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New to Paleo and I keep finding more foods that I am "sensitive" to...is this common?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 19, 2013 at 12:17 AM

Hello! So I'm new to the Paleo/Primal (mostly following the Primal Blueprint book) lifestyle and have only been at it for a few weeks. I started a complete dietary change about a month ago when I decided to go wheat/gluten free after stumbling across the Wheat Belly book when doing research about IBS. I've struggled with IBS-C since I was 16 (I'm a 34 year old female, btw) and finally decided to try to take control of my body. Since going gluten-free I have been transitioning to Paleo.

Tonight, for the first time in a probably a month, I indulged a bit and had a bowl of gluten-free quinoa pasta with a homemade Paleo-friendly bolognese. Within an hour I'm so bloated I look like I'm 6 months pregnant and I feel like crap. Last week I had a little bit of whole-fat cream cheese and I ended up with cramps and bloating. Neither of these things seemed to bother me directly before, although my diet was full of processed junk and I felt uncomfortable most of the time from being so constipated (sorry for the TMI).

Is it common, once switching to a clean Paleo lifestyle, to find that you are indeed sensitive to certain foods? Is the bloating and cramping a food sensitivity?

Sorry for all the questions. I'm starting to get a little paranoid because all the sudden it seems like my food options are dwindling.

Thanks! Tracy

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on June 20, 2013
at 02:52 AM

very informative response hack

303da756656a877256622dd5dcf0a02e

(157)

on June 19, 2013
at 01:25 PM

Fructose malabsorption is very under-diagnosed. It's more common that gluten intolerance yet the cross-over with wheat avoidance in both illnesses causes people to blame the gluten and be baffled by the fact that they're still sick. Gluten is all the rage at the moment so it's the first thing people target. I went about 10 years before being diagnosed.. I'm finally healing my system, but a lot of damage has already been done unfortunately.

463e09e6e28c4f2591aaca88bf0c3cef

(248)

on June 19, 2013
at 11:53 AM

I agree... I haven't been diagnosed, but I have done a bit of reading about FODMAPs and have found that most of the foods on the "watch" list bother me. They probably alays did, too.

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4 Answers

2
303da756656a877256622dd5dcf0a02e

(157)

on June 19, 2013
at 01:31 AM

It sounds like you may have fructose malabsorption. This would explain your reaction to the bolognese - my guess is that it was full of onion? Often people with fructose issues also struggle with absorption of lactose which would explain your reaction to the cream. Wheat is another thing that people with fructose malabsorption avoid, as it contains chains of fructose known as fructans. Unfortunately wheat belly doesn't mention this anywhere, which I found quite disappointing.

As for your second question about whether the paleo diet triggered your sensitivity to these foods I doubt that this would be the case. As you said at the beginning you have been struggling with digestive issues for a long while.

I was diagnosed with fructose malabsorption myself 2 years ago and when I first started restricting foods my reactions to those foods, when I cheated or had them by accident, was far worse that they were previously. I think it's just a sign that you're system is healing, I'm not sure to be honest, but it does calm down after a couple of months of following the diet.

I thought I would link to you this article which was by a fellow paleo who diagnosed herself with fructose malabsorption - Hunt Gather Love

And if you want to find out more about the FODMAP diet then Sue Shepperd is you're most reliable source - Sue Shepperd - Low FODMAP Diet

303da756656a877256622dd5dcf0a02e

(157)

on June 19, 2013
at 01:25 PM

Fructose malabsorption is very under-diagnosed. It's more common that gluten intolerance yet the cross-over with wheat avoidance in both illnesses causes people to blame the gluten and be baffled by the fact that they're still sick. Gluten is all the rage at the moment so it's the first thing people target. I went about 10 years before being diagnosed.. I'm finally healing my system, but a lot of damage has already been done unfortunately.

463e09e6e28c4f2591aaca88bf0c3cef

(248)

on June 19, 2013
at 11:53 AM

I agree... I haven't been diagnosed, but I have done a bit of reading about FODMAPs and have found that most of the foods on the "watch" list bother me. They probably alays did, too.

1
F0a9dea438e7943fa05da318773e785e

on June 19, 2013
at 02:00 AM

Hi Tracy,

I had similar problems initially. I had IBS mixed type, although C was predominant and food allergies (fish and tree nuts). I also have a seizure disorder, diagnosed in childhood, and found out last year I had thyroid disease (hypo with two types of cancer cells present). It turned out that the majority of my IBS issues were related to my thyroid disease and an intolerance to gluten and sensitivities to certain foods. Now I know that because of my thyroid, which thanks to surgery I no longer have, I can't do soy, most grains, goitrogenic foods and dairy. I had been on a high fiber low fat diet that many docs recommend for IBS but that was what was making me feel worse.

For me, when starting out, I used the autoimmune Paleo protocol. It was very helpful because I eliminated a lot of things and then one by one reintroduced certain food groups. I was able to better determine what I can and can't eat. I still can't eat high amounts of dairy, goat or otherwise. It makes me ache like crazy. Any form of sugar does the same thing, so I limit fruit as well. That also means that my starchy veggies are also limited to one meal a day and a very small portion. I do fine with eggs and veggies in the nightshade family, so squash is good and so are tomatoes, but I know lots of people have trouble there. I think it's totally common and I think you may find doing an elimination diet like FODMAPS or Autoimmune Paleo very helpful. Best of luck to you!

http://autoimmune-paleo.com/

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on June 20, 2013
at 02:52 AM

very informative response hack

0
Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on June 20, 2013
at 09:37 AM

I can relate to this, and can only really give you my personal experience, rather than a scientific explanation of why this happens, but:

Potatoes and rice are generally ok, or good even.

AVOID PUFA (particularly n-6), they are the devil - there might be no apparent reaction immediately after consumption, but IMO it's very likely they are the primary cause of the general systemic decline (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18240547).

Coconut oil, olive oil and butter (where tolerated) are very good. Also high-vitamin E WHOLE foods, or a good quality vitamin E supplement.

Moderate refined sugar (I am not in the anti-sugar gang, but I believe whole foods are always preferable; the body requires the other nutrients for proper metabolism - this however, I don't believe, is fundamental to the inflammatory bowel problems).

Avoid high yeast foods.

A good probiotic often helps.

Herbal anti-fungal stuff can help, but do your research and buy from a company you trust.

0
733c83809f445e9639cee79b0c6af848

on June 20, 2013
at 12:05 AM

Thank you both for your replies. You've given me a lot to think about. It never occurred to me that something else could be going on with my body to cause these things from happening. I went ahead and purchased a FODMAP elimination diet book. I need to figure out what is causing my problems because it does seem to have gotten a little worse since making the change to a healthier lifestyle and one of the main reasons for my wanting to switch to Paleo was to alleviate some of my IBS symptoms which have plagued me for so long. I'm anxious to start with the FODMAPs diet to find out what my triggers are.

Tracy

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