3

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Just starting on the paleo diet. Wife having problems with nausea and low energy

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created April 25, 2012 at 1:23 PM

I'm doing a 21 day challenge as a start to the paleo diet. I am doing fine, my wife not so much. She is having nausea and low energy.

The same thing happened years ago when we tried to do the Atkins diet.

We are eating all organic and pastured meats. I've provided her with plenty of food, including snacking options. What do you guys suggest? I told her to eat some fruit as the sugar might help her out... I really don't want her to quit as we are only one day 3!!

Thanks in advance.

here is my food journal, it's missing the first day or so http://nickladieu.com

Oh my wife has a history of hypo glycemia and is also overweight and on blood pressure medications (a few of the many reasons we are trying to get her on a healthy track.. I talked to her a few minutes ago and she says she feels fine as long as she lays down)

====UPDATE==== I'm trying to get her to eat more and she has been trying. Right now it has gotten worse and now includes the chills and body aches. Thoughts guys?? She is cooking up some sweet potato as I type this and I had her eat some raw milk cheese

====NEXT DAY UPDATE==== Lots of fat, lots of sweet potato, lots of bacon, and lots of sleep. She is feeling fine today. Thanks for all the advice people. She let herself get hungry and this is when it all began.

-Nick

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on November 29, 2012
at 04:30 AM

Tyler, thanks for the comment. Took about 7 days for her to stop feeling like poop. I read that taking in calories from fat would help and having more carbs from tubers (potatoes) with your meals. I prefer yams or new potatoes. However, only time seemed to get her over the hump.

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on April 26, 2012
at 04:34 PM

I want to make sure there is not a nutrient deficiency at play. As far as variety goes.. it's very hard to do all the cooking for both of us, but I really want to baby my wife through this so I'm cooking everything. I came to paleo via the homesteading community so my advice would be to start doing food storage. Get yourself a chest freezer and make friends with your local farmers. Get involved in a CSA and get a 1/4 beef in your freezer. Even w/ a 1/4 beef the varieties of cuts are amazing. From heart to chuck roast. The possibilities are endless.

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on April 26, 2012
at 04:27 PM

Kate, thanks for the reply. She wasn't getting enough sleep. Once the kid goes to bed we normally would stay up until 12am or even 1am on occasion. He still gets up at 7am no matter what and you have to get up.. it's not an option. So I put her to bed at sun-down and put my son to bed around the same time. She woke up feeling great. I also fried up a bunch of sweet potato chips in coconut oil for her and she is instructed to eat them whenever she feels like it. Listen to her body and all that. I'm also really trying to get her to up her veg intake and take a multivitamin.

C79a5b43dfc5749200bd9dcaa6bb0858

on April 25, 2012
at 06:14 PM

You may be able to find one on this site: http://paleophysiciansnetwork.com/. You can also try posting it as a question on the Caveman forum (http://cavemanforum.com/) or here on PaleoHacks.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on April 25, 2012
at 05:49 PM

Oh my gosh! Your foods make my mouth water!!! Can you adapt me? I can be your pet... or something.

913872e599d0b8e120ac325ec45749dc

(95)

on April 25, 2012
at 05:16 PM

The potassium probably took care of the electrolytes for now, good move. Make sure to add some acid (lemon juice, vinegar) to your stock to help break down the minerals in the bone. Pinch of sea salt in her drinking water bottle should do the trick too.

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on April 25, 2012
at 04:38 PM

interesting comment about the doctor. Where would one find such a doctor. Almost every doctor i have ever met is clueless about nutrition

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on April 25, 2012
at 04:17 PM

Dave, thanks for the comment. I've had her eat some fruit and will make sure to up the Yam intake

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on April 25, 2012
at 04:16 PM

oops... electrolyte comment was meant for above... but the carb point you made is well taken.

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on April 25, 2012
at 04:15 PM

Thanks for the answer. I had her eat a banana and she felt much better. Figured the potassium would go a long way to rectify the electrolyte deficiency. As far as fat goes we have been eating bacon and cooking with lard and coconut oil. I'll planning to smoke a beef brisket this weekend. I've also been eating a lot of avocado and olive oil. I also went to my farmer last night and picked up a bunch of hand-made sausages and whole chickens. I plan to roast one this week and make a bunch of stock. The stock should help a lot (salt) I sent her a message to tell her to eat something salty

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on April 25, 2012
at 04:07 PM

Thanks for the comment. We have been eating fruit and we had sweet potato on day one as well. I had her eat a banana when she got nausea as that has a decent amount of potassium in it. Hopefully what you said about electrolytes is true, she's out and about so I won't get a progress update until later. I'll be sure to get a sweet potato on the plate tonight

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 25, 2012
at 02:44 PM

Give her some carbs, just not bread and pasta. Fruit, tubers (sweet potato, for example) are good choices. If you must low carb, try some broth (for the salt). It really helps with low carb flu. The idea of a slower transition to low carb is helpful. And if weight is not an issue, then carbs shouldn't be an issue either. Some people can lose weight at a higher carb level - figuring out what works best for you and your wife is the trick (and they may not be the same thing).

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on April 25, 2012
at 02:27 PM

She said she has been feeling hungry and I've explained to her that she needs to eat and we aren't on a calorie restrictive diet. I'm going to tell her to eat more of the snacks available. Chopped veggies with almond butter, deviled guac eggs, etc. If she still has nausea I might tell her to eat a slice of bread and we can keep working at it and ease her off processed foods. I've used the coconut oil to cook the first egg dish on my blog I loved the wonderful flavors it imparted into the vegetables. So good!

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9 Answers

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2
913872e599d0b8e120ac325ec45749dc

(95)

on April 25, 2012
at 03:13 PM

Nick it sounds like she's taking longer to ketoadapt which is why you had the same experience on Atkins. Most people forget that the switch over to ketones is a two part process. Carb restriction will get the ketone production up, but then it can take 1-2 weeks for most people to fully ketoadapt. to where 95% or so of your cells are using ketones as a source of fuel. As you transition your kidneys start to become a lot more efficient at eliminating sodium and your electrolyte balance can drop quickly. Many of the unwanted symptoms in the first week can be attributed to an electrolyte imbalance, I'd suggest getting a good source at least for a few weeks. To a certain extent you'll need to mentally push yourself through the transition as your body doesn't have enough glucose or ketones yet for energy production and will start craving quick sources like carbohydrates. Make sure you fat intake is adequate or you won't be able to make the switch efficiently. Hang in there!

913872e599d0b8e120ac325ec45749dc

(95)

on April 25, 2012
at 05:16 PM

The potassium probably took care of the electrolytes for now, good move. Make sure to add some acid (lemon juice, vinegar) to your stock to help break down the minerals in the bone. Pinch of sea salt in her drinking water bottle should do the trick too.

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on April 25, 2012
at 04:15 PM

Thanks for the answer. I had her eat a banana and she felt much better. Figured the potassium would go a long way to rectify the electrolyte deficiency. As far as fat goes we have been eating bacon and cooking with lard and coconut oil. I'll planning to smoke a beef brisket this weekend. I've also been eating a lot of avocado and olive oil. I also went to my farmer last night and picked up a bunch of hand-made sausages and whole chickens. I plan to roast one this week and make a bunch of stock. The stock should help a lot (salt) I sent her a message to tell her to eat something salty

2
E55906cdb6839a23fd740ad85d160cc8

(1159)

on April 25, 2012
at 02:36 PM

Congratulations to you and your wife on taking control of your health! Some people really just need to ease into this to make it sustainable...depending on what her diet looked before starting paleo. Trying slow carb as a transition step may help, and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

2
65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on April 25, 2012
at 02:20 PM

Welcome! First, let me say your meals look delicious and varied, I'm impressed.

I'm not a doctor, so please take this advice as offered from my personal experience and from trends I've seen on this site and others. With her previous medical issues, it may be wise to find a paleo-friendly doctor in your area and pay them a visit...

Your wife may be experiencing "low carb flu", or her body could just be reacting to lack of the usual processed foods. Recommending she eat fruit is a great idea, and should help- for some going paleo is enough of a challenge without trying to go low carb.

You've said that you've provided plenty of food and snack options, but is she eating enough? Does she feel hungry? (when she's not nauseous).

If it is "low carb flu" or her body reacting to lack of processed sugars, the only real solution is working her way through it. Eating additional fat can help for some people (but don't go overboard on the coconut oil at first, eating spoonfuls... that's a fat that is very healthy and delicious, but some people have to work up to eating it by starting with a tsp a day.

How is she sleeping? It's also important to get enough rest. If she's physically active, now might be a good time for her to give her body some time off to adapt to the new "diet".

C79a5b43dfc5749200bd9dcaa6bb0858

on April 25, 2012
at 06:14 PM

You may be able to find one on this site: http://paleophysiciansnetwork.com/. You can also try posting it as a question on the Caveman forum (http://cavemanforum.com/) or here on PaleoHacks.

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on April 25, 2012
at 04:38 PM

interesting comment about the doctor. Where would one find such a doctor. Almost every doctor i have ever met is clueless about nutrition

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on April 25, 2012
at 02:27 PM

She said she has been feeling hungry and I've explained to her that she needs to eat and we aren't on a calorie restrictive diet. I'm going to tell her to eat more of the snacks available. Chopped veggies with almond butter, deviled guac eggs, etc. If she still has nausea I might tell her to eat a slice of bread and we can keep working at it and ease her off processed foods. I've used the coconut oil to cook the first egg dish on my blog I loved the wonderful flavors it imparted into the vegetables. So good!

1
D3694f763957257a8f1e793a7fdad9ca

on April 25, 2012
at 09:51 PM

Im doing the 45 day paleo challenge my crossfit gym is offering. Im healthy and at an ???ideal body weight,??? but looking to be more lean. In the last 6 months I???ve already dramatically cut back on grains and started leaning heavily towards a paleo lifestyle but on day 7 of the challenge I developed severe nausea and even loss of appetite similar to what it seems your wife is experiencing. The only thing I wanted to eat was bread. My brain was fuzzy and I felt pretty irritable. I was surprised this happened to me since I felt like I had already eased into this challenge so I can imagine that your wife must really be feeling the shift. I was focused on the fact that everyone said there would be a hump and this was normal. I gave myself permission to sleep more, nap if I could, and even scaled back on my regimented workout schedule to allow my body time to get itself in order. I still struggle with creating meals that sound appetizing to my stomach, but sometimes that???s my own fault because I exhaust an option (i.e. chicken sounds like the worst thing in the world to me!) by eating too much of it, but it sounds like with all your varied recipes you guys have a great start! I hope you let her know that she???s not alone in what she???s experiencing and if she keeps her eye on the prize it???s going to be very worth it.

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on April 26, 2012
at 04:34 PM

I want to make sure there is not a nutrient deficiency at play. As far as variety goes.. it's very hard to do all the cooking for both of us, but I really want to baby my wife through this so I'm cooking everything. I came to paleo via the homesteading community so my advice would be to start doing food storage. Get yourself a chest freezer and make friends with your local farmers. Get involved in a CSA and get a 1/4 beef in your freezer. Even w/ a 1/4 beef the varieties of cuts are amazing. From heart to chuck roast. The possibilities are endless.

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on April 26, 2012
at 04:27 PM

Kate, thanks for the reply. She wasn't getting enough sleep. Once the kid goes to bed we normally would stay up until 12am or even 1am on occasion. He still gets up at 7am no matter what and you have to get up.. it's not an option. So I put her to bed at sun-down and put my son to bed around the same time. She woke up feeling great. I also fried up a bunch of sweet potato chips in coconut oil for her and she is instructed to eat them whenever she feels like it. Listen to her body and all that. I'm also really trying to get her to up her veg intake and take a multivitamin.

1
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 25, 2012
at 07:47 PM

Makes me wonder if she is having galbladder issues. There are the 3 F's of galbladder problems (fat, female, [over] forty), just being those things doesn't mean galbladder problems are guaranteed, but it greatly increases the risk.

Does she feel queasy after eating meals with higher fat than she is accustomed too? The addition of bile salts, digestive enzymes, possibly betaine hcl might be helpful to make up for what she might not be able to produce at the moment.

Luckily, a better diet will slowly help with the galbladder function, but she might have to ease into eating more fat.

1
7767e05a8c4504f6be03f13ee40815cd

(1299)

on April 25, 2012
at 03:30 PM

Paleo and very-low-carb are two independent things. Any major dietary adjustment can cause temporary issues, and you're doing two at once. Try going paleo but making sure you eat at least a sweet potato or two every day. Low-carb is a worthwhile experiment, and many people feel better on it, but take this one step at a time in my opinion. You can then ease into it later if you want.

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on April 25, 2012
at 04:16 PM

oops... electrolyte comment was meant for above... but the carb point you made is well taken.

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on April 25, 2012
at 04:07 PM

Thanks for the comment. We have been eating fruit and we had sweet potato on day one as well. I had her eat a banana when she got nausea as that has a decent amount of potassium in it. Hopefully what you said about electrolytes is true, she's out and about so I won't get a progress update until later. I'll be sure to get a sweet potato on the plate tonight

0
0e73e47e5e5dd4100580765d79088d82

on November 12, 2013
at 01:40 AM

I was thinking how long nausea will last, I am 43 years old female

0
0e73e47e5e5dd4100580765d79088d82

on November 12, 2013
at 01:39 AM

Hi everyone, I started paleo 9 days ago and I am experiencing the same issues but at the same time I can feel how my body starting to adjust itself. How about exercising? I feel I do not have enough energy so I just try to walk a bit. How soon this nausea will last? I so want to continue, good for you for supporting your wife, she is lucky girl

0
597c8662f240d731774ae45bb40c9bc5

on November 28, 2012
at 03:46 PM

Did your wife ever get over it with the everything stated? I started paleo two Days ago an I going through the same thing. I feel horrible and I am super naseous. I am also a college student and I eat way healthier than your average student but pasta and bread is still the cheapest form of satisfaction and I was heavily dependent on it. Now I find myself struggling not to get saltine crackers because of my stomach issues. I really do not want to give up because I know paleo will change my life. I stopped going up the gym an have been trying to sleep more. I also ate a lot of eggs the first two days and now the thought of them makes the nausea even worse. Did the sweet potato chips work for her? At this point I'm desperate! I do not want to cave in!

0a14995ac154eae8242b67115c9cc6c3

(158)

on November 29, 2012
at 04:30 AM

Tyler, thanks for the comment. Took about 7 days for her to stop feeling like poop. I read that taking in calories from fat would help and having more carbs from tubers (potatoes) with your meals. I prefer yams or new potatoes. However, only time seemed to get her over the hump.

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