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Thread: Menstruation and Paleo page

  1. #1
    cayla29s's Avatar
    cayla29s is offline Senior Member
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    Menstruation and Paleo

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    I guess this thread is for the ladies. I've been on Paleo now for almost a month and got my period the other day and I have noticed that I'm more tired than usual. I have always had some minor bloating, headache and tiredness before but I think it has gotten a little bit worse since the switch.

    Right now I'm trying get my weight down. I'm currently 127 at 5'2 and looking to lose 7 more. Diet is going great not stalling at all. I eat about 1500 kcal a day and I average about 125 g of carbs a day. This is low carb for me since I was used to eating about 150 g. I weight lift 3 x a week for about 45 min and added a 20 min sprint 1 x a week then light cardio for about 45 min 2 x a week then take a full rest day. I have also been walking a lot more at work and the past couple of days I average about 5 hrs of sleep. I know this is not enough but I used to be able to function at this amount of sleep with the same amount of exercise. Then, when I got my period I was so tired and my body was achy. I decided not to do any lifting yesterday and did a light cardio instead because i did not have the energy to do big lifts.

    I wonder if I need to increase my carb intake since I am active and lower my fat a bit more. I was hoping to be fat adapted but I don't think I can do it right now as I would have to decrease my carb and protein intake to meet my caloric goal for the day. I feel like my body is still adjusting to cutting out wheat? I did not have much of an issue the first week and I think when i lowered my carbs I felt weaker. I'm gonna make myself some chicken liver tonight just in case I need some more iron.

    I guess my main concern is how tired I am during my period when I was not like this before. Any thoughts? I know there are lot of variables happening but I guess I'm still trying to get to know my body when it comes to eating Paleo.

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    Bron's Avatar
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    My stats - 43, 4 kids, 5ft, 103lb (tiny frame). I went on a chemical free diet 6 years ago and my periods have been quite light ever since (about half normal I reckon). But since I went primal, it's reduced by about half again. No symptoms, no signs it is coming, starts and stops almost on the dot. So there is hope (I reckon my iron levels will be pretty darned healthy )

    I am fairly low carb (works for me, increasing it puts on weight.). I don't do a lot of weight training (literally 10 second pull ups or 10 push ups 5 times a week) and have a fairly active job 2.5hours Mon-Thurs and 6 hours Friday.I sleep more than you! 7-8 hours a day (I nap most days, but I've been doing that since my eldest was born 13.5 years ago).

    No advice (except perhaps to wait a few more months to see if time works things out. 1 month isn't very long for this sort of change to occur), just sharing my experience as it may help

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    magicmerl's Avatar
    magicmerl is online now Senior Member
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    My wife had some wicked period pain just before we went primal. Apparently they are greatly reduced now.
    Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

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    It sounds like you're just overdoing it a bit. Back off the exercise (instead of light cardio, just go for walks) and get more sleep. 5 hours a night is nowhere NEAR enough - your body can't sustain that for long. You might have been able to do it before but there's only so long your system will put up with that.

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    I have battled severe exhaustion in the days leading up to and the first couple days of my period. But I can tell you that after 6 months of no wheat and 5 months primal (90%), last month was fine. I had no cramps (first time ever) and no noticeable change in my energy level. But I sleep 8hrs/night and if I don't, I generally fit in a nap.

    You need to start sleeping more, it is dark more than 5 hours a day so you should be sleeping more. Take a break from exercising so you can sleep more. If nothing else, listen to your body and sleep when exhausted. 45 minutes of cardio sounds like chronic cardio to me as well, and it looks like you're exercising too much.

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    Make sure you are getting plenty of magnesium.
    Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

    http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by teach2183 View Post
    I have battled severe exhaustion in the days leading up to and the first couple days of my period. But I can tell you that after 6 months of no wheat and 5 months primal (90%), last month was fine. I had no cramps (first time ever) and no noticeable change in my energy level. But I sleep 8hrs/night and if I don't, I generally fit in a nap.

    You need to start sleeping more, it is dark more than 5 hours a day so you should be sleeping more. Take a break from exercising so you can sleep more. If nothing else, listen to your body and sleep when exhausted. 45 minutes of cardio sounds like chronic cardio to me as well, and it looks like you're exercising too much.
    the 45 min cardio is really light jog nothing too strenuous. Some days its not possible for me to get 8 hrs due to my job but when I'm home I do sleep 8 hrs. I just thought it's a strange feeling to be so exhausted.
    .

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    I am right in the same boat right now. I have been following PB for a month, this is my second menstrual cycle. I am SOOO tired.

    I gave in last night. my wonderful hubby had surgery last week and hasn't been able to help with our 5 small kiddos (he isn't supposed to lift more than 10lbs). This in combo with premenst. bloating, carb cravings, no exercise and exhaustion set me up for the fall. He came home last night and said do you want to order Pizza? My brain said NOOO, but my body said Yes!!! Salt, BREAD, Give in!......... I did. I feel terrible right now. It seems that hormones are a common thing to go haywire as they try to right themselves. I think if we give it more time and just get through it, this will get better in time. In the mean time maybe more naps are needed, our bodys are tired, maybe we should listen.

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    I think Primal nutrition generally, but especially a high ratio of healthy fats, is naturally going to help your reproductive organs to function properly and will balance your hormones. My periods have always been awful but I noticed the cramps are not quite so bad as before I went Primal. My cycle also shortened from 34-37 days, down to a more consistent 31-32 days.

    A magnesium supplement and/or a magnesium food source such as chocolate, helps reduce cramps. Marigold (Calendula) or other diuretic herbal teas or supplements are good for reducing that bloated feeling.

    I think no matter how great you feel the rest of the time, you are still going to feel tired during your period, and you'll need more carbs to not feel moody. Trying to ignore a strong craving is only going to make you more grumpy, but you can try to interpret it as close as possible to Primal guidelines. I tend to gorge on hard cheese and milk chocolate, cos I know that a pizza/pie/cake is gonna make me feel terrible!
    Last edited by CaveWeirdo; 07-13-2012 at 06:43 AM.
    Start weight: 238 lbs (March 2012)
    Current weight: 205 lbs (July 2012)
    Loss so far: 33 lbs!!!
    WOE: Primal + IF
    Movements: Hiking, sprinting.
    Goal: to see my abs some time in 2013!

  10. #10
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    I think your body is transitioning and needs you to slow down while it heals. I don't remember my period changing the first month I was paleo. But, now, my period is like any other time of the month except that I bleed (and I have endometriosis so I have one day of pain at the end of my period).

    Take good care of yourself during that time. Hot baths, relaxation, your favorite nutrient-dense meals.

    Here is a nice article - the title focuses on cramps but there is a lot more to it... Paleo For Women | Paleo and Menstrual Cramps

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