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KHashmi317

CR vs. common illness

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By "common illness", I mean common cold or "average" flu.

 

Most seriously-committed and/or long-time practitioners of CR have reported suffering from fewer colds/flu. And when the rare bug does bite, the symptoms are mild.

 

I, personally can count on one hand the number of disabling common-illness events I've experienced since starting CR in late 1999 (four events, TTBOMK). By disabling, I mean requiring committed bed rest and a few days away from common routine.

 

I just took a few days rest from a mild flu. Symptoms were mid-grade fever, body aches, mild nausea, loss of appetite, loss of energy, and diarrhea. It lasted 3 days with symptoms waxing and waning. Loss of appetite was of concern because I'm pretty hard-cored. I used Tylenol to reduce fever.

 

On the main list, there have been discussions about common illness potentially being amplified because a CR'd indiv. does not have enough reserves to fight the infection. Also, the question of increasing calorie intake during illness has been raised.

 

Other questions and issues:

 

Does one require extra calories during common illness? An active fever is analogous to thermogenesis. But what if one can control fever via meds?

 

If one has diarrhea, is one losing calories because the food is being improperly digested?

 

Personally, the psychological aspect changing my diet to accommodate illness, is what I find most challenging. Long-time, hard-core CR takes years of discipline. Even adding a few cups of applesauce can be challenging ;-)

 

=============================

 

BTW, you may be curious to know about other mild (i.e., not disabling) illnesses I've experienced while on CR :

 

Once or twice/year, I'll come down with a very mild under-the-weather cold or other infection. Mild fever, runny nose or irritated throat. While mild -- symptoms last 24 hrs -- the symptoms may "flare up" at a reduced level several days later ...and further reduce in a crazy "harmonic" pattern as analogized here:

Figure-1Evolution-of-the-spectral-widths

Edited by KHashmi317

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Guest TomBAvoider

Very similar to my experiences, and my wife's. She's constantly reporting how many sick people (with the cold, norovirus, flu, etc.) there are in the office, and sometimes it takes out the entire office, except for her. Meanwhile, my wife for YEARS has not taken a sick day off - not one. An amazing record at her old job of 16 years. Now she's been at a new job for a little over a year, and again, same story with sick people, and meanwhile my wife has a perfect attendance record, and not even late a single time. The only health-related day she takes off is a so-called "personal day" when we go for our yearly physicals.

 

That said, she does occassionally complain about a scratchy throat, or stuffed nose etc. - but it usually resolves within 24-48 hours, and she is never sick enough to be compelled to stay in bed or miss work. I am in a similary position - she's frequently worried that she's bringing back germs from all the sick people at the office, but I have yet to fall sick from it. But again, similar to her, I occassionally have a sore throat that resolves very quickly. So it's not that we don't "catch" bugs, but rather, that the course of the illness appears very mild and brief. FWIW, we change nothing during those times of a bug challenge, neither diet, nor exercise. 

 

On the flip side, I am suseptible to allergies (specifically dust allergies, so I suppose mites?), and that may sometimes be confused for a cold. But here is an amazing pattern I've observed. If I am very disciplined about keeping my calories low, I do NOT suffer from allergies. However, every year, there are occasions, sometimes as long as three weeks straight, when we travel on vacation etc., and are officially off CR sampling local cuisines etc. (nothing super wild calorically, but just average). During that time, and immediately following, there is a flareup of these allergies in dusty environments. It's as if CR keeps over-active immune reactions suppressed, and they flare up as soon as there are enough calories. Also, I had a very bad cold (flu?) at the beginning of 2000 - something I caught on the plane back from Europe where we went to celebrate the new millenium, and spent almost a month over there completely off CR. Upon coming back, a couple of days later, I was sick as a dog. 

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Tom B:

(I assume you're the same Tom B/Robert Deram from the LA area??).

Glad to hear your wife is still practicing CR and is doing well! 

 

Realistically, immunity is the net result of several factors (age, genetics, good nutrition, good sleep habits, not abusing drugs/alch, exercise, pollution avoidance, hygiene, etc., etc.)

But CR is definitely a plus. 

 

In early 2002, I caught a bug (flu, I think) from someone at work (several colleagues contracted the same nasty strain) and that laid me up about five days. I might have shortened that downtime by consuming items not on my std. CR diet, like canned soup and juice. Also, I'd been heavy into Barry Sears Zone philosophy at the time. In his books, he (or another diet "expert"??) advised against NSAIDs. I.e, aspirin, Advil or Tylenol. So I foolishly lived with fever and pain for longer than necessary. 

 

In early 2004,  just after I moved to Calif., the re-settlement plans did not go as planned. That was the cause of great stress and anxiety which led to episodes of diet mismanagement (binging, overeating). And within a week, I came down with some kind of infection. After recovery from that, the side effects of going "off CR" resulted in joint inflammation. Ugh!!

 

About allergies ... I used to be allergic to cats. But not after CR. I have no pets, but a several years ago I volunteered at the Glendale Humane Soc., constantly exposed to cats. No problem.

 

I also almost never get headaches.

 

BTW:

Influenza (and its potential companion, pneumonia) is the 7th leading cause of death in the US in non-pandemic years.

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm

Although most of victims are elderly, pandemic strains may strike anyone.

Probably not a bad idea to get a yearly flu shot.

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Yes, it's me - when I'm offsite on my laptop, I don't have my credentials with me (lazy), so I post as "guest". Funny you mention NSAIDs - when I fell sick that time in 2000, I refused to take any, laboring under the idea that fever is the body's way of fighting off the bugs, but my wife persuaded me to take ibuprofen, and I did so after a couple of days, and immediately felt much better. Ditto on cats - I used to be allergic to cats (not massively), but since being on CR that somehow disappeared, and for several years now we've had cats (in fact, we have one right now). No problems so far, although I do occasionally worry about what kind of microorganisms the cat might be carrying that's transmitted to humans. 

 

And yes, we still practice CR, although we're way more relaxed about it these days - meaning, that we no longer worry about CR when there are special occasions, such as Thanksgiving etc. It doesn't happen too often - most of the time we're on CR, but the way we figure is that if we are on CR for 90%-95% of the time, it probably won't make a substantial health or lifespan difference to be on it for 100%, whereas that 5%-10% of the time we're off it translates into tremendous life quality improvement (mostly psychological). And after so many years on CR, there actually isn't even much desire to be off it casually. I believe our palates have changed from being so long on CR - junk food just isn't appealing taste-wise, so it's never a temptation to simply scarf up calories. However, things like good quality lobster or whatnot can be a nice indulgence. Basically, it's nice to know that if we wanted to, we'd totally be able to dine at a particular high quality restaurant. Knowing that we are "allowed" to do it, makes it so that we rarely end up doing it, but never feel deprived or "forbidden fruit". YMMV.

 

Re: headaches. I used to get them (pre-CR days) regular as clockwork, once every couple of weeks. On CR, it's down to every 6-8 weeks or so. But yes, I still regularly get them. 

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KHashmi317:   ... he (or another diet "expert"??) advised against NSAIDs. I.e, aspirin, Advil or Tylenol.

 

Minor point:  Tylenol (acetaminophen) is not classified as a NSAID.

 

Cf. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, Acetaminophen, Cyclooxygenase 2, and Fever

https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/31/Supplement_5/S211/334449

 

Abstract

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are frequently used antipyretic agents that most probably exert their antifever effect by inhibiting cyclooxygenase (COX)-2. Thus, COX-2-selective drugs or null mutation of the COX-2 gene reduce or prevent fever. Acetaminophen is antipyretic and analgesic, as are NSAIDs, but it lacks the anti-inflammatory and anticoagulatory properties of these drugs. This has led to the speculation that a COX variant exists that is inhibitable by acetaminophen. An acetaminophen-inhibitable enzyme is inducible in the mouse J774.2 monocyte cell line. Induction of acetaminophen-inhibitable prostaglandin E2 synthesis parallels induction of COX-2. Thus, inhibition of pharmacologically distinct COX-2 enzyme activity by acetaminophen may be the mechanism of action of this important antipyretic drug.

 

Aspirin's anti-inflammatory effect only occurs at fairly high doses.

Depending on the conditions being treated, aspirin is used at a range of doses from 75 mg (antiplatelet) to 325–600 mg (analgesic) to 1.2 mg (anti-inflammatory)

https://www.nature.com/articles/bjc2014271.pdf

 

At low doses aspirin has cardioprotective and anti-cancer effects.

 

Cf. Mechanistic and Pharmacological Issues of Aspirin as an Anticancer Agent

http://www.mdpi.com/1424-8247/5/12/1346/pdf-vor

Edited by Sibiriak

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KHashmi317:   ... he (or another diet "expert"??) advised against NSAIDs. I.e, aspirin, Advil or Tylenol.

 

Minor point:  Tylenol (acetaminophen) is not classified as a NSAID.

 

Cf. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, Acetaminophen, Cyclooxygenase 2, and Fever

https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/31/Supplement_5/S211/334449

Yes. Good catch.

When I have (rarely) needed a fever reducer, Paracetamol is the only med I have found effective. Not sure that is related to it not being NSAID.

 

BTW:

I don't "supplement" with aspirin. Too much hassle (another diet tweak!), and I'm unsure of its synergistic response under heavy CR.

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I went 4 years without so much as a cold, sore throat, fever, runny nose, or headache. But right now I’m down with sore throat and fatigue, so streak broken. But my son had it much worse though, so by comparison I’m doing quite well, he had fever, sore throat, total loss of appetite, and could barely get out of bed the last 2 days. Lots of news stories recently about the flu season being especially bad this year and the flu shot being ineffective.

 

Flu Season Expected To Be Nasty

https://www.mymotherlode.com/news/local/338538/flu-season-expected-to-be-nasty.html

 

Flu Season Is Here And So Far It’s A Bad One

http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2017/12/15/flu-season-is-here-and-so-far-its-a-bad-one/

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During the 40 years I've been a vegetarian, I suffered no particular illness but for some short periods of loss of appetite, runny nose and fatigue. The worst one which included some fever and cough for a whole month was after a period of intense stress and lack of regular sleep. I'll rule out some negative (luckily temporary) problems caused by an experiment of extreme CR= voluntary starvation. 

 

In the latest 2 years, following the orthorexic suggestions of this forum and becoming vegan, plus adopting a regular scheme of Longo's FMD plus starting again some regular exercise topped by healthy CE  I reached another level of imperviousness to sickness.

 

Most probably some dietary schemes and physical regimens trigger the same metabolic pathways activated by pure CR, and that's partly confirmed by research. That without a particular restriction of calories, as a whole.

 

Right now though I have an infection at a tooth, which went chronical and I'll need some specialist intervention. Perfection in this aspect is very hard to achieve, maybe impossible.

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HI Kashmi!

I'very been on CR for over 20 years; like you, I'm pretty strict, and I've had very few colds -- maybe one a year or so, all very minor. I haven't missed a single days work in the whole period.

Concerning headaches: I haven't had one since being a child -- so I can't attribute that to CR.

About allergies: I do have an allergy to aspergillus (a fungus). I take flonaise and a prescription medicine for that. I've never been allergic to cats -- I've been living with cats sonce childhood -- I have a fairly long haired pet cat now.

-- Saul

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It seems that many of us, reporting above, have much-better-than-avg immunity to common illness.

 

Other than CR diet (or otherwise healthy diet at normal weight), it may be that folks with genetically-favorable immunity to common illness are concomitantly attracted to healthy lifestyles. Kinda like pleiotropic genes: i.e., the same genes that control immunity are "concomitant" with healthy behavior (diet, exercise, self control).

 

BTW: 

The rest of my family  -- (2 sisters, mother and father), who are not CR'd but none are even mildly overweight -- also seem to be more immune than average. 

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 Lots of news stories recently about the flu season being especially bad this year and the flu shot being ineffective.

 

2018 is the 100th anniversary of one of the greatest human natural disasters of all time: the 1918 Flu Pandemic

I wonder how the news and media will play up the anniversary? Maybe, Hollywood will release another thriller, like 

Contagion (2011), which was flawed but entertaining ;-)

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My case is similar to Gordo, son and wife very recently struck by a bad strain of flu: loss of appetite, headache, cough, running nose and more. This year it was pretty bad. usually, when a flu runs in the family, I'm affected as well in a mild form, like fatigue and loss of appetite, running nose as well.

 

This year: nothing at all. I've been waiting to write this but by now I can say I was totally unaffected by the virus.

 

My guess, is that, with reasonable certainty, my recent update with healthy dietary practices (as outlined in this forum) and the start of a xenohormetic vegan diet and regime has boosted the immune system by expressing the genes governing the relevant pathways. No way I was spared by chance, since the virus has entered my system with 100% probability.

This is a thing which I noticed many years ago, when I switched abruptedly from a junky regime to an healthy one plus exercise and CE, when there was practically no  information around. so I had to play it by year. But now I understand the underlaying principles.

 

The recipe of immunity boosting in my case:

  • orthorexia (obsessive attention to eating, monitoring the intake by cronometer and making sure all RDAs are satisfied)
  • Plant-based diet with lots of hormetic foods (phytochemicals in spices, cocoa, EVOO and so on)
  • Regular exercise in the open air
  • Cold exposure.

Sleep has been very bad the latest months, but apparently it did not affect detrimentally the bodily defenses. At least, this appears not to be a basic ingredient in my case

 

Of course the above does not guarantee total imperviousness from disease, but it is good to observe the theoretical framework at work in the real world.

Edited by mccoy

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Right now though I have an infection at a tooth, which went chronical and I'll need some specialist intervention. Perfection in this aspect is very hard to achieve, maybe impossible.

 

In the context of this thread I'm going to post an update. The tooth infection was due to a mechanical cause, that is the tooth was broken in two halves but that was not visible until the dentis extracted it today.

 

So the body is excused not to have properly fought the infection: the fracture was evidently too much of a strong factor in compromising local immunitary defence. This strenghtens the hypothesis discussed in this thread that an healthy diet and regimen may make the body almost impervious to illness.

 

I'm feeling pain now though !!

Edited by mccoy

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Guest Steven Moo

Immune system would mostly react automatically to fight against most common illness. However a room full of common flu virus would depend on how long would our body tolerate to defend ourself 24 hours? 30 days? 1 year? 10 years? So with the density of the flu virus such as 30 flu infected people in a room vs 50 flu infected people in a room, while you are the only one not infected.

 

If we are talking about "not so easy to catch" flu, yeap, that's the only first defense, which is quite a basic information.

How about second defense? or third or the last solution?

 

I am wondering how are we activate immune system "naturally" instead of how medicine is activating our immune system "chemically". I only found few,   but I am looking for more.

 

First defense, keep our body healthy.

if still infected (within 10 min) 2nd defense wearing mask,

if still infected (within 5 min) 3rd defense, leave the virus room,

if still infected (within 5 min) 4th defense, leave the room and do a short push up but not overly. within 1 min.

if still infected (within 1 min) 5th defense, clean your mouth "rinse" with sea salt water within 1 min.

if still infected (within 2 min).. i am still looking for it....I suspecting take a rest for 30 minutes (short nap)

 

... i am searching for more defense naturally....how about diet? I consider it is still at the first defense, because last solution mostly we all need a 'doctor' compare to a more dosage diet for an instant cure. The above is kept for your reference..

 

 

* for tooth thing... mostly it happens to middle aged or elderly. How to activate immune system or protect tooth losing more...I am still researching it, i have few, but might mix up the the defense in order but could not review it due to studying it, i do suspect on the calcium part of our body which link to bone and density. "

 

"If we are able to find, how to lose your tooth very fast, part of the answer is just the reverse of the action"

 

Our human body is like a balloon, the immune system need to be a very strong state from any sharp object or any attacks.

 

 

 

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How'd you break a tooth in half?  Every now and then I eat something like a "pitted cherry" that still has a pit in it and I feel like I broke a tooth in half, haha.

Edited by Gordo

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Mccoy, have you had any test of bone density?  Just wondering since I think low bone density is sometimes an issue with long term CR and cracking a tooth seems pretty unusual.

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Re gordo: it was something which probably happened 2-3 years ago and then I forgot. I can guess a small stone inside some food, rather than a pit fragment, which, unless extremely hard, usually displays lesser mechanical resistance than teeth. I vaguely remember crunching something hard and a sharp pain, then it ceased and I forgot about it.

 

I say that it happened years ago because that same tooth gave me pain 2 years ago but nothing was visible from X rays nor the dentist's examination, then the pain subsided, but in the meanwhile the crack evidently constituted a vulnerability which let the microbial fauna reach the pulp and root.

 

Re. Todd: I didn't have any analyses done due to my legendary aversion to lab tests. I don't easily fracture my bones, although I can say some fragility issue with connective tissue is probably due to years of physical inactivity or limited activity. I'm doing rehab now with weightlifting and very progressive increase of loads. And presently I'm checking my macro+micro intake plus taking K2, Ca and D3 supplements, and lots of ALA for the joints and connective tissues, can't think of any other things I can do.

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Immune system would mostly react automatically to fight against most common illness. However a room full of common flu virus would depend on how long would our body tolerate to defend ourself 24 hours? 30 days? 1 year? 10 years? So with the density of the flu virus such as 30 flu infected people in a room vs 50 flu infected people in a room, while you are the only one not infected.

 

 

 

Steven Moo, right, the microbial load is a fundamental factor...

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Guest Steven Moo

It seems everyone has their own issue to handle. Why I am so looking forward for an good aging process because I am promise myself to handle aging. and also towards with my elder parents starting with 72yo and 76yo.

 

I know industrial age doesn't look good for everyone that makes everyone working hard for the money, while information age, I should do better for them. Doctor today doesn't look the same as yesterdays due to commercialization, because one might charge 60k while the other only charge 6k for the same type of operation surgery.

 

When I go along with parents to see doctors, I do come across doctor that wants money, and even some good doctor introduce cheaper medicine and some do mix up procedure, as it all based on my parents how 'dramatic' describe his/her illness condition. It is quite a messy information transferring between doctor and the patient. This is when I try to interfere the real correct information received transfer from both elderly and doctor. Basically you have to be smart to capture both patient and doctor intention, then you would able to get the correct medicine.

 

Anyway, internet has too many resources,

I'm doing now for Haircare / scalp-care and Skincare on my mother and myself. Haircare/scalpcare/skincare is a must towards aging process because this is the 2nd indicator. The first indicator is actually when people starts to depend medicine for some time or long time, that part of the body is unable to sustain.

 

Currently I'm also researching on bone and muscle for both elderly,  and come across with

 

"The best exercises for building and maintaining strong bones are weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening activities"

"Studies have linked excessive sitting with being overweight and obese, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and early death."

 

 

Mccoy,

 

Extra info for you,

 

Search when is the best time to take calcium, d3 

Search Calcium supplements link to kidneys stones, and avoiding it by drinking a lot of water

Search form of the supplements such as powder form, injection or capsule form, which one is more effective

How not to "physical inactivity or limited activity", as this incident has result one of my customer (i am doing accounting) to diagnose with kidneys failure and died. I suspect he less drinking water, and troublesome to go toilet after become a stroke patient and walking difficulty.

 

Anyway, sitting for long periods is thought to slow the metabolism, which affects the body's ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat.

 

 

 

 

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Sleep has been very bad the latest months, but apparently it did not affect detrimentally the bodily defenses. At least, this appears not to be a basic ingredient in my case

 

 

 

Yes, as has been reported on the CR List in years past, CR (esp. heavy CR) can interfere with sleep. I, personally, find it to be the worst of CR's drawbacks.

Often this occurs as premature awakening, with inability to re-sleep. Unless one can somehow squeeze in a quick nap, mild grogginess persists throughout the day. 

I find some calmness/sleepiness returning after lunch (it's the calories!) so I'll TRY to nap about 15min. or so.

 

CR-attenuated sleeptime does not seem to impair immunity.

Edited by KHashmi317

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I am more and more convinced that what applies as optimal markers and parameters (diet, exercise, lifestyle etc.) for ad-Lib, simply does not apply to CRONies. Yes, maybe 7 hours of sleep is optimal for ad-Libbers, but who says the same is true for CRONies? What if CRONies optimize with less (or more)? Same for most things - cholesterol, BP, etc. We are in uncharted waters. At least ad-Libbers have reams and reams of data available - almost all studies are done, or pertain to ad-Libbers. But what do CRONies have? A few Fontana studies and not a whole lot more. Not much to go on.

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My lack of adequate sleep is due to:

  1. genetical impossibility to sleep deeply. The last time I slept without ever waking up in the night, it was in 1992. I still remember it because I had a long distance flight to catch. During the following 25 years up to now, I never ever slept again like that.
  2. Present problems at night with my son. Compels me to get up at night 3-4 times at least.

#1 is maybe compensated by the fact that as easily as I wake up, so easily I can get back to sleep. Also, I take advantage of daytime naps (/power naps) as frequently as possible.

 

#2 may have had some consequences, like higher fasting glycaemia, but that may be also related to the higher amounts of simple carbs I'm ingesting because of CE, exercise, vegan diet. I'm going to give it a check and eventually to cut simple sugars.

 

I presently practice dietary restriction (strict healthy veganism) but not CR, although the former may be a mimetic of the latter, according to some (not according to Michael Rae).

 

Bottom lline though is that immune system appears to work very well. My personal thought is that the following activities have contributed substantially:

 

-Adequate diet, mimicking CR or anyway avoiding a systemic mTOR overamplification

-Practice of Cold Exposure from fall to early springtime and heat exposure in the summer

-Adequate physical exercise in the open air

-Techniques of stress management, like meditation, which helps to develop a mental attitude impervious to external stressors.

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In early 2004,  just after I moved to Calif., the re-settlement plans did not go as planned. That was the cause of great stress and anxiety which led to episodes of diet mismanagement (binging, overeating). And within a week, I came down with some kind of infection. After recovery from that, the side effects of going "off CR" resulted in joint inflammation. Ugh!!

Just wanted to jot some notes based on my recollection of those thankfully-rare episodes of binging/overeating -- way back in the early days of CR ...

Even w/o infectionbinging (after being CR'd for an extensive period of time) produced some "flu-like" symptoms. I recall this for every hypercaloric event. E.g., thermogenesis (but w/o the fever chills of a true pathogenic infection, like real flu). And the overall "body-feel" was similar to flu/cold symptoms. I noted joint inflammation above. Binging also caused nausea and vomiting [involuntary, not Bulimia,

 

Anyway ...

 

For the recent minor flu I reported in the OP of this thread, I did up my calories (by 200-300) for one or two meals. (I thought the extra calories would help combat the infection).  This was the wrong move: you guessed it --  thermogenesis. So, now I didn't know whether I had a genuine fever (do I medicate??).

 

I'm not sure what the best strategy is for dealing with common illness when CR'd. It's a good thing we seem to have overall improved immune function.

 

Alas, when the Great Pandemic does arrive, I hope all of you skinny 'uns have a source for Chinese-smuggled Tamiflu. Check the -- ahem -- Silk Road ;)

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mccoy wrote:

 

...genetical impossibility to sleep deeply. The last time I slept without ever waking up in the night, it was in 1992.

Way back in 2001 or 2002, on the CR List, I posted on the topic of night sleeping being multi-phasic. Before electric lights, people went to bed when it got dark, and awoke at dawn. BUT: awakening in the middle of the night -- even for extended periods of time -- was the normal.

See:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biphasic_and_polyphasic_sleep#Historical_norm

 

Research the topic "Biphasic and polyphasic sleep" for more info.

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About allergies ... I used to be allergic to cats. But not after CR. I have no pets, but a several years ago I volunteered at the Glendale Humane Soc., constantly exposed to cats. No problem.

Just some quick notes about my cat allergy...

 

Before CR, the allergic reaction felt like a mild case of a cold or flu -- except, of course, the symptoms would dissipate a few hours after exposure to the animal.

Also to note is that although this allergy was always mild, the allergy to cats persisted until my CR weight went below 120lbs. Which is what I call "hard core."

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