I have been experimenting a little bit. I used to have two issues (among others) earlier when I was non-paleo. I used to wake up many times during the night and would feel extremely drowsy during the day. And I would also experience shortness of breath sometimes. After going paleo, these two problems slowly disappeared, with the exception that nowadays I seem to wake up few times in the morning around 6am. Once, I accidentally introduced gluten and the same night I woke up many times. I tried this once again (controlled cheating!) few days back with the same stuff happening again. So here's my list.
- Gluten: Waking up during the night! (though no immediate digestion problems)
- Diary: Shortness of breath! (nowadays I am trying to be paleo+lacto because I keep failing short of calories, but whenever I drink milk or eat yogurt I experience this immediately).
- Rice: Stomach pain due to constipation! (this one's recent and is scaring me).
Note: Sometime back I had to eat rice when my friends had come and was traveling a bit, and slowly I started to get stomach pains. I then cut back all kinds of meat etc, and then started eating rice+yogurt+banana as bland foods. The pain kept going on for 10 days. I finally went to a doc and he told me this point: what happens when rice/bread is put in water? - it absorbs it! That was the reason for my stomach pains! Without realizing it himself, he told me to avoid all the non-paleo food items and he told me I could eat meat/fruits/veggies etc - basically the paleo template. Immediately I went home and prepared some ground beef and ate it even though my stomach was paining - the pain stopped that day!
I think the lesson is to know what exactly happens to your body when you eat food. Share your experiences so others might be able to keep an eye of whats going on with the food and their body!
I have been able to identify the following reactions after I have done repeated testing several times:
Gluten: Waking up at 3 am and unable to fall a sleep again for a couple of hours.
Lots of candy on empty stomach: Inflamed acne and sometimes stye on the eye lid.
Not sure about dairy reactions as I just recently eliminated it.
Sugar in excess: I feel the high, and then the crash, and it's not pretty. Somewhat like a hangover without the fun.
Whole milk or lower: cystic acne!!!
Gluten: loose black stools for an entire week; knee swells so much that I limp. Achey all over, prone to headaches that turn into migraines.
Corn cheats: retain water, get mad carb cravings for days afterward. Too much (as in shamelessly binging on gluten-free chex mix at Thanksgiving) and I get gluten-like symptoms for a day or two.
Any of these can also mess up my sleep, depending on the dose.
Gluten: bloat, gas, constipation, pain = miserable. Sometimes I also get an ichy back of the throat/roof of the mouth feeling and/or shortness of breath/tight chest feeling.
sugar: can actually feel the "high". I once told my husband that I felt like Bart and Milhouse after they've drank the all syrup super squishy (for those Simpson fans out there). But I also feel the crash, which causes headaches and general grouchyness/short fuse/mood swing.
Dairy not so bad, I feel nothing as long as its nonpasturized/aged or goat milk. "regular" diary products I get the flem-y feeling in the back of my throat, sometimes a cough, and gas.
also, after having any or all of these, the next day I feel generally tired, worn down, and sometimes ill or sick feeling.
i'm new to trying paleo...but i've spent years figuring out why i was always getting sinus infections and was generally puffy/unhealthy. i have similar reactions as you do. turns out i'm allergic to gluten, allergic to casein (the protein in any dairy product), and also have an allergic reaction to rice. i get terrible stomach aches when i eat rice. it all was explained to me when i recently read the book "dangerous grains." turns out, rice has a component (or a protein?) in it that is similar to gluten and affects those with a gluten allergy negatively.
i now know that eating gluten gives me digestion problems and makes me tired, grumpy, and itchy. having casein does everything from making me very itchy to making me so stuffy i sound like i have a head cold. i stopped drinking milk daily 4 years ago...and haven't had a sinus infection since! if i eat gluten and/or casein 3 days in a row, i end up getting a cold or pick up whatever illness is going around at work (haven't done 3 days in a row since i figured that out!).
the rice thing makes sense if you are also allergic to gluten. and many people who are allergic to gluten are also allergic to dairy - because the milk proteins have made their way through the permeable intestine lining to our bloodstream and our bodies react as if they are invaders each time we have any. hope this helps. :)
I only just started treating myself to non-paleo things after a 30 day challenge.
Creme brulee (cream, sugar) - Fine! Minor indigestion problems.
Nachos with cheese (cheese, non-GMO blue corn) - Hungry, cravings for more carby things, messed up hunger cues.
Eggnog (cream, whole milk, bourbon) - Oh my god what have I done to myself? I think milk is significantly worse for me than cream is. My skin is all oily and I'm broken out and I'm having trouble sleeping.
I think this'll finally convince me that dairy should stay out of my diet no matter how delicious it is. Of course, it could be chance, time of month, interaction of all those foods, stress. I'm not so interested in re-testing these assumptions, as it were, if I can just do without. I don't want to know how gluten would affect me -- I don't plan on reintroducing it to see.
Admittedly, I'm kind of jealous everyone reacts to strongly to gluten, I got nada :P
FRUIT on the other hand... We don't seem to be able to make nice, pretty much everything people seem to experience with gluten I get with fruit. Headaches, cramps, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, cravings, hunger, heart pacing, annoying caffeine like energy followed by exhaustion with the inability to actually fall asleep, acne, gas, bloating... And then this really weird thing where I can "feel" my veins after I've eaten it, and it's sort of painful in an annoying way. Very difficult to describe to doctors without them thinking you've gone mad. "MY VEINS HURT ON THE INSIIIDE!!!"
ive only been paleo for a couple of months now, though i had been slowly moving towards it for a while. ive never eliminated dairy, except when i was vegan, so i dont really know, but one thing ive noticed this holiday season when my diet has not been great is a terrible carb-flu about 24 hours after eating (not sure which has been worse) a lot of grain/gluten/sugar. ONE of those things (or maybe a combination) causes me intolerable headaches and a terrible stuffy nose and sinus congestion. there are also significant muscle aches and fatigue. it literally feels like im coming down with a really bad head cold or flu. i cant believe it took me so long to put two and two together, and as you can tell, im still trying to figure out exactly what causes what, but the symptoms are dramatic, and like clockwork.
The three horsemen...
Gluten: noticed some headaches and cramping, possibly other symptoms, but eaten small amounts without much effect. Oddly enough I avoid this most stringently, despite only slight reaction to it.
Fructose: I usually feel pretty sick, especially if I am coming off of fasting or high-fat eating. Exacerbates hunger. Compromised immune system.
Omega-6s: my exercise-induced asthma appears to be correlated with my linoleic acid intake, AFAICT. The true test of this hypothesis is to down a shot of safflower oil and start running laps... but I am honestly afraid of trying that. Allergies might also be correlated to this, but I am not entirely sure yet.
Also of value are the things lacto-paleo alone has not fixed: my circadian rhythm problems (diagnosed delayed sleep phase syndrome), optimal gut health is still not established...