Moving too fast into Paleo - Digestion issues?

Answered on April 15, 2014
Created April 15, 2014 at 12:28 AM

I'm 21 years old, I tried doing a paleo diet a couple of months ago to deal with my Leaky Gut and Candida imbalances, to my surprise after a few weeks it worked amazingly, my gut was healing and I was more energetic than ever, it really changed my life. The diet consisted of lots of vegetables, fish, meat, bone broth, and fermented foods. Unfortunately the stress of school + the holidays really wore me down and I made some mistakes and fell off the diet.

When I went back to eating carbs and fruits I felt awful at first, my stomach got so bloated and I was so foggy. I spent the last couple of months eating pretty erratically and then 2 weeks ago I tried getting back on the paleo diet. I didn't ease myself into it this time, I just did a complete 180 overnight and I quickly added in a lot of bone broth, sauerkraut, swedish bitters, and hydrochloric acid. This really did a number on me and for the last 2 weeks I felt pretty sick and my digestion was in knots, I had virtually zero natural bowel movements for an entire week, I had to do enemas just to eliminate, and I felt flu like. It got so bad that a few days ago I woke up with my stomach literally feeling like it was on fire, so I went to the bathroom but couldn't eliminate naturally, so I had to perform an enema and then the burning went away.

I realize I took things too fast, so I went back to eating carbs yesterday and I feel better, but I'm wondering why this diet worked so amazingly well for me a few months ago but caused me to feel so messed up this time. I would assume it's because I did too much too quickly and all the back and forth with my diet these last couple of months has probably freaked my body out. I understand that some of the healing foods involved in this diet can be tough on digestion (cauliflower, kale, broccoli) but then nuts, grains, and starches are also hard on my digestion, and eating those foods will not help me seal up my gut problems. Does anyone have any advice for successfully easing your way into this type of diet + healing?

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3 Answers



on April 15, 2014
at 01:13 PM

You know the answer. Gradual dietary changes. Period. Take 2-3 weeks to change your diet. Don't make a change overnight. Paleo/Whole30 is miserable for the first week because a drastic change is what is promoted.

Paleo with carbs will be an easier transition to low-carb paleo.

Week #1: Ditch all processed food. Ditch all oils except olive, coconut oil, animal fats, or butter. Reduce (by 1/3) the wheat/grain consumption, but replace it with starchy veggies: white potatoes, sweet potatoes. Increase your veggie intake slightly. Add a serving a day if you don't eat much now, add a couple servings if you're already eating good amounts of veggies.

Week #2: Reduce wheat/grain consumption by 1/3 again, again replacing it with starch veggies. Increase non-starch veggies again. (If going low-carb, start reducing starchy veggies.)

Week #3: Eliminate wheat/grains. Increase veggie consumption again. (If going low-carb, continue reducing starchy veggies.)

Week #4: If going low-carb, taper carbs off to desired level.

That's a painless plan for adjusting to paleo (bolded statements being most important). Taking 4 weeks to ease into paleo is not going to negatively affect your health or longevity, heck, it will be less stressful on your body and that may even be a positive!



on April 15, 2014
at 12:11 PM

Well first you have "stress of school" & then "fell off diet" (another stressor to your body as it deals with intake changes - both positive & negative) - Now you are experiencing difficult symptoms...Sounds like the stress is the main variable here. Stop stressing about elimination - it will readjust naturally - you are adding unnecessary stress to this as well. You may need to regress back a bit & ingest only protein & fats & wait on the carbs (broccoli, cauliflower, kale) until your body rests some from all the stress. Resistant Starch can cause gas/bloat in many so that might best be eliminated while you readjust. You must reach a steady state of not inflaming your GI system, and THEN you can focus on continued healing with these carbs...Probiotics are also another important variable to introduce...take all these changes slowly & develop some patience...your body will heal - just give it TIME...

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on April 15, 2014
at 04:13 AM

I started by eliminating the bad from my diet and just ate more of what was good. Then slowly introduced the new foods I had not been eating. Do some research on Resistant Starch & probiotics at freetheanimal.com or Primal Blueprint forum.

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