anxiety waking me at night only on new LC diet

Answered on December 09, 2013
Created December 05, 2013 at 8:25 AM

I am 47 in good health, athletic 5'11' 188. I have traditionally consumed lots of simple carbs and sugars- especially later in the day. Problems I experienced were its symptoms, gerd and little extra weight. Researched low carb and thought it would be perfect for me. After 9 days, I have lost a little weight and feel excellent as far as my energy and mental process. IBS and gerd symptoms dramatically reduced. And best of all no sugar/starch cravings- which has been the BEST part for me and something I do not want to give up. The problem is that on 4th day I started waking up in middle of night after fitful sleep with anxiety and feeling that my heart i pounding. I have heart rate monitor and when episodes happen my bp has risen from below 120 to around 140 and my resting heart rate from low 60's to low 70's. Just heading downstairs to my couch and reading relaxes me and after around 30-45 minutes bp and heart rate normalize. On a few nights I took my wife's zanax just before going to sleep and slept beautifully. Im stumped??? Can't continue with zanax every night, don't want to go back to my old carb heavy diet yet can't continue to wake-up in panic mode every night. I have been eating mostly fats and protein. carbs in form of spinach or leafy greens. this never happened to me before on my old carb heavy diet. Any help would be greatly appreciated.



on December 05, 2013
at 07:23 PM

I agree with the hypoglycemia. I went through the same issues when I wasn't eating enough carbs. There aren't enough carbs in spinach and leafy greens to hardly count. Find balance, not low carb, then everything will fall into place.



on December 05, 2013
at 09:00 AM

sounds like hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) to me, check out the full list of symptoms here

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5 Answers



on December 09, 2013
at 07:07 AM

Another potential issue is too much tyramine in the diet for your particular genetics or situation. Tyramine is high in aged and fermented foods like soy sauce, cheeses (aged cheddar, blue cheese, etc) and cured meats (salami, bacon, etc). Some overripe fruit also have a lot, like bananas. In some who are sensitive, high levels of tyramine can cause a powerful hypertensive response which sounds a lot like your symptoms. High tyramine diets have been linked with migraine and are especially dangerous for those on MAO inhibitors. A bit of info here: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/maois/HQ01575


on December 05, 2013
at 09:52 PM

start with a pound of sweet potatoes a day and then adjust from there. I went from .8 lb to 1lb to 2lbs a day. I love sweet potatoes lol



on December 05, 2013
at 04:38 PM

I've heard some peope have nightsweats and lack of sleep from low carb. You are athletic and may be burning a lot of glycogen daily. Your system is not used to making it's own glucose and suddenly you are demanding a lot of that from it. That COULD be it, maybe. Remember not all carbs should be lumped in the same class. Some carbs are fairly healthy and contain a lot of good nutrients like the potatoes already mentioned. You can try moderate carb and most people will not get GERD from just a bit of moderate intake of healthier carbs.

Also, another impt thing to consider, what is your magnesium intake now? French fries and garbage food may not be healthy overall but if they were your main source of magnesium (for many they are), then you can experience side effects of low magnesium if you cut them out, a main symptom of which is restless sleep. Magnesium is depleted from crop soils and many modern influences also deplete magnesium, as does exercise. Many find we are no longer in the kind of environment that allows us to easily consume enough magnesium, even with a generally healthy diet. You can target high magnesium foods like spinach and wild salmon, but check the amounts of magnesium in a serving and see if you can make it that way. Even 'high' magnesium foods really don't have that much in them and you'd have to eat a lof them daily. Magnesium requirements also probably have a genetic component and for some reason, the body is not good at hanging onto magnesium as it is for many other nutrients.

Some people supplement with herbs like stinging nettles, which I do plan to try someday soon. For now, in addition to a healthy diet, I have taken the rather unpaleo route of supplementing with magnesium pills which also got rid of my leg cramps. Many here like Natural Calm as a variety of magnesium supplement but I find my system likes magnesium malate. This vitamin is the only pill or 'medicine' that I take. In a modern environment, it is very difficult to find all truly natural and complete foods. Even so called 'organic' crops are grown on depleted soils and are allowed to be grown with many toxic chemicals..



on December 05, 2013
at 03:53 PM

What kind of carbs were you eating? Maybe try adding in a sweet potato and see if that helps?

Sometimes low carb just doesn't work for some people...I would say play around with adding in healthy carbs and see what works. Don't add more than one at a time because you won't know which one actually helped.



on December 05, 2013
at 09:21 AM

Low blood sugar can cause night time waking. Some people say a spoonful of honey before bed will help.

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