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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Ketogenic diet to treat Lyme Disease???

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Author Topic: Ketogenic diet to treat Lyme Disease???
smileynot
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I was talking to a friend about how the medical community is all about drugs and such and he reminded me of a movie called "First Do No Harm" with Meryl Streep, who has young boy diagnosed with Epilepsy and they treated with harmful drugs, til she learned about treating it with Ketogenic diet and that had saved many kids lives from having harmful seizures, just by changing the childs diet. Does anyone know anything about applying this type of diet to help with Lyme Disease?? I would love to know what you know or have learned. I DO know about changing the diet, in regards to no sugar, eating gluten free things and such. Would love to know if there is evidence in using this ketogenic diet to help with lyme? It seems it's based on having lots of fats in the diet.
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surprise
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In my opinion, food won't treat bacterial infections.

Special diets can improve the terrain and function, tho.

--------------------
Lyme positive PCR blood, and
positive Bartonella henselae Igenex, 2011.
low positive Fry biofilm test, 2012.
Update 7/16- After extensive treatments,
doing okay!

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GretaM
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Tried it.

Personally, ketogenic can increase ammonia in blood, and those of us with lyme already have a hard time detoxing.

I found strict keto was really hard on my body, and increased brain swelling. L'ornithine, famous for helping to detox ammonia byproducts, did help somewhat.

Low carb with fat for energy though makes me feel better.

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Judie
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I think the diet raises your chance of kidney stones.

I remember researching this diet awhile back when some people I knew were doing it (all healthy, no Lyme).

The reason it works for epilepsy is because the brain typically runs on the fuel made from carbs. This somehow contributes to the seizures.

When you force the body to use fats for energy, the brain is forced to use fats and that's what got the seizures under control.

It seems this is targeting something very different from what Lyme treatment needs to target.

I've known people who heal from Lyme without changing their diets at all.

I think it's very individual.

Here's an article about what a keto diet does to the body:

http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2011/08/the-hidden-dangers-of-a-low-carbohydrate-diet/

The healthy people who've done the diet to lose weight found the diet practically impossible to stay on, and if you cheat even a little weight comes back.

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WPinVA
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That's interesting. I didn't know Meryl Streep has a son with epilepsy. I'll have to check out that movie.

It's an interesting thought but I personally don't think the Keto diet would have any application to Lyme disease, unless perhaps the patient is having seizures. The keto diet is a very specialized diet designed to effect and change brain chemistry to reduce or eliminate seizure activity.

If you do try this, please talk with your doctor because altering brain chemistry is not something to undertake lightly! For epilepsy patients who start it, they start them out in the hospital.

More info here:
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/neurology_neurosurgery/centers_clinics/epilepsy/treatment/dietary_therapy.html#ketogenic

I do think that diet can help to treat Lyme, in conjunction with other stronger things, such as abx. What has helped me a lot is eliminating gluten and dairy and cutting back on processed foods as much as possible.

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Lymetoo
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quote:
Originally posted by WPinVA:
That's interesting. I didn't know Meryl Streep has a son with epilepsy. I'll have to check out that movie.


-
I think smileynot was referring to Meryl Streep's character in the movie. (?)

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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WPinVA
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Aha, thanks! : )
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Abxnomore
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The Keto diet is basically a low carb diet, what most people who have lyme eat. It's a slightly more refined version of the Atkins diet. In fact, not very different at all.

There has been tons of now medical literature showing the benefits of this type of eating, not just for epilepsy, but for general health. Cholesterol moves into normal levels, blood pressure goes down, blood sugar and insulin levels are improved and it's great for weight loss.

It's not a diet but a change in lifestyle. It's a way of eating for the rest of your life for better health. Of course, I know that how one eats is not one size fits all.

The thinking that this diet is bad for your kidneys has been debunked. Many doctors are embracing what Dr. Atkins was raked over the coals for doing many years go.

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Mvdr
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Wow, I'm so glad I trusted my instincts re. this diet. Dr. G. near Pittsburgh prescribed this diet for me when he diagnosed me with Lyme last fall. At the time I was so weak and sick that I felt it was doing more harm then good, so I didn't do it. He also only prescribed one mo. of Doxy w/ one refill after I relapsed.

That's when I sought help from this site and other Lyme groups which have put me on a better path to wellness.

Just goes to show you that one has to decipher what's best for them, themselves.

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Abxnomore
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That's good to hear. Do you ever go on Reddit? The have a great sub section where the Keto diet is discussed in all of it's aspects. There is some really great information there.

They share so many good ideas for keto receipes, too. Also Dr. Perlmuter in his recent book Grain Brain discusses the benefits of a low carb/keto book. It's an excellent read.

http://www.reddit.com/r/keto

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Lymetoo
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quote:
Originally posted by Abxnomore:
The Keto diet is basically a low carb diet, what most people who have lyme eat. It's a slightly more refined version of the Atkins diet. In fact, not very different at all.

There has been tons of now medical literature showing the benefits of this type of eating, not just for epilepsy, but for general health. Cholesterol moves into normal levels, blood pressure goes down, blood sugar and insulin levels are improved and it's great for weight loss.

It's not a diet but a change in lifestyle. It's a way of eating for the rest of your life for better health. Of course, I know that how one eats is not one size fits all.

The thinking that this diet is bad for your kidneys has been debunked. Many doctors are embracing what Dr. Atkins was raked over the coals for doing many years go.

-
Amen to that!

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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gz
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A keto diet is more rigid that most standard low carb diets. While most people on low carb diets often move in and out of mild ketosis, in nutritional ketosis, where the level of ketosis is theraputic, the blood ketones are much higher.

Many of the myths surrounding low carb causing harm to kidneys, liver, cholesterol, etc. have long been debunked but continue to be perpetuated.

Even if not on a full ketogenic diet, the addition of MCT oil has been found to help epilepsy, it is thought to be the presence of ketones that help the brain.

Ketogenic diet can help starve many cancers, which are often glucose driven. In this case, diet itself is the key, because the presence of glucose fuels the cancer.

A low carb diet is also very useful in eliminating many parasites, which need us to consume dietary glucose to survive.

http://www.journalofdiabetology.org/Pages/Releases/FullTexts/SixthIssue/SC-6-JOD-11-005.aspx

http://www.plospathogens.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.ppat.1000932

(edited for grammar)

[ 07-07-2014, 03:56 PM: Message edited by: gz ]

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Lymetoo
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Yes, it is more of a "selective carb" diet, then. You eat plenty of vegetables. OR at least you SHOULD!! Then it is a healthy lifestyle.

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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gz
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quote:
Originally posted by Keebler:
-
Some cancers may be "glucose driven" but I'm not sure they are clear about all that . . . did the people consume processed foods. It that simple sugar we're talking about - or in people who ate real food, as from the garden?
-

"Glucose" as in what is found in the bloodstream, that which is increased thus mediating an insulin response in reaction to the consumption of dietary carbohydrate.

Processed foods can also mimic the effect of insulin on cancer cells.

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Abxnomore
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Read Gary Taubes, good calories, bad calories or one of the many books written on the subject.

Of course, non processed foods are better and those who can should strive to eat those but it's well documented in many medical journals and scientific articles that it is glucose, whether derived from complex carbohydrates or simple ones that are a major contributor to disease and also a contributor to obesity.

The body doesn't care if it's a complex or simple carb ultimately, it's converted to glucose though more slowly in the case of a complex carb.

On a Atkins type diet or a ketogenic diet the body runs on fat not glucose. More and more data shows that we should be consuming far more fat that ever thought before, of course, not trans-fat, protein and very few carbs.

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Keebler
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MAy 24, 2018: update:

My previous posts have been deleted since I have totally changed my mind since, well, learning more & seeing "new" videos, lectures, films, etc.

In fact, I'm working towards this. But with zero "food products" - with real food and only read food.

I'm still studying but some of the links I've found helpful:

Film: The Magic Pill - currently streaming at NetFlix, etc.

At YouTube, search: Low Carb Down Under for a series of excellent lectures at a conference in Australia.

Dr. Eric Westman, with Duke University in N.C.

Dr. Stephen Phinney

Dr. Jeff Volek

also search: The Charlie Foundation, search YouTube and their great website

Search: Sarah Hallberg, DO - and FitterU video series
-

[ 05-24-2018, 02:13 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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Judie
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"Complex carbs do not cause spikes (and moreso when with protein and fat).

Simple sugars do cause spikes and all sorts of other terrible issues from sudden elevations in the glucose level."

Agreed. Having been hypoglycemic in the past, those complex carbs combined with protein and fat helped me overcome it.

It was a balanced diet at EVERY MEAL that took care of a very awful health problem.

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Abxnomore
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That's not what I have read in some of the latest literature and from my personal experience complex carbs mess with my insulin and blood sugar. Fat and protein does not.
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Judie
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I'm just speaking from my experience and what my doc told me I needed to do. She also helped me with gut dysbiosis and specializes in nutrition.

I needed some quick energy and for my energy to be sustained too after eating. The balance worked for me.

Everyone is different and that's what works for me.

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Keebler
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-
A hard boiled egg, avocado, etc . . . nuts - even a little meat and veggie can be good snacks. yet, since I've been low carb, high fat (and moderate protein) my body does not need quick hits of glucose. And some carbs are okay with this, just in very careful configurations.

Now, this is not intended for every body. Not at all. However, there are so many ills that may be made worse by insulin surges.

It's not so much or just about spikes in glucose - and much to my shock - even in very dense complex carb such as wild rice - , it's about how glucose causes insulin surges. In some people . . . and maybe in many.

It's about the brain. This is not intended as a weight loss food plan, though, the weight loss can often be a secondary benefit.

For those with insulin resistance / metabolic syndrome, the sites listed above have sure been helpful to explain this to me. I'm just sorry that I did not read Nina Teicholz book or Gary Taubes books when they first came out.

My thinking on this has been turned on its head. I've been doing very well for about 6 wks now, not quite ketogenic yet still low carb, high fat, moderate protein. It's very complex yet gets simplier.

At YouTube, the lectures at Low Carb Down Under have been excellent to explain things.

one good place to start:

https://www.virtahealth.com/research

& https://www.virtahealth.com/faq

Virta Health, Research . . . & FAQ


https://lowcarbdownunder.com.au/

Low Carb Down Under


https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/07/19/well/eat/are-you-a-carboholic-why-cutting-carbs-is-so-tough.html

Are You a Carboholic? Why Cutting Carbs Is So Tough

By Gary Taubes - The New York Times - June 18, 2017
-

[ 06-17-2018, 07:38 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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gz
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Welcome to the Dark Side, Keebler. We have (low-carb whole food) cookies. We've been waiting for you, please enjoy your stay [Big Grin] .

Joking aside, when I first discovered low carb eating I thought I hit the jackpot on fixing the health problems I had been chasing for years.

A plethora of psych meds had little effect on my many brain/cognitive/mood issues. I suspected at least insulin resistance if I wasn't already in the type 2 diabetes zone.

The low carb WOE (way of eating) completely eliminated all symptoms I suspected were related to improper glucose/insulin function:

acanthosis nigricans on my neck and underarms
many skin tags, all disappeared
food cravings gone!
infertility disappeared (PCOS probably could have been dx'ed too, considering the many cysts easily seen on ultrasound)

The skin of my scalp had begun developing raw bleeding/weeping red patches all over, which would then scab over before sloughing off and the process repeating. My head was usually one big scab helmet. This improved immensely over the course of 6 months and was well gone by the 1 year mark.

Never pinned exactly what caused that, unless it was gluten/wheat.

I dropped gluten/wheat when going LC. I had a large amount of skin that was raised and painfully raw and itchy, mostly over bony areas and from head to toe.

Nothing I took or applied did anything. It made me so miserable I was certain this must have been the "thorn in the flesh" of which spoke the apostle Paul.

The body rash disappeared completely with the LC WOE!! I figured it was gluten/wheat related because some years later I tried consuming it. Low and behold, it triggered the formation of the rash in the same place it had first begun.

My sensitivity seemed to be dose dependent, but once I put it together I eschewed gluten totally. Who knows what it was doing to my insides.

I experienced weight loss as a side effect. A good one, as I was officially obese and unable to slow down the gaining with a whole foods "healthy balanced" diet.

My weight dropped very slowly, only 1-2 pounds a month. I didn't try for it, and once I reached a normal weight I didn't need to change anything to maintain the loss. Been maintaining normal weight for 6+ years.

I am certain eating this way is much less inflammatory than how I ate in the past, even when I was a strictly organic vegetarian. It's remarkable how different we all can be.

Despite supplementing, I came to feel that my body probably needed the right balance of macronutrients before it was able to absorb/process/use micronutrients.

Eating low carb barely helped myalgia and there were only slight improvements in psych/cognitive issues. It didn't touch my daily headaches and frequent cluster episodes, or any of the crazy migrating bone/foot pains from bart and lyme.

I've played with keto but the effort required makes it too impractical for me to see any measure of consistency.

I can say that a LC WOE is likely what allowed me to use Burrascano-type tx with 5-7 anti-infectives at any given time and yeast/candida overgrowth was never an issue.

I could go on, but believe diet is so very crucial to successful treatment. Low carb might not be for everyone, but could deserve consideration if there are ongoing issues that it might be able to help.

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gz
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It's best to get one of the books written on the subject and follow it to get a good feel for how to use the foods and how the body responds.

The 1972 print of Atkins emphasizes whole foods. The 2002 "DANDR" edition is decent as well. Many recommend to avoid the newest edition, New Atkins for a New You.

Loved Protein Power by Drs. Michael and Mary Eades. I cannot remember, but they may have recommended lower fat in the book I had. Even so, their recommendations could have also changed in the meanwhile.

Phinny and Volek's Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living is a landmark book, providing a wonderful amount of scientific research and studies explaining the how's and why's of carbohydrate restriction.

Gary Taubes is great. His book Why We Get Fat is a quick and easy read but goes in depth enough to provide details and understanding. If you want to go deeper read Good Calories, Bad Calories.

A blood sugar meter is an essential tool for evaluating the glucose/insulin response to diet. Diabetic or not, everyone should know how everything they eat affects their blood sugar.

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smileynot
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Wow.. my post was back in 2014, and now seeing lots of replies.

I DO NOT follow the Ketogenic diet, BUT eat gluten free, organic and grass fed, cage free etc.

No coffee!!! But I do have a small piece of dark 70% chocolate to curb sweet tooth..helps tremendous to cut down on sugar.

Make my own gluten free bread with great recipe.

Trying to grow my own food with a "Back To Eden" garden. If you don't know what the is.. be sure and google it on YouTube. Paul Gautschi, master gardener and arborist.

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Keebler
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smileynot, sorry . . . I just built upon your thread as to have it a bit of a reference link. Hope that's okay. I have a habit of doing that and mindlessly did not think how disorienting that might be for the person who started the thread.

Glad you found what works for you. For what it's worth, Equal Exchange has a wonderful 80% & an 88% dark ch. that are both good, too.
-

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Keebler
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gz, thanks for the "dark humor" -- a good chuckle is always nice.

Thanks for your notes as well.

I'm still researching this and finding my way. Glad to see there are more health approaches to the than in previous decades.

A couple of reasons why - for anyone with lyme - it's best if one's LLMD or other LL doctor who is educated in this approach but in the newer way of presenting (and away from all those food "products" as Atkins used to have) . . . .


Again, a LLMD or LL ND is best to consult as to what might happen with such a shift.

Something has to be on board that addressed both:

A. infections (Unless new to treating lyme / TBD or it's in acute state . . . I'm not saying abx Rx, necessarily for those who've been at this for a while but some kind of herbal like a basic OLE . . . -- something. )

B. heavy metals . . . (chlorella, cilantro?)

C. Antioxidants / polyphenols - LIVER SUPPORT - must be on board. Lyn Patrick, ND has a good YouTube interview on this with keto.. I saw it yesterday but too tired to go get my notes.

D. Magnesium must be 3 x day.

2. CORTISOL surges spike the liver to shoot out stored sugars and that spikes insulin. Our bodies have lots of store sugars / glycogen.


My main point of the keto approach is to stop seizures. So far, my brain seems to be doing well as I approach this and mostly in the LCHF category for now. Loving the research available for this.

One sign it seems to be helping: my smoke alarm blasted me awake early one recent a.m. I did not go "flying to the moon" so to speak. I had to grab my ear muffs and it hurt yet my body did not convulse. This is a welcome change from previous surprise audio hits.

In addition to the seizure reason, I know I have blood sugar stability issues and am surprised that I do experience hypoglycemia on LCHF. Nice surprise.


Two doctors with research programs who might be consulted on this are Sarah Hallberg, DO with Virta Health website / Indiana Univ.

& Eric Westman, MD at Duke's program.

Low Carb USA -- & Low Carb Down Under excellent sources of information & discussion.
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[ 06-22-2018, 04:49 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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Keebler
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Another excellent presenter on the science of all this and issues of the heart from insulin resistance is

Ivor Cummins . . . just search his name on YouTube and his website: The Fat Emporor.

He is very engaging and the enthusiasm his has for this work is delightful, a nice balance to the serious matter of his topic.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_Gcq8bEUq8

Ivor Cummins - 'The Pathways of Insulin Resistance: Exposure and Implications'

30:48 Published on Jun 9, 2017 by Low Carb Down Under


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=td6kFYQnJV4&list=PLrVWtWmYRR2Cr0_P9Ba3V27wLhCq8GCcj

Ivor Cummins - 'An Engineering View of Modern Chronic Disease Prevention'

30:45 - Published on Mar 17, 2018

Breckenridge conference by Low Carb Down Under
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[ 06-20-2018, 02:38 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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Keebler
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUhknmuatcw&list=PLL44PWbXf14IRMpQQPbGiDnxDQfQvC_9_

Fatty Liver & Keto Adaptation + Gut Health w/ Lyn Patrick, ND

48:37 - May 2016 interview - by High Intensity Health
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Keebler
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For anyone new to lyme and certainly starting out with assessment / treatment . . . other than maintain good clean foods, do not undertake something like this on your one.

There are some aspects of this that are in most plans that eschew high carbohydrates and sugars, and certainly

insulin resistance / metabolic syndrome is something to consider as it can lead to all kinds of health problems and it's best to address that if it's going on . . .

and I certainly suggest reading / watching lectures from NINA TEICHOLZ about fats that you definitely do not want in your body and those you do . . . yet,

Talk with your LLMD or LL ND (naturopathic doctor) about the food plan they suggest especially for YOU, considering your overall situation, at this point in in time.

It's never about deprivation yet all about enhancing health - and even enjoyment of good, real foods.
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Posts: 48021 | From Tree House | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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