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I'm on day 4 and I noticed that I feel light-headed after eating breakfast and lunch (within a half-hour of eating) I seem to be OK with supper.

 

Yesterday for lunch (when I first noticed this) I had shredded chicken mixed with salsa over a bowl of baby spinach with shredded carrots, a handful  of sprouted sunflower seeds, some red bell pepper, and Tessemae's southwest ranch dressing.

 

This morning I had a Fiesta Breakfast Bowl

1/4 pound ground chicken, onion, 1/2 red bell pepper sauted in cocount oil

leftover broccoli

salsa

banana

 

In the past I have had issues with orthostatic hypotension - especially in the morning and when I shower. I haven't showered yet and feel lightheaded while I'm sitting here typing this. The thing that seemed to help me get through mornings in the past was drinking a cup of coffee before doing anything. But I don't like coffee without sweeteners and I've been trying to have caffeine (in the form of black tea) after breakfast and have breakfast within an hour after waking up as suggested. Difficult because I'm not usually hungry first thing in the morning.

 

I had cortisol levels checked last month and I have higher than normal levels upon awakening (around 7:00 am) and crash to below normal by noon and stay below normal for the rest of the day.

 

Is this something that will resolve itself as my hormones get back to normal or should I change something?

 

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Hi beverly

Sorry you're not feeling so good...

The cortisol levels should balance out as you progress through the program - eating within an hour of wakening being key in resolving this.

As for the light headedness - is it similar to the symptoms you felt with the orthostatic hypertension? I'm wondering if you're maybe not salting your food, and if you're eating enough. It's difficult to ascertain portion sizes from the meals you have listed, but both lack of salt & lack of food in general might cause light headedness. Remember that by removing processed foods you are removing a large amount of sodium from your diet which needs to be replaced... Please also be sure you are drinking the recommended half an ounce of water per pound of body weight daily.

You could also try drinking a glass of water with some freshly squeezed lemon juice before breakfast to kick start your digestive system.

If things don't improve in the next day or two with the suggested tweaks I'd suggest maybe speaking to your GP but hopefully this will only be short lived.

Hope you're feeling better soon.

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Yes, it does feel similar, but it's not upon standing - it happens even without standing and lasts for an hour or 2. It passed a lot more quickly before - within 10 minutes.

 

I quit eating processed foods over a year ago (I did the "100 days of Real Food" pledge). I typically do salt everything - there was salt and some other spices in the breakfast bowl I ate this morning. I had a full 12 oz glass of water before I had breakfast -  I have water with every meal and also between meals. I don't think lack of water is a problem. 

 

It is possible, though, that my meals have had less salt than usual - I did a once-a-month meals whole30 compliant menu in preparation for starting this journey so I would have compliant meals ready to go - no excuses. Maybe I need more salt than what was in those recipes?

 

I'll try adding more salt and see if that helps. If I should eat more, what types of food should I add to my meals?

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I'll try adding more salt and see if that helps. If I should eat more, what types of food should I add to my meals?

 

Eat toward the higher end of the meal template recommendations. 2 palms of protein, 3 cups of veggies and the upper end of the fat recommendation per meal. 

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Hi Beverly ~ I was wondering, are you currently taking any medications?  If so, and if this continues, you may need to speak with your doctor and see if they need to be adjusted.  The Whole 30 way of eating is so healthy, people are often able to reduce or eliminate the need for medication, if they continue to eat this way.

 

I am not an expert on orthostatic hypotension, but I did read up on Wikipedia.   :)  It makes me worry for you, because I wonder why you were having the issue in the first place -- and you certainly shouldn't be sitting around feeling lightheaded.  

 

If you feel like having your tea as you are making your breakfast, drinking the rest with your breakfast...  If you think this makes a big difference, I think this should be okay.  You do not have to follow every recommendation 100% perfectly -- and I think yours is a special case.  The main point with this one is that caffeine is an appetite suppressant, and they don't want people putting their breakfast off and/or not eating enough, because of it.

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No, I'm not on any medication.

 

I had a medical workup done for the orthostatic hypotension when I first had the symptoms and the cardiac tests showed no problems. I was going to go for neuro testing when I discovered that the symptoms were not an issue if I had a big cup of coffee before doing anything else in the morning. So I never went back for more tests (this was almost a decade ago) But the last 3 years have been very stressful (caregiving for my elderly mom - she doesn't live with me but I have responsibility for her medical care and finances - and working full-time). During this time I've been relying more and more on caffeine to keep me going throughout the day (my habit had gotten to 4 big cups of coffee a day and I felt exhausted) and when my cortisol levels came back showing a crash before noon that my body never recovered from, I thought it would be a good idea to forego the caffeine and repair my adrenals. I gradually got myself back down to 1 cup a day before starting the whole30 because I didn't want the major caffeine withdrawal migraine that was surely going to get me if I stopped cold turkey. I felt exhausted without the coffee. I thought sure that the whole30 would help get my system working the way it should again, but now I'm wondering if there might be more to it than just food-related stuff. I'm going to try one more thing tomorrow (after reading about postprandial hypotension) - a cup of chicken broth with 1/2 tsp salt added to it (my broth is made with little to no salt so I can use it in a variety of recipes) first thing in the morning, then breakfast with a cup of tea. And then 4 smaller meals (4 hours apart) instead of 3 big ones per day. If that doesn't help, then I guess a trip to the Dr is in order.

 

thanks for your input. 

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Definitely check in with your doctor. I have trouble with cortisol (have had to take a cortisone based medication over a number of years).

 

Caffeine does have impacts on cortisol, so if you do want to have it, you'd be better off (from a cortisol perspective) having it when your levels are lower rather than higher as it's a "stressor" which can trigger cortisol. But that might not be the best thing for your hypotension, so best to discuss with your doc.

 

If you haven't had any deficiency testing done, you may want to discuss with your doc too, cortisol issues can drain your body of a lot of nutrients. I need to take a lot of magnesium.

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  • Whole30 Certified Coach

How did you do the cortisol test?  I've read about it a lot in the paleo-sphere and I've had my 8 AM cortisol checked (its "fine" they say) but never a day long test (which is probably more revealing).

 

Thanks!

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How did you do the cortisol test?  I've read about it a lot in the paleo-sphere and I've had my 8 AM cortisol checked (its "fine" they say) but never a day long test (which is probably more revealing).

 

Thanks!

 

I went to a local certified nutritionist who gave me a saliva test kit. I sent in the samples after collecting them (instructions for collecting the samples were provided in the kit and the nutritionist went over it with me). I got the results 2 weeks later. 

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I have been experiencing similar symptoms.  I was soooo dizzy yesterday morning and evening that I didn't want to carry our baby for fear that I would drop her.  I had my hubby check my blood pressure this morning and it was 109/something...darned, maybe 80?  He said it was low but normal. 

 

I will try to increase my salt intake a little bit.  I haven't been salting my food anymore than normal, but I guess since I've cut out processed stuff I'm not getting those extra hidden salts in, right?

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I have been experiencing similar symptoms.  I was soooo dizzy yesterday morning and evening that I didn't want to carry our baby for fear that I would drop her.  I had my hubby check my blood pressure this morning and it was 109/something...darned, maybe 80?  He said it was low but normal. 

 

I will try to increase my salt intake a little bit.  I haven't been salting my food anymore than normal, but I guess since I've cut out processed stuff I'm not getting those extra hidden salts in, right?

 

You may need some extra starchy veg too, or even an extra meal, babies can require a bit more fuel :)

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