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Really Bad Headaches During exercise- Possible Nutrient Deficency?

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  • Really Bad Headaches During exercise- Possible Nutrient Deficency?

    I started eating primal 1.5 mos ago. I am very much 80/20 with the plan, especially when it comes to wine and the holidays.

    it is because I am 80/20 that I do not think the issues I am having are carb flu related. Before I started eating primal, I was already low-carb with my diet and I have gone on diets under 50 grams of carbs before and not even experienced any of the symptoms people typically describe. I felt basically the same, I think sweet breathe was it.

    So I am concerned I am not getting enough nutrients because maybe my veggie intake is not varied enough. I started crossfitting again a month ago and I find a few minutes into my workouts I get a very sever headache that lasts for hours. I've never had headaches like this before. I started taking a multivitamin and more vitamin D about 1.5 wks ago. But they persist. It's possible I am dehydrated, but I've never really had an issue with hydrating before.

    Typically I eat broccoli, mushrooms, asparagus, spinach, brussell sprouts and cauliflower, maybe a salad here and there. Usually whatever meat I have for dinner, I'll have the next day at lunch. I have an apple a day and I started eating avocados about 3x a week as a snack. Sometimes I'll have dark chocolate on weekends. Eggs and bacon for breakfast on weekends, but typically a protein shake during the week.

    After the last headache I went home and ate a bunch of quinoa because I was thinking maybe I am too low carb. Hard to believe since I do drink wine fairly regularly and have dark chocolate on weekends.

    Has any one experienced anything like this? I plan to stop drinking for a month after the holidays, see if I get better results. So far I am actually feeling worse not better.

    I do not plan to give up eating primal and think the quitting drinking for a bit will help, but I am curious if anyone has had a similar experience.

  • #2
    sounds like a trip to the doctor is in store

    maybe sooner than later
    yeah you are

    Baby if you time travel back far enough you can avoid that work because the dust won't be there. You're too pretty to be working that hard.


    • #3
      do you get them on one side or another? Is there consistency?

      Do you take ibuprofen or aspirin? Does it help?

      And are your headaches right after exercising, or do they come on a day or two later? Do certain workouts cause them to come on much worse?

      I've had similar issues so that's why I'm asking.

      I am thinking your headaches sound possibly from an electrolyte imbalance. Have you ever taken a spot of magnesium and calcium and perhaps potassium? I know it's not primal but sometimes when you are experimenting in the low carb realm, your electrolytes get out of wack. Bad headaches can result.


      • #4
        Just saying, relying on wine and chocolate for carb sources is not really wise. Try adding some starches or tubers in here and there.

        When you say hydration was not an issue before, were you working out this much before? Are you new to crossfit?
        Depression Lies


        • #5
          Get your blood pressure checked!


          • #6
            @namelesswonder. HAHAHA, I would not say I am relaying on them as a carb source, but I haven't cut them back as much as I'd like. Girls got a lot of holiday parties. But that would be kind of an amazing way to eat 24/7. I think I'd probably die after a month. HA. However, I have not been eating any quinoa or sweet potatoes until recently because I am trying to keep my carbs low. I just started up crossfit again after being off of it for 4 mos. But I was eating even fewer calories and carbs when I was doing it the last time.

            @richard I also think it's an electrolyte issue, that is why I started taking a multi. I have to take potassium on training days or my feet lockup in cramps. That has calcium in it and I have started taking it daily. I also take magnesium every day before bed and I put sea salt on everything so my sodium should also be good. I think I just haven't figured out the right amounts.

            This is why I am not sure I have enough variety in what I am eating.

            The headaches start right when I begin the fast paced part of the work out. I actually noticed that if I am not really conscious of my breathing, say I hold my breath, they come on fast and hard. Then it can take hours to go away. I chug a bunch of water during and after the work out too. I'd love to hear your experience.


            • #7
              Crossfit and low carb are not compatible.


              • #8
                Okay, I just plugged in what I ate yesterday and I am at 48 g of carbs, that included a sweet potato and an apple... I am trying for weight loss, but per my wine consumption above I am guessing that's the road block not the carbs I am taking in from food.

                Thinking I'll need to increase my carb intake, especially since I typically do not eat sweet potatoes.

                Suggestions other than sweet pots?


                • #9
                  Any tuber or root vegetable, fruits, fruit and veg juices, whit rice.


                  • #10
                    RICE, you can't say RICE on here. LOL.


                    • #11
                      Oh and maple syrup, honey, molasses, cane suger, milk...


                      • #12
                        alright first things first - check with your doctor.
                        with that out of the way, this sounds exactly like an exertion headache. these are usually caused by a tense muscle in the neck that will radiate pain up into your head. however, in my case, these were severly exacerbated by going VLC. it was a problem that didn't surface for months, but cleared up as soon as i dropped the ketosis bullshit. YMMV, but doing strenuous exercise without carbs works for a very slim minority of people.


                        • #13
                          There is a type of headache called "exercise induced," and is exactly what you are describing. It has nothing to do with diet or nutritional deficiencies but is mainly hormonal. It can occur at any time in a person's life, even if that individual was regularly exercising without headaches.

                          You need to see a doctor to get an assessment. Any recurrent headache is a danger sign and requires medical evaluation.


                          • #14
                            Zach isn't primal.

                            I had a problem with exercise induced suddon-onset headaches. Cured it by cutting out the fishoil tablets. Just eating fish and other seafood instead for the omega3
                            Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

                            Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by peril View Post
                              Zach isn't primal.

                              I had a problem with exercise induced suddon-onset headaches. Cured it by cutting out the fishoil tablets. Just eating fish and other seafood instead for the omega3
                              So? Ever tried doing a crossfit session with no carbs? Have fun.