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  1. #1
    archmac's Avatar
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    Long Term Fatigue

    Primal Fuel
    Hey folks. I've been on-off eating primal for almost 2 years now. My first attempt failed due to some intense fatigue with VLC. I slowly added carbs in, and finally gave up, going back to some of the worst eating I've ever done. During that process, I had several blood tests done and spoke with a sleep specialist. Nothing was ever considered abnormal, nutrient levels looked okay, etc. I tried supplementing with Potassium and Magnesium Malate, but saw no relief, and the MM gave me some terrible gas.

    I started back in January of this year, gradually, eating a higher than normal level of starches and fruit. I've been gluten free with a couple of exceptions. I eat lots of eggs, meat, vegetables, some fruit and some starches for carbs. I felt great, and ran a half marathon in April. However, around June I decided to cut out some fruit and starches to trim a few more pounds. I again fell back into the fatigue, poor sleep, etc. I've upped the carbs again, but once again, I'm not getting any relief.

    Info:
    I'm eating enough, plenty of fat, lots of veggies. 70% of the meat I eat is from a side of beef and side of pork we buy locally. The rest is chicken and fish. I supplement with a multi vitamin, D3 and C. I currently take in somewhere around 75-100g of carbs per day, though that's higher than normal. Most of the carbs are from sweet and white potatoes, and white rice, and some from fruit. I exercise 3-4 times a week, more when time allows. Several visits, with several doctors showed thyroid function is normal (I do have Vitiligo, though), blood glucose management is stellar and typical nutrient profiles were in the normal ranges.

    Symptoms:
    Fatigue throughout the day, with (sometimes intense) restlessness. I sometimes have a constant need to stretch, and my quads feel almost tingly they're so ready to go. The fatigue seems to wain towards the end of the day (5PM), then comes back around bedtime. I sleep restlessly, and recently have been getting woken up 1-2 hours before my alarm goes off by abrupt and intense stretching. If I'm being active (standing, walking, mowing, playing w/ kids, etc.), I notice the restlessness less. However, when exercising, everything feels more difficult. My quads in particular reach lactic threshold more easily, and my leg muscles feel like they "burn" with less than typical effort. The only other standout symptom besides the fatigue has been some intermittent loose stool and some terrible smelling gas. I've been experimenting with completely removing dairy as well as chiles, and seem to be having some luck.

    I really, really don't want to go back to a SAD, but it's getting to the point where this fatigue is all consuming. I know going back to gluten will mean a return to reflux and asthma symptoms, but I'm starting to think it's worth it. I'm not at all opposed to seeking medical attention, but for what? That's led me nowhere so far.

  2. #2
    noodletoy's Avatar
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    have you been checked for lyme's disease?
    As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

    Ernest Hemingway

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    Was the fatigue an issue before you went primal? If you think about what you'd be changing, it doesn't make any sense that you would suddenly be less fatigued by eating grains and bad oils.
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    It sounds like maybe you are eating something that doesn't agree with you. When I first went Primal I ate a lot of coconut and coconut milk. I had it every day. Well, I was increasingly having intestinal upset, loose stools every day, getting extremely tired and having a really hard time getting through my workouts, and I would have the most horrendous smelling gas all day long, along with a lot of bloating. I tried eliminating dairy and that didn't help, and I tried eating no veggies and fruits and that didn't work, I tried more carbs and that didn't work, but it never dawned on me that it was the coconut that was causing the issue. Well I got to the point where I was actually feeling sick, like really depleted from having the runs every day and not properly digesting any of my food. I finally read an article about coconut and how it can cause stomach upset. Eventually I cut out all the coconut product from my diet and slowly I started to get better. Now a few months later, I'm completely better from it. When I have coconut now, my body reminds me by giving me horrible gas and loose stools. It just doesn't agree with me which is a total bummer because I really love it, but I just can't have it. The only coconut product that doesn't bother me is coconut water.

    Anyway, that may be what is going on with you. It got to the point where it was affecting my whole body and I really was feeling horrible. Maybe coconut isn't your issue, but it could be something else that you are having on a regular basis that you wouldn't even think would be causing you an issue. Or, maybe it's coconut. What is a typical food day for you?

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    Really increase your carbs for a couple weeks and stop exercising. Let yourself sleep as needed. Then slowly decrease the carbs to a maintenance level. VLC doesn't work for you, so don't do it.

    I slept and felt miserable for about a month. I did the above, eliminating the exercise as sleeping 12hrs/day didn't leave room for it. I have to be sure I eat potatoes at least 3-4x/week. I'm able to slowly lose weight without falling back into the depressive, exhausted space I was in last May/June.

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    archmac's Avatar
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    Tested twice for Lyme disease. Definitely didn't feel like this before, which is what makes it so frustrating.

    Marissa, you could be on to something. I'm just not sure what it could be. Eggs maybe. Don't eat a lot of coconut, but I do eat some. I haven't really added anything I didn't eat before, so I'm not sure why it would bother me now.

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    archmac's Avatar
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    Thought I'd follow-up on this thread for anybody that's having similar issues...not that it had a huge following.

    Three things have helped me tremendously.

    1) Eating more. I have a tendency to slack on eating. It's taken some time to get used to the sheer volume of food I need to eat just to get me to the same caloric intake as my old SAD. It's really easy to under eat (calorie-wise) when you're not eating crap food.

    2) More carbs. Low carb works great when I'm not training, but when training ramps up, and particularly when I'm doing high intensity workouts and intervals, I have to ramp up the carbs. As much as I'd like (and have tried) to perform on minimal carbs, it just causes too many problems for me. I seem to do really well on around 75-100g per day, and actually have seen some fat loss with the increase.

    3) Problem foods. Eggs...why oh why, did it have to be eggs? Eggs cause me all sorts of intestinal issues. If I eat very small amounts, I do okay, but whole eggs, and particularly consecutive days are trouble. Generally, I'm limiting my egg intake to small amounts of homemade olive oil mayo and primal pancakes every other weekend.

    Also, coconut. Coconut was my egg replacement, and has been ripped away from me. Fortunately, I've found I have no issues with dairy, so yogurt has been a good replacement for eggs and coconut. Sadly, my pancakes contain copious quantities of both eggs and coconut, so pancake days are becoming increasingly less appealing as I get more strict with elimination. On the plus side, my kids are highly amused by the noises, and by my wife's reaction to the horrible smell.
    Last edited by archmac; 09-19-2013 at 10:04 AM.

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    RichMahogany's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archmac View Post
    Thought I'd follow-up on this thread for anybody that's having similar issues...not that it had a huge following.

    Three things have helped me tremendously.

    1) Eating more. I have a tendency to slack on eating. It's taken some time to get used to the sheer volume of food I need to eat just to get me to the same caloric intake as my old SAD. It's really easy to under eat (calorie-wise) when you're not eating crap food.

    2) More carbs. Low carb works great when I'm not training, but when training ramps up, and particularly when I'm doing high intensity workouts and intervals, I have to ramp up the carbs. As much as I'd like (and have tried) to perform on minimal carbs, it just causes too many problems for me. I seem to do really well on around 75-100g per day, and actually have seen some fat loss with the increase.

    3) Problem foods. Eggs...why oh why, did it have to be eggs? Eggs cause me all sorts of intestinal issues. If I eat very small amounts, I do okay, but whole eggs, and particularly consecutive days are trouble. Generally, I'm limiting my egg intake to small amounts of homemade olive oil mayo and primal pancakes every other weekend.

    Also, coconut. Coconut was my egg replacement, and has been ripped away from me. Fortunately, I've found I have no issues with dairy, so yogurt has been a good replacement for eggs and coconut. Sadly, my pancakes contain copious quantities of both eggs and coconut, so pancake days are becoming increasingly less appealing as I get more strict with elimination. On the plus side, my kids are highly amused by the noises, and by my wife's reaction to the horrible smell.
    Out of curiosity, what's your exercise/training schedule like?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    Out of curiosity, what's your exercise/training schedule like?
    M: Strength/endurance, upper body with some leg work
    T: Track intervals or hill repeats
    W: Afternoon mountain bike, evening Upper body s/e
    Th: Tempo run
    F: Crosstrain; bike or light run with some strength mixed in at set time or distance intervals.
    Sat: Long trail run at moderate pace
    Sun: Rest

    Currently, almost all of my strength workouts are high intensity circuits with a short rest between sets. I do 90% of these out in the woods using body weight and rocks/logs/etc. Most evenings, I will do some core strength exercises and some stretching and foam rolling. I do all my morning and afternoon exercise in a fasted state.
    Last edited by archmac; 09-19-2013 at 11:42 AM.

  10. #10
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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    Have you looked into the possibility that what you're experiencing is Overtraining Syndrome?

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