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The Metabolic Approach in Conjunction with Standard of Care

I wanted to start this discussion thread to look at the benefits of using a metabolic approach in conjunction with the standard of care for the management of breast cancer. This would encompass discussions on Nutrition and Lifestyle practices as well as why these practices enhance the effectiveness of standard of care treatments and mitigate side effects from those treatments.

My personal experience using these practices has decreased my disease burden significantly in a relatively short period of time and without the typical side effects from the treatments I am receiving.

So, what are the practices I use? Nutritionally I follow a therapeutic keto plan (low carb, moderate protein and higher fat), with a shortened eating window (I typically eat within a 6-hour window, which is achieved by eating 1-2 nutrient dense meals a day). This allows me to have ketone readings between 1.5-3.0 Mmol. From my research having a body that fuels itself with ketone bodies is a very good way to create a chronic stress to cancer cells and makes their survival unsustainable.

Activity wise, I do 2-3 weight/resistance sessions a week and vary the types of workouts (balance, free weights, Spinning, resistance bands, Reformer Pilates). In addition I make an attempt to get up and move every hour. One thing we have done this year to stay motivated is we joined a virtual challenge called ‘Run the Year.’ Neither of us are runners but we do enjoy walking and hiking. Those miles also count. We are doing this as a team and figured we could achieve 2021 miles by walking at least 4 miles a day. Being active and using both cardio and resistance training press a variety of metabolic pathways that allow the body to function in an optimal manner. Cancer cells alter these metabolic pathways for their own survival. So, by regaining more optimal metabolic pathways, again it creates stress in the cancer cells and makes it harder for them to survive.

In addition to all of this I incorporate infrared sauna sessions a few times a week. I do this for the relaxation and detoxification. And it is my understanding that cancer cells don’t like heat.

I would love to hear how others are using metabolic approaches for managing their cancer


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Comments

  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293
    edited August 2021

    vegan, walking every day, aim for sweaty zumba workout 3x/week adding in resistance training. Good sleep. Sleep is a big part of both immune system and metabolic function.



  • wavesofharmony
    wavesofharmony Member Posts: 106
    edited August 2021

    moth,

    I agree with you about the importance of sleep. And stress reduction. Those are also part of my plan along with keeping my ketones in a therapeutic level to deny fuel for the cancer and to protect my normal cells from any potential damage from the standard of care

  • wavesofharmony
    wavesofharmony Member Posts: 106
    edited August 2021

    wren,

    I am 64 and have found my ketones are higher with a slightly higher level of protein. I’ve been also using collagen powder. I know that because I weight training and am active it is important for me to get adequate protein

  • Esther01
    Esther01 Member Posts: 229
    edited August 2021

    Hi Waves,

    Thank you so much for creating this thread! I am six months into treatment. I'm grateful for this wisdom and only recently discovered more and more of the biochemistry solidly behind it. I have been combining intermmitent fasting with a keto diet since diagnosis and it's having a wonderful effect on my health. My labs are so much better, my A1C/Insulin are super low now and it makes me really happy because I know I"m not giving as much glucose and glutamine to cancer cells to ferment.

    I am having difficulty gaining weight so I'm working on that, too. I'm about 25 pounds underweight now and don't take in enough calories due to all of the appointments that take me away from mealtimes and the healthy fattening meals I need. On days that I don't use the MyPlate App, I simply don't get in enough calories. Thank God for olive oil and avocado! :) I need to be more diligent like you! I haven't yet, but would like to add workouts to my schedule once my radiation sessions are over. For now I am walking, and that is not aerobic. I'd like to start during radiation because it will help reduce side effects like fatigue which fortunately I don't have.

    Again, thanks so much for starting this thread. You will see me here with you every day and I will always be here cheering you on!

    Blessings,

    Esther

  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310
    edited August 2021

    I saw in integrative oncologist so I did a lot of metabolic stuff and terrain-changing stuff. I did a nearly-vegan keto diet with small bits of animal proteins in there (lots of avocado, nuts). Mostly ate produce-- and also did intermittent fasting. Did fasting mimicking prior to each chemo. Interval training morning of chemo. Took a boatload of supplements... Omega 3, curcumin, EGCG... Took Metformin, and 20 mg melatonin (work up slowly) at night. Slept in cold room.

    Other non metabolic interventions: Hyperthermia, high dose C and Hyperbaric Oxygen.

    Three years later, I have loosened up and eat more healthy carbs, and I've scaled back the amount of supplements, but am still eating nutrient dense, low sugar, mostly vegan. All my former aches and pains are gone. I am sure my inflammation is way down. That feels so good it's easy to stick to. I did not miss alcohol so rarely drink now.

  • wavesofharmony
    wavesofharmony Member Posts: 106
    edited August 2021

    I jokingly tell my Oncologist that MBC was the best thing for my health. He always just shakes his head. My body composition has changed significantly. The loss of body fat is good so that old estrogen can’t hide in the stored fat. The weight loss and the fact that I can fit into clothes sizes I haven’t seen since my early 20s is just a happy side effect. I am in the process of gaining more lean muscle mass for better quality of life

  • wavesofharmony
    wavesofharmony Member Posts: 106
    edited August 2021

    Esther, we will be here cheering each other!

  • norcals
    norcals Member Posts: 206
    edited August 2021

    Hi.

    Thanks for starting this thread Wavesofharmony. I use intermittent fasting (16+ hours fasting everyday) and once a week 24 hour fast to keep inflammation in check. I am now on a low carb diet (under 30g daily), but I did follow a therapeutic keto diet until very recently. I walk 3+ miles daily (was a runner prior to dx) and garden and do yard work. These activities relieve stress, so I really enjoy them. They also keep me physically active during the day so that I have a good nights sleep. I want and need to do more resistance training, but it’s hard for me to get motivated.

  • ShetlandPony
    ShetlandPony Member Posts: 3,063
    edited August 2021

    Having set in place the best diet, exercise, and pace I can sustain, I am now focusing on circadian rhythms by doing two things. First, I try to get out for a dose of sunshine every morning early-ish. I find this starts my day off feeling happier, and helps me feel sleepy at bedtime and sleep better. Second, I try to have a 13-hour overnight fast. I find the fast difficult. I get very hungry, sometimes to the point of migraine aura in the morning before breakfast. Does anyone else just get too hungry? I was underweight for quite a while because of diarrhea from treatment, and only now have achieved a low normal BMI.

    Like wrenn, I find it counterproductive to be too exacting. I need balance for lifetstyle efforts to be sustainable. I need to feel my efforts support a life I enjoy, rather than that I am living to serve the protocols.

  • wavesofharmony
    wavesofharmony Member Posts: 106
    edited August 2021

    wrenn,

    I get having stress from being too exacting. I am actually the opposite. Not knowing how I am doing creates a lot of stress for me. The thing I have to balance is not getting too deep into the weeds. My therapist helps keep me grounded!

  • wavesofharmony
    wavesofharmony Member Posts: 106
    edited August 2021

    ShetlandPony,

    I get what you are saying about being tied to protocols. After my diagnosis my therapist asked me about my goal. I told her I want the best quality of life for as long as possible. The plan I have in place for myself allows me to achieve that goal. I understand that my plan isn’t what would be best for everyone. It is what works for me, my situation and my personality

  • wavesofharmony
    wavesofharmony Member Posts: 106
    edited August 2021

    I want to share a couple of books that I have used to wade through some of the research and develop my plan. Both focus on metabolic approaches for cancer. They are also both engaging reads.

    Tripping Over the Truth by Travis Christofferson

    Leonardo’s Legacy by Dr. Colin Champ

    What sources have others used to develop their plans?imageimage

  • wavesofharmony
    wavesofharmony Member Posts: 106
    edited August 2021

    wrenn,

    That’s an epic change! My experience after introducing a smaller eating window with longer fasting, my ketone levels have been more consistently higher. But my fasting blood glucose has also elevated slightly. I need to have my insulin levels taken to make sure this isn’t really a problem. In some reading I have done there is discussion about the difference between pathological and physiological insulin resistance. Pathological goes along with diabetes and physiological goes along with longer term low carb eating. The body is using less glucose for fuel so there is a little more in the blood. I will let you know what my tests show

  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293
    edited August 2021

    I guess I've been doing an accidental overnight fast. I usually eat around 6pm and then not again until 8 or 9am.

    Can someone give me a quick and dirty fasting on IV chemo days cheat sheet? How many hours before and after is it supposed to be? Not sure I can commit to it but I'm willing to consider.

  • ShetlandPony
    ShetlandPony Member Posts: 3,063
    edited August 2021

    Yes, Waves, I agree we have to shape these complementary things to our own temperament. Also I have seen that what I can manage or am willing to do can change with how I am feeling/doing and what the side effect du jour is. I had to realize that when I am doing well, that's is a good time to toe the line and be diligent. But when I am really struggling with fatigue, diarrhea, low mood, hospitalizations etc I need to allow what I can do to be good enough. That's saying a lot as I am one to be very dedicated to doing the best possible job of what I set my mind to. But if I feel like I am failing I feel down and lose motivation.

    As far as resources, a podcast moth mentioned got me thinking more about a healthy daily sleep and wake cycle. It's a sort of science for the people one called Huberma Lab.

  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310
    edited August 2021

    Pre chemo fasting cheat sheet

    5 day low cal "fasting mimic." **Chemo day is MIDDLE day, Day3 **.

    Day one= 1100 calories; Day 2-5= 800 calories.

    Composition: 10% protein (80-100 cals worth of protein food like fish or egg), plus mostly green vegetables, plus some fats (avocado, nut butter).

    800 cals looks like B- one egg 1/2 avocado w sauteed onion/mushroom, L = mixed veg salad or cup of vegetarian fresh soup, D= a tiny piece of fish & vegs-- or nut butter + celery sticks, or .similar each meal is a 250-300 cal mini meal. Just keep protein low and no carby foods.

    (Others do 3 days no food, just water and unsweetened tea, with chemo as middle day. Too hard for me!)

  • wavesofharmony
    wavesofharmony Member Posts: 106
    edited August 2021
  • Esther01
    Esther01 Member Posts: 229
    edited August 2021

    Heading out to #4 of 33 rads today but just wanted to thank Waves for these links! I'm reading this first paper you uploaded now. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut....

    My 40-years in practice, lab scientist doctor/biochemist, who has published her own studies, highly recommended him. I can see why. I have immense respect for Dr. Seyfried's life work... and his passion for killing cancer cells.

    Blessings, each,

    Esther


  • Esther01
    Esther01 Member Posts: 229
    edited August 2021

    Waves,

    How are you doing this week? Please share more of what you have learned. I'm still very new to understanding the metabolic approach to cancer and so far it has been WONDERFUL.

    I am trying to gain weight. I ate mostly the upper part of a yummy quiche yesterday but my digestive system was not happy so I will have to try something else. In January, my IgA food sensitivity panel came back with 26 food sensitivities (early allergies), so I spent 3 months off of all 26 foods. My IMD has slowly rotated them back in every four days and all is well now! My digestive issues are gone, which is why I'm surprised the quiche didn't go well. Eggs were on that list of 26, but I am wondering if it was something else about the quiche that my body wasn't happy about. I also needed way better probiotics, so she has me take "Probiotics 225" powder (one packet daily) and digestive enzymes because I am an A blood type and we don't digest our nutrients as well. I may have forgotten to take the digestive enzymes with dinner. Hm...

    Your books look fantastic! Can't wait to read the one by Travis Christofferson. Because I have been listening to so many metabolic approach podcasts while cooking or doing dishes, I bought one of the books that Dr. Mark Stengler co-wrote with Dr. Paul Anderson. It's called, "Outside the Box Cancer Therapies... Alternative Therapies that Treat and Prevent Cancer." It's a GREAT intro to helping the WHOLE BODY heal from cancer, not just the few limited options our oncologists train in while giving us toxic therapies that we need to detox from afterwards.

    There is a section explaining the Warburg Effect and how geneticist biochemist Thomas Seyfried's discoveries have brought an enormous new level of treatment options, just as you are doing with the press-pulse method.

    I'm only one week into radiation, and I know that hyperbaric oxygen therapy is helpful for rebuilding blood vessels and restoring circulation destroyed by the toxic effects of the radiation. Some radiation-induced damage isn't even felt until about 6 months after treatment. Do you know of anyone who is combining hyperbaric with radiation so they are done concurrently?

    Can't wait to learn more!

    Love and blessings,

    Esther


  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310
    edited August 2021

    I did HBOT before, thru and after rads. Went one a week during rads.

    My skin healed very rapidly after. A tiny bit of skin sensitivity in one small patch (gets itches, pinkness) is my only ongoing symptom.

  • wavesofharmony
    wavesofharmony Member Posts: 106
    edited August 2021

    Esther,

    I will post more information about the metabolic approach soon. I am happy to hear that you are educating yourself because it helps with being able to advocate for things you want to add to your treatment. Often we are the ones educating our Oncology Team. I will work on more information next week. This week I am feeling a little low energy and frustration over the community spread of the virus as it is sending me back into lowdown mode.

    That being said, I would ask your team about using hyperbaric oxygen therapy. I have tried it in the past (prior to my diagnosis) and when I asked my Oncologist he advised against it for me. He is very knowledgeable about melding standard of care with alternative treatments. He was concerned about it giving fuel to the angiogenesis. But I know every situation is different. And I understand you wanting to repair from the radiation.

    Hugs.

  • wavesofharmony
    wavesofharmony Member Posts: 106
    edited August 2021

    santabarbian,

    That’s great that HBOT worked well for you. When I was working in a chiropractic office p, they had an HBOT tank that I loved using. And one of my patients (with a severe head trauma), had amazing results with it.
    When I asked my Oncology Team about it, my cancer was actively spreading, so I understand my Team’s advice. I know that HBOT is often used for other cancers, especially brain cancers. For any of us we must look at our specific situations and understand that an alternative treatment that works well in certain circumstances might not be best for our situation.

  • Esther01
    Esther01 Member Posts: 229
    edited August 2021

    Hi Waves, happy Saturday,

    I hope you're feeling better today. Just thinking of you.

    And Santabarbarian.. you two bless me more than you know.

    Love, Esther

    PS Regardless of vax status, all are vulnerable to the new variant unfortunately. This one is coming on much faster and seems to present with GI symptoms first. Even Dr. Koury got Covid last week (he's doing fine now). The international team at FLCCC (flccc.net) has the world's best prophylaxis protocol while waiting for vaccinations to roll out everywhere. They have updated it in light of the new variant, to 2x/weekly IVM and added gargle/mouthwash and nasal rinse for extra protection until this one passes. I have been on IVM since March.

    Here's the Weekly FLCCC MD Webinar Update: https://odysee.com/@FrontlineCovid19CriticalCareAlliance:c/flccc-weekly-update—8-11-21—dr.:1?

  • wavesofharmony
    wavesofharmony Member Posts: 106
    edited August 2021

    Here is a link to an article about the Warburg Effect...the foundational reasoning behind a metabolic approach to cancer.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4783224/#:~:text=The Warburg Effect is defined,function of the Warburg Effect.

  • wavesofharmony
    wavesofharmony Member Posts: 106
    edited August 2021

    Here is a link from a talk given by Dr. Colin Champ. He is an Oncology Radiologist and proponent of using a metabolic approach in conjunction with standard of care.

    https://youtu.be/rCK6t966xx0

  • wavesofharmony
    wavesofharmony Member Posts: 106
    edited August 2021

    Here is a link to a presentation from one of the head researchers of the clinical trial using keto nutrition with women with MBC.

    https://youtu.be/nfZSvjzxdwg

  • wavesofharmony
    wavesofharmony Member Posts: 106
    edited August 2021

    I am working on a book with a focus on a metabolic approach to breast cancer and I would love to include stories from others who have used/are using this approach to manage their cancer. It's about expanding our tribe. If you are interested feel free to private message me.