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  • Post Prandial Hypoglycemic Response to Protein

    I have an interesting physiological condition that I would like to relate and see if anyone else has experienced the same. Of all the boards I visit, the members here have by far the highest protein intake and I want to see if this is more common than previously thought.

    The situation:

    When I ingest too much protein in one sitting or too much in a set time frame (like over several hours), I experience a heart arrhythmia. Soon after eating a large quantity of protein, I feel jittery. When I bend over for instance, my body might twitch imperceptively. As the post-prandial hypoglycemia sets in, I first get tired and lay down to rest. Right before falling to sleep, my heart beats once really strongly and my body jumps a little. In bad cases this would happen several times over and over again. I am then wide awake and no longer have the hypoglycemia. Doesn't happen again until bedtime no matter what I ingest afterwards. Rather, I feel like it is buffered after that incident.

    Upon falling asleep, I have noticed it similarly. Sometimes they were very forceful arrhythmias, sometimes mild, almost imperceptible. Sort of just like a tiny pulse feeling at some varying location in my body.

    I never experienced this prior to starting bodybuilding in August/September of 2002. Nor did I ever continually ingest protein at in such high amounts. Until this past spring, I just figured it was a typical hypoglycemic response, accept that it had never happened before. So far as I can tell it depends on/is exascerbated by the following things:

    1) It improves with hypocaloric dieting and gets worse when hypercaloric
    2) At protein intakes below say 200g (I am guessing here) I pretty much notice no symptoms at all.
    3) Protein powders, specifically whey make the condition much, much worse (can't stress enough, severity of arrythmia is bad). I believe this is due to the fast digestion rate, too much protein in a short timeframe, but I am not 100% certain.

    To combat the problem:

    1) I don't eat more than about 30g protein at one setting and eat many tiny meals each day. This has nearly eliminated the hypoglycemic response as well as the arrythmia and jitters that I feel when ingesting more protein at one time.
    2) I am careful as evening approaches not to ingest that much protein total as it will trigger the response when I lay down to sleep. I go with even smaller servings spread out.
    3) Lately I have switched to all whole food proteins as a precautionary measure and I have had very little trouble at all (not even noticeable hardly).

    A couple more interesting things to note. I don't really get hypoglycemic at all when just ingesting large numbers of carbs. Or if I really go overboard and do, I don't get the arrhythmia. So I have pretty much nailed it down to being a protein issue in essence. When I used to use N-large or whey+ dextrose, good golly the problem was terrible post workout.

    Medical diagnosis is benign arrythmia, but I know it is not normal and it was something I had to find out how to control, so I did. I am working my way up in protein intake and have been able to maintain 2g/lb for quite a while now with little issue as long as I remember to follow the rules I set for myself.

    Anyway that is my story. I am curious what your thoughts about it are and also if any of you guys have experienced this before. My main hope is that by posting this, other people that may be experiencing the same thing can be made aware of it and take actions to minimize potential problems. Perhaps this can shed some light on how to effectively combat hypoglycemia also for people that have problems with it at very high levels of caloric intake.

    -Cardinal "shit that was long-winded"

  • #2
    When my bodyweight has gotten too high in the past, I have had a similar reaction but not to the high protein intake but rather to the high amount of calories in general.

    Skip


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    • #3
      I have to say that this is first time I have ever heard of this.
      "Well done is better than well said"

      :rocker:



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      • #4
        Cardinal-

        By chance have you been tested for food allergies?

        Sometimes a food allergy will not erupt unless sufficient quantity of the offending food or foods is consumed.
        [email protected] http://www.proactivehealthnet.com

        " We know that to err is human, but the HIV/AIDS hypothesis is one hell of a mistake"
        Dr. Kary Mullis, Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry for inventing the Polymerase Chain Reaction


        "The fact is that you can not start off with bad science and end up with good medicine"

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        • #5
          Originally posted by SuperSport
          Cardinal-

          By chance have you been tested for food allergies?

          Sometimes a food allergy will not erupt unless sufficient quantity of the offending food or foods is consumed.
          I was tested many years ago for minor food allergies as a young child using a skin test. That test wouldn't be relevant now though.

          That is a good conjecture I haven't thought of though. Especially since most food allergies seem to be protein allergies, whey and dairy proteins being some of the worst offenders along with wheat, oat, barley type proteins. I am very lactose tolerant and drank a gallon of milk a day for years growing up sans difficulty. Very few people have true allergies to meat like chicken/turkey and these are usually easiest on digestive system as well.

          It does seem odd b/c I can notice the symptoms pretty much immediately after ingesting the protein and it follows a characteristic pattern every single time it occurs. Very predicable at this point. Always tied to both the protien intake and the accompanying hypoglycemic response. For awhile there I thought I might have to limit the amount of protein ingested each day pretty severely to get it to stop. But as long as I take whatever amount I want to ingest in whole foods (say 400grams) and split it as evenly as possible over the 24 hour period, I get virtually no symptoms. So that would lead me to believe it isn't a specific food allergy per se. As I gain further control I might experiment with slightly higher amounts of protein so long as no negative side effects present themselves.

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          • #6
            Interesting.

            The skin test really is not very acurate...and a blood test, which tests for antibody levels is not very good either. One doc could look at the test result and say that you are allergic to a food, and another may look at the same results and say you are not allergic to that food.

            Check out Meridian Stress Assessment. This is a whole lot more accurate way of checking for food allergies. I have MSA done at least 2x per year as part of my health/anti-ageing protocol. It is non invasive and simple...and you can have it done for 100 bucks or less. MSA is an invalueable tool in diagnosis, very under rated by Allopathic MD's.

            You try finding a Holistic/Alternative MD or chiropractor/acupuncturist for the MSA. Here is a thread that will tell you more about Meridian Stress Assessment-

            http://intensemuscle.com/showthread.php?t=4704
            [email protected] http://www.proactivehealthnet.com

            " We know that to err is human, but the HIV/AIDS hypothesis is one hell of a mistake"
            Dr. Kary Mullis, Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry for inventing the Polymerase Chain Reaction


            "The fact is that you can not start off with bad science and end up with good medicine"

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            • #7
              Supersport,

              Thanks for the link and information. I wrote up a long response but it got erased. I'll try again posting a few shorter responses. Basically, I have several health issues that someone certified in Acupuncture/ MSA could help me with. Do you know how I would go about finding a reliable practitioner in my area (I am in Tyler, TX now, 90 miles east of DFW)?

              I have an old neck muscle injury (omohyoid). It was suggested I find a good acupuncturist or Active Release Therapist to deal with the problem as a next step. I have found niether in my immediate home town so far. Maybe just not looking hard enough. I may need to go to Dallas. Cost and insurance is an issue but at the rates you offered as an example, that would be affordable enough.

              I got my blood drawn last week and am waiting on the results (just as a normal checkup). Likely won't tell me much about this problem, but it will provide me with more information than I have to date about general health.

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              • #8
                A couple more notes in no particular order:

                I noticed the arrhythmia problem before ever taking E HCL/ C, Nicotine, androgens (PH/PS) or even bromocriptine which is known to induce hypoglycemia. None of these made it any worse. Common sense tells me the best method of keeping this problem at bay is to eliminate the cause (reduce protein and/or follow guidelines I already outlined). Watch for symptoms closely and be aware of them when it happens noting not to do it again!

                Exercise by creating greater caloric expenditure (similar to running hypocaloric diet) seems to help the symptoms. But if I ingest too much protein in the hours immediately preceding training, every single time thereafter I get a bad hypoglycemic response and arrythmia. So I have to be a bit careful not to do something foolish like that.

                As a general question, for those of you that take cardio protective measures, what do you use supplementally or otherwise. With regard to arrythmias specifically, K+ and Mg+ supplementation are pretty well proven to help over a broad class of heart problems by establishing balanced electroyltes. Other simple measures like consuming n-3 fatty acids seem to have a lot of support as well.

                For the ever popular androgen cycle, Hawthorn Berry is commonly used to lower blood pressure. I don't have direct knowledge of whether this is actually effective and don't have bp issues myself. Just curious what others have found useful and more importantly what others can actually attest to working (not just taking it hoping it will work).

                Statistically, I know a good long-term plan for heart health would certainly include maintaining a lower bodyweight, although that is not what most of us would like to hear. My best gains in training have come when calories are highest and my leanest gains have come when protein makes up most of those calories. I certainly want to be able to run that sort of diet, but need to do so carefully and spread my protein intake out as evenly as possible over the 24 hour period.
                Last edited by Cardinal; 10-11-2004, 01:29 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Skip
                  When my bodyweight has gotten too high in the past, I have had a similar reaction but not to the high protein intake but rather to the high amount of calories in general.

                  Skip
                  See this is pretty much what I would expect. When my total calories go exhorbitantly high, I get a fair number of negative systemic effects that seem to parallel what others experience (lethargy, digestive issue, blah blah). It stands to reason that if you boatload calories too much, at some point you will necessarily suffer some negative health consequences, some more apparent and severe than others. Especially if you maintain consistently huge amount of calories over a very long time frame and gain a ton of weight. The trick I guess is to keep overall health in balance and to be very attentive to changes (know your own body really well and don't ignore symptoms out of laziness. Maintain a delicate balance not allowing extreme goals to eclipse more fundamental goals like immediate survival and even longevity for example).
                  Last edited by Cardinal; 10-11-2004, 01:37 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Cardinal-Here is a list of doctors in Texas that use alternative therapies...they more than likely either use MSA or know of someone that does. I am not sure if these numbers are up to date....

                    If this is no help you can call the American College of Advancement in Medicine at 714-583-7666. They will probably have a list of alternative physicians in your area. If that number is wrong you can look them up online.

                    Some chiropractors use MSA- you can call the American Chiropractic Association at 703-276-8800

                    You can find an acupuncturist that may use MSA by calling the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at 919-787-5181


                    Acupuncture would probably help out greatly with your neck problem...and acupuncturists are trained well in herbal medicine too, which would help with the high blood pressure.

                    Make sure to restrict sodium, as this will aggravate high BP. Sodium is added to everything-esp processed foods and even our water. Try to drink a good form of bottled water (I drink LeBleu, *supposedly* one of the better quality.

                    As for the heart....Coenzyme q-10 is a great supp along with the magnesium you mentioned.

                    Also...with the arrhythmia oxygen therapies may be warranted....the Texas MD's I listed earlier may be able to help....

                    And...arrhythmia *can* be caused by allergies and sensitivities to environmental toxins. The doctors I listed earlier certainly use "EDTA Chelation" to remove toxins from the blood/body...

                    check out this thread about EDTA chelation-

                    http://intensemuscle.com/showthread.php?t=5369

                    I use EDTA Chelation and Oxygen enriching therapies as part of my own health protocol....they are non-toxic and very beneficial.

                    Hope some of this helps...




                    Barry Beaty,MD
                    Fort Worth,TX
                    817-737-6464

                    Charles Haves,DC
                    Fort Worth,TX
                    817-446-8416

                    Robert Hofman,MD
                    Austin TX
                    512-347-1711

                    John Sessons,DO
                    Kirbyville,TX
                    409-423-2166

                    Dr. Manzanero, MD
                    Austin, TX
                    Ph 512-343-6223
                    [email protected] http://www.proactivehealthnet.com

                    " We know that to err is human, but the HIV/AIDS hypothesis is one hell of a mistake"
                    Dr. Kary Mullis, Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry for inventing the Polymerase Chain Reaction


                    "The fact is that you can not start off with bad science and end up with good medicine"

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                    • #11
                      That post pretty much gave me all I need to make further progress and contacts. Thanks again! I almost mentioned coenzymeq10 as it seems to be on nearly everyone's supplement list. I just haven't researched it myself. May give it a go.

                      Luckily I don't actually have a high blood pressure problem yet, but have used Hawthorne berry to keep BP down on M1T cycle once in the past. Lowering sodium is on my list of things to do for my next cycle as well. Right now I test pretty frequently in the normal range of 115-130 over 65 or so. Will have tons more info on lipids and metabolic panel hopefully in a few days from directlabs.com

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                      • #12
                        Thanks again! I almost mentioned coenzymeq10 as it seems to be on nearly everyone's supplement list. I just haven't researched it myself. May give it a go.
                        Yes it's good stuff, the body produces q10 but it declines with age so if you are in your early twenties you maybe don't need it, personally (I'm 23) I take it in very low dosages just to be safe.
                        each day is an opportunity to move you closer to your goals.

                        <--- Batdog needs trueprotein for his superpowers www.trueprotein.com
                        for a discount use my Batdog approved discount code: EGO693

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