Belly Bloat From Bad To Worse On A Peat Diet

Discussion in 'Diet' started by Edle, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. Edle

    Edle Member

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    This might not be the biggest of problems when compared to many other health issues that have come out under this topic. But it is one of the few things that has gone from bad to worse for me on a Peat like diet.

    I am female, 37 years old. I have had a bloating problem since I was a kid. It first subsided when cutting gluten and processed foods at 35, but then came back. I have been eating Ray Peat inspired since end November 2011. It is working for me overall - I would not go back, but I would love to reduce my belly bloat.

    My belly is now bloated constantly. I look like I am 5-6 months pregnant - on a good day 3-4 months. It is quite extreme. I wake up with a bloated belly. It is not gas. It is not fat. It seems to be some local inflammatory reaction. I have a narrow frame (171 cm / 5.7", 54 kg /119 pounds) and a narrow waist, so the belly stands out even more.

    A typical food day for me:

    Meal 0: some OJ, milk, pice of fruit and 1-2 spoons of cottage cheese after waking up. Morning workout. Milk and orange juice with salt and niacimide during training. Add Coke (cane sugar, glass bottle) during and after long training in weekends.

    Meal 1: OJ, muffins (made from eggs, tropical overripe mini bananas and ripe papaya), cafe latte.

    Meal 2: small carrot salad (with vinegar and coconut oil), slice of cheese (local - know the farmer, no rennet), 1-1.5 cups watermelon, caffe latte.

    Meal 3: home made gelatinous beef bone broth with onion, veal liver, potatoes. 1--1.5 cups Japanese green melon or other fruit. Caffe latte (liver once per week, oysters once per week, meat on the bone once per week, otherwise other seafood like white fish, crab, shrimp, prawn, mussels. Gelatinous broth 5x week).

    Meal 4: small carrot salad (with vinegar and coconut oil), 1-1.5 cups papaya or other fruit and slice of cheese.

    Meal 5: cottage cheese or other cheese (local or good imported French, Italian or Swiss), 1-2 cups of fruit (water melon, apple sauce, longon or other tropical). Milk. 3x week taro chips with coconut oil and salt. Eat dinner out from time to time, but not processed food.

    If hungry before bedtime, a piece of fruit or coconut sugar, small slice of cheese, tsp coconut oil. Usually some milk before bed. Keep a glass of OJ by bed and drink if I wake up.

    - OJ is homemade from local sweet, small oranges, pulp filtered out, 7 dl daily.
    - Milk is low fat organic cow or filtered (for fat) full fat non-homoginized goats milk, 5-10 dl daily.
    - All fruits are local tropical, ripe (Thailand).
    - Cheeses are good quality - know the local producers, if imported, good quality European.
    - Done a magnet test of all pans.
    - Drink milk and OJ from glass bottles.
    - Drink sparkling Gerolsteiner mineral water from glass bottle, but not so much since I drink OJ, milk and eat a lot of fruit.

    I get a surplus of calories (trying to gain muscle), and is relatively high on protein for someone 54kg (90-120 grams daily). I have experimented with lower protein also.

    I have taken desiccated Thyroid (Thyroid-S) for 14 months. Pregnenolone powder for 9 months. Progest-E for 6 months.

    I tried to cut milk for 2-3 weeks, but it did not change anything.

    I kept training volume low for 3 weeks, but no improvement.

    I swim in chlorinated pools (level 1.5) 3x week, which could lead to low levels of good bacteria and inhibit digestion - but am not willing to stop until the summer when I can swim in open water only.

    I have done and do core strengthening exercises in case the issue is weak abdominal muscles. But I think it is an unlikely cause. I do a strength circuit including core exercise 2x week plus lots of kicking when swimming to activate core muscles.

    Suspecting that the OJ might be implicated. Thinking back, the morning bloating got worse after I kept OJ by bed and sipped when waking up or just before sleeping. Maybe it is the pectin in the OJ - which adds up with the other fruits I am eating. I seem to recall that someone has written on the Forum about reaction to OJ (even though mine is homemade and filtered).

    I am going to stay off OJ for 3 weeks to see what happens. I am using cane sugar syrup with mineral water, pinch of gelatin powder, salt and niacimide for my workouts instead.

    If anyone has had similar reaction to OJ or any other suggestion, I would appreciate your feedback.

    Thank you :)
     
  2. kiran

    kiran Member

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    Have you tried cutting out all the fiber from your diet ?
    (carrot salad too, potentially!)
    Yes, this means getting rid of the fruit. Papaya is supposed to trigger miscarriages, probably a source of estrogen.
    This may mean you have to stick to starch for a while.

    I know that any fiber at all used to irritate my gut at one point, causing IBS-D type symptoms.

    Might be worth trying after you've tested the OJ theory.
     
  3. OP
    Edle

    Edle Member

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    Thank you kiran.

    You are probably right. If no OJ is not helping, I would have to cut a bit on fruit and maybe carrot. Cutting all seems a bit extreme for me now. Getting more than 200 grams of carbohydrate from starches, and maybe cane sugar, does not sound appealing, but I will probably have to experiment.

    The one time I had a completely flat stomach for days, was when I was on the otherwise disasterous GAPS induction. I had 0 fruit then.
     
  4. cliff

    cliff Member

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    Do you have discomfort? Tried adding a pinch of baking soda to your OJ? Maybe decrease cals a bit?
     
  5. OP
    Edle

    Edle Member

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    Thanks Cliff. Just looking at you surfing makes me happy :D

    I do not have any discomfort. I have not tried baking soda. I am a bit afraid of using it during endurance training when I drink most of the OJ. But if I do not have any improvement without OJ and start drinking it again, I will try.

    Decrease calories... Maybe it would help, because I am eating a lot - volume vise. But since I am training quite a bit, I do not want to get in a calorie deficit. I also want to gain muscle, and I guess to do so, I need to keep on the high side calorie wise. Hormonally, I think it is also safer for women to be on the high side with calories. But I can try to track my calories a bit more closely and try to match my utilization better.
     
  6. cliff

    cliff Member

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    The baking soda will react with the acids so no worries using it during endurance training. Sometimes it makes the OJ more tolerable.

    You don't want to go to low in cals but eating more frequent meals with a little bit less food could help.

    Have you tried using just OJ as your fruit source?
     
  7. OP
    Edle

    Edle Member

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    Thanks again Cliff. Appreciate it.

    Okay - I will try when I reintroduce OJ.

    I am already eating 6-7 times per day. If I eat more often, I think I will loose it.

    That´s a lot of liquid.... I guess I would need 2 litres to get to 200 g carbs, and then still take some sugar to get enough carbs.

    Maybe I could try. I can already tell that watermelon is making me bloated, so the OJ is not the only fruit to blame.
     
  8. cliff

    cliff Member

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    don't you need fluid tho? especially endurance training. Just drink OJ/milk instead of water. Watermelon always made me bloated.

    2 liter milk and 2 liters OJ is about 300g carbs and gives you basically everything you need.
     
  9. j.

    j. Guest

    I would try very-well strained OJ, even if 2 or 3 liters are needed, to avoid fiber in fruit.
     
  10. Dean

    Dean Member

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    I've had the same problem since childhood with a continuous bloat and gas. The bloating has intensified since Peating, though the gas has lessened. Perhaps the increased bloating is from trapped gas. I suspect its milk issues but am trying to ride it out for now, as I don't have much alternative.

    I've been thinking of cutting fiber out entirely. The bloating though seems to be lessened by the carrot as long as it is grated and well rinsed of excess carotene. The only other fiber I'm getting is from some dark chocolate.

    It will be interesting to see if cutting out all that fruit fiber you are taking in will help you. Good luck.
     
  11. OP
    Edle

    Edle Member

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    Thanks Cliff. Despite living in the tropics, I don´t sweat that much. Always been like that. Apparently not a sign of good health, but that´s how it is. If I bike on a trainer inside without aircon in 30 plus C and 80-90% humidity, I sweat, but I don´t sweat much on the bike outside even in 36C/85% humidity. Sweat a bit more when running, but not like most men. I drink between 1-4 dl of sparkling mineral water daily. I could maybe substitute that with OJ/milk, but I cannot drink much more. Feel dizzy just thinking about consuming 4 litres.

    Thank you for the feedback on watermelon.

    Thanks J - I already drink well strained OJ. I will try only OJ at one point, but now I am trying to eliminate it for 2 weeks first.

    Thank you Dean! Yeah, it sucks. I tried to eliminate milk for a while, but it did not really help (continued with cheese though - and fruits).

    Do you rinse the carrot in water after grating it? Do you think it makes you less bloated?
     
  12. Dean

    Dean Member

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    I've been rinsing the carrot several times and squeezing out the moisture. I don't have the patience to do it until it rinses or squeezes clear though. I do seem to feel a little less bloated on days I eat the carrot grated like that. At first, I was just eating the carrot whole and didn't notice any lessening of the bloat.

    I'm not sure rinsing out some of the beta carotene is directly relevant to the carrot helping with the bloat, however. It could just be the grating. I, myself, have had problems with nausea and strange head sensations when I grate and don't rinse or sliver the carrot with a paring knife (which makes the carrot more quickly digestible but does not enable rinsing out the excess beta carotene). That probably has more to do with the shape of my liver and may not have much relevance to you.

    In listening to many of Dr. Peat's interviews, I was just left with the impression that he doesn't view fiber (other than the special properties of carrot or bamboo shoot fiber) all too favorably. I would think that people with gut issues (like us) might especially find it worthwhile to experiment with taking in as little fiber as possible. So, the amount of fruit you eat is what stuck out to me (as it did to the more experienced and better versed) as possibly problematic.
     
  13. OP
    Edle

    Edle Member

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    Thank you Dean!

    I can sure say that my liver has had a problem with the beta carotene too. I was very yellow in the face for some time. People were worried for me - thought I had hepatitis. I first refused to see that it was because of excess consumption of beta carotene foods. I had turned into a papaya monster. Probably the two small daily servings of carrot salads contributed as well.

    I will try to rinse the grated carrots now.

    Yes, I am starting to realize that I have probably gone overboard with fruit. Thank you.
     
  14. pboy

    pboy Member

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    I think your problem is too much fluid to calorie ratio, which means basically you're just holding excess water in your gut throughout the day. Eat more coconut oil, dark chocolate, and dried/solid foods. Maybe include fat in the milk, and eat less or no melons and less soda/coffee (just make the coffee more concentrated), and eat the soup as more of a meal with sauce rather than a fullout soup.
     
  15. Dean

    Dean Member

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    One thing I forgot to mention about my carrot salad experience/experiments that may or may not be relevent to whether the carrot fiber is reducing bloating is the fact that, contrary to Dr. Peat's advice, I have been using the Bragg's raw apple cider vinegar instead of the recommended white vinegar.

    I know Dr. Peat doesn't believe that fermented foods are good, but when I returned from a year in Asia over a month ago my digestion was in disasterous shape and the Bragg's acv semed to help. When I began Peating again a few weeks ago, I continued using the raw acv in my late morning/early afternoon carrot salad as it helped with the heartburn I'd get from morning coffee drinking. I've also been dribbling a little bit into my oj to try and mitigate the heartburn that it gives me.

    So, perhaps it is the acv instead of the carrot fiber helping with the bloat. I suppose though that even though it is helpful in the immediate term with heartburn and perhaps bloat, it is doing less obvious damage presumably by creating lactic acid and suppressing mitochondrial energy just as serotonin does. Can't win for losing I guess.
     
  16. BingDing

    BingDing Member

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    Hi Edle

    Couple thoughts. The presumed cause is small intestine bacterial overgrowth. Forum member Peatarian, who knows as much about Peating as anyone, uses activated charcoal regularly. Three tablespoons in a glass of water, just drink it down, every three days is a good method. There are a couple links for where to buy it on the supplements page and this place ships overseas, IIRC.

    That much endurance exercise and swimming in chlorinated water aren't exactly Peat. You're obviously dedicated to your program, which is admirable and not to be discounted, but sometimes a deliberately contrarian action can yield insights. Maybe quit for a couple weeks and see what you learn.

    One of the many things I like about Ray Peat is his broad view of being alive, like he paints or sculpts for a while to get away from words, from just the act of reading and writing all the time; the activity stimulates a different part of his brain or his being than words do. I've never heard anyone say that before but I know exactly what he means.

    I go on birding trips where we spend 14 hours a day looking at the world around us, finding and IDing birds is a great game to play. I joke that I like it because there is no advertising, no one is trying to sell me anything, LOL. And I have never had a single bird lie to me or betray my trust.

    I think it's a form of meditation. It hasn't anything to do with diet but certainly has to do with health. BD
     
  17. OP
    Edle

    Edle Member

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    Thank you for your suggestion pboy. The thing is: I live in the tropics. While I do not sweat that much, I think I need the fluid I get. I drink to thirst. If I cut on fruits with lots of fluids, I have to increase by other means. I do like my daily bone broth with meat or seafood and a starch. I then do not drink any other fluids with that meal. I do think you have a point about the fruits though - maybe it is just too much bulk (given the water content) that is just too much for my body to digest. I eat many cups of fruit per day.

    I am a bit skeptical to increasing fat. I did the Perfect Health Diet for quite a while (6 months)- high fat saturated and coconut oil, medium to low protein (but higher than what Paul recommends) and medium carbohydrate. I did not make any improvements on that diet, hormonally. I also started out on the Peat diet with a quite high fat proportion - over 100-120 grams per day. I have come to the conclusion that I need a lot of carbohydrate, and I tend to feel better on moderate fat, rather than high. So I do not want to substitute any carb calories for fat calories.

    Thanks Dean. I have actually been using Bragg´s and an Italian white wine vinegar interchangeably. But I use very little. I have never been fond of vinegar. In general I do not like acidic taste. I actually started developing an aversion to OJ when I drank 9-10 dl a day. I started feeling the acidity so much more. 7 dl seems to be just the amount I can manage. Not really sure if the carrot - or the vinegar - has been helping me with the bloat though, but I will continue. And I will try to rinse as you suggested.

    Hi BingDing. Thanks for the input! I think I will probably try charcoal at one point again. I still have unopened Great Plains activated charcoal in my fridge. I tried that route when on the PHD - first probiotics, then digestive enzymes, then charcoal. But I did not do the charcoal for long - I threw out all the supplements I used when I started a Peat type diet - , and I do not remember what brand of charcoal I used. I will check out your links.

    Oh - I know :): And yes, I have tried to take some weeks off. When I started eating Peat like November 2011, I took 6 weeks fully off exercise. I think I needed it then, but I admit it was hard still. But the irony of the Peat diet is that it has allowed me to train. I would not have been able to continue the way I do now on the PHD. It would have crushed me and paralyzed me completely.

    Sounds lovely with the birdwatching. I lived in Africa for 3 years, and I actually got a bit interested myself - never thought it would happen, but so many beautiful birds there. But I have not followed up on it. And yes, I am sure it has a lot to do with your health and wellbeing.

    I have taken up drawing again. It was hard in the beginning. The concentration that comes natural as a child and teenager, is not there for 3 hours anymore. I also love my weekly outdoor long bike rides. I look at trees, lakes, flowers etc, and just feel happy. I also swim in a pool outside, next to a river, just after sunrise, and it is just beautiful. Do a wake up yoga routine looking at the sun first. I also run outside in a park, and walk barefoot in the park a few times a week. A bit like walking meditation.

    One of the things I like about training is that I concentrate on it, focus on the moment, do not think of much else, and somehow relax.

    Nature is very important. Even though I deliberately try to get exposure, I still live in a city of 8 million people. I spend one month every summer on an island in Northern Europe - no electricity apart from some solar power. Very few summer houses. Just sea, nature and very simple life. No Internet connection. I actually have a bit less bloating there. And I can swim and run 2x day and still have so much energy. Sunset at 11 pm obviously helps for T3 levels too.
     
  18. OP
    Edle

    Edle Member

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    An update:

    I have been off the OJ for one week now, and if there is any improvement in the bloating, it is so marginal that it can barely be observed.

    Not sure if it is a coincidence, but I started sleeping badly pretty immediately after I stopped drinking OJ. My resting HR increased (in my case, I think it was an indication of some kind of stressor, not improved metabolism).

    Indirectly, it even influenced a chain of unfortunate events. For a year, I have brought my cute glass bottle with nice orange-yellow OJ and placed it on a park bench when I run, and no one has ever touched the bottle. The last week I have brought the same bottle with a syrupy mix that looks like water, and today someone took the bottle. I cursed myself a bit, and probably because I was annoyed and not paying attention, a park stray dog jumped up and bit me hard. I had no choice but to take the immunoglobulin shots and start the five shot rabies protocol.

    Back on the OJ tomorrow.

    Will try to add a bit of sodium bicarbonate first to see if I can tolerate the OJ a bit better that way gradually increase and cut some of the other fruits.
     
  19. Dean

    Dean Member

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    Sorry to hear about the dog bite/rabies shots. Maybe cutting out or at least back on the other fruit fiber will be the answer.
     
  20. OP
    Edle

    Edle Member

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    Thanks Dean!

    I don´t think there´s any easy fixes unfortunately, but I´ll see if I can manage with less fruit.
     
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