7

votes

The Harder I Try, the Worse I Feel--Hack Me

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 25, 2012 at 2:36 AM

I could really use some feedback right now. I've been very strict paleo for over two months and I feel worse than I did when I started. I did not transition off SAD abruptly -- I'd been moving toward a more paleo diet for about 6 months, with the occasional sandwich or dish of pasta (before I realized what they were doing to me). Two months ago I learned I had a gluten intolerance and went very strict autoimmune paleo to address the following health issues: cystic acne, recurrent depression and anxiety (not constant but intense), and horrific PMS.

I've done everything -- quit drinking, tons of sleep and sun, took vitamin D and zinc and probiotics, ate no dairy, no nuts, no fruit, no eggs, only fermented foods, squashes and sweet potatoes, vegetables (no nightshades), grass-fed organic beef and lamb, oysters, fish, coconut oil, liver, blah blah blah. I've spent more time than I want to admit reading articles in the paleosphere.

The good: my PMS has gotten better, though its still definitely there (breast pain, cramps, bloating, mood swings). I haven't gotten any more cysts since cutting gluten, though my skin is continuing to break out somewhat. For a while, my anxiety/depression were much better, to the extent I thought they were gone for good.

BUT: Now I've been having these attacks of depression again, which I can only describe as periods of sudden, overwhelming despair. I've lost my (previously high) sex drive. What worries me most is that it's harder to digest food than ever before. My stomach feels heavy and full for as many as 10 hours after I eat, and just generally "unhappy." I did not have digestive issues until going paleo. And I'm having mild autoimmune reactions to foods that never bothered me before, in the form of joint pain, facial swelling, and more break-outs.

I'm just feeling incredibly discouraged and confused about why I haven't had any success. I'd be so grateful for anyone who can help me out. Should I add more starchy carbs? I eat more than I want to but I've still lost about 5 pounds (which is okay but I'm thin and I don't want to lose any more). I just don't understand why my digestion is getting worse instead of better.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 27, 2012
at 05:51 AM

I must say I haven't had any histamine intolerance symptoms for a long time since adding sugar and salt to my diet. I take something like 20k UI of retinol, 10k UI if I'm eating liver. Oysters are important too btw.

59d367d77f4082717bade07508624db8

(1198)

on April 26, 2012
at 10:55 PM

So you haven't had acne from milk since taking the fat soluble vitamins? What form do you take them in and how much? I've just started 20k IU of Vitamin A (if I'm not eating liver) and 8-10k of D. FCLO didn't seem to help me much. Did any of this help with your histamine intolerance like symptoms?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 26, 2012
at 04:57 PM

Yeah, I thought it was sugar high too! But it didn't go away... Milk works way better though, and with milk I get crazy libido.

59d367d77f4082717bade07508624db8

(1198)

on April 26, 2012
at 07:17 AM

Korion, I think David means blue spectrum for the morning to reset circadian rhythms. Blue spectrum should be avoided at night. I use F.lux for nighttime computer use and a yellow-painted lightbulb for reading at night. I use a bue spectrum light in the morning when my sleeping gets off.

59d367d77f4082717bade07508624db8

(1198)

on April 26, 2012
at 07:12 AM

I also think playing around with sugar is worth a try. I started eating ice cream and eating more fruit (although Violet has issues with it) and my skin looked better and my mood improved A LOT. I thought maybe it was a sugar high, but it's been consistent for months, light-years beyond how miserable I was on low carb. No weight gain, and always making sure to eat liver regularly. Exercise is great for depression and insomnia too.

59d367d77f4082717bade07508624db8

(1198)

on April 26, 2012
at 07:11 AM

I also think playing around with sugar is worth a try. I started eating ice cream and eating more fruit (although Violet has issues with it) and my skin looked better and my mood improved A LOT. I thought maybe it was a sugar high, but it's been consistent for months, light-years beyond how miserable I was on low carb. Exercise is great for depression and insomnia too.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on April 25, 2012
at 07:06 PM

just make sure they treat fairly aggressively. normal testosterone for a woman, for example, is between 25-75. some doctors won't treat if it's around 20. my dr. treats anything below 30 or so. testosterone is not fda approved for women, but a dr. can rx if they feel it's necessary.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 25, 2012
at 01:52 PM

David, are you sure the blue spectrum is what she wants? I was thinking more about red light, but I really don't know a lot about this subject.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 25, 2012
at 01:52 PM

Violet, it took me a while to accept my current way of thinking, but right now I see sugar as my friend, even though it is a chemical. I see it as a hormone balancer, as an *addition* and not a replacement in my diet. I just use it to get as many calories into my diet as I can, as I tend to eat less than I'd like to. By the way you ever tried coffee? I have yet to try it but I did it once on an empty stomach and felt bad afterwards (hypoglycemia) but did have great libido for the first time in quite a while. Calcium tends to give me a libido boost too.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on April 25, 2012
at 01:22 PM

I second the bright light, though I would go further than strong incandescent lightbulbs and get some full spectrum 10,000lux lights, as for light therapy- even better, one with extra light in the blue spectrum.

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 25, 2012
at 12:52 PM

Thanks. I've had such frustrating experiences with doctors that I'm kind of terrified to go back, but I will. I'll try to push for more lab work.

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 25, 2012
at 12:49 PM

I haven't even been using spices because I'm paranoid about getting glutened but this is good advice to keep in mind. Thanks!

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 25, 2012
at 12:49 PM

I did feel a lot better at first, which is why I stuck with it. It's just that new problems are arising and the old problems are better but not totally gone. I did notice a problem with fruit - I think I might have fructose malabsorbtion.

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 25, 2012
at 12:46 PM

Thank you! +1....

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 25, 2012
at 12:46 PM

Yes, this would be good to find out. Thank you.

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 25, 2012
at 12:45 PM

I don't tolerate fruit well and I already avoid PUFA pretty strictly (only occasional fish). I eat liver 3 - 4 times a week. I have been considering adding more sugar to my diet because I seem to feel better after eating a little sugar (like in a kombucha or something). Thanks for the feedback :)

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 25, 2012
at 12:41 PM

I'm not taking magnesium currently, no.

A64ed062eb5e2c3407122fcf16c5de6b

(715)

on April 25, 2012
at 10:39 AM

@korion I said fungi not bacteria :) fungi are eukaryotes and they have all the machinery to handle ketones (and maybe fat as well, not sure). Anyway the MCTs in the coconut would still have to be converted into ketones and then get to where the fungus is, not sure if gut-dwelling fungi would get ketones from the blood. A stool test would give more info.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 25, 2012
at 10:35 AM

Oh, and gelatin helps the skin a lot too, so you can make some Paleo-Jello or just drink it in your fruit juice.

A64ed062eb5e2c3407122fcf16c5de6b

(715)

on April 25, 2012
at 10:35 AM

Also, your thyroid.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 25, 2012
at 10:35 AM

I doubt the coconut oil will feed bacteria. The one thing yeast loves is PUFA.

A64ed062eb5e2c3407122fcf16c5de6b

(715)

on April 25, 2012
at 10:30 AM

You could be suffering from a fungal gut issue, which would be able to feed on the ketones you get from the coconut and which could continuously produce toxins giving you these issues. I'd search for "fungal" on perfecthealtdiet.com and I'd also start introducing foods again, one by one, to make your diet fun again.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 25, 2012
at 10:06 AM

Don't reduce carbs, that's gonna kill your libido even more. You could try out Ray Peat. Start drinking strained orange juice and milk like crazy, drink coffee with every meal (should take care of libido), cut out all veggies and PUFA, increase quality meats like liver and shellfish. Use retinol for your acne, and if you want take the other fat-soluble vitamins too.

3408e1d1c7d6b49fca2edb96b433ff9b

(129)

on April 25, 2012
at 04:59 AM

I have become more sensitive too but... I would look at individual ingredients. My mother is gluten intolerant but can still have severe skin breakouts if she gets into xanthum gum for one, either invested or applied to skin. There may be something paleo you are still reActing to. Maybe you are intolerant to something you are still exposed to.

59d367d77f4082717bade07508624db8

(1198)

on April 25, 2012
at 04:35 AM

Same here. One year eating paleo and all its variations, and now it's like I can't go back because I'm seemingly far more sensitive to foods (i think) than I used to be. Weird reactions, facial swelling, dead libido, and continued acne. Carbs helped, especially depression. More eliminating probably isn't the answer, though you could try easing up on the coconut because it's a novel food you probably didn't eat everyday before. You could just be tying symptoms to food when it's more of an an ongoing or cyclical condition. I'd echo Kitzu and suggest seeing a doctor.

59d367d77f4082717bade07508624db8

(1198)

on April 25, 2012
at 04:31 AM

Same here. One year eating paleo and all its variations, and now it's like I can't go back because I'm seemingly far more sensitive to foods (i think) than I used to be. Weird reactions, facial swelling, dead libido, and continued acne. Throwing out everything I read about carbs, and adding significant starch/root vegetables helped. Adding carbs improved things. More eliminating won't help. I'd echo Kitzu and suggest seeing a doctor.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on April 25, 2012
at 04:19 AM

Paul Jaminet suggests less carbs may help with depression; perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=541 "Curing Arthritis and Depression with Diet and Antibiotics". Have a read. That said, personally i found that my mood improved when i added carbs.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on April 25, 2012
at 04:09 AM

Paul Jaminet suggest less carbs may help with depression; http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=541 "Curing Arthritis and Depression with Diet and Antibiotics". Have a read. That said, personally i found that my mood improved when i added carbs.

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6 Answers

6
Eea6a68f5a7190d13c60e1c72417a581

(1376)

on April 25, 2012
at 02:59 AM

Diet can do alot but not everything. I've been there with depression too. There can be underlying medical issues. You haven't mentioned if you have sought medical help. Please consider doing so, well meaning strangers over the Internet can only hack so much. You don't need to keep suffering, please get yourself checked out.

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 25, 2012
at 12:52 PM

Thanks. I've had such frustrating experiences with doctors that I'm kind of terrified to go back, but I will. I'll try to push for more lab work.

3
Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

on April 25, 2012
at 12:19 PM

Go to a Dr. who specializes in women's hormone therapy. Get your estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone checked. You might have an imbalance.
GL!

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 25, 2012
at 12:46 PM

Yes, this would be good to find out. Thank you.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on April 25, 2012
at 07:06 PM

just make sure they treat fairly aggressively. normal testosterone for a woman, for example, is between 25-75. some doctors won't treat if it's around 20. my dr. treats anything below 30 or so. testosterone is not fda approved for women, but a dr. can rx if they feel it's necessary.

2
B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 25, 2012
at 10:34 AM

Probably the best thing against depression is bright light. Buy some strong incandescent light bulbs and install them in your room. Computer light is not what you want :). Of course, getting sun is more natural, if there is any.

Next, you should never ever go low-carb. Up your carbs more and more, preferably sugar. Try to get to at least 400g of sugar a day from strained orange juice, well-ripened fruit, and (if you want) added cane sugar.

To get your libido up, I suggest you use coffee and start eating liver and oysters regularly.

Minimize PUFA intake as much as possible.

To solve acne problems, get some retinol (or eat liver). Aspirin (in- or externally) and maybe the other fat-soluble vitamins work wonders too.

Do not understimate the calcium-phosphorus-ratio.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 25, 2012
at 01:52 PM

Violet, it took me a while to accept my current way of thinking, but right now I see sugar as my friend, even though it is a chemical. I see it as a hormone balancer, as an *addition* and not a replacement in my diet. I just use it to get as many calories into my diet as I can, as I tend to eat less than I'd like to. By the way you ever tried coffee? I have yet to try it but I did it once on an empty stomach and felt bad afterwards (hypoglycemia) but did have great libido for the first time in quite a while. Calcium tends to give me a libido boost too.

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 25, 2012
at 12:45 PM

I don't tolerate fruit well and I already avoid PUFA pretty strictly (only occasional fish). I eat liver 3 - 4 times a week. I have been considering adding more sugar to my diet because I seem to feel better after eating a little sugar (like in a kombucha or something). Thanks for the feedback :)

59d367d77f4082717bade07508624db8

(1198)

on April 26, 2012
at 07:17 AM

Korion, I think David means blue spectrum for the morning to reset circadian rhythms. Blue spectrum should be avoided at night. I use F.lux for nighttime computer use and a yellow-painted lightbulb for reading at night. I use a bue spectrum light in the morning when my sleeping gets off.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 25, 2012
at 10:35 AM

Oh, and gelatin helps the skin a lot too, so you can make some Paleo-Jello or just drink it in your fruit juice.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 25, 2012
at 01:52 PM

David, are you sure the blue spectrum is what she wants? I was thinking more about red light, but I really don't know a lot about this subject.

59d367d77f4082717bade07508624db8

(1198)

on April 26, 2012
at 07:12 AM

I also think playing around with sugar is worth a try. I started eating ice cream and eating more fruit (although Violet has issues with it) and my skin looked better and my mood improved A LOT. I thought maybe it was a sugar high, but it's been consistent for months, light-years beyond how miserable I was on low carb. No weight gain, and always making sure to eat liver regularly. Exercise is great for depression and insomnia too.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on April 25, 2012
at 01:22 PM

I second the bright light, though I would go further than strong incandescent lightbulbs and get some full spectrum 10,000lux lights, as for light therapy- even better, one with extra light in the blue spectrum.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 26, 2012
at 04:57 PM

Yeah, I thought it was sugar high too! But it didn't go away... Milk works way better though, and with milk I get crazy libido.

59d367d77f4082717bade07508624db8

(1198)

on April 26, 2012
at 07:11 AM

I also think playing around with sugar is worth a try. I started eating ice cream and eating more fruit (although Violet has issues with it) and my skin looked better and my mood improved A LOT. I thought maybe it was a sugar high, but it's been consistent for months, light-years beyond how miserable I was on low carb. Exercise is great for depression and insomnia too.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 27, 2012
at 05:51 AM

I must say I haven't had any histamine intolerance symptoms for a long time since adding sugar and salt to my diet. I take something like 20k UI of retinol, 10k UI if I'm eating liver. Oysters are important too btw.

59d367d77f4082717bade07508624db8

(1198)

on April 26, 2012
at 10:55 PM

So you haven't had acne from milk since taking the fat soluble vitamins? What form do you take them in and how much? I've just started 20k IU of Vitamin A (if I'm not eating liver) and 8-10k of D. FCLO didn't seem to help me much. Did any of this help with your histamine intolerance like symptoms?

2
0d50f54d2c57d74806be35d916f8dc74

(634)

on April 25, 2012
at 03:07 AM

By any chance are you taking magnesium? For whatever reason, both times I started taking magnesium supplements, I had horrible anxiety and depression. I don't get the same side effects from transdermal magnesium (Epsom salts in the bath).

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 25, 2012
at 12:41 PM

I'm not taking magnesium currently, no.

2
A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

on April 25, 2012
at 03:01 AM

I'm really sorry you're having such a hard time with this, especially when you have been so dedicated. Some of the senior members will probably have more to offer, but I would just say to be patient. You said that you were diagnosed as gluten intolerant, which leads me to believe that your poor guts are probably pretty injured. I imagine it will take longer than two months to repair them.

A few questions: you have stuck with this even though you aren't feeling good. Why? Is there some benefit you ARE experiencing? Or have you gone away from it and felt worse? Also, do you notice a problem with fruit or did you eliminate it because some people here are against it?

As a final suggestion, especially because you are gluten intolerant, I would experiment with switching out brands of what you're eating. You might be inadvertently poisoning yourself. For example, my mother has Celiac Disease and didn't realize her spices contained gluten (as an anti-caking agent). I would think this would be enough to give you that bloated and uncomfortable full feeling.

Good luck. I hope you start feeling better soon.

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 25, 2012
at 12:49 PM

I haven't even been using spices because I'm paranoid about getting glutened but this is good advice to keep in mind. Thanks!

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 25, 2012
at 12:49 PM

I did feel a lot better at first, which is why I stuck with it. It's just that new problems are arising and the old problems are better but not totally gone. I did notice a problem with fruit - I think I might have fructose malabsorbtion.

1
1fef7e7894cc07366bf31ea514d3fa2b

on April 25, 2012
at 08:48 AM

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 25, 2012
at 12:46 PM

Thank you! +1....

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