet reduced your glucose, but your insulin did not readjust to a lower level quickly enough in response. The excess insulin affected the smooth muscles surrounding the intestinal tract – responsible for peristalsis, "moving things along." (Excess insulin is KNOWN to thicken and stiffen the smooth muscles; in fact, insulin resistance resulting from excess insulin can affect skeletal muscles, too.) In time, without the continued stimulation of glucose, your pancreas may produce less insulin; unless your pancreas (like mine) continues to secrete excess insulin for some unknown reason (virus? BCG vaccine? long-term habit of high carb diet? other.)
Concentration on highly fibrous vegetables or psyllium – even a glass of warm water with lemon for breakfast – is supposed to help constipation and might be tried. Or the Ayervedic practice of very firm abdominal massage (in a clockwise motion over the intestines) might even help.
When I say low-carb, I mean GREATLY reduce or avoid the highly refined, processed "whites" AND starchy vegetables AND fruits high in the glycemic load. Your second paragraph indicates that you have a perfect understanding of this situation. Rather than a totally vegetarian diet, I think a meat-, poultry-, fish-, or egg-source of protein is very important.
Concerning your gallbladder, I think that can also be related to excess insulin – when you consider the proximity of organs (liver, pancreas, gallbladder) and the common duct. Insulin is a highly irritating hormone (scarring?); it is suspected of having involvement with bladder cancer (and I suspect with UTIs, too); I think it damages blood vessels – it has been linked to high blood pressure as well as type II diabetes and obesity.
With no gallbladder to store bile, it is good to watch your fat, BUT as you probably know, fats are NECESSARY for good health – TRANS FATS ARE BAD!!!
I am undecided about gluten. I think the real culprit could be the protein gliadin. In any event, even whole wheat products will spike insulin and should be avoided. Could you find bread made with oatmeal? – Or coconut flour/meal, almond flour/meal, flax meal (these are low-carb)? My husband and I used to be able to find a low-carb tortilla (I can't remember the brand name), but no more. Maybe another TIMS member can help us out?
My hypothesis: excess insulin (hyperinsulinemia) plays a major role in MS, as developed in my initial post: http://www.thisisms.com/forum/general-discussion-f1/topic1878.html "Insulin – Could This Be the Key?"