Im guessing that perhaps Im having an issue with my gut lining.
I was diagnosed with multiple food allergies before I went Paleo. The test was suspect though as the only foods that came up were also the foods that I was eating.
Ive now been Paleo for around 8 months and although Im better I still get tired, stiff neck/back, and light headache after eating. This was especially true after eating pork and chicken but Im also now noticing it after eating red meat. I eat red meat often so its like Im developing a sensitivity to it. I eat conventional meat but then I also supplement with around 10 grams of fish oil a day.
I know my tiredness, and aches are food related as Ive been doing the Martin Burkhan type daily fasting and feel GREAT in the time running up to my first meal (at 1:00 PM). Then I tank after the first meal of the day. This meal is almost always; some sort of green vegetable cooked in grass fed butter with sea salt and red meat cooked in grass fed butter with some sea salt and black pepper. I also snack on coconut oil sometimes when cooking. I know its not from eating too much as Im often still slightly hungry afterwords.
What is happening here? Any ideas on how to fix it? Ive pretty much felt this way but much worse for over a decade (since I hit teenage years) and although better since going Paleo am still frustratingly feeling like crap daily.
If it helps;
Diagnosed with low serotonin, low dopamine, high histamine (inflammation), lowest glutamate level they've ever seen. This was from a neurotransmitter test about 1.5 months ago.
Supplements; Vitamin D3 (5K), Carlson's fish oil (10 g), Probiotics, Natural Calm (before bed), B-Complex, Norwegian Kelp, L-Arginine, Vitamin K (100 mg).
Random; I took antibiotics and accutane throughout my teens to combat acne. I was a latch key kid so I grew up on microwave meals and milk. Been eating well for 1.5 + yrs and paleo around 8 months.
Any help is greatly appreciated.
asked byRyan_1 (1165)
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on July 28, 2010
at 03:58 AM
One of my maxims is that you can't cancel out shit with fish oil. It doesn't work. Excess PUFAs of all kinds, yes even O3, cause oxidation and other forms of stress. Plus, do you think the hormones and other possible contaminants in conventional meat are good for leaky gut? If you have to eat less meat to buy good meat, than do it. Fasting might also not be a great choose??? sounds like your body is awash in stress hormones anyway and that just increases cortisol.
Your goal is NOT to lose weight, but to heal. Try eating regular consistent meals, dialing up the calories to keep those stress hormones low. Stop consuming rancid fish oil and start eating some wild fish, a few ounces a day. Stop eating conventional meat and start buying meat from grass-finished ruminants and supplementing it with yams. Invest in a good refrigerated commercial probiotic. Try going without dairy for awhile until you are not getting these issues.
In cases like this I would actually avoid fermented foods and spicy stuff. They can be helpful, but they are like machine guns. A commercial probiotic is more predictable.
I've had issues like this before and I've been able to resolve them by bumping up the quality and quantity of food.
Also, like others mentioned, a bland diet might help. If I get into a stomach irritation cycle (thankfullly not lately), I often end up eating a diet of mostly bone broths made in my crock pot with egg yolks.
on August 02, 2010
at 03:29 AM
So the idea is that you ate the SAD, took antibiotics and now you're in a leaky gut situation. Or are you celiac and just don't know it?
The Cooling Inflammation blog has some ideas on how to correct the gut issue.
Here are some things you can try, in no particular order. I think many of the suggestions above are good (broth, glutamine, stress), but you're going to have to try several of them. This is unlikely to be a one-off fix.
But if it were, the most likely candidate would be gluten. The next most likely, statistically, is casein. Have you challenged gluten since you started Paleo? If your reaction was negative, be sure that your kitchen and supplements are GF. http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/the-essentials-of-sharing-a-kitchen-with-gluten.html
Getting the casein out of your current impeccable diet is pretty simple, but not cheap. Just swap out the grass fed butter for grass fed ghee. http://www.pureindianfoods.com/
One way to test your supplements for all sorts of problems is to stop taking them for at least 4 days and then add one back each week. I'd test them in this order: Vitamin D3 (5K), B-Complex, Carlson's fish oil (at a reduced dose), Natural Calm.
I'm not sure you need the L-arginine or the K. I think the probiotics can wait for awhile. Several people on the glutenzap board report improving dramatically once they ditched the supplements.
Your headaches may be atypical migraines. The best description I've seen for this is in a book that focused on diet modification to eliminate headaches and migraine: http://www.amazon.com/Heal-Your-Headache-Program-Taking/dp/0761125663/
As a temporary measure, here's a specialized enzyme product that targets histamines: http://histame.com/ I have no idea if this product is gluten free.
Gluten free enzymes http://www.houston-enzymes.com/
If you think you may be having problems with glutamates, check out the fail safe diet. Glutatamate could be an issue if you have more severe symptoms with leftovers or aged meats, such as game.
Glad to hear your thyroid is ok. If these issues run in your family, be sure you had the full panel done, including an rT3. Here's an interesting article on thyroid and gut: http://thehealthyskeptic.org/the-thyroid-gut-connection
What is your vitamin D level?
The food intolerance tests are known for false positives, but they can give you a place to start. Here's a good book for planning an elimination diet and challenge: http://www.amazon.com/Dealing-Food-Allergies-Practical-Detecting/dp/092352164X/ref=pd_sim_b_2 The Brostoff book is also good. If you're still having trouble, look into the 4 day rotation diet as proposed by Theron Randolph.
If you do identify intolerances, many of these are likely to be temporary. plan to test again at 6 months or a year. (Any food I like gets another test!)
If you challenge eggs, be sure to challenge yolks and whites separately. The Joneja book discusses this in detail. Her methods are designed primarily for true allergies, (sudden, severe reactions) but will work for intolerances (delayed reactions).
Just our of curiosity, what sort of grains were you eating when the tests where done?
Do you have a dishwasher? What brand of dish soap do you use? (humor me, I realize this is a strange question!)
Check back and tell us how it is going.
I am glad you are seeing some improvements with the Paleo diet, but if it is gluten, it could take awhile before you feel better. You've had this problem for quite a long time now. And if it is celiac, you may need to be incredibly vigilant to get the sort of improvements your hard work deserves. The disruption to your serotonin levels point toward to gluten, in my experience. I believe you've mentioned mood issues in previous posts?
on December 08, 2010
at 08:29 PM
one more thing about the original posters comments.
Serotonin and Dopamine are decreased (along with other neurotransmitters) via the H3 Histamine Receptor when too much histamine is present. This can be due to the gut lining being irritated by food intolerances or an infection (parasite, bacteria or yeast).
This isn't simply the whole picture, but it seems to be the clearest piece of information I've read, dealing with mood issues and gut issues together.
Histamine itself can cause gut irritation. Some people think it is one food or another causing them problems when the find out that it is foods high in Histamine that are doing it. Especially when dizziness is present.
Finally, Fish Oil whether you love it or hate it, it is very high in histamine and can directly cause alot of the original posters issues. Vitamin B12 and Folic acid also increase histamine greatly.
Magnesium is extremely important to lower this. Also, Turmeric in a form that is easily absorbed has Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Histamine properties and can help.
Is is fully up to yourself if you want to take anything, but at least take a look into this and see if it is relevant to yourself, James
on July 28, 2010
at 04:02 AM
Interesting that you tested allergic to everything you were eating. I wonder if it is a case of leaky gut and the food you are eating is getting into places that it does not belong, like into the blood stream. Then the body makes antibodies to those things.
One thing to try is eating super bland food for 3 days and see if that helps. I have seen various version of the bland diet, but when I do it, I have a very short list that has become even shorter now that I am paleo. I eat boiled unseasoned chicken, apple sauce with no additives (no sugar, no apple juice concentrate, just apples) and bananas. I used to include unsalted crackers and white rice but those are not paleo. However, if I got really sick and had to do this again, I might consider some of the white rice just for variety. Everyone I know who has tried the 3 day bland diet has shown marked improvement if not full recovery after 3 days. Probs were always bad digestion/nausea/sickness type probs that would not go away and were getting progressively worse. No one has ever shown any bad effects as of yet, although if you have blood sugar issues, you may need to eat less banana and apple sauce and more chicken. Of course, most of these people were eating SAD before the 3 day bland so I don't know if the 3 day bland was the kicker or just the avoidance of SAD. Anyway, might be worth a shot and if you feel better after 3 days, this will be a clue. Obviously, you are not going to want to eat just 3 things for the rest of your life, but for many people, it gives the gut a chance to recover and clarifies that the issue was digestive and not something else.
on July 28, 2010
at 03:00 AM
That is an insane and unnatural amount of fish oil. Many have warned that it is not so healthy after all. See, for example, this article.
on December 08, 2010
at 08:17 PM
I'm not sure if this is even looked at by the original poster anymore, but I thought I might post for anyone else that reads this.
Get a stool sample done by a lab that tests for parasites. A 3-Day stool sample with fixative ( the fixative is used to preserve the parasites until the lab gets the sample). Yes, it doesn't sound pleasant, but you will most likely get the answer you need.
'IBS' is just some lame excuse for doctors not knowing what is going on with your gut. It IS NOT all in your head, at all. More likely is that whatever is going on in your head, is Caused by your gut.
If you look at current research, or read some of the better forums you'll see that everyone who is currently having success with IBS has found a CAUSE. Not simply adapting their eating, ....although this is important as well.
If you have 'IBS' (with or without mood issues) or food intolerances that continue to pop up (first gluten, then dairy! then corn and soy! Now I can eat nothing!), Even if your Celiac and continue to get worse after removing Gluten.
GET A STOOL TEST DONE BY A PROPER LAB.
Find one that does a '3-Day Sample with fixative' and specifically looks for Blastocystis Hominis and Dientamoeba Fragilis. Chances are you have one of the two, or both. They are NOT harmless, like your doctor (who really doesn't know what he is talking about, in this case) may think, you can even read something as simple as Wikipedia to see this. Then do yourself a favor and read about them both by searching 'badbugs' on google. That sites sells nothing, it is just information from a long term sufferer.
The two bugs are a massive problem, in fact, almost everyone that I've met with 'IBS' -who has ever been tested- has one or both of them. I will say that it is naturally not the cause 100% of the times, but it is the cause Far too often to ignore.
if and when you decide to get treatment. You can try the herbal route, that is your choice. But I will unfortunately say that herbal never fully solved the problem for me, and I have never heard of it completely killing off either parasite. Your doctor may also tell you to take Flagyl, but this horrid med rarely, if even kills either of the bugs. They are hard to treat, but possible. Contact the women at 'badbugs' if you want the best combination of anti-Biotics (she will tell you FOR FREE, don't worry) to take. Then you'll have to talk to your doctor, or a ask her for a doctor that treats them to order them.
Finally, if you get tested/treated and find that this is the cause - SPREAD THE WORD! Get people informed, since the medical community is again dragging it's feet. Better testing and treatment needs to be developed. The only country that knows how to treat this is Australia for sh*ts sake. How can the US and Canada be this far behind?? I can't believe that these bugs can be ignored when you can even find them listed as a possible cause under 'wikipedia - IBS'.
on July 30, 2010
at 12:10 PM
I can't really give you a good answer as to what you should do. However I think you should ignore the results of the tests you have had done.
The allergy test, E95 and A95 food panels, are based on IgE and IgG antibodies. IgE is a good marker for real allergies. IgG is not and is often used by alternative health people as a marker for undefined "food intolerances". As most people will have IgG antibodies for lots of foods these people can then sell you special foods and supplements to treat the allergies you don't have and charge you for the tests. While it may be useful in certain situations it is not for screening large numbers of different foods.
Most people will end up with some IgG antibodies to the foods that they eat regularly as the immune system regularly samples what is in your gut. It is not proof that your gut is leaking. These IgG antibodies can also protect you from developing an allergy. Testing for IgG4 against foods is not recommended as a diagnostic tool.
As far as I know neurotransmitter tests are completely meaningless. Bogus Diagnostic Tests. I do not think histamine alone is a good marker for inflammation.
I would also question the fish oil supplements. Buying a quality brand it would be costing you a lot. I'd rather spend the money on some fish each week. If you are eating meat and veg you are likely not getting much omega 6. I do not know if consuming a lot more 3 than 6 is a good idea.
on July 29, 2010
at 04:56 AM
I would cut the black pepper, cut the butter, cut the fruits, cuts the egg whites, cut the nightshades, cut goitrogenic vegetables and cut the nuts and seeds. Oh and also cut the coconut milk.
Stay there for a couple of weeks and eat a lot of broths with well cooked vegetables and lots of animal fat and pastured-meat. I would also increase the probiotic intake and have good dose of lacto-fermented vegetables (probably not cabbage though, carrots or cucumbers are good choices). See if large dose probiotics has any effect. Negative effect could be a good sign if it's die-off. To me die-off is a bit like hay-fever: headaches, sneezing, red eyes, fatigue, moaning... When die-off is in full motion my digestion and appetite is much better.
Now I know your problem is probably completely different than mine, but then again the only way to rule out food is to only eat what's known not to cause problem to almost anybody and the foods listed above have the potential to cause problems to people with a multitude of conditions.
If you feel better after a couple of weeks of eating the simplified diet, you know it's related to food and to one of those you removed and can then start testing them one at the time. I personally think nuts and seeds shouldn't be consumed by anybody and fruits should only be minimally consumed.
You have to be pretty serious about it though and stick with it 100%. I've been dealing with leaky gut/bacterial overgrowth/gastritis and now just a handful of nuts would make me feel bad for a couple of days. I even get an upset stomach from fish oil and this is why I can't recommend it to people with a serious digestive issue even if in theory it reduces inflammation.
My problem is complex and the only way I was able to get better was by trial and error over a period of 4 years and this is what lead me to the paleo diet.
If you do the steps I mentioned you could save yourself a lot of time trying to figure out what's going on.
It goes without saying that stress, sleep and other lifestyle factors are to be well balanced. What I now like to do is take a couple of days off from work whenever I feel tired and stressed. I don't care being short on money or having my boss asking questions, my health and well-being is worth way more than my job or bank account.
on July 30, 2010
at 05:21 PM
If this is purely and quite directly correlated with after meals, then it sounds like it's just too much food overburdening your stomach. I often feel pretty rubbish- tired, sluggish, achy and headachy- after a heavy meal, feeling sleepy after eating a lot is quite a well known phenomenon. In my case, and possibly in yours, the problem is just a sluggish/weak digestive system. I often find that meals sit very heavily on my stomach and take hours to digest. If you're at all stressed (at least physiologically). This would definitely slow down your digestion, as the body moves all its blood supply away from the digestive system and to the extremities ready for fight or flight. This is one of the few downsides of paleo- 500g of beef takes a lot more digesting than does an equivalent amount of sugar/starch (which is of course normally a good thing. I think it's entirely possible, on such a diet to still be hungry (i.e. lacking energy) while still feeling too full to eat anything. I doubt it's anything to do with a leaky gut, bacteria or such further down in the digestive tract, since the symptoms would start later and last longer.
Alas I don't have many ideas how to solve it, if this is indeed the problem. Liberal use of ginger/spices can stimulate the digestion. Avoiding lots of water near mealtimes too. You could try eating smaller meals and see whether the symptoms are caused by eating a pound of meat at once, or by even a gram of meat hitting your digestive tract. Getting a few more calories from carbs might also help, since they're quite easily and quickly digested and can stimulate appetite; so long as you don't go overboard and eat enough carbs to put you to sleep. When I've experienced these symptoms myself I've wondered whether perhaps eating a huge amount of meat leads to a temporary loss of energy, since as well as the body having to digest it all, the insulin spike might also shift circulating fat out of the bloodstream for a while before the protein starts causing a release of glucose. Most carnivores seem to just spend most of their time sleeping after a successful hunt.
on July 28, 2010
at 02:34 PM
You're focusing on little details and not the overall picture. This is the problem people have when they blindly go for a diet without checking in with their bodies and develop their I-know-what-I-should-eat instinct.
I think going Paleo — or restricting your carbs greatly and quitting grains — makes a huge positive difference for most people, but that doesn't mean it works for everyone (not saying it doesn't for you, but you need to open your mind... Don't make the mistake of the passionate vegetarian). Also, many people do the conversion too quickly, without giving their bodies the time to relearn how to deal with the additional protein and fat.
Something that will help you greatly is LOTS of really dense bone broth. It'll provide minerals in a natural form that a leaky gut can assimilate and help rebuild glutamate, which you really need to rebuild your gut.
It's possible that you're not assimilating fat properly, because fat should provide the energy you need, but it obviously isn't. Perhaps you need a good liver and gall-bladder cleanse? This is just my intuition based on what you write. I'd need to learn more to know for sure.
Finally, not every health issue we experience is foods' fault. Your living situation might be affecting you. Can you deal positively with stress? Is there anything in your environment that could be making you sick?
Hope this helps some... Good luck on your journey :-)
on July 28, 2010
at 12:48 PM
I see a lot of posts on here lately that are basically "it hurts when I bang my head on the wall, so do you guys think I should just keep banging my head against the wall?"
You may have a seriously leaky gut, but doing IF is not going to help, especially if you're avoiding eating because you feel lousy after you eat. You should really figure out why. While food allergies can cause your symptoms too, maybe this time it's not an allergy. IF can cause cortisol issues and all your hormones need to cooperate for you to feel good.
Tiredness and headaches can be caused by hypoglycemia. Don't assume that because you're eating low carb you're not having a blood sugar problem. Protein can, especially if your body is in some distress (fasting, hormonal issues, etc) be turned into glucose.
Buy a blood glucose meter - they are cheap. Do some post-prandial tests and figure it out. The meters themselves are cheap at Wal-Mart (like $10), and Amazon has the best price on test strips and lancets.
on July 28, 2010
at 02:33 AM
The best part of having just one big meal a day is that you only have to deal with the unpleasant post-meal digestion effects once per 24h. Heck, sometimes a nap after eating is pretty nice. I think most people feel more energetic and less weighed down during the fast periods just like you.
on July 28, 2010
at 02:13 AM
Im gonna advise a little Robb Wolf endorsed NOW FOODS Super Enzyme.
It may be a case of struggling Digestive System, your body needs a little help getting the digestive fire started, and you can get it going, and then slowly ramp yourself back off them until you arent taking them anymore.
Im also a fan of Adding a little acid to your digestion,
Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar "With the Mother" is nice too.
on July 28, 2010
at 02:00 AM
well the seratonin and dopamine will affect your mood/preformance throughout the day, but im not sure how much that can be attributed to your diet because as long as you're getting all of the nutrients your body needs to synthesize those chemicals, you shouldn't have a problem. and eating paleo should help, so in my opinion you should have that checked out unless someone else has a way to stop the other effects, and in doing so, helps your neurotransmitter levels.