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diarrhea since day 3, headaches worse during whole30


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Me and my girlfriend are doing whole30 together. It's her first whole30. We are writing this post together.


She has diarrhea since day 3 of the whole30. She always has headaches. This has worsened since she is on the whole30. She feels a bit more tired during the whole30.


She has chronic hepatitis B. We are trying to clean up her diet. We hope to prevent her to need to take medicin.


Why she is doing the whole30:

* feeling more healthy

* exploring what kind of foods better suit her body

* improving her hepatitis B blood markers (lowering liver enzymes)

* feeling less tired

* having less headaches

* wanting to have more energy


We are doing a normal whole30 but we are trying to eat more foods which are good for the liver including red beets, tumeric, artichokes, shiitakes, coffee, eggs and dandelion tea.


Important chronological facts and dates:

* We met on june 20th. She hasn't done paleo before. She eats paleo/primal meals when she eats at my place. During the whole30 I often cook dinner for her.

* She took a morning after pill on june 23th. She is often tired and/or ill since she used the morning after pill. This continues until this day.

* She started using anti conception pill on june 29th.

* She did a blood test for hepatitis B markers on september 11th.

* We spoke to her liver doctor september 30th. Her blood markers were worse then before.

* She started the whole30 on october 2nd.

* She started having diarrhea on october 4th.

* She was having a UTI infection and has taken antibiotics from october 8th until october 13th.

* We made a mistake on october 12th. We didn't check the ingredients of some licorice tea. It contained a little bit of germinated barley.

* She stopped eating processed salt and switched to sea salt from october 13th. 

* We started whole30 day one again on october 13th.

* She started using the following supplements on october 16th: 

** Now foods - Liver detoxifier & regenerator (whole30 compliant) : http://www.iherb.com/Now-Foods-Liver-Detoxifier-Regenerator-90-Capsules/2483

** Source Naturals - Mushroom immune defense (whole30 compliant) : http://www.iherb.com/Source-Naturals-Mushroom-Immune-Defense-16-Mushroom-Complex-60-Tablets/1472

* She has a blood test scheduled for next week (around october 30th) for blood markers related to hepatitis B. We hope to see some improvements.


Typical breakfast options:

* shake with vegetables(spinach/kale/beets)/1 raw egg/1-2 pieces of fruit/coconut milk or coconut water

* 3 eggs baked in coconut oil with tomato and spinach

* 3 eggs and a (pork) sausage baked in coconut oil with tomato and spinach


Typical lunch options:

* sweet potatoes baked in coconut oil. With ghee and sea salt. Sometimes she bakes 1-2 eggs in coconut oil to go with that. Sometimes no protein at all.

* sometimes leftovers from dinner.

* sometimes she combines breakfast and lunch into one meal


Typical dinner:

* sweet potatoes, vegetables, eggs/salmon/chicken/beef (liver/hear/meatloaf), herbs/spices, ghee/coconut oil/red palm oil.

** Sometimes mayonnaise made from organic refined olive oil/egg/lemon juice.

** Often a glass with some fruit and a bit of coconut water and/or kombucha as a dessert.


Typical snacks include:

* nuts

* dates

* prunes


Other possible important facts:

* She doubled her nut intake from about 250 grams to about 500 grams a week (compared to before the whole30). She eats different kind of nuts including cashew/brazil nuts/hazelnuts/walnuts/pecan nuts.

* She eats more eggs and therefor more protein than before the whole30

* She eats less carbs than before the whole30

* She doesn't eat probiotics except for kombucha. She doesn't want to eat sauerkraut. We can't find whole30 compliant kimchi.

* She hasn't eaten ghee, coconut oil, red palm oil before she met me (june 20th).

* Coconut oil is not a likely suspect because she has eaten it at my place before the whole30.

* She eats 2-3 pieces of fruit a day.

* She stopped eating processed salt and switched to sea salt from october 13th. She doesn't eat seaweed often. I'm going to feed her kombu :)


About her headaches:

* She has a continuous headache through the day. It's a permanent thing. Sometimes it's less. 

* Headaches are worst when waking up and before going to sleep and when having sex.


This week we are going to focus hard on sleep quality. Trying not to look into blue light before sleeping.


She is going to switch to a hormonal based IUD to get less hormones into her body compared to the anti conception pill. 


My rough guesses of causes of her feeling so crappy are a combination of the following:

* impact from hormones (morning after pill / anti conception pill)

* impact from anti-biotics

* hepatitis B

* change of her food patterns but this should be a temporary thing 

* eating less carbs than usual (she was eating rice and bread before)

* she has started drinking coffee often during the whole30. Before the whole30 she almost never drank coffee. Coffee drinking was recommended by her liver doctor.


Any recommendations ?

Should we put her on probiotics supplements?

Any probiotic foods you can recommend ?

Should we put her on predigestive enzymes ?

Should we reduce nut intake ?

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That's a lot of changes all at once! My first thought is give it more time, but there are a few little things I would play with on the food front:


1. Skip the juice option at breakfast. Vegetable juices are ok as a supplement to a meal but by having it alone you create a stong possibility of sugar rush and crash. The egg and coconut milk help a little, but it would be much better to meet the template. Concentrated juices like this can be quite hard on the liver, especially if the contain a lot of fructose. With the hepatitis you will want to treat her liver carefully and gently.  :)


2. Nuts are notoriously hard to digest and not really needed from a nutrition standpoint (you can get healthier fats from other sources), so yeah, I would leave those out for a few weeks at least to test.


3. Dates and prunes are also not a good choice for a snack. These are fructose/sugar bombs and also well known for having laxative effects. If she needs a snack, make it a "mini-meal" including protein, veggies and good fat just like a regular meal.


4. Fruit and fructose (like those dates and prunes but also other fresh fruit) can cause diarrhea. I would limit that to an occasional food, less than once per day, at least for a while. In general, look for fruits that are lower in fructose so the liver doesn't have to work so hard to process them. 


5. Digestive enzymes might help since she is not used to eating meat--worth a try--especially if it convinces her to have protein at EVERY meal, not just some of them.


6. Liver support like you mentioned is a really good idea, I think. keep going with that.


7. I do prefer probiotic foods to pills, but if she won't take the foods you could try supplements. If you want to search for more foods, cultured ginger carrots are a favorite of mine. You can make those (along with sauerkraut and kimchee) if you can't find them.


good luck and let us know how you get on.

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1. She will skip the morning shakes.

2,3. She will skip the nuts, dates and prunes.

4. She will limit fruit to 1 piece of fruit a day max. She used to eat 1-2 pieces a day before the whole30. During the whole30 she has eaten 2-3 pieces of fruit untill now.

5. She is used to eating meat. she will start eating protein with lunch as well. We will consider a digestive enzyme as well.

6. She will continue with the liver support and immune support supplements for now

7. We will try to come up with something probiotic. She hates sauerkraut. Before trying the probiotic supplements we will try to make kimchee. We have never made kimchee before. I found this recipe : it need honey to ferment or can we leave it out ? 



* We think the coffee might be laxative as well. She's not used to drinking coffee but her liver doctor recommended her to drink coffee so she will continue with that.

* She has even less energy during the whole30 and her sexdrive is lower.

* Usually she has diarrhea a few days before her period until her period starts (or a little bit longer)

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kimchee does not need sweetener to ferment. skip the honey during whole30.


Yes, coffee can be a laxative for sure, but research shows that it can support liver health, so I would go with the Dr. recommendation.


The morning after pill and new hormonal birth control can mess up hormones and sex drive. give it time.

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Antibiotics are notorious for causing diarrhea. They kill gut bacteria, so can leave the system unbalanced for weeks as you recover. I try to take a probiotic supplement whenever I have to take an antibiotic. This is the one I have used this past year. I tolerate it better than anything else I have tried.




My first thought when I hear of headaches is whether someone is eating enough and whether they are drinking enough water. Since coffee is a diuretic and there is diarrhea, it is especially important to drink enough water. Enough is 1/2 of water per pound of body weight per day. So a 190 pound man like me needs to drink 95 ounces of water per day. 

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We are fermenting Kimchi. We have to wait until wednesday night for it to be ready.


Saturday and sunday she ate limited fruits (about 1 piece), no nuts, no shakes. 



* normal feeling of : feeling crappy/tired like described in the first post

* no diarrhea

* she feels an upcoming UTI. Symptoms: pain while urinating, having to urinate often, not much urine fluids, pain in the stomach.


Monday (today):

* normal feeling of : feeling crappy/tired like described in the first post

* Bad night of sleep.

* Waking up with a bad headache 

* Feeling sick (upset stomach)

* Also no diarrhea (yet).

* UTI symptoms continue.


We are feeding her cranberries and she's will take cranberry pills from today onwards.

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we don't recommend drinking straight fruit juice. Is there any reason you don't think the cranberries and cranberry pills will be enough?


Thanks! No particular reason. I was just shopping and I saw organic unsweetened cranberry juice. I didn't buy it :)

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