Hi there, I've been Paleo since Nov last year. I have seen vast improvements in my mood (had severe anger/emotion/anxiety issues before and I am amazed at the relief Paleo has brought).
However, I have had a number of physical problems arise, some more serious than others...
1) UTI - I developed a bad UTI and bladder infection about a month in. I've never had this before in my life, and I feel it is connected to my change in diet. The symptoms were so bad that I did a round of Amoxicillin. The symptoms lessened but are still quite intense. The anti-bios were a month ago and my Dr had my urine re-cultured but can now find no infection present. I have had these symptoms for 5 months now and they are a real drain. I've tried D-Mannose/Cranberry extract/Uva Ursi/LOADS of water to no avail. I thought maybe there was a low-carb/ketones factor, so increased carbs to 150g/day but no improvement. I was eating a fair amount of meat before, maybe 1lb/day, so cut this way down to less than 0.5lb/day and again no improvement. My long-standing symptoms are constant need to urinate and feeling like I am extremely swollen. I know about interstitial cystitis but seeing as this is the first time I've had any such problems (and I did def have an infection to begin with) I'm not sure that's the answer.
UPDATE on mystery 'UTI': For anyone who may be interested... Have just (yep, just - the NHS is great) been diagnosed with a fibroid. All of the below symptoms rectified themselves, esp. after I upped my carbs a bit. My mood problems balanced out, and I still have a 24 day cycle just without the cramps x
2) Early waking - on lower carb I wake after about 5 hours each night. I know this is quite common, but my issue is that my mood def prefers to be lower carb (around 50g/day, but the lower I go the better my mood, it seems) but my body disagrees.
3) Dandruff - I've recently (about 6 weeks ago) developed a very itchy, flaky scalp which I've never had before.
4) 24 day cycle and PMS - Again, I've read that the 24 days is quite common/normal for Paleo ladies, but my period now lasts for about 7 days, and I get worse cramping than before and have seen no improvement on PMS symptoms (the only time my mood gets out of control now).
5) Stomach bloating - Huge tummy! never had this before and trying to pin down likely causes...
I used to be vegan (because my sinuses have always suffered with dairy, and I still don't have it) so when I went Paleo I did eat quite a lot of meat and fish (though not absurd amounts, just a serving per meal) and that did increase my muscle tone (I was a sick/skinny/moody vegan, so this is a body-bonus) but my protein intake is moderate now. I wonder if this switch is shaking things up in my body, as it were. I eat loads of veg still, plenty of good fats and I'm still monitoring my carbs to try to find the best amount for me.
Has anyone experienced anything similar or have any suggestions about what's going on with my seemingly body-mind contradictions? Do you think I could still be going through an adjustment period? I believe Paleo is the best way to eat and don't want to stop, I just want to figure out what's going on with my body.
Many thanks for reading all of this. x
Wow, what a mess! :) Let's tackle one: BLOATING. Here's my first thought: digestion. Either you have long standing digestive issues that are exacerbated by paleo (many people do - replacing grains with fruits and veggies can be problematic); OR you are having a transition issue. If you were vegan for a long time, your body may take a while to start making the necessary enzymes.
Some possible solutions. First check out this website:
I think you will find a lot of ideas on there. Second, you may want to look into some enzymes to help your body make this transition. Kresser/Wolf have a new line of supplements called Paleologix that are made specifically for this; it's expensive; I haven't tried it. But it's a good, ready-made solution. Or, you can create your own mix of enzymes. I take some by Standard Process; there are a bajillion out there. You will probably need enzymes for both protein breakdown (since you were vegan) and veggie matter breakdown (since you are bloating).
EARLY WAKING. I think this is rather common. I did this for a while at first, and it did eventually go away. Try eating most of your carbs at dinner. Also make sure that all sources of light are blocked. I even throw a tshirt over my alarm clock.
UTI. This one is tough. I think you are right to cut back on your protein. Could be tied into some food allergies related to the bloating (see first paragraph). You may want to look into Quercetin. When I first went paleo, I had a lot of detox reactions that occurred, including a fever I ran for about a month. The quercetin helped. I think I've also read about it for UTI's, but it's more for general inflammation.
DANDRUFF. No ideas.
PMS. I find this one really strange. Although my cycle did shorten, all my pms symptoms immediately disappeared, within 2 weeks. Look into supplementing with Magnesium. Epsom salt baths, or magnesium oil (rub on after shower, before drying off). You can also take chelated Mg pill,s or Mg glycinate, although Mg seems to be utilized better through the skin. Are you on the pill? That could be interfering with natural rhythms.
I know this is a lot of supplement ideas! Most of the these are just short term to get your body through the adjustment. Magnesium would be the only one I think you might want to take long term.
i second the supplements, try taking a digestive enzyme with pancreatin, a probiotic like garden of lifes primal defense, a multivitamin and some omega 3's. drink as much water as you can stand, drink broth, get plenty of electrolytes via seaweed. eat plenty of greens but be wary of too many cruficerous veggies as the are notorious gas producers. make sure you are getting the bulk of your fats from unrefined animal sources, fatty cuts of meat, oxtails, egg yolks, fatty broths. think about some herbal teas like peppermint, caraway and fennel seed for your stomach as well. dandelion and burdock are also good for digestion. uva ursi is a common herbal extract for healing up uti's.
The combination of the bladder irritation, dandruff, bloating, and PMS sound like it could potentially be some sort of massive fungal die-off. According to some things I've read, adding ground psyllium seed and perhaps some bentonite clay to your diet both decrease digestive transit time, and can grab onto and remove the fungal detritus from your system, so you reduce the amount that gets reabsorbed by your intestine, hopefully avoiding extra misery during a die-off.
I had interstitial cystitis for almost a year on the heels of a UTI that I didn't treat quickly enough, so that can definitely be a possibility. When I was seeking treatment for the interstitial cystitis, one of the last things they had to rule out was a fungal UTI, the bacterial tests that are normally run won't catch those. If you are still in pain, don't just live in misery, please push to see a urologist. In the meantime you might find Bag Balm applied to the opening to the urethra, taking goldenrod horsetail tincture, and drinking watermelon rind tea to be soothing.
I found Paleo to help with my PMS..Try drinking Apple Cider Vinegar diluted with water and a tiny bit of maple syrup and also drink fresh lemon tea..3 times a day..add Enzymes and also drink Chamomile tea the Tazo brand for Relaxation the stomach..
For the UTI drink lots of water (each glass should be 2/3 water filtered and 1/3 apple cider vinegar). It will pass. Dandruff, I have the same but is resolving with acv and noo poo. Bloat, I elminated lots of veggies, and focus on more fruit.
Regarding the "UTI"... I would suggest looking into the low oxalate diet (http://lowoxalate.info/). Oxalates seem to cause urinary issues in some people... symptoms that can seem like a UTI. You may have really increased your oxalate intake when you started the paleo diet.
This is totally anecdotal but a friend had many of the same symptoms (UTI symptoms but clean culture, abdominal bloating, excessive menstrual bleeding) you are describing and it turned out to be a fibroid tumor pressing against her bladder and uterus. She was initially diagnosed with IC and suffered for a year before an abdominal ultrasound was performed and the correct diagnosis was made.
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