I'm helping my 30-year old sister, who for a long time has had many health problems including systemic fibromyalgia-type pain symptoms and insomnia, start to eat paleo, as of last week. Her prior diet was tons of sugar, chips, some cheap meat, and lots of french fries.
A week ago she switched cold-turkey to virtually 100% paleo from her crappy diet. Only concessions are for stevia sodas (which she already drank before), a little honey, and some nitrate-free processed meats. She can't tolerate fish oil so we're figuring out ways to get flax, chia, and algae-based DHA into her.
She has reported that as of the day she started on paleo last week, she developed frequent urination, which is a problem since it interrupts her already-tenuous sleep. She suspects it is from "high protein" since this happened to her before when she used to make a lot of whey smoothies. The peeing is out of proportion with any possible changes in her fluid intake. She's "skinny fat" body type; it seems hard to believe all this peeing is from temporary loss of water retention, though I'm not ruling it out.
I've read some critiques of high-protein diets that argue excessive urination can be a symptom due to the extra nitrogen, ketones etc. I see her new diet as being higher, but not excessively high in protein; so far she's eating pretty normal servings of protein according to her appetite, and some good quality fat from coconut, butter, and omega-3 supplements instead of all the carbs. Is it possible her weak metabolism doesn't know what to do with the protein quite yet, and isn't processing it right? (At the moment she is pretty intolerant of exercise so only gets a little bit from walking around.)
Since her system is very weak overall we intend to bring this up with her MD in case there's an organ pathology, but I was wondering if anyone has thoughts on why this could be happening, if it might be a transitional thing, suggestions, etc. beyond what was covered in this guy's post. Thanks!
You don't say whether or not she's doing low-carb paleo or not, but I'd suspect that this is water loss from burning through stored glycogen. If she's doing low-carb, this shouldn't go on indefinitely. If she's cycling carbs, it could come and go.
Note: it's not required that one eat excessive amounts protein on a paleo diet. If she's doing low-carb, then she could try increasing calories from good fat sources. if she's not doing low carb, then dialing down the protein and balancing her meals with safe starches, fruits & veggies and fats would be worth a try.
First, has she dramatically increased the amount of protein, or just gotten rid of the junk? It could be that in addition to "water" weight loss that she is also experiencing a reduction of insulin and this can cause fluid loss as well.
I went through it for a couple weeks too when I switched to paleo. I literally lost my first 10lbs due to water release. If you think about it it's quite a shock and there's a lot of detoxing going on as well. I'm no health expert but in my experience it will pass the further she gets into the paleo lifestyle. Also major Kudos for her going cold turkey of a crappy diet!
The Loon, I would love your help as I'm suffering a lot going to the bathroom 14-20 times a day. Only sometimes at night. I was wondering if you could help me?
Could you possibly e-mail me email@example.com
Thanks for these posts guys!
Every blessing, Jonny