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BTD Forums  /  The GenoType Diet  /  What to do about a tie between Hunter and Gatherer
Posted by: ApplesCarrotsnGrain, Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 8:42am
First a little back ground about me so this tie between types is hopefully less confusing. Heck, maybe I'm making this more confusing. Onward and tallyho, regardless!

I'm an O+ born and raised vegetarian (I know! I know!). I tried eating meat a little in high school, loved the taste but it was too much of a mental struggle to pretend it WASN'T meat so I didn't eat much of it and pretty much stopped trying.

I could eat like a horse as a kid and even into early teens without gaining. Could eat mostly what I wanted into the adult years without watching my calories but couldn't eat like a horse anymore.

I'm a Barker Baby, (look up Barker Hypothesis to get the full meaning of it), which means that I was deprived of nutrition in the womb. The facts of my birth are that I was 1 month past the due date and weighed 5 lbs. 10 oz. which is considered low birth weight since I wasn't a preemie. The placenta was narrow and S shaped and the Dr. said he'd never seen one shaped like that go to term, they were usually miscarried early on. The umbilical cord was the diameter of an adult pinky finger rather than a thumb. My mom ate super healthy, bordering on health nut and was juicing things as extra goodies for us both (back when this wasn't a fad), so my lack of nutrients wasn't from her but from the development of the cord and placenta. What it means to be a Barker Baby is that I'm predisposed to be a thrifty genotype, or as I call it, an "easy keeper".

Everyone else in my family is tall. My sister is 5'10, my brother is over 6', both parents are 5'8, my mom's side has the taller people, though.

I'm 5'3" and smaller boned, definitely not large boned. I've always been a normal weight, very active and after puberty was the perfect hour glass shape. Then I had kids and after the first pregnancy my body seemed to rebel on me and everything went out of whack. I had noticed my hair thinning and eyebrows fading at the outer third, not to mention the difficulty with losing weight, but all of the doctors did basic blood tests and said all was fine and normal.

After my second child (I have 2 kids) I went ocd hardcore nuts on trying to lose the weight. I ate healthy foods, not junk, but was still vegetarian. I cut my calories to 600-900 a day and was walking (in the mountains) 7 miles EVERY day. I did that for 2 yrs. I lost 35 lbs in 6 months and then slowly, slowly it started creeping back up. If I increased the exercise I gained even faster. By the end of 2 yrs I decided to take it a step further and joined a gym. I was getting up at 4:30 am to go to a 1 hr. class days a week on top of the walking, etc. The classes were hard, like boot camp type work. I gained 20 lbs in 3 months!! That's when I hit rock bottom, mentally and just threw my hands in the air, said expletive deleted it all and quit. I have 4 yrs of diet journaling, too. I was that insanely dedicated.

Saw an endocrinologist and he found out I was not diabetic or pre-diabetic but I was mildly insulin resistant and he's the one that confirmed the Barker Baby. He had me cut carbs, stay to whole grains and sprouted breads and limit those as much as I could. I've always been a carb in that's the thing I would crave: mashed potatoes, mac n cheese, pasta, bread.

During it all I still couldn't explain the hair, the eyebrows, or even a "how do I reverse this mess?" That was maybe 3 yrs ago and I started to have problems with getting random cramps and bloating after eating. It took the next 2 yrs to put 2 and two together. I was having problems with wheat! It was still a random problem. I could eat the same garlic bread and have a problem with it and then a week later not have any problem with it. The same with other wheat foods. It steadily got worse and more frequent and that's when I put the pieces together. I'm fine if I stay clear of all things gluten. It's gotten to the point where caving into something as simple and small as a couple of pieces of fried mushrooms (the breaded batter) is enough to make me have cramps, bloating and the runs. If I eat a couple pieces of bread I will get all of the above plus horrible joint aching and it will last 24 hrs. NOT WORTH THE PAIN.

I also noticed in the last couple of years that my face would sometimes look like I had sunburned my cheeks. I didn't think much about it until this last spring when a friend who happens to be a nurse practitioner finally brought it up and said she had some ideas. So, tons of blood work later and I found out (as of this last summer and officially in Sept) that I have Sjogren's and Lupus. Testing, etc. is still ongoing to fine tune this. Jolly good for me, right? Now at least I have some idea of WHY everything hates me and my body.

Then, last Jan. I had the biggest craving for red meat. Not a taco or something, but STEAK....BLOODY STEAK. Remember, I've NEVER had actual steak before! That's when I looked into the blood type diet. Ha! I'm type O! I should be eating meat! So I have been. I've found that I don't like poultry unless its smoked, but I love red meat and on the rare side. I'm a little fond of fish, too, IF it's done right. Salmon isn't my fav for flavor but it seriously gives me a nice zen calm after eating it.

Ok, so that's the background. Now to the present. With the lupus diagnosis everything conventional says, "it's incurable, take steroids and immune suppressors..." I have a problem with that. The immune system is important. I don't like taking Plaquinel (sp?) to control flares! Stress, by the way, is a definite trigger for a flare, for me. As a mother of small kids and a home life I'm frustrated with, stress seems to be lurking at every corner. During a lupus flair, when you ache, chill and can't think straight, the trying to not stress is even harder. So, I've been searching for ideas on how to manage the lupus without really nasty drugs. The blood type diet, I think, could be the answer.

I read the Eat Right 4 Your Type and then went through the second book, The GenoType Diet, and that's where I'm stuck. I'm tied between Hunter and Gatherer. I have more body traits of the Gatherer, but the autoimmune issues (gluten intolerance falls into the autoimmune realm, too) put me into Hunter territory. My dad's side has a huge history of autoimmune disease. None of that on my mom's side.

I don't know if I'm a secreter or a super taster. I need to get that all tested. So, what do you all think? What do you do in a tie?
Posted by: DoS, Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 11:26am; Reply: 1
Well bodily shape speaking they have about nothing in common so...

Give us your strength test results between the two.

What did the "advanced" calculator give you as options?
Posted by: kipperkid, Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 12:30pm; Reply: 2
If you can afford it, SWAMI Express might be a good move - input your data and it will work out your genotype and a diet tailored specifically to you.
Posted by: Lloyd, Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 2:32pm; Reply: 3

I don't know if I'm a secreter or a super taster. I need to get that all tested. So, what do you all think? What do you do in a tie?

Just sticking with the O BTD diet for a while will do wonders. Do the SWAMI when you can.
Posted by: amyflood, Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 2:50pm; Reply: 4
Before i got Swami, i typed by the book as a Hunter. Swami has typed me as a Gatherer. I have found that the two diets are not that dis-similar. i have about the sampe portion sizes and frequencies for meats. Just the veggies changed. i can have more of the veggies i typically like on teh Gatherer diet. I'd say pick the one that has the most food you like veggie/fruit-wise and give it a go.

Posted by: 815 (Guest), Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 3:01pm; Reply: 5
FYI, I don't know any overweight Hunters.  So I'm going by my son and the Hunters here on the forum that I know about. Hunters are very thin (for running after and catching prey, gene-wise) ..and have good muscle definition.  My son is a Hunter. He has trouble keeping his weight up. Some Hunters are even underweight.  Don't over think it.  :)
Besides, I agree with Lloyd.. the regular O diet is perfectly fine to start with. The Genotype diet is more strict.
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 3:13pm; Reply: 6
My experience is that people who have trouble figuring out their genotypes tend to not do as well on the "by the book" genotype diets. Your best bet is a SWAMI, especially since you have chronic health issues that need to be addressed. If that's not affordable right now, you may do best on the BTD if you really can't figure out your genotype.

However, none of the information you've given will really help us determine your genotype. You've been debating between Hunter and Gatherer, but your health issues could just as easily make you an Explorer. Take a look at the "advanced calculator" in the back of the book. The measurements are far more reliable than any of the "strength tests" in the middle of the book.
Posted by: ApplesCarrotsnGrain, Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 3:55pm; Reply: 7
I tried the advanced calculator and I'm definitely, without a doubt a Gatherer. Hunter wasn't even an option no matter if I'm a secreter or not. I guess that leaves the why of the autoimmune diseases and the only thing I can think of is eating the wrong diet for too long and a genetic predisposition for it.

What is SWAMI? It sounds like it's a service one pays for.

By the way, thank you all for taking the time to read through it all and give me some advice. <3

ETA: My Strength tests scored like this....

White lines on fingers 5
Spade like teeth 3
Square jaw 3
Autoimmune in family 3
Total of 14

3 or more fingerprints don't match 5
endomorph body type 3
small leg opening 3
family history of stroke, etc. 3
Total of 14
Posted by: Jane, Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 4:29pm; Reply: 8
Are you taking thyroid drugs because the cold, thinning hair, loss of outside of eyebrows, weight issues are classic symptoms of hypothroid?  Google Mary Shomon on for everything you ever wanted to know about thyroid.  
I've had thyroid issues since my freshman year in college and had my thyroid and one of my parathyroids removed in 1996.  I had a very very small thyroid cancer.  I found BTD shortly after my surgery and it's made a huge impact on my life and health.  

Find an endocrinologist that really listens to you and doesn't base everything on just your TSH.

Getting rid of gluten in general, not just wheat may help.  SWAMI is under $100 I believe and is a personalized program just for you based on lots and lots of individualized input.  There are answers out there and there have been many followers of Dr. D's work that have had great success with similar symptoms and diagnoses.

Wishing you the best.
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 4:36pm; Reply: 9
SWAMI is a computer program that calculates a diet just for you. You enter some personal and family health history, plus the measurements you used to determine genotype. It's a one-time fee, and you can re-run SWAMI any time you want to (as your health changes, for example). The software gets updated every few years, and there's no additional charge for any updates.

SWAMI isn't perfect; as complex as the computer program is, the human body is even more complex. However, it gives you a much closer starting point than any of the "book diets." Many people find the need to make small tweaks to their SWAMI program- slightly adjusting the portion sizes recommended, or finding the occasional "beneficial" food that they need to avoid.  But it's an excellent program and is much likely to give  good results, more quickly, than a diet from a  book.

You personally may end up with a food list that combines some Gatherer values and some Hunter values, along with some  Type O food values. SWAMI will give you a "genotype label" but the actual food list will vary from the one in the book, and the label isn't important.
Posted by: ApplesCarrotsnGrain, Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 5:03pm; Reply: 10
Jane, yes, I'm taking Synthroid at the moment. After the reams of blood tests done there's a little bit of thyroid trouble, just not enough to show up on the most basic and usual of the tests Dr.s normally do. She's slowly fine tuning the dose, though. It's helped a little with not feeling as cold as often. This last summer I actually felt some of the heat of summer. The year before I spent half the summer wearing Uggs and long sleeves.

I'm also on metformin but that hasn't helped lower my fasting glucose at all. I haven't run under 94 yet. There's a suspicion that I might be dumping sugar produced in my liver and that's why the fasting is always high, so I recently got switched to jentadueto, which is a metformin and linagliptin cocktail. It takes a little bit for it to show results so I'm waiting to see if that helps.

Rutie, SWAMI sounds great! I hunted it down in the store. $70 is actually decently priced for a program. The jewelry program I have (keeps track of inventory, jewelry parts, calculates cost to make, etc) was $250. I think my photoshop program is also a bit more than $70. I'll be getting this one as soon as I recover from Christmas lol
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 6:52pm; Reply: 11
In the meantime, the Gatherer diet from the book is likely to be your best bet. Blood sugar stability is the main focus of the Gatherer diet. Make sure you pay attention to portion sizes, especially of fruit and grains. It's quite possible to over-eat on healthy foods and be very "out of balance."

Also bear in mind that the portion size recommendations are not personalized for you. You might need more fat or less fruit to get your blood sugar stable. Start out with the recommendations but adjust after a few days if necessary.
Posted by: ApplesCarrotsnGrain, Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 7:02pm; Reply: 12
Thanks, I'll def. give that a try. Portion control is super easy for me. After 4 yrs of keeping a diet journal and 2 yrs. living like a borderline anorexic I can still tell what calories are in how much of what. lol Sad, I know. My problem is getting away from the mentality of keeping my calories too low. I tend to gain when I eat more than 1000 cal/day. Weight Watchers didn't work, neither did Jillian Michael's program. Phentramine made me nuts. It was horrible stuff and it didn't work, either. For now I'm focusing on getting the lupus, etc. under control and hoping that if the inflammation is down then maybe the weight will come off. The Barker Baby thing just throws a wonky wrench into the whole mess as I still haven't found info on how to restrain the syndrome once it kicks in (stressors, such as pregnancy, etc. can trigger it). Oy vey! That's what I say! So, plugging along and searching, endlessly searching for the right key. I'm really hoping this way (for blood type, etc) will be it.
Posted by: Jane, Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 7:45pm; Reply: 13
You may need more than Synthroid.  You might need some extra T3.  Do you know what your numbers were on the TSH and free T3?  Your body needs to be able to convert the T4 to T3 and some people don't do it efficiently.  You do know that you aren't supposed to take calcium within 4 hours of the thyroid meds, right?
Posted by: DoS, Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 7:53pm; Reply: 14
Treat yourself to some Fucus Plus. Very good for improving some insulin reception in Type O people.
Posted by: ApplesCarrotsnGrain, Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 8:13pm; Reply: 15
I had no idea about the calcium after the synthroid! Can it be pill form? I love cheese, but that's supposedly a bit of a no no. I've never liked milk.

I'll have to hunt down my test results on the TSH, etc. I have them here someplace lol
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 8:35pm; Reply: 16
There are quite a few beneficial and neutral cheeses on the Gatherer diet- no need to completely stop eating dairy unless you personally have a bad reaction to it. Just be sure to read food labels carefully; cottage cheese is "beneficial" but a cottage cheese made with corn starch is still an "avoid."
Posted by: ApplesCarrotsnGrain, Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 10:38pm; Reply: 17
Yuck, they put corn starch in cottage cheese? I'm guessing that's the non fat version or something. Usually the non fat has fillers, etc.

I didn't see chevre and some others on beneficial or avoid lists. Does that mean they're neutral? Boo hoo for all the melty cheeses, pepper jack and cheddar.

I've never liked cow milk (I do like goat) and over the last few years I've noticed that I can't handle milk or ice cream. It gives me a stomach ache. Cheese and yogurt hasn't seemed to bother me, but straight up milk will.
Posted by: prunella, Friday, January 11, 2013, 1:14am; Reply: 18
ApplesCarrots,etc., glad to know that there is a fellow Sjogie here!--not that I'd wish Sjogrens on anyone. And, of course, autoimmunities travel in packs. The lupus may be worse than Sjs, but then again, how can you separate them?

I feel strongly that my swami diet has helped more than Plaquenil, although I still take it. I think you will find wonderful support here. I am new to this diet (less than a year) and immensely grateful that I found it-- or it found me. The reluctance of rheumatology and most of the practitioners of allopathic medicine to recognize the role of diet astounds me

The protocols for conditions such as inflammation, intestinal health, fatigue are invaluable. Thank you, DrD!!

You are what you eat.--who said that? :)
Posted by: ApplesCarrotsnGrain, Friday, January 11, 2013, 11:10pm; Reply: 19
Prunella, yay, another dry everything sufferer! lol I hear ya, it's not something you want anyone to have but if you have it, you have it. Most of the time it's not too bad, but then there's days when I have to use the fake tears and nothing, no amount of water, relieves that dry mouth feel. Gum chewing and lemon juice in water help a little, but it's blargen annoying when it flares. Add the lupus, which makes me have a low grade temp, joint aches all over and sometimes hits the nervous system (which makes me super edgy, can't handle the smallest noises, inner ears hurt) and I'm just a bundle of woohoo fun. Sey la vie!  8)

Yep, so far the rheumatologist has told me that it's controlled by medication, that diet won't change it and there's no link, that she knows of, between wheat intolerance and lupus or autoimmune and that I'd have to talk to a GI specialist to find out more about Celiac.  ::)

I really think I'm on the right track with this, though, so here's hoping it works. I hate the idea of taking stronger and stronger immune suppressing drugs to control the disease. It's just not right, in my mind. As far as conventional wisdom on eating, etc, I've always done the "right thing". I grew up on whole grains, whole wheat bread, didn't eat loads of junk food, lots of fruits and veggies, etc. I don't smoke or drink, never have. SOMETHING is triggering this mess and the blood type connection makes a lot of sense.
Posted by: prunella, Saturday, January 12, 2013, 2:33am; Reply: 20
Aren't those rheumatologists a hoot?  Mine tolerates me eliminating wheat and dairy, my claiming that I feel better without those in my diet.
But if the AMA does not endorse an idea, in his mind it doesn't exist. Sometimes I think I take Plaquenil just to humor the doctor. This same doctor Dx'd IBS, but had no explanation as to how or why or what to do about it.

BTW, aches and low grade temp are also common in Sjs. I drink a lot of ginger tea.
Posted by: ApplesCarrotsnGrain, Saturday, January 12, 2013, 2:58am; Reply: 21
Yep, I have to laugh at most of the doctors I've seen over the years. The latest visit was a follow up with the dermatologist for a morphia looking "rash" I've had ever since I first got pregnant (9 yrs ago). I tried all kinds of creams, antifungal, steroidal, etc and they don't touch it. Usually its dormant but it will flare under stress sometimes and about a yr ago I had a couple more patches crop up. So, he's monitoring them and trying some new cream for eczema (that's what he tentatively says it is with a huge dose of "it doesn't really look like eczema, but...." Anyway, he was doing a follow up and wanted to know if anything new had happened. I updated him on my "cigarette burn lesions" (that's what I call them for lack of a better term because they look a little like raw spots with the top part of the skin missing). I have a close friend who also has lupus and she gets the same lesions.  The smallest have been the size of a pencil eraser but the most recent and biggest was the size of a quarter. They scar when they're done. I took pics of it when it was happening and showed him the pics and he said, "no, those aren't lupus lesions. I don't know what they are, but they aren't lupus." My hell, REALLY??!! According to him, lupus doesn't do that. Seal, the singer, has scars on his face from his lupus lesions.

Anyway, I'm so thankful for the few doctors that aren't idiots and for being able to do my own info seeking (hurray for the net!!).

ETA: I'll have to try the ginger tea. I love ginger. I didn't know sjogrens could also cause the fevers, etc. Just goes to show how closely related these autoimmune diseases are.
Posted by: prunella, Saturday, January 12, 2013, 3:32am; Reply: 22
I am feeling humbled by your description of Lupus. It sounds more annoying than Sjs. The dermatologist just hasn't had a lot of exposure to Lupus, I would imagine.  The autoimmune diseases seem quite confounding. BTD, and even better, Swami, should provide serious relief.

I keep wondering how medical progress/discovery is ever made if everyone is afraid to think outside of their little box. Dr D is one of the few who seems not to need the box. Thank goodness!   :)
Posted by: ApplesCarrotsnGrain, Saturday, January 12, 2013, 3:39am; Reply: 23
Lupus has definitely been more annoying to deal with than the sjogren's, but at least it hasn't gone to the organs, yet. I get the butterfly rash on my face during flares and sun exposure. It looks like I have problems applying blush or like a bad sunburn and it does make my face feel hot.

I didn't even know I had the sjogren's until they tested and I was positive for it. The ANA test for me was 1:1280 and that was the red flag for the lupus. Out of the 11 criteria I have 7.

How did you find out you had sjogren's?
Posted by: Mrs T O+, Sunday, January 13, 2013, 9:27pm; Reply: 24
I was going to say something about getting sunlight since you said you were wearing a lot of clothes in the summer, but apparently sun gives you that rash.
Do you take enough Vitamin D3? They are finding out that we need a lot more than the establishment recommends & that it is good for many more medical issues that thought.

I wish you well & you definitely will get lots of help on this forum!!

Can you share your age & location? Sometimes that gives a little extra info that often helps put the puzzle together.
Posted by: yvonneb, Friday, January 18, 2013, 5:32pm; Reply: 25

I have more body traits of the Gatherer, but the autoimmune issues (gluten intolerance falls into the autoimmune realm, too) put me into Hunter territory.

The autoimmune issues are 'O' issues not only Hunter. So the Gatherer diet will take that into account.

I would also suggest ARA6 (Dr.D supplement, available on this website) as it is immunesystem regulating. As is drinking Rooibosh tea- check if you are allowed those!

I have Colitis which is also an autoimmune thingy, so I know where you are coming from  :)

There are quite a number of anti-inflammatory foods you could increase if you are allowed and if they agree with you.
They have been mentioned lots of times on other threads, but by the time I or you find them...
here they are again:

- Tumeric/ Kurcuma
- Omega 3 oil as in fish, flax/linseed, green lipped mussel extract
- curry (check all ingredients!)
- cayenne pepper/ chili
- garlic
- ginger

I am sure I am forgetting some, maybe the others will chime in here, please?

Let us know, how you get on  :)
Posted by: geminisue, Monday, January 21, 2013, 1:53am; Reply: 26
What about your measurements?

Are index fingers longer than ring fingers on both hands?
Are lower leg measurement shorter then upper leg measurement?
Is upper body longer then legs & feet?

If yes to all, should be a gatherer G2
Posted by: ApplesCarrotsnGrain, Monday, January 21, 2013, 6:35pm; Reply: 27
Mrs. T O, I'm 39 and live in Southern California.

Geminisue, my index fingers are longer than ring fingers on both hands. Lower leg is equal to upper and torso longer than legs.

YvonneB, thank you for the reminder! Yes, I remember the description for O's in general having a tendency for autoimmune problems. I guess I was focusing too much on the specifics between Hunter and Gatherer. I've been trying to incorporate a lot more anti-inflammatory foods in my diet. It's certainly seems like slow going but I have to remind myself that getting to this point of having problems and finding out that I had them was a slow process, too.
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Monday, January 21, 2013, 8:43pm; Reply: 28
According to the chart in the back of the book, you're a Gatherer. In your specific case, secretor status doesn't make a difference (your measurements on an O- male would be Gatherer for secretor or Explorer for non-secretor.)

So, if you're going to follow one of the diets from the book, Gatherer is the one to follow.

If you invest in a SWAMI, it's possible that the "strength testing" information would lean you towards a "Hunter" genotype label, but the actual food list would likely vary quite a bit from what's in the book.
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