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Sicker on Paleo

by (18)
Updated October 20, 2014 at 3:54 AM
Created March 27, 2013 at 8:23 PM

Hello, I just started the paleo diet last week and I have been feeling much worse on the diet. To preface this I am not in good shape, and I lived a fairly sedentary carb filled lifestyle. I have been having greatly worsened symptoms of long standing heath problems. The doctors seem split on weather I have Fibromyalgia or Lupus, but regardless I decided to make a drastic change in terms of my health. I know a few people who have had greatly reduced symptoms by going gluten free, so I decided to step up and go full on Paleo. I am completely grain and gluten free, no added sugars, no dairy, and no starchy vegetables. I am still eating nightshades, I love tomatoes too much to give them up. I have been experiencing increased dizziness, headaches, and exhaustion. I have also been experiencing diarrhea almost every day since I started the diet.

I was wondering if this was a normal thing to experience on the diet? Also, does anyone here suffer from Lupus or Fibromialga? Has the paleo diet helped you.

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18 · March 27, 2013 at 11:43 PM

I was diagnosed with a fairly serious vitamin d deficiency before starting the diet. I did not know you had to look out for vitamin d levels on the diet, I will be more vigilant with the vitamins from now on. I am primarily eating eggs and chicken, do you think adding some fish will help me? Thanks Paleo Rocks.

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18 · March 27, 2013 at 11:36 PM

Typically I am having a two egg omelette with mushrooms and tomatoes for breakfast, a salad with grilled chicken for lunch, and grilled fish or chicken for dinner with grilled veggies. I will eat some fruits or almonds when hungry. And thanks Wuism I'll try toup the carbs.

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286 · March 27, 2013 at 10:08 PM

Many people have transition problems when they cut carbs completely, especially if they had a poor diet previously. I would give it two weeks to see if things start to get better and 30 days to see if you transition completely. I would agree with the below and try and get more carbs from non-grain sources.

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1230 · March 27, 2013 at 9:48 PM

Yea for me it was oatmeal too! Also the occasional sugar bomb but that was probably not very constructive.

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5802 · March 27, 2013 at 9:15 PM

When I first went paleo I still ate some oatmeal occasionally. It would take away some of the body aches. I phased it out after about 6 months.

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11254 · March 27, 2013 at 9:09 PM

Give us some idea of what you eat, like what you had to eat today.

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1230 · March 27, 2013 at 8:40 PM

I am not sure why you got down-voted, it seems like a perfectly relevant question to me.

I have been through what you have as well, and transitioning to Paleo was a bit rough. I ended up having to do it in stages and eventually it was great, and I am now pretty much symptom free except when I go off for a while.

When you make huge changes to the way you eat your body can react rather severely to it. For those with conditions like yours it can react even worse as FM, Lupus etc can cause your body to "overreact" to stimulus.

If you have a food that normalizes you that is off Paleo I would use it for a short time to reduce symptoms, then slowly phase that out. You don't want to shock your body too much.

Again whoever down voted you should at least have the jewels to explain themselves. Please don't be discouraged by people who might not understand your circumstances, though I imagine you are used to it by now as I am.

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1230 · March 27, 2013 at 9:48 PM

Yea for me it was oatmeal too! Also the occasional sugar bomb but that was probably not very constructive.

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5802 · March 27, 2013 at 9:15 PM

When I first went paleo I still ate some oatmeal occasionally. It would take away some of the body aches. I phased it out after about 6 months.

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0 · August 24, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Your body is detoxing and adjusting to your new lifestyle & diet. I think everyone who's body is used to a high carb diet full of preservatives and processed junk goes through this. Don't give up! It will get better if you persevere. Try adding a few carbs back in to your diet in limited amounts and then slowly ween yourself off of them to where you are only eating carbs/starches a few days a week or month. That's what I had to do!

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542 · March 27, 2013 at 9:05 PM

FYI: I do not suffer from lupus or fibromyalgia. In fact I'm blessed with very good health, especially for a guy who was an alcoholic and drug addict for more than 30 years. Despite my relatively good health, the transition phase from my old diet to paleo was marked by many of the same things you are experiencing. Dizziness, tiredness, headache and poor quality sleep all showed up. (No runny poops though. In fact, I couldn't poop at all for a while.)

People on this site and elsewhere call it the "low carb flu" and liken it to withdrawal. In my case, it didn't last more than a few days--four or five maybe--from coast to coast. After that I felt just great. Lots of pep, great sleep, mental clarity, the whole nine.

But my situation may not be your situation. In fact you mention two serious diagnoses, either of which merit special cautions.

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257 · March 27, 2013 at 9:02 PM

Yeah, phase into it. I would eat some potatoes and/or rice. Keep them to later in the day if you can, but have them all through the day if you need to. Are you eating fish? Are you supplementing magnesium, K2, D?

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18 · March 27, 2013 at 11:43 PM

I was diagnosed with a fairly serious vitamin d deficiency before starting the diet. I did not know you had to look out for vitamin d levels on the diet, I will be more vigilant with the vitamins from now on. I am primarily eating eggs and chicken, do you think adding some fish will help me? Thanks Paleo Rocks.

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