I am having difficulty getting back on the Paleo wagon.
I completed approx 3 weeks eating a paleo diet. Then I got a weird flu and threw up for 2 days, and couldn't eat anything for about 7 full days. I am breastfeeding and was very concerned I was going to go into starvation mode and my body would decrease my milk supply. When I finally could eat, I found I was eating non-paleo foods that seemed more calorie dense to get my calories back up to safely produce milk.
Now I am having a hard time getting back on the Paleo lifestyle, even though those 3 weeks of eating that way helped me feel great, have lots of energy, and eliminated emotional eating.
Now I seem to be suffering from severe anxiety most of the time. I have a overwhelming feeling of dread, like something bad is going to happen all the time. It leaves me feeling like I can't do anything, leave the house, etc.
I want to know if there is a link between eating SAD (no alcohol, but lots of coffee with cream and sugar) and increased anxiety. I am hoping that if there is a link it will be the kick start I need to get back on track.
asked byTara_5 (20)
Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!
on July 16, 2013
at 06:44 AM
If you really feel bad and you have a small baby it may be a good idea to see your doctor just to rule out things like post natal depression.
Leaving that aside lots of research is done on diet and mood. Sites like radiant recovery and plenty of the mental health clinics advise a clean good diet with no junk and ideally no caffeine (I gave up my diet coke addiciton years ago and don't have any caffeine) and no white bread etc.
Perhaps try to eat sweet potato with butter at two meals a day if you want the comfort of some carb and feeling full up. I think it's much better to be on clean whole foods with paleo roots and potatoes with skins etc than giving up and having standard UK/US diet.
Most important of all is plenty of rest and enjoying your baby however.
What has worked for me is gradual - eg get your breakfast right with lots of protein particularly eggs every day. Then move on to not eating between breakfast and lunch and thenmake lunch good etc. Eventuallygradually take out the processed foods and sugars.
I thikn you have to be pretty malnourished for breastmilk to stop flowing. I fed twins 100% and as long as the baby keeps feeding your body tends to make sure the baby is fine but I certainly make sure you are drinking loads of water as you need fluid. I always had a pint glass of water on hand all day. If you feel like junk food have lot of water to drink.
on July 16, 2013
at 03:01 PM
I like Emily Deans for this kind of thing.
An educated understanding of obesity makes one realize that the underlying metabolic derangements leading to obesity precede sloth, not the other way around.
http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.ca/2010/06/diet-depression-and-anxiety.html "A traditional dietary pattern "was associated with a lower likelihood of depressive and anxiety disorders."
"Traditional fruit, veggie, lamb, beef, fish and whole grain eaters had a 25% lower risk for major chronic disease (cardiovascular disease and cancer) after 10 years. They had 35% reduced odds for having major depression or dysthymia, and 32% reduced odds for anxiety disorders. The "Western" (junk) and "modern" (bean, fish, wine, and tofu) eaters fared about the same, but the Western eaters were slightly more depressed."
The gist of the 2nd post is basically that you need decent nutrition to correctly regulate your Hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal glands. Poor nutrition taxes that axis and can result in obesity, anxiety, and depression.
I think the point being, even if you eat 90/10, or 80/20, grains or whatever, try to make animal foods, saturated fat, vegetables and fruit larger portions of your diet to feel better.
That is how the french live, after all, and the italians. They eat dessert after every meal but it is a small portion and once sugar starts making up greater than say, 3% of your calories, that is when you get into trouble.
on July 16, 2013
at 07:32 PM
Please see your doctor about the possibility of postpartum depression. Your mental health, and that of your precious wee one, are far too important to risk. Yes, diet can adversely affect your mental health. That quickly? I'm not so sure about.
on July 16, 2013
at 08:17 PM
That list of events makes perfect sense to me, and I developed an anxiety disorder after the birth of my first child. My heart goes out to you, that was the worst feeling, I was afraid to even blink or sleep when it was really bad because I was convinced without me willing him to do so he would stop breathing.
Is there any chance you have any placenta pills lying around? That was what worked for me to turn the anxiety off. Each pill bought me about 8 hours before it would come back. I haven't tried them personally, and I don't know if it has to be your own placenta to work, but I've seen dessicated sheep placenta supplements on Amazon that are really cheap. Might be worth a shot.
Postpartum anxiety and/or depression can kick in any time in the first year, and it isn't unusual for it to be activated by a stressful situation like an illness, so like the others here have said, contact your doctor and get that evaluated ASAP.
Since it sounded like stomach flu or food poisoning, your gut flora probably took a beating. If you want to get all sciencey getting a stool sample evaluation would be a good way to see what is going on in there now. Being low on some kinds of bacteria and high in others can cause anxiety. Things might settle back to where they were over time, or they might not depending on what strains are being bullies. In some instances targeted antibiotic treatment can even be helpful.
Food can play a role too. I know one person, who after 65 years of feeling anxious all the time, dropped grains, and within a few days the anxiety was gone for the first time in her life.
on July 17, 2013
at 02:41 PM
I would say the coffee is really contributing to your anxiety, especially since you were sick for relatively long time and did not eat anything. Caffein could really affect your mood when your immune system is down and your body is malnourished as it was. You said lots of coffee, how much is lots and how often are you consuming it throughout the day?? Try cutting back on that first if you do not want to spend money on doctors right away. Sometimes small changes can have a lasting impact without costing a lot of money.