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Day 10: Exhaustion, Diarrhea, Stomach Cramps.


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I started the Whole 30 to help with Ulcerative Colitis and Trichotillomania. In April, I had a severe flair up that almost hospitalized me. Since I've started the Whole 30, I've have severe diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, extreme exhaustion, and absolutely no energy throughout the day. I expected some symptoms for the first few days but I am on day 10 and I am still feeling really lousy. 


Here are some examples of what I have been eating:


Meal 1: Stir Fry with apples, onions, sweet potatoes, and turkey- cooked in ghee. Some days I am only hungry enough for a banana with almond butter, or a lara bar.


Meal 2: Spring mix salad with chicken and oil and vinegar dressing.


Meal 3: Stir fry with beef or chicken and onions, spinach, bell peppers, ect.- cooked in ghee. 


After each meal, my stomach cramps up and the pain spreads across my back and up my spine.


I am drinking about 45-50 oz of water a day and take a probiotic, multi-vitamin, humira, lialda, and effexor. 2 days ago, I ended a round of prednisone that I started before my Whole 30 began. Today, I bought some digestive enzymes to help with the cramps and diarrhea.


I am sleeping around 8-9 hours a night and I am so tired that I come home from work and have a 2-3 hour nap.  


I am really unsure of what's going on, but a part of me thinks that my body is working hard to heal itself which is making me exhausted. Another part of me thinks that this is not normal and I should see a doctor! 

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How close is this to how you were eating before Whole30? Have you increased how much you're eating of things like bell peppers and tomatoes (nightshades -- some people have problems with them)?  It doesn't look like you're eating many nuts or dried fruits, but if you are eating more of them than you would have previously, that's a possibility, they cause digestive problems for many people. Even coconut products cause some people problems, so if that's something you recently started using or substantially increased, that could be contributing.


If you're at all feverish, I'd suspect a stomach bug. 


I'm not an expert on this, but while I think it's possible for there to be a period of something getting worse before it gets better, what you're describing sounds much, much worse than that, and the fact that it's lasted 10 days now would worry me. I think talking to your doctor is not a bad idea. 


I hope someone can help you figure out what's going on. What you describe sounds miserable.

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You do sound sick and not just adjusting to a new diet. At least, your symptoms sound more extreme than I would expect for a transition to eating real, whole foods and giving up a lot of processed carbs. 


The digestive enzymes might help if part of your problem is dealing with increased protein and fats.


Your water intake is good if you weigh 90-100 pounds. Our guideline is generally 1/2 ounce per pound of body weight per day of water. 


I am concerned that you are not eating enough. Nausea makes it difficult, but my guess is that you are under-nourished. A banana or a larabar don't make the grade as breakfast. Many people do not eat enough when they start a Whole30. Add your nausea and I am concerned that you are falling short of eating enough to be okay. 


Regarding cooking oils, you might try working with olive oil for a while. We don't recommend stir-frying with olive oil because it is not good with heat, but I cooked with olive oil for a long time and survived. By avoiding new cooking fats like coconut oil or ghee for a while, you can assess whether they are contributing to your problem or not. My guess is that they are not the problem, but avoiding them for a week might be a good test. 



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  • 3 weeks later...

Cathrine, how are you feeling? I didn't see this until now, but I hope you are ok. It does sound like you are flaring, or very close to flaring. If you are not feeling better you should really see your doctor.

With u.c I think you might need to go slow in the transition. Massively increasing the amount of vegetables, fiber, protein or fat can do a number on your already inflamed intestines. Can you slowly ease into the diet by removing milk, then grains and then the next food group and so on? I think that might work better. Also, do not quit your u.c medication! ( I know you didn't, but just saying it anyway!)

Other factors that are helpful in u.c is probiotics. Make sure you take a brand with several strains, and preferably not just lactobacillus. I also take the maximum dose of fish oil every day, and vitamin D for their anti inflammatory properties. Make sure they are free of soy oil though, I know they often contain that in the US.

Best of luck!

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's nice to see some people that have trichotillomania on these forums...makes me feel less alone. How are you feeling? Are you noticing a reduction in pulling?

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