Paul and Jocelyn discuss their health issues related to food and particularly Paul’s recent medical challenges with his spinal cord issue, gout and galstones. Paul says that this is a podcast that Jocelyn has been anxious to do for several months now.
Paul states that he had never been to a hospital until about 2 years ago when he suddenly had excruciating pain from a blown disc in his neck that had squirted disc jelly over his spinal cord. However, his insurance decided that he wasn’t really in that much pain and had him sent home with tylenol. While he was flat on his back in bed, a great device was set up for him that allowed him to suspend his cell phone over him so that he could use it to communicate online.
Jocelyn goes back in time a bit to describe how when they had met 10 years ago, both of them were avoiding several foods, mostly for mental clarity reasons.
Paul says that he had avoided dairy since his 20’s but since his podcast with Sally Fallon-Morrell, he now wonders if perhaps he only needed to avoid pasteurized dairy. He also was trying to eat less grain and avoid sugar which would give him a zip and then crash afterward. Jocelyn would get wicked headaches for several days after consuming the tiniest amounts of wheat. Now they both eat very strictly organic.
Jocelyn says that she would have issues with anemia and her thyroid as well as brain fog and that both her and Paul have done lots of research about nutrition over the years.
Paul says that he finally paid out of pocket to see a specialist regarding his disc issue who recommended scheduling surgery about 5 weeks out since about 50% of the time these issues would improve on their own. And after about 2 weeks of bed rest, the pain did start to subside and continued to gradually improve over the course of several weeks to months.
Paul tells of how shortly after he had arrived at the property, his left foot started to swell significantly. Sometimes getting so large that his toes could not touch the ground. He googled it and decided that it was probably gout. He then ate lots of cherries, which are known to help with gout, and it resolved. Then there was the issue with galstones. When he researched that online, he found that it predominately effects women and that pretty much all of those who have had them say that they are worse then childbirth, pain wise. Now, he has not had a galstone attack since Oct 2017 (currently it is Aug 2018).
When it first happened, the galstone pain was so bad that Paul thought that he was probably dying. The answer at the hospital was surgery but by that time they had medicated him for the pain so he wanted to wait and do some research on the problem. The doctor that he went to was also very keen on doing surgery right away.
Jocelyn says that if a galstone gets stuck in the gal duct, it can burst the duct and leak bile into the abdomen which can be deadly so most doctors just want to take it out. They connect the liver to the intestine so that the bile just drips directly into it.
Paul explains that the purpose of the bile is to help brake up the fats that are in our food. However, sometimes something goes weird and causes rocks to form which can get stuck. Finally, the surgeon (who was grey haired and probably near the end of a long career) said that there is a way to change the diet to eliminate the stones but that no one in her experience has ever stuck to the diet and avoided the surgery. Paul and Jocelyn accepted the challenge. The pain was very motivating for Paul. It has been 10 months now since his last stone passed. He did have three times where he passed galstones. A sonogram can be used to visualize the stones but was ineffective at seeing the area in Paul due to his large girth. In general, it takes a couple of years on the diet to clear out galstones. Basically you avoid fats. When he and Jocelyn were working to avoid more sugar, they had tended to eat a rather high fat diet of bacon and pork.
Paul says that his second galstone attack was one week after his first one. There were several contributing factors. Jocelyn was away for a week taking care of her mother so Paul didn’t bother to eat much. Then he had a meeting at a restaurant and he had a large hamburger with fries. Eating very little and then having a large meal of beef and potatoes turns out to be a common cause of galstone attacks. Then he read up further on it and decided to eat less of the problematic foods, about 1/3rd of what he used to eat. The doctor said that after 5 weeks of no attacks, your sensitivity to an attack decreases. Also, you should eat frequently to avoid attacks.
Jocelyn says that after the third attack, they really focused in on the diet. It consists of olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, lemon juice, malic acid, and apple cider vinegar. Only one yolk per day but as many whites as you want. No dairy for a while and he even went vegan for a while but the diet ended up being too limiting with all the galstone foods that he should also be avoiding.
Paul says he can now eat yogurt, ghee and mozzarella cheese but no wheat, corn or potatoes. There is almost nothing he can eat when they go out. Sushi is OK, there is one item at Chipotle he can eat and now they have found a pizza place that makes a rice based crust that he can have.
Jocelyn says that she is working very hard to get lots of veggies and greens into their diet. When Paul was having his spinal problems, she had watched Terry Wahls TED talk about fueling mitochondria with diet to reverse her MS. Jocelyn is aiming for four veggies per day which is challenging. It turns out that onions and garlic are problematic as well as cheeses, beef and pork. So they switched to fish and chicken and veggie oils and added in helpful foods like artichokes, radishes, turnips and beets (but Paul doesn’t like beets). Unfortunately, that diet ended up being very high in purines which triggered Paul’s gout and no amount of cherries would fix it this time. Then he just went vegan again for a time. There is some kind of relationship between gout and galstones but it is not well understood. Possibly it is related to high inflammation in the body. They have ended up with a galstone – gout – blood type diet. That leaves very few foods that Paul can eat.
Paul says that the blood type diet was very important to his doctor so they are trying to incorporate that element as well.
Then the gout came back again and they discovered that sea weed and chlorella are also very high in purines and so removed those as well.
They are both working to get more activity in their lives but Paul finds it particularly hard to pull himself away from work that he’s trying to accomplish online. Now they work for a bit on one of his projects and then on Jocelyn’s projects each day for exercise.
Jocelyn mentions that although both of them are fat, doctors are surprised that neither of them have high blood pressure or diabetes issues which she relates to eating an anti-inflammatory diet.
Credit: Penny McLoughlin
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Seeking foods that help heal nerve and spinal cord damage
Gout and blood type – might there be a relationship? And the gallstone connection.
Paul has cervical radiculopathy (from a bulging disc) – advice?
TedX lecture, paleo, MS, parkinsons, etc..Dr. Terry Wahls
This podcast was made possible thanks to:
Eivind W. Bjoerkavaag