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Night sweats, unstoppable hunger, headache...what is this?!


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My periods were all over the place these past six months, I start a whole thirty and boom! Six days later I'm back on the rag. (I'm just turned 40; was starting to think the issue was early menopause.) So that's good news.

Then, on days ten and eleven (still during the period), I could. Not. Stop. Eating. I did not break whole30 rules, but did include a fruit & nut snack in each day. I was like a bottomless pit. I think I ate like double the template at each meal, and still felt hungry a couple hours later.
And I'm exhausted, even though I am getting eight or more hours of sleep a night. (MUCH more than pre-whole30.)

And both days I woke up soaking wet. Sweaty to the max.

And last night (day 11) until this morning (day 12) I have a massive, pounding headache. (And, to be frank, I'm a bit farty as well.)

So, I'm blabbing all this here because I am looking for reassurance.
Is this to be expected, given the hormonal fluctuations of a period?
Or did I do something wrong?
The way my body feels right now, on the dawn of day twelve, I feel a little defeated.

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First off, breathe.  :) 

It sounds like your hormones are out of balance and working through stabilizing.  It's normal to be more hungry around your period: get in at least a fist-sized serving of starchy veggies daily.

With respect to the headache, are you salting your food and staying sufficiently hydrated? We recommend a 1/2 ounce of water per pound of body weight, daily.

Regarding the excess gas, that might be attributed to something you ate.


For us to best help you overall, post a few days worth of your food log, including portion sizes, water consumption and any exercise. With that information, we can take a look and possibly suggest tweaks.


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I agree totally with Chris, I think this sounds like a whole-body shuffle going on and if so, you will need to ride it out.  Along with posting the foods you are currently eating, let us know what your pre-Whole30 diet was like.  Did you eat a lot of sugar and processed carbs/junk food/fast food? Did you eat at odd intervals (ie skipping breakfast or not eating all day and bingeing or grazing all day)?  Do you have any other conditions or are you currently nursing (maybe not with a period but thought it was worth asking)?

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Thanks for the replies!

Yesterday I ate

An egg preworkout, a can of tuna and a fist of sweet potato post-wo.

Then four eggs.

For lunch, the pot roast from the w30 cookbook.

Then another egg.

Then, at home, about three fistfulls of cashews and a handful of dried mulberries.

Then, dinner was the w30 cookbook chili, which I had about three helpings of.

I'm a teacher on a rotating schedule, so I don't have consistent eating times and I had to do the best I could yesterday.

Then my kids had an after-school Halloween event, which led to grabbing fruits and nuts on the way out the door.

Pre-w30, I was eating in the way most people think of as "healthy," and was mostly vegetarian. I've been in food indecision for a few months, trying to figure out what to eat or avoid as I read conflicting information about food. (Finally decided to do a w30 as a result.) I've always been a grazer, and I was eating more dark chocolate and drinking more red wine than I'd like to admit.

Thanks again!

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So, for vegetables yesterday you had a fist of sweet potato plus whatever veggies were in your pot roast and your chili? Start there -- one cup of vegetables with every meal is a minimum, aim for three cups at every meal.


Add fat to your meals, in addition to your cooking fat.


So for example, your pre- and post-workout meals you listed were good, but breakfast could have been four eggs + spinach + 1/2 avocado. Lunch could have been the pot roast with mashed potatoes or this root vegetable mash or whatever vegetable sounds good, and the other half your avocado from breakfast. Supper could have been the chili over zoodles with a big salad with creamy italian dressing. If you were still hungry at any point in the day, it's okay to eat something, but nuts and dried fruit aren't your ideal choice. If you had leftovers in the fridge, that would be an easy thing to take with you, or hard boiled eggs. 

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Besides Shannon's great advice, that's a lot of cashews in one day and likely is the culprit for your gassiness. We recommend limiting nuts as a fat on a Whole30, and the recommend serving size is one closed handful.

Also, how much water are you drinking? Again, we recommend 1/2 an ounce of water per pound of body weight, daily.

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Not an expert here, but I went through the heavy night sweats, splitting headache, crazy ridiculous tiredness and wonky periods a few days after I started my Whole30, too.  I'm 47 and not yet perimenopause, but wow...it was a hormonal roller coaster for sure.  I was even questioning if doing the Whole30 was a good idea for me even though I've done them multiple times in the past without issue.  


Today is day 30 for me and everything has totally evened out. In fact, until I read your post, I'd actually forgotten that craziness so it clearly stopped long enough ago for me to put it out of my head. Hang in there!


Oh, and nuts on an empty stomach definitely make me gassy, too.

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Thanks so much, everyone! I appreciate the responses. (Thanks especially to GLC1968. It was particularly helpful to hear that someone else had gone through that discomfort, then come out the other side to the point where you forgot it happened!)

Also, I am A TON better today. Yesterday was rough, and I could only eat one meal, basically. 

But today I feel fantastic! 




Just to clarify: When you pointed out that my meals were less-than-ideal, were you saying that -not- following the template very well causes problems? Or are you just point out to me how I could have improved my meals? (I'm trying to figure out if the template is as important as the rules.)

Also, the chili is labelled as a "one-pot meal" in the Whole 30 book, meaning that it was supposed to have all I'd need in the right proportions. Do you not believe this to be the case? 

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I just read this topic because now, on day 27, I'm experiencing bouts of real hunger (yes, I would eat steamed fish and broccoli if someone put it in front of me, unless it was really gross). So I looked at the advice, drank a glass of water and waited a bit, and then when I still felt truly, physically hungry, I went to the fridge and tore off a substantial hunk of chicken from a whole roasted bird in the fridge. After I chowed that down, I had a spoonful of crunchy organic almond butter (which I usually eat on apple slices, but I thought I'd skip the fruit). Amazing! I feel really satiated now, and as if I can hang out until my (late) dinner hour (husband works the evening shift). I'm really getting the idea that I may need to eat considerably more protein than I think (and that would mean more than a palm size, since I usually start with more than that anyway). I do have a fairly small capacity, and get tired of eating during a meal -- sometimes I need to go back an hour later and finish what's on my plate. Is that so bad? I just tend to be a grazer because of my smaller capacity for food...

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  • 3 months later...

My first whole30 (actually whole75) threw me straight into menopause (I was 40), complete with crazy periods, night sweats, hot flashes (every hour like clockwork) and really bad mood swings.  I even saw my doctor to try to figure it out. But I kept going because I had tons of energy, was losing weight and fitting into clothes that I hadn't worn in years. Then after 6 months of wholeish eating and gradually falling back into old habits, all the symptoms subsided and I was my old non-hormonal self again. 

Now I'm doing another whole 30, (at 42) and all the symptoms of menopause are back. So I'm wondering if I've eliminated some key nutrient that stabilizes the hormones?  My husband thinks I'm a lunatic because it's February in frigid Minnesota and I sleep in a tank top with no covers on! :-)

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