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  • Primal newbie- Are these symptoms normal?

    Hi all-

    I just started primal about 3-4 days ago after reading the Primal Blueprint. My diet before wasn't terrible, but definitely had plenty of carbs and low-ish fat. I've always had occasional hypoglycemic episodes and would always need carbs to fix them, and also need to eat very frequently. I'm also very active so I figured I needed it.

    Since I started PB, I've felt very low blood sugar almost constantly. When my blood sugar feels low I also have trouble sleeping. I'm trying to just ride it out and stay as strict to the diet as possible because I think it might be the "carb-flu" or just my body not being fat-adapted yet. Is this accurate, or should I be "treating" my low blood sugar with carbs?

    Right now I'm doing 120-150g of carbs for now and will decrease later if need be. I kept my total calories the same and added more fat.

    Any thoughts or similar experiences transitioning to Primal? SHould I be worried?

    Thanks everybody!

    -Andrea

  • #2
    I think the ultimate goal is to not need to "treat" episodes of hypoglycemia, but avoid them altogether. Make sure to stay hydrated, use salt (some people mistakenly avoid it), and eat carbs as you desire with your regular meals. I think it will help you adjust to a grain- and refined sugar-free lifestyle if you do not try to "restrict" yourself outside of not eating offending foods.

    What are your low blood sugar symptoms?
    Depression Lies

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    • #3
      Thank you for your input! That's why I started off by not restricting calories and not dropping by carbs too much, I didn't want to feel overly restricted. My symptoms are tiredness, a feeling of "hunger" that isn't really hunger from the belly (if that makes sense), and sometimes some dizziness.

      Comment


      • #4
        What you're experiencing isn't low blood sugar. It sounds more like the 'carb flu' that people report.

        It's impossible to 'ignore' true hypoglycemia or 'ride it out.' You'd go into a coma eventually. Don't assume low blood sugar unless you actually test your blood and confirm it.

        My sister is a Type 2 diabetic, and she will get hypoglycemia if she skips meals (which she does when busy at work), and she assures me that you don't feel either tired or hungry--you literally shake and feel faint and know that you have to immediately raise your blood sugar (before you pass out). That's why many diabetics keep orange juice handy.

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        • #5
          Sorry if I wasn't clear, I do have hypogylcemia- as diagnosed by my doctor via blood test. I was having these symptoms before going primal and have passed out several times in the past. However, I do not have diabetes and I am aware that my symptoms are nowhere as severe as a diabetic's. What I was asking is if it is normal when transitioning to primal if hypoglycemic symptoms are exacerbated (not to the point of fainting) ? Is this part of the carb-flu, or is this something I should be more concerned about.

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          • #6
            Absolutely sounds like the carb flu. I went through it too and am also a diagnosed hypoglycemic. If you've had enough low blood sugar incidents than you can tell that the carb flu symptoms are different. Definitely don't get to the point of passing out but just in general feel tired and achy.
            Make sure your fat intake is what it should be. Having chicken broth with some salt and ghee butter really helped me get through the carb flu but really it should only last a few days depending on how carb heavy you're diet was previously.

            Originally posted by AMC View Post
            Sorry if I wasn't clear, I do have hypogylcemia- as diagnosed by my doctor via blood test. I was having these symptoms before going primal and have passed out several times in the past. However, I do not have diabetes and I am aware that my symptoms are nowhere as severe as a diabetic's. What I was asking is if it is normal when transitioning to primal if hypoglycemic symptoms are exacerbated (not to the point of fainting) ? Is this part of the carb-flu, or is this something I should be more concerned about.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for your reply! Definitely helpful knowing someone can relate. My diet wasn't terribly carb heavy, as I've always focused on whole foods, but I definitely had my fair share of fruit and grains. I'm hoping this only lasts a few days! I will try the broth idea for sure, I've been really thirsty too, so i want to keep my electrolytes up.

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm also hypoglycemic, always and still. I've been on PB about 6 months now. I had almost 3 weeks of misery at first, that was 'carb-flu'. It will pass. Just keep following PB. NO sugar, low fruit, low carbs, honest, it will work out; lots of protein and fats, especially fish. Canned fish is great, tuna, sardines, herring, mackerl, etc. Eat every 4 hours, without fail.

                After you get past the carb-flu and the hypoglcemic symptoms disappear, you'll feel great. It takes a while for your body to adjust to the lowered sugar and carb input, but it will. Then it will stop pumping out so much insulin.

                If you can get grass-fed beef, make bone-broth and keep it on hand. Otherwise just use joint bones from your butcher.
                "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by AMC View Post
                  Hi all-

                  I just started primal about 3-4 days ago after reading the Primal Blueprint. My diet before wasn't terrible, but definitely had plenty of carbs and low-ish fat. I've always had occasional hypoglycemic episodes and would always need carbs to fix them, and also need to eat very frequently. I'm also very active so I figured I needed it.

                  Since I started PB, I've felt very low blood sugar almost constantly. When my blood sugar feels low I also have trouble sleeping. I'm trying to just ride it out and stay as strict to the diet as possible because I think it might be the "carb-flu" or just my body not being fat-adapted yet. Is this accurate, or should I be "treating" my low blood sugar with carbs?

                  Right now I'm doing 120-150g of carbs for now and will decrease later if need be. I kept my total calories the same and added more fat.

                  Any thoughts or similar experiences transitioning to Primal? SHould I be worried?

                  Thanks everybody!

                  -Andrea
                  Sounds like me! Hypoglycemia lowers body temp when you get a little hungry, which induces adrenaline, and that's what keeps you awake / wakes you up.

                  Have you checked your body temperature?
                  Last edited by YogaBare; 04-19-2013, 03:51 PM.
                  "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                  In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                  - Ray Peat

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks everyone! Failed to mention i'm hypothyroid if that makes any difference.. I'm hoping low carb won't affect that, as i've heard mixed opinions. I don't plan on doing VLC right now.

                    Crypto- Great advice, I needed that encouragement! I jumped in balls to the wall and don't plan on cheating anytime soon. I need to try the bone broth idea.

                    YogaBare- I check my temp. semi-regularly because I am also hypothyroid. I haven't since starting Primal, but that's a great idea. I will start tracking and see what happens.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by AMC View Post
                      Thanks everyone! Failed to mention i'm hypothyroid if that makes any difference.. I'm hoping low carb won't affect that, as i've heard mixed opinions. I don't plan on doing VLC right now.

                      Crypto- Great advice, I needed that encouragement! I jumped in balls to the wall and don't plan on cheating anytime soon. I need to try the bone broth idea.

                      YogaBare- I check my temp. semi-regularly because I am also hypothyroid. I haven't since starting Primal, but that's a great idea. I will start tracking and see what happens.
                      Wow, I hit the nail on the head! Hypothyroid people often compensate with very high adrenaline production (adrenaline raises the body temp). I bet what's happening is that your body temp is dropping at night, your adrenaline is kicking off, and that's what's waking you. Are you low carb? Carbs are thermic, low carb is quite "cooling".
                      "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                      In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                      - Ray Peat

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well I've only been primal for less than week. Prior, I was eating 200+g of carbs. Now, since being primal I've been doing about 120g per day (for now at least). What do you suggest?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by AMC View Post
                          Well I've only been primal for less than week. Prior, I was eating 200+g of carbs. Now, since being primal I've been doing about 120g per day (for now at least). What do you suggest?
                          If you're hypo I wouldn't suggest lowering your carbs: it can exasperate the condition. Why do you want to go low carb? Weight loss? Primal doesn't have to be low carb: it just means no grains or refined food.

                          Purely in terms of sleep: what I'm doing atm is wearing a lot more clothes to bed - it keeps the body temp up and discourages you from dumping adrenaline in the night. It's working well so far!
                          "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                          In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                          - Ray Peat

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yes, my goal is weight loss. I gained a significant amount of weight (due to hypothyroid) over the past couple of years. DO you think my carbs are too low right now?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AMC View Post
                              Yes, my goal is weight loss. I gained a significant amount of weight (due to hypothyroid) over the past couple of years. DO you think my carbs are too low right now?
                              If you're having trouble sleeping I would think yes... Or maybe your cals are too low?
                              "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                              In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                              - Ray Peat

                              Comment

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