Posted 4/10/2021 8:44 AM (GMT -6)
It's my pleasure, friend. You're in a tough spot and if anything we discuss helps you, I would be thrilled.
Thanks for taking the time to respond to my questions. It seems you were already thinking along similar lines to what I hypothesized. Either we're both wrong...or, brilliant. Let's hope it's the latter. That would be a first for me.
The symptoms of waking up extremely hungry and sometimes in the middle of the night might be related to:
1. not eating enough food in general
2. not eating the right foods FOR YOU
3. stress hormones (for the middle-of-the-night waking, anyway)
4. polyphagia (also called hyperphagia) which is "excessive hunger"
Hypoglycemia is listed as a possible cause of polyphagia. (Interestingly, so is hyperglycemia.) Since you mentioned you wouldn't refer to your hunger as "excessive," then it's probably not polyphagia.
It's good that you've not had any intense cravings for sugar or simple carbohydrates, even if your desire has been a bit higher than before your diet.
As for causes and risk factors for high insulin (hyperinsulinemia), there are a few:
* Insulin resistance is one. If a person's cells don't respond normally to insulin, their pancreas produces more insulin to help the cells uptake glucose. Over time, if the insulin resistance progresses, the person's blood glucose will rise and they will be diagnosed with prediabetes. If the condition advances further, the person will likely be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
What causes insulin resistance? Excess weight is believed to be one cause. Another is believed to be increased levels of fat (free fatty acids) in the blood. Some argue that excess fat in the cells (intramyocellular and hepatocellular) is another cause. High intake of fructose (this does not include whole fruit), inflammation, inactivity, infection, and a perturbed microbiome are other factors believed to be possible causes.
* genetic predisposition and family history of high blood pressure are two other possible causes of hyperinsulinemia. There are a couple of other possibilities, but they're pretty rare.
As for diet...
Historically, this has been my favorite subject to rave about. Luckily for you (and, everyone else), I've lost a lot of steam on the topic. So, I'll try to keep my comments brief.
Basically, YOU are the only one that can know which foods work best FOR YOU. It seems you're somewhat on this path, since you noted an elimination diet. But, if something isn't working for you, ditch it!
For example: Is shellfish a healthy food? A lot of people incorporate it for its variety of benefits like protein, iodine, zinc, and others. So, obviously, it's a healthy food. Unless, of course, you're like me and have a shellfish allergy. Whoops... "Dr. Smith, please report to the ER immediately! Being an EpiPen!"
This advice is coming from a serial (and, cereal) dieter. My interest began around 1999, but it was mostly casual and didn't really ramp up until 2009 when I read Mark Sisson's "The Primal Blueprint." Since then, I've been through a variety of diets -- Primal, Paleo, Vegan, Carnivore, LCHF, HCLF, HED, EIEIO...oh wait, scratch the last one.
Some I did strictly, others not so much. Some I did for a while, while others lasted for only several weeks or maybe a month or two. Initially, I liked the lists of "good" and "bad" foods. But, like people tend to do, I figured "Well, if some restriction is good for me, then surely restricting even more is better!"
No, it isn't...and, don't call me Shirley.
Instead, I ended up having disordered eating. (Not an eating disorder, as they appear to be two different issues.) I was also exercising a lot. Too much, in fact, considering what I was eating -- or, not eating -- at the time. But, I couldn't see this. Instead, I just listened to the "experts" and doubled down. I mean, if something isn't working, clearly I just need to do more of it! Just listen to the guy with six pack abs.
If you buy watermelons for a quarter and sell them for a nickel, a bigger truck won't help.
Live and learn, right? Yes. Luckily, I'm a quick learner. It only took me about 10 years. If I could go back in time (Sherman, prepare the Wayback machine), I'd do things differently and I'm pretty sure I'd have some better outcomes. In hindsight, my body was giving me very clear signals. But, I wasn't able to recognize them.
Okay, I promised to keep this short, but I'm getting off into the weeds. I've been awake since yesterday, so forgive me.
In closing, find which foods work best for you. This will take some time. And, the foods may (will probably) change over time. Stay focused on how you feel, how you sleep, how much energy you have, etc. Your body is always talking to you. Do your best to recognize the feedback. Remember that food is fuel and nourishment. We need macronutrients and micronutrients. Food is complex. It's not simply protein, carbs, or fat. There's more to a tomato than lycopene, more to a carrot than beta carotene, and more to a lime than vitamin c. And, while diet is important, it's only one component of health.
Some parting questions, before I try to get some sleep:
* Have you had an increase in thirst, recently?
* How about an increased need to urinate?
* Do you know if you have high blood pressure?
* Do you know if you have high fasting triglycerides?
* Do you like movies about gladiators?
If you made it this far, thanks for reading. Please reward yourself with some Visine.