2

votes

Stomach Pain Only Since Starting Paleo

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 18, 2012 at 6:51 AM

Unlike some folks here, I didn't start paleo because of digestive problems. However, since beginning about a month ago, I am having discomfort in my belly after eating. I was vegan for 5 years prior, and vegetarian for 8 total, so the biggest change has been cutting grains and adding meat (mostly fish, beef, and lamb). I eat reasonable portions and combinations of foods, and I have never had such frequent stomach pain before. I eat the same amount and variety of vegetables, and have been moderately successful at lowering fruit and nut intake. The only other addition to my diet has been coconut oil, although I ate plenty of coconut milk before paleo. No particular food seems to cause the pain, but I have been cooking lots of things in this oil.

Since I'm new to cooking meat, I've been anxious about undercooking. Due to my mediocre cooking skills, however, I've eaten some meals (burgers, pan-fried salmon and cod) that were maybe too rare or weren't ready to come out of the pan. Then again, it seems pretty typical for people to eat rare beef and even raw fish. So where should I be looking for some relief?

F59d04be1acdc85dd1e6da34f43dc447

(234)

on August 18, 2012
at 06:23 PM

I've been pan-frying or baking meat for time reasons, but roasts and stews do sound good. It would be convenient to have a meal throughout the week, as well.

F59d04be1acdc85dd1e6da34f43dc447

(234)

on August 18, 2012
at 06:22 PM

Ok, I'll try an enzyme. I guess I thought after a month of eating meat, I'd be ok by now. I get pain or discomfort right after eating, in the abdomen. Decided to try paleo after talking with people who seemed healthy and were making progress with gaining muscle (my goal).

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 18, 2012
at 12:40 PM

Good point about the enzymes. Coming from no meat at all, it may take awhile to adapt.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 18, 2012
at 12:12 PM

I think it is about enzymes. I did not know you were a vegetarian for so long. That mush have done it. What about fish? It is easier to digest.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 18, 2012
at 10:59 AM

^ Yeah, low and slow is the way for softer proteins, thats why I gave the advice above as well re: stews and roasts. Especially for beef, which has tough proteins unless its slow cooked (or possibly marinaded/tenderised...something I havent tried yet)

1133603ea602c6824da56e8b596c9754

(614)

on August 18, 2012
at 10:57 AM

Also, have you done a search on PH about paleo and stomach pain? I'm sure there will be a lot of info there.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 18, 2012
at 10:25 AM

Here is how I cook meats (and I have tons of digestive problems, and it seems to be working) - low and slow. Low heat, for a long time (till it is cooked). I actually cook my meats on the lowest possible setting available. Sure, it takes more time but the enzymes are intact and the taste and texture are superb. What about spices? For me spices are a problem. Try not to use them for a while. I cannot use anything dry.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 18, 2012
at 08:15 AM

And I only learnt how to both recently, using online recipes, just to show that its not hard.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 18, 2012
at 08:14 AM

Roasts and stews take a fair bit of time to cook, but they are not complicated. (and they are yummy). I actually do one batch of beef stew, and one batch of mutton roast every week ATM, and just chuck the excess in the freezer or fridge for meals through the week.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 18, 2012
at 08:06 AM

Also, I personally find too much beef a little hard on the gut. The protein is harder to digest than other meats, like lamb for example, if you dont have robust digestion. A good trick that I use , is doing roasts and stews (ie slow cooking). Slow cooked meats are more tender and easier to digest. So basically what I do to avoid my beef and sinewy protein issues is 1) more lamb/mutton 2) lots stews and roasts 3) very tender cuts of beef when I have it 4) two days a week of chicken or salmon. That tends to work for me. Yeah, and coconut oil can give some people distress too.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 18, 2012
at 08:00 AM

You might have developed a gallstone from not enough fat while you were vegan. Is the pain in the upper right of your abdomen?

F59d04be1acdc85dd1e6da34f43dc447

(234)

on August 18, 2012
at 07:55 AM

Thanks again. There are a lot of foods I could eliminate, but my pain is all post-paleo. I had no pain or nausea eating whole grains, legumes, nuts, nightshades, etc., which makes me suspect that the digestive problems are coming from meat (either from meats themselves or from my cooking methods) or coconut oil, which are the only things that have been added to my diet. I will try a probiotic, and have no plans to touch dairy.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 18, 2012
at 07:47 AM

And I agree with you on ghee - some people told me it would be easier to digest, but it gave me pains.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 18, 2012
at 07:46 AM

NO DAIRY - make sure, not even a drop.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 18, 2012
at 07:45 AM

There is a wide array of foods that you can eliminate. Try probiotics too.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 18, 2012
at 07:45 AM

I am going to suggest something that others will disapprove... but hear me out. Just use meat (with some fat) and salmon for now and see how it is going to work for you. If you still have stomach problems, eliminate something else like nightshades. As for your cast iron - don't worry, just steam/boil/bake.

F59d04be1acdc85dd1e6da34f43dc447

(234)

on August 18, 2012
at 07:17 AM

Thanks for the advice. I don't think nuts or fruit are the culprits, since they used to make a bigger portion of my diet without any issue. I still haven't done the research where I could get lard/fat in LA, and I'm worried that ghee will give skin problems (my skin has been clear since becoming vegan and cutting dairy). I do agree that I might need to try a week without any coconut oil, but unfortunately my cast iron is already cured with it!

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2 Answers

2
1133603ea602c6824da56e8b596c9754

on August 18, 2012
at 10:54 AM

I agree with VB about cooking meat slow and low. I also don't see a problem with cooking with olive oil at lower temps. If you are coming from a vegan diet, I think you said 5 years, it's possible that your body could need time to adjust. Have you thought about taking some enzymes to help with digesting meat? When does the pain occur? Right after eating or later? Is the pain in your upper abdomen? Chest (like indigestion)? Or lower abdomen?

And just because I am curious, what led you to paleo from being vegan? Best of luck to you!

1133603ea602c6824da56e8b596c9754

(614)

on August 18, 2012
at 10:57 AM

Also, have you done a search on PH about paleo and stomach pain? I'm sure there will be a lot of info there.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 18, 2012
at 12:40 PM

Good point about the enzymes. Coming from no meat at all, it may take awhile to adapt.

F59d04be1acdc85dd1e6da34f43dc447

(234)

on August 18, 2012
at 06:22 PM

Ok, I'll try an enzyme. I guess I thought after a month of eating meat, I'd be ok by now. I get pain or discomfort right after eating, in the abdomen. Decided to try paleo after talking with people who seemed healthy and were making progress with gaining muscle (my goal).

1
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 18, 2012
at 07:09 AM

I would try to isolate the culprit. You can either eliminate coconut oil and cook with lard/fat and see if it helps. Try ghee. Different things work for different people.

I cannot stand coconut oil. I know, a lot of Paleo folks live on it. My digestive system cannot take it. But yours maybe different.

If it is not coconut oil, it could be nuts and even fruit. Make sure TO EAT SOME RAW FOODS WITH EVERY MEAL, preferably some raw bitter greens.

It is wonderful that you are eating things that are rare. I cook everything at very low temperatures, but for a long time. My meat is well done, but it still has all the enzymes intact.

I have noticed that quite a few people with autoimmune get some kind of digestive issues when going Paleo. My speculation that it is related to altered gut flora. You can help your digestion by taking alive probiotics from your refrigerated section. Bye them refrigerated, don't take them out of the jar.

Also, introduce some quality live fermented foods.

Good luck!


EDITED:

Oops, I overlooked the fact that you were a vegan for 5 years! I mean I have read it but kind of forgot. My bad! Of course, your stomach is lacking enzymes that are needed for proper meat digestion! I totally agree with the another person who answered.

I cannot recommend any enzymes, even though I took them for two days. First of all, I could not find any good ones, without any additives, and secondly, the ones that my friends recommended gave me a stomach ache. So I discontinued them. But just because they did not work for me, does not mean they won't work for you.

Eat just a little meat at a time, and your body will get adjusted - try it and see if it will help.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 18, 2012
at 07:45 AM

There is a wide array of foods that you can eliminate. Try probiotics too.

F59d04be1acdc85dd1e6da34f43dc447

(234)

on August 18, 2012
at 07:17 AM

Thanks for the advice. I don't think nuts or fruit are the culprits, since they used to make a bigger portion of my diet without any issue. I still haven't done the research where I could get lard/fat in LA, and I'm worried that ghee will give skin problems (my skin has been clear since becoming vegan and cutting dairy). I do agree that I might need to try a week without any coconut oil, but unfortunately my cast iron is already cured with it!

F59d04be1acdc85dd1e6da34f43dc447

(234)

on August 18, 2012
at 07:55 AM

Thanks again. There are a lot of foods I could eliminate, but my pain is all post-paleo. I had no pain or nausea eating whole grains, legumes, nuts, nightshades, etc., which makes me suspect that the digestive problems are coming from meat (either from meats themselves or from my cooking methods) or coconut oil, which are the only things that have been added to my diet. I will try a probiotic, and have no plans to touch dairy.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 18, 2012
at 10:25 AM

Here is how I cook meats (and I have tons of digestive problems, and it seems to be working) - low and slow. Low heat, for a long time (till it is cooked). I actually cook my meats on the lowest possible setting available. Sure, it takes more time but the enzymes are intact and the taste and texture are superb. What about spices? For me spices are a problem. Try not to use them for a while. I cannot use anything dry.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 18, 2012
at 07:47 AM

And I agree with you on ghee - some people told me it would be easier to digest, but it gave me pains.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 18, 2012
at 10:59 AM

^ Yeah, low and slow is the way for softer proteins, thats why I gave the advice above as well re: stews and roasts. Especially for beef, which has tough proteins unless its slow cooked (or possibly marinaded/tenderised...something I havent tried yet)

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 18, 2012
at 07:46 AM

NO DAIRY - make sure, not even a drop.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 18, 2012
at 07:45 AM

I am going to suggest something that others will disapprove... but hear me out. Just use meat (with some fat) and salmon for now and see how it is going to work for you. If you still have stomach problems, eliminate something else like nightshades. As for your cast iron - don't worry, just steam/boil/bake.

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