3

votes

Headaches and Paleo anyone else getting 'meat headaches'?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 04, 2010 at 5:17 AM

My friends and i always joke about the headaches you get from eating too much meat, in these cases directly related to eating platters of meat at Memphis Blues BBQ. Now on Paleo I seem to get a similar headaches. I do eat more meat than i used to and but do eat berries (drowned in coconut milk) and yams every other day or so (some times every day). I probably eat about 50% more meat than I used overall. Is this over doing it? I would say my previous meat portions would be considered normal for a guy my size etc. to
Everything about the diet is great except this.Please help

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on January 20, 2011
at 02:55 AM

Always read the label. Period.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on January 19, 2011
at 02:42 AM

ha! my brother calls it Meat Fever and its directly proportional to how many different animals were consumed per meal. It starts with the sweats.....

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on September 01, 2010
at 01:35 PM

Uh, that's a question, not an answer... But check out this post: http://paleohacks.com/questions/9402/what-can-i-do-against-headaches

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on September 01, 2010
at 01:33 PM

Hate to disagree, but that is very wrong! Uncured bacon can be higher in nitrates/nitrites from the added celery juice!! Most veggies have nitrates/nitrites occuring naturally - the amount added to cured bacon is very small in comparison. http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/2008/07/does-banning-hotdogs-and-bacon-make.html "On average, about 93% of the nitrites we get each day comes from the nitrates in vegetables." Also see "10 Things that Cause Headaches": http://www.rediff.com/getahead/2005/apr/11mig.htm

95ab15c8ef50ff0daf87ccbdd52cd3b8

(2384)

on September 01, 2010
at 12:42 PM

Bacon marked "uncured" will be free of nitrates/nitrites, at least in the U.S. Most supermarkets stock at least one brand. I haven't tried many, but Niman Ranch's is quite good.

8063ffc4fa6b60a1275171659f8a14f0

(155)

on July 02, 2010
at 06:15 AM

Actually I do not recall but remember looking at every store barand thereafter and seeing the same ingredients, I really think that unless you seek out high quality butcher bacon (maybe Trader joes [I wish they would come to Canada]) you are going to find a lot of nitrates/nitrites etc

13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on July 02, 2010
at 02:27 AM

Would you mind mentioning the brand of the bacon?

13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on June 07, 2010
at 04:13 AM

Any kind of spice rub on the ribs? These sometimes contain msg or gluten. Famous Dave's spice rub is not GF, for example.

8063ffc4fa6b60a1275171659f8a14f0

(155)

on June 05, 2010
at 05:01 AM

The more attention I pay to this the more I think water/dehydration may have something to do with it> Must/will drink more water over the next few days and will update

58a55f0986b8f49a8bc5666e10492569

on June 04, 2010
at 11:53 PM

How long ago did you go Paleo? Did you recently give up caffeine?

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on June 04, 2010
at 05:35 PM

@Corey -- I suspect there is something else going on.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on June 04, 2010
at 05:34 PM

@Aaron -- you might be sensitive to gluten. My migraines stopped completely once going Paleo. I attribute it to not eating wheat anymore.

8063ffc4fa6b60a1275171659f8a14f0

(155)

on June 04, 2010
at 02:29 PM

As below Headache is like the one from Memphis Blue but it is from meat I have cooked and has had no sauce just regular spices.

8063ffc4fa6b60a1275171659f8a14f0

(155)

on June 04, 2010
at 02:28 PM

these headaches are not from Memphis Blues and have had no BBQ sauce whatsoever on them so that is def not the source

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on June 04, 2010
at 02:13 PM

Yeah, second the comment about the ingredients in the BBQ sauce.

8063ffc4fa6b60a1275171659f8a14f0

(155)

on June 04, 2010
at 02:07 PM

I have been losing weight overall and hopefully that is from fat, however in the past 2 days my weight has jumped up a few pounds. I am eating grain fed meat and trying to balance that with fish oil ala PaNu style. No worries on the detox stuff beyond vitamin C and some berries for me. will keep posting as/if I start figuring this out.

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17 Answers

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4
8063ffc4fa6b60a1275171659f8a14f0

(155)

on June 08, 2010
at 04:07 PM

I finally figured it out... Sodium Nitrate/Nitrite. It was not the ribs I ate it was the bacon I started eating (at breakfast) which I had not eaten for YEARS. The stuff I bought claimed it was naturally smoked and I didn't look to close at the ingredients (very unusual for me) and over the past couple days of paying attention I can trace the headaches to the sodium nitrate and if you Google these additives headache definitely comes up as a common side affect. Looking on PaleoHacks it also comes up as a definite thing to avoid. I suspect I may be unusually sensitive to it after so many years not eating it (bacon). However, it also most likely answers the Memphis Blues 'meat headache' as I am sure they use a lot of it in their smoked meats etc as most do. I just would not have been as aware of the probable source as it was such an infrequent food source.

13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on July 02, 2010
at 02:27 AM

Would you mind mentioning the brand of the bacon?

8063ffc4fa6b60a1275171659f8a14f0

(155)

on July 02, 2010
at 06:15 AM

Actually I do not recall but remember looking at every store barand thereafter and seeing the same ingredients, I really think that unless you seek out high quality butcher bacon (maybe Trader joes [I wish they would come to Canada]) you are going to find a lot of nitrates/nitrites etc

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on September 01, 2010
at 01:33 PM

Hate to disagree, but that is very wrong! Uncured bacon can be higher in nitrates/nitrites from the added celery juice!! Most veggies have nitrates/nitrites occuring naturally - the amount added to cured bacon is very small in comparison. http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/2008/07/does-banning-hotdogs-and-bacon-make.html "On average, about 93% of the nitrites we get each day comes from the nitrates in vegetables." Also see "10 Things that Cause Headaches": http://www.rediff.com/getahead/2005/apr/11mig.htm

95ab15c8ef50ff0daf87ccbdd52cd3b8

(2384)

on September 01, 2010
at 12:42 PM

Bacon marked "uncured" will be free of nitrates/nitrites, at least in the U.S. Most supermarkets stock at least one brand. I haven't tried many, but Niman Ranch's is quite good.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on January 20, 2011
at 02:55 AM

Always read the label. Period.

4
Eedf46c82d0356d1d46dda5f9782ef36

(4464)

on June 04, 2010
at 01:14 PM

For as long as I can remember I had frequent (at least one a week) headaches. I kept Excedrin in my drawer at work as a necessity.

Almost 5 months ago I made the change to paleo from SAD.

I haven't had even one little headache since.

Edit: you might wanna find out what's in the BBQ sauce at that Memphis Blues place.

8063ffc4fa6b60a1275171659f8a14f0

(155)

on June 04, 2010
at 02:28 PM

these headaches are not from Memphis Blues and have had no BBQ sauce whatsoever on them so that is def not the source

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on June 04, 2010
at 02:13 PM

Yeah, second the comment about the ingredients in the BBQ sauce.

13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on June 07, 2010
at 04:13 AM

Any kind of spice rub on the ribs? These sometimes contain msg or gluten. Famous Dave's spice rub is not GF, for example.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on June 04, 2010
at 05:34 PM

@Aaron -- you might be sensitive to gluten. My migraines stopped completely once going Paleo. I attribute it to not eating wheat anymore.

3
13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on June 07, 2010
at 04:07 AM

Some people report headaches and migraines from foods high in amines. Smoked or aged meats or wild game, for example. Basically the further the food is from fresh, the more amines it will have. Some meats seem fresh, but they've actually been in those vacu-seal packages for a rather long time. So the amine level of the meat can vary from meal to meal, and the overall amine load of a meal can vary depending on all the courses, beverages, etc.

Here's some info re: amines. http://www.plantpoisonsandrottenstuff.info/content/elimination-diet/amines.aspx

3
5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on June 04, 2010
at 06:38 AM

Headaches from meat???? Never heard that one before. I can't actually remember having a headache since going Paleo, over two years now. I often go a week or two eating nothing but meat. If it's often or a concern better see a doctor just to play it safe.

2
86a7abe4a54c4dc15ea44bacef00c5a8

on June 05, 2010
at 03:11 AM

You might want to find out if Memphis Blues is using MSG in any of their spice rubs. Often MSG is included as a flavor enhancer. MSG is a severe excitotoxin linked to migraine headaches. Although I go to great lengths to avoid MSG, I can always tell when I have inadvertently consumed some. Within about 30 minutes after eating, MSG always gives me a migraine.

1
9e6d534ecb4afb803f7075d64573d8d8

on June 05, 2010
at 08:37 PM

It really depends on the kind of headache you have - Migraine, tension, or cluster headache. Headaches can be caused by your blood pressure. You can go to Rite Aid or some other kind of drugstore and ask them where the blood pressure machine is, you can measure for yourself then to see if that's possibly the cause.

Are these ribs you eating smothered in BBQ sauce? (ALA sugar, maltodextrins, msg, yellow #5, etc??) As long as you aren't on grains and sugars, and making sure you are getting enough sleep and trying to not stress yourself out, you should be ok.

1
Eccc8d3c5e6158bef35deef6c2149240

(99)

on June 04, 2010
at 04:36 PM

Sometimes I get headaches from eating too much protein with not enough fat and water at the same time. Big doses of protein have a diuretic effect. I usually just hammer down some good fats and drink a big dose of water to offset it. Then I usually feel fine a short time later.

8063ffc4fa6b60a1275171659f8a14f0

(155)

on June 05, 2010
at 05:01 AM

The more attention I pay to this the more I think water/dehydration may have something to do with it> Must/will drink more water over the next few days and will update

1
D738a5b2a67f3c36518a2ac9f32d27af

on June 04, 2010
at 07:16 AM

Are you actively losing weight? I'm finding as I lose weight eating paleo (about 70% fat, 20% protein--I try to get at least 100 g a day, and 10% carbs), I occasionally get headaches as I lose fat and some folks attribute this to toxins from the SAD that get stored in your body fat being released. I know that these mysterious "toxins" get a bad rap in the paleo community as woowoo folks go around "cleansing" (heck I did it too), but it appears there may be some truth to the toxins thing, according to this article: http://www.ironmagazine.com/viewarticle-930.html I don't know if he is a reliable source but he does warn not to fall for "detoxification" schemes. I've only heard anecdotal evidence about fat loss=headaches, but I see and hear it mentioned quite a bit--but I don't know how one would test this scientifically.

8063ffc4fa6b60a1275171659f8a14f0

(155)

on June 04, 2010
at 02:07 PM

I have been losing weight overall and hopefully that is from fat, however in the past 2 days my weight has jumped up a few pounds. I am eating grain fed meat and trying to balance that with fish oil ala PaNu style. No worries on the detox stuff beyond vitamin C and some berries for me. will keep posting as/if I start figuring this out.

1
Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

(1165)

on June 04, 2010
at 07:16 AM

The only headache Ive gotten while Paleo is when I first got into ketosis. Went away after a day or so. I eat between 1.5-3 pounds of meat a day since meat is my only protein source and I feel pretty darn good. Are you eating meat that was pre-marinated? Maybe something that is being put on the meat is the problem not the meat itself? A bunch of sauces and marinades have wheat in them and some have a lot of preservatives or even high fructose corn syrup.

8063ffc4fa6b60a1275171659f8a14f0

(155)

on June 04, 2010
at 02:29 PM

As below Headache is like the one from Memphis Blue but it is from meat I have cooked and has had no sauce just regular spices.

0
8cdcd3bd740b551a959c6c7b65d123bd

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

what is the best cure for headaches apart from tablets?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on September 01, 2010
at 01:35 PM

Uh, that's a question, not an answer... But check out this post: http://paleohacks.com/questions/9402/what-can-i-do-against-headaches

0
54a98d4f08246ede9f9c221a9329aed6

on July 23, 2011
at 10:01 PM

I am with you on the headaches right after eating (grassfed lean beef and salad with oil and some vinegar) I felt amazing the first week of paleo, and we still did some lean dairy like yogurt and mozzarella. Week two was no great improvement and week three has been TERRIBLE! constant all day headaches, major weakness and feel pretty tired after all meals? Is this ketosis and sugar withdrawal? I really want to stay on the paleo kick but how long will I go on feeling this crappy?

0
56159ea9e94991cf0cce950361411b19

on May 03, 2011
at 07:27 PM

I've also been getting headaches! I went low carb for a week, and started getting afternoon headaches then, switched to the Paleo diet and have been Paleo for about two weeks now. I think the headaches are diminishing in frequency, but I've got one now (right after eating lunch of fish/almond meal/coconut oil/grilled asparagus). They're not migraines, so I'm not associating them with caffeine, and there doesn't seem to be any link between my morning tea and the headaches. I'm hoping it's just sugar withdrawals and they will disappear completely in two more weeks or so, but I'd love to hear any other advice or ideas anyone has!

Thanks!

0
99946d97fc74107612d8331dd940ed6b

on May 03, 2011
at 06:26 PM

I have been full Paleo for about 9 months and recently diagnosed with Hashimoto's. So, in response to that diagnosis, I took out all nightshades, eggs, nuts,..etc. I decided to eat only meat products and one (or two) cooked squashes each day. But, after a couple weeks on that diet, I learned I would be best off to eliminate everything except meat/fat products for a few weeks. Low in behold, I came down with a headache after two days with practically zero carbs and I was quite thirsty. Today, I ate my regular breakfast of meat, still had headache and decided to eat 3.25 oz. beef jerky at (11 am) that contained about 18 grams of sugar and it cut the headache immediately. Do you think I messed up ketosis by eating that amount of sugar? And, will that sugar hinder healing of my gut/Hashimotos? Do you think it is worth while to go about healing with this meat diet/ketosis for a few weeks in a fashion of a couple days all meat and one day with a bit of sugar or one cooked squash? Or, should I deal with the headache in hopes it will go away as by brain/body adjust to all meat/ketosis?

For more Paleo hacks: http://paleohacks.com/questions/5608/headaches-and-paleo-anyone-else-getting-meat-headaches#ixzz1LJaKNZGI

0
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 19, 2011
at 02:53 AM

I've not noticed any headaches with greater meat consumption on my side (nor with the bacon, although I haven't looked to see if nitrates are in it).

0
Dcdf9715d479a4789ad7330102c89324

on January 19, 2011
at 02:20 AM

You ate at a restaraunt, there's no telling WHAT was in the food.

MSG, soy ect.

Never eat at restaraunts, they are in the MSG business and you also risk cross contamination.

Also the restaraunt might be using meat that has "2% solution added" which is MSG.

0
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on June 04, 2010
at 11:28 AM

I got headaches in Ketosis, when I stepped out and ramped up my veggies, it alleviated. I eat mostly meat, twice what I used to, but eat enough carbs now to replenish my stores and stay out of ketosis, because the transition is uncomfortable

0
1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on June 04, 2010
at 08:31 AM

Like others mentioned, the only info I've come across regarding paleo & headaches is noted as being part of the adaptation process. How long have you been sugar & grain-free? Are you consuming caffeine at all (since that's the link to my own headaches)? I've never heard of any association between meat eating and headaches, and since I'm a carnivore, I'd be able to tell if there were any truth in the claim for my body! Here's hoping it's just a passing phase for you.

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