1

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Doing Low Carb and Feel Extremely Sick - Is this normal?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created July 20, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Hello everyone!

I did paleo for about 3.5 weeks until I was on holiday and really struggled with cravings which led to far too many 'cheat' days. Upon returning I decided that I felt terrible while I was away and it was time to commit to a real Paleo lifestyle. I decided right away to go low carb (have a few stubborn pounds I want to lose and the fruit made my sugar cravings up the wall), but I have been getting some really bad side effects. This is my first week, and today (on the fifth day), I woke up with terrible diarrhea. I have also had headaches for the past three days (annoying ones in the front of my head that won't go away!!). Is this my body just ridding all the toxins I consumed on my holiday or because I have gone low carb? Or maybe it just a flu? Apart from that the low carb has given me tons of energy and I would like to continue doing it.

A regular day of eating looks like this: Breakfast: 1/2 Cup egg whites (I am allergic to the yolk), 3 slices of bacon, veggies for an omelette, half an avocado and tomato (sometimes put leftover meat in too) Lunch: Usually a large mixed green salad with grilled chicken or a can of tuna Dinner: Usually ground beef burgers, chicken breasts, with steamed vegetables, or salad

Everything is cooked with lots of coconut oil and olive oil, and if I crave a snack I almost always turn toward raw coconut. To be low carb I basically just eliminated nuts, fruit, and starchy vegetables. Also, if you happen to see any spots that I should change in my diet all input is appreciated, I am still quite new to this and trying to figure everything out!

Sorry for the novel... your answers are appreciated!! Please help....I feel so terribly nauseous!

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 31, 2013
at 06:30 PM

Gruffalo...so you are not at your ideal weight eating like you eat? Given your posts I thought you were the epitome of health.

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on July 22, 2013
at 04:26 AM

According to Dr. Stephen Phinney, low-carbers can take in up to 5000 mg. of salt/day to counter the diuretic effects of low-carbing.

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on July 22, 2013
at 04:24 AM

"Due to the fact most low carbers are obese people who want to project carbs as the reason they are fat as opposed to their own low self control." You know how I know you haven't read anything by Gary Taubes?

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on July 22, 2013
at 04:23 AM

Make sure that the sea salt is gray, not white. The latter has had all the minerals that help you removed. Alternatively, you can try pink himalayan salt. It's available at my local Costco or online in a fine grind for cheaper.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 20, 2013
at 08:24 PM

Olive oil is fine for cooking, as Michael said. To me, it's more of a taste/cost preference, but I do sometimes use the "light tasting" olive oil for cooking.

52ad7ee5eef0d7339d0977bd7a2ceb8a

(416)

on July 20, 2013
at 04:58 PM

It's probably just the "cheating" she has been done thats coming out.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on July 20, 2013
at 01:28 PM

i disagree that olive oil necessarily goes rancid when cooked with at high temperatures...

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8 Answers

best answer

3
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on July 20, 2013
at 01:33 PM

You may be eating more fat than your body can deal with right now. Cut back on the added oils a bit and reintroduce them more gently. Too much fat too fast can cause nausea and diarrhea.

Headaches are often due to electrolyte depletion from dropping carbs. Up your salt intake, preferably sea salt.

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on July 22, 2013
at 04:26 AM

According to Dr. Stephen Phinney, low-carbers can take in up to 5000 mg. of salt/day to counter the diuretic effects of low-carbing.

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on July 22, 2013
at 04:23 AM

Make sure that the sea salt is gray, not white. The latter has had all the minerals that help you removed. Alternatively, you can try pink himalayan salt. It's available at my local Costco or online in a fine grind for cheaper.

0
89985542ffc00c296552951369fe809a

on July 22, 2013
at 04:43 AM

I think your body may be detoxing a little bit, but you should also take this approach slowly again. I agree with DRAGONFLY, you may need to incorporate fat into your diet slowly as some people can get sick from too much right away. Hopefully you start to feel better soon so you can continue on your healthy lifestyle :)

0
C3c2639b0fb3721c55bab1a1669cd7c6

on July 22, 2013
at 04:15 AM

or maybe lay off the tuna? too much mercury?

0
75d65450b6ff0be7b969fb321f1200ac

(2506)

on July 20, 2013
at 08:00 PM

It sounds like you jumped right into a very low carbohydrate (VLC) Paleo diet which, in my opinion, is something to do only to solve a very specific medical problem (eg, starve off Candida). Sure, you can also use it to lose weight but I think for most such a diet becomes arduous within a few short weeks. (For myself I felt very lethargic, cold and generally crappy). Rather than VLC try to just go fairly low carb, like 75-100 carbs/day. Just eat a little fruit and a small portion of something starchy (eg, potatoes). Even a small increase in carbohydrates can dramatically change how you feel.

_Lazza

PS - I think "low carb flu" is something that is short lived, like at most 7-10 days. If you are suffering beyond this then VLC is probably not for you.

0
52ad7ee5eef0d7339d0977bd7a2ceb8a

on July 20, 2013
at 05:03 PM

It's okay to eat a few carbs.

Look at the first answer. Really helpful: http://paleohacks.com/questions/201820/what-are-the-downsides-of-low-carb#axzz2ZZiMebpN

You can still lose weight, trust me. Personally, I feel good with a little carb in my diet.

Also "lots of coconut oil and olive oil"... hm Paleo doesn't have to mean "high fat". If that much fat feels good for you, go for it, but it's okay to cook with just a tablespoon or so. You MIGHT be getting too much, but I don't know because you didn't specify. (still wouldn't know regardless, though lol)

Let food be casual and tasty. :]

ALSO, the bathroom issue... yes. to me it's obvious that your body is ridding itself of whatever you ate during your "cheating days". You're fine. Happens to me, too. (and most likely everyone else who eats SAD occasionally.)

0
Be803dcde63e3cf5e21cc121097b8158

on July 20, 2013
at 01:01 PM

Headaches, diarrhea and now terrible nausea?

I think you're just sick (food poisoning?), or perhaps reacting badly to one of your new food choices. You've only been on this diet for 5 days, and you had symptoms 2 days in...

52ad7ee5eef0d7339d0977bd7a2ceb8a

(416)

on July 20, 2013
at 04:58 PM

It's probably just the "cheating" she has been done thats coming out.

0
Af679502f1e31c0c59c79bd08f324b35

on July 20, 2013
at 12:34 PM

By the sounds of it you are going through the "carb flu." Do not cook with olive oil it gets rancid at high temp. Nothing stands out to me about your dietary habits but you can add a small piece of fruit or a small amount of sweet potato. Are you trying to get into ketosis?

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on July 20, 2013
at 01:28 PM

i disagree that olive oil necessarily goes rancid when cooked with at high temperatures...

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 20, 2013
at 08:24 PM

Olive oil is fine for cooking, as Michael said. To me, it's more of a taste/cost preference, but I do sometimes use the "light tasting" olive oil for cooking.

-2
9f52f85c3964445d7b16c94a890f6136

on July 20, 2013
at 01:35 PM

Low carb paleo is a terrible idea in my opinion. It is touted as amazing from formerly ridiculously obese people who are now only mildly obese but it just plain in not productive for most people.

upping the carbs dropping the fat way down has done wonders for me. I have recommend paleo to multiple people who have had huge success and they all get at least 100 grams of carbs a day and are losing fat. I am getting a couple hundred carbs a day and nearly no fat and the fat is melting off me. Due to the fact most low carbers are obese people who want to project carbs as the reason they are fat as opposed to their own low self control.

Eat how makes you feel and function the best.

Best of luck!

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on July 22, 2013
at 04:24 AM

"Due to the fact most low carbers are obese people who want to project carbs as the reason they are fat as opposed to their own low self control." You know how I know you haven't read anything by Gary Taubes?

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 31, 2013
at 06:30 PM

Gruffalo...so you are not at your ideal weight eating like you eat? Given your posts I thought you were the epitome of health.

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