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Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency????

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  • Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency????

    I have been following the primal lifestyle for 3+ months. I must admit that I've not been great about the lifting heavy things and sprinting portion of the lifestyle, but I've been able to easily implenent the rest (eating, supplements, walking, playing, sleeping). I am aiming to keep my carbs in the 50-70 range until I lose the last few pounds I'm carrying. My breakfast is generally an omelette. Lunch is veggies and some meat source. Dinner is the same. I have a small piece of dark chocolate a couple of times a week and a glass of red wine 3-4 times a week. I take a supplement that is much better than a standard multivitamin but not as nutrient rich as Mark's.

    I will keep this brief, can excess protein without heavy lifting result in muscle spasms? I've had two weeks of upper back spasms. A friend suggested that the spasms may be the result of my diet. Your thoughts? I did have a chiropractic adjustment and massage a day before the spasms started. I've been working with a chiropractor to try to resolve the spasms, but it's making very slow progress (2 weeks). I guess I'm wondering if there are dietary things I should tweek that may help: less protein, more vitamins or minerals, exercise????

    Thanks for any advice you may give.

  • #2
    I'm generally skeptical of chiropractors, but that's just me....

    For me, muscle spasms need some down time. Just take it easy on your body. Make sure you're feeding it well. Hydrating. Do some stretching. Muscle spasms suck but go easy on yourself.
    Because if you didn't know, of that is life made: only of moments; Don't lose the now.


    • #3
      Well, are you sure that you're absolutely getting all of your micronutrients? If not, get on it. You might have to get some individual supplements, this is a different world from Grok's, a nutrient-depleted world and judging by most multi-vitamins, a lot of the time they don't get it for a lot of minerals. I don't know what I would do without my potassium, magnesium, and copper supplements. Eat more hemp seeds and throw off my omega 3:6 ratio and eat beef liver and throw up, probably, heh.

      Speaking of omega 3:6 ratio, how is yours? Are they pastured or flax-fed eggs and pastured meat? Do you eat fish or take fish oil every day?
      Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

      Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!


      • #4
        I, too, am skeptical of chiropracters and would attribute those spasms to that 'manipulation.' (I have a bad back and was warned by several doctors never to go near a chiropracter.)

        Your diet doesn't seem too high in protein unless you're eating massive amounts of meat. With low carbs, your body needs more protein and fat for energy.

        And there doesn't seem to be anything in your diet that would cause back spasms unless you're low in potassium and/or magnesium. Sometimes people who are new to low carb will lose too much potassium, but your carbs don't seem that low.

        Again, my money is on the chiropracter, and I wouldn't try to alleviate the spasms with more 'manipulation.'


        • #5
          The timing with the chiropractor leads me to think it is that too. Other things to consider....

          How is your work station arranged? Is your chair at the right height, and your keyboard and screen in the correct position. I gave myself terrible neck pain with a badly positioned computer screen. If you don't work at a desk, are there any changes that might affect posture? E.g. are you driving a different car, picking up loads more often than usual.

          Stress can affect muscles too. Are you under unusual stress?

          You might want to consider yoga, pilates or body balance to stretch out those muscles. Since you've been eating primal for over 3 months and these only started 2 weeks ago I would be surprised if your diet was the cause.
          My website:


          • #6
            Whenever I'm magnesium deficient I get weird, random muscle spasams in my eyelids, abdomen and other odd places (not painful, just really annoying). I started supplementing and it helped them go away completely.


            • #7
              bone stocks! make bone stock reductions and get your minerals the good old-fashioned way. leafy greens are good for 'em too, especially if grown yourself or on a local farm that isn't doing mass production.


              • #8
                I wanted to thank you all for your responses. I was pretty sure that my diet was not to blame. However, a friend planted a seed of doubt; and in the pain I was in, I was willing to give up eating well and start downing sugar and bread if that would have stopped the spasms. I am confident that my problem was the result of a pinched nerve or something like that rather than my diet. Anyway, thanks again. I've really enjoy reading the posts in the forum and really appreciate all the knowledge I've taken from reading for the past few months.


                • #9
                  Sorry to hear that people have had such negative experiences with chiropractors. I was suffering from severe muscle spasms all throughout my back. I did my research and good friends who are chiropractors helped me select one. It has made a massive difference so far. I feel a million times better doing just about anything, from working out to just sitting, and the spasms are gone. I think that the quality of chiropractors can vary greatly though and that may be what people here have experienced.

                  That being said, I have been looking into the connection between tight muscle/muscle spasms, and nutritional deficiencies. I have been reading that magnesium deficiencies can play a role.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tonya View Post
                    My breakfast is generally an omelette. Lunch is veggies and some meat source. Dinner is the same. I have a small piece of dark chocolate a couple of times a week and a glass of red wine 3-4 times a week. I take a supplement that is much better than a standard multivitamin but not as nutrient rich as Mark's........chiropractor to try to resolve the spasms, but it's making very slow progress (2 weeks)

                    I love chiropractic. Love it. But I also find that unless you're addressing the underlying magnesium and potassium deficiencies that are contributing to the muscle tightness, or in your case, spasm, it's not that helpful for the kinds of pain you're having.

                    Muscle spasms are nearly always magnesium and potassium deficiency.

                    Magnesium insufficiency is common. Potassium insufficiency is pandemic.

                    The Vitamin D Newsletter July 2009
                    "Dr. Cannell: Is it important to take magnesium with vitamin D? Judith, New York

                    Yes, it is important to have adequate magnesium intake and most Americans do not. A number of people have written about muscle cramps after they start sunbathing or taking Vitamin D. This is likely caused from the neuromuscular hyperexcitability of magnesium deficiency that is somehow unmasked by higher Vitamin D levels. " Abbott LG, Rude RK. Clinical manifestations of magnesium deficiency. Miner Electrolyte Metab. 1993;19(45):31422.

                    Krispin Sullivan (brilliant woman) on potassium from food:

                    Krispin on magnesium:

                    and a Produce, Potassium doc I compiled:
                    ❑ 3,500 mg potassium (K) is the "Daily Value" (DV) intake per the FDA, NIH,
                    ADA etc. Consdering that nutrient intakes from these organizations reflect
                    standard intakes, not optimal, consider viewing potassium needs through a
                    'primal' lens based on K intakes in traditional diets and what we know of diets
                    in environment closer to those in which we adapted.

                    ❑ Potassium intakes in the above 'primal' diets - likely ranges
                    based on potassium to sodium ratio
                    5mg K:1mg Na to 16mg K: 1mg Na

                    based on potassium to calorie ratio
                    2-4mg K per calorie ingested

                    ❑ 10-13 servings produce will often be required to supply potassium at
                    optimal or nearly optimal levels

                    ❑ if needed to bring K:Na ratios or K:Kcal ratios into balance, tomato products
                    at each meal or by drinking homemade veggie peeling broths are easy, low
                    calorie, high potassium supplements. adding 99mg from a potassium tab
                    is essentially worthless when total potassium needs are 3,500-12,000 mg.

                    Think of magnesium and potassium as the relaxors and calcium and sodium as
                    the contractors. We need both - but it's all about ratio just like it is wrt Ω3 and Ω6.

                    Primal Blueprint and Produce
                    Here's what The Primal Blueprint says about produce:

                    p40 TPB
                    "The gathering of berries and other fruit, leafy greens, primitive roots, shoots and other vegetation, nuts and seeds provide the bulk of Grok's food supply."

                    p.112 TPB
                    "'it may take some acclimation to center your diet around vegetables....Dont follow the example of restaurants that serve skimpy vegetable portions seemingly just for decoration; serve yourself heaping portions that crowd everything else on your plate"

                    "Plant foods..naturally promote a beneficial balance between acidity and alkalinity..inyour bloodstream. Almost all cells prefer a slightly alkaline environment to function properly, but many metabolic processes, including the normal production of cellular energy, result in the release of acidic waste products. The buildup of acidic waste is toxic to your body so it works very hard at all times to preserve a slightly alkaline environment, measured by the familiar pH levels."

                    p110 TPB
                    see food pyramid: the base is produce indicating that in terms of volume, this is a produce dominated
                    diet. His food pyramid is a clear supportive visual to both his writing, and the evidence available
                    regarding a primal diet (diet in our environment of evolutionary adaptation). Volume-wise, we're
                    eating mostly produce, though in terms of a percentage of calories, we are getting more calories from
                    protein and many more from saturated fat even when we don't add much, if any, free fat.

                    In this blogpost regarding inflammation and gut health, Mark said:

                    "I mentioned Dr. Art Ayers Cooling Inflammation blog last week, and Im
                    to do so again. First, Art suggests adopting an anti-inflammatory diet. His dietary
                    recommendations are essentially identical to mine high SFA, moderate animal
                    protein, low O-6, O-3 supplementation, leafy greens, some fruit and nuts."

                    iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order