2

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1.5 weeks on paleo: weakness in forearms + pain in abdomen + mild heartburn

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 18, 2011 at 11:53 AM

my first week on paleo, I felt absolutely wonderful. tons of energy and just a generally positive, good feeling. now, halfway into my second week and I seem to be having some ill effects. I have been having a very dull pain in my left abdomen and beginning yesterday I've been experiencing a a weak, tingly feeling in my forarms (yesterday it was just my left arm, today it is both). I also have been having some mild heartburn, something I rarely experience. for some background, I have been eating a gluten free/traditional foods diet for 8+ months, so it wasn't a huge jump to go paleo, although I am definitely eating a lot more meat and I'm sure cutting out even gluten-free grains was a big jump for my body. I'm in good shape and am not changing my diet for weight loss. is this something I need to just power through, or cause for concern?

7b439bc3c2033329fc3c64937825ac6c

(255)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

just an update... all these problems are now gone. it took about 5 weeks, but now I feel wonderful!

7b439bc3c2033329fc3c64937825ac6c

(255)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:55 PM

yes, fascinating stuff. thanks!!

04f2eae4450112cdedce7235923c646d

(1112)

on June 15, 2011
at 11:20 PM

Very good article!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 18, 2011
at 01:49 PM

When you run low on glycogen (carb storage) the liver starts lipolysis which breaks down fat into ketones (and other stuff). High levels of ketones in the blood is ketosis. Ketones can be used as an alternative fuel (instead of glucose) by many cells, especially in the brain. Glycogen tends to run low during fasting, endurance excersize and low carb diets (mostly in the beginning until the body adjusts/adapts to fat burning). Ketosis is not dangerous and may have a number of potential health benefits. Carbs are sugar/starch and mostly found in grain, fruit, tubers and junk food.

7b439bc3c2033329fc3c64937825ac6c

(255)

on May 18, 2011
at 01:37 PM

thanks! those are both things I had been thinking might be related. I will try adding some fruit for now and see how it goes. I'm not exactly sure how to reduce the fat though. use less butter when I cook? use skinless chicken? and, yes, I have been loving all my new paleo food discoveries!

7b439bc3c2033329fc3c64937825ac6c

(255)

on May 18, 2011
at 01:33 PM

I keep seeing the word ketosis everywhere, but I don't fully understand it. could you give me some more info? I haven't consciously cut out carbs, but I also don't keep track. outside of grains and fruit, I don't really know what foods contain carbs. maybe I should add that despite my arm weakness, I sometimes feel so much energy running through my body that I want to punch a wall.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 18, 2011
at 01:22 PM

I was thinking along the same lines, but I don't think ketosis itself would cause this. But a hypo from running low on glycogen (lack of carbs) could. In fact, that is the warning I get from hypoglycemia - weak, tingly, light headed.

7b439bc3c2033329fc3c64937825ac6c

(255)

on May 18, 2011
at 12:23 PM

some examples: omelets with mushrooms+spinach+bacon, salads (1 - bacon, chicken, broccoli, spinach, sun dried tomatoes, cheddar; 2) spinach, tuna, feta, peas), chipotle, paleo lasagna (ground beef, broccoli, eggplant, tomato sauce), thai green curry (chicken+cabbage+mushrooms)

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on May 18, 2011
at 12:02 PM

What kinds of foods are you eating?

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5 Answers

3
00c8eb3f6e6a1884216044ca29cf868a

on June 15, 2011
at 09:47 PM

This article I wrote might help explain some things for you:

http://gnolls.org/1984/the-science-behind-the-low-carb-flu-and-how-to-regain-your-metabolic-flexibility/

The Perfect Health Diet recommends ~15-20% of calories from carbs, which is actually a lot of potatoes and white rice if you're reasonably active.

Also, what Dave S. said about ramping up on increased fat. Bile production and gut flora both take some time to adjust to dietary changes.

04f2eae4450112cdedce7235923c646d

(1112)

on June 15, 2011
at 11:20 PM

Very good article!

7b439bc3c2033329fc3c64937825ac6c

(255)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:55 PM

yes, fascinating stuff. thanks!!

1
332d9f75d1077abafff6887681f6b130

on June 15, 2011
at 04:34 PM

A lot of paleo foods are low in sodium... you may be running low on electrolytes. Try adding a little salt to your cooking, or drink some coconut water.

Also, make sure you aren't dehydrated. I don't know what your H2O consumption is like, but make sure you're getting enough. Coconut water would work here as well.

0
1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on May 18, 2011
at 02:32 PM

I would see a doctor, but in the meantime you might try some B vitamins, tingling for me is a sign I need to takes some B complex

0
E91fd339d760ed76cc72570a679ebf5a

(2369)

on May 18, 2011
at 01:19 PM

The weakness/tingly feeling could be ketosis. Have you cut out carbs?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 18, 2011
at 01:22 PM

I was thinking along the same lines, but I don't think ketosis itself would cause this. But a hypo from running low on glycogen (lack of carbs) could. In fact, that is the warning I get from hypoglycemia - weak, tingly, light headed.

7b439bc3c2033329fc3c64937825ac6c

(255)

on May 18, 2011
at 01:33 PM

I keep seeing the word ketosis everywhere, but I don't fully understand it. could you give me some more info? I haven't consciously cut out carbs, but I also don't keep track. outside of grains and fruit, I don't really know what foods contain carbs. maybe I should add that despite my arm weakness, I sometimes feel so much energy running through my body that I want to punch a wall.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 18, 2011
at 01:49 PM

When you run low on glycogen (carb storage) the liver starts lipolysis which breaks down fat into ketones (and other stuff). High levels of ketones in the blood is ketosis. Ketones can be used as an alternative fuel (instead of glucose) by many cells, especially in the brain. Glycogen tends to run low during fasting, endurance excersize and low carb diets (mostly in the beginning until the body adjusts/adapts to fat burning). Ketosis is not dangerous and may have a number of potential health benefits. Carbs are sugar/starch and mostly found in grain, fruit, tubers and junk food.

0
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 18, 2011
at 01:16 PM

If the pain continues, you should see a doctor. That said, I don't see why the food you are eating would cause these symptoms - it all looks pretty good to me. And may i add, it sounds quite tasty, too!

If your carbs have been reduced quite a bit (I surmise this through your increased meat and cutting grains), then you might experience a bit of low carb flu or hypoglycemia. It might be that, then again maybe not. Paleo does not equal low-carb. Many of us here are low carb (me included), but paleolithic people probably ate starchy tubers whenever they could. You might add some and see if that helps - sweet potato/yam, even white potato/white rice is okay. Low carb is primarily for those trying to lose poundage or the metabolically damaged (ie. diabetics). That would be me x2!

Or you could try powering through, if you want to be more fat adapted. Maybe try eating a piece of fruit when you feel that way to see if it helps. If not, call the doctor!

Edit: Had another thought! It might be the extra fat that is causing some tummy trouble. Some people have to ramp up slowly to give the gall bladder a chance to adapt to the increased load. Maybe back off a little on that to see if it helps.

7b439bc3c2033329fc3c64937825ac6c

(255)

on May 18, 2011
at 01:37 PM

thanks! those are both things I had been thinking might be related. I will try adding some fruit for now and see how it goes. I'm not exactly sure how to reduce the fat though. use less butter when I cook? use skinless chicken? and, yes, I have been loving all my new paleo food discoveries!

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