2

votes

brain fog: worse beore it gets better on paleo diet?

Commented on October 17, 2014
Created September 14, 2012 at 12:29 AM

I've been paleo the past 2 weeks, and things are definetly improving for me in the bloating and digestion department, but the mental symptoms are not getting better. Before switching to paleo I was already gluten free/dairy free/soy free the past year with minimal sugar and no processed foods, so I really only cut out brown rice, quinoa, peanuts, beans, gluten free bread, etc. But the past few days, my brain fog has been so bad I have felt like a walking zombie and could not focus on anything. Is this just my body readjusting? Or am I doing something wrong? In ketosis? I am exercising, getting enough Vitamin D, Magnesium & Calcium, taking probiotics and eating fat and staying hydrated. I am sleeping 8 hours a night (not soundly though, I wake up at least once during the night).

How long did it take for you to see your mental symptoms (brain fog, depression, anxiety) improve after going paleo? For me, the mental symptoms are more debilitating than the digestion problems! Does it get worse before it gets better?

Bdb4ad5fc3625a0014f139a117be3ed3

on October 17, 2014
at 11:03 PM

Have you considered getting your genetic profile? One website to check out would be 23 and me. I have several health issues and it wasn't until I got my genetic profile that I was able to make any headway with a wellness protocol. It may help you understand why you have the brain fog. I have huge challenges with brain fog. Presently I am addresseing my methylation issues in the hopes that supporting the detox pathways will alleviate my brain fog. You can be doing everything "right" but if you can't absorb the nurtients or if the supplements/nutirents are causing a detox reaction you will experience brain fog,depresson, anxiety. My experience has been that yes it can get worse before it gets better. You may need start with just one supplement at a time. Start low and go slow is the saying. I wish you all the best.

8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e

(70)

on March 01, 2014
at 11:33 AM

My first instinct was to mention low carb adaption. Sounds like you used to eat a fair bit. Also that puts a higher requirement on hydration, and electrolytes (minerals). The other thing I thought I would add then to this, is choline. Actyl-choline is the focus/memory/wakefulness neurosystem. Choline is the food precursor. It does exist in meats, but its highest in beef liver, followed by eggs. The rest of your amino precursors should be fine if your eating lots of animal proteins. But it could help chucking down some home made pate - just as a random thought. Not that its the cause.

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on October 03, 2012
at 12:08 AM

oh and by alcohol I only drink silver tequila on the rocks, no mixers =)

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on October 03, 2012
at 12:04 AM

pretty strict- I make all my own food, minimal fruits/nuts, I get fat from avocados, coco oil for cooking and olive oil for dressings. I drink alcohol maybe once a month, only thing besides water I drink is raw 100% coconut water or kombucha. Brain fog has been the consistent symptom I have had the past 2 years, I go through periods where my digestion is better or my fatigue is better but the brain fog is always there. Have had an endoscopy, colonoscopy and full blood work and no auto-immune disorder or anything abnormal. I'm at a loss of whats wrong =/

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 02, 2012
at 10:17 PM

Nursling, for me even minor hypothyroid can really make me fuzzy. Anything over 2.5 TSH and I start to notice (which is still in range of "normal"). When I was first diagnosed I was at 5.6, and told that was only mildly hypo.

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on October 02, 2012
at 09:18 PM

I did an intense candida diet about 6 months ago for more than 2 months when I thought thats what was causing the brain fog and it didnt help me much. I recently got full blood work done and all of my hormone and thyroid levels are normal =/

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on October 02, 2012
at 09:14 PM

does extreme hypothyroid = brain fog or can minor hypo = brain fog too?

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on October 02, 2012
at 09:13 PM

I am sorry to hear you are still struggling. HCl sounds like a good next step. I have been using it as well and I think it helps digestion, but it's hard to tell. how strict is your diet?

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on October 02, 2012
at 08:48 PM

in 7 months. After reading other posts on here I am hoping that diet will bring it back naturally!)

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on October 02, 2012
at 08:48 PM

up the brain fog once and for all! I do take probiotics, but have started eating fermented foods this week along with kombucha in hopes that helps too. I suspect adrenal fatigue is the culprit of all of this so I have been working on my sleep and cutting back on my exercise but have not noticed any improvements I also recently got back on birth control again in July, but am going to get off of it as I know it will only further complicate my gut flora. (I got back on birth control per recommendation by my doctor (of course) after being off of it for a year because I had not gotten my period...

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on October 02, 2012
at 08:47 PM

Hi thanks for checking in-- I was actually going to repost and ask more about this because my brain fog is not any better, and I am now over a month into the diet. I am not sure what to do. I feel like I am not absorbing my nutrients even though I am taking proper supplements and eating so well. I get a bloating/tightness in my upper abdomen after eating, and sometimes foul gas hours after eating (even if it is low fodmap meal). I think that I have low stomach acid so have started taking betaine HCL today. My hope is that improving my digestion and ability to absorb nutrients will help clear..

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on September 14, 2012
at 01:21 AM

fyi I am 26, 5'6 130lbs

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on September 14, 2012
at 01:18 AM

I think my calories are around 1500-1800/day. Is this too low? I am not necessarily trying for ketosis although I would like to lose 5-10lbs.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 14, 2012
at 01:09 AM

But how much brown rice, quinoa, gluten-free bread, etc, were you eating? Another thing to consider is that you aren't enough calories. As for ketosis, I have to stay below 50 grams, but others have said they stay in ketosis around 100 grams of carbs. If ketosis isn't your goal, try eating a sweet potato or even some white rice if you tolerate it.

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on September 14, 2012
at 12:54 AM

thank you! cant wait to feel like a normal functioning part of society again! haha

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on September 14, 2012
at 12:53 AM

I am eating at least 1-2 pieces of fruit a day. And because I was pretty restricted in my diet before this, I really didn't eat a lot of carbs to begin with. Could it still be keto flu?

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13 Answers

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2
Acf3f15ef2f914d0684960ed21a81bd5

(155)

on September 14, 2012
at 12:35 AM

My keto flu was awful. Same symptoms, including the restless sleeping. Taking a few drops of Valerian root in herbal tea each night before bed helped me sleep soundly until it passed.

It will definitely subside. Bonus: You'll get sick much, much less frequently after it's gone.

If the depression/anxiety sticks around, it might be a sign that you've got nutritional deficiencies, but I would wait to address them until after your initial carb flu in case they're just temporary.

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on September 14, 2012
at 12:54 AM

thank you! cant wait to feel like a normal functioning part of society again! haha

8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e

(70)

on March 01, 2014
at 11:33 AM

My first instinct was to mention low carb adaption. Sounds like you used to eat a fair bit. Also that puts a higher requirement on hydration, and electrolytes (minerals). The other thing I thought I would add then to this, is choline. Actyl-choline is the focus/memory/wakefulness neurosystem. Choline is the food precursor. It does exist in meats, but its highest in beef liver, followed by eggs. The rest of your amino precursors should be fine if your eating lots of animal proteins. But it could help chucking down some home made pate - just as a random thought. Not that its the cause.

2
Eedf46c82d0356d1d46dda5f9782ef36

(4464)

on September 14, 2012
at 01:06 AM

2-3 weeks for me. Totally agree with Teufy that sickness happens way less after - I'm practically immune to 'cold and flu season' these days (I'm three years in).

2
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on September 14, 2012
at 12:52 AM

3 weeks. Detox was rough.

2
61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 14, 2012
at 12:51 AM

What are you eating in a normal day? If you drastically reduced your carb intake, it may help to eat a piece of in-season fruit.

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on September 14, 2012
at 12:53 AM

I am eating at least 1-2 pieces of fruit a day. And because I was pretty restricted in my diet before this, I really didn't eat a lot of carbs to begin with. Could it still be keto flu?

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on September 14, 2012
at 01:21 AM

fyi I am 26, 5'6 130lbs

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on September 14, 2012
at 01:18 AM

I think my calories are around 1500-1800/day. Is this too low? I am not necessarily trying for ketosis although I would like to lose 5-10lbs.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 14, 2012
at 01:09 AM

But how much brown rice, quinoa, gluten-free bread, etc, were you eating? Another thing to consider is that you aren't enough calories. As for ketosis, I have to stay below 50 grams, but others have said they stay in ketosis around 100 grams of carbs. If ketosis isn't your goal, try eating a sweet potato or even some white rice if you tolerate it.

1
1ef2c3bfd6bb37877b02fddc819bebac

on September 14, 2012
at 01:49 AM

I was like that at first too. I think it was carb withdrawal. It got better once my body started running efficiently on paleo foods and stopped craving starchy/sugary/grain non-foods.

It got even better after chelation but that'll cause a stir here so that's all I'll say about that.

0
6da6c3e961b5d31b6e73fea9e0b84998

on April 23, 2014
at 04:03 AM

I've probably dealt with over 30 clients, helping them with their brain fog and I can say none of them got worse before they got better. I've cured my own brain fog as well.

If you try these protocols, you should see improvements right away.

http://selfhacked.com/2013/06/15/the-cause-of-brain-fog/

http://selfhacked.com/2014/02/23/brain-fog-treatment-part-2-supplements/

0
B0cb72b56b65ec6734caf6c16e141577

on March 01, 2014
at 11:21 AM

It only took me approximately 3 days to come out of the 'keto flu' but my diet was already relatively clean before that. After 2 weeks of eating "bulletproof paleo' I notice that a small re-introduction of sugars (by way of a smoothie with a handfull of blueberries and raspberries) gave me a headache and brain fog like you won't believe! So if I were you I would watch out for hidden sources of sugar, and maybe re-consider your probiotics as per this article: https://www.bulletproofexec.com/why-yogurt-and-probiotics-make-you-fat-and-foggy/

0
7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

on February 07, 2013
at 12:05 PM

Are you trying to lose weight?

After reading "the perfect health diet", I'm all in on 600 calories a day of safe starch.

0
7eecdd43c11e2af1a9e4ca0f63d44749

on February 07, 2013
at 10:39 AM

I've had similar issues due to leaky gut, candida and dysbiosis. From reading your posts if you do have a dysbiosis issue a couple of months on a strict diet won't actually get rid of it. But it will have started the process. The thing is even small amounts of sugar could cause your brain fog. So your one or two pieces of fruit could be enough to feed the bacteria so you're getting into a cycle of taking things to kill it off but also feeding it. Which would mean an ongoing brain fog issue that seems like you're not getting anywhere. Nuts also as they tend to have mould on them will exacerbate candida and similar problems.

Also for the candida, were you taking any anti-fungals? Probiotics alone won't really get rid of it or other pathogens.

I'd suggest getting a stool test done so you know what you're really dealing with and if it is a dysbiosis issue, which to be honest it does sound like with the brain fog and digestive issues, then it will show up there most likely and you can target a regime of anti-fungals and probiotics to treat it.

you could experiment with eating a couple of raw garlic cloves a day and eating a lot of coconut oil, above 4 tbs. And cutting out all fruit and other natural sugars. Concentrate on meat, fat and green veg.

It does sound to me like you have gotten in a cycle of re-feeding the dysbiosis which would explain the ongoing brain fog.

0
0eb178cec364c022a189c3814e5f7483

(0)

on February 07, 2013
at 04:13 AM

ever think that possibly diet is not the problem here... maybe it's neurological. Anxiety and/or depression. This is a common symptom. Not to discourage you.. but just a thought. Maybe considering SSRI medication for a few months to see if that lifts the fog.. I know most people are anti medication, but sounds like you've had no luck thus far.

0
0bff65302150d44c74c2afb7fedf6680

on November 02, 2012
at 03:33 PM

I think I may have an answer. I've had the exact same problem, and looking back, I've had it for over 10 years. It sort of crept in on me. 10 years of investigation and persistence is slowly paying off. Although all the specialist visits, MRI, Endoscopy, Gastroscopy, etc. did not find a cause, but at least it eliminated a long list. Just like you I decided to to go gluten free and after 4 months, when I started using an oral appliance for sleep apnea, is when everything changed, over night (an amazing experience). At the time I did not realize gluten was the culprit and had started eating everything, thinking sleep was the only answer and the brain fog came back after 3 weeks with a vengeance. Now I've been eating Paleo for a month and gluten free for 5 months. Conclusion: Solving Brain Fog for me is a combination of Paleo Diet, Good Sleep and Exercise. All the best and good luck!

0
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 02, 2012
at 09:06 PM

Just read your update, if it has been a month, you are in ketosis and still have brain fog, I would look into candida as the culprit. Candida can live just as well or even better off of ketones than it can sugars. You could either look into an anti-candida diet (which would mean at the very least trying to hover just above of ketosis), trying something like Saccaromyces Boulardii, Theramedix CDX, and some fermented food every day, or talk to your doctor about trying a trial of Diflucan.

If that doesn't have an impact, it also couldn't hurt to do a full thyroid panel, when I was hypothyroid and unmedicated I could barely drive or fill out paperwork at the doctor's office because of the brain fog.

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on October 02, 2012
at 09:14 PM

does extreme hypothyroid = brain fog or can minor hypo = brain fog too?

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on October 02, 2012
at 09:18 PM

I did an intense candida diet about 6 months ago for more than 2 months when I thought thats what was causing the brain fog and it didnt help me much. I recently got full blood work done and all of my hormone and thyroid levels are normal =/

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 02, 2012
at 10:17 PM

Nursling, for me even minor hypothyroid can really make me fuzzy. Anything over 2.5 TSH and I start to notice (which is still in range of "normal"). When I was first diagnosed I was at 5.6, and told that was only mildly hypo.

0
76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on October 02, 2012
at 07:07 PM

how are you doing? any updates?

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on October 02, 2012
at 08:48 PM

in 7 months. After reading other posts on here I am hoping that diet will bring it back naturally!)

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on October 03, 2012
at 12:08 AM

oh and by alcohol I only drink silver tequila on the rocks, no mixers =)

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on October 02, 2012
at 09:13 PM

I am sorry to hear you are still struggling. HCl sounds like a good next step. I have been using it as well and I think it helps digestion, but it's hard to tell. how strict is your diet?

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on October 03, 2012
at 12:04 AM

pretty strict- I make all my own food, minimal fruits/nuts, I get fat from avocados, coco oil for cooking and olive oil for dressings. I drink alcohol maybe once a month, only thing besides water I drink is raw 100% coconut water or kombucha. Brain fog has been the consistent symptom I have had the past 2 years, I go through periods where my digestion is better or my fatigue is better but the brain fog is always there. Have had an endoscopy, colonoscopy and full blood work and no auto-immune disorder or anything abnormal. I'm at a loss of whats wrong =/

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on October 02, 2012
at 08:48 PM

up the brain fog once and for all! I do take probiotics, but have started eating fermented foods this week along with kombucha in hopes that helps too. I suspect adrenal fatigue is the culprit of all of this so I have been working on my sleep and cutting back on my exercise but have not noticed any improvements I also recently got back on birth control again in July, but am going to get off of it as I know it will only further complicate my gut flora. (I got back on birth control per recommendation by my doctor (of course) after being off of it for a year because I had not gotten my period...

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on October 02, 2012
at 08:47 PM

Hi thanks for checking in-- I was actually going to repost and ask more about this because my brain fog is not any better, and I am now over a month into the diet. I am not sure what to do. I feel like I am not absorbing my nutrients even though I am taking proper supplements and eating so well. I get a bloating/tightness in my upper abdomen after eating, and sometimes foul gas hours after eating (even if it is low fodmap meal). I think that I have low stomach acid so have started taking betaine HCL today. My hope is that improving my digestion and ability to absorb nutrients will help clear..

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