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hypotension/feeling of heartbeat/lightheadedness

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  • hypotension/feeling of heartbeat/lightheadedness

    Hi Everyone,

    I first tried primal/paleo back in the summer, and it was going great. I no longer felt groggy, digestive gurgling went away, and I lost a few pounds. But, an accident knocked me off the diet for a while.

    I started again in December, and it went pretty well. Over the holidays, I was off the diet completely though. I wanted to make a clean start in the new year.

    Results were good until two nights ago, and yesterday. I could feel my heartbeat strongly while trying to sleep two nights ago, and yesterday I noticed my blood pressure was very low 90/59 and 89/63. I felt the same feeling of my heartbeat pulsing, and felt weak. I ate at subway, and it went away. I also drank a glass with some sea salt in it.

    Has anyone experienced anything like this? Normally I've had no trouble and felt great eating primal, so I'm confused. My meals since restarting were:

    (I often ate two meals per day as I was sleeping in. I ate around 11 am and 7 pm, and didn't feel hungry)

    December 30:

    breakfast: I was still at home, and had some of my parents homemade bread with homemade jam, and eggs. My last holiday meal.

    Supper: Decided to fast. Felt fine.

    December 31: Breakfast: Bacon, eggs, sauerkraut

    Dinner: Salad with lettuce, roast chicken, walnuts, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds (small quantities of all of the nuts), red and yellow bell peppers, cucumber, onion, covered in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

    I had a low key new years eve and drank a bit of red wine and ate some dark chocolate.

    January 1st: Breakfast: some beef (fried) in onions and garlic, along with a couple of eggs, sauerkraut, raw peppers, cucumber and carrot.

    Dinner: Some leftover beef and chicken along with steamed carrots, broccoli and kale.

    January 2nd: Breakfast: Bacon and eggs, along with leftover steamed vegetables and sauerkraut.

    Dinner: I didn't feel hungry, and thought about fasting. Then hunger came just before bedtime, so I ate some of the chicken, beef and nuts I had left.

    January 3rd: Breakfast: Bacon, eggs and sauerkraut

    Dinner: Chicken fried in coconut oil with peppers, onion and garlic, along with broccoli. Ate a raw carrot and sauerkraut too. Had some dark chocolate after the meal.

    My meals usually have more variation, but the stores where I usually shop were closed over the weekend for new years. So I made use of what I had. I supplemented with fish oil, vitamin D and magnesium.

    Anyone see any obvious red flags, or has anyone had that experience when just starting a primal eating style? I can say with pretty high confidence that it was NOT due to quantity. Portions were pretty large, and last night (when I felt my worst) I actually ate too much with the chocolate, and felt very full. Full and lightheaded.

    I still felt full when I ate at subway, but it seemed to make the problem go away. I had a sandwich, and milk.

    I normally have not felt like this (whether eating primal or not), and would like to get back to eating primal with success, the way I was before. Any ideas?

  • #2
    I was having some issues with heart palpations. I have been really watching things and writing them down and while I am not 100% positive I am pretty sure that too low carb is what was causing mine. Just a thought!


    • #3
      This always happens to me when I start a clean, lower carb diet. Always. What I have come to believe is that I do have some level of adrenal fatigue, exhaustion or whatever which can affect BP regulation. Also, I think that I naturally decrease my salt intake when undertaking a healthy eating plan and that is what triggers the LBP. I have struggled for about a month with this. I have upped my salt and my magnesium intake and that is helping. I also have upped my carb consumption some. I am really trying to stay the course this time and hoping this situation will resolve itself. I was given a clean bill of health a few years back from a cardiologist, so in case anyone is wondering, I don't think there are underlying issues other than the adrenal issue perhaps.
      True healthcare reform starts in your kitchen, not in Washington. ~Anonymous
      The worst carrot is better than the best candybar.--TornadoGirl


      • #4
        I haven't "just started," but I had some serious episodes of hypotension (low BP), one of which sent me to the ER. My cardiologist finally diagnosed it all from dehydration--although I thought I was getting plenty of fluids. He advised me to regularly have a sports drink for the electrolyes because otherwise, "all that fluid is just going right through you."

        The source of my problem (he thinks) is that since I've lost 180 lbs, the vascular system doesn't shrink, so I have the blood volume of a person more than twice my size, and I need to hydrate to that level.

        I know this isn't your problem, but it could be a need for electrolytes to help you retain fluid.


        • #5
          Make sure you're drinking enough water! I suffer from low blood pressure and increasing your water intake will help. Also, your body is probably getting used to eating less meals throughout the day so your blood sugar might also be adjusting. Try and take it slow, maybe not eat as much at a meal and then have a snack - hardboiled eggs, etc - to keep your body from having that light headed feeling. Then once your body is used to eating primal, you should be able to go back to just 2 or 3 meals a day.


          • #6
            I suspect adrenal fatigue, as I've had these symptoms, too. Adrenal fatigue can cause "salt wasting" where you lose salt faster than normal due to low aldosterone (the hormone that regulates sodium levels). If this is the case, drinking plain water can make you feel worse, as it will further dilute your blood sodium, so try drinking water with lots of sea salt added (use unrefined, like Real Salt or any salt with color- not white table salt- too many chemicals and bad mineral profile).
            This should fix those symptoms quite quickly if adrenal fatigue is the issue


            • #7
              Thanks everyone, glad to know I'm not the only one who experienced that. I'm starting again, I'll try a bit of sea salt in water and see if it helps.