4

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Anyone Ever Experience High Carb Flu?

Answered on July 14, 2016
Created November 15, 2011 at 9:44 PM

I restricted carbs for a few weeks for an experiment and recently shifted back to a high tuber intake and I've noticed some real wild blood glucose swings that remind me of my old reactive hypoglycemia days. I would assume that a sudden shift in dietary carbohydrate in either direction leaves a person with a period of time where the body is playing catch-up trying to manage the secretion of insulin, glucagon etc.

I suppose this would be a good argument for gradual changes in carbohydrate intake whether one is increasing or decreasing it, but I've never read an account of someone experiencing this when they increased carb intake. Has anyone here had this occur?

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on November 17, 2011
at 01:18 AM

Thanks for the link, will look into chromium! Wheat makes me so incredibly bloated almost instantly that it leads to eating much less, actually; I think it had a lot to do with my chronic undereating/failure to thrive as a child.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on November 16, 2011
at 10:42 PM

Yeah, wheat hits my system like a grain silo explosion. Best case scenario is really hungry shortly after eating it, even if it's part of a hamburger or something. Seems like you are just like me in this regard; have you ever tried supplementing with chromium? http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/002604958790206X I've started taking 200mcg of chromium picolinate with vitamin C every day with the hope that it will make a difference.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on November 16, 2011
at 04:47 PM

I was actually eating a lot of carbs at night and tolerating it really well. At least 100g. My liver glycogen was so low at that point that it got partitioned with no issues. I think I encounter these issues when my hepatic and muscle glycogen stores are topped up and I throw more glucose on top of that. I should be able to handle it though without this heavy-handed insulin response, so I'm pretty sure it's chromium or something.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on November 16, 2011
at 01:59 AM

How many carbs at night, Travis? I thought that insulin resistance was normal for VLC/LC? I've read about this in a number of places--here and on Robb Wolf's blog. It's *really* a pain for pregnant Paleo & Primal moms who are pressured into a glucose tolerance test.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on November 15, 2011
at 11:29 PM

Really? That is strange! We should get "mirror twin" t-shirts btw :)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 15, 2011
at 10:06 PM

Well, I must be your mirror twin because I can eat quite a bit of sugar with no bad effects but refined starch just kills me. Unrefined starch is less damaging but is a bit of a downer and takes forever to digest.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on November 15, 2011
at 10:06 PM

I went from no carbs except at night to meals consisting mostly of sweet potato throughout the day since I bought too many and had to use them up. It's a big change and I'm not too surprised by it, but I hadn't really encountered any anecdotes in the paleosphere about it. There's also the possibility that I'm deficient in chromium or something and still subject to postprandial hypoglycemia.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on November 15, 2011
at 10:00 PM

Interesting! What kind of change are you talking about? 100g/day? 200? I am on day 3 of going from 35-40g to 100-120g/day via tubers and haven't had any hypo issues. Sorry though. Unstable bs feels like crap.

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7 Answers

2
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on November 15, 2011
at 11:09 PM

It's not flu, more like being in a coma, and having an autoimmune disease, and being bi-polar and being obese. I also have more colds, allergies and sinus problems. Inching up with starchier veggies isn't too much of a problem, except for weight.

1
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on November 16, 2011
at 10:12 PM

Yes, for me it's a longstanding issue and the reason I don't eat high carb*. My blood sugar/energy levels go haywire if I go over 200g in a day without tons of exercise (like a full day of rafting or heavy yard work, etc).

I have a carb 'sweet spot' of 100-200g. If I go below that I get hypoglycemia issues, if I go above, reactive hypoglycemia symptoms. 2 years of eating whole foods 'paleo', eating various macro-nutrient proportions, replacing grains with tubers/roots/fruit (and white rice) hasn't changed this basic fact, but wheat products give me reactive hypoglycemia problems like nothing else even in moderation, so eliminating gluten has helped a ton.

*note: I eat a lot of food, so while 200g might be considered 'high-carb' for someone on 1500 calories per day, 800 cals is not even a third of my usual daily intake... and I do not get 200g of carbs every single day.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on November 16, 2011
at 10:42 PM

Yeah, wheat hits my system like a grain silo explosion. Best case scenario is really hungry shortly after eating it, even if it's part of a hamburger or something. Seems like you are just like me in this regard; have you ever tried supplementing with chromium? http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/002604958790206X I've started taking 200mcg of chromium picolinate with vitamin C every day with the hope that it will make a difference.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on November 17, 2011
at 01:18 AM

Thanks for the link, will look into chromium! Wheat makes me so incredibly bloated almost instantly that it leads to eating much less, actually; I think it had a lot to do with my chronic undereating/failure to thrive as a child.

1
Medium avatar

(19479)

on November 15, 2011
at 09:58 PM

I have definitely felt "under the weather" (fatigue, elevated body temp, etc.) after a high carb day (especially if my average intake of carbs has been low).

I always attributed this to the impact of sugar on my immune system. I have also only felt this after eating a lot of sucrose (birthday cake, cookies, etc.) vs eating a lot of starch, even pizza and other refined sources or even fructose (although eating the same quantity of fructose as sucrose is limited as I can cram down a whole lot more cake than apples, bananas, and oranges.)

This seems to be backed up by this article from MarksDailyApple.com...

As to whether sugar directly impacts the immune response, there is evidence that it does play a role: the often-cited 1973 neutrophilic phagocytosis study out of Loma Linda University. Neutrophils are small white blood cells, about 9 or 10 ??m in diameter. They???re also the most abundant white blood cell, or leukocyte, in the body. Good thing, too, because they play a crucial role in the defense of the multicellular organism (that???s us). Neutrophilic phagocytosis is the process by which offensive microbes are dispatched by neutrophils.

The Loma Linda study observed the effect of sugar ingestion upon neutrophilic activity. After an overnight fast, subjects were administered oral 100 gram portions of either glucose, fructose, sucrose, honey, or orange juice. Blood was drawn before and after administration of the sugar, then mixed with a shot of staphylococcus epidermidis (a fairly common bacterial strain that can be virulent in compromised immune systems) to determine the neutrophilic phagocytosis response. After ingestion of sugar (but not starch), the phagocytic index (a rough measurement of the neutrophilic response) was significantly decreased, while fasting significantly increased the response. Sugar eating didn???t decrease the number of neutrophils; it simply decreased their responsiveness.

It isn???t exactly clear that sugar and sugar alone exerts a neutrophilic-dampening effect on our immune system. I???m inclined to think that the neutrophils aren???t lying dormant, befuddled and entranced by the fructose. Instead, I???m thinking they???re occupied by the rapid influx of twenty teaspoons of sugar into the body. Let me rephrase that: they???re occupied by the effects of the rapid influx of sugar. To understand what I mean, look at the start of this post. Check out all those negative, inflammatory effects sugar has on our body, and think about how twenty teaspoons of sudden sugar might necessitate an inflammatory response to deal with them all.

(full post here)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 15, 2011
at 10:06 PM

Well, I must be your mirror twin because I can eat quite a bit of sugar with no bad effects but refined starch just kills me. Unrefined starch is less damaging but is a bit of a downer and takes forever to digest.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on November 15, 2011
at 11:29 PM

Really? That is strange! We should get "mirror twin" t-shirts btw :)

1
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 15, 2011
at 09:57 PM

I'd imagine your going to need to shift your metabolic machinery and there is going to be a lag with a major change in either direction.

My personal experience doesn't count since my high carb days consist of the three P's ...pizza, pasta, and pastries :) ....but I don't really feel "horrible" even then. Just a little less productive for that day.

1
Ef4c5b09fdccf73be575d3a0c267fdd9

(2539)

on November 15, 2011
at 09:50 PM

Ha no kidding! I actually got a full on flu when I switched to high carb. Spent 5 days at 100 degree temperatures... but then got radically better and made great health improvements. I think my immune system needed the glucose after low carbing/being active for so long.

0
81a6629e1c828e50411cf5c0fe27303d

on July 14, 2016
at 10:09 AM

I was just st wondering this exact thing thus the search lol. I have been mostly paleo for about 2 years husband wanted to try the potatoe diet. First day I felt s bit nauseous and had loose stools, second day was ok but I had eaten less, 3rd day was ok till evening when we had a potatoe soup which is made from juiced potatoes, I was vomiting and running to the toilet felt like I had the flu. 4th day (today) I was ok this morning but only had coffee till lunch then had orange sweet potato at lunch and then maybe a cup an hour later and about half a cup at about 3.30pm, started feeling a bit queasy but also feel like I have a cold or flu with that headachy stuffed up feeling even though I am now hungry. I am thinking switching from low carb to high carb may be the problem

0
6b365c14c646462210f3ef6b6fecace1

(1784)

on November 15, 2011
at 10:14 PM

personal observations: felt really warm, restless, definitely bloated, and slightly nauseated after transitioning to high carb... this lasted for about 4 days or so? then I just felt totally fine after that.

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