3

votes

Easily winded...

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 20, 2013 at 7:59 AM

Hello -- wondering if anyone has any advice for me.

I switched over to a diet based on paleo principles back in September. Previously subsisted off of mostly vegetables, whole grain products, etc; was doing aerobic exercise (running probably 5x per week), probably underweight if anything.

Initially transitioned to a pretty low carb diet -- tiny piece of fruit here and there, some meagre portions of root vegetables. Left me feeling pretty awful and, when I attempted to run (stupidly), would feel like I was going in slow motion, heart pounding, every fibre in my body hated it.

Have since introduced safe starches -- so sweet potato, yam, root vegetables -- maybe a fist-size portion or two with most meals. Also have banana or berries with cream as a late morning snack. Generally aim for moderate amount of protein.

Typical day might be (usually try to avoid snacking): Breakfast -- bone marrow, 1-2 fried eggs in coconut oil (1-2 tablespoons), big plate of steamed chard, bit of yam

Lunch -- leftover meat/stew, bit of sweet potato, big plate of greens or other veggie

Dinner -- meat stew (lamb, beef) with home-made bone broth (including all the fat), lots of veggies done in maybe 2 tablespoons of coconut oil/ghee/butter, bit of safe starch

Eat fish and shellfish x2 a week or so, plus seaweed; liver x1 a week plus other offal; also take vit D, K, magnesium and x2 Brazil nuts per day :)

... and I am still finding that most mornings, I get winded, heart pounding, etc just trying to walk up a single flight of stairs. Considering I was running 5 miles multiple times a week before, this has obviously thrown me a bit. I am wondering if I'm not getting enough carbs? But if I take them up even higher, I start to wonder if I'm just not really fat adapted? I usually feel my best if I've eaten a good amount of fat, moderate protein and, say, a banana, some beet root, etc... am wondering if this is an electrolyte thing too?

For what it's worth, have also had really intense night sweats most nights for the past two months... and sometimes wake up in the middle of the night with hunger pains.

Would appreciate any thoughts or advice.... thank you!

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 21, 2013
at 03:48 AM

i guess if you become 'fat adapted' & your body is able to more easily use ketone bodies for fuel, then less glucose will be required during fasted periods. so if you can get to a stage where you have no problems fasting for say 16 hrs (no feelings of hunger), then you should be able to sleep thru the night without any low blood sugar issues.

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on February 20, 2013
at 03:20 PM

I was all in on the 'chronic cardio' (I'm not a big fan of that phrase but it's an easy way of explaining it). I started running more and more and then I came across the paleo. I was cutting carbs and eating low fat so I some point I could just not go on anymore. My blood platelets got so low that my doctor was afraid a serious disease. I stopped running but cut carbs even lower and lost more weight (which I still have regained). Today I do sprints once per week two heavy lifting session. Additionally, I commute by bike 45-50min each day.

1ee6180e10eaeb1e9d80941d69f32505

(15)

on February 20, 2013
at 01:38 PM

Wow, >=70K is impressive! I would be interested to hear about your experience actually. Are you incorporating running into your current regime?

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on February 20, 2013
at 12:36 PM

Yeah, I used to run >=70k/week but I wore myself down to a degree where I had to seek medical assistance and I was basically to go home and go to bed immediately. It's a longer story. I don't mind telling if you would like to ear it though.

1ee6180e10eaeb1e9d80941d69f32505

(15)

on February 20, 2013
at 12:18 PM

That's a good idea -- and advice that comes just in time for lunch ;-) Btw, curious whether you are a runner, to go by your pic?

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on February 20, 2013
at 10:48 AM

To me it sounds like just eating more in general would help. To follow on from daz's comment, I had some of the symptoms of hypoglycemia (especially the neurological). These disappeared as I started eating more. I keep a strict food log because otherwise I would not be eating enough. Following days where I've not eaten enough my mood is noticable worse. And don't be afraid of gaining weight by eating more - if you continue with those types of food you'll be perfectly fine (just my 2 cents).

1ee6180e10eaeb1e9d80941d69f32505

(15)

on February 20, 2013
at 10:27 AM

Interesting. My carb intake is going to be much higher... more in line with what Jaminet talks about in the Perfect Health Diet (http://perfecthealthdiet.com/the-diet/); so he's referencing 1 pound (0.45 kg) of safe starches per day, plus the same amount of sugary in-ground vegetables. I wouldn't say I get that high everyday, but I might eat half a large sweet potato with a meal, for example. But does seem the overall kcal might be key here -- will sit down and look at the numbers.

1ee6180e10eaeb1e9d80941d69f32505

(15)

on February 20, 2013
at 10:19 AM

Hi daz, thanks for these insights. I had wondered about hypoglycemia and do recognise a fair number of those symptoms. I recall various people in the paleosphere making recommendations to eat more regular snacks with some safe starches to help with this... maybe the reason why bananas and cream in the late morning make me feel so much better :)

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on February 20, 2013
at 10:09 AM

Again, it depends on how many carbs you're eating. The lower amount the more you need to deliberately add fat. Given that I eat <25g carbs/day I simply have to add fat to everything otherwise I can not function optimally. I've learned that it's simply not enough thinking that 'mackarel is a fatty fish' - I need to add fat in some way. I also think you should look at your overall kcal intake. I've realised that I need more than I thought to be happy.

1ee6180e10eaeb1e9d80941d69f32505

(15)

on February 20, 2013
at 09:10 AM

Hi Hemming, Thanks for your response. Good suggestion to measure actual grams of the macronutrients. To be honest I have not done so. I figure I am probably fairly liberal with my use of fat -- so 1 to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil for eggs, vegetables. I always save the thick layer of fat in home-made bone broth for use in stews, etc. Also make sure to soap up all the fat from my bone marrow... and a good couple spoonfuls of raw double cream with fruit. I generally try to eat a moderate amount of protein. Sorry, I realise it's not so useful without actual numbers :) I will try and measure

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4 Answers

1
Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on February 20, 2013
at 08:52 AM

Looks like you're doing a low carb, low fat diet although I can't really tell how many grams of carbs you get each day. But you have to get your energy from somewhere. Trust me, I've tried low carb, low fat and it will burn you at both ends.

From what I can read in your post I think that you need to eat more fat. Have you tried measuring how many grams of protein/carb/fat you eat each day?

1ee6180e10eaeb1e9d80941d69f32505

(15)

on February 20, 2013
at 10:27 AM

Interesting. My carb intake is going to be much higher... more in line with what Jaminet talks about in the Perfect Health Diet (http://perfecthealthdiet.com/the-diet/); so he's referencing 1 pound (0.45 kg) of safe starches per day, plus the same amount of sugary in-ground vegetables. I wouldn't say I get that high everyday, but I might eat half a large sweet potato with a meal, for example. But does seem the overall kcal might be key here -- will sit down and look at the numbers.

1ee6180e10eaeb1e9d80941d69f32505

(15)

on February 20, 2013
at 09:10 AM

Hi Hemming, Thanks for your response. Good suggestion to measure actual grams of the macronutrients. To be honest I have not done so. I figure I am probably fairly liberal with my use of fat -- so 1 to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil for eggs, vegetables. I always save the thick layer of fat in home-made bone broth for use in stews, etc. Also make sure to soap up all the fat from my bone marrow... and a good couple spoonfuls of raw double cream with fruit. I generally try to eat a moderate amount of protein. Sorry, I realise it's not so useful without actual numbers :) I will try and measure

1ee6180e10eaeb1e9d80941d69f32505

(15)

on February 20, 2013
at 12:18 PM

That's a good idea -- and advice that comes just in time for lunch ;-) Btw, curious whether you are a runner, to go by your pic?

1ee6180e10eaeb1e9d80941d69f32505

(15)

on February 20, 2013
at 01:38 PM

Wow, >=70K is impressive! I would be interested to hear about your experience actually. Are you incorporating running into your current regime?

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on February 20, 2013
at 12:36 PM

Yeah, I used to run >=70k/week but I wore myself down to a degree where I had to seek medical assistance and I was basically to go home and go to bed immediately. It's a longer story. I don't mind telling if you would like to ear it though.

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on February 20, 2013
at 10:09 AM

Again, it depends on how many carbs you're eating. The lower amount the more you need to deliberately add fat. Given that I eat <25g carbs/day I simply have to add fat to everything otherwise I can not function optimally. I've learned that it's simply not enough thinking that 'mackarel is a fatty fish' - I need to add fat in some way. I also think you should look at your overall kcal intake. I've realised that I need more than I thought to be happy.

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on February 20, 2013
at 10:48 AM

To me it sounds like just eating more in general would help. To follow on from daz's comment, I had some of the symptoms of hypoglycemia (especially the neurological). These disappeared as I started eating more. I keep a strict food log because otherwise I would not be eating enough. Following days where I've not eaten enough my mood is noticable worse. And don't be afraid of gaining weight by eating more - if you continue with those types of food you'll be perfectly fine (just my 2 cents).

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on February 20, 2013
at 03:20 PM

I was all in on the 'chronic cardio' (I'm not a big fan of that phrase but it's an easy way of explaining it). I started running more and more and then I came across the paleo. I was cutting carbs and eating low fat so I some point I could just not go on anymore. My blood platelets got so low that my doctor was afraid a serious disease. I stopped running but cut carbs even lower and lost more weight (which I still have regained). Today I do sprints once per week two heavy lifting session. Additionally, I commute by bike 45-50min each day.

0
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on April 17, 2013
at 06:23 PM

I would say that those symptoms warrant a trip to the doctor. There could be something else going on.

0
De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

on February 20, 2013
at 12:29 PM

I've found something similar when starting low carb, at times i was more easily out of breath, but it seems to have subsided now

If you feel awful on low carb it immediately sounds like not enough fat

0
543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 20, 2013
at 10:12 AM

The night sweats & hunger pains sounds like it could be hypoglycemia (low blood sugar),
especially if you notice a pounding heart as well.

See here for common hypoglycemia symptoms.

We could speculate that you are 'running out' of liver glycogen during the night (if you are low carb). And your body is 'working hard' (perhaps struggling?) to sustain normal blood sugar levels whilst in a fasted state (during the night).

For a load more techo details on some of the mechanisms at play, see this article,
Blood Glucose Regulation, Fasting, Fed, Exercise, Metabolism, Epinephrine (Adrenaline), Cortisol, Insulin and Glucagon

Note the mention of Adrenaline (Epinephrine) and Cortisol...not things you really want to be high during the night!

1ee6180e10eaeb1e9d80941d69f32505

(15)

on February 20, 2013
at 10:19 AM

Hi daz, thanks for these insights. I had wondered about hypoglycemia and do recognise a fair number of those symptoms. I recall various people in the paleosphere making recommendations to eat more regular snacks with some safe starches to help with this... maybe the reason why bananas and cream in the late morning make me feel so much better :)

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 21, 2013
at 03:48 AM

i guess if you become 'fat adapted' & your body is able to more easily use ketone bodies for fuel, then less glucose will be required during fasted periods. so if you can get to a stage where you have no problems fasting for say 16 hrs (no feelings of hunger), then you should be able to sleep thru the night without any low blood sugar issues.

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