2

votes

Illness while Paleo- Cause for concern or change?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 14, 2010 at 5:44 PM

I've been reading this site for about a month, but this is my first post! This question is related to, but different from a previous post: http://paleohacks.com/questions/10269/do-you-get-sick#axzz12M6vHGh7

I've been Paleo for about two months now. Since I started adhering to Paleo diet principles, I have felt great for the most part, which, given my history of getting sick easily, is very encouraging. However, yesterday I woke up with inflammation in my sinuses, and the issue has continued today. Not only do I have the inflammation, but my energy level seems to be lower than usual.

To me, the most attractive aspect of Paleo is the healthiness it provides, so these last couple days have been very discouraging. So, I decided to turn to you guys and ask if any of you had similar experiences to mine.

Did any of you get sick even after starting Paleo? Could there be something I'm doing wrong? I'd love to share more about my regimen if that helps someone help me.

D4c5105441e833e97e6d99738eb36137

(20)

on October 16, 2010
at 02:19 PM

Thanks for your answers everyone. They are very encouraging and, as always, informative.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 15, 2010
at 05:07 PM

Nobody is recommending eating sugar. Matthew was pointing out some biology, and I was saying that I love carby comfort foods when sick. I have no doubt that there may be potential detriments to carb (especially sugar) overloading with regards to influenza, but the picture is more complicated than inflammation and proximal indicators of immune activity.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on October 15, 2010
at 04:49 PM

Agreed, but if you're going to throw out things that I not only vehemently disagree with but also advice I believe to be acutely dangerous to peoples health, expect a flood. Recommending sugar is ridiculous

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on October 15, 2010
at 03:02 PM

Comment boxes arn't a good way to discuss questions like this :)

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on October 15, 2010
at 03:00 PM

Wild animals get sick.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on October 15, 2010
at 11:35 AM

1. Kijak E, Foust G, Steinman R.R. Relationship of Blood Sugar Level and Leukocytic Phagacytosis. South Calif Dent Assn 1964; 32: 349-351 2. Sanchez A, et al. Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis. Am J Clin Nutr 1973; 26: 1180-84. 3.Ringsdorf WM jr, Cheraskin E and Ramsey RR jr. Sucrose, Neutrophilic Phagocytosis, and Resistance to Disease. Dent Surv 1976; 52: 46-48

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on October 15, 2010
at 11:28 AM

Not sugar induced inflammation...Different processes Initiated by the body differently, different reactions. The bodys inflammation is caused by sugar as a way to deal with it. The inflammation for the virus is also a protective measure.. But saying sugar is good in this situation is like the fireman analogy... If there's a fire, fireman come to fight it. IF We start more fires, we have more fireman, therefore more people to fight with... That's exactly what you're suggesting... It's Starting more fire...bad idea.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on October 15, 2010
at 10:49 AM

Stephen, inflammation is what helps fight infection. Eva, all macronutrients have effects on white blood cells. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1650714 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11916766

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 15, 2010
at 03:34 AM

Oooh, if you find it, post it here! Even though I got this cold after overdosing on chocolate, my thick cromagnon head only responds to published articles.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 15, 2010
at 02:51 AM

Kamal, I don't have it at my fingertips, but there have been some scary research on what carb/sugar intake does to your white blood cell action. Basically what I read said that white blood cells are about 90% less efficent after a high sugar/starch meal and the effects linger for 6 plus hours. This alone could explain while most paleo eaters have less illness.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on October 15, 2010
at 02:01 AM

If sugar increases inflammation and detracts from immune system then it interferes with the bodies ability to handle viruses...

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on October 14, 2010
at 09:57 PM

I would take a probiotic. A few days ago I had similar symptoms and a probiotic cleared it up.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on October 14, 2010
at 08:21 PM

Stephen, most bugs you catch are viruses, they don't eat anything.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on October 14, 2010
at 08:15 PM

My n=1 has always been prolonged sickness with sweets, I blame inflammation, feeding bad bacteria and more. MDA has a good writeup http://www.marksdailyapple.com/sugar-suppresses-immune-system/

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 14, 2010
at 08:14 PM

I suppose there are gluten-free, fructose-free comfort foods. How about some meatloaf and mashed potatoes? Less crappy perhaps?

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on October 14, 2010
at 07:54 PM

"Comfort foods" make me feel like crap. There is no way I'd eat them while sick. The force is not yet strong with this one.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 14, 2010
at 07:50 PM

Really! Macaroni and cheese tastes ten times better while having a cold. One randomized trial showing adverse effects of (starchy) carbs on cold duration would sway me, but I never found any.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on October 14, 2010
at 07:29 PM

... Really? Sugars feed bugs. Lmgtfy

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7 Answers

best answer

3
0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

on October 14, 2010
at 05:53 PM

No one is "bullet proof". Do the things that support healing; rest, hydration, and eat nutrient dense foods. Paleo may mean fewer or shorter illnesses, but it may not mean zero illness. Slipping back into SAD eating sure won't do any good!

1
5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on October 15, 2010
at 08:05 AM

While two months is a very short time to repair years of SAD abuse you can only be better off. Remember Paleo isn't "magic", it is simply a better way of eating. I think you are being a bit optimistic to imagine cleaning up your diet a bit will magicly cure all illnesses. I and a lot of other people have found illness is greatly reduced either in severity,duration or regularity. Keep up the good work and your body will thank you in the long run.

1
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 15, 2010
at 02:53 AM

Paleo does not give you immunity to all illness. You can still get sick. Just for most of us, we get much less sick much less often and if we do, then we recover faster.

1
21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 14, 2010
at 05:51 PM

It's okay! People get sick!

I get sick less while on paleo, but am currently sick. But when I get sick, it's carb city. Nobody can convince me (without peer-reviewed evidence) to stay away from comfort food when I've got a cold.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on October 15, 2010
at 11:28 AM

Not sugar induced inflammation...Different processes Initiated by the body differently, different reactions. The bodys inflammation is caused by sugar as a way to deal with it. The inflammation for the virus is also a protective measure.. But saying sugar is good in this situation is like the fireman analogy... If there's a fire, fireman come to fight it. IF We start more fires, we have more fireman, therefore more people to fight with... That's exactly what you're suggesting... It's Starting more fire...bad idea.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on October 15, 2010
at 11:35 AM

1. Kijak E, Foust G, Steinman R.R. Relationship of Blood Sugar Level and Leukocytic Phagacytosis. South Calif Dent Assn 1964; 32: 349-351 2. Sanchez A, et al. Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis. Am J Clin Nutr 1973; 26: 1180-84. 3.Ringsdorf WM jr, Cheraskin E and Ramsey RR jr. Sucrose, Neutrophilic Phagocytosis, and Resistance to Disease. Dent Surv 1976; 52: 46-48

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 14, 2010
at 08:14 PM

I suppose there are gluten-free, fructose-free comfort foods. How about some meatloaf and mashed potatoes? Less crappy perhaps?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 15, 2010
at 03:34 AM

Oooh, if you find it, post it here! Even though I got this cold after overdosing on chocolate, my thick cromagnon head only responds to published articles.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on October 15, 2010
at 04:49 PM

Agreed, but if you're going to throw out things that I not only vehemently disagree with but also advice I believe to be acutely dangerous to peoples health, expect a flood. Recommending sugar is ridiculous

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on October 14, 2010
at 08:15 PM

My n=1 has always been prolonged sickness with sweets, I blame inflammation, feeding bad bacteria and more. MDA has a good writeup http://www.marksdailyapple.com/sugar-suppresses-immune-system/

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 15, 2010
at 02:51 AM

Kamal, I don't have it at my fingertips, but there have been some scary research on what carb/sugar intake does to your white blood cell action. Basically what I read said that white blood cells are about 90% less efficent after a high sugar/starch meal and the effects linger for 6 plus hours. This alone could explain while most paleo eaters have less illness.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on October 15, 2010
at 10:49 AM

Stephen, inflammation is what helps fight infection. Eva, all macronutrients have effects on white blood cells. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1650714 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11916766

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on October 14, 2010
at 08:21 PM

Stephen, most bugs you catch are viruses, they don't eat anything.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on October 15, 2010
at 03:02 PM

Comment boxes arn't a good way to discuss questions like this :)

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on October 14, 2010
at 07:54 PM

"Comfort foods" make me feel like crap. There is no way I'd eat them while sick. The force is not yet strong with this one.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 14, 2010
at 07:50 PM

Really! Macaroni and cheese tastes ten times better while having a cold. One randomized trial showing adverse effects of (starchy) carbs on cold duration would sway me, but I never found any.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on October 14, 2010
at 07:29 PM

... Really? Sugars feed bugs. Lmgtfy

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 15, 2010
at 05:07 PM

Nobody is recommending eating sugar. Matthew was pointing out some biology, and I was saying that I love carby comfort foods when sick. I have no doubt that there may be potential detriments to carb (especially sugar) overloading with regards to influenza, but the picture is more complicated than inflammation and proximal indicators of immune activity.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on October 15, 2010
at 02:01 AM

If sugar increases inflammation and detracts from immune system then it interferes with the bodies ability to handle viruses...

0
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 14, 2010
at 10:52 PM

the only comfort food i go in for is if you are horendously hungover. On those days i fast out the poisons with no food at all all day and then at night order some barbeque pork and brisket and im good the next day. Bit silly i know, but i suppose we all have our idiosyncracies.

0
04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

on October 14, 2010
at 09:56 PM

I think your body could be fighting something off which is what it does every day without much notice. However, you will probably be able to "fight back" faster with good paleo nutrition. Sleep is very important in the body repairing itself.

I just read, "Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival," by T. S. Wiley and Bent Formby. I highly recommend it. She goes into great deal about the importance of sleep and how to get it!

0
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on October 14, 2010
at 07:37 PM

Avoid sugars, avoid inflammatory foods. Same as everyday paleo.

I personally highly recommend fasting with water if you're comfortable doing so. Your digestive system gets a break and your body can focus on cleanup.

Avoid sugars

  1. Kijak E, Foust G, Steinman R.R. Relationship of Blood Sugar Level and Leukocytic Phagacytosis. South Calif Dent Assn 1964; 32: 349-351

  2. Sanchez A, et al. Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis. Am J Clin Nutr 1973; 26: 1180-84.

  3. Ringsdorf WM jr, Cheraskin E and Ramsey RR jr. Sucrose, Neutrophilic Phagocytosis, and Resistance to Disease. Dent Surv 1976; 52: 46-48

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