1

votes

Low energy, light headed, brain fog

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 16, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Hello all, I am looking for a solution for this problem that I can't seem to shake!

Let me start with my background: I am a 23 yo female, 105 lbs, 5'2. I've been attempting paleo for 2 and a half years, but due to a VERY high alcohol intake for the better portion of that time, cheating was regular and the alcohol was obviously hurting, not helping. So anyways, a few months ago I completely cut out alcohol and gave paleo and my health my %100 attention. I have always had a problem with hypoglycemia, so I don't fast, and I stay away from sugar. When I first got healthy, I did a cleanse while following a %100 paleo diet. I had a fair amount of energy, and all the lightheaded, brain fog I had been previously experiencing disappeared. It was great. Then when the cleanse was done, I added some dairy and a very small amount of natural sugars back into my diet and it all came back. So of course I figured: It must be the dairy or sugar! So I cut it out again, but I still haven't gone back to good feeling. I am slightly dizzy, lightheaded and can't concentrate very well, plus a very faint nauseated feeling that comes and goes. Oh, and I'm tired often.

Here is what I eat in a day:

Breakfast: 1 cup of chicken soup (chicken broth with 1 cut up chicken thigh, 1 egg, 2 tbsp olive oil)

Snack: 1 apple, 3 tbsp almond butter, black coffee

Lunch: Spinach salad (spinach, red cabbage, red pepper, cucumber, 1/2 an avocado) with 1 chicken thigh, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Snack: Vegetable smoothie: spinach, red cabbage, broccoli, frozen berries, almond milk, coconut oil, ginger, greens powder

Dinner: Small steak, 1/2 avocado, veggies sauteed in coconut oil

Snack: 1 banana

So anyways, I seriously can figure this out, I keep trying to tweek my diet by doing little things like adding more carbs, I tried cutting out the coffee since it wasn't giving me anymore energy anyways, and I added more protein at one point. I salt my food a fair amount so I can't see that as the problem, and I take a multivitamin and magnesium before bed. I also drink water throughout the day. Any thoughts on the lightheaded feeling? I'm desperate!

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on December 17, 2012
at 09:34 PM

She... sorry for that...

75d65450b6ff0be7b969fb321f1200ac

(2506)

on December 17, 2012
at 09:29 PM

Hypothyroidism can present many symptoms. I think the most common symptom is fatigue, but certainly being overweight and being unable to lose excess weight is a common symptom as well. I was not intending for you to be paranoid wrt hypothyroidism. But I would think if you presented your symptoms to a doctor he/she would want to run blood tests, including thyroid tests.

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on December 17, 2012
at 07:35 PM

LOL He's eating veggies ALL DAY LONG!!! He's definitely getting plenty of carbs. Yet, his fats are LOW. Dummies.

A19808eb723793b6c0dc40c773d8e9bb

(215)

on December 17, 2012
at 06:54 PM

Would a thyroid problem cause this sort of symptoms? I am not even close to over weight, never have been, but I'm not sure what other problems could arise.

A19808eb723793b6c0dc40c773d8e9bb

(215)

on December 17, 2012
at 06:52 PM

Not so sure about the yeast, but as far as the adrenal fatigue, I was taking raw adrenal concentrate and then stopped cause I don't think I have a problem with that.. and the lightheaded starts part way through the day and then comes and goes...

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on December 17, 2012
at 06:30 PM

Agree -- the light-headedness and brain fog might come from eating too many carbs to become "fat adapted," but too few to fuel the whole body and brain (in-between zone). Robb Wolf has mentioned this on his podcast. The OP is also slightly underweight, so there's probably not an insulin resistance issue here. Frankly, I'd eat more protein and more carbs. There's not a whole lot of protein in the menu she posted. I dunno...you can go either way...fuel your body with carbs or fuel it with fat, but if you kind of have to choose one or the other. (Not *entirely,* but you know what I'm saying...)

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on December 17, 2012
at 02:30 AM

Care to explain?

9dd74d3941535d0aaa2c8d3cf454fb7e

on December 17, 2012
at 02:20 AM

I would drop the coconut oil and see if the brain fog decreases - if not I would agree with your other answers - too low in carbs. Coconut oil has free fatty acids that have been shown to reduce an enzyme that is responsible for the conversion of progesterone to the neurosteriod allopregnanalone. Lard, tallow, and olive oil do not have this effect and can be substituted.

75d65450b6ff0be7b969fb321f1200ac

(2506)

on December 17, 2012
at 12:16 AM

Try to eat twice the amt of protein in carbs. So for 50 grams of protein eat 100 grams of carbs. Of course you should perhaps go a bit heavier on the carbs if your workouts are demanding.

75d65450b6ff0be7b969fb321f1200ac

(2506)

on December 17, 2012
at 12:13 AM

You should try to eat twice the amt of protein in carbs. So if you are eatin%

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on December 16, 2012
at 11:41 PM

I'd recommend experimenting with your carbs upto 50% of your daily calories. I think 50% is high, but I think you'll feel better at around 20-35%. The catch is I wouldn't recommend them come from fructose/fruit. I'd recommend they come from glucose, like tubers.

A19808eb723793b6c0dc40c773d8e9bb

(215)

on December 16, 2012
at 11:33 PM

How many grams of carbs would you suggest? I have heard of problems with to low carb but I can't find anything specific

A19808eb723793b6c0dc40c773d8e9bb

(215)

on December 16, 2012
at 11:32 PM

I would say no to eating to often, my job makes me always on the move so I'm only eating when I'm hungry.

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8 Answers

2
Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on December 16, 2012
at 10:43 PM

The only carbs you get are from an apple and a banana, try a potato or a sweet potato and see if that helps. There's no reason to be doing low carb at your weight.

A19808eb723793b6c0dc40c773d8e9bb

(215)

on December 16, 2012
at 11:33 PM

How many grams of carbs would you suggest? I have heard of problems with to low carb but I can't find anything specific

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on December 16, 2012
at 11:41 PM

I'd recommend experimenting with your carbs upto 50% of your daily calories. I think 50% is high, but I think you'll feel better at around 20-35%. The catch is I wouldn't recommend them come from fructose/fruit. I'd recommend they come from glucose, like tubers.

75d65450b6ff0be7b969fb321f1200ac

(2506)

on December 17, 2012
at 12:16 AM

Try to eat twice the amt of protein in carbs. So for 50 grams of protein eat 100 grams of carbs. Of course you should perhaps go a bit heavier on the carbs if your workouts are demanding.

75d65450b6ff0be7b969fb321f1200ac

(2506)

on December 17, 2012
at 12:13 AM

You should try to eat twice the amt of protein in carbs. So if you are eatin%

1
E8fbc8067e64d0994aa70171601e68fd

(297)

on December 17, 2012
at 12:29 AM

The brain fuzziness is probably because you are not able to shuttle enough energy to your brain. Easy. So your choices are either to go true ketogenic -- which means getting at least 60% of your daily calories from fat and reducing the carbs to about 30g/day -- or to increase carbs and eat them at every meal.

If you are relatively low body fat (hard to tell from your post), you may not be able to mobilize enough fatty acids to keep yourself well fueled.

As well, if you have not fully fat-adapted in the past, your brain is still requiring more glucose than someone who has gone fully ketogenic for at least a week.

So my guess is that you are just in this in-between zone where your metabolism is sputtering for lack of glucose (since you're not eating much of that) and never fully ramping up ketones (since you're still eating just a bit too much glucose).

Just a guess.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on December 17, 2012
at 06:30 PM

Agree -- the light-headedness and brain fog might come from eating too many carbs to become "fat adapted," but too few to fuel the whole body and brain (in-between zone). Robb Wolf has mentioned this on his podcast. The OP is also slightly underweight, so there's probably not an insulin resistance issue here. Frankly, I'd eat more protein and more carbs. There's not a whole lot of protein in the menu she posted. I dunno...you can go either way...fuel your body with carbs or fuel it with fat, but if you kind of have to choose one or the other. (Not *entirely,* but you know what I'm saying...)

0
A19808eb723793b6c0dc40c773d8e9bb

(215)

on December 17, 2012
at 07:10 PM

Well I think I'm going to revisit the idea of an allergy since I had a big glass of milk this morning (not raw though, raw is illegal in Canada) and now my lightheadedness is worse then ever. I had a banana and honey in tea and some chicken for breakfasts as well as the milk and then I still got light headed despite the extra carbs. I even have a energy bar made with dates and nuts a little later, nothing is helping. My best guess is that I need to go a few weeks without dairy to get it out of my system since I have had little bits every couple days. I have heard of these symptoms for allergies. Any thoughts?

0
Eb2464e5c7e97c4933f765756583cc97

on December 17, 2012
at 02:08 AM

The symptoms you describe I.e. lack of energy, brain fog, hypoglycema etc might also be caused by adrenal fatigue and/or systemic yeast infection. Drinking to excess is discussed in dr. Wilson's book on adrenal fatigue but you can take his quiz on his web site to try to determine whether adrenal fatigue might be your issue. Adrenal fatigue can also affect your thyroid eventually. Wilson's supplements are very good, too, by the way but you don't have to buy or pay anything to use his site and there is a lot of solid info there. It is the best info I've found on the issue to date - I'm not affiliated, just impressed.

As for the yeast, this is hard to get rid of. Check out the gaps diet and scd diet. Gaps stands for gut and psychology syndrome and scd stands for specific carbohydrate diet. It is very similar to paleo but more restrictive in the type of carbohydrate allowed eg by chemical structure so potatoes are prohibited. The idea is by only consuming the most easily digestible and highly nutrient dense foods you starve out the overgrowth of yeast and rebalance your digestive system by consuming probiotic rich foods like sauerkraut, homemade yogurt or kefir etc.

This is my first post. I hope I've answered appropriately.

A19808eb723793b6c0dc40c773d8e9bb

(215)

on December 17, 2012
at 06:52 PM

Not so sure about the yeast, but as far as the adrenal fatigue, I was taking raw adrenal concentrate and then stopped cause I don't think I have a problem with that.. and the lightheaded starts part way through the day and then comes and goes...

0
75d65450b6ff0be7b969fb321f1200ac

(2506)

on December 17, 2012
at 12:18 AM

Just to cover all bases, you might want to get a full blood panel done including thyroid tests.

A19808eb723793b6c0dc40c773d8e9bb

(215)

on December 17, 2012
at 06:54 PM

Would a thyroid problem cause this sort of symptoms? I am not even close to over weight, never have been, but I'm not sure what other problems could arise.

75d65450b6ff0be7b969fb321f1200ac

(2506)

on December 17, 2012
at 09:29 PM

Hypothyroidism can present many symptoms. I think the most common symptom is fatigue, but certainly being overweight and being unable to lose excess weight is a common symptom as well. I was not intending for you to be paranoid wrt hypothyroidism. But I would think if you presented your symptoms to a doctor he/she would want to run blood tests, including thyroid tests.

0
79850813c5cfc0a089e1060ef9b6ed27

on December 16, 2012
at 11:57 PM

I think that if you are hungry enough to eat 6 times per day, you aren't eating enough for your main meals. You should be full for 4 - 6 hours after eating a meal. Why don't you try eating a big breakfast (2-3 eggs and 3-4 slices of bacon). I find that I can go atleast 4 hours before eating again if I eat well within 2 hours of waking in the morning. Good luck!

0
383127951e2e17f23b584cd3842bb796

(835)

on December 16, 2012
at 11:28 PM

could it be from eating too often?

A19808eb723793b6c0dc40c773d8e9bb

(215)

on December 16, 2012
at 11:32 PM

I would say no to eating to often, my job makes me always on the move so I'm only eating when I'm hungry.

-1
Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

on December 17, 2012
at 01:42 AM

You're getting plenty of carbs. Try bumping your fat intake. Eggs, butter, raw milk, salmon, etc...

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on December 17, 2012
at 09:34 PM

She... sorry for that...

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on December 17, 2012
at 02:30 AM

Care to explain?

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on December 17, 2012
at 07:35 PM

LOL He's eating veggies ALL DAY LONG!!! He's definitely getting plenty of carbs. Yet, his fats are LOW. Dummies.

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