2

votes

Did anyone conquer an anxiety problem after going completely paleo?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 24, 2010 at 12:27 AM

Hi Friends,

There is one condition I've dealt with for many years that I hope with all my heart I can be rid of!

It really has no rhyme or reason. I don't know if it's hormonal, or I'm yeasted up from a wheat filled life, or if I have a hiatal hernia...I just don't know or understand really.

I posed another question to Robb Wolf on the subject so I'm hoping he can bring some insight as well.

Another oddity is that I've had a horrible time with burping after eating. Sometimes that in and of itself makes me anxious. I've been to my medical doctor (bleh), and everything checks out normal except for iron deficiency. Thyroid is OK, etc.

Did anyone overcome this after going 100% paleo? Do you take digestive enzymes? HCL? If I could finally be rid of this condition it would be such an improvement. Thank you for your feedback!

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on November 24, 2010
at 05:40 PM

It's funny you mention an evening of moods. I have always been very laid back and calm, but lately I have started feeling less tolerant towards others and almost a general annoyance when someone does something I don't agree with. I started moving towards paleo maybe 3 months ago and started feeling less even within the last month or so. My sister even commented that I seem to get angrier easier lately.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on November 24, 2010
at 05:37 PM

I've heard of hiatal hernias. A friend of mine has that and it gives her terrible heartburn. From what she says, rhere really isn't a cure. She said her doctor told her she could get some relief by losing some weight (my friend is a bit overweight).

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 26, 2010
at 07:52 PM

Yeah it's amazing the metamorphosis we undergo with this. I noticed this today going VLC for the second day in a row. I was able to enjoy a fist sized portion of my meal and I was stuffed. I love that!

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 26, 2010
at 07:49 PM

I agree...exercise has been curbing the anxiety "funkies". I think when I get around great masses of people it's not good either. Had to run to the mall, and I could not wait to get outta there!

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 26, 2010
at 07:48 PM

Ahh VLC...of course. Yes Melissa I am so happy! I took your advice and cut out fruit and only eating crockpot meals and lots of hot tea. No dairy either. I feel lots better and lighter too=). I will look into that with Kaiser! I will look into GLA also...are there any recommendations for brands, etc. TY!

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on October 24, 2010
at 01:34 PM

You might want to start taking gamma linoleic acid. Low iron implies that your digestion might have been impaired and that reduces synthesis of GLA, which is important for feminine cycles. It's a very innocuous supplement, so it's worth a try.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on October 24, 2010
at 01:33 PM

VLC= Very low carb. Burping is often caused by bacterial in your stomach that don't belong there. They eat carbs and make gas. Starve them by not eating carbs for a week. Will Kaiser cover cognitive behaviorial therapy? I think it's the most scientific treatment for anxiety and I did it a couple of years ago with very good results (I used to hyperventilate when stressed acK!).

Ce0b5fd94b1034e96cf710b6f138c29d

(4089)

on October 24, 2010
at 12:40 PM

My dad also had anxiety issues when he was younger. My personal take on it is that sugar probably exacerbates mine somewhat; what really makes it go away, though, is exercise. Taking a walk or doing a workout over lunch hour does absolute wonders for my morale.

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 24, 2010
at 06:09 AM

Yes I need a new doctor, that we agree on completely! Oh another thing when I had the pizza episode it was accompanied by horrific heart palpitations. That's why I was saying it was almost 911 time. I'm sure it was a panic attack because it eventually subsided but that was not fun! Have you heard of a hiatal hernia? My great Aunt suffers from one and she was sure I had one too. I mentioned this to my doctor and she wouldn't even investigate. She told me hiatal hernia's are not treatable and handed me an rx for Nexium...ugh!

E46d4f7e35e46ee4e8211ab4bc852023

(1510)

on October 24, 2010
at 05:53 AM

You might have to find a new doctor. That's the hardest part. I had so many Drs that could only offer me medications for conventional anxiety. After I read the Ultramind Solution, I sought out local doctors that practice Functional Medicine, and then I was finally able to have a real conversation about digestion-based anxiety.

E46d4f7e35e46ee4e8211ab4bc852023

(1510)

on October 24, 2010
at 05:49 AM

If it's pizza, that could also suggest a problem digesting nightshades. I'm okay with tomatoes (digestion-wise, though they do cause me acne, so I cut back), but I absolutely cannot digest peppers -- they just feel like they're stuck in my chest for hours and I feel very uncomfortable. Other people in my family have the same problem with peppers, so I take that to mean that we're just not adapted to digesting them.

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 24, 2010
at 05:25 AM

Oh PS: confession time...I have also been having a glass (or two) of red wine every night to help with calming =)

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 24, 2010
at 05:23 AM

other things I'm not even aware of. So yes I think part of it could be further food allergies. Plus I start diagnosing myself because my Dr. thinks all is well, which it is, I've been functioning this way for a long time. However, it would be nice to be 100% and I think the only way I'm going to get there is with self help healing and ideas from others sharing their experiences.

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 24, 2010
at 05:20 AM

Oh this sounds hopeful... Yes the burping and anxiety are very much related. In fact the reason I went completely grain free was this horrible experience I had after eating pizza with the family one night. I literally thought we would have to call 911. It was ridiculous. I felt like the pizza was just stuck in my esophagus, I kept burping...I never throw up or anything. I think I just had to keep drinking water to get it through my system but that was the last time I had pizza! I'll never forget that. Well your post is really interesting and for all I know I could be allergic to

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 24, 2010
at 05:16 AM

Yeah I have realized there won't be any magic cure...I just hope I can control it more with better food choices and some other things to reduce stress. Obviously anxiety is a stress related condition. Some people are just able to handle it differently than others.

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 24, 2010
at 05:14 AM

I am starting to wonder if it is a hereditary trait. My Dad was the nervous type and smoked cigarettes for awhile. I just really really hope I can get some relief with just eating the meat, veggies, fats, and then slowly introduce some other foods back in and see if something triggers. I think an elimination diet of sorts might be something I need.

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 24, 2010
at 05:11 AM

Actually sometimes when I wake up in the morning I have to burp. I am completely fine through the night, I usually sleep great...but even having a glass of water upon awakening, I get my customary burps! Then it makes me really question what is going on!

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 24, 2010
at 05:07 AM

My menstrual cycle is heavy and I get PMS and the anxiety intensifies a few days before I start. Yes burping...you had it too?! What is VLC?? I have the Bragg's Vinegar so maybe I need to try that as well. Thank you so much, you really don't know how much I appreciate you helping me!

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 24, 2010
at 05:05 AM

Melissa-I think the iron deficiency stemmed from heavy periods and when I went g-free I wasn't eating much iron enriched foods. I think that's when it became a problem. I take a prenatal and extra iron now. I do have the general reasons to be anxious: finances, family, etc. but nothing out of the ordinary. No, I have Kaiser insurance and that's the extent of what I can get help with medically. I take Hylands or Cal/Mag liquid to calm. I have a super low threshold for supplements or drugs so I have to go with small doses of anything. I do yoga everyday.

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 24, 2010
at 04:52 AM

Yeah it's really peculiar...I start overanalyzing what it could be and things just get worse. Plus it's embarassing to even talk about.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on October 24, 2010
at 12:33 AM

The burping probably deserves its own question.

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6 Answers

3
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on October 24, 2010
at 12:38 AM

  • Have you figured out the cause of your iron deficiency?
  • Do you have real reasons to be anxious? Not everything is about diet. The paleo diet didn't fix my past awful job and relationship situation, for example. Have you considered seeing a therapist, social worker, or religious counselor?
  • Have you consulted with a naturopath about getting your cortisol levels checked?
  • Do you take any supplements to help you relax? I suggest Natural Calm, Valarian, and Gaia Adrenal Health.
  • Do you do anything to relax? Meditation?
  • How are your menstrual cycles? Are they normal? Do they still feel a bit unstable?
  • The burping deserves its own question, but what I drank to get rid of it was a tonic of apple cider vinegar and water after every meal. HCL would prob do the same thing. Also VLC fixes this! If you can manage a week of VLC it may go away forever. Mine did.

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 24, 2010
at 05:07 AM

My menstrual cycle is heavy and I get PMS and the anxiety intensifies a few days before I start. Yes burping...you had it too?! What is VLC?? I have the Bragg's Vinegar so maybe I need to try that as well. Thank you so much, you really don't know how much I appreciate you helping me!

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on October 24, 2010
at 01:34 PM

You might want to start taking gamma linoleic acid. Low iron implies that your digestion might have been impaired and that reduces synthesis of GLA, which is important for feminine cycles. It's a very innocuous supplement, so it's worth a try.

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 26, 2010
at 07:48 PM

Ahh VLC...of course. Yes Melissa I am so happy! I took your advice and cut out fruit and only eating crockpot meals and lots of hot tea. No dairy either. I feel lots better and lighter too=). I will look into that with Kaiser! I will look into GLA also...are there any recommendations for brands, etc. TY!

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 24, 2010
at 05:25 AM

Oh PS: confession time...I have also been having a glass (or two) of red wine every night to help with calming =)

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 24, 2010
at 05:05 AM

Melissa-I think the iron deficiency stemmed from heavy periods and when I went g-free I wasn't eating much iron enriched foods. I think that's when it became a problem. I take a prenatal and extra iron now. I do have the general reasons to be anxious: finances, family, etc. but nothing out of the ordinary. No, I have Kaiser insurance and that's the extent of what I can get help with medically. I take Hylands or Cal/Mag liquid to calm. I have a super low threshold for supplements or drugs so I have to go with small doses of anything. I do yoga everyday.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on October 24, 2010
at 01:33 PM

VLC= Very low carb. Burping is often caused by bacterial in your stomach that don't belong there. They eat carbs and make gas. Starve them by not eating carbs for a week. Will Kaiser cover cognitive behaviorial therapy? I think it's the most scientific treatment for anxiety and I did it a couple of years ago with very good results (I used to hyperventilate when stressed acK!).

1
E46d4f7e35e46ee4e8211ab4bc852023

(1510)

on October 24, 2010
at 04:34 AM

YES on the anxiety. I'm hesitant to say 100% improvement, but closer to 90%. I think that there are two kinds of anxiety --- anxiety around certain emotional triggers and anxiety that your body spontaneously throws out when it's struggling to digest certain foods. I had the latter, but I haven't met too many people who've experienced that kind of anxiety. Sometimes it felt like anxiety without rhyme or reason, other times I would have uncomfortable abdominal pain concurrently with the anxiety and could feel the connection. Are the burping and anxiety ever coordinated?

The way I finally got rid of this anxiety left me with a paleo lifestyle, but that was more coincidental. My doctor, and other doctors that subscribe to functional medicine methodology, has had a lot of success treating anxiety and depression using an IgG Food Allergy panel blood test. The Ultramind Solution by Mark Hyman discusses how delayed food allergies can cause anxiety for upto 3 days post eating an allergen. In my case, I had allergies to soy, gluten, and dairy, which led to a more paleo lifestyle. But I also have food allergies to citrus fruits, blueberries, coffee, carrots, cabbage, and broccoli -- none of which paleo would demand me to give up.

Getting rid of the allergy foods was a huge lifestyle change in itself and led to a 90% reduction in depression and a 50% reduction in anxiety. I was able to kill off the rest of the anxiety by abstaining from sugar, including fruit, and regulating my sleep schedule. Paleo doesn't call for abstaining from fruit, but that's just something I needed to do.

So my point is, paleo could help with your anxiety, but it might not be enough.

E46d4f7e35e46ee4e8211ab4bc852023

(1510)

on October 24, 2010
at 05:53 AM

You might have to find a new doctor. That's the hardest part. I had so many Drs that could only offer me medications for conventional anxiety. After I read the Ultramind Solution, I sought out local doctors that practice Functional Medicine, and then I was finally able to have a real conversation about digestion-based anxiety.

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 24, 2010
at 06:09 AM

Yes I need a new doctor, that we agree on completely! Oh another thing when I had the pizza episode it was accompanied by horrific heart palpitations. That's why I was saying it was almost 911 time. I'm sure it was a panic attack because it eventually subsided but that was not fun! Have you heard of a hiatal hernia? My great Aunt suffers from one and she was sure I had one too. I mentioned this to my doctor and she wouldn't even investigate. She told me hiatal hernia's are not treatable and handed me an rx for Nexium...ugh!

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 24, 2010
at 05:23 AM

other things I'm not even aware of. So yes I think part of it could be further food allergies. Plus I start diagnosing myself because my Dr. thinks all is well, which it is, I've been functioning this way for a long time. However, it would be nice to be 100% and I think the only way I'm going to get there is with self help healing and ideas from others sharing their experiences.

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 24, 2010
at 05:20 AM

Oh this sounds hopeful... Yes the burping and anxiety are very much related. In fact the reason I went completely grain free was this horrible experience I had after eating pizza with the family one night. I literally thought we would have to call 911. It was ridiculous. I felt like the pizza was just stuck in my esophagus, I kept burping...I never throw up or anything. I think I just had to keep drinking water to get it through my system but that was the last time I had pizza! I'll never forget that. Well your post is really interesting and for all I know I could be allergic to

E46d4f7e35e46ee4e8211ab4bc852023

(1510)

on October 24, 2010
at 05:49 AM

If it's pizza, that could also suggest a problem digesting nightshades. I'm okay with tomatoes (digestion-wise, though they do cause me acne, so I cut back), but I absolutely cannot digest peppers -- they just feel like they're stuck in my chest for hours and I feel very uncomfortable. Other people in my family have the same problem with peppers, so I take that to mean that we're just not adapted to digesting them.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on November 24, 2010
at 05:37 PM

I've heard of hiatal hernias. A friend of mine has that and it gives her terrible heartburn. From what she says, rhere really isn't a cure. She said her doctor told her she could get some relief by losing some weight (my friend is a bit overweight).

1
072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on October 24, 2010
at 03:35 AM

I agree that my anxiety has gone done since going Paleo, but I still experience some. Most of my past anxiety was about food, eating at specific times for "events" and not being hungry. My anxiety around these issues has been reduced as I have become more comfortable with the Paleo concept, which I interpret to mean eating as circumstances warrant and what is best for me. Once you accept the "what is best for me concept," the anxiety around food reduces. Other axieties, I have yet to find the "cure." Probably therapy.

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 24, 2010
at 05:16 AM

Yeah I have realized there won't be any magic cure...I just hope I can control it more with better food choices and some other things to reduce stress. Obviously anxiety is a stress related condition. Some people are just able to handle it differently than others.

1
Ce0b5fd94b1034e96cf710b6f138c29d

on October 24, 2010
at 02:07 AM

I've suffered anxiety issues for a long time. I do feel that I am feeling somewhat less anxious since going Paleo, but I wouldn't say that it's been a miracle cure or anything.

Ce0b5fd94b1034e96cf710b6f138c29d

(4089)

on October 24, 2010
at 12:40 PM

My dad also had anxiety issues when he was younger. My personal take on it is that sugar probably exacerbates mine somewhat; what really makes it go away, though, is exercise. Taking a walk or doing a workout over lunch hour does absolute wonders for my morale.

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 24, 2010
at 05:14 AM

I am starting to wonder if it is a hereditary trait. My Dad was the nervous type and smoked cigarettes for awhile. I just really really hope I can get some relief with just eating the meat, veggies, fats, and then slowly introduce some other foods back in and see if something triggers. I think an elimination diet of sorts might be something I need.

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 26, 2010
at 07:49 PM

I agree...exercise has been curbing the anxiety "funkies". I think when I get around great masses of people it's not good either. Had to run to the mall, and I could not wait to get outta there!

1
B28d069e6a3b5b6ef68776db4ed8ef64

on October 24, 2010
at 01:32 AM

I can't answer to the anxiety specifically, but I would think that would be along the same lines as an OCD issue which I have struggled with as long as I can remember. But even after just eliminating wheat and rice from my diet my OCD was scaled WAY back. The tendency is still there (after 7 months wheat/rice free and four weeks full paleo), but that frenzy I used to experience with it is completely gone. I don't have any problems dealing with it now. I will say this too - at my worst I did get therapy and it actually was helpful.

As for the burping, is it all the time or just after eating certain types of foods? I burp a LOT with peppers and I have some issues with tomatoes as well so I'm assuming it's a nightshade sensitivity. That could be a possibility for you as well.

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 24, 2010
at 05:11 AM

Actually sometimes when I wake up in the morning I have to burp. I am completely fine through the night, I usually sleep great...but even having a glass of water upon awakening, I get my customary burps! Then it makes me really question what is going on!

0
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on October 26, 2010
at 12:58 PM

I'm not completely paleo, but I rarely get angry anymore. I feel like my moods and energy levels are much more even and generally improved.

I notice quite frequently that people around me complain a lot. I think I was like that too, but not so much anymore.

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 26, 2010
at 07:52 PM

Yeah it's amazing the metamorphosis we undergo with this. I noticed this today going VLC for the second day in a row. I was able to enjoy a fist sized portion of my meal and I was stuffed. I love that!

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on November 24, 2010
at 05:40 PM

It's funny you mention an evening of moods. I have always been very laid back and calm, but lately I have started feeling less tolerant towards others and almost a general annoyance when someone does something I don't agree with. I started moving towards paleo maybe 3 months ago and started feeling less even within the last month or so. My sister even commented that I seem to get angrier easier lately.

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