Joyceee

Day 26 and all hell breaks loose!

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I was progressing along beautifully three weeks into Whole30, feeling lighter, cleaner and sleeping better.  

Then on Day 26 BAM - I develop flu-like symptoms - lethargy, mild fever, and a serious face rash that had one eye swollen shut.  That was day 26.  Today is day 30 and I have missed a week of work, been to 2 doctors and an ER visit.  My face is still very red, swollen and itchy and tender to the touch. They took blood tests and have ruled out anything like a bacterial infection. I am generally very healthy and have no allergies.  I am now on day 3 of Prendisone to combat the reaction.

A friend suggested that perhaps I had detox withdrawals - years of built-up toxins escaping through my skin - through my face!  The more I read about the consequences of detoxing, the more likely a scenario it appears to be.  Has anyone else had a similar experience?  

My plan was to make it a Whole45 or 60 but not sure under the circumstances if that is advisable.

 

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Guest Andria

Sounds more like a virus (my boyfriend has something similar) or possibly an allergic reaction. If a virus, prednisone would be contraindicated. Hopefully, your docs where able to rule that out. It seems unlikely for you to have a detox reaction at this point in your Whole30.

I wouldn't worry about continuing your Whole30 longer. It's not detrimental to continue eating nutritious, whole foods! I hope you feel better soon!

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Thanks for the feedback everyone! 

 

I agree it sounds counter-intuitive (and ironic as well) that I would be doing the good work and producing some bad effects.

 

I am working through all the possibilities... It does seem like a severe allergic reaction more than toxins using the skin as an escape route.  If this was the case, I would guess it would have started long before day 26. 

 

Coconut milk and aminos are the only new food introduced as I began Whole 30 as my typical diet consists of pretty clean stuff and much of what is on the Whole 30 approved list.

 

Has anyone had a reaction to first-time use or over-consumption of coconut milk (I find myself using almost a can a day)?

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Melissa Hartwig says

5 February, 2014 at 9:17 am

Stephen, this actually sounds like a cold or some virus, not anything related to the Whole30. You’re a little late to be experiencing the fatigue and general malaise that goes along with ditching sugar, and the term “carb-flu” isn’t associated with a sore throat.

People do get sick during their first Whole30’s… your immune system is working so hard to recover, repair, and heal from all the damage done by the foods you used to eat that sometimes, a virus or bacteria slip on by. Just rest a ton, keep eating Whole30 foods (which will allow your immune system the best chance to fight it off), and consider these tips for feeding a cold: http://whole30.com/2011/02/stm-feed-a-cold/

If you do decide you need to take OTC medications to relieve your symptoms, just do the best you can, and if your doctor recommends something, remember doctor’s orders always trump Whole30 rules.

Feel better soon!

Best,
Melissa

- See more at: http://whole30.com/2013/08/revised-timeline/#sthash.wkcRYitf.dpuf

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Tom and Amy,

 

Just for my edification, in your opinion is there no such thing as "detox flu" or withdrawal symptoms with a radical diet change? There is significant amount written about this - perhaps anecdotally and without empirical evidence but from sources that would appear to be informed, reliable and well-researched as well as from people's direct experience...

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Tom and Amy,

 

Just for my edification, in your opinion is there no such thing as "detox flu" or withdrawal symptoms with a radical diet change? There is significant amount written about this - perhaps anecdotally and without empirical evidence but from sources that would appear to be informed, reliable and well-researched as well as from people's direct experience...

This is a really good question, and it's one I ponder myself every time I do a Whole30 after, say, traveling and eating whatever I can lay my hands on (I am not an efficient traveler when it comes to food :ph34r: ). Dallas and Melissa Hartwig do talk about something they call a "carb flu" where your body feels a bit off as it adapts to using fat rather than, say, sugar and grains (most people's major carb source pre-Whole30), for energy.

 

When it comes to something general called detox, I have to say that I honestly have no clue. I've had (non-Whole30) friends swear by detox teas, detox diets, detox fasts, detox smoothies, etc.

 

I DO think that it can take a while to feel better for those of us who started out with a terrible diet. My pre-Whole30 diet, for instance, consisted largely of potato chips and Starbucks. How I actually survived I really don't know. :lol: Feeling totally human, and adjusting to what it feels like to feel totally human, took a while.

 

One thing the Whole30 world talks about is the connection between the gut and the skin. But this is not about "heal the gut and the skin will suffer temporarily as icky stuff erupts from it." Instead it's "heal the gut and heal the skin - over time, sometimes lots of time."

 

Basically, one thing we learn on Whole30 is that healing and health are not linear processes. Gradual progress, starts and stops, plateaus, revisiting doctors (or getting new ones), all happen when we start to really take care of our health.

In your case, I am not a medical professional at all (I sing and teach music) but my suggestion would be to follow your idea about an acute allergic reaction to something in your food or environment, and continue to work with your doctor(s) to find more answers and treatment.

 

Again, none of what you describe sounds like any fun at all. Sending gentle non-irritating-to-the-face hugs. :wub:

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Huh, I always thought it was a detox thing. If it's not, something is (often) happening. There are just too many posts in these boards about itchiness, rashes, acne, running noses, styes, and other skin and orifice issues to be a coincidence. And it doesn't make sense to me that these are allergic reactions to new foods (nuts, coconut milk), because so many of these accounts describe the symptoms as appearing late in the Whole30, rather than when the new foods were introduced. Something in the Whole30 process itself is making a number of people susceptible to these problems. IMO.

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Huh, I always thought it was a detox thing. If it's not, something is (often) happening. There are just too many posts in these boards about itchiness, rashes, acne, running noses, styes, and other skin and orifice issues to be a coincidence. And it doesn't make sense to me that these are allergic reactions to new foods (nuts, coconut milk), because so many of these accounts describe the symptoms as appearing late in the Whole30, rather than when the new foods were introduced. Something in the Whole30 process itself is making a number of people susceptible to these problems. IMO.

I have to agree with you, GlennR. Trust me, I think the Whole30 is AMAZING and I think some of these symptoms are our bodies way of dealing with the elimination of endotoxins as harmful gut bacteria die off. We are taking away their food of choice (sugar) so as they die, they release those nasty endotoxins. I'm not a medical professional- just a stay-at-home mom who is a science geek and likes to research these things when her little ones are napping. And I'm on day 4 of my 3rd Whole30, experiencing a full-body rash that can only be explained as a detox rash. No new foods introduced, just eliminated a ton of stuff that crept back in since my last Whole30. Anyway, there is no way this would make me quit. Just more evidence of how harmful processed food is for the human body.

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