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First 5 months

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Hi All,

I've been lurking here for about 5 months and first want to say how much I appreciate Grant's extraordinary work and all the posts here with everyone sharing their experiences. You all are fantastic! I've read and re-read Grant's books and most of the posts on this forum.

I discovered Grant's work from a discussion on a different forum in Mid February 2019. I went on a low Vit. A diet the next day and am almost 5 months into it.

I have a pretty long, complex medical history from childhood-adulthood with multiple issues that have handicapped me in various ways. And multiple conditions that have vexed doctors at places like Mayo clinic, etc..

My childhood and habitual and my mother's childhood diet would be considered probably very good for right now:  Very little meat, almost no fat (no butter, etc), mostly vegetables and fruits, very little starch. My mother was famous for just cutting up a bunch of vegetables on a plate for dinner.

She has several stories about when she turned orange from carrots, etc...

My brother and I were sickly at birth, and both very thin and both had difficult health histories in childhood, my brother with 4 surgeries before age 4 and then crippling crohn's at age 14. I had bones in my feet growing wrong and a staph infection in the bones of my wrist at age 8 that ate up 5 bones from my wrist and handicapped that hand, and I developed a life threatening blood infection from that and was hospitalized for many months.

With many complex health issues intervening, I am now almost 56 yo. a professional musician and experience profound high-frequency hearing loss (unexplained) and tinnitus, and crippling vertigo -- I can only sleep sitting up in a chair at 90 degree angle. I have other health problems that have cropped up over the years and have had surgeries to correct, etc...thyroid removed, etc...Disc collapse in neck, etc. have other problems of unknown origin. I have been diagnosed with different auto-immune diseases at different times.

I had maintained my vegetable centered diet my whole life until that day 5 months ago when I read Grant's book first. I realized this must be the missing link.

Ha! I had been eating smoothies almost everyday with 2 carrots, Kale, broccoli, almost 1 bunch of cilantro, fruit, avacado, celery, In addition to squash I had gotten from a farmer and frozen, and so much watermelon. I was addicted to oranges and cherries. Crazy!

I stopped cold-turkey in Feb. 2019. Started, beef, rice and at first sauerkraut, but then dropped the kraut.

My neck pain which was significant for years, was reduced very quickly. This was very surprising, as it was a major part of my day. It is still there, but greatly improved.

My double vision which had been significant for years, improved at first, but then worsened again, and remains an up and down problem.

My sleep pattern which had not been good for years, is a little better.

I had a hard, benign breast lump for 25 years (2-3 inches!) that had been ultrasounded and biopsied by many doctors. This has completely disappeared!

Slight orange hue is better, thickening of skin of face is much better!

Skin on hands is better.

Early on I went through detox periods including very swollen lips, dry and cracking and the same on lower face and hands. Hands cleared up more quickly then the lips followed after a few weeks.

Pressure on brain and memory loss which has been dogging me for a long time is improving, but very slowly.  I can feel the places in my brain where there is pressure.

My biggest concern is that I seem to have gone through another detox issue that sent me to a doctor (I do not usually go to doctors now). I got a very swollen, painful ankle that went on for a month with a slow start.  It reminded me of the wrist issue I had as a child and feel that in childhood may have been a retinoic acid/vita a dump into the joint somehow that may have eaten through the protective barriers of the bones allowing infection to penetrate.

I am taking prednisone and ankle is now improving, but there were some fiery times in there and a lot of swelling and splotching .I was not diagnosed with anything (not gout or anything)

I recently became worried about kidney issues which I had been experiencing for years, (not diagnosed) when the ankle swelling stared and started having lower urine output. To try to minimize potentially damaging dumping, I decided to add some lower vit a foods to my diet, as I also lost weight (down to 115 at 5'6")

So I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts or suggestions about whether it may be almost dangerous for me to continue my close to 0 vit a diet, will this accelerate possibly dangerous dumping, or maybe I should continue adding some small amt. of vit. a to lessen possible dumping (if this is on the right track)?

I added, applesauce, a tiny amount of ghee (butter), strawberries, potato chips with olive oil and raisins. I also had a few slices of homemade bread with fresh ground wheat (no fortification)

I'm wondering if these additions to the beef and rice will slow me down? Will I be putting in more A than depleting? Is this necessary, or maybe I should just keep on my beef and rice diet and roll with the punches?

The problem with my ankle and possible kidney concerns is what made me start to think about slowing down the diet in this way by adding more vit. a items.

I'd appreciate any and all comments!

Thanks much!

Sarah4

 

 

 

 

Bella, Audrey and rockarolla have reacted to this post.
BellaAudreyrockarolla

Hi Sarah, I'm pretty new here and love reading everyone's accounts.  Thanks so much for sharing.

One kind of macabre thought that comes to me (after reading your story) is that maybe me and my siblings wouldn't have made it past childhood without modern medical intervention.  It's interesting to think about-- that when the vitamin A needs (high or low) and the diet don't co-incide, the results could actually be a pruning of the genetic tree.

And a person might feel well on a diet change but all the repercussions of changing one's diet might not be seen until the next generation (Pottenger didn't think you might see all of the repercussions until the 3rd generation)

It does seem like the stricter you go with this diet the more severe the detox can be. I think it's safer for the body to go slower. Really bad detox symptoms, I think, are a sign that your body is struggling to safely get rid of excess vitamin A. It can also be reabsorbed if it's not eliminated properly.

Calcium can cause problems too during detox which can affect joints and kidneys. I got a painful wrist followed by a carpal boss growth. I've just been wondering whether vitamin k2 might be useful during detox to help keep calcium where it should be and not causing damage elsewhere.

Quote from Sarah4 on July 2, 2019, 11:14 am

Hi All,

I've been lurking here for about 5 months and first want to say how much I appreciate Grant's extraordinary work and all the posts here with everyone sharing their experiences. You all are fantastic! I've read and re-read Grant's books and most of the posts on this forum.

I discovered Grant's work from a discussion on a different forum in Mid February 2019. I went on a low Vit. A diet the next day and am almost 5 months into it.

I have a pretty long, complex medical history from childhood-adulthood with multiple issues that have handicapped me in various ways. And multiple conditions that have vexed doctors at places like Mayo clinic, etc..

My childhood and habitual and my mother's childhood diet would be considered probably very good for right now:  Very little meat, almost no fat (no butter, etc), mostly vegetables and fruits, very little starch. My mother was famous for just cutting up a bunch of vegetables on a plate for dinner.

She has several stories about when she turned orange from carrots, etc...

My brother and I were sickly at birth, and both very thin and both had difficult health histories in childhood, my brother with 4 surgeries before age 4 and then crippling crohn's at age 14. I had bones in my feet growing wrong and a staph infection in the bones of my wrist at age 8 that ate up 5 bones from my wrist and handicapped that hand, and I developed a life threatening blood infection from that and was hospitalized for many months.

With many complex health issues intervening, I am now almost 56 yo. a professional musician and experience profound high-frequency hearing loss (unexplained) and tinnitus, and crippling vertigo -- I can only sleep sitting up in a chair at 90 degree angle. I have other health problems that have cropped up over the years and have had surgeries to correct, etc...thyroid removed, etc...Disc collapse in neck, etc. have other problems of unknown origin. I have been diagnosed with different auto-immune diseases at different times.

I had maintained my vegetable centered diet my whole life until that day 5 months ago when I read Grant's book first. I realized this must be the missing link.

Ha! I had been eating smoothies almost everyday with 2 carrots, Kale, broccoli, almost 1 bunch of cilantro, fruit, avacado, celery, In addition to squash I had gotten from a farmer and frozen, and so much watermelon. I was addicted to oranges and cherries. Crazy!

I stopped cold-turkey in Feb. 2019. Started, beef, rice and at first sauerkraut, but then dropped the kraut.

My neck pain which was significant for years, was reduced very quickly. This was very surprising, as it was a major part of my day. It is still there, but greatly improved.

My double vision which had been significant for years, improved at first, but then worsened again, and remains an up and down problem.

My sleep pattern which had not been good for years, is a little better.

I had a hard, benign breast lump for 25 years (2-3 inches!) that had been ultrasounded and biopsied by many doctors. This has completely disappeared!

Slight orange hue is better, thickening of skin of face is much better!

Skin on hands is better.

Early on I went through detox periods including very swollen lips, dry and cracking and the same on lower face and hands. Hands cleared up more quickly then the lips followed after a few weeks.

Pressure on brain and memory loss which has been dogging me for a long time is improving, but very slowly.  I can feel the places in my brain where there is pressure.

My biggest concern is that I seem to have gone through another detox issue that sent me to a doctor (I do not usually go to doctors now). I got a very swollen, painful ankle that went on for a month with a slow start.  It reminded me of the wrist issue I had as a child and feel that in childhood may have been a retinoic acid/vita a dump into the joint somehow that may have eaten through the protective barriers of the bones allowing infection to penetrate.

I am taking prednisone and ankle is now improving, but there were some fiery times in there and a lot of swelling and splotching .I was not diagnosed with anything (not gout or anything)

I recently became worried about kidney issues which I had been experiencing for years, (not diagnosed) when the ankle swelling stared and started having lower urine output. To try to minimize potentially damaging dumping, I decided to add some lower vit a foods to my diet, as I also lost weight (down to 115 at 5'6")

So I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts or suggestions about whether it may be almost dangerous for me to continue my close to 0 vit a diet, will this accelerate possibly dangerous dumping, or maybe I should continue adding some small amt. of vit. a to lessen possible dumping (if this is on the right track)?

I added, applesauce, a tiny amount of ghee (butter), strawberries, potato chips with olive oil and raisins. I also had a few slices of homemade bread with fresh ground wheat (no fortification)

I'm wondering if these additions to the beef and rice will slow me down? Will I be putting in more A than depleting? Is this necessary, or maybe I should just keep on my beef and rice diet and roll with the punches?

The problem with my ankle and possible kidney concerns is what made me start to think about slowing down the diet in this way by adding more vit. a items.

I'd appreciate any and all comments!

Thanks much!

Sarah4

 

 

 

 

It sounds like you drastically lowered oxalate when you lowered A so you could be dumping oxalate and detoxing A at the same time. I actually have both have both issues. It might not be an issue for you but it could be worth considering before experimenting with adding back too much vitamin A. Small amounts of dark chocolate will usually ease the symptoms an uncomfortable oxalate dump. I’m new to learning about oxalates in the last couple of months! I hope you feel better soon.

Audrey has reacted to this post.
Audrey

Thanks for your post Sarah.  It's great that you are seeing some improvements.  I started low VA a couple of weeks after you and my progress is slow but there.  Frustratingly I seem to have hit a plateau having seen a little but not a huge amount of improvement.  I think it is because the VA is causing problems on it's way out.  Many issues are very up and down, particularly blurring of vision.  I guess this is the easiest to gauge.

The foods you mentioned adding in are not high VA.  With the exception of the olive oil the rest would be considered acceptable on a low VA diet and Grant used a little olive oil and did just fine.  Remember that Grant was going as low VA as possible.  Many detox from VA with a wider range of food which includes those you mentioned.  I don't think any that you have mentioned will sabotage your VA detox.

If those foods are making your detox more comfortable then relax and don't worry.  Garrett Smith has a VA detox package which costs $40 dollars I think and has a more comprehensive list of foods he has found to be low enough VA to use during detox.  If this is within your budget it might give you more scope and reassure you which foods you can use whilst going through the detox

The other thing it occurred to me you might want to try is perhaps Vit E and C which evidence suggests help protect against VA damage.  You have to be careful to source the right vit E as most is derived from red palm oil and that is high in VA.  If you go to Garrett Smiths website and follow the link to his amazon product list you will find the vit E he uses.

I hope your symptoms ease soon.  It's such an up and down process.

@lil-chick That's really interesting that you mention that -- I agree about the medical intervention! 🙂 The lines in my family who have followed this diet have not fared particularly well.

@sophie I will look into vitamin K2, thank you! That's interesting you mention the bone growth...in my current ankle issue, there is an area that is like the bone thickened..it was painful at first, but now just a slightly different shape.

@bella when I read your comment I went immediately down to the co-op and bought some dark chocolate. I ate a very small amount. 1 square) I'm curious how much you might consider a small amount?  Looking more into oxalates is very interesting! Thank you for the info!

@rachel Thank you! I appreciate the feedback!  I may stay on these extra foods for a while. I was taking a fair amount of vitamin C for a while, and maybe should go back to that. I'll also look more into vitamin e. I tried almonds but that didn't go as well as I expected.

My vision (double and blurry) has also been really up and down. This was a problem before the low VA but after low VA diet, it seems almost a little more pronounced. Sometimes to the point that I can't work on the computer, or cant drive. It will change, though throughout the day. My vision improved greatly in the first week of the diet, but then quickly reverted to this up-down cycle (mostly down). Hoping for improvement ultimately based on the initial improvement. I totally understand what you mean about a plateau!

Thank you everyone for the helpful, supportive comments! My first forum post! 🙂

Other notes:

Early in the diet, I experienced a significant reduction in overall body inflammation. I had never felt anything like that before and it was almost funny!  This remains largely improved, but there it did revert to a slightly more inflamed state than when I first started the diet.

One of the biggest improvements, that I forgot to mention in the original post is that with the reduction in inflammation I noticed an improvement in my hearing that I had never noticed before (never improvements only reductions). I am able to discern 3 whole steps more at the top end of my hearing (tested on piano).  This hearing improvement is pretty significant, and completely unexpected! 🙂

My sense of smell which significantly dropped off last year about 1 year, has not improved yet, however. This is one of my main concerns along with vertigo.

Thank you again!  Great group!

Sarah4

 

 

 

@sarah4, I’m just eating about  5 grams of dark chocolate (>70%) to keep kidney pain and other aches at bay. I’m only doing this when my kidney or other pain flares. Sometimes I don’t eat any for weeks and sometimes I need it every other day for a short periods.

The idea is that if you eat a small amount of oxalate containing food it slows the dump and makes it more manageable. I’m certainly not an expert on oxalate by any stretch but it does seem to be a helpful trick if oxalate is causing issues and the intervention seems pretty safe to me.

Best wishes on feeling better!

@bella Thank you!  I tried a little more chocolate, and actually feel slightly better in a few ways...not sure if it's the chocolate, but I will try it again. I appreciate the suggestion!

 

 

Hi Bella, what foods have you cut out to go low in oxolates?

Do potatoes need to be avoided? Or just chips and French fries?

@sarah4 it was hard for me to believe about the chocolate but since it helps every single time I keep doing it!

@sophie I have stopped eating potatoes all together for now. I might look into adding them back later though. I know fries, chips and I believe baked russet potatoes can be particularly high and that’s mostly how I ate them so it was simpler for me to just stop.

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