Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Paleo Quick Notes

By Christian Wernstedt


Got some blood tests done. Here's about my kidneys.

First a short technical note: Creatinine is a byproduct of muscle breakdown which the kidneys are supposed to clear out of the blood stream. Elevated blood serum creatinine is a marker for kidney disease. (Though it can't be interpreted in a vacuum.)

My serum creatinine:

2008 Feb (before paleo diet) : 0.8 mg/dl (Normal range 0.5 to 1.2 mg/dl for males)
2010 April: 1.1 mg/dl
2010 May: 1.08 mg/dl
2010 June: 1.00 mg/dl

Doctor: "Do you eat a lot of meat?"
Me: "Yes."

Note the quite substantial change between my pre-paleo value from February 2008 and April 2010. (I had a little freak-out there because the lab had entered me as a female which put me out of the normal range both for creatinine and calculated kidney function.)

My interpretation is that paleo put more creatinine in my bloodstream. I'm not sure if it is through the higher protein in the diet as such, or if it is my increased lean body mass.

I think that just as a precaution people may want to take a comprehensive blood panel including kidney function before going on a paleo diet in order to have some comparative measures to refer to, and to make sure that there are no problems up front.

After some literature research, I don't believe that high protein causes kidney problems, but it may perhaps contribute to the exacerbation of existing problems. Better safe than sorry.

Another takeaway from this is that lab values can fluctuate a great deal, and this applies to many parameters assessed by lab tests. If you like me have tests taken on your own, don't go nuts over a single test if it is slightly out of range, particularly if not evaluated by a knowledgeable professional. The trend matters.

(Incidentally, I've discovered that simply worrying over taking a blood test administered in a doctor's office can add upp to 15 points to my fasting blood glucose.)

Strange effects from Natural Calm Magnesium Citrate

I had a really strange phenomenon occurring after around two weeks of supplementing with Natural Calm in May.

I took the standard dose in the evening after dinner, and what would happen was that my urine turned tea colored at the next bathroom visit.

I think that what happened was that the magnesium citrate mixed with something in the Life Extension Mix ("LEM") tablets that I took with my dinner meals. (BTW, I shouldn't really be taking the LEM, since I eat an incredibly nutrient dense paleo diet.)

After staying of magnesium for a few weeks, I added it back but let more time pass between the meal and ingesting the preparation, as well as dropping the LEM. Everything is OK now.

In any case, if you experience something similar, let me know. (I have yet to find a single other instance of this being described on the Internet.)

Quitting Coffee

I've added back a small amount of coffee after a week of complete abstinence. I've yet not experienced any significant side effects, but I'm still on the watch out.

Terra Plana Shoes

I bought a pair of Terra Plana "Vivobarefoot" shoes for casual city/park use.

It's my first experience with barefooting type footwear. In summary, I can say now that I'll never go back to normal shoes again.

I've ordered a pair of RunAmocks too. (HT to Richard Nikoley)

Given the leg cramps I got initially it is quite clear that my lower body muscles and joints are hit in ways that they are not used to, but probably should. Great stuff.


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