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Groggy, brain fog mornings and buzzing at night? Cortisol, thyroid or insulin resistance?

Commented on February 08, 2014
Created February 03, 2014 at 11:49 PM

I am very groggy in the mornings, moody and function poorly. Poor attention span and slow response time, along with post-breakfast hypoglycemia and this inability to just pull myself out of bed.

However, at night my post-meal hypogylcemia is brief and subsides pretty quickly, my energy levels are up and my concentration improved.

I've been suffering with this for nearly a year, however, had a blood test a few months ago that showed everything within the 'normal range' (including cortisol levels, thyroid and fasting blood glucose). I am hesitant to have another one as it'll probbaly just show the same results. I've attempted several experiments, from ketogenic to Matt Stone, and Ray Peat to raw veganism. Two things I've figured out:

- Low carb just depletes me, without a minimal of 200g+ a day I function worse (fat intake argument is invalid, I was eating 100g of fat daily during my low carb stints). In fact, I believe my low/zero carb stint just induced this chronic fatigue.

- Despite not being able to function without a mixture of starch and sugar in my diet, high glycemic meals tend to worsen the post-meal fatigue, leading me to suspect insulin resistance (but apparently insulin resistance has no symptoms?).

Any opinions appreciated.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on February 08, 2014
at 04:55 AM

Honestly, it took me 4-5 months of daily effort to really begin to see a difference.

Personally, I wouldn't suggest whole grains (though maybe it works for some?) I used to workout and eat grains + whey thinking I was doing my body good. Cutting those helped me out a lot recovery / digestive wise.

You probably don't need to be super strict about it, other than making a daily effort to eat meals vs snacks and balance your carby meals with fatty meals. Bacon + eggs sounds like an ideal breakfast, lately I'm into a weird bacon + carrot + banana chip combo (crunch attack!)

5b9a25a1a676397a25579dfad59e1d7b

(2318)

on February 08, 2014
at 03:14 AM

Also re your diet I would try upping the protein at breakfast and see if that helps. Protein and fat are key to me having lots of energy throughout the morning and less brain fog.

5b9a25a1a676397a25579dfad59e1d7b

(2318)

on February 08, 2014
at 03:13 AM

You don't have to eat bread and cereal to be higher carb on paleo. I know you said you tolerate gluten fine but how do you know? You're eating grains now and you feel like shit so maybe you should try removing them again and see if that makes a difference. Unless you've gone 100% grain free (all grains, even technically gf ones) you may still have issues popping up. It may be worth a shot -- anything is better than feeling like crud all the time. Have you heard of the Leptin Reset? You could try that if you think it could be a insulin resistance/leptin issue...

8854d26d9733eaae59092f1a47996abb

(0)

on February 07, 2014
at 05:07 PM

I'm not on a conventional Paleo diet. As mentioned in my post, I lean towards high carb and favour starch and sugar as my sources of energy.

I tolerate gluten very well, therefore I have reintroduced gluten products into my diet. With or without gluten, I still experience the same symptoms. Might as well enjoy my food while feeling like shit.

I typically eat -

Breakfast - cereal with some fruit.

Lunch - grilled chicken/beef with some baked, home-made fries and veggies.

Dinner - white rice, with some yoghurt and either more chicken or beef.

5b9a25a1a676397a25579dfad59e1d7b

(2318)

on February 07, 2014
at 04:59 PM

Can you please provide a typical daily meal plan? Try to be as specific as possible. If you're eating "wholegrain bread" as mentioned in your comment below - you may think you're eating paleo but wholegrain bread is definitely not paleo. Use something like Cronometer to identity gaps nutrionally as well...

8854d26d9733eaae59092f1a47996abb

(0)

on February 07, 2014
at 04:04 PM

Thank you for your response. How long did it take you to notice a difference?

What would you recommend, a low GI breakfast (high protein, wholegrain bread, veggies/fruits etc.) or zero carb - bacon and eggs?

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on February 04, 2014
at 08:00 AM

Ah, I haven't been on this site in a while.. I forgot about the nice formatting on here.

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3 Answers

0
5b9a25a1a676397a25579dfad59e1d7b

(2318)

on February 07, 2014
at 05:00 PM

Can you please provide a typical daily meal plan? Try to be as specific as possible. If you're eating "wholegrain bread" as mentioned in your comment - you may think you're eating paleo but wholegrain bread is definitely not paleo. Use something like Cronometer to identify gaps nutrionally as well...

8854d26d9733eaae59092f1a47996abb

(0)

on February 07, 2014
at 05:07 PM

I'm not on a conventional Paleo diet. As mentioned in my post, I lean towards high carb and favour starch and sugar as my sources of energy.

I tolerate gluten very well, therefore I have reintroduced gluten products into my diet. With or without gluten, I still experience the same symptoms. Might as well enjoy my food while feeling like shit.

I typically eat -

Breakfast - cereal with some fruit.

Lunch - grilled chicken/beef with some baked, home-made fries and veggies.

Dinner - white rice, with some yoghurt and either more chicken or beef.

5b9a25a1a676397a25579dfad59e1d7b

(2318)

on February 08, 2014
at 03:13 AM

You don't have to eat bread and cereal to be higher carb on paleo. I know you said you tolerate gluten fine but how do you know? You're eating grains now and you feel like shit so maybe you should try removing them again and see if that makes a difference. Unless you've gone 100% grain free (all grains, even technically gf ones) you may still have issues popping up. It may be worth a shot -- anything is better than feeling like crud all the time. Have you heard of the Leptin Reset? You could try that if you think it could be a insulin resistance/leptin issue...

5b9a25a1a676397a25579dfad59e1d7b

(2318)

on February 08, 2014
at 03:14 AM

Also re your diet I would try upping the protein at breakfast and see if that helps. Protein and fat are key to me having lots of energy throughout the morning and less brain fog.

0
Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on February 04, 2014
at 08:00 AM

I've found that I seem to go hypoglycemic when my daily kcals drop below maintenance for too long. Exercising warms me up and gets the metabolism fired back up, but then I need to increase food intake considerably. If I'm doing a lot of snacking throughout the day with light carbs, it seems to do me more harm than good, although, if I'm beginning to crash, it's better to snack than to hit the crash. The crashes themselves seem to do the most harm.

For me, the best tips were to snack as necessary until I progressed to being able to eat big meals and nothing between them. If I do a heavy carb meal, I try to make the next one a non-carb meal as sort af a second-meal effect. Usually, I make the first meal or two of the day non-carb. With that, I got my blood sugar under control in a few months which made the mornings a lot more pleasant. (There was a brief period about a year ago when my blood sugar was so bad I was afraid to leave the house without a bag of carbohydrates.)

How would you describe the buzzing feeling at night?

Supplement-wise, B12, folate, and niacin in particular seemed to help lift me up. I find vitamin C to be a slight stimulant and useful in some instances. Then D3 / Mg is absolutely essential. I used to like the way omega 3s felt when I was taking those, but I've stopped for a while.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on February 04, 2014
at 08:00 AM

Ah, I haven't been on this site in a while.. I forgot about the nice formatting on here.

0
Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on February 04, 2014
at 08:00 AM

I seem to go hypo when my kcals drop below maintenance for too long. Exercise warms me up and gets the metabolism fired back up, but then I need to increase food intake considerably. If I'm doing a lot of snacking throughout the day with light carbs, it seems to do me more harm than good, although, if I'm beginning to crash, it's better to snack than to hit the crash. The crashes themselves seem to do the most harm.

For me, the best tips were to snack as necessary until I progressed to being able to eat big meals and nothing between them. If I do a heavy carb meal, I try to make the next one a non-carb meal as sort af a second-meal effect. Usually, I make the first meal or two of the day non-carb, then carb it up at dinner, and some leftovers before bed. With that, I got my blood sugar under control in a few months which made the mornings a lot more pleasant. (There was a brief period when first starting the diet after an illness where my blood sugar was so bad that I was afraid to leave the house without a bag of carbohydrates, as I would become shaky/nauseous/dizzy/cold/panicy.)

How would you describe the buzzing feeling at night?

Supplement-wise, B12, folate, and niacin in particular seemed to help lift me up. I find vitamin C to be a slight stimulant and useful in some instances. Then D3 / Mg is absolutely essential. I used to like the way omega-3s felt when I was taking those, but I've stopped for a while.

More food, less snacks, alternate carbs and fats, increase sunlight / exercise, investigate micronutrients, if all else fails, run more blood tests and a sleep study.

8854d26d9733eaae59092f1a47996abb

(0)

on February 07, 2014
at 04:04 PM

Thank you for your response. How long did it take you to notice a difference?

What would you recommend, a low GI breakfast (high protein, wholegrain bread, veggies/fruits etc.) or zero carb - bacon and eggs?

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