About a year-and-a-half ago I really desired to slim down considerably for physique contests, so I went on the Dr. Robert Atkins diet. I used a considerable amount of supplements daily. The results were excellent. My weight (which had been around 185 lbs.) dropped to 170 and my definition made up for any loss in muscular bulk.
I probably should have quit right there, but as I am sure you know many lifters walk a thin line
between being a dedicated enthusiast and being a fanatic. I remained on a zero carbohydrate diet for around nine months and I continued my supplement intake – stronger than ever. But near mid-summer of 1974 I began to experience adverse effects from this regimen. I guess that the very first noticeable sign I had was in an overall body weakness.
Sometimes while I was walking during the day my knees would buckle. I started to become very dizzy during the day and would experience a mild high sensation. One day this became so bad I had to leave work. I went to see a doctor, but he was obviously very unknowledgeable on any subject, least wise one of human nutrition.
About this time I read an article in Iron Man in which you talked about protein saturation. So I decided to write you. You answered me very quickly and wisely, told me to discontinue my supplements and high protein intake. But I think I personally waited much too long. I have always had excellent health (I am only 29 years old) but I began to experience what seemed like to me, every symptom known to man.
What I think, personally, is tha this diet caused me to develop allergies. During the winter I developed what seemed to me to be the ‘flu. Bu no matter what I did I could not shake it. It moved into my ears and caused constant dizziness. My throat developed white spots on my tonsils. I went to different doctors weekly. I must have gone through ten different types of prescription medicines to no avail.
Then, in about February of this year I went to see an Eye, Ear, Nose& Throat Specialist. I must have dropped about $350.00 there. He kept asking me if I had any allergies, to which I would reply No! This went on for about six weeks. Then the thought hit me, could I have developed sensitivity from too much protein and supplements? By the way, I stopped taking supplements and had not been on any type of low carbohydrate diet for about six months. After thinking this allergy idea over, I decided to drop all meat in any form from my diet. Well, many of my symptons began to subside somewhat. Nothing in the way of these symptoms seemed to be quite as intense anyway.
I remained on a meatless diet for several months following this, but still I would have symptoms such as dark circles under my eyes; could not get enough sleep; spots on my tonsils sinus (which I never have had); pus from my penis; pain in my neck and lymph glands. One thing one day, other things the next. I was just having a whole lot of trouble performing physical tasks! I refrained from seeing an allergist because it seemed certain things made me sick one day, then the very next day they didn’t. Besides, I have read that your allergies are constantly changing.
I have lately tried to go on a raw foods diet. It seems to help somewhat, but I still feel poorly sometime during the day. I have stayed clear of nuts because I seem to react to them. Also, vinegar seems to throw my body into a rage. I picked up Adele Davis’ book and read the chapter on allergies.
So, now I have been taking heavy doses of Vitamin C and Pantothenic Acid. Again, this seems to help somewhat, but I have retained all symptoms.
Well, that’s my story. I really would hate to think I am destined to have this condition for the rest of my life. I read one time that it takes six months to get over the ill effects of Dr. Atkins Diet, but I am going on a year. The last two days I have drunk nothing but orange juice and grapefruit juice in the hopes of flushing my system. But I imagine I will still feel bad in the coming weeks. I think, too, my physique, is really beginning to suffer. I have lost size everywhere. I now weigh only 155 lbs., I look O.K. and everything, but I just don’t have it like I used to.
Vince, please write and advise.
P.S. Please forward this letter to anyone else you think might have a I solution. I am taking a multi-vitamin everyday. Also, other symptoms I have are heavy mucus in my nose and a slight fever at times.
Allergies are cured with megavitamin doses of Vitamin C (3,000 mg. per day).
Also, you must not stay on zero protein diets for longer than 72 hours (or all protein diets).
Raw shredded vegetable and steamed vegetable plates are an excellent idea (this is advocated by Dr. Henry G. Buler, M.D. and author of “Food is Your Best Medicine,” $1.50, paperback – Vintage Books, a Division of Random House, New York).
Steak and eggs should be included in your diet also, but not in conjunction with carbohydrates. Also R.N.A. should be included in your diet.
If symptoms do not go, see a specialist doctor and follow his treatment.
(Musclemag Vol 2 issue 1)