1

votes

New to paleo - diarrhea, tired, 5 weeks in and troubled!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 13, 2012 at 8:19 AM

Hi all,

I started the paleo diet about 5 weeks ago. I've maybe had grains a few times - I would say I've eaten paleo for 90% of the time. The first week after an initial detox, I felt great. For the last 3 weeks I've had terrible digestive issues. I've been prone to IBS and constipation for years now (one of the reasons I decided to go paleo after being gluten free for a long time), but since starting to eat paleo it's gone the complete other way and I'm having extremely loose movements sometimes up to 3 times a day, complete with the fun feeling or urgency and gripe-y pain!

I went to the doctor today to ask about it and I told her about the diet. I had already guessed she would be sceptical. She said it could be a diet that won't work for me, and a small amount of grains shouldn't hurt.

I'm just concerned that I haven't got my energy back since starting the diet. I knew that a few weeks would have some effects, but it's over a month. Did anyone find that this diet isn't for them? In reading all the materials out there on why grains are bad for us, I feel like I can't justify going back to them after knowing how they're bad for my body. The voice in my head says "how can this be BAD for you in comparison?"

The first two weeks were great despite the detoxing - I lost my extra bit of weight, my eyes were bright and clear, I had great energy and my mood was fantastic. The doctor did suggest it's possible I have a fructose intolerance, which has been exacerbated by all the extra fruit and veggies I've been eating, but I have to wait a bit before I can get that tested. I've been tired, sluggish, grumpy, prone to bad mouth ulcers and feel a bit like lead in my body now for a while.

Food I've typically been eating:

Breakfast - eggs or homemade muesli with almonds, macadamias, sunflower seeds, shredded coconut with full-fat yoghurt and berries

Lunch - tuna, chicken - anything leftover with a salad or veggies; or I make smoothies with bananas, coconut milk/cream, almond milk, blueberries, etc.

Dinner - chicken, beef, lamb, etc with veggies/salads, etc.

I had thought that perhaps I was having too many nuts, or maybe an overdose of protein, but I don't have THAT much, especially when I have had the nuts for breakfast. Then I thought perhaps coconut milk/cream was not agreeing with me, but I didn't have it much this week at all and still had my issues.

I guess what I'm getting at is: has anyone else experienced these kinds of issues? I will follow up the fructose issue with my doctor, yet I also see an acupuncturist who had confirmed my opinion that the diet was a good idea. In the meantime, though, I'm wondering whether I should stick with it and push through or not?

I would appreciate any thoughts. Thanks guys :)

6a67d10bc4a9b73ebcc5adad4a3b5c42

(75)

on December 15, 2012
at 02:01 AM

Fantastic, thank you :)

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on December 14, 2012
at 04:58 PM

I would really try to limit white potatoes, and increase squash, yams, plantain, parsnip, rutabaga, turnip, yucca etc. Yes it's hard to find a definitive list of FODMAPs. I like this Paleo food list from the author of Practical Paleo, which identifies the FODMAP foods with a star. http://www.balancedbites.com/PDFs/BOOK_EXTRAS/PracticalPaleo_GuidetoPaleoFoods.pdf

6a67d10bc4a9b73ebcc5adad4a3b5c42

(75)

on December 14, 2012
at 12:27 PM

Thanks Kemo! Yes, I have had a number of people tell me that a small amount of grains is fine for some people, etc, etc, but I just can't quite believe it now. I feel like I've been indoctrinated and can't get out... but I don't want to! Haha.

6a67d10bc4a9b73ebcc5adad4a3b5c42

(75)

on December 14, 2012
at 12:26 PM

Thanks Renee. Yes, I had been eating quite a bit of coconut, berries, nuts, etc. It could be a real difficulty adjusting for my body. I do eat quite a few potatoes and sweet potatoes, though, so I do get starchy veg. Plus bananas. I'm finding it hard to get some definite information on the fibre content of veggies and fruits, plus low FODMAP foods. Every site seems to list something different!

6a67d10bc4a9b73ebcc5adad4a3b5c42

(75)

on December 13, 2012
at 10:18 AM

Thanks Andrew. I don't know whether more carbs would be good for me, since I already had terrible bowel issues beforehand (albeit a different kind). I have a suspicion it might be fruit that's the problem. I'll definitely have the fructose test.

6a67d10bc4a9b73ebcc5adad4a3b5c42

(75)

on December 13, 2012
at 10:16 AM

Mmm, yes, I don't think going back to grains is the answer. Thanks very much for your tips!

6a67d10bc4a9b73ebcc5adad4a3b5c42

(75)

on December 13, 2012
at 10:14 AM

VB - no, I haven't been tested for SIBO. My doctor didn't mention it when she gave me the form for lactose and fructose intolerance.

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on December 13, 2012
at 10:01 AM

Rose, I had much the same as you when I started "paleo" - which I took to mean low carb, loads of veg and meat / fish etc. Adding back potatoes and white rice made a HUGE difference to me - I just don't seem to cope well on a low carb diet, and there so many acceptable carbs without going back to grains which contain gluten. I also find that high fat plays havoc with my IBS issues - lower fat and more carbs sorted me out.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on December 13, 2012
at 08:48 AM

Have you been tested for SIBO?

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3 Answers

2
F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on December 13, 2012
at 12:34 PM

I have IBS too. I've had strong improvement on Paleo. Your diet looks very high in INsoluble fiber (berries, nuts, coconut, raw salad) as well as foods that can be hard to digest (eggs). I'd try reducing these foods and adding in more SOLUBE fiber - starchy veg. Try to eat some soluble fiber with every meal, it can act as a buffer to keep you stable and less prone to urgency. I"m eating pretty much just meat/fish, fat, COOKED low-FODMAP veg (easier to diget) and starchy veg. Keep it dead simple for a while, then introduce new things one at a time to see what you can handle.

Also, diarrhea and urgency might mean that your system isn't used to the amount of fat in your new diet (you didn't specify how much fat you're using in cooking), since fat increases gastric motility. So perhaps you need to scale that back for a while. But looking at your diet above, I'd say it's likely too much insoluble fiber than too much fat.

Good luck!

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on December 14, 2012
at 04:58 PM

I would really try to limit white potatoes, and increase squash, yams, plantain, parsnip, rutabaga, turnip, yucca etc. Yes it's hard to find a definitive list of FODMAPs. I like this Paleo food list from the author of Practical Paleo, which identifies the FODMAP foods with a star. http://www.balancedbites.com/PDFs/BOOK_EXTRAS/PracticalPaleo_GuidetoPaleoFoods.pdf

6a67d10bc4a9b73ebcc5adad4a3b5c42

(75)

on December 14, 2012
at 12:26 PM

Thanks Renee. Yes, I had been eating quite a bit of coconut, berries, nuts, etc. It could be a real difficulty adjusting for my body. I do eat quite a few potatoes and sweet potatoes, though, so I do get starchy veg. Plus bananas. I'm finding it hard to get some definite information on the fibre content of veggies and fruits, plus low FODMAP foods. Every site seems to list something different!

6a67d10bc4a9b73ebcc5adad4a3b5c42

(75)

on December 15, 2012
at 02:01 AM

Fantastic, thank you :)

1
Dece475059ec59370f3565840cad3880

(10)

on December 13, 2012
at 11:19 PM

Rose you sound like me during my first few months on Paleo. One note I would stay away from grains, for now. your body is ajusting to the new diet. It isn't exactly the world's simplest diet to dive into. Also, someone else had posted it, but I will for you - get your hands on a couple of good Paleo cookbooks. It helps to make sure you're eating the right stuff, good stuff and with variety. There's a review there

http://www.RockefellerReviews.com/paleo-cookbooks

Also take it easy on the fruits for now as well. I understand that fruits speeds up the waste process. That's not what you need at this point. You need the body to naturally release what it needs to release, as it adapts to the new diet. I don't think fat is the issue - actually I don't think it's one issue - it's a combination of issues that all really come back to your body adapting to the new diet.

Just follow the advice given and you'll be ok in now time. ps I almost QUIT Paleo - now i can't tell you how happy I am that I STUCK WITH IT!

Good luck!

6a67d10bc4a9b73ebcc5adad4a3b5c42

(75)

on December 14, 2012
at 12:27 PM

Thanks Kemo! Yes, I have had a number of people tell me that a small amount of grains is fine for some people, etc, etc, but I just can't quite believe it now. I feel like I've been indoctrinated and can't get out... but I don't want to! Haha.

1
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on December 13, 2012
at 08:50 AM

You can try to re-introduce grains, but I bet you will feel even WORSE after eating grains. Stop eating fruit (ALL) and nuts. Try eating non-fibrous vegetables. Eat more fat and protein. Add fermented foods (if you don't have SIBO). If you do, I am not sure if you can eat fermented vegetables or not.

6a67d10bc4a9b73ebcc5adad4a3b5c42

(75)

on December 13, 2012
at 10:16 AM

Mmm, yes, I don't think going back to grains is the answer. Thanks very much for your tips!

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