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Pinetreefire`s log

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Hey,

Thought I would start a log here to document some of my experiences, since this seems to be a long, drawn out process. I'm 4.5 months in on the detox, been very strict since the beginning. Sometimes I feel like I have recovered a lot, but other times it feels like I haven't gotten any better. It seems to fluctuate a lot. 

I struggle a lot with writing this, since words don't come easily to me. My brain feels super slow sometimes. I don't really have much of a desire to do anything, anymore. I believe it is because cutting the VA from the diet actually made the level of stresshormones/estrogen(?) in my body drop like a rock. And that made me realise that stress has actually been the main driver in my life for the past, probably 12 years. Always been a highly stressed/neurotic type of person. Never knew why. This is the #1 reason why I believe so strongly now that I am on the right track. 

I believe I was actually born VA toxic. I have had various symptoms since as early as I can remember: social anxiety, depression, weird/white/rough toenails, cracking of joints (especially ankles), red skin (inflamed, especially on feet and hands), bone/jaw pain, acute sinusitis, fatigue, to name some. Being born on the West coast of Norway, with a family history of mostly farmers and fishermen. 

In high school I started getting more and more acne, which after a while became systemic all over my upper body. Didn't do anything about it until I was  21 when I did 3 months antibiotics which did nothing.

Then I did Accutane for 8 months with a daily dose of 100mg (24,000mg total). At the time I also got into the Paleo diet, and that was the start of radically changing my diet for the first time in my life. Going from a grain based, low fat, medium protein, high carb diet, to a Paleo diet with huge amounts of fatty meat, eggs and dairy. Accutane + Paleo completely annihilated my acne. And I actually didn't feel that bad at the time. I was functioning fairly ok, I had a good income, I went to parties, hanged out with friends and traveled to other countries. But 6 months after quitting the accutane, things started to fall apart for real. 

I think the worst thing about vitamin A is that in the short term, it will absolutely make me feel better and relieve my symptoms. In my case, I got hugely into raw eggs, not just because I was trying to build muscle at the time, but also because it made me feel a lot better. I felt a hell of a lot more androgenic, and even a girl commented on it once. That's why I perceived at the time (knowing nothing about VA) that I needed to stay on the Paleo diet, and preferably only eggs and meat. Of course I doubled down, and low carb/Paleo/keto/carnivore was the answer for me for a long time. But I needed more and more VA as time went on, until all my symptoms became unbearable.

Some of them: chronic sinusitis/pressure headache (since october 2015 to this day), inability to think clearly, Parkinson like symptoms; like inability to walk in a straight line, rigid movements, involuntary head movements/tiny seizures, lifeless/dead look in my eyes where the whites below my eyes were showing constantly, blurry vision, dizziness, confusion, unable to show emotion, feeling nothing, muscle weakness, muscle cramps, apathy, lack of energy, chronic fatigue, oversleeping (like 12 sometimes 14 hours), social anxiety, panic attacks, agoraphobia, mild depression, helplessness, some manic behaviour, mild-moderate psychosis, frustration, irritability, anger, aggressiveness, vomiting, feeling like my throat is getting tighter, my behaviour in public being “off” although not being able to recognise it at the time, slurred speech, toenail fungus, dry and brittle nails (almost falling off), dry skin, dry eyes, hyperpigmentation where the acne have been, bad memory, my life/situation not even feeling real, asocial/not wanting to socialize/isolating myself, hypersexual, extremely stressed out, pushing myself extremely hard (manic)…

But at least I had clear skin 🙂

I tried tweaking the Paleo diet a zillion times; zero carb carnivore (a long period of only rib-eye and water), Epi-Paleo, keto, regular low carb... I felt better after finding Ray Peat and implementing more sugar, and cutting the fat, but still my issues just wouldn't go away. It wasn't until I found franko´s thread on Grant Genereux Vitamin A toxicity theory, that a light went off. Since going low VA my problems have slowly but surely improved, albeit very slowly. For instance, my toenails have been growing out smoothly and are now 50% better. For me that is huge, and it´s clear that this is working. I'm excited to see where this leads. 

This post became much longer than I had planned, but to make a long story short:

Accutane + Paleo/WAPF inspired diet for 5 years = almost destroyed me. 

 

Jeepers, you have had it tough! I have been on a very similar path to you, but my symptoms haven't been as numerous. You are the first person that has mentioned blurry vision that I have seen. I think mine is slowly getting better on this low VA diet, its way too early for me to say for sure. How is your vision after 4.5 months?

So glad you have found the low VA diet brother!

Many of us here have suffered with many of those symptoms too.

I'm on month 8 and still have a long way to go.

Unbelievable that the Accutane dose was 24 grams! There are only about 200 mg of retinol in the average human liver!

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Pinetreefire
Quote from Neilky on October 18, 2019, 4:31 am

Jeepers, you have had it tough! I have been on a very similar path to you, but my symptoms haven't been as numerous. You are the first person that has mentioned blurry vision that I have seen. I think mine is slowly getting better on this low VA diet, its way too early for me to say for sure. How is your vision after 4.5 months?

Yes, my vision has definitely been getting better on the diet. Like better contrasts and details. I can also handle more bright sun, so my eyes are definitely less light-sensitive. But it´s still kind of blurry, hard to focus. I´d say it´s maybe 40% better.

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Neilky

@pinetreefire

Thanks..Out of interest, is it the near sight / reading that bothers you but mid to long is not blurry.(that's what I have been experiencing) When I went to the optician to read the board on the wall, I was absolutely fine!

Quote from tim on October 18, 2019, 4:43 am

So glad you have found the low VA diet brother!

Many of us here have suffered with many of those symptoms too.

I'm on month 8 and still have a long way to go.

Unbelievable that the Accutane dose was 24 grams! There are only about 200 mg of retinol in the average human liver!

Haha, thanks man 🙂

Yeah, it seems like a miracle I'm still alive. I'm almost a non-functional human being now though. At the time I ate a very high protein, high fat diet so maybe that was protective in a way, idk. 

Quote from Neilky on October 18, 2019, 4:54 am

@pinetreefire

Thanks..Out of interest, is it the near sight / reading that bothers you but mid to long is not blurry.(that's what I have been experiencing) When I went to the optician to read the board on the wall, I was absolutely fine!

No, actually never had problems reading, never required glasses or anything. It´s more in the mid to long range where the problem lies, for sure. 

Lol, polar opposite!

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Pinetreefire

Yeah, it seems like a miracle I'm still alive. I'm almost a non-functional human being now though. At the time I ate a very high protein, high fat diet so maybe that was protective in a way, idk. 

From what I understand, protein is protective because it supports a healthy production of thyroid hormones, which are used to make TTR (transthyretin), which carries the retinol bound in RBP (retinol binding protein). In the wrong places, it seems that RBP does damage that TTR prevents it from doing. Not sure on the details, but some studies I’ve read indicated that was the case.

Anyway, I’m sorry to hear about everything that happened to you. And I’m sorry that you are in an almost non-functional state still. That’s a pretty rough set of symptoms. But I’m glad you’re here (welcome, btw!😁), and I’m sure that recovery is possible for you. I can 100% relate to noticing fluctuations during this process. Having the toenails starting to grow properly again is awesome. I get why that’s a huge deal, even though it’s not a quality of life thing, it’s proof that change can happen.

You are the first person I have met so far who has also experienced mania and psychosis. I don’t see those on the list of Hypervitaminosis A symptoms, yet I had the worst episode of those symptoms when I was eating 5,000%+DV of vitamin A, so I do feel there could be a possible connection.

Anyway, hope you are doing well today, and that you will see solid improvements.

Quote from Pinetreefire on October 18, 2019, 3:15 am

But at least I had clear skin 🙂

...

Ha ha ha ha!  OMG thanks for that it really cracked me up.  I think the best jokes are the ones that spark a little fear...

So sorry about what you have gone through.

You guys know I think there are a lot of people in my family tree who are very "vitamin A sparing" which, if you think about it, could be a super power ...My family history (now, we are going back a bit, and diagnosis has changed, so some I'm guessing) there is a grandmother with what was probably paranoia, and an uncle with what was probably bi-polar.   A cousin with severe depression.   I had some (undiagnosed) post partum depression.  Like you, I don't think there was ever a time when I was low VA.  During college when I wasn't getting enough sleep, my brain did some weird things.  Sleep--so important. 

My maternal line and me all are very anti-travel, which can be called "fear of the marketplace" yet, phobias are about IRRATIONAL fears, and once you've been sick on trips many times, it isn't irrational to hate being away from home!

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