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Guest Mynona

(Fe)male pattern baldness and CR diet + What BMI?

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Guest Mynona

Hi!

 

I am into CR dieting. (I am a 40 year old female.)

 

At first I lost weight rather slow, but then I felt much healthier and got energy, so I think I lost a little too much lately (the loss got faster as I got so much energy and can do things I did 10 years ago, before Lyme and so on). I wonder what BMI could be relevant. I am very tall (184 cm female), which leads to me looking thinner than my BMI says. At the moment I think I have no fat at all on my body, starting to feel a bit starv feelings, knowing this probably will take my muscles, and I should gain some weight, about 1-2 kilos.

 

I am in an awkward situation: I had anorexia for many years (therefore I very well know my limitations where I start feeling bad, or when weight loss takes my energy). But I also have been sick in Lyme, sub clinical hypothyreos and ME for some years. This diet, took away many of the remaining symptoms of those illnesses/diseases.

 

Of course I don't want to get anorexic in food intake and mind again (I want to get healthier and live longer, not the opposite), and therefore focus on GOOD food, energy, health and longer life.

 

My diet is poor (say zero) in bad starch, sugars, bad trash food and so on, and extremely filled with good nutritions. I eat LCHF inspired (not zero carbs thought, since that made me tired - I eat some buckwheat, millet, sour dough hard bread), paleodiet inspired and so on. Whole food vitamin pills and such when needed. I do NOT cut down on fat or proteins. Typical dinner is 150-200 grams meat (from animals not eating grains but herbs and grass) with different vegetables, all cooked in a TB or more of coconut fat and a bit of oil. Sometimes butter (from animals that ate very little grains). I am never hungry, but start feeling I am on the border to get just hungry and weak. People tells me I look very thin(but they also agree I have not gotten those too slim anorectic muscles).

 

Am I at the right weight if I am just above where I start feeling tired and weak? Where the fat is gone, but nothing of the muscles.

 

Question 2:

Could CR diet be a good thing for men and women with androgenetic alopecia (male/female pattern hairloss)? Or is it the opposite? I know sex hormones will lower, but what will set in instead? Will androstendione sink for example? Do you have a tips on where I can read about this? Hormones and CR diet, with focus on male pattern hair loss and maybe also HPA-axis (I had adrenal fatigue that is like almost gone after I started CR dieting in august 2011).

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Guest Mynona

Hi again. I have checked body fat procents, and tried to calculate mine.

 

But those calculations are worse than BMI. I get the same body fat % if I put myself as 190 or 200 cm. It seems to use waist measure, which is rather high on me, since I am 184 cm (female). So, with no body fat, I got 26 % body fat ^_^ The BMI calculated one, was no better. BMI itself is really not very good either. Comparing weight/mass (closely related to volume) with area (length * length) makes tall people like me, have highter BMI than shorter ones that has exactly the same proportions (bone, muscles, fat and so on). I look like I have a BMI that is 2 lower than the calculated one. Just as I have seen numerous times in others when I have compared BMI, their looks regardin fat, together with their length. This phenomena is the same as a cube with side one, has weight of 1 unit, but the cube with side two,m has weight of 8 units.

 

How can one that aren't normal length calculate their body fat? Can I get too skinny, or is it ok to get as skinny as it is possible, without the muscles starting to disappear? Can I go by my feeling for when I am starting to get tired (and muscles stating to shrink) and stay just above that?

 

BTW I tested the CRON-o-meter. :) Almost everything looks good, but one: iron. This explains why I have had low ferritin and why I have to eat iron supplements. But I have to eat 80 mg/day to keep ferritin at 100, so something else may be wrong. Doctor thought uptake is bad. But why? Doctors don't care, they give supplements. I don't really know what to add or change to get better iron. 150 grams of meat? But then I get too much protein maybe. Maybe just eat one egg instead of two and add more meat? I will skip the cheese, and put more meat on my sourdough hard bread at lunch.

 

Oh, and I got really high in vitamin K, is that a danger?

 

I was glad to notice I can throw my selenium supplement :D

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Disclaimer: I'm not qualified to give you medical advice. I think you should discuss these points with your doctor/GP/nutritionist.

 

I am very tall (184 cm female), which leads to me looking thinner than my BMI says.

 

Pray tell, what is your BMI?

 

At the moment I think I have no fat at all on my body.

 

Not possible....or rather, highly unlikely.

As much as 10% of your (female) weight is essential body fat (which means that sub-essential body fat percentage is dangerous). I would recommend using a bioelectrical impedance device (such as a body fat scale or handheld device) which is easy to find online or at local stores. These devices can and are (very) inaccurate, but I believe that they're useful for getting a general idea.

 

I am in an awkward situation: I had anorexia for many years (therefore I very well know my limitations where I start feeling bad, or when weight loss takes my energy). But I also have been sick in Lyme, sub clinical hypothyreos and ME for some years.

 

Have you received counseling/professional help? Are the underlying causes of your anorexia being addressed and treated? Did you take medications? I assume you've had bloodwork and tests done.

Anorexia is a very serious and sometimes fatal disorder. There can be dangerous underlying physiological causes.

 

Was your Lyme disease treated quickly before it reached late stages? Anorexia is associated with hypothyroidism, and CR (even with "Optimal Nutrition" can lead to reduced thyroid activity.

 

Please do discuss CR with your doctor; make sure you're healthy enough, mentally and physically, to begin a CR regimen.

 

People tells me I look very thin(but they also agree I have not gotten those too slim anorectic muscles).

 

Am I at the right weight if I am just above where I start feeling tired and weak?

 

When it comes to your weight, body fat, and lean body mass, how other people tell you you look and how you feel just won't cut it. You *must* rely on objective parameters to gauge your health when you're on CR, *especially* if you've struggled with anorexia, Lyme, and thyroid issues. BMI is usually a decent tool, though it's imprecise and of limited usefulness. Body fat analyzers of the kind available in local stores are also of limited usefulness.

 

Consider that you may not have regained critical lean mass (ie; heart muscle) lost in the past. I really think it's imperative that you see a doctor and get some blood work done before going forward.

 

Could CR diet be a good thing for men and women with androgenetic alopecia (male/female pattern hairloss)?

 

Are you sure that this isn't associated with your anorexia? Hair loss is a sign of malnourishment not uncommon in those with eating disorders. It could also be associated with Lyme disease.

 

My diet is poor (say zero) in bad starch, sugars, bad trash food and so on, and extremely filled with good nutritions. I eat LCHF inspired (not zero carbs thought, since that made me tired - I eat some buckwheat, millet, sour dough hard bread), paleodiet inspired and so on. Whole food vitamin pills and such when needed. I do NOT cut down on fat or proteins. Typical dinner is 150-200 grams meat (from animals not eating grains but herbs and grass) with different vegetables, all cooked in a TB or more of coconut fat and a bit of oil. Sometimes butter (from animals that ate very little grains).

 

Vegetables, adequate protein, and essential fatty acids are certainly important in a good diet. However, the coconut oil and butter are particularly rich sources of atherosclerotic saturated fats; aside from considerations of caloric requirements, you have no reason to eat these. If you're consuming red meats, be aware that they correlate very powerfully and consistently with negative health outcomes (ie; colorectal cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes).

 

While a multivitamin pill can be a kind of insurance policy, supplements cannot make up for a severely nutrient-deficient diet. That's why it's especially important to track your nutrient intake when on CR. The modern world's calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foodstuffs can lead to calorie-sufficient diets which are nutrient deficient. The risk of deficiency is increased if you restrict calories without choosing nutrient-rich foods (ie; vegetables). I think it's important to track calories and nutrients by using a scale and some kind of dietary software like Cronometer to be safe.

 

 

I have checked body fat procents, and tried to calculate mine.

 

Body fat equations (which are wildly inaccurate to begin with) aren't going to cut it, particularly since you might be a special case; not because of your height, but because of past weight loss. It's possible that your "rather high" waist might be due to skin folds after anorexic weight loss.

 

A BIA device might give you a better idea. However, short of a clinical body fat analyzer (ie; DEXA or ADP), I think your best bet would be to have your body looked over by a medical professional (your general practitioner).

 

I look like I have a BMI that is 2 lower than the calculated one. Just as I have seen numerous times in others when I have compared BMI, their looks regardin fat, together with their length. This phenomena is the same as a cube with side one, has weight of 1 unit, but the cube with side two,m has weight of 8 units.

 

IMHO, you should throw those perceptions into the bin. How you (or others) *think* you look is not the same as objective numbers or the professional opinion of a doctor.

 

A BMI below 18.5 is considered "underweight" - While there may be CR'ed individuals who are below 18.5, I believe that a high degree of meticulousness is required to ensure that lean body mass is not at an unhealthy level.

 

 

Can I get too skinny, or is it ok to get as skinny as it is possible, without the muscles starting to disappear? Can I go by my feeling for when I am starting to get tired (and muscles stating to shrink) and stay just above that?

 

Can you get too skinny? Yes.

Can you go by feeling or when you get tired? No.

 

If you want to increase your number of healthy years instead of shortening your lifespan, discussing these issues with a doctor is your best bet IMHO.

 

BTW I tested the CRON-o-meter. :) Almost everything looks good, but one: iron.

 

Are you including vitamin pills? What kind of shortfalls do you have if you don't include supplements?

 

This explains why I have had low ferritin and why I have to eat iron supplements. But I have to eat 80 mg/day to keep ferritin at 100, so something else may be wrong. Doctor thought uptake is bad. But why? Doctors don't care, they give supplements.

 

It would seem prudent for a doctor to advise that a female who has struggled with anorexia (among other issues) take iron pills. Considering the amount you're taking to maintain ferritin, I think you should work with your doctor to find out what's going on there.

 

I don't really know what to add or change to get better iron. 150 grams of meat? But then I get too much protein maybe.

 

If I were you, I wouldn't worry about too much protein right now. I think the most important thing is to make sure your basic health is in order. While I pointed out a problem with red meat earlier, you should know that meat is also a relatively rich source of iron, particularly the heme form which is better absorbed.

 

Oh, and I got really high in vitamin K, is that a danger?

 

From natural food sources (ie; leafy greens)? No.

From supplements? Yes, but apparently only if it's K3/menadione http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menadione

Edited by Taurus

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Guest Mynona

Hi.

 

I did not literally mean "no fat at all anywhere in my body" but what it look when looked at.

 

I had anorexia in the 90's. Not since.

 

My hair loss was thought to be due to medications. I got SSRI PLUS wellbutrin PLUS lamotrigin from a doctor and then it started. After that, I had to heavy sheds in the autumns. Such hair losses can set AGA off, and that's what I was, or am worried about. I did never have any hair loss in the 90's when I had anorexia. In fact, I did not even loose menstruation even though I had BMI 13.

 

A doctor is checking my blood twice a year. He gives me iron pills and says "some has lower uptake" and will not look into why I have that. Other doctors are even worse and won't check other than hb and if it is over 100 - byebye (in Sweden we have free health care = you don't get what you ask for, just what they think is absolutely necessary).

 

My doc recommended me to eat more salt and red meat and said my blood showed as was I vegetarian or vegan.

 

He also said my weight loss was ok, due to my blood work and me not feeling anything negative from it (for me, it differs great from the BAD starvation during anorexia in the 90's).

 

I had Lyme for 3 years I think. Since doctors saw I had had contact with psyiatrics (had SSRI and so on) they said "no, we will not test you, it's normal to be tired on those pills, and we will not focus on diseases because that's no good". AT LAST I got a test that showed Lyme. I was sleeping 18 h/day, walked like an old man, was dizzy, had ischias pains. The drug store helped me to get a real big treatment from the doctor, who at first had prescribed the smallest doxycykline treatment (for newly discovered "red ring" without other symptomes). After pharmacy contacted him, I got the biggest doxy treatment (for neuroborreliose). After that, I got better slowly, but steadily. After weaning psyciatric medications off, I got more and more energy.

 

My husband had borreliose arthritis, and other doctors treated about the same as me. He got to hear "men with your work gets arthrose in your age, bye". Even though we live in a place with most ticks in the country, they do not test this. Veterinarians immediately do if dogs shows the same symptomes... My husband had a private practising doctor as customer at the work shop, and that doc helped him getting treatment.

 

****

 

I eat much of good vegetables (haricots verts, broccoli, spinach, garlic, red onion, red/orange/yellow pepper, tomatoes, leek, zucchini, mung bean sprouts and so on). Not very much of fruits though, since I get bloated from them. I am eating frozen berries though (that I un-freeze first of course). Blueberries, sea thorne, lingonberries, cranberries sometimes, the fruits from rose bushes (don't know the name in English). And of course I have meat and fats also. Yoghurt, ground meat from elk, deer, grass eating cows and lambs, chicken, two eggs a day, sometimes sour cream and or feta cheese (of my own kefir curd). The fats are coconut oil, olive oil, butter from grass eating cows and so on.

 

I do think red meat is bad when it's industry meat, loaded with, say, antibiotics or hormones, or prepared as sausages and such. That's what kind of meat studies is from. Similar I think about saturated fat. I also think people that eat a lot of that, is unhealthy in other ways too, biasing studies. Many people nowadays are not convinced that red meat in general, or saturated fat in general, is bad. My blood work do not show any sign of the bad side of eating this, and I eat rather lot. I am more afraid of sun flower oil and such (omega 6), even though I learned (from when I had anorexia) to NEVER skip anything like this totally from the diet, always think to balance. So I see to that I am not at zero with omega 6.

 

I use the CRON-o-meter. It showed (without supplements) that I lack in iron. I thought one would get enough from eating as much dark greens and red meat. I will include liver and nordic dishes like blood pancake (if it's eatable...). (Of course it's blood sold to use in dishes that I buy). I would like to get the iron from food, rather than from a pill.

 

I also had to little from vitamin D, but did not yet check my days with fat fish (wild catched salmon and mackerell). Maybe those will increase the D enoguh. Vitamin E was also low, even though I eat 20 grams of nuts every day. I take a supplement with blended tokoferols and tokotrienols.

 

Body fat equations (which are wildly inaccurate to begin with) aren't going to cut it, particularly since you might be a special case; not because of your height, but because of past weight loss. It's possible that your "rather high" waist might be due to skin folds after anorexic weight loss.

I can't see any folds, my skin is as tight as was I always like this. And so it was in the 90's. I have no bigger waist than others my length and with same kind of hips.

 

A doctor would not cooperate with CR-diet or any other diet than what is recommended by the state. That's why I ask here. My doctor looked at me to judge me, just the way you said one should not. He said weight and others would not say as much as looking and maybe feeling.

 

Supplements I take is greens powder, the prescribed iron pills (fe2+ since they work great for me and I got no effect from laying load of money on hem iron and such - the fe2+ is free and I can take the dose he recommended), vitamin D and E, vitamin B complex from Innate or Thorne. Also a calmag from Thorne. Exactly what showed a bit low on CRON-o-meter (not the vitamin B, but I think I want it anyway, since I want a higher intake than RDI).

 

My ferritin rose from under 30 to 40 from hem iron. I had the money to eat 50 mg/day. When I got 75-100 mg Fe2+ it rapidly rose to 108 and stopped there. I got hb 140 where it has stayed. My doctor thinks it's my optimal numbers. I eat an orange and C-vitamin along with the iron, and I have had non at all problems with stomach.

 

Thanks for the info about vitamin K.

 

The question: How to know when one is at optimal weight or body fat from CR diet, when there are no doctors or others that want to help, or even knows enough about this?

 

My food for one day (example):

breakfast:

2,5 dl yoghurt

1 dl of a blend of millet, buck wheat, pumpkin sead, sesame seed, coconut chips (natural)

1 dl of unfrozened berries

 

snack:

5 grams cocoa mass

10 grams almonds

 

Lunch

2 soft boiled eggs from hens that lives "naturally" (not industry hens).

1 sour dough small bread slice with kefir curd, nut butter, butter or sour creme and a slice of meat from grass eatening animals

 

Dinner:

Very much of the vegetables mentioned above- Don't know the weight.

1 table spoon of coconut fat

1 teaspoon of olive oil

150 grams of meat (elk, deer, grass eatening beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, wild catched salmon or mackerell)

sometimes 2 egg whites (I give my children the yellow part in their smoothies, and then take the whites myself instead of throwing)

lots of herb spices.

 

Snack:

1 fruit

1 carrot

mung been sprouts.

Sometimse 1-2 dl wine instead of the fruit.

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Guest_Mynona_, Taurus has lots of good advice, but I don't agree with his suggestion to ask your doctor about dietary advice. The vast majority of doctors in north america don't have any specialized knowledge of nutrition. Having gone thru anorexia, perhaps you have a family doctor that has a specialty in nutrition? Or maybe Sweden mandates that doctors get a good education in nutrition? If not, then you might as well as some stranger on the street and you're likely to get just as good advice. You're correct to come here for advice. The people here might not all agree all the time, but you'll get better advice from here than from your average family doctor.

 

 

As an alternative I recommend that you try to eat a diet that meets all dietary guidelines without resorting to fortified foods or vitamin pills. Rely on regular blood tests to guide any changes to your nutrition plan, and finally once you're feeling healthy and eating right, then and only then cut your calories between 15 - 20% very slowly over a period of 2 years. Say 1 - 2% every two months until you hit your targets. Eventually you'll hit a point at which your body weight is stable and your health is at it's peak. I don't think anyone can tell you what that is, although most of us seem find it at a BMI between 18 and 23.

 

If you haven't read them yet, there are several good books on CRON starting with Beyond The 120 Year Diet by Dr. Roy Walford. The CR Way is another good one by Paul McGlothin and Meredith Averill.

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Guest Mynona

Hi. Doctors here in Sweden doesn't have any nutrition knowledges either. They usually tells me to eat a lot of carbs, and use light products with trans fats (fake butter for example) because fat is bad for everyone they says. None or little meat, since animal breeding is considered bad for environment, and that is encountered in the food recommendations. When I talked about phytic acid, they laughed and said that was humbug talk.

 

I do not rely on tests either, since the range in Sweden shows what is normal (never optimal), and the normal is to be very low in hb for example, or have sub clinical hypothyreosis. These conditions is then considered "optimal".

 

But I have found a better doctor that do not want me to have hb 117, but to find my optimal level, which seems to be 140. I can't check my blood there more than once a year (when having good values, more often if values are bad), and in Sweden, we can't pay and get tested, since the free health care system do not allow that - and doctors that work besides this, can get "punished" (warned, or similar) if they are considered "doing unnecessary tests" and stuff like that. Maybe I can pay and test once, but then the docs won't accept more.

 

Thank you for the book tips.

 

I am very curious about androgenetic hair loss and CR. How will CR affect this kind of hair loss? And does it differ between men and women? Any tips about where I can read about this? That poor nutrition causes hair loss, I know, but that's a totally different kind oh hair loss, even though one maybe could trigger the other.

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Hi. Doctors here in Sweden doesn't have any nutrition knowledges either. They usually tells me to eat a lot of carbs, and use light products with trans fats (fake butter for example) because fat is bad for everyone they says. None or little meat, since animal breeding is considered bad for environment, and that is encountered in the food recommendations. When I talked about phytic acid, they laughed and said that was humbug talk.

 

I do not rely on tests either, since the range in Sweden shows what is normal (never optimal), and the normal is to be very low in hb for example, or have sub clinical hypothyreosis. These conditions is then considered "optimal".

 

But I have found a better doctor that do not want me to have hb 117, but to find my optimal level, which seems to be 140. I can't check my blood there more than once a year (when having good values, more often if values are bad), and in Sweden, we can't pay and get tested, since the free health care system do not allow that - and doctors that work besides this, can get "punished" (warned, or similar) if they are considered "doing unnecessary tests" and stuff like that. Maybe I can pay and test once, but then the docs won't accept more.

 

Thank you for the book tips.

 

I am very curious about androgenetic hair loss and CR. How will CR affect this kind of hair loss? And does it differ between men and women? Any tips about where I can read about this? That poor nutrition causes hair loss, I know, but that's a totally different kind oh hair loss, even though one maybe could trigger the other.

I had the start of male pattern baldness in 2007/2008 at age 43. It progressed to the point that I could see the bald spot pretty easily. In late 2008, I started taking a chinese herb called fo-ti (in chinese he shou wu) at around 5g per day and gradually increased to 15 g per day with oatmeal in the morning. This stopped my hair loss, and generally improved the condition of my hair a bit, but it didn't really grow back in nice and thick as I desired. My genetic testing indicates that I have one of the genes for male pattern baldness. I started CRON in 2009 and I maybe it has reduced the thickness of my hair slightly, but generally no big difference from diet. Since then I've been taking 5000 mcg biotin and a ginko bilboa supplement daily along with Vitamin D. So far many of the signs of graying hair and male pattern baldness have stabilized. I think in order to get robust hair growth, I'd need to increase my testosterone quite a bit - but that would increase risk of prostate cancer for me, so not worth the risk in my opinion.

I'm not sure all of that is useful to you, but that's my experience so far. You can see from the picture in my avitar, I'm doing ok for middle age. I wish I'd started CR 10 years earlier.

 

I wonder if resveratrol might offset some of the effects of lyme disease? It has been shown to increase the density of mitochondria in cells in vitro.

Edited by keithsct

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Guest Mynona

Thank you for telling about your experiences.

 

Why do you think you should raise your testosterone to get better hair? If it's a question of AGA, I thought it should be suppressed? Or not the actual testosterone, but then I also know it is not testosterone but what it is converted to, that is the cause of AGA. I read that medications like Finasteride, will actually give a higher testosterone, since it is not converted to the bad form (DHT).

 

Another problem is when you are a woman, if CR suppresses female hormones, body could balance it up by increasing androgenes, for example androstendione. But I do not remember it all for now, just know that it is not very simple mechanisms.

 

I have no problems with my periods anyway, so I should have enough of female hormones, including the important progesterone. In fact, I recently was examined and showed signs of increased levels of progesterone. Which is good. Progesterone is very important for hair if I understood and remember correct.

 

I do not look like I have AGA, but as VERY many 40 years olds, one can see that some hairs is thinner, shorter and finer on top. Because I KNOW, I get slightly fixated by this and want to do what I can to stop it. But I guess it SHOULD not get very bad, since no female or male has gotten very thin haired in my family. And females can get the genes from both sides, since they get two X-genes and this is said to follow the X-gene.

 

I checked the supplement you wrote about. It is some kind of extract from grapes? Anyway, I feel a lot better from my Lyme and think the Doxycycline had it's effect. I also had adrenal fatigue, and this has gotten MUCH better since I started CR. I always did eat as good as I could (but am more strict now, do never make any exceptions at all), so maybe my body is better off with not as many calories. I was not by any means overweight before, so it is not "getting rid of overweight" that has done it either.

 

I did start slow, starting with taking bad food away more and more, then restrict the intake slowly. It hasn't gotten two years though, but one. When I started, I did not eat really bad, but I ate a little bit more of flour, and made exceptions (bought "candy" once a week and so). Everytime I ate sugar or much of flour, I had blood sugar raise and BAD falls. So I had to take those exceptions away. Think those blood sugar falls has something to do with adrenal fatigue.

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Guest Al

Guest_Mynona wrote:

 

I have no problems with my periods anyway, so I should have enough of female hormones, including the important progesterone. In fact, I recently was examined and showed signs of increased levels of progesterone. Which is good. Progesterone is very important for hair if I understood and remember correct.

 

 

My reply:

 

I believe that you should take progesterone topical ointment.

 

http://www.hairsite.com/hair-loss-info/progesterone.htm

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