I started Paleo last week and apart from losing some weight, I don't feel any difference at all. I used to be sleepy all the time and I still feel the same. I am 24yr old male. I really think my cortisol levels are jacked up high
So I am assuming that my cortisol levels are high even though I didn't get them measured (but my sex appetite is fairly good and probably my glucose levels are good when measured last year).
I know it might be too early to judge any difference due to Paleo but I am mainly concerned about the carb intake. I have been doing pretty low-carb to begin with to accelerate fat loss (but I notice that I have lost some muscle too) but I read at few places that its not really good for people with high cortisol. So if anybody can help me: - Should I stop low-carb? - How to de-stress? I always have some nagging sensation in my mind, some sort of burden. - How do I even know I am in ketosis? I never felt any change when I switched to low carbs. To begin with, I was eating lots of lean meat but now have started limiting them and intake lots of fat.
Hey Ivan, Stress and not getting enough sleep is detrimental regardless if you have adapted to a paleo way of living or not. I get Cortisol Manager by Integrative therapeutics from my acupuncturist. It's a natural, herb based formula to help level out cortisol levels and reduce stress. It's helped me get some sleep when I feel like a walking zombie and it doesn't make you groggy like Ambien or some other habit forming sleep aid drug. I also soak in a bath with 2 cups of epsom salt and a cup of baking soda before bed 1-2 times a week. Epsom salt will relax your muscles and also draw out toxins. Don't know if you're a tea fan but a cup 45 mins before bed can help. I alternate between valerian, skull cap, chamomile. You could probably just find a "sleepy time" tea that has a mixture of these and others. Also, Vitamin D3 helped with my energy levels. Maybe once you have more energy you can have the strength to go hard at it? I know what you mean about the brain fog. I cut gluten out before going paleo and it helped a little in that department. I've only been living paleo for a month. I still have a long way to go to get my digestive system balanced but without all the grains I'm mostly feeling improvement. Hang in there!
**********************************8 10/25/10 Just came across an interesting article I thought might make you think about your situation. Testosterone helps us to build muscle right? Well, this article is saying basically that Cortisol does the opposite! It is a catabolic hormone that reduces protein synthesis and prevents tissue growth. http://dangilliland.wordpress.com/2009/06/17/cortisol-is-an-enemy-of-muscle-growth/
Item 1 can be a contributor to items 2, 3 and 4...have you done any exploration regarding your sleep patterns? I know a lot of people, myself included, who have sleep apnea. A lot of those people, myself included, just thought that they were doing something else wrong (diet, lack of exercise, bad habits)...or were completely unaware that the condition existed.
Sleep apnea can render you sleepy all day, and can wake you up throughout the night (you stop breathing, you gasp for air, you're not really conscious enough to know why - you may not even notice that your sleep has been interrupted). Depending on it's severity, it can be very debilitating, and it can lower blood oxygen to dangerous levels. There are herbal and other formulations for snoring, but sleep apnea is much more than that...if it ends up being an element here, medical attention will be necessary.
I wanted to mention this first and foremost because I've recently learned that sleep apnea affects a lot of people, and is not always a matter of being overweight. The statement that you can't remember a good night's sleep in your lifetime is a very strong one, and it seems like it might be a really good place to start.
I'm seeing a discussion of nutrition here, and while that is a very important component of having healthy energy, please consider a medical consultation to discuss your sleep habits. I am not trying to diagnose a condition, but ruling this out or discovering it and addressing it head on might be worth real consideration. Item 1 on your list is HUGE.
I can't say much without more details. How low is low carb? Are you still doing diary? etc. But typically, I'd say yea, you need to give it a few weeks at least before making any decisions. SOunds like you are losing weight so that is working assuming you want to lose weight. But how do you know you are losing muscle too? You can't tell that after just one week!
Stop eating carbs and lean meats and within another 6 weeks u´ll be a plant.
Doin weight training on low carbs is insane.
Check out this site and learn how to lose fat WITHOUT losing muscle(even gaining muscle) and without following wacko diets.
These sounds like they may be hypothyroid symptoms -- I would cautiously investigate iodine supplementation (it's controversial but worked wonders for me) or investigate this possibility through other means. Know that just because your lab tests show "normal" levels does not mean thyroid hormone is not the issue (for example you can be thyroid resistant, or in Hashimotos the levels will be normal)