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Thread: Week 6 - Chest pain, anxiety, and overall feeling bad.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Unhappy Week 6 - Chest pain, anxiety, and overall feeling bad.

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    So folks, I am at the six week mark, and I have to say that I think my primal journey is at an end. I have had increasing issues over the weeks, including ongoing chest pain and horrible anxiety. I did not have a problem with either before going primal. Before going primal I ate a pretty healthy diet, albiet with whole grains, but avoided processed food, pastas,sodas, coffee and the like. I went on for health reasons as opposed to weight loss -- I am 5'5" and weigh 129lbs. I did lose about 5lbs.

    I went to the ER for the chest pain a few weeks back and everything checked out OK. I also followed up with family Dr. I am seeing a cardiologist tomorrow to make sure. However, the anxiety has become so bad that I need xanax to sleep and function at work. Other issues are severe fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, and over all feeling like crap. I added some quinoa and sweet potato to my diet today, and yesterday had some brown rice. I do feel a bit better, but exhausted from lack of sleep.

    I did a bit of research and found that for some folks low carb diets, or diets that eschew grains, cause anxiety; sometimes quite severe. I also searched this forum and found a few posts from folks experiencing chest pain and anxiety as well. I read about copper deficiency, and have been eating cashews and greens to get my levels up. Also, I added quite a bit of fat to my diet, so don't think that is the issue. I had very high hopes for this, and it did cure my GERD. But I can't take another day of feeling this bad. Don't know if other folks have had any of these issues, but my symptoms seem pretty severe for carb flu.

    I posted this for any other new comers who experience severe symptoms, and would certainly appreciate any feedback from the group. I am not a person who ever ate much sugar or processed carbs, rarely drink, and was not a vegetarian when I started.

    Anyway, this has been my experience. I really wanted to post something incredible at this point in the game.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    London, Ontario, Canada
    I've had conversations with a girl on another website who can't do primal for very similar reasons to what you posted above. I hope you work out a diet that keeps you healthy and happy
    Newcomers: If you haven't read the book, at least read this thread ... and all the links!

    Jan. 1, 2011: 186.6 lbs PBSW Mar. 1, 2011: 175.8 lbs
    CW: 146.8 lbs
    GW 140 lbs
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    This is a shame--mostly because I don't want your GERD to come back! I know how awful the reflux feels. But you are right, your symptoms do sound more severe than carb flu. It sounds like the grains you've decided to eat so far are the lesser of the "evilness" that are grains, so maybe the reflux won't return...

    If you still want to try the no-grain route, maybe try adding a big chunk of sweet potatoes, regular potatoes and fruit to your diet. Since you don't want to lose weight, the very low carb thing isn't necessary. Log your food for a few weeks to see what changes seem to bring relief of your chest pain.

    I really hope this issue resolves! It sounds pretty scary. Good luck, and good health!!
    Type 1 Diabetic. Controlling blood sugar through primal life.

    2012 Goals:
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Sydney, NSW
    Primal is not very low carb. You can eat a lot of tubers and starchy vegetables and stay under 150g /day of carbs.

    Also copper deficiency is unlikely. It is more likely that you are zinc deficient and the resulting imbalance between zinc and copper manifests the same symptoms as copper deficiency.

    You may be magnesium deficient. This can definitely cause anxiety. You may also be deficient in potassium. Potassium and magnesium imbalances can contribute to arrythmia
    Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

    Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    While low carb works for a lot of people (including me), I've definitely talked to people who haven't done well on it. What's your current carb intake?

    I think that if I was in your position, I would first experiment by adjusting the PB (since it did cure your GERD) but with more starches from foods like sweet potatoes, plantains, parsnips, white potatoes, jicama, yucca, taro, etc. You'll avoid the lectins, gluten, etc of grains; but will be increasing your carbohydrate intake anyway.
    The Primal Holla! Eating fat. Getting lean. Being awesome.

    You were sick, but now you're well, and there's work to do. - Kilgore Trout

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Thanks for the responses. I was eating a lot of veggies and fruits, including bananas. I also supplement with magnesium daily. I am taking it slowly, and will experiment. With just a few added carbs the anxiety has improved. I think my heart is fine, followed up with doc today. Frustrating to feel so crappy for so long, just want to get it right.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Alberta Canada
    I'm glad to hear you are feeling a bit better

    A joyful heart is good medicine

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

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Torrance, CA, USA
    You might want to drop back on sugary fruits like bananas. They can cause a sugar rush followed by a crash.

    Good luck! I hope you find a balance that works for you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Kent, OH
    I was having chest pains, too, and based on advice from another member here, I started taking copper supplements. Chest pains vanished completely.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Seattle, WA USA
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    You can be primal with higher levels of carbs - for some, the extra carbohydrate is necessary to get tryptophan and serotonin levels up, and that helps curb anxiety. I second the posters who advised to increase starchy primal foods such as potatoes, parsnips, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes etc. Experiment to see how much helps calm the nerves.....

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