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  • Not hungry, but feel faint

    Hi there,

    I am new to the forum but have been reading the blog for a few years, started 10 months ago on/off primal, then strict primal about one month ago. Was feeling great with no hunger until a few days ago skipped a few meals (I had been stuck in airports -- sleeping in airports....). Now while I feel no hunger, I am very faint if it's nearing mealtime. Cold hands, jittery.... Just throwing this out to see if anyone has had this experience, and whether it's temporary or perhaps something worse (hypoglycemia?)

    Eating a snack helps, but I've had two episodes of this so far. This never used to happen before.

    Thank you so much, and thanks for all the help, Mark! Eating primal overall has helped me so much, what with moderating my hunger and giving me steady energy, and I would hate to have to change the way I am eating.


    Debbie

  • #2
    From my own history with disordered eating, I can tell you that ignored hunger goes away after a while. For me, it's at about the 36-hr point. After that, my stomach no longer hurts and I no longer feel hungry. But my vision starts to get blurry, I get dizzy, I lose muscle coordination, etc.

    So even if you're not hungry at that point, you still need to eat. Eating fixes it. You should know about what kind of portion is normal for you. Keep eating those sized portions at the right times for a while even if you don't feel hungry.

    _-J o u r n a l_--------- ---- ---- --- --- -- -- -

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    • #3
      I think I know what you are talking about. Your veins shrink, your head feels funny - almost like you took an icy shower. Frankly, I don't think it's worth worrying about because it comes and goes. Does it impact your life in any significant way? Yes, eat. Eat a lot. Fasting is fun once in awhile, be eat at least once a day for most of the year.
      Crohn's, doing SCD

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      • #4
        good lord, eat food. you feel faint cause you haven't been eating. try eating food, despite your lack of burning hunger, and see if it doesn't stop you from feeling faint.

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        • #5
          I've had to readjust my "hunger signals" since I started Primal. I used to turn into an unholy bitch if I didn't get my three squares at least. Now I sometimes find myself droopier than usual at the end of a day and realize that I've been doing stuff all day and haven't eaten a thing. Your hunger probably isn't going to beat you over the head any more, but it is still real and still needs to be addressed.
          http://cattaillady.com/ My blog exploring the beginning stages of learning how to homestead. With the occasional rant.

          Originally Posted by TheFastCat: Less is more more or less

          And now I have an Etsy store: CattailsandCalendula

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          • #6
            Hypoglycemia literally means low blood sugar. It's not something big and scary, even though it's not fun. If you go too long without eating, your blood sugar will get low. Eating fixes it. Experiment and figure out what your threshold is (meal size and how many hours you can go till the next meal), and then stay within it. Mine used to be 2-3 hours, it's much longer since I switched to the PB way of eating (like 6-12 hours depending on what and how much I ate).

            Eat fat and/or protein with every meal (including snacks).

            Oh! I almost forgot... I've noticed it seems that alot of protein and very low carbs can trigger hypoglycemia in people who say they've never had it before. You might want to look at your ratios of protein/fat/carbs and play with it a bit to find what works best for you.
            Last edited by Danielle5690; 07-03-2012, 11:49 AM.

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            • #7
              Thanks so much for all the help. You guys are awesome.


              Could there be a backlog of hunger? Like, even if I ate a big meal today, my serial under-eating from before could still be causing light-headedness now, even though I recently fueled?

              I had been traveling, pushing a double stroller with a full backpack, lugging stuff on/off buses, much of it on an empty stomach.... thought my body could pull through in fat-burning mode.

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              • #8
                If you've only been strict for a month, it's possible your body hasn't completed the shift in to "fat-burning mode" yet. Eat at regular intervals for a couple more months (4-5 hours, or whatever your faintness threshold is). When you've gone a long time without an episode, test yourself to see if you can last a longer interval.

                Bouts of mild hypoglycemic symptoms seem like they might be part of the "low-carb flu" for some people.

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                • #9
                  Also, with all that schlepping around- you're going to be hungry for a while. Your body can use a lot of itself, but it needs outside food, too.
                  http://cattaillady.com/ My blog exploring the beginning stages of learning how to homestead. With the occasional rant.

                  Originally Posted by TheFastCat: Less is more more or less

                  And now I have an Etsy store: CattailsandCalendula

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                  • #10
                    Your body will need time to adjust. You are definitely experiencing hypoglycemia. If you include more carbs, you may have an easier time. It might take some experimenting to find the best level for you to get by without that feeling, for now. If you ever want to go low-carb (below 50g, let's say), make sure to get enough/plenty of protein. I found that helped me get over my hypoglycemia, which I primarily experienced when I was eating grains regularly.
                    Depression Lies

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                    • #11
                      I have diabetes and the shivering stuff could be either a hypo or false hypo. If you test your BG and it's not low then it's a false hypo and you can ignore it, your body is adjusting to lower blood sugars. If your blood sugar is actually low, you need to have something fast acting like OJ then a meal. Actual low blood sugar is dangerous and shouldn't be ignored. If it happens a lot I'd recommend seeing doctor.

                      Faintness could be lack of salt, I think it's Gary Taubes who recommends a dose of bouillon now and then IIRC.

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                      • #12
                        You may be right; I might not yet be efficiently fat-burning.

                        I've been almost primal for about six months (oatmeal sometimes, bread when we had guests..... leftover bites from kids meals...) When I switched to no grains at all, I would skip meals from time to time with no ill effects. I could feel constant energy the whole day.

                        Something was different this time. I'm wondering if strenuous exercise during IF is the culprit. But what about all those who work out during IF?

                        Perhaps this is the difference between a newbie primal metabolism and a fat-burning beast metabolism...



                        Thanks again so much. You are a lifesaver.

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                        • #13
                          Why is it that I can last about 30 hours without food without feeling faint, which includes a workout thrown in the mix, but any longer and I feel faint? If I lasted the first 30 hours, doesn't that mean I am fat-adapted? Or is it because I ate so much at my last meal that it can stretch me for that long?
                          My chocolatey Primal journey

                          Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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                          • #14
                            Might it be something to do with the amount of glycogen in your body ?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Artichoke View Post
                              Might it be something to do with the amount of glycogen in your body ?
                              But some people eat that many carbs in one meal and can only last 5 hours. I can last 30, including a glycogen-depleting workout at the gym. Difference?
                              My chocolatey Primal journey

                              Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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