The site’s doing well, even without any effort on my part. It seems that Google’s modification to its search ranking algorithm is bringing me more organic traffics. The blog traffic is no longer dominated by my Triphasic sleep experiments so it gave me some boost of confidence.
Lately, I’ve been adjusting to the new primary focus on health in my life. I took the chance to narrow down and understand some heart problems I’ve been having. What I found are surprising.
There have always been this weird heart palpitation especially during times of extreme physical exertion. This has been a major limiting factor in how much I can exercise and how hardcore I can get physically with any sports. The methodolgy I used to isolate the culprit is simple. I abstain from one major item I consume each month in order to narrow down exactly under which condition I will experience irregular heart beats while exhausted.
I have previously cleared caffeine from the potential lists until I read about new FDA ruling where cafes have to say that coffee causes cancer. There are so many conflicting research on coffee that it is hard to tell who to trust, but this FDA ruling jolted me to revisit the assumption. So I went in and searched for the drawbacks of coffee while disregarding all positive research as I know that big coffee money will pay people to flood the internet to drown out negative articles. Just like what the tobacco industry used to do and more recently the climate change debate.
The side effects that are already known: Need to piss constantly. Hard to fall into deep long sleep at night, dry mouth, migraine from withdrawal. Flushes water from body.
I searched from caffeine’s effect on non-human living creatures and found some interesting parallels with what I experience. Here’s how caffeine kills insects.
Caffeine’s potential lethality extends to more than just creepy-crawly insects: When given the option slugs purposefully avoid caffeine dipped roughage and snails exposed to 0.5% caffeine solutions die within days (8). To find out how it kills snails, scientists monitored their heart rate: hearts beat faster at low caffeine concentrations, but at concentrations of 0.1% and above, the caffeine triggered a deadly erratic and slowed pulse. Source: http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/slug.html
And why is caffeine toxic for pets as they lack the genes to properly metabolize caffeine.
Pets that consume caffeine may have an increased heart rate and
Caffeine also raises blood pressure and causes cardiac arrhythmias,
which can be dangerous.””Caffeine also raises blood pressure and causes cardiac arrhythmias, which can be dangerous.” Source: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/caffeine-toxicity-in-pets
So, what if I am a human who lack the genes to metabolize caffeine? Then I’d have the same problem as these insects and pets if the caffeine ever reaches the same % amount of concentration per body mass.
For me, the reason why it is so hard to pinpoint the problem down to caffeine is because of three particular quirk about the heart problems I experience.
1. is the fact that the symptom only appears 2 days after my body experience a complete abstinence from caffeine and the random heart palpitations last for two days.
2. It will only happen if I did physical activities involving cardio.
3. Like carbs, there are just too many food in the western world with caffeine in them. It was very hard to completely cut it out of my diet. Chocolate, most teas, Oreo cookies etc etc. Even trace amount resets the two day clock for my body to completely flush out the caffeine.
My guess about the random heart palpitation is that caffeine increased my heart rate and as it disappears, the heart has to readjust to the previously slower heart rate.
Changing heart rate. Why is this worrying? Because it does not feel like changing heart rate at all. Also after consulting with a heart doctor and wearing a heart monitoring device for two days the doctor showed me the ekg graph and said: “Your heart basically stops beating and jolts itself back at random intervals violently. That was why you feel a strong uncomfortable beat.”
I will miss that warm feeling of sitting in a café and typing away on my laptop on a warm sunny day, but it is a necessary sacrifice for my health.
On another topic. The new year planning see my grocery budget increase to $600 a month and dining + fast food to $500. I absolutely had no idea what to do with the extra money as $200 ~300 was the maximum I’d spend on grocery within my daily calorie envelop of 1600 kCal. I got my chicken, pork beef and veggies. It did not occur to me that I can just upgrade the quality of the food until recently.
So instead of those cheap chicken drumsticks, I now get the top of the line chicken breast. Instead of ground beef, it is now Ribeye steak or any quality steak I can find. Wild Atlantic Salmon as a good filler that doesn’t blow up the calories. Veggies are veggies, not much I can do about it. I am still limited about the restaurant spending part as I have yet to figure out the problem of eating out and still keeping to my low carb diet of < 1600 kCal.
Shouldn’t be worth mentioning except I noticed a difference in my hunger level as I increased the quality of the food I consume. I don’t feel as hungry when after eating higher quality ingredients. Even though, pound by pound, the equivalent low quality meat provide the same protein content and calories as the high quality meat.
My previous diets of Paleo and then Keto was hellish as I was low on energy and hungry all the time. This time around with higher quality food. There’s none of that hunger and none of that exhaustion. Go figure.
Anyway, take all of these with a grain of salt. It’s all anecdotal evidence of my own experiments. I am just happy I solved two of the most annoying health problems I’ve been happy.