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Symptoms Indicate Diet Changes Needed?- Input please

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  • Symptoms Indicate Diet Changes Needed?- Input please

    I went Primal a month ago, and am adapting well for the most part. I no longer have to eat every couple hours to keep my "blood sugar stable." I haven't had a low blood sugar crash since I started. My energy is going up every week, and I was super impressed one night last week when I was on a work trip and hadn't had any primal-friendly food options all day, and was hungry, but still managed to go on a 4 mile walk around DC... and was the only one in my party who had the energy to walk up the Lincoln Memorial stairs!

    However, I've had a few unpelasant side effects too that don't seem to be waning. I felt great the first week going Primal, but then quickly got headaches and a general brain foginess. I was going very low carb at first, around 40-60g a day and eating about 1100-1200 calories a day (trying to lose weight/body fat). Last week I didn't track carbs or calories and found that I lost more weight, but the headaches were still there. This week I tweaked and have taken my calories up to 1300-1400 and my carbs up to 70-90g and have actually lost more weight doing this than when I was being more restrictive.

    Unfortunately, even though I seem to be getting the calories and carbs in balance, I'm wondering if other minerals are out of place, perhaps electrolytes? I'm still having headaches, some brain fog, and my vision just feels "off." Not blurry, but not sharp or "right" either. I've also been getting some gnarly leg cramps every morning. I read on MDA that is due to not enough potassium so have been eating some sweet potatoes and bananas and that has helped some with the leg cramps but not with the other symptoms.

    Does it sound like an electrolyte imbalance or something else? Am I not getting enough of some kind of mineral or another? Is there really a way to tell short of trying to piece together symptoms and deficiency lists? I suppose I could go to a doctor if it continued to be a problem, but I don't want to be told to eat my whole grains. I do wonder, to a degree, how one can eat a SAD diet for so many years and not have some of these deficiencies and problems, and then eat a truly healthy diet and have them pop up. I guess overall though, I do feel better, and have much more energy. I'd just really like my head to stop hurting, legs to stop cramping, and brain and eyes to focus!

  • #2
    sounds like you're low-carb enough to be in ketosis, so yeah, electrolytes are out of whack. you need to replace the sodium and potassium. bone broth with salt, miso soup, salted butter, etc. will help. avocados, bananas, brussels sprouts and cantaloupe are all high in that. also drink LOTS of water to prevent dehydration.
    Last edited by noodletoy; 06-25-2012, 02:48 PM.
    As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

    Ernest Hemingway

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    • #3
      Trying drinking a glass of coconut water everyday. It has all the electrolytes and is quite taste!

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      • #4
        Yes, sounds like the typical sodium depletion. It's supposedly a temporary result of all the water lost as you burn off the stored carbohydrate in your body, but I'm not convinced it's all that temporary. Maybe my kidneys are just shot, or I was meant to live near mineralized water and nutrient-rich soil, but I readily and easily deplete of electrolytes in a matter of days without some strong source. My go to is a tbsp. of blackstrap molasses stirred in water, and 3/4 tsp. of baking soda in there, too, on bicycle/sweating/heavy-lifting/cramp days.

        Is your pulse a little high? When mine speeds up (while resting) I know I'm low on salt.

        Also, some recommend drinking less water to help the body retain the minerals, but I have yet to master that.
        Crohn's, doing SCD

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ErinFS View Post
          I do wonder, to a degree, how one can eat a SAD diet for so many years and not have some of these deficiencies and problems, and then eat a truly healthy diet and have them pop up. I guess overall though, I do feel better, and have much more energy. I'd just really like my head to stop hurting, legs to stop cramping, and brain and eyes to focus!
          I had a hard time with that, too. I spent 43 years eating total crap and no vitamins or supplements of any kind. I ended up with full-blown metabolic syndrome, had to take a handful of pills, pre-diabetic, high bp, hypothyroid, gout, fatty liver disease, high trigs, and heart palps.

          Now, nearly two years later I'm off all meds and perfectly healthy by most standards. Consider the first 6 months transitional, your body needs to relearn how to partition calories and nutrients while you relearn how to deal with hunger, sugar cravings, and start exercising more.

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          • #6
            That's all good information to have. Thanks for that. I picked up some coconut water on my way home and drank a glass. Also going to add some salt to my dinner. I'm not a big "salter," so I may need to relearn that along with all my other new habits.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by otzi View Post
              I had a hard time with that, too. I spent 43 years eating total crap and no vitamins or supplements of any kind. I ended up with full-blown metabolic syndrome, had to take a handful of pills, pre-diabetic, high bp, hypothyroid, gout, fatty liver disease, high trigs, and heart palps.

              Now, nearly two years later I'm off all meds and perfectly healthy by most standards. Consider the first 6 months transitional, your body needs to relearn how to partition calories and nutrients while you relearn how to deal with hunger, sugar cravings, and start exercising more.
              That is a really good mindset! I came into PB hypoglycemic and with my doctor telling me to up my protein consumption with Boost shakes. :-/ I'm sure I was just a hop, skip, and a jump away from metabolic syndrome and/or pre-diabetes. I know one month into Prinal is still very new, so I consider myself still in the tweaking phase, and am just so thankful I have a community like the one here at MDA to bounce things off of!

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              • #8
                ugh! just looked up that boost drink. first few ingredients are water, sugar, corn syrup and vegetable oil. then a LONG list of other industrial grade junk. you can get just as much protein from a couple hard-boiled eggs. jeebus.
                As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

                Ernest Hemingway

                Comment


                • #9
                  Boost drink?
                  Crohn's, doing SCD

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                  • #10
                    Just in case there's any confusion.. I'm NOT, nor have I ever drank one!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Knifegill View Post
                      Boost drink?
                      yeah, i had to google it. eat food, ya know?

                      this:


                      Water, Sugar, Milk Protein Concentrate, Corn Syrup Solids, Vegetable(s) Oil (Canola Oil, Sunflower Oil High Oleic, Corn Oil), Cocoa Processed With Alkali Calcium Caseinate, Sodium Caseinate, Contains less than 0.50.5% of Potassium Citrate, Magnesium Chloride, Salt, Magnesium Phosphate, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Beta Carotene, Biotin, Niacinamide (Vitamin aB), Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6 Hydrochloride, Thiamine (Thiamin) Hydrochloride, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid (Vitamin aB), Potassium Iodide, Calcium Phosphate, Soy Lecithin, Flavor(s) Artificial, Carrageenan, Potassium Chloride, Vitamin D3, Sodium Molybdate, Zinc Sulfate, Sodium Selenate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin A Acetate, Cupric Sulfate, Chromic Chloride, Ferric Pyrophosphate, Vitamin K1, Magnesium Sulfate
                      As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

                      Ernest Hemingway

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yesterday I drank salt water, regular water, lemon water, coconut water, ate sweet potatoes and bananes... basically anything I could do to balance out my electrolytes. Of course, I drank plenty of water through out the evening and today, and today I feel ever worse. I had a moment about an hour ago where I was pretty sure I was going to pass out. Also, yesterday and today I noticed that the blood vessels in the inside corner of my eyes are extremely red, abnomrally so.

                        I'm really at a loss here. I'm curious if it's perhaps a magnesium deficiency as I read that can present as postassium deficiency (since it keeps potassium from being absorbed or something?).

                        I am trying to get into the doctor to see if I can have some blood work done because feeling like I'm going to pass out is not something I'm willing to mess around with and work on "tweaking." Curious if anyone else has experienced this as well.

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                        • #13
                          Yeah, blood work is good. Get a CMP, it includes electrolytes and more for better clues.
                          Crohn's, doing SCD

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