1

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Feeling strange after 1 month 90% Paleo and moderately low-carb

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 28, 2011 at 8:36 PM

I've been eating 90% Paleo for just under a month (exceptions being small amounts of cheese and cream). I've been trying to keep it on the low-carb end of the spectrum because I'm trying to lose weight, but I've been eating lots of veg and some fruit. I've also been doing medium-intensity work outs 3 days a week.

I've noticed the last few days that I've been feeling kind of strange tingly feelings in my muscles, general itchiness and I don't know how else to describe this, but "clenchy" fists -- like my fists want to clench up all by themselves. I've also had a cold, so I've been drinking lots of water (not more than 4 quarts of water a day though.)

What's going on? I feel out of whack. Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 01, 2011
at 08:30 PM

@Helen: agreed! @Ambimorph: I also use citrate, but not based on any self-experimentation just based on things I read on Paleohacks ... This thread is interesting: http://paleohacks.com/questions/1028/how-can-we-get-enough-magnesium

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on March 01, 2011
at 03:46 PM

@WCCPaul: Oh, I misunderstood you! Sorry about that. And you're totally right...there's nothing wrong with the diet.

74d0407ca99061cab2512ed83683b498

(788)

on March 01, 2011
at 12:56 PM

Thanks, I'll definitely try D and Mg supplements.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on March 01, 2011
at 03:42 AM

Make sure it's an absorbable kind of magnesium. I didn't realize how much I needed Mg until I switched from oxide to citrate, and the difference was so palpable.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 01, 2011
at 03:37 AM

@Helen: Of course! I actually supplement with magnesium myself. My comment is a way of doing away with suspicions that there might be something wrong with the diet. There's nothing wrong with the diet, in its original form. (Subject to various other qualifications of course.)

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on March 01, 2011
at 01:05 AM

Yup. Muscle cramps, eyelid ticks and twitches and muscle tension are all classic signs of a Mg deficiency. Without Mg, muscles can't relax, as your post points out. Btw, your fat/protein/carb percentages are about what mine are, Dexter.

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on March 01, 2011
at 01:01 AM

@bettyrocker: Do you have Epsom salts in the house? If you do, put 2 or 3 cups of Epsom salts in a tub of hot water and soak for 20 mins. That will give you a quick hit of Mg until you can get yourself a supplement. Even then, Epsom salts baths are a really good way to supplement with Mg, at least in my opinion.

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on March 01, 2011
at 12:58 AM

@ WCC Paul:I think there is no sense in sacrificing health to theory. If a person needs a supplement, then they should supplement.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 01, 2011
at 12:10 AM

Cramps also can be from low potassium. Try potatoes, beef liver. Potatoes also get you some glucose, which you might be in need of. Anyhow, I think this is a pretty common LC thing: you get the muscle cramping, then you add potatoes and it goes away. But definitely experiment with a few different things and see what happens.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 01, 2011
at 12:01 AM

I thought the accepted paleo idea these days was that we would have been getting magnesium from soil. Traces of earth on food, and so on.

74d0407ca99061cab2512ed83683b498

(788)

on February 28, 2011
at 11:53 PM

Hm. I have no idea if I get enough magnesium. I'll try a supplement. Definitely sounds like a candidate.

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on February 28, 2011
at 10:23 PM

p.s. My reasoning is that paleos tend to look to food as the answer to health problems and to stay away from Rx meds, while SAD people tend to run to the doctor for an Rx right away. Doing so, they are unlikely to ever discover if they have a deficiency or not, since doctors aren't trained to look for deficiencies.

C491ff8ce20d5c17f8f7ff94392a9570

(1617)

on February 28, 2011
at 10:22 PM

@travis, just a guess, but mag excretion due to the diuretic nature of low carb diets (which lots of paleo folks follow) plus lack of mineral-enriched grain foods (like breakfast cereal)?

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on February 28, 2011
at 10:21 PM

I wonder if SAD people have Mg deficiencies *more often* than paleos, but that the condition is masked by their consumption of HBP medication, HBP being a classic sign of MG deficiency.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on February 28, 2011
at 10:05 PM

What's the current thinking on why paleo folks seem to be more deficient in Mg than those eating SAD? I eat tons of spinach so I am not afflicted, but what are the SAD-eaters doing?

74d0407ca99061cab2512ed83683b498

(788)

on February 28, 2011
at 08:58 PM

I've been eating 50 grams of carb or less.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on February 28, 2011
at 08:45 PM

What do you consider to be low-carb? You could try experimenting with higher amounts of carbs as you get a better feel for your glycogen levels/capacity. I would also recommend against fruit in favor of fructose-free starches such as potato and rice.

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2 Answers

2
1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on February 28, 2011
at 09:55 PM

Do you get enough magnesium? Muscle tension is a classic sign of magnesium deficiency.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on February 28, 2011
at 10:05 PM

What's the current thinking on why paleo folks seem to be more deficient in Mg than those eating SAD? I eat tons of spinach so I am not afflicted, but what are the SAD-eaters doing?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on March 01, 2011
at 03:42 AM

Make sure it's an absorbable kind of magnesium. I didn't realize how much I needed Mg until I switched from oxide to citrate, and the difference was so palpable.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 01, 2011
at 12:01 AM

I thought the accepted paleo idea these days was that we would have been getting magnesium from soil. Traces of earth on food, and so on.

74d0407ca99061cab2512ed83683b498

(788)

on February 28, 2011
at 11:53 PM

Hm. I have no idea if I get enough magnesium. I'll try a supplement. Definitely sounds like a candidate.

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on March 01, 2011
at 12:58 AM

@ WCC Paul:I think there is no sense in sacrificing health to theory. If a person needs a supplement, then they should supplement.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 01, 2011
at 08:30 PM

@Helen: agreed! @Ambimorph: I also use citrate, but not based on any self-experimentation just based on things I read on Paleohacks ... This thread is interesting: http://paleohacks.com/questions/1028/how-can-we-get-enough-magnesium

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on February 28, 2011
at 10:21 PM

I wonder if SAD people have Mg deficiencies *more often* than paleos, but that the condition is masked by their consumption of HBP medication, HBP being a classic sign of MG deficiency.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 01, 2011
at 03:37 AM

@Helen: Of course! I actually supplement with magnesium myself. My comment is a way of doing away with suspicions that there might be something wrong with the diet. There's nothing wrong with the diet, in its original form. (Subject to various other qualifications of course.)

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on March 01, 2011
at 01:01 AM

@bettyrocker: Do you have Epsom salts in the house? If you do, put 2 or 3 cups of Epsom salts in a tub of hot water and soak for 20 mins. That will give you a quick hit of Mg until you can get yourself a supplement. Even then, Epsom salts baths are a really good way to supplement with Mg, at least in my opinion.

C491ff8ce20d5c17f8f7ff94392a9570

(1617)

on February 28, 2011
at 10:22 PM

@travis, just a guess, but mag excretion due to the diuretic nature of low carb diets (which lots of paleo folks follow) plus lack of mineral-enriched grain foods (like breakfast cereal)?

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on February 28, 2011
at 10:23 PM

p.s. My reasoning is that paleos tend to look to food as the answer to health problems and to stay away from Rx meds, while SAD people tend to run to the doctor for an Rx right away. Doing so, they are unlikely to ever discover if they have a deficiency or not, since doctors aren't trained to look for deficiencies.

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on March 01, 2011
at 03:46 PM

@WCCPaul: Oh, I misunderstood you! Sorry about that. And you're totally right...there's nothing wrong with the diet.

1
06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on February 28, 2011
at 11:57 PM

I used to get muscles that would involuntarily lock up and cramp...especially hands and toes...especially when stretching. I increased my vit D3 supplementation from 5,000IU to 10,000IU daily and also increased my magnesium citrate to 1200mg per day and all those weird feelings went away.

I also eliminated all fruit and I eat less than 10-20g per day of carbs. 75% fat, 20% protein, 5% or less carbs.

All that crampy feeling in my toes and hands has disappeared.

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on March 01, 2011
at 01:05 AM

Yup. Muscle cramps, eyelid ticks and twitches and muscle tension are all classic signs of a Mg deficiency. Without Mg, muscles can't relax, as your post points out. Btw, your fat/protein/carb percentages are about what mine are, Dexter.

74d0407ca99061cab2512ed83683b498

(788)

on March 01, 2011
at 12:56 PM

Thanks, I'll definitely try D and Mg supplements.

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