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Features Guest Chris Kresser discussing Migraines, Iodine, Omega Ratio, Fibromyalgia, Dysbiosis, Vitamin-C and the Personal Paleo Code
Ginnie from Facebook
You’ve touched on this before but wondering if you talk about migraine prevention. I know so many who are heavy duty narcotic meds, even during pregnancy.
Sylvie from Facebook
in regards to iodine consumption and autoimmune thyroiditis, which I have …how do you feel about eating fish? Yes? No? Once in a while ok?
Tyler from Facebook
What do you make of the conclusion of the review paper that omega-3 : omega-6 ratio is a poor biomarker for health?
The paper is not freely available so I’m wondering if the abstract may be misleading, particularly because the title focuses on cardiovascular disease, but the abstract makes the sweeping conclusion that the 6/3 ratio is “of little value.”
Does this change your mind about any previously held beliefs regarding the health effects of omega-6 consumption, say for nuts.
Kathy from Facebook (this will be a long answer – could take 10-15 minutes)
What can be done for fibromylagia? Would a dietary treatment for leaky gut (like GAPS) work? And what do you think of GAPS?
Boriss from Facebook
is it okay to supplement 1000 mg of vitamin c daily long term for constipation if it is the only thing that provides significant relief
Monika from Facebook
Can intestinal dysbiois only be cured by adhering to a strict GAPS protocol and avoidance of all grains and starches? Wouldn’t the inclusion of safe starches like sweet potatoes, yam, plantains and their fermentable fibers provide mainly benefits for restoring a healthy gut flora?
Back in episode 113, you touched on how you helped your friend control some of his gut issues by helping him to relax. I thought that this related to the migraine section of this podcast in that relaxation could be a helpful remedy, and I would like to know if you would be willing to share the same resources or methods that you helped your friend relax.
The ability to relax is often taken for granted in the health and fitness world, and your insights would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Robb Wolf says
Just showed him some breathing techniques: slow inhale through nose, hold, exhale through mouth 2-3x longer than inhale. Try to stretch all actions longer and longer. super simple, super effective.
Thank you so much for this info. Your work is amazing.
On the CFS… what about the supplementation of glutathione?
Can it be absorbed this way?
Would it be beneficial?
Robb Wolf says
There is a product that claims that it’s GLT cna pas the GI tract intct, but I’d focus on precursors: protein, alpha lipoic acid, selenium etc.
What about a supp in sublingual form?
Wow, I guess I should have listened to this first because I just submitted a question about fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue combined with Lupus that my friend has. Sounds more complicated then just a regular old paleo diet can fix I suppose. I didn’t quite follow it all but yikes, lots of stuff going on. Not sure if I can convince her to try paleo, let alone whatever Chris was talking about…but maybe just strict paleo could at least help with the Lupus?
Robb Wolf says
DONT overcomplicate this! If the person is sick, some kind of autoimmune paleo is a phenomenal starting point. And, if the person is unwilling to tinker with their food for 30 days, they are not that sick yet.
Amy Kubal says
It definitely won’t hurt – start there and see how far you can take it. Good Luck and keep us posted!
Show your friend my story (I’ve had Fibromyalgia for over 12 years or more) I am now virtually free of symptoms and it all started 2 weeks after going paleo….2 WEEKS! I know what the constant pain is like, I know the depression it can give sufferers and if your friend is willing to give it at least a shot for 2 weeks they will see the benefits. It’s not about convincing her its about giving her a chance to have her regain her life and not be in chronic pain 24/7, ultimately it is up to her but there is hope and there is a solution.
Thanks so much for the great episode. Big fans of all three of you and the life changing info you get out.
Question on the migraine protocol: kraut is a big loss. It’s a trigger I hadn’t thought of as a long time migraine sufferer. Up until now it’s been all the usual suspects, some of which I try to get a handle on (sleep, chocolate, cheese, nuts, olives) and some that are not always in my control (stress, big changes in weather/barometric pressure).
But with two kids, being knocked out with a migraine on a regular basis sucks so I really appreciate the two protocols you outlined.
But what should migraine sufferers use for probiotics if kraut and fermented dairy are out?
Thanks so much!
Robb Wolf says
Capsule form would be my guess.
Chris Kresser says
Yep, non-dairy capsule form would be it. Often migraine sufferers will be able to reintegrate fermented foods in small quantities as their condition improves. You can also try diamine oxidase to help with histamine breakdown.
Yes, of course. Thanks again. No more liverwurst and kraut with a wee dark chocolate chaser.
The world just grew a bit dimmer but at least I won’t have to ball up in a hole as regularly.
Best and thanks for all you guys do.
117? The number of elements known to exist.
ie put kresser and wolf together and you have ALL the elements
Just listening to the podcast now and curious about your ideas on a combo of Paleo and FODMAP for Fibromyalgia and IBS. I have been following a combo of both plans over the last couple of months. So far, I’ve been having some success in better gut function, intended weight loss, more physical energy, and less over all pain. I am still in the process of figuring out which FODMAP carbs I can’t tolerate at all and which ones I can tolerate in small quantities.
Are you familiar with the FODMAP plan? Do you have any specific recommendations for trying to integrate this with Paleo? Thanks for any info you can provide!
Great Podcast guys
Something that was touched on in this podcast and has been in others (and in various Paleo books) is the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3
Not sure if you guys have come across her work but Dr Patrica Kane PhD uses a 4:1 ratio (omega 6 to omega 3) with great success in people who are severely neurologically ill (MS, ME, ALS, Parkinsons etc) and has the “PK Diet” which is basically a Paleo diet
She does support the use of that ratio with both some published evidence and more the fact that drs who use her methods do either get people well or significantly better (I’ve got personal experience of benefiting from this and of helping a few people implement this protocol so have the perspective of being both patient and doctor – am a medical doctor too)
Interestingly, something Robb has touched on before she has found you can get too much omega 3 – it makes the membranes of all cells (and then by extension the organelles like the mitochondria) too fluid (so in a way they make you “too catabolic”). PArt of the work up is a fatty acid analysis from John Hopkins Uni. Very useful as as well as the omega 6 to 3 ratios you get to see what toxic FA you have like Odd chains (indicating heavy viral burden) Trans fats (diet, though possibly viral), Very Long Chain FA, and Renegade FA (last two usefully poor metabolism “metabolic derangement” as you would call it Robb)
She also talks about being careful not to demonise omega 6’s too much. And How AA can actually have some anti inflammatory benefits.
Her work is more geared at people who are seriously unwell, particularly with neurological illness rather than strength and conditioning and “fitness” but I’d recommend her work to anyone interested in Paleo and fatty acid balance as she has some interesting points and perspectives.
Overall I also think a very real point is most people’s omega 6 intake is “bad” omega 6 eg from fried food, fast food etc. So this might explain why her 4:1 ratio (as opposed to other ratio’s in the paleo world, I’ve seem 1:1, 2:1 and 3:1) seem to work. All the fats in her protocol come from good, healthful sources. Also overall I do think it’s important not to get too focused on this, I would guess any ratio between 4:1 and 1:1 will work well for most people with the odd genetic exception here and there, as long as those ratio’s come from good real food sources!
Rob, please translate your shopping list into Romanian!…i want to begin eating paleo but i just can’t figure out what’s the right designation into Romanian for some of the foods you listed.(used google translate to write this message, also posted this on a couple of the blog posts but no answer from you or your staff)
Re: the omega 6 question, would Robb or Chris care to respond to this blog that makes it seem like omega 6 intake is not a big deal? I know T-Nation is not exactly a bastion of scientific inquiry, but Mike Roussell has a PhD is is generally pretty legit, and presents a lot of science. Thanks!
Robb Wolf says
Alex! We covered every damn point in that pice. Ask me specific questions, and I’ll try to tackle them.
Alex – appreciate you are looking for a reply from Robb but what I would say from personal experience and from working with patients as long as you are following a Paleo diet, the omgea 6 issue isn’t a big deal, and not as pro-inflammatory as some people make out. Where omega 6’s are very very pro inflammatory is when you are getting them from processed food sources – which if on the Paleo diet shouldn’t be a problem. Too much omega 3 can be a problem as it can make the lipid membrane too fluid. If you think of it “life occurs on the membrane” be that hormones etc “docking” on the outside of a cell, Potassium/Sodium pumps or if you go to the membranes of the mitochondria this is where ATP is generated – kerbs cycle and electron transport chain. So if those membranes are too fluid, due to excessive omega 3 then these processes won’t work as well (and like wise if you want crazy on the omega 6’s they would be too rigid to work). Personally with myself and patients I used a 4:1 (omega 6 to 3) ratio oil plus extra GLA plus plenty of eggs (if tolerated) for the AA content. With a tiny dose of EPA and DHA (or just eat salmon a few times a week). Works very well and people seem to get better.
Great to see a paleo podcast mentioning ME/CFS! The problems you have mentioned with glutathione and methylation I agree play a role in cfs but I think it is a LOT more complicated than that. Also chronic fatigue is not ME/CFS. I definately think it begins with leaky gut, dysbiosis leading on to hyper reactive and TH2 dominant immune system, nutrient deficiencies and methylation issues as mentioned, poor ability to detoxify, damage to the mitochondria, accumulation of heavy metals, hormone imbalances, issues with neurotransmitters (gut/ brain axis issues), liver dysfunction and no doubt some form of genetic predisposition and viral bacterial triggers. Vicious cycle! From experience I think eating paleo is an ideal start (I am currently doing autoimmune/gaps low sugar starch because of blasto hominis parasite, I would normally include some starch.)
You are right Robb if someone is hesitant to try going paleo they obviously are not that sick! I will not stop at anything to reverse my cfs, I will not put up with being house bound because of a debilitating illness!! Thorne Research has some great active b vitamin supplements and a combination product called methyl-guard worth looking into.
I must add that for me going paleo was a slow transition, it has been a year and a half technically eating paleo, and it isn’t an overnight cure all, but very slowly my minor symptoms have faded and my major symptoms have begun to slightly improve. I realise the complex damage my body has suffered over about a 20 year span (I am 22) and it isn’t going to reverse over night! Anyway enough of my rant, please if in doubt try paleo!!
Don’t forget that supplementing with magnesium can also help with migraines in some people. Ditching the wheat helped quite a bit with mine, but adding 1,000mg of magnesium has made them almost completely disappear. When I do get them, it’s usually when I forget to take it for a couple of days in a row.
Jeff Schoolcraft says
Hi! I included this article (podcast, really) in the inaugural issue of Paleo Weekly (http://paleo-weekly.com/issue-1)
AMAZINGLY useful podcast, thank you!
Have been a follower for a little while now, and love to listen to your conversations – regardless of the subject.
But after hearing this episode, CHRIS, I just had to go on your web-page and look at your consultation rates…I almost cried.
I could have contacted you from the start and actually have a chance of figuring out my complicated health problems before I started with this Endocrinologist which pretty much depleted my account with no major results.
He charges about the same fee, but the amount of knowledge and care that you project is incomparable! I mean after a few expensive consultations I had to do my own research and last week just told him what I need to be tested for, and that the symptoms I constantly complain on can be IBS and Leaky Gut. I had to explain what the Intestinal Permeability test is and how to contact the Metamerix lab… which he agreed to do but noted that my CFS has nothing to do with it…
In regards to Omega 6 and liver damage:
I am curious, where did this notion of EV Olive Oil being great for maintaining liver health come from? Is there truth to it or just another health hype? Would love to hear you thoughts since I have elevated liver enzymes last few tests, and although I understand that there may be many other reasons besides dietary (I am actually Paleo), adding another assault to my liver by consuming Olive oil may be not such a good idea. I use 1 tbsp a day…all the other oils are daily coconut and butter…Thnx!
Robb Wolf says
I’ve never heard of olive oil being particularly good for the liver. Are you following 100% autoimmune protocol paleo, like is detailed for FREE in my FAQ?
Thnx Rob, I did do the elimination protocols including cutting out eggs, nightshades and dairy – I didn’t feel any different, so now I eat moderate amount of these foods again. My dairy portion is only cup of Raw Milk Kefir a day… So I read up on SCD and I just DREAD trying to go on this diet, its all cooked food nightmare for me…no fresh produce is so depressing…and most ppl say that when they do reintroduce these foods they get the symptoms back. And if I were to go on FODMAPS variation, the only foods that I would have to cut out of my menu would be my beloved avocado, garlic and onions which don’t eat in excess but pretty much every day (cutting out dairy is included but I already tried that)… the rest of restrictions (grains ect) don’t apply since I am on Paleo already. Somehow I doubt this will make a difference…what do you think?
Craig Tankersley, DC says
“I use herbal formula that can be effective in treating migraines but the diet is a really good start”
Chris, Greg, Rob
What herbal formula do you use for migraines? Been trying to get Mom on board with this info but you know how that goes. Would be nice if I could help with her migraines. I occasionally geocularar migraines (visual disturbance with no HA) which is pretty freaky. Will have to track msauerkrautut intake as I tend to get them more after a heavy duty Crossfit work out. Upped my carb intake which seems to help but still feel foggy for about 1/2 the day. Greaacupuncturere point for HA is SI3 and LI4. Thanks a bunch for the info, I still feel like a nubie after every podcast as there is a lot of sh*t to keep up with.
(only made it through the first 15 min of podcast, copying xscription for Mom)
Craig Tankersley, DC says
Get ocular not geocularar.
Cat Alberts says
More interesting information on CFS! It was a short remark Chris made, and I wonder if that was correct: problems with the methylation cycle lead to very high folate in the blood? I’ve had years of fatique, and had very high folate 1.5 years ago, along with very low vitD. VitD is now normal to high, but I haven’t tested for folate again. If true, maybe time to focus on the methylation cycle…
Ian C. says
Robb, Greg and Chris, excellent podcast, as usual. My sister suffers from IBS, CF, and fibromyalgia and we both found this podcast even more relevant than usual. After reading Robb’s book she’s gone full Paleo and has seen improvements in her symptoms, say ten percent, but is severely limited by her food allergies.
She reacts to most fruits, vegetables, all spices and nearly every vitamin and mineral she’s ever tried. Thus her diet is mostly beef, some eggs, white potato, banana and one variety of apple.
We both feel that her gut (which is surely leaky and inflamed along with once a week bowel movements and a distended abdomen) is likely a huge factor in her recovery, yet nearly every helpful, healthy food gives her severe muscle pain or migraines. She’s especially intolerant to fats (n3, n6 and the like) and likely due to a potent grass allergy, doesn’t handle grass fed milk, butter or even beef very well compared to everyday varieties of the same.
She’s very open to trying the Methylation Protocol but won’t likely be able to take the suggested supplements, as mentioned above.
Robb or Chris, do you have any suggestions on how to fix or ameliorate her food intollerance when she is not able to supplement with herbs, vitamins or other normally benine vitamins and minerals?
Thanks so much for everything.
You should think about getting the Metametrix GI profile done. It saves a lot of guess work. I feel your sisters pain, my naturopath does very alternative allergy testing and told me all I could eat was pumpkin, chicken and tapioca. I began to fade away. I decided to introduce other veg and meat myself. I have a supportive doctor who I order tests off but unfortunately I have found no one can really get to the bottom of my situation more than me. I eat auto-immune paleo at the moment, treat candida and parasites and take supplements to heal the gut (amoung other supportive supplements.) It is a very slow process when you react to so much but I have found I react to less now. Can she tolerate betaine HCI, digestive enzymes and probiotics?
Hi there, isn’t the GAPs protocol at the start exclusively meat broth and egg yolks? It sounds like she could just go with that (with lots of good gelatinous broth) for awhile and see if that starts the healing process. From then on, work upwards with the various things in the the intro GAPs diet as and when able?
geoff harrison says
Re migraine & fatigue comments
great cats indeed!! thamk you guys for the great work, it is much appreciated.If only i could understand the tech speak!
do you think there is a link between migraine & fatigue, & if so, is it possible to treat both at the same time especially in the area of the obvious conflicts in regard to diet (eg beef)?
a brief history may help.
male 71, have been fit & active, 66kg (down from 70), battling fatigue 10yrs, migraine 2yrs, tests in US March 2011 suggest leaky gut & adrenal fatigue 2nd stage, started high amine & known migraine trigger elimination diet eg alcohol, caffiene, tea etc Nov 2010, started Paleo diet June 2011, now notice small increase in energy levels in recent months & less migraines (from an av of 1 per week).
You touched on the MTHFR test. I’ve had mine tested by Health Diagnostic Labs recently and my MTHFR was C/T, homocysteine was 11. The verbiage at the end of the report indicates I am “not as effective at methylating folic acid/folate.” Suggests supplementing with b-12. What do you recommend? How much?
I don’t have the words to express how damned excited that Al Gore invented the internet! I searched for “Robb Wolf histamine” and voila, got a two-fer with Chris. I am recovering from fibromyalgia bit by bit with information less than this exquisite masterpiece of a podcast. It will hopefully change my life (I needed some hope right now). Since my CD dx in 2006 I have read all ya’ll’s blogs, you know the drill, and what’s funny is how often I think well, “I don’t fit that profile” or “that doesn’t pertain to me.” HA’s on ME! I think I really can only work on one thing at a time, and when I’m ready to hear and progress to another change or project, I HEAR the message from all ya’ll. I can thank you for expanding my understanding of the human body, and I did pretty well understanding Chris this time around despite needing some context. Anyway, I’ve been whittling my way to autoimmune paleo for about 2 yrs.
Have had CT scan for coughing (lung cancer or reflux? reflux) and had my first anaphylactic response to the dye (Ultravist).
Had a parathyroid scan for tumor detection – negative (no dye reaction, but EDTA heavy metal challenge says I still have some “thalium dye?” in me besides the mercury, lead, platinum, copper, etc.).
Two Turkey Days ago I made an a.m. tonic of 1oz resveratrol, 1oz lemon juice, and some flax meal in a glass of water. Next day I had bad itching on lower legs. Drank it again, next day hives worked their way up my trunk. Drank it again, next day the hives were up to my shoulders and head/throat – more anaphylaxis. Being busy with the holiday I barely noticed how much I was scratching in the morning (it subsided as the day went on), and had to realize it took a day for the symptoms to surface. I never take meds (which made going to the hospital with heart attack fun – 2 nurses on different occasions, both w/IBS, kept telling me to take the aspirin but I wouldn’t til they verified gf status! It’s wasn’t an obviously horrid heart attack – just nagging me to do SOMETHING! LOL), and had to hurry to find gf status on some expired Benadryl in the cupboard (which worked btw, but I felt like I had a hangover).
I continued Paleo w/dairy until heart attack in 2010. Then I did Paleo w/butter ;0). No casein, right? I bargained it was okay. Kept thinking I had rhabdo (hematologist checked when I wasn’t in fibro pain and CK was in normal range). After heart attack, CK, CKMB and troponin were all elevated. CK wasn’t rhabdo levels – under 1000) by any means, and cardiologist told me everyone’s CK goes up after exercise. Hmm. This “rhabdo” was the tail end of healing my fibro from going gluten-free and trying to balance hormones, get sleep, etc. I had nagging leg pain exacerbated by exercise. It took a good 10 days for pain to subside: I couldn’t walk, nor bend as it felt like my legs were crispy rubber bands crackling under a desert sun. When I took out dairy – bam – my daily everyday leg pain was gone in three days! (Body wide pains subsided with gluten-free, vitamin D/sunshine, & B vitamins, I believe (at that time I was eating gf SAD) and that was within my first year going gf). I know I’m going on and on, but I’m writing this for other fibro sufferers, in case it helps them in some way. My “tell” for what food doesn’t like me finds its way in the part of my body last to heal: my left leg. I never put it together until last week.
~I found I couldn’t have balsamic vinegar on my salads or green beans (forgot green beans were legumes – and thought my pain was from the green beans).
~Couldn’t have Kalamata olive juice on salads as 1/2 my dressing – leg pain.
~Couldn’t have citrus – leg pain.
~Couldn’t reintroduce organic Greek full-fat yogurt – leg pain. (I miss dairy.)
~Couldn’t have Bubbies kraut, nor Kombucha – leg pain (more subtle and dose dependent).
~Day before heart attack meal included lots of butter, cheese, tomato sauce w/chili peppers of some kind (Amy’s cheese enchiladas), mangos, turkey … lots of histamine. I jogged in a 5k the day before and must’ve rustled loose some plaque? Anyway, I also had a banana (histamine). I couldn’t sleep that night and went to hosp the next day.
I’m wondering if I could not have fibro but mastocytosis? Robb, what have you seen in your research world about mast cells and fibro-type pain? I also have had niggly skin itchy things once in a while like when I have too much salt (least I think it’s the salt). If I weren’t so desperate, I wouldn’t have written this novel. Sorry. But we need more info about masto and gut health. I’ve about listened to all your old podcasts and haven’t caught up with the last year, but … hope you don’t mind how much I appreciate you ALL. I have about everyone’s books and share them with anybody who’ll listen (unfortunately very few). 😛
I’m really gonna push the send button.
These foods are high in histamines!
Chris Kresser: “If someone’s training for weight lifting or crossfit games their needs are going to be a lot different than someone who’s a computer programmer and sitting on their butt for 8 hours a day.”
That’s me. I am a computer programmer sitting on my butt for 8 hours (or more) a day and I don’t know what I need to do.
– I’ve never had issues with gluten before but I did go completely gluten free for only 2 weeks and then when I had even a little bit of it I felt like crap. So I know I need to get rid of that, but besides that I don’t know.
– I’m stuck inside the building at work in the basement with no windows, just fluorescent lights and especially in the winter it’s already dark before I get off work so I know I’m not getting enough vitamin D from the sun, but I don’t know how much I need to take as a supplement.
– I know sitting is very bad for health, but I don’t know how to get around that.
– I used to walk my dog ~3 miles every day after work, but I haven’t been in the winter because it’s already dark and cold.
– I know sleep is important, but I’ve had trouble sleeping lately. I started taking melatonin at night and that stuff really makes me tired and I can sleep but I always wake up after a couple of hours. For some reason it’s way easier for me to wake up at 3am when I should be sleeping, but really hard for me to get up at 7am when I need to go to work.
Leah S says
I suffer from fibromyalgia and, therefore, also suffer from the side effects of chronic use of pain medications. My Dr recommended Lady Soma’s Probiotics supplement, but after trying a probiotic it really didn’t work, but the Lady Soma Fiber Cleanse did!
I take 2 Lady Soma Fiber Cleanses twice daily and it has definitely consistently worked. Without this product, I faced having to reduce the dose of my pain medication (tramadol) to a less effective dose. Doing that would have greatly impacted my quality of life.
Alex Campion says
I’ve been listening to your podcasts as well as collecting bits of information here and there about autoimmune disease. My mother has MS and has not been confined to bed for the last 2 years. She has given up. She used to be a tough, dynamic woman. Now, she is semi-coherent because the Baclofen she’s on to control her muscle spasms makes her very foggy. She’s just turned 70. She has a catheter and is on laxatives following 3 emergency periods of hospitalisation with bowel impactions. My father looks after her and is completely dedicated to her. I have been talking to him about GAPS and things like that for a while and it’s beginning to have an impact on him. But is it too late for her? Is she too old to treat her MS significantly? I have a dream of her being able to send it into remission like Terry Wahls. Is that just cloud cuckoo land? Can I ever get my mother back the way she was?
Robb Wolf says
I’m sorry amigo, just no way of knowing. It’s hard to imagine it would not help…but I was NEVER able to get my own mom to do much of this stuff.
Hang in there.
Alex Campion says
*correction–HAS been confined to her bed for 2 years