I'm in a damned if you do, damned if you don't, situation, and I'm desperate for some advice. I suffer from clinical depression, and am on antidepressants. I am also overweight (about 60lbs), and have a history of CFS, hypoglycemia, and poor adrenal function. I have a very sensitive body, especially to food.
I have been Paleo (very strict) since February. I find that if I severely restrict carbs during the day, I can function - but even a tiny bit of carbs (a quarter of a potato, for example) at breakfast or lunch will make me fatigued to the point of sleepiness, all day. It also makes my joints hurts.
But on the other hand, if I restrict my carbs, my mental state deteriorates. And I cannot sleep.
What do I do??!!
What about eating all your carbs right before bed, so as to aid sleep while reducing the downsides of fatigue? Also have you experimented with different types of carbs. I sometimes find that fibre, even in potatoes, doesn't sit with me well, but I have no problems with plain glucose.
Ask your Dr about adding Deplin to your antidepressant--it's NOT another antidepressant drug but a fully converted form of folic acid (l- methylfolate) which is a cofactor that helps your body convert precursors to Serotonin,dopamine etc. It has made a huge diff to me being in the same boat as you. Nothing else has ever worked. You can buy L- methylfolate online but Deplin may be cheaper if you have prescription coverage. I take 7.5 mg per day--I cut the pill in half as it is a 15 mg pill--cheaper and that dose is sufficient according to my doctor.
You might try getting your carbs from low carb veggies like leafy greens, onions and cauliflower or the lower carb berries like blueberries and strawberries. I find that the really starchy carbs like potatoes make me fatigued during the day, but the same amount of carb from leafy greens and blueberries makes me more energetic. I also find that when I eat the right carbs for my body I do better on more carbs so:
The best for me: 50-100 grams carb per day from lower carb sources The next best: 30 - 50 grams carb per day from lower carb sources The next best: 30- 50 grams carb per day from a mix of lower and higher carb sources
After that it all gets ugly!
Good luck with tweaking your diet
Hi Dee! I also started early this year and I also similar issues: depression, the food sensitivities (especially to carbohydrates). I am still new to this so my advice should be taken with several heaped tablespoons of salt, but I wanted to tell you that I didn't really see that much improvement with paleo in the first months.
It was discouraging, but I think it's important to remember that this is an ongoing process. Many of us have underlying issues that will take time to heal. It's super important to get sleep, sunlight, be around others and reduce stress as much as you can.
Paleo reduced my anxiety a bit, but it's only now I'm experimenting now with GAPS that I'm feeling energetic and positive about my life. I had gone low-carb before this, but like you it made my depression worse. It is an elimination diet that focuses on repopulating your gut flora and healing the gut lining. I've always had digestive issues and I suspect that it isn't doing any favours for my depression and constant fatigue- if this resonates, I'd really recommend checking it out! It basically favours bone broths, fats, soft cooked vegetables and probiotic foods. My mood is stable without the carbohydrates and digestion is easier than it would be if you were relying on ground beef and eggs like some hardier folks do.
Best of luck and don't give up. I don't think we can go wrong with favouring unadulterated foods, but figuring out what our personal needs are makes it difficult and it can be frustrating when the general 'paleo template' doesn't work so well for us.
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