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  • Chronic headache since starting resistant starch?

    Has anyone else experienced this or knows what might be the cause?

    I started incorporating resistant starch sources (in the form of cooked and cooled rice and potatoes and green bananas) into my diet about 2 weeks ago.

    For the most part it has been great. My sleep has improved immensely - I now sleep like a log and have great dreams - I don't wake up 2-3 times a night needing to pee and have a drink of water. I'm not hungry all the time anymore either. There have been several other positive side effects as well.

    However, I have had a near constant headache for the last 2 weeks as well (started the same day as the RS). Most of the time it isn't a bad headache - more just a back ground annoyance, but every once in a while it gets quite bad.

    I'm also wondering if somehow the RS causes a higher cortisol need from the body. I have Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency), and seem to be having more frequent episodes of low cortisol symptoms since starting the RS (and wondering if that is what the headaches are related to).

    Any thoughts on the matter?

  • #2
    No idea on the cause, but your body is telling you via the headache mechanism to stop eating so much RS. I tend to listen to the body.

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    • #3
      Some people have reported jaw tension when taking RS. I have noticed it a few times, but it didn't create a problem, just was odd. It wasn't constant like your headache and went away. You could try stopping all RS or eat one type at a time to see what the effects are. As to why RS might cause a headache, don't know. Also no clue about the cortisol, sorry. You could try asking on the resistant starch thread.
      Age 55, post-menopausal, primal since August '12 with some dairy, lots of seafood, following PHD and the 5 Leptin Rules. Taking ThyroGold, eating RS and zero wheat with great results. My Primal Journal

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Mamame View Post
        Has anyone else experienced this or knows what might be the cause?

        I started incorporating resistant starch sources (in the form of cooked and cooled rice and potatoes and green bananas) into my diet about 2 weeks ago.

        For the most part it has been great. My sleep has improved immensely - I now sleep like a log and have great dreams - I don't wake up 2-3 times a night needing to pee and have a drink of water. I'm not hungry all the time anymore either. There have been several other positive side effects as well.

        However, I have had a near constant headache for the last 2 weeks as well (started the same day as the RS). Most of the time it isn't a bad headache - more just a back ground annoyance, but every once in a while it gets quite bad.

        I'm also wondering if somehow the RS causes a higher cortisol need from the body. I have Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency), and seem to be having more frequent episodes of low cortisol symptoms since starting the RS (and wondering if that is what the headaches are related to).

        Any thoughts on the matter?
        Sounds like it's time to back off on the RS to see how you react? You should not be living with a headache.
        What have you done today to make you feel Proud?

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        • #5
          I agree that I don't want to be living with headaches for the rest of my life - however, I've had so many positive side effects that it's hard to just stop. The sleep alone is worth it (for the last 9 years I have suffered from horrible insomnia that keeps me awake for most of the night several times/week. On the nights when I didn't have insomnia I would be awake 3 or 4 times/night with horrible thirst and the need to pee. Now I go to bed at 10pm and usually sleep like a log until 6:30/7am. Nothing I have tried before has ever helped my sleep this much.

          I'm not eating huge amounts of RS/day - 1 medium potato, OR one cup of rice OR small green banana with 1/2 potato or 1/2 cup rice.

          However, I'm starting to think that maybe the RS is affecting how I am absorbing my meds. Guess I need to discuss things with my Dr.

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          • #6
            That's not a huge amount of RS. Definitely time to look up the meds you take to see if there are any warnings against dietary intake. And talk to the doctor about it. But I would first ask my doctor if he/she knows what Resistant Starches are. Doctors are notoriously ill informed regarding nutrition (with exceptions, of course).

            None the less - in the meantime you can still dial them back or eliminate them for a few days just as a test to see what response you have. There could be a 'confounding' factor at play such as pollen or something else and you simply won't know if it's the RS until you remove it and monitor your reaction.
            What have you done today to make you feel Proud?

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            • #7
              Maybe try stopping it for a few days to check reactions. If headaches go away perhaps you could add in just 1 type of RS at a time to see what happens. Maybe it's a specific response to potatoes or plantains..
              I don't believe there is one correct way of eating for everybody, and I don't believe there is one correct way of eating for a person through every stage of their life

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              • #8
                Some people have bad reactions to plants of the nightshade family in general, and headaches after eating them is a common complaint among those who do.

                Nightshades do include (but are not limited to), capers, bell peppers, hot peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes. So done with a nightshade intollerance would even be advised to stay away from the RUMPS people keep talking about in the huge RS thread.

                This is, I think, one of the problems with RS in general. People go on large doses of potato starch right away and have bad reactions and write it down as RS being bad. It could just have easily been the fact that they had/have nightshade issues and therefore PS would be unadvisable (especially the RAW stuff) for these people. But of course, not many people consider the nightshade portion of the PS factor and just go, "RS made me feel like crap, RS bad."

                Perhaps if you switched up your sources of RS, you may have better reactions. So think, bananas, plantains, other starchy carbs... Drop the potatoes and rice for a while and see if either of those more specifically may be the cause of your issues.
                Last edited by Drumroll; 04-30-2014, 02:28 PM.
                "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mamame View Post
                  Has anyone else experienced this or knows what might be the cause?

                  I started incorporating resistant starch sources (in the form of cooked and cooled rice and potatoes and green bananas) into my diet about 2 weeks ago.
                  ...
                  Any thoughts on the matter?
                  Try cutting out the potatoes and green bananas. If your headache goes away it was from one of those. Pick one to add back in and see what happens.

                  If your headache doesn't go away, cut the rice too.

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                  • #10
                    My sleep greatly improved as well but the RS made my night time bruxism/teeth grinding so bad it left me with monster headaches. I had to stop.


                    Sent from my iPhone using Marks Daily Apple Forum

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                    • #11
                      I can't tolerate white potatoes, they give me a headache the following day. Maybe subbing a different starch would help?
                      Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air
                      Ralph Waldo Emerson

                      Journal: Vibrant Life

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by fatgoose View Post
                        My sleep greatly improved as well but the RS made my night time bruxism/teeth grinding so bad it left me with monster headaches. I had to stop.
                        What was the source and quantity of RS you were using? There are several options so switching it out or taking a smaller amount could solve the problem. I use mung bean starch (MBS) for about half of my non-food RS (the rest is potato starch.) I also eat cooked/cooled potatoes, c/c rice, cooked/frozen black beans, etc.

                        Another idea is to take magnesium before bed, because it relaxes muscles.

                        You could try non-RS prebiotic fibers like konjac (e.g. shiritaki noodles) that will still feed the gut bugs. I'm not sure if you can totally substitute non-RS fibers and get the same benefits, though.

                        I would love to know how RS would affect muscle tension. Since starting RS a few weeks ago, I've noticed a welcome tension in my abs...it's like I want to sit bolt upright in my desk chair and am "aware" of my abs when walking, bending, etc. It may be unrelated but though my weight remains about the same, my waist has shrunk 2 inches.
                        Age 55, post-menopausal, primal since August '12 with some dairy, lots of seafood, following PHD and the 5 Leptin Rules. Taking ThyroGold, eating RS and zero wheat with great results. My Primal Journal

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                        • #13
                          This is weird only because I've been nursing a dull ache on the right side of my head for about a week now. Probably unrelated, but I'll have to keep tabs on this thread anyway...
                          Crohn's, doing SCD

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                          • #14
                            I am a tooth grinder and occasional tongue biter while asleep. The tongue biting can produce quite painful and slow-to-heal wounds. I've never pegged it to starch or anything else, but I would love to find out if there is a cause. I have read posts by people who like starch and those who like sugar, but I've never felt that either was better for me. I think I'll take a week for each and see if I can pin anything down.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Energy! View Post
                              What was the source and quantity of RS you were using? There are several options so switching it out or taking a smaller amount could solve the problem. I use mung bean starch (MBS) for about half of my non-food RS (the rest is potato starch.) I also eat cooked/cooled potatoes, c/c rice, cooked/frozen black beans, etc.

                              Another idea is to take magnesium before bed, because it relaxes muscles.

                              You could try non-RS prebiotic fibers like konjac (e.g. shiritaki noodles) that will still feed the gut bugs. I'm not sure if you can totally substitute non-RS fibers and get the same benefits, though.

                              I would love to know how RS would affect muscle tension. Since starting RS a few weeks ago, I've noticed a welcome tension in my abs...it's like I want to sit bolt upright in my desk chair and am "aware" of my abs when walking, bending, etc. It may be unrelated but though my weight remains about the same, my waist has shrunk 2 inches.
                              Thanks for all your input. I was taking 2 heaping soup spoonfuls of potato starch at night at the same time I was taking Natural Calm (Magnesium supplement). Someone suggested if could be a nightshade sensitivity causing all the grinding I've yet to try anything else and see if it returns. Green bananas don't seem to have the same effect. Fascinating how much the gut effects everything else.


                              Sent from my iPhone using Marks Daily Apple Forum

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