2

votes

Yoyoing on Paleo, Can't Find a Good Balance

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 22, 2012 at 4:03 PM

I will try not to write a novel here, but I could really use some help. Quick backstory: I was strict Paleo for about a year. During this time I cured my cystic acne and felt great. Eventually I started not to feel not so great, and erroneously thought it was carbs (had been eating 1-2 pieces of fruit a day). I followed some akin to a candida cleanse diet (no fruit, no honey, etc.) for 30 days and my skin was FINALLY 100% clear and beautiful.

But then, the wheels started to come off the wagon. My hair started falling out, which was very alarming. I was also constantly cold, and my menstrual cycle was becoming irregular (it's always been pretty regular). I also found myself struggling with constipation. Additionally, I confirmed via blood work that I had developed a delayed food allergy to eggs (already having previously tested positive for wheat and dairy allergies). To try to stop my hair loss, I jumped off the Paleo bandwagon, and started eating some non-glutenous grains, mostly in the form of hot breakfast cereals) and beans. While my bowel movements have been consistently pretty good, I am gaining weight, and no matter what I do, I CAN NOT reverse the weight gain. I just feel sub-par as a result, though I can't say I've had bad energy levels otherwise. Initially I went through a period of completely crashing mid-afternoon, but that went away.

I really don't know what to do anymore. The fact that I'm slowly and steadily putting on weight (and feeling like a blowfish) is less than desirable, but the hair loss and other issues seem more concerning. The egg sensitivity really made things difficult for me, as after awhile eating meat for breakfast just simply did not appeal to me in the least. I do think I hit a personal protein limit, or maybe I just need to vary my protein sources more?

The fact that Paleo helped me get rid of my acne means that it was a good approach, as NOTHING else worked. But, how can I eat Paleo and address the other issues that arose? I want to go back to Paleo, if possible, because on my small frame the weight gain is starting to feel like a lot, and like I said, it keeps creeping up.

Please help!

Ef777978cfeb8fbdd18d75c4f6c4cb23

(1297)

on November 25, 2012
at 11:43 AM

In my humble opinion, it doesn't sound enough. A bowl of berries with double (heavy) cream would ramp up the fat intake a reasonable amount. Or the cream in coffee if you are a coffee drinker. I'm not a fan of bulletproof coffee, but it would work instead. If you feel like a blowfish you might like to try switching the grains to a baked potato with a generous dollop of butter. good luck

6c1b5a758a7247d8d73c5f2df9f729cd

on November 24, 2012
at 02:55 PM

A typical day of fats for me: 1/2 avocado with breakfast, a tbsp or so of olive oil on salad for lunch, a handful of nuts here and there as a snack, coconut oil used to cook dinner (1-2 tbsp). And of course, whatever fat is also in the animal protein I eat.

Ef32d6cc543a74319464e2100e5a9ffd

(1205)

on November 23, 2012
at 12:17 PM

DR's book is "Hair like a Fox".

Ef32d6cc543a74319464e2100e5a9ffd

(1205)

on November 23, 2012
at 12:16 PM

I am wondering if the reversal was simply due to the increase in carbs, not anything else in the grains and beans. By the way, you might check out Danny Roddy and his work based on Ray PEat. They seem to have a lot to say about LC inducing hypothyroid and have a protocol to fix it. DR also has some book just about reversing hairloss. I don't think they are quite paleo, but there is a lot of overlap.

6c1b5a758a7247d8d73c5f2df9f729cd

on November 22, 2012
at 05:10 PM

Oh, and yes, the grains and the beans halted the hair loss completely. Now it's just those pesky extra pounds I've gained (and seem to keep gaining) that I need to fix!

6c1b5a758a7247d8d73c5f2df9f729cd

on November 22, 2012
at 05:09 PM

Thanks for your comment, tbunchylulu! I'm 32, and when I first started Paleo I was a runner, though over the course of my year on Paleo I ditched the running for bodyweight strength training, but was doing a lot of walking, mostly because I have two large dogs that require it :-) Maybe my carb levels were just too low to support my activity level? I was walking a total of 1-1.5 hours a day with my dogs. I do like running in small amounts, and have been doing shorter HIIT 1-2 times a week these days (20-30 minutes, tops).

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on November 22, 2012
at 05:01 PM

Sorry definitely vaccination reaction. Bald patches, fever, and a rash after the vaccinations. Pretty traumatic, I must say, for a 21 y/o girl. :-(

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on November 22, 2012
at 05:00 PM

Awesome comment. I experienced something similar, but it was after vaccinations. I had the guardasil (sp?), hep A, hep B, and flu vaccination. Per my doctor, I am finally "healthy enough" to do vaccinations. But then the day after the vax, I woke up to quarter sized bald patches. Since then, even my strict paleo (dairy-free, egg-free, chicken free) hypoallergenic diet can't even get me on track. I know my iodine is low, and I can't eat seafood because I'm an autoimmune mess, so maybe I should up my carbs to see. I'm on iodine supplements, but I'm interested in your brazil nut theory.

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3 Answers

1
Ef32d6cc543a74319464e2100e5a9ffd

on November 22, 2012
at 04:21 PM

Can you tell us your age and activity level during your year of paleo? Also, did adding the grains and beans back in reverse your hair loss? Had you originally last a lot of weight when you went paleo?

I had the experience of doing about 50-70 carbs/day primal eating while lifting weights very intensely 3x/week. After a few months, I started to feel really cold on occassion (before, I had always run hot). At the same time I felt like I was suddenly losing a lot of hair and I also got a high LDL reading. Someone (MScott, I think) mentioned a connection between low carb inducing hypothryroid symptoms which also leads to elevated LDL. As we know, hair loss in women is usually hypothyroid and this would explain the cold feeling and the inability to lose weight.

For myself, I started eating a few tablespoons of dulse each day for iodine, I upped my carbs to 100-150/day and I eat two brazil nuts for selenium to help with the iodine absorbtion. I have never had the cold feeling since and I no longer notice a lot os hair in the drain. From the casual reading I have done, this phenomenon of low carb inducing hypo symptoms is pretty common. I never lost weight on any version of paleo/primal, but that wasn't a factor for me so I can't comment on whether supplementing with seaweed and brazil nuts would help there.

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on November 22, 2012
at 05:01 PM

Sorry definitely vaccination reaction. Bald patches, fever, and a rash after the vaccinations. Pretty traumatic, I must say, for a 21 y/o girl. :-(

6c1b5a758a7247d8d73c5f2df9f729cd

on November 22, 2012
at 05:09 PM

Thanks for your comment, tbunchylulu! I'm 32, and when I first started Paleo I was a runner, though over the course of my year on Paleo I ditched the running for bodyweight strength training, but was doing a lot of walking, mostly because I have two large dogs that require it :-) Maybe my carb levels were just too low to support my activity level? I was walking a total of 1-1.5 hours a day with my dogs. I do like running in small amounts, and have been doing shorter HIIT 1-2 times a week these days (20-30 minutes, tops).

Ef32d6cc543a74319464e2100e5a9ffd

(1205)

on November 23, 2012
at 12:17 PM

DR's book is "Hair like a Fox".

Ef32d6cc543a74319464e2100e5a9ffd

(1205)

on November 23, 2012
at 12:16 PM

I am wondering if the reversal was simply due to the increase in carbs, not anything else in the grains and beans. By the way, you might check out Danny Roddy and his work based on Ray PEat. They seem to have a lot to say about LC inducing hypothyroid and have a protocol to fix it. DR also has some book just about reversing hairloss. I don't think they are quite paleo, but there is a lot of overlap.

6c1b5a758a7247d8d73c5f2df9f729cd

on November 22, 2012
at 05:10 PM

Oh, and yes, the grains and the beans halted the hair loss completely. Now it's just those pesky extra pounds I've gained (and seem to keep gaining) that I need to fix!

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on November 22, 2012
at 05:00 PM

Awesome comment. I experienced something similar, but it was after vaccinations. I had the guardasil (sp?), hep A, hep B, and flu vaccination. Per my doctor, I am finally "healthy enough" to do vaccinations. But then the day after the vax, I woke up to quarter sized bald patches. Since then, even my strict paleo (dairy-free, egg-free, chicken free) hypoallergenic diet can't even get me on track. I know my iodine is low, and I can't eat seafood because I'm an autoimmune mess, so maybe I should up my carbs to see. I'm on iodine supplements, but I'm interested in your brazil nut theory.

0
Ef777978cfeb8fbdd18d75c4f6c4cb23

on November 23, 2012
at 03:52 PM

I'm going to take a stab in the dark here and ask: how much and what kind of fats are you eating? There's no mention of fats in your original question.

6c1b5a758a7247d8d73c5f2df9f729cd

on November 24, 2012
at 02:55 PM

A typical day of fats for me: 1/2 avocado with breakfast, a tbsp or so of olive oil on salad for lunch, a handful of nuts here and there as a snack, coconut oil used to cook dinner (1-2 tbsp). And of course, whatever fat is also in the animal protein I eat.

Ef777978cfeb8fbdd18d75c4f6c4cb23

(1297)

on November 25, 2012
at 11:43 AM

In my humble opinion, it doesn't sound enough. A bowl of berries with double (heavy) cream would ramp up the fat intake a reasonable amount. Or the cream in coffee if you are a coffee drinker. I'm not a fan of bulletproof coffee, but it would work instead. If you feel like a blowfish you might like to try switching the grains to a baked potato with a generous dollop of butter. good luck

0
E253f8ac1d139bf4d0bfb44debd1db21

on November 23, 2012
at 03:07 AM

I was thinking that maybe you should be cycling some plants based carbs like fruit seasonally. It's probably more paleo to incorporate fruit for a few months in the year if it reflects your geographic ancestry. Also consider your micronutrient intake like vitamins and minerals (other than selenium and iodine)

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