Post # 1
DH and I started following the Paleo lifestyle about 3 weeks ago. I’m loving the food we get to eat and the fact that I’ve lost 5lbs without really trying hard at the gym. However, ever since we started, I’ve had a constant headache. This week has been the worst in that it hurts to have my eyes open in bright areas. I am taking Tylenol Extra every 6-8 hours and that only helps for a few hours at a time before it gets bad again. I’ve also been physically exhuasted and find it hard to stay awake at night. I’ve tried sleeping more at night and when that didn’t work, sleeping less. That didn’t help. My diet has been balanced pretty well (we even kept dairy and opted to follow a primal version of Paleo) and I’ve been drinking water until I feel like a fish, but NOTHING is helping. I know that headaches are pretty normal when you first start, but we’re 3 weeks in and I feel like crap most of the day! DH finally said last night that is nothing is better by Thursday, I have to call a doctor.
Paleo/Primal bees, is this normal? If you had headaches, when did they go away? Do you think this could be Paleo related or should I be concerned it’s something more?
Post # 2
They say the detoxation period goes for about a month. The symptoms your describing are not abnormal to the first 30 days of a paleo diet. Your body has to switch over from burning sugar for energy to burning fat for energy and that takes time so fatigue is to be expected. Your body retains less water on a paleo dite than a hi-carb diet so keep up the high water intake to avoid dehydration. And remember you may be experiencing withdrawal symptoms from sugar, grains as well as any other addictive things you may have given up eg. caffeine or alchohol.
I think your fatigue is not a thing to worry about at this stage. The headache is somewhat worrying even if it is a syptom of paleo detox, and if you want to make sure its not something else I would check with a doctor.
Post # 3
SweetCherryPie: Thank you for your advice. I’m really relieved to hear about the fatigue. Most of the websites I was looking at were saying 2 weeks and you’d be feeling great, so I was concerned. And I will be checking with a doctor about the headaches too.
Post # 4
Its very common when you go low carb in the beginning as well. they recommend to make sure you drink all your water, make sure that since lower carb is a diuretic that you increase your sodium intake since you are losing a lot of electrolytes. Increasing potassium as well, especially if you start getting muscle cramps, leg cramps, fatigue. Having a cup or two of full sodium broth will help. I usually make a bone broth and add salt. One cup of broth and my energy is back.
Post # 5
hogoboom2012: I felt WONDERFUL from the first day I went Paleo, but I was also VERY obese when I started.
My meals are all composed of veggies, fruit, nuts and whole eggs and egg whites- no grain, dairy, added salt or sugar.
I’ve lost 85 pounds and am slowly working on another 15 or so.
I never had a headache, and my energy level was about the same or a little better than before I started.
Post # 6
Everyone’s body is different!
Changing your diet (from healthy to unhealthy, or unhealthy to healthy!) usually feels bad as you adjust, and depending on what exactly you’re eating it could take more or less time to adjust to it.
Every time I try to go low carb I feel sick as a dog. I’ve never lasted long enough to see if it goes away 🙂 Maybe my body is detoxing, or maybe that’s the wrong diet for me…I’ll never know!
I usually try not to have caffeine but when I slip up it takes about 3 days for the headaches to go away. Etc.
When I go paleo I usually feel fantastic from day 1. But that’s not everyone’s experience. I think it just depends on your body and whether this is the right diet for you– maybe you need more time to adjust, maybe it’s something else you’re doing (ask yourself if you’re getting enough protein, and are you having caffeine?) or maybe this is the wrong diet for you.
I think if this continues for another day or two you should check with a doctor. Not just to see if there’s something terribly wrong but even to track your basic measures of health and compare with how you were before you started paleo– if you’re not getting enough of some vitamin or something you could adjust what you eat but stick to a paleo diet still.
Post # 7
hogoboom2012: It’s all related to your diet. Carbs are energy but also if you cut out a lot of things you will be eating fewer calories. Calories also are energy. A less drastic approach would be to use carb cycling and do a low carb diet but then every few days have a higher carb day with complex carbs. If you want to see if there is something wrong with you just go back to your regular eating and see the difference.