1

votes

Definitive Paleo Flu Causation?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 24, 2011 at 4:13 AM

I looked around the site and couldn't find the specifics of what's actually going on when someone feels crappy transitioning from SAD to a real food diet. Is it sugar withdrawal symptoms, burning more fat and less carbs for energy, microorganism die off, possible vitamin and mineral deficiency or maybe a combination of all of them? Putting out the word to see if people with experience in these different areas could chime in and I could have better answers for people that ask me why the first couple paleo weeks suck sometimes. They definitely weren't fun for me, which is added motivation to keep eating actual food. Papers would be awesome. Thanks in advance.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on May 14, 2012
at 11:31 AM

You'll get more input if you open a new question and include specific info about what you're eating, but it really sounds like you should see a doc if you're feeling that badly; if you feel like your body is being harmed, we can't help you. Hope you feel better soon.

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on September 24, 2011
at 04:15 PM

Thanks for the info!

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on September 24, 2011
at 10:51 AM

Not paleo per say but if you do go very low carb there is an adjustment period as well that is flu like.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on September 24, 2011
at 10:01 AM

I think it's pretty simple: 1) when our bodies aren't used to utilizing the gluconeogenesis pathway, it may take some time to ramp up associated enzymes. 2) lack of metabolic flexibility when switching from glycolysis to ketones as fuel...again in part due to the system being slow and rusty at first. For me, it's definitely not die off or vitamin/mineral deficiency or fat insufficiency. But it was 8 weeks of a special kind of hell trying to ketoadapt and get my gluconeogenesis pathway up and running.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on September 24, 2011
at 09:57 AM

Even with sufficient fat from coconut oil, it still happens to many people initially.

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8 Answers

6
Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on September 24, 2011
at 06:26 AM

The cause of the low carb flu =impaired fat oxidation.

My sense is you are looking for an explanation in people-ese that would be good for sharing with others. So, here's a good one...

http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/ketones-and-ketosis/tips-tricks-for-starting-or-restarting-low-carb-pt-i/

The bottomline, simple explanation is that you are switching from a system that has been burning carbs/glucose and switching over to a fat burning system. This takes time and is helped/smoothed out by feeding your system lots of fat, even lots of extra fat in the beginning.

It may also be helpful to know that perhaps counterintuitively for many, this switch over can be much harder for very overweight/obese people who are even less efficient at using fat for fuel under "normal" circumstances than their non=overweight counterparts are.

In the following link, scroll down to the heading: Satiety Failure #3:Energy Stuck in Storage

http://www.gnolls.org/2407/when-satiety-fails-why-are-we-hungry-part-4/

There are other sources, lots....but these will get you the info you are asking for, and more.

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on September 24, 2011
at 04:15 PM

Thanks for the info!

3
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 24, 2011
at 04:16 AM

Symptoms are congruent of people having physical and mental withdrawal from addictive substances. I would also add that any change that is a perceived reduction in pleasure (mental withdrawal) is not sustainable without replacing that pleasure (dopamine). Something I call bacon (paleo friendly dopamine).

1
8e10b687e328468783a72c55b64710e8

on May 14, 2012
at 08:00 AM

The trick: go slow. Take your time.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 25, 2011
at 07:21 PM

I think sudden dietary change is very wrong. Gradualism for the win.

People always want everything NOW or ASAP - from learning C++ in 7 days to being fit and healthy.

If you gradually introduce paleo food into your diet, you will experience no carb flue or any other problem for that matter.

I know... this is only related to question but still, its a good place to point it out.

1
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on September 24, 2011
at 05:33 AM

One cause is not eating enough fat.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on September 24, 2011
at 09:57 AM

Even with sufficient fat from coconut oil, it still happens to many people initially.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on September 24, 2011
at 10:51 AM

Not paleo per say but if you do go very low carb there is an adjustment period as well that is flu like.

0
5e4979d294a8b783c64cbdd5b86d02f1

on May 14, 2012
at 04:02 AM

Hey! So I'm not looking for an instant solution, and I understand you feel crappy and sluggish, but one thing I have not heard a single person talk about is upset stomach and cramps. I started paleo about 7 days ago and for the last couple of days I have been in agony. If my stomach doesn't feel like I've swallowed a brick, I am rolling on the floor because my stomach hurts so badly. Is this something associated with the transition into paleo? I'm about the bag the whole process because I really think there is something harmful going on inside of my body from the amount of pain I am in. I am drinking 8 or more glasses of water a day and following Robb Wolf's paleo meal plan, I don't know what is going on!

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on May 14, 2012
at 11:31 AM

You'll get more input if you open a new question and include specific info about what you're eating, but it really sounds like you should see a doc if you're feeling that badly; if you feel like your body is being harmed, we can't help you. Hope you feel better soon.

0
38f85efd5e54df1347ef0ed42418e6de

on January 04, 2012
at 03:59 PM

3rd day on 100% paleo and I feel like I'm going to vomit. I know it'll pass. Upping the Coconut oil.

0
5191b0931c9389e780c6334fe5cc2879

on September 25, 2011
at 07:06 PM

I had 2 days in bed with awful carb flu in first wk. Only thing that helped was drinking really salty broth. helped almost straight away. ? cause to stopping salt rich processed foods and having sodium deficit

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