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Adapting to low carb-still getting dry eyes with 50-100g?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created February 21, 2012 at 6:02 PM

I have been 90% paleo for about 3 weeks now, and I find that even when eating 50g+ carbs per day I still have dry eyes, which I associate with not enough glucose in my body/diet (http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=1077).

I have dry eyes today- typed everything into cronometer from yesterday (came out to 72.2g carbs). The main sources were carrots, assorted veggies (tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, onions), and banana chips. Im 6' 1" about 165, fit male (soccer 1 night a week, lift 1-2 nights a week). This morning I had 2 bananas and more banana chips, and I am not sure what the turnaround is for eating->converting to glucose->making tears (assuredly more complex than this), but eyes are still dry.

I guess my question is how people can live on <50g per day? I think my eyes would dry up completely. Is this normal when starting paleo and will go away eventually? Does anyone have any useful hacks for this discomfort or am I just going to need to track my carb intake to make sure I am hitting a certain amount that gets rid of the dryness? Thanks.

Edit:Yesterday I recorded 140.7g of carbs and my eyes are still kind of messed up today, so the hunt for an alternative reason is on... I am going to start supplementing K2, kelp (iodine), ALA/NAC, fish oil, zinc, and magnesium next week

Everything I ate yesterday (as complete as possible): Whey protein supp, D3 supp, bananas, macadamia nuts, banana chips, spinach, grape tomatoes, chicken breast, bell pepper, carrots, red onion, almonds, grass fed beef patties, steamed kale, sweet potato
End Edit

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 23, 2012
at 11:41 PM

Dan, I hope you find an ideal solution. I wish you all the best.

829f8e29e21516004cb5059dbd00ce50

(45)

on February 21, 2012
at 07:13 PM

yesterday my fat was from macadamia nuts, the coconut oil that the banana chips were cooked in, butter, eggs, olive oil, sardines in olive oil, and a little from chicken breast. I typically eat a lot of eggs, olive oil, butter, almonds (probably my top sources)

829f8e29e21516004cb5059dbd00ce50

(45)

on February 21, 2012
at 07:05 PM

Thank you for the input! I am however fairly confident that my cause has something to do with carbs, on the couple of weekends that I have gone out drinking (juices/sodas w/ alcohol=TONS of carbs), I may have been a bit hungover the next day but I never had dry eyes. I never had dry eyes like this before paleo either. Who knows, I will just have to track all of my carbs and find my minimum required limit with some trial and error. I also may see if I am consistently low on any certain vitamin/mineral via chronometer. Thanks again

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 21, 2012
at 06:40 PM

What fats are you eating? I don't have it anymore, so I guess PaleoGran could very well be right...

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5 Answers

4
D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

on February 21, 2012
at 06:10 PM

Hi, Dan. Some think that dry eyes are related to PUFA.

Barry Groves mentions this at his site, Second Opinions.

Introduction

There are many conditions in Western industrialised societies today that were unheard of, or at least very rare, just a century ago. The same conditions are still unheard of in primitive peoples who do not have the 'benefits' of our knowledge. There is a very good reason for this: They eat what Nature intended; we don't. The diseases caused by our incorrect and unnatural diets are those featured on these pages.

Dietary causes:

Excess omega-6 fatty acids from polyunsaturated cooking oils and margarines. Many millions of people in the industrialised countries, predominantly women, suffer from dry eye syndrome, a painful and debilitating eye disease. Dry eye syndrome is characterised by a decline in the quality or quantity of tears that normally bathe the eye to keep it moist and functioning well. The condition causes symptoms such as pain, irritation, and a sandy or gritty sensation. If untreated, severe dry eye syndrome can lead to scarring or ulceration of the cornea, and loss of vision. Victims may experience symptoms so severe that reading, driving, working and other vision-related activities of daily life are difficult or impossible.

In the first study of its kind to examine modifiable risk factors, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Schepens Eye Research Institute, an affiliate of Harvard University Medical School and the largest independent eye research institute in the world, found that the amount, type and ratio of essential fatty acids in the diet may play a key role in dry eye prevention in women. 1

This study set out to examine how changing dietary habits in America, primarily a shift in the balance of essential fatty acids they are consuming, may be associated with onset of this eye disease. What it found was that a high intake of omega-6 fatty acids of the type found in margarines, cooking and salad oils, increased the risk of dry eye syndrome. On the other hand, omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils and walnuts, reduced the risk, as of course does reducing intakes of vegetable margarines and oils.

References

1 . Miljanovic B, Trivedi KA, Dana MR, et al. Relation between dietary n???3 and n???6 fatty acids and clinically diagnosed dry eye syndrome in women. Am J Clin

Nutr 2005 82: 887-893.


Tracking carb intake would give you exact information.

Here is one source for nutritional info.


We all have different needs and challenges. I eat 20-30g/CHO/d and have the best health I ever have. I have been at this level of carbs since July 2010. No dry eyes at all.

I wish you success in solving the dry eyes. :)

829f8e29e21516004cb5059dbd00ce50

(45)

on February 21, 2012
at 07:05 PM

Thank you for the input! I am however fairly confident that my cause has something to do with carbs, on the couple of weekends that I have gone out drinking (juices/sodas w/ alcohol=TONS of carbs), I may have been a bit hungover the next day but I never had dry eyes. I never had dry eyes like this before paleo either. Who knows, I will just have to track all of my carbs and find my minimum required limit with some trial and error. I also may see if I am consistently low on any certain vitamin/mineral via chronometer. Thanks again

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 23, 2012
at 11:41 PM

Dan, I hope you find an ideal solution. I wish you all the best.

0
Cd717290eb43a6e17061f9920deed977

on February 22, 2012
at 01:51 AM

Well, dry eyes are a fairly common symptom of lowered thyroid function (hypothyroid), which is a risk when going low carb. If you already had some tendency towards lower thyroid function, then being at only 50 carbs a day could definitely send you over the edge.

Try keeping your carbs at 150g per day, and see not only how your eyes feel, but you may also overall feel more energetic and happy.

0
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on February 21, 2012
at 09:11 PM

Mine were due to a new type of contact. No problems when I just wear my glasses.

0
E1a0b8e2b68d703e84d499ede8eb8201

on February 21, 2012
at 07:47 PM

What about air quality and computer usage? It has been cool & very dry in my neck of the woods lately and it is killing my eyes. I was rewetting my contact like crazy last week. Also, increase in computer/tv usage is going to dry out your eyes. Are you possibly using the computer a lot at work during the week focusing on tasks, then not so much over the weekend?

0
A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1

on February 21, 2012
at 07:34 PM

Some days I eat less than 50g of carbs. Some days my eyes feel a little dry. I usually just use eye drops once or twice during the day. Beyond that, I don't give it much thought - so, there may or may not be a connection for me.

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