I will try not to write a novel here, but I could really use some help. Quick backstory: I was strict Paleo for about a year. During this time I cured my cystic acne and felt great. Eventually I started not to feel not so great, and erroneously thought it was carbs (had been eating 1-2 pieces of fruit a day). I followed some akin to a candida cleanse diet (no fruit, no honey, etc.) for 30 days and my skin was FINALLY 100% clear and beautiful.
But then, the wheels started to come off the wagon. My hair started falling out, which was very alarming. I was also constantly cold, and my menstrual cycle was becoming irregular (it's always been pretty regular). I also found myself struggling with constipation. Additionally, I confirmed via blood work that I had developed a delayed food allergy to eggs (already having previously tested positive for wheat and dairy allergies). To try to stop my hair loss, I jumped off the Paleo bandwagon, and started eating some non-glutenous grains, mostly in the form of hot breakfast cereals) and beans. While my bowel movements have been consistently pretty good, I am gaining weight, and no matter what I do, I CAN NOT reverse the weight gain. I just feel sub-par as a result, though I can't say I've had bad energy levels otherwise. Initially I went through a period of completely crashing mid-afternoon, but that went away.
I really don't know what to do anymore. The fact that I'm slowly and steadily putting on weight (and feeling like a blowfish) is less than desirable, but the hair loss and other issues seem more concerning. The egg sensitivity really made things difficult for me, as after awhile eating meat for breakfast just simply did not appeal to me in the least. I do think I hit a personal protein limit, or maybe I just need to vary my protein sources more?
The fact that Paleo helped me get rid of my acne means that it was a good approach, as NOTHING else worked. But, how can I eat Paleo and address the other issues that arose? I want to go back to Paleo, if possible, because on my small frame the weight gain is starting to feel like a lot, and like I said, it keeps creeping up.
Can you tell us your age and activity level during your year of paleo? Also, did adding the grains and beans back in reverse your hair loss? Had you originally last a lot of weight when you went paleo?
I had the experience of doing about 50-70 carbs/day primal eating while lifting weights very intensely 3x/week. After a few months, I started to feel really cold on occassion (before, I had always run hot). At the same time I felt like I was suddenly losing a lot of hair and I also got a high LDL reading. Someone (MScott, I think) mentioned a connection between low carb inducing hypothryroid symptoms which also leads to elevated LDL. As we know, hair loss in women is usually hypothyroid and this would explain the cold feeling and the inability to lose weight.
For myself, I started eating a few tablespoons of dulse each day for iodine, I upped my carbs to 100-150/day and I eat two brazil nuts for selenium to help with the iodine absorbtion. I have never had the cold feeling since and I no longer notice a lot os hair in the drain. From the casual reading I have done, this phenomenon of low carb inducing hypo symptoms is pretty common. I never lost weight on any version of paleo/primal, but that wasn't a factor for me so I can't comment on whether supplementing with seaweed and brazil nuts would help there.
I was thinking that maybe you should be cycling some plants based carbs like fruit seasonally. It's probably more paleo to incorporate fruit for a few months in the year if it reflects your geographic ancestry. Also consider your micronutrient intake like vitamins and minerals (other than selenium and iodine)