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PB diet transition - what's going on?

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  • PB diet transition - what's going on?

    Hi there, my very first post in this huge forum. It will include a sort of introduction with the questions further down. Feel free to skip to "Now the odd stuff - what's going on?" if you're not interested in any background story. Looking through the post I realize it's a bit of a "wall of text" here and I'm extremely tired while writing this and probably mess things up a bit but please bear with me.

    I'm hoping you guys can help me identify what's going on here since I'm at a total loss. I'll start with some background information, where I were before I found this site and what I did when I found it.

    A little background

    So, I'm a 33 year old guy from Sweden who was pretty much raised on pasta and meatballs with very little veggies. I've always been at a total loss in the kitchen and haven't exercised much since the day my father brought a computer into our home. I used to quite the little rocket, always climbing trees, climbing roofs and... well, you get it. The computer changed everything, as people say. This site change things back

    Now to the good stuff

    So a few weeks ago I stumbled upon this site and started to read article after arcticle and since then I always have 2-10 tabs open in my browser just with articles to read from this site. A lot of what I read made sense and I bought into the whole thing and I went from a high carb low everything else diet to eat a lot of veggies, meat, egg, fish etc. Ah, and nuts of course. Lots of nuts nowadays. This resulted in some really cool stuff. My main drive here was never weight since I've been rather thin my whole life, with a round belly the last two years or so. Instead I was after health and higher energy levels during my awake time. So what happened with the change in diet - and also change of attitude - after just a few days, was that I became more energetic and hunger didn't bother me the way it used to. I also started to like working in the kitchen, things slowly started to taste differently and I started to love the veggies. Good stuff, all of it. I also got more interested in exercise. I had bought shoes for terrain running a few weeks earlier and had been out for a few rounds in the forest which I liked. I've never liked the gym but with my new attitude it started to look more interesting. I even tried tabata sprints - only two intervals, which brought me close enough to death - and including those in a weekly schedule doesn't seem too frightening. All in all I felt I had a new promising life ahead of me and I was very happy with a feeling of really being on track.

    Now the odd stuff - what's going on?

    After two weeks or so on this new diet I suddenly got problems sleeping at night. At first it was just when I was sleeping at work - I live every other week with a guy in a wheel chair, working as his aide, and I sleep there all nights those weeks. I got very few hours of sleep each night and was pretty zombie during the days, which of course isn't good when I'm working. But now I also have trouble sleeping at home. And we're talking after a wonderful evening where everything have been perfect, I'm at total peace and really tired and I hit the sac smiling thinking that I'm going to sleep sooooo sweeet... but sleep never came. After being up for over 50 hours straight - which never happened before in my whole life - I bought a bottle of wine and the issue was solved for that night. After that alcohol induced period I was up for another 24 hours or so before I got a few hours of sleep in the late morning. This is how it's been since then. This morning I got around 2-3 hours of sleep after a 24 hour wake and it's mid night here in Sweden right now and no sleep. The weird part is that I'm not as zombie as you'd think. So totally sleep deprived. But wait - there is more!

    I've also started to feel weird in my body. My muscles feel really weird. Almost aching at times. And I can feel the sudden urge to stretch out, work them, or just pound them a bit with my hand - this especially when I'm trying to sleep. Not so much during the active day really. It's really really annoying when you want to sleep, trust me. Last two days or so I've started to itch, much more than just the usual random itch you get sometimes, but no rashes or so. A few more weirdies I can't really describe. It's like my nervous system has gone totally bananas.

    Oh yeah, I'm constipated which I can't remember having been ever before in my life. Currently working through some laxatives which I hope will solve that part soon.

    So my questions to you experienced primates out there are as follows.

    1. What's going on? Is this normal for a change to the PB diet? I've read that constipation can happen when you change your diet so that doesn't really worry me, but with all the sudden weird stuff adding up it's kind of freaky and I'm happy I have two weeks off from work now and a chance to ride this out if that can be done.

    2. When I get this little sleep - we're talking 4 hours every other night or so - I don't really exercise anything, with the exception of an hours walk every other or third day. I imagine my body aren't very capable of building up stuff I break down with exercises right now, but since I don't know how this works really... Well, the question is: Should I start exercising even though I don't really get any sleep or should I keep on taking it easy? Should I exercise in any certain manner to optimize my health during these circumstances?

    I really hope someone can shed some light on this if it's related to the change to PB diet.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this post.

    Gonna try and catch some sleep since I feel zombie mode is coming on again.

  • #2
    I'd suggest you go to a doctor and tell them about the itching and other weird things. Boring and conventional, I know, but there are so many different possible causes, I think you could really use a proper diagnosis.


    • #3
      Yes, I'm definitely going to see a doctor about this. I just hope the doc won't tell me to revert to the old diet since that's what last worked for me. Hoped someone here would tell me something like "Oh, that is normal and will be over in a few days."

      Thanks for the reply, Hilary. I was so tired when writing the post I was afraid it wouldn't make much sense to you guys.

      If anyone have an answer to how to exercise (or not) during periods of sleep deprivation I'd love to hear it. This night I managed to catch a decent amount of sleep so I'll try to be active today

      Martin - Primal Newbie


      • #4
        welcome martin, hopefully it's just your body adjusting to the positive change. let us know;-)
        some go through carb flu and some don't.
        Red meat is not bad for you. Now blue-green meat, that's bad for you! ~Tommy Smothers


        • #5
          Originally posted by mht View Post
          Lots of nuts nowadays.
          Easy on the nuts. 1-2 oz (approx 60 grams is more than enough).

          Originally posted by mht View Post
          I suddenly got problems sleeping at night.
          Totally common. It happens to many of us. I had 8 brutal weeks of sleep deprivation. Then I went away to a family gathering, at tons of crap, came home, went 'primal' again and from then on I've slept just fine.

          I've also started to feel weird in my body. My muscles feel really weird. Almost aching at times
          You're not getting enough magnesium.

          Last two days or so I've started to itch, much more than just the usual random itch you get sometimes, but no rashes or so. A few more weirdies I can't really describe.
          All of the wheat products you were eating were likely 'fortified' with b complex vites and zinc and now you're not getting sufficient quantities (unless you're eating a variety of organ meats).

          Consider tracking your food intake in for a couple of weeks to see what's up.

          Oh yeah, I'm constipated which I can't remember having been ever before in my life.
          more saturated fat (coconut milk is great for this) and veggies and magnesium.....

          WRT the sleep thing, I'd increase complex carbs from potato, yam, sweet potato and winter squash and see if that helps.

          Be sure you're getting plenty of b complex vites (a supplement isn't a bad idea) and a multi vitamin.


          iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


          • #6
            +1 to what cillakat said and welcome to MDA.
            Sometimes you need to be told the truth in order to be able to see it.

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            • #7
              cillakat gives GREAT advice! I would see a doctor just to be on the safe side. Once you find (hopefully) that nothing is amiss with your health you can rest easier (no pun intended). Hopefully, you don't exercise before you go to bed. That, and being on the computer before you try to sleep works against you. Just too much stimulation.

              A lot of folks get the carb flu---I know I did for about 2 weeks. That; and I believe, my body was purging all the garbage out of my system and adjusting to all the good stuff. I think if you feel well enough to work out, go ahead and do so. Just listen to your body.

              Welcome to MDA and hope things work out for you soon!
              Starting Weight/BMI: 184/29.7
              Current Weight/BMI: 130 /21.0
              Ultimate Goal: 125/18


              • #8
                Thanks a lot for great answers and welcomes.

                I headed out and bought magnesium + calcium supplements as well as some B-vitamin and omega-3 supplements to be on the safe side. I talked to the lady in the store about magnesium and it's definitely that I need.

                Never bought coconut milk in my life so that would be an interesting experiment. I have no idea in what way to consume it, if I'm to drink it like cow milk or just add a little to some kind of mix. Maybe a smoothie or protein drink?

                Just4ME: I'm a former computer geek and have a tendency to sit by the computer screen until I'm tired enough to hit the sack even though I know it's not the best way to do it. Never exercises before sleep though.

                Again, thanks. You guys really make me feel welcome here


                • #9
                  Hej mht -- it's such a coincidence to read your post. I logged in today to ask for help with nearly the same issues, minus constipation. I have been following PB since 5 July (down 40 pounds) and have had sleep problems almost from then. Last night I think I got less than one hour sleep, with jumpy legs that felt like I needed to stretch, itchy skin on the backs of my lower legs, and my mind racing into thoughts that normally make me sleep.

                  I'll listen to Cillakat's advice too and hope for the best. Will you reply with results?

                  PS - I am Swedish American (parents from Sweden) and also a computer geek/programmer. I could speak Swedish before I went to school here in USA but not now.


                  • #10
                    Hej Viking!

                    From all the information I've gathered my bet is on magnesium, just like Cillkat said. I'm starting on magnesium supplements today (and vitamin B + omega-3 just for kicks) and will keep this thread updated with any changes from that.

                    It's funny with coincidences like that. Same symptoms, Sweden, computer geek/programmer.

                    I hope things work out for both of us.

                    P.S. The lady in the health store told me to take the magnesium supplements before I go to bed since the body takes up minerals best when you sleep. She said it would also help me relax the muscles. Took one pill when I got back from the store and will take another one when going to bed tonight.


                    • #11
                      A brief update, especially for you, Viking.

                      The first night after having started on the magnesium supplement I still felt the muscle jumpiness but managed to fall asleep pretty fast considering. But I only slept four hours so I've been tired as usual today. Tonight however it was the worst attempt to sleep so far. My body is going hay wire with spasm when I lie down to sleep. So that's why I'm awake to post this right now

                      Earlier today I looked at more information about magnesium supplements and found some interesting stuff. Since I don't feel competent enough to decide whether the information is reliable or not I can't really stand for any of this but... Apparently there are a few different variations of how the magnesium part of the supplement is composed. Some variations were said to be out right bad for you health but should only rarely be found in supplements. In my supplement they use magnesium oxide which was said to be one of the worst when it comes to the body's ability to use it (there is a term for this that I'm forgetting right now, bio something) so tomorrow I'll head over to the health store and get myself something that's supposed to work better. There was a list of a few "good" magnesium compositions but it was all in swedish and I'm a bit too tired to start finding translations at the moment. Maybe someone reading this knows about that and can provide some information in english. If not I'll see if I can post a translated list of the different kinds. But do remember that I have no idea of how reliable this information is.

                      So why was it worse this night when I got supplements, even though rumored to be not so effective? It could be due to me going "easy" on the nuts as recommended :P I actually took it very easy on the nuts today. And now I learned that nuts are a good source for magnesium - especially almonds and cashew which is what I eat most of. (You should really learn this stuff when you grow up. Right now I feel so lost in the world of vitamins and minerals and what comes from where. But I'm learning a lot.)

                      So what I've done now is to give up on sleep for an hour or so and ate some nuts hoping it will help. I really don't know how long it'll take for the body to get the minerals out in the system but hey, I'm trying anything I can come up with. My magnesium supplement was coupled with calcium btw so I don't want to chew down too much of those. I rather go nuts

                      I'm also going to book up a doctor tomorrow to check on my condition and maybe I'll discover something interesting.

                      So, Viking, I recommend that you make sure you get something of quality when you follow Cillkat's advice and get yourself some magnesium supplements as it seem to be some difference between magnesium and magnesium.

                      Hope this helps you in some way. I'll be back with more updates.


                      • #12
                        Magnesium citrate is really bioavailable. I love magnesium chloride oil, which is used transderamlly (you rub it on your skin). I can feel the difference when I use it.

                        I cannot take B vites after around 4 pm, or I'll have nightmares or extreme dreams that really impact me/make it hard to sleep. B complex vites are amazing and I love them, but taking them also boosts energy, so I recommend trying to take them earlier in the day, from my experience.

                        Hope you get some sleep!!!
                        My Before/After Pics
                        Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

                        "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco


                        • #13
                          Ok, some new information.

                          Yesterday I went and bought some real deal magnesium supplements at 375mg containing a few different versions supposedly with high bio avaliability. Magnesium citrate was one of them. Took it twice even though only one per day was recommended. No sleep this night at all.

                          So, I went and saw a doctor today who prescribed some magnesium supplements supposedly better than anything I could get without prescription. And what I got was 250mg magnesium hydroxide. The kind I heard I should definitely not take - but as mentioned before, I don't know how reliable that information is. Wikipedia had some information which didn't seem too good, if that is to trust.

                          So that's where I am at this moment. I will try the prescribed stuff anyway, twice a day, just to see where it goes.

                          Viking, how are things with you?


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mht View Post
                            P.S. The lady in the health store told me to take the magnesium supplements before I go to bed since the body takes up minerals best when you sleep. She said it would also help me relax the muscles. Took one pill when I got back from the store and will take another one when going to bed tonight.
                            Magnesium can be energizing or relaxing depending on the individual. Mg definitely will calm muscle tissue (calcium and sodium are contractors, magnesium and potassium are relaxers) but some find it too energizing to take at night. Others find benefit from taking it at night. ETA: Just experiment to find the right dose for you and also recognize that it may take a week or two of consistent supplementation to reach tissue saturation. Which also means it may take a week or two to reach a significant effect for some. When magnesium insufiiciency or deficiency has been ongoing, benefits from supplementing to sufficiency will continue to accrue for *weeks*.

                            Small divided doses - ideally not more than 200-250 mg per dose several times per day - are better than larger doses. Even better is taking 100-150 mg more frequently.

                            Originally posted by mht
                            better than anything I could get without prescription (....snip....) magnesium hydroxide. The kind I heard I should definitely not take
                            Magnesium Hydroxide is perhaps the WORST supplemental form of magnesium for oral supplementation for muscle and tissue support. It's a very effective laxative, even more effective than magnesium citrate (which is also commonly sold as a laxative) and many of us know it under the name of Milk of Magnesia.


                            Supplemental forms of Magnesium from best to worst, though the first two are probably equal.....

                            Magnesium dimalate - Jigsaw Health's amino acid chelated, time-released form of magnesium malate. Jigsaw is currently the only company making a time-released magnesium formula.....and an amino acid chelated one at that. It's the only oral magnesium supplement that many individuals can tolerate due to the laxative effect of many magnesium supplements. I cannot take any other form of magnesium - even the regular amino acid chelates (ie gycinate). It's ungodly expensive but....well, aside from the following topical, which I haven't tried yet, it's the best Mg supplement available.

                            Magnesium chloride - topical- aka Magnesium oil. Simply purchase nigari flakes (google) and mix with distilled water in a small bottle. Make fresh batch weekly. Apply to various parts of the body..... I've not done this but there are many board discussions on the topic. It's probably not hard to figure out dosing with a little effort. *cheap*

                            Magnesium glycinate - chelated magnesium. there are several good ones on the market....brand doesn't really matter. Glycinate absorption is about 50% better than citrate/malate but it's more $$ - though not as much as Jigsaw's dimalate formula.

                            Magnesium citrate or Magnesium malate- at necessary doses, it will have a laxative effect for many people - but for those that can tolerate it (try smaller 100 mg per dose), it's very well absorbed. If it's causing loose stools, it's not absorbing but passing right through and taking other important nutrients with it. But if it works for a person, then it's the best one to use in terms of cost/benefit/value/absorption. Any brand is fine. Stick with tiny doses....cutting pills if need be.


                            Magnesium hydroxide, magnesium aspartate, magnesium oxide. While they won't harm you, the benefit from them is minimal compared to the above.
                            Last edited by cillakat; 08-19-2010, 07:34 AM. Reason: ETA the stuff in blue.

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                            • #15
                              Ah, very good information!

                              The "Super Magnesium" supplement I bought yesterday contains Magnesium-oxide, -glycinatkelat (swedish for glycinate cheltate I suppose), -citrate, -gluconate, -succinate, -ascorbate, -malate. Those were at 375mg a piece. Guess I'll try breaking them in halves and distribute over the day.

                              I'm going to have a chat with the doc tomorrow about the stuff he prescribed.