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Transition Pains?

by 4465 · February 11, 2011 at 01:47 AM

Strange question:

After about 5 months of paleo, my wife has finally decided to take the plunge and give it a try to join me. She's coming from a very SAD diet (as did I). She's got a strong sugar addiction, has always loved Mountain Dew, etc...

So today (day 5 for her) she's experiencing a strange pain in her lower back and down through the back of her legs. She describes it as "it feels like my nerves are shrinking, they are too short - it pulls all the way down from my back to my heels".

I'm bringing this question here because I experienced something very similar about 1 week into my paleo transition. At the time I attributed it to the extra exercise I was doing. However, her description of the pain is almost identical to what I felt, and she's not doing any extra exercise right now - she's only really changed how she eats/drinks. My pain lasted about 3 days. It was VERY uncomfortable. I'd find myself curling into a fetal position at night to try to stretch my lower back and back of my legs. Laying flat or standing up just hurt.

Any ideas how a paleo transition could cause this kind of thing? I haven't seen any other questions or reports of this...

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4 Replies

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13928 · June 25, 2010 at 06:42 PM

The first time (!) I transitioned, I felt major flu-like symptoms including achy muscles. Also, because I went from regular coffee to decaf (cold-turkey), all my little caffeine-related aches and pains screamed for more caffeine until they were flushed away - joints and tendon-like places.

I would guess that you're experiencing some sort of withdrawal from some food or chemical that was a regular part of both your diets. If you experienced the same pain and it went away, it's likely that hers will too.

That said, I hope that someone with more medical knowledge answers this question!

P.S. This might be a good question to ask Robb Wolf.

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106 · February 11, 2011 at 01:47 AM

I had similar symptoms my first couple weeks. When I started supplementing with potassium and magnesium and extra salt I felt better and those symptoms went away.

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431 · February 11, 2011 at 01:07 AM

This could be indicative of an electrolyte imbalance as this sounds like musculoskeletal cramping. She may be mobilizing water and losing sodium and potassium along with it. I would suggest increasing water intake and keeping a food log (such as Fitday or Nutrition Data) for a few weeks/until eating patterns are well established. Compensating for electrolyte losses is important. It might also help to include offal and higher sodium/potassium foods in the diet in the short term.

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38 · June 25, 2010 at 09:57 PM

It's just a coincidence. Look elsewhere for the cause.

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