1

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Noticable pulse, especially at night, hypnogogic jerks, some nervous energy on low carb

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 17, 2012 at 12:51 AM

Okay, I have asked a similar question before. And so have others. But hopefully this is simpler/more refined/more specific.

Since going low carb my pulse is stronger. Ive been low carb for 2 months, at now around 55-65 grams a day.

At night, in bed, I can hear it pounding. Its much more noticable/strong than it used to be. I wake with startles, with a falling sensation, a phenomena known as a hypngogic jerk. It never used to happen for me, now it happens to varying degrees every night. Its seemingly made worse ny heat and stress. It could be adrenal related.

Now, my electrolytes seem fine, I have had them tested (sodium and potassium). I am concious to drink water, and take in a little salt, and some electrolyte foods, high in calcium, potassium and magnesium since I started having this issue. My doctor also checked me over. They said I was fine. I am going back to see them today.

I am on a low carb diet, not as some simple dietary choice, but because starches and fodmaps seem to make my digestive illness much worse. So if possible, id like to stick with the diet.

I am not sure if its an issue or not. But it is concerning. I am also going to ditch the coconut oil for now, because ive heard that gives some problems.

What causes stronger pulse, restless nervous energy, possible irritability, difficulty going to sleep, hypngogic jerks about a low carb diet, or even any kind of dietary change?

Could I me lacking in a needed low carb nutrient? Clearly the innuit and massai didnt have this issue. But then that could be partly adaption also, I did used to be very high carb, perhaps its taking me longer.

And also who else has experienced these kind of issues with low carb?

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

My sodium blood results, and potassium blood results were 100% normal.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 22, 2012
at 01:43 PM

Been continuing on the mag, with bath salts mostly, dietary magnesium and ill take the oral sup if I need it: Resolved...

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 18, 2012
at 08:06 AM

Update: Supplemented with equivilant of 50mg magnesium added to water. Felt almost immediately relaxed. Almost sleepy. Very noticable difference. Might have gotten to the bottom of this. If so, and this is the common experience, might be worth mentioning to all the low carbers....

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 18, 2012
at 12:38 AM

I wonder if I was salting every meal pretty well, and also took a whole load of salt in water, if id be overdoing it.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 18, 2012
at 12:35 AM

Okay update: I ate a bunch of spinach. I did still have a high fat meal. But I drunk about 1 litre of tap water a few hours afterwards, thinking that theres 20-50mgs of magnesium in that water so it might help (I guess would also help with water soluble minerals). It was more water than I could normally handle, but it worked. Thumping in ears was almost unnoticable, slept well. Going to try and get a magnesium supplement today, and perhaps also play around with a "magnesium high/low fat day" in future.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 18, 2012
at 12:33 AM

I am pretty concious to salt every meal. Actually ill give an update on last nights sleep in the question comments, cause it was much better last night.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 18, 2012
at 12:27 AM

Other high potassium Foods: Tomatoes, apricot, kiwi and unsweetened cranberry juice, tomato juice, almonds, brazil nuts, brocolli, and less so salmon, trout, tuna, spinach cod.

2a00b9a42e4cb6e489a0e69d20714576

(3043)

on July 17, 2012
at 07:20 PM

As a person under 20-50 grams of carbs a day I would definitely add some sea salt. It gives me a ton of energy.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on July 17, 2012
at 04:53 PM

Ok, so try half of that, it will be fine. And just bc your levels where fine during the lab do not mean they are otherwise.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 17, 2012
at 12:55 PM

I actually got that headache after a few too many very salty meals, which may have contributed.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 17, 2012
at 12:53 PM

I have been salting my food without restraint. My cheese has salt too. And my sodium blood results, and potassium blood results were 100% normal.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 17, 2012
at 12:25 PM

-1 18 grams of salt in one dose. I predict puking.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 17, 2012
at 11:58 AM

Thanks to your help guys, of course!

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 17, 2012
at 08:44 AM

Hmm, think I may have figured it out...

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 17, 2012
at 08:44 AM

"Metabolic balance studies in rats on low- and high-fat diets have also shown that increasing the fat intake decreases the amount of magnesium absorbed from the gut" - http://www.mgwater.com/Seelig/Magnesium-Deficiency-in-the-Pathogenesis-of-Disease/chapter5.shtml

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 17, 2012
at 07:51 AM

Magnesium is an interesting one. Most people get slightly lower than the "recommended intake", except for men 31-50. Too little and your likely to be hyper, have trouble relaxing etc. Too much and you get the opposite problem, slow heart rate, low blood pressure and even coma. As ive been eating lots of spinach, occasional nuts, meats, tomatoes, cheese, it seems unlikely id be under the recommended amount. Still I am not exactly drowsy either, so it seems unlikely I am getting too much either. hmmm, i might try finding an ironless multi, with low levels of everything and see if that helps...

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 17, 2012
at 07:14 AM

It would seem river water hardness (calcium and magnesium ions combined) varies from about 50mg/L to about 500mg/L. Treated drinking water on the other hand varies from 20mg/L to about 50mg/L.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 17, 2012
at 07:05 AM

Actually I just read that the recommended daily intake of magnesium is around 300mgs! It seems virtually impossible to get that by food, at least without eating the same high magnesium foods, in large quantities, every day. Must be, that we used to get it all from the water, like some of the paleo gurus say. Might have to pick up that supplement.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:52 AM

I have heard that when they studied some guy that fasted for a month, after two weeks, he was highly adrenal, but it balanced out by the end of the month. I wonder if perhaps, this happens on a slower, longer scale with mildly ketogenic diets.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:51 AM

^ How much magnesium do you take and how often? I have been eating a load of spinach and some aged cheese, but perhaps thats not enough to mitigate whatever the heck this is...

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:45 AM

I went to see my doc. They basically said that awareness of heartbeat etc was nothing to worry about, and thought maybe that because carbs tend to sedate, maybe I was just less sedated. She also said that it wouldnt be a deficiency because I am now eating alot more nutrients than before. Which kinda seems semi-true, I basically just use to eat wheat and tomatoes (pasta), and never had any deficiency issues. hmm...

3ed47bb3513ed0b4849e6b492422cadf

(90)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:09 AM

In the first few months I went LCHF my awareness of my heart beat was terrible. I would sit in a chair and every beat would pound through my back into the chair. It felt like I was being shook by each beat. Since starting to take Mag Malate every day it has ceased.

3cdc762b2ae30b4ca3529f011ccac174

(186)

on July 17, 2012
at 04:13 AM

Sounds like you need some Slow Mag! In 2 days all these problems could be gone - does sound like a magnesium thing.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 17, 2012
at 03:57 AM

Let us know what you find....

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 17, 2012
at 02:37 AM

I am pretty inactive. I guess it could be just lots of extra energy somehow too...?

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 17, 2012
at 02:00 AM

I am pretty sure its not just anxiety, I never used to get this. I dont eat all that much beef atm either. Bit of lamb though. Interesting thought.

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on July 17, 2012
at 01:29 AM

Lots of people have this on low carb. not clear if it's just mineral/electrolyte issues or if it's something else (too much ruminant trans fat is one thing I've started to wonder about) or could also just be anxiety...

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4 Answers

best answer

2
03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

on July 17, 2012
at 02:49 AM

I have some of the same symptoms. I saw my doc today and she told me it can be due to a magnesium deficiency, or related to another electrolyte imbalance.

I'm having bloodwork done, but supplementing with Magnesium couldn't hurt.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:45 AM

I went to see my doc. They basically said that awareness of heartbeat etc was nothing to worry about, and thought maybe that because carbs tend to sedate, maybe I was just less sedated. She also said that it wouldnt be a deficiency because I am now eating alot more nutrients than before. Which kinda seems semi-true, I basically just use to eat wheat and tomatoes (pasta), and never had any deficiency issues. hmm...

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 17, 2012
at 03:57 AM

Let us know what you find....

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:52 AM

I have heard that when they studied some guy that fasted for a month, after two weeks, he was highly adrenal, but it balanced out by the end of the month. I wonder if perhaps, this happens on a slower, longer scale with mildly ketogenic diets.

2
F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on July 17, 2012
at 04:57 PM

I went low carb in the beginning as well, and did fine for about 6 months. Then my hair started falling out and I began having similar issues as you described. Not the heartbeat, but definitely anxiety and sleep disturbance.

After suffering with mood problems for almost a year that seemed to be getting progressively worse, I decided to start upping my carbs a bit. I'm still in the midst of the experiment, so I don't have complete results yet, but I can say that I definitely feel much better already. Mood, energy, anxiety, and sleep are all improved.

I also started supplementing with magnesium citrate (Natural Calm) before bed, and that also helped smooth out the rough edges of sleep.

I think low carb is a wonderful tool. I still use it when I feel like I've overdone ice cream on vacation or when I want to get my weight back down to comfortable levels. But only for short stretches. For some individuals, I just don't think it's sustainable long term.

Self experimentation is the only way to know. Best of luck to you!

1
9426eec8c8385c90bdf843aa44bd5a4b

on July 17, 2012
at 04:44 PM

Sounds like what I went through when I cut out all the soda and went to low G.I./low carb (under 60 gram a day) to help remedy my PCOS (which only brought me so far, I'm switching to Paleo because my nails are still saying I'm unhealthy, all it did was bring some of my energy back and make me less foggy headed).

After about a month of the low carb I evened out and didn't have these symptoms anymore. I did have potassium on the low side of the normal when I started though.

I'm also allergic to bananas (found out later I'm just allergic to raw bananas, which is related to my pollen allergy). Papaya is supposed to have the most potassium, but I can't seem to find any around here.

Gonna try out grilled bananas in butter (or coconut oil) with cinnamon today to up my levels. Baking works too, just be aware that when you eat potassium rich foods to not cook it in a liquid because potassium leeches out in liquids. Potassium won't leach out in Fat.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 18, 2012
at 12:27 AM

Other high potassium Foods: Tomatoes, apricot, kiwi and unsweetened cranberry juice, tomato juice, almonds, brazil nuts, brocolli, and less so salmon, trout, tuna, spinach cod.

1
1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

on July 17, 2012
at 12:05 PM

Try this, take a tablespoon of salt. Mix with water. Drink it. Wait a .5 hr. See how that feels. Do this while hydrated please. Post results.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 17, 2012
at 12:53 PM

I have been salting my food without restraint. My cheese has salt too. And my sodium blood results, and potassium blood results were 100% normal.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 17, 2012
at 12:55 PM

I actually got that headache after a few too many very salty meals, which may have contributed.

2a00b9a42e4cb6e489a0e69d20714576

(3043)

on July 17, 2012
at 07:20 PM

As a person under 20-50 grams of carbs a day I would definitely add some sea salt. It gives me a ton of energy.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

My sodium blood results, and potassium blood results were 100% normal.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 17, 2012
at 12:25 PM

-1 18 grams of salt in one dose. I predict puking.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on July 17, 2012
at 04:53 PM

Ok, so try half of that, it will be fine. And just bc your levels where fine during the lab do not mean they are otherwise.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 18, 2012
at 12:33 AM

I am pretty concious to salt every meal. Actually ill give an update on last nights sleep in the question comments, cause it was much better last night.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 18, 2012
at 12:38 AM

I wonder if I was salting every meal pretty well, and also took a whole load of salt in water, if id be overdoing it.

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