Beat Bipolar Bloat #fasting #gluten

“All disease starts in the gut”

Eating late tends to give me gut pains at about 2am.

I made a decision to tackle this by not eating anything after 6pm. I had mixed success for a few days until, 24th August when I put this as my number one objective. I decided to allow myself to eat as much of whatever I fancied during each day, to be certain I’d not be hungry at the end of my early evening meal.

You’ll see here that I was successful:Monitoring time of last food of the dayWell, I was successful in achieving just that one goal for 2 weeks. This came at a price as the 2am gut pains came back far worse. I’d only feel okay when I got up and stayed active. Many nights I was up from hours like 2am to 6am, before sleeping about one more hour to get dressed at 7am.

Overall, I was averaging 4 hours sleep a night. I could not figure out what it could be that I might be eating that was causing all this pain.

I’d been out all day on Tuesday. I ate but was still hungry at 6pm. I made porridge with organic oats. Within an hour I was overcome with extraordinary tiredness and laid down at 7:15pm.

I woke at 4am with my abdomen bloated/distended too painfully to be sleeping anymore. It was good to have slept 8 hours, rather than the 4 hours of the previous nights, but what had caused this bloating?

Could it really be the organic oats I’d been using for more than a year?

I have just weighed the dry milled oats I have left. Knowing when I bought these I can tell my consumption had increased to over 500g/week. Four times as much as before 24th August. Most times I had been up in the night, I only eventually felt able to sleep again after mixing and consuming oats with salt and hot water.

I had become addicted to oats!

I believe that a problem with addictions, leaky-gut and failure of the blood-brain-barrier is that we seem to completely forget the most obvious causes.

I must have been suspecting something was odd, when on 13th Sept I had emailed some friends asking, “What is it that can cause oats to be irresistible or even addictive?”

I have known for years that oats and wheat are often:

  • often grown on the same farms
  • moved in the same vehicles and stored in the same barns/silos, which may not be fully cleaned between each load
  • processed in the same factories

The oats I have been using are not labelled ‘gluten-free’. (Even so, ‘gluten-free’ is not necessarily completely free of wheat gluten as the label only means that efforts have been made to reduce the risks from gluten. This was confirmed by an investigation into gluten-free oats that revealed most brands tested contained some gluten.)

How come was I able to eat these oats for so long without spotting these could be a major problem for my gut and sleep pattern?

On Tuesday, my Beat Bipolar presentation had included this slide:Beat Bipolar - 2017-09-19 - Zonulin SlideI have heard doctors question the existence of Zonulin, saying all this is unproven and doctors such a William Davies in his book ‘Wheat Belly’ are making outrageous claims about the harm that can be done by just a little gluten. Whether the science is good or not, I believe we each have to go with our gut feelings (pun intended).

I believe that I have been using these oats as a drug! Every time I had some I felt sleepy about an hour later. Sometimes, if having oats at lunchtime I would have an afternoon sleep.

I’ve made a decision and just given away the remainder of those oats so I will not be tempted.

To be continued…

 

Fasting to improve mood

I wrote about fasting to improve mood a month ago. I have made progress and am keen to share this.

Due to my blood sugar being a bit high (not diabetic but often higher than I want it to be) I have created a more ambitious plan for eating better quality food while overall eating less.

For 7 days now I have not eaten before noon. That is, no breakfast at all and no drinks that could be considered as food. This is a big change, for me, especially as I was brought up believing breakfast was essential. I also bought into the idea of “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” before I discovered this meme was invented by businesses that sell breakfast cereals!

I made this transition by initially eating until late in the evening. Gradually I am finishing all eating a little earlier each evening to create a genuine fast, with my first meal feeling like ‘breaking a fast’ rather than a meal called break-fast.

This is day 8. It is 12:45pm and so far not eaten today.

Before I say how I am feeling on this new regime, I want to make it clear that I am not starving myself at all. I am eating a little less but only because I find I am less hungry and more satisfied with the better quality, mainly organic, foods I am choosing.

Moods? Essentially, I am feeling mostly good. I have a little more energy, doing 10,000 steps per day, sleeping through the night and yesterday easily swam 100 lengths… okay, it was a small pool!

If you do not see an update from me within a month, please feel free to ask how my longer overnight fasting is going and how this is improving my health.

Here is my previous article on fasting to improve mood