6

votes

Am I too old for this?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 15, 2012 at 9:28 PM

I'll complete my 3rd week on paleo tomorrow and I'm seriously wanting to know if anyone my age (55) has ever entered the paleo world after a lifetime of SAD eating. I don't know if it's because I lost my gall bladder in my 20s or what, but there are really some times when I feel like I'm going to die.

Last night I had a nice veggie salad with avocado and ribs with a dry rub and they were delicious! But later that night I felt sooooooooo sick. My abdomen is hard and distended. I felt like I was going to throw up all night long and even today my stomach is upset. I've lived on grains & legumes, lots of carpy junk food and mild to moderate amounts of corn-fed meat for much of my life and in a number of ways I felt much better and had more energy than I do now. I realize that I may be having a lot of die off but WHEN will I start to feel better? Am I asking too much of this old body to EVER get it to turn around?

Has anyone come into paleo at an age close to mine? So many people here seem to be in their 20s and 30s and in possession of a decent fitness history. That is not my world. My world is one with diabetes, apnea, obesity, atrial fibrillation, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue. I spent a lifetime punishing my body and I know it's far from reasonable to expect a quick healing with so many years of maltreatment.

I really don't mean to winge. I truly want to succeed here and I'm willing to do what I need to to get there - but I'd really appreciate it if I could hear from anyone who has a similar history to mine - or from anyone who has a guess as to when I might look forward to starting to feel better. Or what I can do to help the process. Thanks so much.

47edf681280750c3712a3a56f2eae33b

on July 17, 2012
at 12:35 AM

"endless variations..." Totally!

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on July 16, 2012
at 02:49 AM

Coconut oil is great if you have no gallbladder BUT it's antimicrobial properties make it hard on your system when you first start eating it. Start with a teaspoon at a time and build up. Also, you might want to consider trying some digestive enzymes and HCL. Low stomach acid can make your digestion worse. I had to take a ton when I first started, but after a few months didn't need them anymore.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on July 16, 2012
at 02:45 AM

I also have no gallbladder. I do great on 70% fat but horrible on 80%. Start more slowly and build your way up. I also agree with people on the vegetables. I have problems with lots of raw veggies and garlic and spinach still kill me even when cooked. Try one at a time and see which ones you can tolerate.

Af3e3615beba642bcafd0f21d64d74f7

on July 15, 2012
at 11:28 PM

see above, also... since you do not have a gall bladder just ease up on animal fats and gradually up the amount to find your threshold.

239bcbf6d0013fd74890f5c7305daf64

(664)

on July 15, 2012
at 11:09 PM

WOW!!!! 100lbs???? WOW!!!! Congrats!!! I am really amazed by that. Literally it may have saved your life. It makes my goals seem so much more attainable. Thank you for your testimony.

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on July 15, 2012
at 09:35 PM

I'm sure someone will come along to help you with your diet and current conditions (diabetes, etc), but I want to assure you this is not an age thing. See these two? http://www.arthurdevany.com/ He is 73, she is 72. He started 25 years ago, so age 48. They are definitely not in their 20s.

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26 Answers

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3
4929a87e3f7438f18a0afbdde291ed5e

on July 16, 2012
at 12:40 AM

I don't think 55 is all that old, frankly, and kudos to you for trying to get a leg up on your health for the years to come! :) I would say that, because you are missing your gallbladder, the type of fat you consume would seemingly matter. I recalled reading a transcript of a podcast from my favorite ancestral health guru, Chris Kresser - click on this link -it's the first answered question:

http://chriskresser.com/rhr-could-copper-zinc-imbalance-be-making-you-sick

Coconut oil seems to be the preferred fat choice for people without a gallbladder. I would hazard a guess that your ability to metabolize fats will improve with time, but take it easy at first. Also, try to eat a slightly smaller meal without so many fresh veggies all at once - that will help with the stomach distension. And last, but not least, do not drink anything for an hour before or an hour after you eat. It's the worst thing you can do while you're trying to digest protein and fats. You need your stomach acid to be at maximum effectiveness to be able to digest protein an fats. Let me know how you're doing - I'd be interested if any of what I've recommended actually helps. Good luck!

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on July 16, 2012
at 02:49 AM

Coconut oil is great if you have no gallbladder BUT it's antimicrobial properties make it hard on your system when you first start eating it. Start with a teaspoon at a time and build up. Also, you might want to consider trying some digestive enzymes and HCL. Low stomach acid can make your digestion worse. I had to take a ton when I first started, but after a few months didn't need them anymore.

12
464e1c66609d402615ae2b3cf72d53fb

(1472)

on July 15, 2012
at 09:46 PM

I'm 56 and have been eating this way successfully since 1/10. There is also about 100lbs less of me as a great side benefit.

239bcbf6d0013fd74890f5c7305daf64

(664)

on July 15, 2012
at 11:09 PM

WOW!!!! 100lbs???? WOW!!!! Congrats!!! I am really amazed by that. Literally it may have saved your life. It makes my goals seem so much more attainable. Thank you for your testimony.

10
03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

on July 15, 2012
at 09:36 PM

I don't think you are that old. My parents are in their 70s and going strong. You have. potentially, 20-40 more years left!

I think the problem may have been the raw veggies (salad). You did not say how much you had to eat, but if your stomach is not used to raw veggies, they can be very rough on the digestion.

If you think the raw veggies may be the culprit, or want to find out, I would stick to smaller servings of cooked vegetables for right now and see how you feel.

As for improving your health, just cutting out refined foods will make a huge difference.

On a final note, your post reminds me of a commercial I once heard about smoking. Even if you have been smoking for 40 years, once you quit, within 8 hours your body and lung functions start to improve. Same with diet!

7
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on July 15, 2012
at 09:41 PM

I'm 49 & my husband is 56 and we are doing doing great after almost 2 years eating lacto-Paleo.

Google FODMAPS. You may be FODMAP-intolerant and avocados have the same effect on me that you described.

6
691e7096ed20fa1c62810068383bc28a

on July 22, 2012
at 01:11 AM

Hello, I am 63 and this is my third week on Paleo. I feel better than I have in the last five years. I have more energy and no aches and pains.I was a an Atkins follower in the 80s and 90s. I couldn't stay on it the low carb diet due to the artificial sweeteners and fake food substitutes. We needed real food and fats. We also needed the truth about grains. The book Wheatbelly brought me to the Paleo diet and the science behind Loren Cordain's research. As a life-long learner I am always open to new information. The Paleo Diet is great! Don't worry about being older. This is when we (older people) need a diet that will help prevent some of the common health problems like Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease. I look forward to many healthy years ahead. We need to spread the word at the grass roots level.

5
5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 15, 2012
at 09:36 PM

I'm 55. I've eaten SAD, vegetarian, vegan, USDA "healthy" and raw vegan. (sigh) I started paleo @ 2 years ago, did it kind of on/off, then settled down and got committed. (NOT that way people)

It's great. I feel younger, stronger, my moods are much better, my BG is normal, my weight is coming down. Paleo isn't a miracle, but it's a great foundation for a healthy life. Combine it with sun, proper sleep, weights, being outside and IMO it's the best way to live.

4
078ab01336ddc9f0b2cb0163d46a8c66

on July 15, 2012
at 11:56 PM

I'm 67, have been eating paleo for 2 months, and I feel great. Truthfully, I've eaten healthy foods most of my life, but cutting out gluten, sugar, and high glycemic fruits and vegetables made a huge difference from the get go. Upping my flesh intake has, for me, been a delicious, welcome step.

It's taken many years for you to get to the point that you're willing to try paleo; be patient and kind to yourself as you explore what that means for you. As others have noted, not having a gall bladder may mean that you'll want to go slowly with fats.

Best of luck!

4
449e19bbd371a87b653b9b8b56736005

(1567)

on July 15, 2012
at 11:40 PM

Lots of great answers here but I just wanted to throw out there that if you're only 3 weeks in, you're probably still in that transition phase where there will be lots of carb flu effects and your gut telling you to go jump in a lake. STICK WITH IT!! There will be a morning where you wake up and feel FANTASTIC.

I'd also like to add that I'm also missing my gall bladder and sometimes I do have to be careful about what foods I eat together and how much fat I can handle. Unfortunately, that's an n=1 thing so you'll have to find what works (or doesn't work) for you. Good luck and stick with it!

4
Fbe5ccefbaa491771675404cd766578f

on July 15, 2012
at 11:26 PM

My wife and I are 49 and are about six weeks into Paleo. We went in gradually, first cutting out sugar and flour, and later dairy. We are now limiting fruit. We both feel much better & are looking forward to becoming more efficient fat burners. I think of eating Paleo as just a beginning though. It's like finally realizing what is true food. Once you know that, there are endless variations. We are still in the process of personalizing the way we eat for our individual bodies. For example, she likes to eat many small meals with mostly veggies while I prefer fewer large meals with more meat. I always tell people that it's not a religion. You won't go to Hell if you make you find a variation that's not mainstream Paleo, but works for you. Good luck! :-)

47edf681280750c3712a3a56f2eae33b

on July 17, 2012
at 12:35 AM

"endless variations..." Totally!

4
45ace03a0eff1219943d746cfb1c4197

(3661)

on July 15, 2012
at 10:40 PM

I blog about my Paleo experience and have had some of the same "Is this for youth only?" concerns. I promise you, it is not. Everyone has somewhat different reactions to seemingly good foods. Our bodies have their own history and it all comes into play.

You'll hear lots of details and hopefully, get lots of support. For my 65th birthday party, we had a great time and mostly Paleo foods. I always give in to someone and add something I feel less than good about. I never eat those things, I just add them to the menu for others. My husband is a very young 72 and is finally coming around to enjoying the same meals I do.

You are not too old.

4
782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

on July 15, 2012
at 10:12 PM

I am 54 years old and started on this diet almost a year ago. I feel so much better now and am probably the healthiest I have been in my life.

I'm wondering if the fat from the avocado caused your problem as you said that you don't have a gall bladder?

2
0d01bba2492a248c3667bdda6ce02296

on July 22, 2012
at 04:38 PM

I'm 63 years old and in the last six months I have been on the Paleo diet and lost about 40 pounds. I am also feeling better and needing less sleep.

Forget age. It doesn't matter.

2
Ed8045e8840404b023764f1ea2cb6a5e

(191)

on July 15, 2012
at 11:33 PM

At 51 years old,I've been primal/paleo for 5 months, and my daughter, who is finally giving paleo a try, told me I look 10 years younger.

I wonder if the issue isn't your age so much, as how how process foods without your gall bladder. Especially with the higher protiens and fat of the paleo diet, perhaps this may be an issue. Just a thought,

Peace.

2
1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

on July 15, 2012
at 11:32 PM

I'll be 49 this week and have been eating this way for 2.5 years. It works amazingly well for me.

Af3e3615beba642bcafd0f21d64d74f7

on July 15, 2012
at 11:28 PM

see above, also... since you do not have a gall bladder just ease up on animal fats and gradually up the amount to find your threshold.

2
Af9537cfa50562b67979624e9007e12a

(1334)

on July 15, 2012
at 10:26 PM

I started all this mid 40's, about 3-4 years ago. these days i feel 10 years younger overall, like i am getting younger now, not older. what I have learned along the way: as you move into fats and protein for you main diet, you have to knock the fiber way down, now too much fiber makes me feel like you are describing. i think the avacado and veggies together might do that to me too. also, I found that too much fat tended to "loosen" things up inside, so i would knock down the fats, up the protein until i found the balance. as your body is adapting, the fats can sneak back up. and three weeks? you are impatient, this is not magic, and you body takes time to truly adapt to something. have a piece of bread once in a while, or some noodles, it's not going to kill you, not often though, i think jumping 100% shocks the system way too much.

1
Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

on July 22, 2012
at 12:15 PM

Consider that after decades of eating processed SAD foods that the raw (I assume) vegies like those in your salad are difficult for you to digest. I suggest cooking your veg well, perhaps take some digestive enzymes or eta/take' some ginger with your meals. I cannot relate to your sepcific circumstances but the axiom (that about I'm about to bastardise) 'seek good health and the rest will follow' is a good one. Your committment sounds great, things will problably take time, but be patient and keep trying.

1
7e36094a0f7a2fbad24290225405220b

(2064)

on July 22, 2012
at 08:52 AM

62 when I started, 64 next week and feeling in the best shape of my whole life!

I'm pretty sure that you are still experiencing the 'low carb flu'. Stick with it - it's the healthiest way of life there is!

1
F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on July 16, 2012
at 04:05 PM

I'm in my late 40s. I don't think being older is a minus for this way of eating at all. I sometimes have some rough nights if I eat too heavy of a fatty meal. Lighter fare or a smaller portion seems to sit better. I will say that it took me about 5 weeks to start to feel better and toward the end of that I was really seriously afraid I was going to die and that I should see a doctor. I had cramps that curled up my arms, I was very weak and had horrible edema. I wasn't getting enough salt and potassium. Once I took care of that problem, the health benefits and weight loss started coming fast.

1
39d290f0fc2ca0d12006a9147b3584aa

(144)

on July 16, 2012
at 07:35 AM

I'm 46 and am a month or so in and loving the way it's making me feel. And have lost a stone as well. I'm not looking at it as a diet but a permanent change for me now. Going back to my SUKD just has too much against it.

1
D13db3c36e8c981d14988bd25a889de4

on July 16, 2012
at 04:53 AM

I have read LOTS of testimonials on various paleo and low carb sites from people of all ages. With the missing gallbladder, perhaps you might look into whether digestive enzymes will help you. Perhaps a HCL supplement will help to increase your stomach acid. Healthy sea salt used to taste will help with stomach acid production.

I'm sure you will work this out. Listen to your body. Focus on what you have gained from the past 3 weeks.

Good luck to you!

1
Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

on July 16, 2012
at 04:23 AM

I will be 44 next month. When I started this, a year ago, I had diabetes, apnea, and chronic infections. Actually, it was the infections that got me going. I had lymphadenitis last year, and a lymph node in my groin literally exploded with infection. I am using literally correctly here, it truly exploded. I spent a week on oral AND IV antibiotics, going to the hospital daily, and was sick and weak for a month.

In the past year I have ended my blood sugar problems, fixed my apnea, and no more infections. I've lost 110+ pounds, and have never been in better shape in my life. A person I have known for 20+ years told me I look better now than when he met me, in my 20s.

It is hard at first, adjusting to this diet. Read up on here and other paleo sites about starting out, help with your stomach issues, and different techniques to find what works for you. But it does work, and I think it is very worth it. I will never go back.

1
C8549e3ab0e3d77910e72c87cb5e0918

(435)

on July 16, 2012
at 12:21 AM

I'm 40 and I have to say that going paleo hasn't helped me be able to digest green peppers any better. There could be one or two foods in what you ate, that are causing the symptoms. What about keeping a bit of a food diary, or starting with a more limited group of foods that you know don't bother you?

I had my gallbladder out close to 20 years ago, and I'm not having any trouble with a high fat diet (mine is 10% carbs, 20% protein, and 70% fat). That said, there is no way I can cheat and use soy or canola oil, both of those seem to wreck my system.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on July 16, 2012
at 02:45 AM

I also have no gallbladder. I do great on 70% fat but horrible on 80%. Start more slowly and build your way up. I also agree with people on the vegetables. I have problems with lots of raw veggies and garlic and spinach still kill me even when cooked. Try one at a time and see which ones you can tolerate.

1
Medium avatar

(3213)

on July 15, 2012
at 10:25 PM

Maybe the spices from the rub or the fat content of your meal made it a little difficult for your digestive system to get it through. Be patient, take it one day at a time, you are on the right path EECP nurse

0
88380f0ef4e536812ce76862a9062655

on July 22, 2012
at 04:55 PM

When my sister got her gall bladder out I did a little research and found that ox bile(a supplement) really helps digestion during meals with higher fat content. Something you might want to try with certain meals?

0
C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

on July 22, 2012
at 04:43 PM

55 is the new 35!

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