3

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Achy joints. Calcium intake too low?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 26, 2010 at 4:35 PM

I've been on Paleo for about 2 months now and overall i feel great. I noticed though, that lately i tend to have momentary achy joints and it's starting to freak me out. Is my body complaining about some missing mineral or vitamin or is there something else going on?

I supplement with Fish Oil and Vit D (4000 IU)

I also consume some dairy, mostly greek yogurt and kefir.

I hit the gym 3 times a week.

UPDATE (1 Week later): The pain coincidently went away right after that major tomato intake and i assumed that was the cause but i'm rather reticent now. I was fine until the pain returned a couple of days ago and i'm pretty sure i didn't eat anything that could cause this. So now i'm kind of leaning towards EVA's answer and trying to figure out if i'm having some sort of nutrient deficiency.

I'm not sure if this is relevant but i've been having bad sleep the last few days and i feel rather irritable, AND, i'm also having dry skin on the sides of my nose.

Also, i've not been consistent with my Vit D and Fish Oil intake, because i've been eating more fish and been having more sun exposure, but maybe it is not enough?!

Anyone care to come up with a new answer, considering the new developments?

Thanks everyone, i really hope i can solve this one.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on May 21, 2012
at 08:54 PM

Isn't joint achiness more a sign of inflammation than nutrient deficiency?

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on August 10, 2010
at 03:54 PM

I started taking magnesium daily at night and the aches appear to be gone now. I also eat more fish (omega 3) and supplement daily with Vit D. Not sure which one is the winner here but either way i'm gonna keep it this way and assume this is absolutely necessary for everything else to function correctly. Thanks!

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on August 10, 2010
at 03:48 PM

Ok nightshades are definitely not the problem here because i reintroduced them to my diet and i'm feeling pretty good. The pain is gone and i'm leaning towards a magnesium, or omega 3 deficiency.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on August 09, 2010
at 07:19 AM

Oops, sorry for double post. First one did not show up right away so I reposted thinking it was lost!

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on August 09, 2010
at 07:19 AM

Tomatoes are high in magnesium. I'd vote for David S's idea. Check intake of magnesium on fitday.com. Incidentally, a high phosphorous diet can increase the need for magnesium and calcium and so can lots of soda, coffee, and smoking. Many paleo foods are high phosphorous foods. Your need for calcium and magnesium may be above the RDA. When magnesium is low, calcium builds up in joints and makes you achy so it fits with symptoms.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on August 09, 2010
at 07:13 AM

Actually, I am leaning towards Dave S's idea. I'd still do fitday and I'd be looking to see if low magnesium and/or calcium and also potentially high phosphorous intake that might drive up needs for mag and cal. Also high sodium, soda, and coffee intake can also drive up those needs.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on August 09, 2010
at 07:11 AM

Looks like magnesium and calcium needs might be higher in the presence of high phosphorus diet. Many paleo foods are high phosphorous. If not enough magnesium, calcium does not get properly absorbed and accumulates in joints causing aches. This answer fits well with symptoms.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on July 29, 2010
at 04:12 AM

You know, it's interesting cuz on paleo, I assumed i was eating plenty of meat and getting plenty of iron, but when I plugged into fitday, I was only just meeting my iron RDA. And there are probably few humans who eat as much steak as me LOL! Lesson for me was, don't assume. (plus eat lotsa meat!)

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 28, 2010
at 06:23 PM

Apparently the oxide form is only ~4% bioavailable. Also, its best to take before bed and not with calcium. There's a nice thread at the active low-carbers forum - especially the posts by Hutchinson. http://forum.lowcarber.org/showthread.php?t=413854 I recently (1 month) upped my fish oil/vit D and added a correct form of magnesium (was taking oxide with calcium in the morning). Two things have happened: My leg acne disappeared (probably the vit D) and my neck/back pain has diminished considerably (probably fish oil/magnesium). Observational study n=1 with confounding factors - ie. YMMV!

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on July 27, 2010
at 10:20 PM

I see where you're gettin at but before i went paleo i didn't have angry joints and i didn't supplement with anything. I've been doing some weight lifting for the last year or so. Thanks

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on July 27, 2010
at 10:18 PM

I see where you're gettin at but before i went paleo i didn't have angry joints and i didn't supplement with anything. Thanks

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on July 27, 2010
at 10:17 PM

You might be onto something there, as i actually cooked some stews with a large can of tomatoes prior to achy joints. I also put a lot of paprika, and some cayenne pepper on my foods. I'll try that elimination method and see how it goes. Thanks

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on July 27, 2010
at 10:13 PM

I put my food through Fitday and i didn't appear to be missing anything although i should maybe up my meat intake to get more iron and such. I get like 10 mins of sun exposure daily but only on 10% of my body. As i stated, i supplement with 4000 IU so i think i'm on the clear when it comes to Vit. D. Thanks for the input :)

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on July 27, 2010
at 10:07 PM

I'm planning on doing that :) Maybe i should just wait a couple more months and see how it develops. And of course cut on the nightshades...

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on July 27, 2010
at 10:04 PM

I see where you're gettin at but before i went paleo i didn't have angry joints and i didn't supplement with anything.

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on July 27, 2010
at 10:03 PM

Actually i recently did start supplementing 450 mg magnesium oxide but not on a daily basis.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on July 27, 2010
at 04:40 PM

I agree here, use the elimination test

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6 Answers

best answer

2
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 27, 2010
at 05:06 PM

Do you take magnesium?

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on July 27, 2010
at 10:03 PM

Actually i recently did start supplementing 450 mg magnesium oxide but not on a daily basis.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 28, 2010
at 06:23 PM

Apparently the oxide form is only ~4% bioavailable. Also, its best to take before bed and not with calcium. There's a nice thread at the active low-carbers forum - especially the posts by Hutchinson. http://forum.lowcarber.org/showthread.php?t=413854 I recently (1 month) upped my fish oil/vit D and added a correct form of magnesium (was taking oxide with calcium in the morning). Two things have happened: My leg acne disappeared (probably the vit D) and my neck/back pain has diminished considerably (probably fish oil/magnesium). Observational study n=1 with confounding factors - ie. YMMV!

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on August 10, 2010
at 03:54 PM

I started taking magnesium daily at night and the aches appear to be gone now. I also eat more fish (omega 3) and supplement daily with Vit D. Not sure which one is the winner here but either way i'm gonna keep it this way and assume this is absolutely necessary for everything else to function correctly. Thanks!

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on August 09, 2010
at 07:11 AM

Looks like magnesium and calcium needs might be higher in the presence of high phosphorus diet. Many paleo foods are high phosphorous. If not enough magnesium, calcium does not get properly absorbed and accumulates in joints causing aches. This answer fits well with symptoms.

best answer

6
691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on July 27, 2010
at 02:53 PM

Nightshades have been implicated in joint pain for actually encouraging the OVER absorption of calcium in your body. They have a lot of calcitriol in them which can lead to over absorption of calcium in the body by bypassing the natural way your body deals with calcium intake. The calcium then gets deposited in joints and tissue.

Nightshades also have solanine and a few related compounds which in upper limits are potent poisons. Its why you don't eat green potatoes and such. However if you are sensitive to the compound it causes muscle stiffness which you might have when you get up in the morning.

Then there is Capsaicin which is found in peppers. It's been claimed to be a boon for anti-cancer properties but its also been shown to slow healing in joints.

Switching to paleo means you probably eat more vegetables than you did before and perhaps that might involve too many nighshades?

Nightshades include... Tomatoes, potatoes (but not sweet potatoes or yams), eggplant and peppers (all peppers like chili peppers, habenero, cayenne pepper and paprika but not peppercorns like in black pepper, that's fine). Some 'berries' are nightshades too, like goji berries.

Weston A. Price Foundation says to avoid all nightshades for 6 weeks and see if your pain/stiffness goes away. If you can't tell they say after six weeks go on a nightshade binge for 2 days and see if the old symptoms come back with a vengeance. Here is a link to their article http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/1897-nightshades.html

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on July 27, 2010
at 04:40 PM

I agree here, use the elimination test

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on July 27, 2010
at 10:17 PM

You might be onto something there, as i actually cooked some stews with a large can of tomatoes prior to achy joints. I also put a lot of paprika, and some cayenne pepper on my foods. I'll try that elimination method and see how it goes. Thanks

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on August 10, 2010
at 03:48 PM

Ok nightshades are definitely not the problem here because i reintroduced them to my diet and i'm feeling pretty good. The pain is gone and i'm leaning towards a magnesium, or omega 3 deficiency.

2
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on July 26, 2010
at 06:43 PM

There are a lot of things that can cause achy joints. Vitamin D deficiency is a very common one. Are you getting your sun dosage often? You could also be laking in B-12 or vitamin C. Sometimes, the problem might even be a virus.

On the flip side, the fat soluble vitamins can build up in the body, especially if you are taking supplements, and overconsumption is said to have side effects like achy joints. Probs can occur from too much VITAMIN A, VITAMIN D, VITAMIN E and VITAMIN K. D will probably only be in excess if supplemented as the body can regulate D production from the sun. And for instance, fresh spinach greens have tons of K so I no longer eat those every day, just in case (although I never had any physical symptoms). I have a tendency to eat the same things over and over so I have to remind myself to get variety. You might also look into the balance between the vitamins. You might be over consuming some and underconsuming others and they may need to be eaten in a more balanced way. And look into any supplements you may be taking. If you eat a lot more healthy food, then sups that may have once been useful may now be too much.

Ironically, fatty acid deficiency can also cause achy joints. This is becoming more common as many people attempt to cut out saturated fat in a misguided attempt to be healthier. Luckily, this is unlikely to be a problem for paleo eaters.

However, looks like calcium defiency symptoms often involve muscle cramps and spasms and dry skin and nails and achy joints do not seem to be a common symptom of Calcium deficiency.

I tend to tell everyone the same thing and that is go to a free site like fitday.com and plug in your food intake info and it will give you a break down of your nutrient consumption each day. Then you can see if you are over or underconsuming any nutrients to any large extent. -Eva

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on July 27, 2010
at 10:13 PM

I put my food through Fitday and i didn't appear to be missing anything although i should maybe up my meat intake to get more iron and such. I get like 10 mins of sun exposure daily but only on 10% of my body. As i stated, i supplement with 4000 IU so i think i'm on the clear when it comes to Vit. D. Thanks for the input :)

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on July 29, 2010
at 04:12 AM

You know, it's interesting cuz on paleo, I assumed i was eating plenty of meat and getting plenty of iron, but when I plugged into fitday, I was only just meeting my iron RDA. And there are probably few humans who eat as much steak as me LOL! Lesson for me was, don't assume. (plus eat lotsa meat!)

1
A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

on July 27, 2010
at 03:37 PM

It's quite interesting, that I had really bad knee pains when I started working out, and my rheumatologist said, that b/c I have a fibromyalgia I should basically suck it up. The pain was not only during the workout, but also became chronic.

Lo and behold - just weeks after I started to eat meat, fat and cut on grains the pain stopped, I could work out again (I had a break for a few months) and even do squats and lounges without any problem.

I do not take any supplements... I figured I would wait more months of proper eating and then maybe ... now I've been over 6mo and am waiting for my blood work so I can decide what do I really need.

I think in my case it must have been upped protein and fat intake. Cutting carbs of course was important as well, but I think secondary.

Can you make some bloodwork?

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on July 27, 2010
at 10:07 PM

I'm planning on doing that :) Maybe i should just wait a couple more months and see how it develops. And of course cut on the nightshades...

0
670239945750f22e473ba02257b61575

(0)

on May 21, 2012
at 07:59 PM

Check your PH level. to much acid and your joints wont heal because of inflamation.

0
D0a103cafaf4768c6dc69b1772a55877

on July 27, 2010
at 03:40 PM

How much fish oil are you taking? I had angry joints and what not and was taking fish oil, but then realized my dosage was WAY too low and I needed to take way more.

This is a great site for figuring out home much you should be taking http://whole9life.com/fish-oil/

You a Crossfitter? If you are it might simply be your body getting used to years of imbalanced muscle training and now building muscle the right way.

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on July 27, 2010
at 10:18 PM

I see where you're gettin at but before i went paleo i didn't have angry joints and i didn't supplement with anything. Thanks

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on July 27, 2010
at 10:04 PM

I see where you're gettin at but before i went paleo i didn't have angry joints and i didn't supplement with anything.

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on July 27, 2010
at 10:20 PM

I see where you're gettin at but before i went paleo i didn't have angry joints and i didn't supplement with anything. I've been doing some weight lifting for the last year or so. Thanks

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