Sorry I have a few questions and would really appreciate any help...
Does anyone suffer constipation, fatigue, headaches and feeling sensitive to cold when they are on a low carb diet? (I am not eating extremely low... maybe around 100-150g a day, but I'm not eating much over all). I have a fairly active job and i'm sick of always feeling tired at work. I do shift work, and sometimes doing mornings and sometimes afternoons is really effecting me!!!!! Is this normal? Is this something I just should accept that I can't do with diabetes? I know it makes it harder to control my blood sugars.
I don't know if my symptoms are due to the diet or are due to something else. I am trying to lose weight so I am not eating much food. I know that if I am not eating enough I could suffer the symptoms I am having. I have read that dieting can cause all the symptoms I listed above. Also my blood sugar control is average at best at the moment (between 5mmol/pl and 20mmol/pl, usually under 15mmol/pl). It is alot better than it used to be now I am on a pump but, i'm still getting the hang of things.
I have also seen that hypothyroidism can cause the above symptoms, however, I am not suffering any other symptoms of hypothyroidism, my hair is fine (although a lot thinner than when I was young, but not noticeable to others and I think this is more due to VERY uncontrolled blood sugars I had over a 2-3 year period and un-diagnosed celiacs disease which I only found out about 5 months ago), my skin seems fine (except when I have high blood sugars it gets dry), my periods are fairly regular (although they never have been, but this year they have finally become regular) as im only 21. I don't feel depressed or have any joint pain.
I don't know how having celiacs disease effects things? I know the doc also tested my thyroid and said my TSH was up a little by my T4 was slightly low, but she wanted to re-test in 3 months. Can it come back to normal at all? I don't know if having very uncontroled diabetes, as well as the undiagnoised celiacs and extremely low iron levels could have affected my results?
I am trying not to worry about it too much as I know things will be sorted out with patience and I know I have waaay too many questions and that things are different for every person! But I would love to hear anyone elses experience :)
I had some of those symptoms in the first week or so of going low carb (closer to 30-40g/day). I don't think it's uncommon, and is sometimes called "Atkins flu", and is part of your body adjusting to getting energy from protein+fat instead of carbs. Not sure if you would experience that at 100-150g (maybe, I just don't know enough to say).
Here's an interesting discussion on ways to avoid it: http://www.livinlowcarbdiscussion.com/showthread.php?tid=8012
I'm at 30 to 50 g/day and T2 so my experience may not apply. I cut my salt because it's supposed to be bad for you, about a year into restricting my carbs and started getting very light headed and had frequent headaches. Upped my salt and all the symptoms disappeared. I was worried it might cause my blood pressure to rise but so far so good.
Yeah I have read something about that actually so started putting more salt on my veges. I have only been tightly following the diet for about 2 weeks so I suppose I could still be getting symptoms from settling into it?
Extra salt is needed when the body switches to burning fat as it's primary fuel, because the change in metabolism causes the kidneys to excrete more sodium. Like Christopher, I'm not sure if you would be having these type of problems at 100 to 150g. Having said that, your symptoms do sound like "Atkins Flu" and extra salt is an easy thing to try out. I also experienced constipation early on but only for about the first week.
Hmm yeah I dunno, maybe it's because I am eating very low cal aswell. As I have been eating 100-150g for a while and only really began experiencing these symptoms when I tried to stick to a more strict diet. Thanks though :) I think I will get the endo to re-check my thyroid levels just to be sure. Do you eat lots of veges? I enjoy including them with my meals, but then I don't really know that a huge amount would be necessary?
I do eat lots of low carb veggies with meat. I do have to limit things like tomatoes and peppers, I can have them just have to watch the portions. No fruit but limited quantities of strawberries and blue berries are OK. No grain no potatoes no beans and not a whole lot of dairy, but I'm a T2 not on insulin so my situation is different than yours. I recently got a waffle iron and have been eating low carb waffles for breakfast as a change up to bacon and eggs. Nice to add something grain like without the grain, highly recommended.
Thanks badmoon :) So you don't eat much cheese, milk or cream? No fruit.. wow. Do you ever get cravings for sugar? How do you deal with that? I did try going extremely low carb at the beginning of the year, but not seriously. I think I only went a few weeks. I know it really does help with diabetes management and I guess that would be my motivation to really do it in the end, but i'm worried I wouldn't stick with it long term. I guess that it just a decision I need to make. In the beginning I didn't even think I could handle 100-150g a day and now that is beginning to feel like plenty. How do you deal with eating out? Visiting freinds and relatives? Travelling?
Hi Sara, I cut back on the cheese to try to loose a little weight and I did loose a little, milk is too high carb for me, I use almond milk. If you never eat sweets you won't crave them. I also have the "one bite rule" which is I can have one bite of anything. If I go to a pot luck and there is a killer desert I will get a big spoons worth and eat it in tiny bites, so far I have avoided the second bite:)
I can usually find something I can eat when eating away from home. Meat, veggies, and salads etc. are usually available. My friends and family have been remarkably accommodating, but I realize many people are not so lucky.
Blue berries are in season here so I have a handful with almonds, pecans and cinnamon every night. This treat is very friendly to my blood sugar, tastes great and might even be good good for you.
Whatever diet you come up with has to do two things, meet your blood glucose goals and be sustainable in the long run. I usually think that going cold turkey on the carbs is the best way to go because you only have to deal with carb cravings for a short while and then they are gone. But gradual cutting seems to have worked for you, you're doing fine at a lower rate than you thought you could do. Hope it is giving you better control. One idea would be to have lots more 100 days than 150 days and ease down till you are happy with your control.
Hashimoto's thyroiditis is related to Celiac Disease. I would have your Free T4 and Free T3 tested as well as your TPO antibodies. It's not just about TSH. BTW, the new standard cut off is 3.0, even though most labs are still hanging on to up to 5.0. Start reading Mary Shoman's Thyroid information on About.com. I am on an Celiac list, and they recommended probiotics and magnesium. I am <30 carbs a day and find that this regimen works to avoid constipation. However, I eat a lot of fiber and use most of my carb allotment for low carb vegetables and flaxmeal. I figured out that I was diabetic because I had the good fortune to have been in the company of some online Celiacs and found out the relationship to Type 1. I don't have Celiac Disease, but have the common gene and tested postitive to the GAD antibodies.
Eating a low carb diet (and definitely a calorie restricted diet) can cause your body to react as though it is in starvation. I actually asked Dr. B during his last teleconference about this and he confirmed that he has observed that his diet may have an effect on his patient's thyroid function. Most typically, your T3 will drop. Others think that you may actually have your reverseT3 also rise too high.
I've followed this diet for quite a while and also suffer from fatigue and I even have an abnormal body temperature (94-95 degF), but none of my tests show any thyroid problem. As Sheila notes, it would be good to rule out all the thyroid problems and you might consider asking for a reverseT3.
Hey Brain, what is the effect of the T3 dropping and reverse T3 being raised? Is this what causes symptoms such as fatigue/sensitivity to cold? I know my last test did show thyroid problems, but I don't know if that was because of everything else that was going on in my body at the time... undiagnoised celiacs, very low iron, extremely high Hba1c levels.
How do you live with the symptoms of fatigue? If I knew that my diet was causing them I don't know if I would continue eating like that. Are you type 1 or type 2?
From what I understand, low T3 and high reverse T3 causes classic hypothyroid symptoms. It is hard to know what causes what. For you, celiacs, very low iron and high blood sugars can all cause fatigue. My doctor doesn't know what is wrong with me and is now giving me cortisol and testosterone tests.
How do you live with fatigue? I just deal with it like I do with diabetes. I put one foot in front of the other and go through life the best I can. If I had any suggestion that my problems were due to diet, I would try to change, but I don't.
ps. I am diagnosed as T2, although my doctor has now decided to give me more tests.