Ask the Doc: Holistic Approach to Boost Blood, Midnight Hunger Issues, Why You’re Not Losing Weight with LCHF, Testosterone Talk, and More

September 30, 2015

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New guest expert Dr. Tommy Wood joins the show! Tommy is a medical doctor, with degrees from Oxford University and Cambridge University. He’s currently working toward a Ph.D. in neonatal brain metabolism at the University of Oslo, Norway. He is also an athlete, specializes in working with endurance athletes, and he takes the functional approach to practicing medicine for optimal health, wellness and performance. Tommy works closely with EP’s friend, Chris Kelly of Nourish Balance Thrive. To get in touch or consult with Tommy contact the NBT team.

Mentioned on this show…

-Webinar on “natural blood boosting” with Chris Kelly, Dr. Wood and Tawnee.
Use the code “O2BOOST10” for 10% off on the webinar.
Tawnee’s latest blog that links to Tommy’s article on walking.
Testing and consultations with Nourish Balance
-Tommy’s writing for

Answers to your questions on…

Blood boost needed:
Ultrarunner shares recent blood work that came back that I had low levels in several areas. “My total Iron and Iron Saturation were fine, as was everything else that was tested. As these results are the same as 6 months ago and I don’t have any obvious day-to-day symptoms, my primary care doc doesn’t seem concerned. But as an ultrarunner who sometimes races at altitude, I’ve got to think that these low levels could be hampering my performance. What supplementation or other protocols would he recommend to address?”

RBC (Red Blood Cell Count): 3.97 M/uL
HGB (Hemoglobin): 12.4 g/dL
HCT (Hermatocrit): 38.5%

What are normal/good levels for these markers in athletes:
RBC: 4.0-4.2 M/ul
HGB: 13 g/dl
HCT: over 40%
-higher the HGB the faster you go

Investigating causes of why the numbers are low:
-sports anemia, blood plasma increases
-TIBC should be 250-400, ferritin should be 30-100; look to see if these are normal
-Check T levels – best done via saliva, blood/hormone test
-MCV, it this is too too high indicates a B vitamin deficiency
-Why B vitamins are so important for athletes
-Ideal MCH & MCHC levels
-Is it a zinc deficiency, gut bleeding or kidney (creatinine) issue?
-Check hsCRP (inflammation)

Late-night hunger pangs on a lower carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet:
LCHF athlete is struggling with calories and being so hungry at night that he wakes up nauseous.
Active life: Walking up to 5 miles daily, runs 4x a week, strength workouts 5 days a week–3 are HIIT type workouts for 30-40 minutes of various bodyweight exercises, the other 2 are more traditional weight workouts.
Stats: 165 lb male with 8% body fat and follow a LCHF diet with most of my 100grams of carbs coming at night in the form of sweet potatoes. consuming 3500-4000 calories a day and still was waking up around 2 am with that empty nauseous feeling where I wanted to eat an entire pizza.

Investigating the underlying issues:
1) eating enough?
2) sleeping enough for total stress? cortisol peaking at night? re-eval goals/training? saliva
3) hypoglycemia at night
4) Carbs & Carb timing:
-are carbs at night the best idea after all?
-Have your carbs at breakfast, it’s ok!
-Why carbs in the AM, as well as most calories earlier in day might be a smart way to go.
-Muscle insulin sensitivity higher in AM, put in muscle not fat storage
-Benefits of eating carbs with acids, or lemon juice
5) Is it inflammation, parasite or gut issue?

To find out more:
gut testing
-track blood sugar!

Struggles with LCHF (not seeing weight loss; still hungry…):

1) Why you may not be losing weight with LCHF:
-focus on body fat not weight
-six packs don’t live longer
-fat loss = need health,
-not healthy? body stores fat
-calorie is not a calorie, but you can eat too much
-chronic stress: ⅓ will lose weight, the rest won’t
-look to life and health
-rule out infections
-high volume exercise, women, prevents weight loss
-reduced T3

2) You’re on LCHF but still hungry, why???
-not enough fat yet
-not enough calories once carbs got eliminated?
-not hungry but still not eating enough
-Intermittent fasting (IF): pros and cons

Sex hormones, HRT and naturally boosting testosterone:
For the older runners (over 50), endurance efforts may foster low testosterone levels. Discussion on what happens and risks when sex hormones are low; and how to safely and naturally maintain optimal hormonal balance of estrogen and testosterone. Is hormone replacement therapy recommended by sports medicine professionals? Also addressing what’s legally allowed for the competitive athlete.
-look at why are T levels low
-look symptoms of low T: men vs women
-no symptoms? Then, no worries
-men with lower T have increased CV disease
-women with low hormones have increased risk of metabolic issues
-what supplements are safe and WADA approved (taking T and DHEA are not allowed if competing)


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