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Paleo and headaches

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 28, 2013 at 6:44 PM

I have been eating the PALEO way for about 3 weeks now and for the last 4 days I have had a very nasty headache. Now I am prone to them but I haven't done anything that would normally bring one on. I am wondering if cutting out dairy, sugar and carbs so dramatically from my diet has caused it...? Any thoughts from others who have been doing this longer? Thanks.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

If this doesn't fit your situation it would help to post more details about your diet/living conditions/stress/allergies. Lots of causes of headaches. Probably most are unrelated to diet, although dehydration is common.

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5 Answers

3
5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 28, 2013
at 06:52 PM

IF you are go below 50 gms of carbs a day, you will start excreting water more rapidly as you enter ketosis. That can result in headaches if you get dehydrated. Don't worry! This is normal, healthy and has a simple fix.

SALT. Either drink salty broth a couple of times a day or salt your food fairly aggressively AND drink more water. 64 ounces + a day from water or other sources is a good start. This can vary some by person - I used to drink a gallon and a half a day when working outside full time in the sun in summer. Adjust to your needs.

If you are in the low carb situation - give this a try - it works very fast - minutes to a couple hours tops. So long as you stay under 50 grams carbs you should do this. This is quite normal - just picture all the animals standing around salt licks.

If your carb count is higher, this probably wouldn't be the solution, although dehydration from simply not getting enough water is still a possibility.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

If this doesn't fit your situation it would help to post more details about your diet/living conditions/stress/allergies. Lots of causes of headaches. Probably most are unrelated to diet, although dehydration is common.

1
E689b5a04588f8050ef5fa6f8b820f32

(286)

on February 28, 2013
at 08:44 PM

If you are prone to headaches what makes you think it's due to diet. I feel like this is like saying "I get hay fever in the spring and I went Paleo 4 weeks ago. I'm having really bad hay fever this week. What should I change in my diet?" This isn't meant to sound insensitive, but I think many people start Paleo with a belief that it's a miracle cure and all their ailments will immediately vanish.

I would be concerned with a headache that does not go away. Is it a consistent headache that you've had for 4 days straight or does it come and go? I would consult your medical professional if this is the case.

0
32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on February 28, 2013
at 11:44 PM

Headaches can indicate mineral deficiencies. If you have changed your diet, you may have upset your balance. Scroll to the bottom of this page for a diagram that might help you figure out if this is the case:

http://www.marysherbs.com/heal/heal-hedP.htm

0
2e777bbcd49262eb31a24f821abec6bc

(1974)

on February 28, 2013
at 07:17 PM

I have struggled with headaches since I was 12 years old. I used to take advil daily. They weren't migraines and doctors did not know what was wrong... they eventually said that they were stress related (although im not a high stress person...)

Anyway, when I switched to paleo the headaches stayed the same, maybe got a bit worse, for the first month or two. In the past three months though, I have taken advil twice. I am not very strict with grains, but am very strict with gluten. I think that the headaches were completely gluten related. I encourage you to keep improving your diet for a couple more months and see how you feel then.

0
C5c1073ffc65c5b737408d1d6cc68e86

on February 28, 2013
at 06:55 PM

Most definitely! Cutting out those things, especially sugars, will cause headaches.

Sugar is addictive. And because most of our conventional foods are filled with sugar-like things, our bodies are so attached to it. Deliberately taking it out of our diets will cause our bodies to go into withdrawal symptoms. Headaches are probably #1 on that list of withdrawal symptoms.

But, there is light on the other side of this mountain. Your body will adjust to being without sugars, but you have to keep them out of your diet as much as possible. As your body adjusts, even a little smidgen of sugar or sugar-substitutes will bring you back to that dependence, and the withdrawal symptoms will take longer to disappear.

Thanks for reading! Purpose In Every Step

And for a little listening enjoyment: The Health & Comedy Podcast "Not So Sweets"

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