My N=1 experiment with resistant starch

I’ve been commenting on the Free The Animal site recently, and my comments were blogged about by Richard N, the proprietor of that blog. is his post. I am going to take all my comments over a couple of threads and roll them into one long post here. It’s really long but it lays out the whole thing. My life has improved immensely using resistant starch.

Here’s my first set: I have what might seem a silly question. Is a (non insulin or diabetes drug-using) person still technically a T2 diabetic if they eat a few of tbs of potato starch a day, prepare their starches to maximize RS, along side eating mostly Perfect Health Diet-style (plus beans and occasionally bread) for a few months and their blood glucose reading goes from difficult to keep under 200 to under 100 almost all the time? That’s me.

I was following VLC for a few months after being diagnosed this last summer as a T2 with great results at first, diminishing with each subsequent month. I had no signs of diabetes blood-work wise in previous years. I got sick and keeled over from diabetic ketoacidosis, in August. My BG was 680 at the time. This last fall, all I had to do is look at carbs for BG to spike. Even with VLC, I was having more and more trouble with the dawn phenomenon, waking up with BG of 180+ every day. It got to where I was only able to eat a few fat bombs a day to keep my BG under 140, and I started looking for answers. Found FTA in November and ran with the starch. Huzzah for the starch!

I started upping my carbs two months into my personal n=1 PS experiment that started in November and now eat between 100-200 grams of carbs (tho I’ve had days where I ate up to 600) and my blood glucose per my meter is great. I ate a mound of Richard’s garlic fried rice with a steak and green beans tonight, and my BG before: 95, to one hour after: 110. Two hours, down to 90. It seems like the more carbs I eat the lower my reading goes. I am very gratified, and wonder: am I really still diabetic? I imagine “yes” if I go back to SAD. I just don’t know.

I was asked here if I thought my BG had spiked due to an infection rather than The Beetus  I wish, but no. Here’s how it went down: I previously low carbed off and on for about 10 years. I was still obese but VLC kept my weight down to where I could get around, ride a bike, etc. I quit low carbing about two years before the August incident as I was having trouble maintaining a normal body temp, half of my hair fell out and i stopped menstruating. I tried to eat a “normal” diet of 2000-3000 calories, higher carbs lower fat, but gained 120 pounds in 12 months. All the problems disappeared, and I started menstruating again and was gloriously warm but did not feel great. Last June I started getting tired all the time. I could hardly raise my arms over my head or get dressed without resting after. I noticed my clothes were getting loose. I weighed myself on July 4 and discovered I had lost 40 pounds between June 1 and July 4. It was not long after the weighing that I noticed I was getting thirsty all the time. First just thirsty, then THIRSTY. I could not go without drinking water hour or so. I started peeing every two hours on the clock, thinking it was related to all the fluid drinking. My skin looked so awful, like a horrible wrinkled bag. I dropped another 30 pounds between July and August. I began to get really confused and anxious all the time, and started thinking that I was about to die at any moment. That is the ODDEST feeling, like I was hanging on by a thread. I thought maybe I had cancer. I started looking on the internet, researching symptoms. Diabetes was the first thing that popped up. I could not believe it at first. My blood work was always great in spite of being very fat. I tried modifying my diet to more of a diabetic diet, but wasn’t able to get into the local sliding scale clinic (no health insurance); there was a two month wait for new patients.

Then I had the VERY Bad Day where I nearly died, and my BG was 680. My AC1 was 12. I could not deny what was going on any more. They gave me drugs and insulin but I never took it as I got Dr Bernstein’s book and used it for a template on what to do. It took 30 days of hard core VLC to get my BG down to under 140. But it started to creep back up, especially in the morning. It took hardly any carbs to rocket my BG over 200, prior to the November N=1. I was only able to keep my morning BG level under 140 for a short period of time. Naturally, the cold came back, the hair started falling out, and I stopped menstruating again. I probably should have been taking at least the Metformin, but I did not want to start on it if I could do something different. So it was definitely Da Beetus.But *knock on wood* seems to be under control with RS. I am still as fat as all get out, but I FEEL really damned good for the first time in years.

Someone asked how much protein I ate and other particulars: I got to where I could hardly eat protein on VLC without BG spiking. I tried to stick to 3 oz of any kind of meat at any meal, and ate cheese/dairy. Like i said in my comments, I ended up eating 3 or 4 fat bombs a day and nothing else in a desperate attempt to control BG, so near the beginning of the N=1 experiment I was eating very little. I take 4 -6 tbs starch a day over the average. I don’t take the same amount each time, I vary it like Richard suggested. I’ll take 2 tbs with milk, water or kefir and slug it down, or mix a couple of tbs in yogurt and eat it for a treat. I take the second two, or whatever amount, in the evening in a bit of water before bed. Got rid of horrific heart burn doing that.

My husband and adult daughter are on the starch now as well. Too soon to say anything about results but they don’t have the health challenges I’ve had. I worked my way up to the larger amount of PS over the first month and was seeing small changes in my BG but not enough to really say it was working well. When I read in multiple comments that there’s hardly any response when in ketosis, I decided it was time to start adding carbs. I started with beans, as I discovered quickly potatoes and rice would send BG spiking up. Once I adjusted to eating *properly prepared for RS* beans, I started adding in rice *UB parboiled, prepared for RS*. It took a couple of weeks to adjust. After I stopped spiking over rice, I added potatoes. I figure out what I am going to eat for the whole day, then break up my percentages of protein, carb and fat per PHD amounts, then eat that in two or three meals. I seem to have gravitated towards an 18/6 eating pattern without consciously attempting it. I don’t start getting hungry until 10 or after, so eat my first meal when I get hungry, usually close to noon. I don’t eat after 6 pm as I am not anxious to tempt the heartburn into coming back. I am still not touching fruit or sugar. I plan on trying strawberries and in-season fruit this spring, seeing if I can readapt to them the same way I have with starches. I don’t know if it will work but I am willing to try. It is not a perfect curve; I still get the odd spike, especially in the morning. But overall, my BG is remaining in “normal” range 95% of the time. I am warm, I am starting to get some lovely fuzz on my forehead where the hair is starting to grow again, I am sleeping all night for the first time in my adult life and I feel REALLY good, physically and mentally. The starch calm high is amazing.

Asked for more background: For those curious, I am female, turned 47 in January. I am tall and fat as a house and starting to move from sedentary to ambulatory now that I feel human again. No regular exercise pattern other than keeping an eye toward MovNat type jumping around and walking the dogs. I have abused my body with the worst kind of yoyo dieting since I was age 6, including a failed 4 year experiment with a lap band that almost killed me by cutting my stomach open. Thank goodness it’s gone. I am amazed I am still alive with all the foolishness I have committed. Sorry I am blah blahing about myself so much but I am trying to add any datapoints that are useful in pinning down why this is working. Oh yeah, the cons: At times, the fartage is unreal. for me it seems to be linked with how much carbs I have consumed. The higher the carbs, the greater the fartage. Dark beer is the WORST for fartage. I love the stuff but I can clear a house with the gas afterward. At some point I am going to have to do something to make adjustments.

PS is a hunger crusher. I find I am bored with food in a way I’ve never been, even on VLC. I mean BORED. Also, other dietary additions that started in January: daily dosing with Vit D drops, weekly dosing of Vit B complex drops, one K2 capsule a day, and Vit E when I can remember it.   I used ketostix to check and see if I was in ketosis. Purple as all get out. Interestingly, I lost absolutely no weight, after the big drop just before the DK episode. I did gain 10 pounds in January, adding carbs. I’ve lost a few of those this month but I am not attempting to diet beyond working on keeping the PHD ratios. I drink one teaspoon of whole milk in tea, plus maybe 1/4 cup with the PS. I can’t stand low fat milk. I use heavy whipping cream in coffee, one tsp per cup, 2 cups daily. That uses up almost all the fat I have in a day. Butter is about the only other fat I use. If I eat the PS in yogurt, I eat a scant 1/4 cup of full fat plain greek yogurt. I made fat bombs from coconut oil, cream cheese, sometimes unsalted butter, occasionally cocoa powder or 85% dark chocolate. When I was eating fat bombs I ate them exclusively as it seemed like my BG would spike when I ate any food :/ I was eating a small amount of salad and green or nonstarchy veg during the beginning of VLC. I eat veggies now, in the form of small salads, or a side veg, plus the occasional bite of jarred kimchee from the store. I started taking the supps approximately the same time I started the PHD, on Jan. 1. I hope this helps. I don’t mind questions; it helps me to think carefully about what I’ve one with this N=1. If the data is useful, I am glad. And a correction: To adjust a poorly worded comment: the heavy whipping cream uses up all the extra added fat I will have during the day, over the top of butter in cooking, fat in the meat and dairy I eat. The majority of the fat I eat comes from butter for cooking, although I will use coconut oil if I have it *and can afford it:)

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