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  • low carb flu

    Please help me, future Primal friends.

    I know I've read posts about carbohydrate flu, low-carb flu, carb flu, however you'd like to type it, I've searched for it, and I can't find the definitive guide.

    I've started down the Primal road. I haven't finished the book yet, but I've been eating strictly plants and animals for about two weeks. Overall, I feel great, but for the past 3 days I have had a splitting, debilitating headache. Even under my quasi-veggie CW ways, I was rarely ill and never affected by pain like this. I truly almost passed out during my regular yoga class last night during a balancing posture; the pain was that acute.

    Is this the dreaded low-carb flu? Or is this something I should have a doctor look at?? I am an old pro at sinus infections, and this is definitely not one of those, as I have no other sinus-related symptoms.
    Last edited by bambi_beth; 10-27-2010, 07:59 AM. Reason: more info

  • #2
    Wow, that sounds pretty sudden and severe, though the timing is about right for LCF. Not sure what to conclude there -- sinus infection maybe? Are you staying hydrated, all that good stuff?
    "Trust me, you will soon enter a magical land full of delicious steakflowers, with butterbacons fluttering around over the extremely rompable grass and hillsides."


    • #3
      Congratulations, thanks for replying, and I wish all the best for you and your baby!


      • #4
        Are you getting a good amount of fat from your foods?


        • #5
          Not sure if it's carb flu or something else, but one of the things I like from the PB book was an emphasis on listening to your body and not feeling like you HAVE to work out if your body is saying don't. Just wondering why you went to yoga with 3-day debilitating headache? Maybe your body needs you to rest while it adjusts its physiology to this new way of eating.

          (And welcome!)

          Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
          Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food


          • #6
            Originally posted by bambi_beth View Post
            Is this the dreaded low-carb flu? Or is this something I should have a doctor look at?? I am an old pro at sinus infections, and this is definitely not one of those, as I have no other sinus-related symptoms.
            It sounds a bit more intense than what most people experience. The folk on the forum will be able to help you out a bit more if you post a sample day worth of food.


            • #7
              For me, yoga isn't exercise, it's relaxation. I went to my class because I've been under a lot of stress and I needed to do something besides go home and think about how badly my head hurt.

              I'm not counting my fat very closely, and while I've always been a butter and olive oil kind of girl, I don't like excess fat in my cuts of meat, or greasy eggs. I eat avocado, nuts, and full-fat and raw dairy, and I drink almost a gallon of water a day. I've been doing that for years, I know it's not really Primal-approved, but I'm not ready to scale it back yet.

              Basic day's menu:

              for breakfast - 2 eggs (or yogurt or cottage cheese) & berries or baked squash with a cup of coffee, maybe a few nuts or a piece of dark chocolate
              lunch - salad or lettuce wrap with assorted veggies, avocado, and leftover meat (chicken, fish, shellfish)
              dinner - sauteed veggies with meat or eggs
              snack (rare) - apple, nuts, seeds, or dark chocolate

              I don't like to IF breakfast, but I eat a handful of nuts late afternoon and go without dinner on yoga day and usually one other day per week.
              Last edited by bambi_beth; 10-27-2010, 08:31 AM.


              • #8
                I wonder if it might be the water. I know that when I try to drink a lot of water it makes me have a terrible headache. This is definitely exacerbated by being primal. Back when you were consuming a lot of carbs and grains tonnes of water went into water retention and hydration of the actual food you were eating. Excessive water is extremely damaging and you very well may have a low lying level of hyponatremia.

                I would highly suggest just drinking when you are thirsty. As in, thirst hits, drink some water, then stop.

                I may be blowing the water thing out of proportion, but based on the extreme nature of your headaches, it is definitely worth a try for a few days.

                edit: I am not American, so I thought a gallon is like a litre, but it's 4 litres! 1 US gallon = 16 US cups
                Last edited by lcme; 10-27-2010, 08:31 AM.


                • #9
                  Aye, that is a lot of freakin water.
                  A steak a day keeps the doctor away.


                  • #10
                    A gallon of water a day isn't that much over the course of 24 hours especially if you are active. It just sounds like a lot.
                    Every Day is a New Adventure


                    • #11
                      Actually, I have gone through this sort of thing periodically. Ironically I also drink way too much water which I have cut down on drastically because of this issue and visiting my doctor.

                      Too much water can deplete your sodium to dangerously low levels.
                      I also had a potassium and magnesium deficiency to go with this.

                      I no longer have water on my work desk. I have to get up and go get a drink when I am thirsty. Helps tremendously. I think you should drink adequate water but there is such a thing as too much as I learned. In extreme cases you have the girl who won the water drinking contest in Boston and then died. Just using that as an example that there is such a thing as too much water.

                      Don't let this be a trip to the ER because you passed out and cracked your head open like I did.

                      Until I could get a handle on this, I drank a cup of broth or a few tablespoons of sodium before a workout or if I could feel a headache coming on. You may need to do this until you can get it under control.

                      Keep us posted.


                      • #12
                        also....this may be worth a trip to your doctor anyhow. The first thing my doctor was concerned about is that excessive thirst is a sign of diabetes.

                        If your doctor is not on board with this eating lifestyle, gift him/her a book or get a new doctor.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by New Renaissance View Post
                          A gallon of water a day isn't that much over the course of 24 hours especially if you are active. It just sounds like a lot.
                          Maybe it's a personal thing, but that is a TONNE of water for me. I drink when thirsty and don't experience any signs of dehydration such as dry skin and lips, but my total water intake for a day is max 8 cups.


                          • #14
                            1 gal. = 16 cups = 128oz.
                            1 cup = 8 oz. (US Measure)

                            Are you drinking Cups or Glasses? A glass is usually 12-16oz. Sometimes 20.

                            I don't always drink a gallon a day, but when it's hot I feel like crap if I don't. I know I'm dehydrated by a strong headache. It's even worse with extra salty foods.
                            It looks funny when you carry around a gallon water bottle all day, but if you have a liter bottle, you're ok. It's easy to kill 4 Liters a day and not think about it. For some reason a gallon jug seems like a lot, when it really isn't that much.

                            There is nothing wrong with drinking less. It is a personal decision, and if you feel great on half a gallon a day, then you are still doing better than most people. I just have a whole different set of requirements unique to me, just as you have yours, and the next person has theirs. To each their own.
                            Last edited by New Renaissance; 10-27-2010, 03:46 PM.
                            Every Day is a New Adventure


                            • #15
                              i had intense low-to-mid level headache for almost a week and a half .. and constantly felt thirsty on my "carb flu" journey
                              both went away at the same time ... around 10-12 days in ..

                              i went completely cold turkey