Remembering Kevin Moore

ATLCX (Episode 44): Dr. Paul Ralston | Low-Carb Diets & Spinal Pain


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In Episode 44 of “Jimmy Moore Presents: Ask The Low-Carb Experts,” we were pleased to welcome a Paleo/low-carb friendly chiropractor from Hales Corner, Wisconson named Dr. Paul Ralston from Healthwise Chiropractic to the show taking on the topic “Low-Carb Diets & Spinal Pain.” Have you ever suffered from back pain in your life? If you’re like most people, the answer is an emphatic YES! Spinal pain is the #1 cause of disability worldwide and lower back pain is the #2 cause of missed days at work (behind sunny days!). What’s at the root cause of all of this chronic pain that people are dealing with? And what can a low-carb and/or Paleo nutrition and lifestyle plan do to help alleviate the aches associated with our backs? That’s what Dr. Ralston explored with us in this week’s show. Dr. Ralston presented a lecture entitled “The Effect of Diet on Chronic Spinal Pain Disorders” at the recent 2013 Ancestral Health Symposium in Atlanta, Georgia last month and he is a big fan of CrossFit, Paleo and low-carb diets. In other words, he knows just a thing or two on this subject.

Here are the listener questions we addressed in this episode:

I’m a 75-year old woman and have had Bells Palsy since February 2012. I am working hard to stay in a state of nutritional ketosis. Recently I twisted my back while re-learning to ride a bike again. My chiropractor is doing wonders so I have great hope of feeling better than I did before the accident. I think I’m doing okay with my diet except I seem to be stuck about 44 pounds heavier than I’d like. I have about 30g of coconut oil daily and 10-15 mL of cod liver fish oil. Since I’m not losing weight, I’ve been tweaking things until I find what works again, including setting for myself a goal of getting in 10,000 steps/day several times a week. Is there anything else I can do to optimize my health based on what you’ve heard from my story?

I suffer from a lot of back pain mostly due to spinal fusion, scoliosis, degenerative discs, and fibromyalgia. The pain has gotten a lot better since I started eating low-carb. Why does low-carb help with back pain? I know I would have less back pain if I could lose some belly fat, but low-carb alone is not getting rid of it. I currently take oxycodone for the pain and wondered if taking pain medications interferes with weight loss. Do you have any natural remedies that can help me with my persistent back pain?

I used to get severe pain in my lower back whenever I ran. Over the years, it began showing up when I walked, too. Among my many pre-low-carb attempts to fix my health, I tried a calisthenics routine for a few months that involved back extensions and that improved things considerably extending the distance I could walk. When I started eating low-carb, it had progressed to the point that I couldn’t walk more than half-a-mile without pain. In fact, two weeks after starting low-carb, it was gone, entirely, and has never come back again! I spent the day at the State Fair, last weekend, walking for more than ten hours, carrying a backpack, and I had soreness in my joints, and in my shoulders and back, and was generally worn out–but I never experienced that back pain. And here’s the thing: it disappeared over the space of two weeks, during which I did no exercise and lost about five pounds. So what changed?

I have to think that the problem involved fuel partitioning. My hypothesis is that because I was severely insulin resistant, and thus hyperinsulinemic, when I walked the muscles in my back were mostly burning carbs, and that the pain I felt was just ordinary lactic acid build-up. After I went low-carb and got my insulin levels under control, I regained the ability to burn fat. Of course, I may be entirely off-base, but whatever happened, it couldn’t have been a response to weight loss or exercise, because it happened before any significant amount of either had occurred. Does Dr. Ralston have any thoughts about my situation?


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There are five ways you can listen to Episode 44:

1. LISTEN LIVE ON THURSDAY NIGHTS AT 7PM ET by calling (712) 432-0900 or on Skype at “freeconferencing.7124320900”–whether you call or Skype, be sure to use the access code “848908.” You can listen and even participate on the topic discussion by asking your questions directly to the featured expert.

2. Listen at the iTunes page for the podcast:

3. Listen and comment about the show at the official web site for the podcast:

4. Download the MP3 file of Episode 44 [54:26m]:

5. Listen on the Stitcher app–NO DOWNLOADING!

If you cannot join us LIVE on the podcast on Thursday nights at 7PM ET, then you can still ask your questions of the expert guests by e-mailing them to us directly at AskTheLowCarbExperts@gmail.com. Be sure to include your name, the name of the expert you want to ask your question to in the subject line, and your question on the specific topic of discussion. This is a golden opportunity for you to tap directly into the wealth of knowledge and experience on all things related to healthy low-carb living featuring the best and brightest experts in the realm of health! If you like what you hear in this podcast, consider making a donation to help us keep providing quality information to you–THANK YOU SO MUCH!

What did you think about what Dr. Paul Ralston shared about low-carb diets and back pain? Tell us what you though about it in the show notes section of Episode 44. Be sure to check out HealthwiseInfo.com for more information about the work Dr. Ralston is doing in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. We’re back next Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 7PM ET for Episode 45 with two fabulous guest experts–Carb Nite Solution creator John Kiefer and Arizona family physician Dr. Rocky Patel–taking on the controversial topic “Cyclical Ketogenic Diets For Health And Performance.” This one’s gonna have a lot of interest from those of you who are attempting to maximize your exercise performance and wondering whether or not to carb or not to carb…that is the question. Go ahead and start getting me your questions for them about this topic by writing to AskTheLowCarbExperts@gmail.com. And be sure to LISTEN LIVE to EPISODE 45 on Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 7PM ET by calling 712-432-0900 and use the access code 848908!

Here’s the upcoming guest expert schedule I have lined up:
9-19: Dr. Jacob Egbert – Functional Fitness Medicine
9-26: Dr. William Curtis – Nutrition-Based Diabetic Therapy
10-3: James Clear – All Things Intermittent Fasting (IF 101)
10-10: Donald “Dr. Rock” Schnell – Anabolism vs. Catabolism
10-17: Dr. Bill Lagakos – All Things Calories (Calories 201)
10-24: Dave Asprey – TBA
10-31: Jill Ciciarelli – All Things Fermented (Fermentation 101)

Spread the word about this podcast: PLEASE REVIEW THE SHOW ON ITUNES!

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