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  • lightheaded/dizziness???

    Hello all,
    I started Paleo exactly 15 days ago. I lost about 12lbs and for the most part feel great. I experienced several aches and a few weird sensations during the first couple of days, which I just considered detox symptoms. One of which was lightheadedness and mild dizziness when standing after short periods of sitting. I'm an EMT and spend A LOT of time sitting in an ambulance. Also there was a great deal of pollen in the air, so my allergies were acting up, and I thought that also could be the cause. But I still get the lightheaded feeling now when my allergies aren't bothering me anymore. For the most part I think my bodies reached homeostasis. I drink plenty of water and still take my multi-vit (until it runs out). My previous diet was really high in carbs and processed foods, fast food, candy etc... Has anyone had similar sensations? Is it just the drastic difference in diet? Did I uncover something prexisting that all the cr@p food was covering up? I appreciate any insight. This may have already been discussed and I just didn't find it.

    Longwinded and thankful
    Mike Chapel

  • #2
    You are describing a symptom of carb flu. I also had the lightheaded dizzies, but all my carb flu symptoms went away completely after about a month. People on the boards recommend different ways to get past it (potassium, more carbs etc) but the only thing I had any success with was time.

    Good Luck!


    • #3
      I get that occasionally. Mainly after lounging around semi-reclined and standing up and moving around quickly. Does your vision tunnel down, too? Mine started after I got in much better shape. My lower resting HR (45-55) and lower BP is the explanation I've come up with; takes a second for the cardiovascular system to catch up, and the blood drains from your brain.

      Other than "don't do that" I haven't figured out a cure....


      • #4
        Mike -

        I was super orthostatic for weeks after starting to eat primally. My b/p already runs really low (thanks, mom!) and I think dropping the carbs and processed stuff really made it plummet. I resorted to drinking straight chicken broth and pushing fluids for awhile until I started to feel better. I poked around on the boards when this happened to me, and saw a few posts about it (but not many) so I guess it's not common but not totally unheard of, either. Keep up the good work - I think you'll start to feel better pretty soon!


        • #5
          I had that a bit too, and I also tend to low BP.

          A joyful heart is good medicine

          He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliot

          Mmmmm. Real food is good.

          My Journal:


          • #6
            I've been eating primal now for the past two weeks and I'm having the same issues? I don't know if I'm not eating enough? or if my body is just taking it's time asjusting to the the new way of getting energy. I hope it goes away soon. I get weird headaches too, and I'm also comming off a similar diet at the OP.


            • #7
              I have issues with adrenal function and I got major orthostatic hypotension at the beginning. I had to add some sea salt to my food, increase healthy carbs (sweet potatoes, squash, a little rice, etc.). I have also been working on adrenal function and seem to be getting a lot better.
              True healthcare reform starts in your kitchen, not in Washington. ~Anonymous
              The worst carrot is better than the best candybar.--TornadoGirl


              • #8
                I was just about to ask about this.

                I've been easing into going primal for the past month and a half. The past week and a half I have (besides the bit of Easter chocolate) been a lot more strict about cutting out the bad stuff. I noticed that I would be sitting down and suddenly feel a bit lightheaded. There were even times when I stood up and my vision turned black and I felt like I was going to faint!

                At first I thought perhaps I was not eating enough, but that doesn't seem to be it.

                I've read about 'carb flu' on the forum, so I'm just going to make sure I take my vitamins. Really, I don't think it's anything to worry about. When you switch your diet it can make your body scramble to figure out what it needs to do for a little bit.


                • #9
                  It does happen, it goes away after a couple weeks, or did for me anyways. It's kinda weird, when I first started paleo years ago, I don't remember any real symptoms of carb flu at all, and I was coming off a fairly high carb diet. I fell off the wagon for 5 months or so, and when I went back to paleo I got nailed with the carb flu hard. Fartigue, rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, it almost felt like a panic attack. Never experienced anything like it, but thankfully it went away in a week or so. Upping my carb intake abit helped a lot and then slowly easing into lower carb.
                  “To insure good health: eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life.” - William Londen


                  • #10
                    A glass or two of water with a little real sea salt each day will often help this. The chicken stock is helpful too. If you are losing a lot of water you can also become deficient in Mg and potassium so those could need to be supplemented as well.
                    Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )



                    • #11
                      Probably your carbohydrate intake is too low. I put up with dizziness for six months until I got wise and upped my carbs a bit - towards the high end of the 100-150 g/day range. No problems since.


                      • #12
                        Adding salt is definitely the way to go - one of the paleo blogs (one written by a 'professional') can't remember which said it's a normal side effect of low carb as the bp drops. Both Mr G and I have the same 18 months into BP - most noticeable if we are tired or underhydrated. It isn't really an issue to be honest as it clears within seconds usually. We both already had pretty low bp before we switched to this WOE.
                        Seeking the natural way in a modern world ...


                        • #13
                          Adding salt is definitely the way to go - one of the paleo blogs (one written by a 'professional') can't remember which said it's a normal side effect of low carb as the bp drops.
                          You might be referring to Dr. Michael Eades' blog post, "Tips & Tricks for starting (or re-starting) low-carb, Part II":
                          The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D. » Tips & tricks for starting (or restarting) low-carb Pt II

                          "One of the first things that happens when people go on low-carb diets is a rapid improvement in insulin sensitivity. Because the low-carb diet starts to quickly banish the insulin resistance, insulin levels fall quickly. And as insulin falls, the stimulus to the kidneys to retain fluids goes away, and the kidneys begin to rapidly release fluid. One of the common experiences at the start of low-carb dieting is the incessant running back and forth to the bathroom to urinate this excess fluid away. Which is both good news and bad news.

                          The good news is that it’s great to get rid of the excess fluid but it comes at a cost, which is the bad news. As the excess fluid goes, it takes with it sodium an extremely important electrolyte. When sodium levels fall below a critical threshold (which can happen within a short time), symptoms often occur, the most common being fatigue, headache, cramps and postural hypotension.

                          Postural hypotension happens when you stand up too quickly and feel faint. Or even pass out briefly. It’s a sign of dehydration. So if you’ve started your low-carb diet, made your multiple runs to the bathroom, and jump up off the couch to answer the phone and feel like your going to faint (or actually do pass out momentarily) and have to sit back down quickly, you’ve got postural hypotension. It’s really easy to fix – you simply need to take more sodium and drink more water. Salt your food more. Increasing sodium is just another one of the many counter-intuitive things about low-carb dieting. Just like eating more fat to lower your cholesterol. You’ve got to start thinking differently. The low-carb diet is one that absolutely requires more sodium. A lot more sodium..."


                          • #14
                            when we get/got it, it was because we weren't getting enough protein. when we increased it a bit, then we were good.