The story of Lizzie and her family, though long, is a must-read. – Dr. Perlmutter
I have lived the past decade of my life in terrible fear of developing early on-set Alzheimer’s disease. I am 26 this year, and I am the 4th child in a family of five girls. When I was 12, my mom started to get what I now know as the classic signs of Alzheimer’s. She was only in her 40s. Unfortunately, she ate the low-fat, whole-grain diet that was and, still is, so popular. Within a year of noticing symptoms, my mom had to go live in an assisted living home. No doctors knew what was wrong with her and many said she had Huntington’s Disease, although she tested negative for it. Three years after her first symptoms, she passed away. About five years later her sister also passed away from the same thing. My grandmother also had the same symptoms and died very young. They all had very stressful marriages.
My sisters and I have always been terrified of getting sick like our mother. In recent years we learned that her illness was early on-set Alzheimers. It was helpful to know the cause, but inside we all felt full of despair, as if a death sentence had been placed on us. It has affected all of our life choices, even the choice to have children and pass on this gene. Continue reading
In Grain Brain, and Brain Maker, I mention how important sleep is, and how simple dietary changes can improve your nightly rest. Great to hear this is the case for Gerry. – Dr. Perlmutter
My name is Tom, and I want to share the story of my wife, Gerry.
After being on a gluten-free, low-carb, high-fat plan for one month, the biggest difference I have seen is that my wife is sleeping through the night. Now that’s probably not a big deal for many people, but she has been a poor sleeper her whole life – 67 years. Its been almost miraculous for us as she normally has trouble falling asleep, then wakes up around 2 a.m., stays up for a couple of hours, and then finally might drift back to sleep at 4 a.m. Some nights she wouldn’t sleep at all.
These days, she goes to sleep easier, and gets a solid eight hours sleep every night.
For this reason alone she’ll stay on the plan. It’s an unexpected, but very welcome side-effect.
– Tom and Gerry P.
I was diagnosed with high cholesterol a couple of years ago, and was put on a statin drug. While I was on it, I was fatigued and “draggy” all the time…I even woke up fatigued! Anyway, after hearing about the side effects of statins last year, I quit taking it. I changed my diet to vegan, hoping to become healthier and lose some weight. I lost 3 or 4 pounds and that was it. After several months of eating vegan, I had to have my cholesterol and triglyceride levels checked for my health insurance. Imagine my shock when I was told that my triglyceride level was over 300, and my total cholesterol was 200!
On Memorial Day 2014, I made changes to my diet. I was particularly interested in the connection between high blood sugar and dementia, and that fasting blood sugar should be no higher than the low 90s for optimum brain function, so I decided to also keep track of my blood sugar levels. On day one of my grain-free eating, my fasting blood sugar was 116! For the next few days, my fasting blood sugar ranged between 103-108. The following week, it dropped down to the 90s, and I started to think, “That’s more like it!” Now, my fasting blood sugar levels are consistently in the 70’s! Continue reading
I began suffering from depression in my mid 20s. This condition affected the path of my life as I was unable to function for months at a time. I was on antidepressants all through my 30s, trying cocktail after cocktail only to suffer terribly from side effects. Towards the end of my 30s I developed a gluten intolerance and tried to avoid gluten (with only moderate success!). I was completely addicted to sugar, gluten and carbs. I was also horribly addicted to sugar. My point is, my carb, gluten and sugar addiction was a long struggle.
I read Grain Brain at the beginning of January 2015 and immediately implemented a low-carb, high-fat diet. Literally within about a week, I noticed a complete turnaround in my general energy level. The brain fog is completely gone. I don’t know what is more astounding: the fact that I feel so awake and energetic, or the fact that I am no longer ruled by cravings for carbs and sugar. It is hard to keep my story to myself! I want to tell everyone I know – “STOP EATING CARBS!!”
No carb tastes as good as being energetic and awake.
My wife Kate had long been suffering with, what I referred to as, an irritable bowel condition for quite some time. Her gastroenterologist after a colon exam, told her to eat a lot of “Bran Buds” every day and consume a daily fiber drink, along with a laxative. Upon following this advice, her condition deteriorated. She entered into phases of severe pain and sleeplessness, leading to extreme fatigue.
We knew this wasn’t working and needed to try something different.
After a few days on gluten-free, low-carb diet, her symptoms disappeared completely! Not only that, but her GP has previously put her on Crestor, and she is now off that too! She also has solved the restless sleep condition entirely.
As we age, it’s almost expected that we will experience greater levels of physical fatigue, mental fatigue, muscular wasting, and even cognitive impairment. So what can be done? No doubt there is clear merit to the recommendations to stay both mentally engaged and physically active, and there is excellent scientific research to support these recommendations.
Much research is carried out in the area of the nutritional supplementation as it relates to these factors of aging. Certainly one of the most attractive nutritional supplements is carnitine as it is fundamentally important in the transport of fatty acid fuels to the energy producing parts of the cell called the mitochondria. So for energy production in, for example, muscles and in the brain, carnitine is a fundamental player. The bottom line is, whatever can be done to enhance mitochondrial function may very well enhance various performance parameters as we age.
In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers needed to identify individuals who were likely to be suffering from the effects of aging, including those issues described above. So they decided to look at a group of 66 individuals who were at least 100 years of age. The study, which was placebo-controlled and double blinded, had a control group receiving a placebo pill while the treatment group received carnitine, a nutritional supplement, 2 g daily. Continue reading
Three weeks ago, a friend of mine, who has IBS, told me to eliminate flour and sugar after I told her about my symptoms of painful, achy feet, ankles and knees. In addition, I was experiencing migraines every other day, regular fatigue, and persistent brain fog!
Three weeks in, after cutting gluten and sugar from my diet, I exhibit none of those symptoms at all! I have only had two headaches in the past three weeks and my energy levels are at an all-time high!
The path that brought J to a gluten-free, LCHF diet is interesting to learn about. The fact that he is a fellow medical practitioner makes it even more so. – Dr. Perlmutter.
I am a physician who has had intermittent diarrhea my entire life as did most of the members of my family. I simply lived with it. However, in my mid-forties, I started developing other symptoms, including inflammatory arthritis of my PIP joints of the hand (negative rheumatologic workup), odd fatigue, and three year’s worth of microscopic hematuria (negative urological workup). I was serum negative for the standard gluten markers and endoscopy biopsies were negative.
But within 4 weeks of stopping gluten on a dare from my sister, my blood in the urine stopped and has never returned (I presume kidney inflammation was present), my joint pains slowly subsided, the fatigue lifted, and the lifetime diarrhea has vanished. Man was I a happy guy!
Angela, a patient of mine, wrote in with the story of her path to a gluten-free lifestyle. The journey she undertook, and how radically her life changed as a result, is proof-positive of the overwhelming health benefits of a gluten-free diet. -Dr. Perlmutter
For over the last 10-11 years I have spent a great deal of time in and out of
doctor’s offices, trying to figure out why I was having so many health issues.
At 16, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), at 21 I was
found to have severe candidiasis, at 22 I had to have my tonsils out, 23 I had
an emergency appendectomy, and most recently I had a 10cm cyst removed
from my ovary. Health issue after health issue and diagnosis after diagnosis I
began to think I was a medical mess and there was no hope. I went to see Dr.
Perlmutter as my PCOS seemed to be getting out of control and I thought much
of it was stemming from my hormones. I explained the following symptoms to Dr.
Perlmutter: severe fatigue; foggy-headed; difficulty losing weight; discoloration of
the face and acne; craving sugars and a high carb diet; muscle aches that hurt to
touch; constipation or irritable bowel-like symptoms, etc.