Hello Arkie, I was wondering if I might ask you a question please? Have noticed you are very informed re low carbohydrate diets, particularly as they relate to Syndrome X, insulin resistance, high BP etc.
A little history...
I have successfully reduced my blood pressure to normal and been able to discontinue meds, maintain a healthy weight, and enjoy a renewed sense of well being with sensible low carbohydrate eating...Here is my question...We went on vacation and I was very careless with my dieting...Consequently, BP back up etc., I've resumed my pre-vacation diet, back on meds, but it seems to be taking longer than I would hope to get back on track, so to speak.
I do realize this must be a lifestyle approach, that I must not seesaw back and forth with diet...I do understand that, and certainly can see that effect after this vacation episode! I'm not as concerned with the very few pounds I gained with this episode as I am concerned with the fact that BP went back up and am wondering how long it is going to take to undo this damage, be back where I was, and feel good again?? This has been quite a lesson!
Appreciate any thoughts you may have on this...doctor doesn't really take the time to discuss low carb dieting and it's positive influence on BP, so I appreciate your knowledge on this topic. By the way, have been back on a low carb diet for a little over two weeks now, and follow a combination of Protein Power (excellent!), Omega Diet, and Atkins. I'm wondering if I should add mineral supplements? In the past, I've had to stay under 25-30 grams a day to lose weight...once the weight loss occurs, I try to stay around 50-75 to maintain BP, so far it's not happening! Thanks again!
Glad to hear that the low carb diet helped you get that bloodpressure down and get off the meds. How long have you been low carbing?
I canít tell from your post how long it has been since the vacation. Did you say that you have been back on low carb for two weeks since the vacation and still havenít lost the weight? When you say youíve resumed your pre-vacation diet, does this mean maintenance levels of carbohydrates (50-70 g/day) or induction levels (<20 g/day) of carbs? I would think that two weeks would be sufficient time to lose any weight and glycogen gained during the vacation if you are keeping your carbohydrates closer to induction levels (<20-30 grams per day) verses maintenance levels.
Anyway, what happens when you indulge in the carbs after following a low carb diet is that your glycogen (stored carbohydrate in muscles and liver) levels get pumped back up. And along with each molecule of glycogen, there will be four molecules of water. This added fluid along with the increased pressure in your liver is likely what is contributing to your rise in bloodpressure. Not only that, but according to Lyle McDonald in his book ďThe Ketogenic DietĒ, your body will over compensate on the storage of glycogen after consuming excessive carbohydrates on a low carb diet. He calls this super-compensation of glycogen. So, right after the vacation you might have more stored glycogen (and fluid) than before starting the low carb diet. This is supposedly a good thing for weightlifters following a cyclic ketogenic diet where they follow a very low carb diet for 5-6 days per week and then carbo load for 1-2 days per week just prior to intensive weight lifting sessions. Anyway, the excess stored glycogen and fluid should be a temporary thing. I would think that within 3-5 days of following the induction phase of the low carb diet (<20-30 grams per day) that you would have depleted that excess glycogen and fluid and lost the excess weight. If you are not limiting your carbohydrates to induction levels it will take longer. Have you checked to see if you are in ketosis? That is one surefire way to verify that your carbohydrate intake is low enough to deplete that excess glycogen. There are so many hidden carbs in prepared and processed food that it is hard to track your carb intake if you are consuming them.
Just be patient. If you are following the plan you should return to your pre-vacation levels of weight and bloodpressure shortly. I didnít see you mention exercise. Exercise , even if it is just walking, will help speed up the process and increase insulin sensitivity which will lower insulin levels and improve all of the symptoms associated with Syndrome X.
Regarding mineral supplements, I just recommend a good multivitamin/mineral plus 100-200 mg of potassium/day especially when you are dropping weight plus 400 mg of chelated magnesium/day all the time.
Hi Arkie, Thank you very much for your reply! You are very informed and I appreciate this information... I think you've provided the answer with your explanation of excess stored glycogen and the extra molecules of water, and the liver...that accounts for blood pressure returning to high levels with a vengeance and not budging. I'm not really concerned with the little bit of weight I gained, weight loss has never been difficult, and am usually only trying to lose 3-5 pounds. It's the hypertension that low carb dieting has successfully corrected, and was stumped as to why it wasn't responding at maintenance levels...It must be the stored glycogen. I'm more sensitive to blood pressure rising than I am to weight gain when consuming carbohydrates...went to the doctor for a scheduled BP check when we got back and it was very high. I knew it would be up a little, because of carbs, but doctor started new meds and didn't have time to discuss diet etc. Wasn't really concerned at first, thinking it would come down right away by resuming maintenance levels, but evidently that isn't low enough...and will increase exericise too. Thanks for the tip on "The Ketogenic Diet" by Lyle McDonald, will look for it...and sincere thanks for the information. You've been very helpful. <p>[This message has been edited by YoursVeryTruly (edited 12-08-2001).]
I was just doing a little research on magnesium and the Eades have a whole chapter in their book "Protein Power LifePlan" dedicated to magnesium. Anyway, an imbalance of calcium and magnesium can be a major contributer to hypertension. And with todays emphasis on getting adequate calcium, most people have calcium:magnesium ratios of 5:1 or higher when a ratio of 1:1 or 2:1 is more desirable. Magnesium helps to control the flow of calcium across cell boundaries as well as being envolved in hundreds of other enzymatic processes. Ever heard of calcium channel blockers being prescribed for hypertension? Well, magnesium is natures calcium channel blocker and studies show that a majority of people are deficient in it. But pharmaceutical companies can't patent or profit from a natural element like magnesium so they develop patentable analogs that serve a similar function and improve their bottom line while natural magnesium gets little attention.
The RDA for magnesium is 400 mgs/day, but this is just enough to prevent complications, not for optimum health. And most people today only get 200-300 mgs/day in their diet. And the calcium:magnesium ratio is made worse if you take calcium supplements, consume dairy products, or take over the counter antacids such as TUMS. From what I have read, most people would benefit from taking 400 mgs/day of supplemental magnesium. If you suffer from hypertension or other related complications of magnesium deficiency, 600 mgs/day would be more appropriate. And a chelated mineral (protein bound) is much more absorbable than the oxide version. A good choice for magnesium would be magnesium malate or magnesium citrate.
My 77 year old father found that taking 400 mgs/day of magnesium citrate relieved his chronic constipation. No amount of fiber supplements would help, but the magnesium worked like a charm.
I just upped my calcium supplements from 500mg to 1000mg/day starting at the end of October. I don't take any magnesium supplements (other than what is in a multiple vitamin, if any). Since about mid November, my BP has gone up to 140/90. How long does it take for the imbalance to show up in one's system? We had a death in my in-law's family in November, so I thought that was the cause of the rise in BP, but maybe the increased calcium has something to do with it also.
This is amazing...thank you very much! May have mentioned earlier that I recently had to go back on meds, and dr. prescribed a calcium channel blocker (Verapamil). This was a setback, but after the slip up with diet and exercise, not a big surprise. When not controlled, BP tends to be about 150/78. (higher with whitecoat)
A quick opinion.....what do you think about adding magnesium supplements while having to take the calcium channel blocker? My intent is to stay on induction levels of carbs for about two weeks, gradually go up to maintenance, and hope to discard the meds again. In the meantime, mixing the ccb with magnesium?
Again, sincere thanks...your posts are very helpful!
Hello...Arkie? Sorry to be a pest, just wondering what you may know about taking magnesium supplements while taking Verapamil? I did find a good reference to magnesium and hypertension in "Intelligent Medicine, A Guide to Optimizing Health for the Baby Boomer Generation" by Ronald L. Hoffman, M.D., but there is no reference to using the supplements while taking meds...Appreciate any opinion you may have...
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by YoursVeryTruly:
<B>Hello...Arkie? Sorry to be a pest, just wondering what you may know about taking magnesium supplements while taking Verapamil?</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I would just be guessing if I gave you any advice because I am not familiar with Verapamil. Does the paperwork that came with the prescription list any contradictions relating to supplemental magnesium? If not, then I wouldn't expect any harm from it, but I would keep a close watch on your bloodpressure numbers. If your BP numbers drop too much taking both, then you will have to likely cut back on one. I would opt to cut back on the Verapamil if the magnesium works, but you really should sort this out with your physician. I know this ain't much help, but it's all that I can offer.
Excellent information! Thank you very much! It all makes sense, especially when I track the onset of my own hypertension, it becomes obvious that it is connected to insulin resistance.
Thanks again, another big help! I love finding articles that back up Dr. Atkins...he's right afterall...if only conventional medicine would believe it...