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Feeling rotten on day 25... worse than ever

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I have followed the Whole30 for the last 25 days.  Diarrhea started on day 3 and has not let up.  I used to suffer from IBS after my third pregnancy, but it had resolved several years ago.  Now my symptoms are as bad as they used to be several years ago.  

In the past two weeks, I have been waking up in the morning with swollen hands, my face is breaking out...

I have stuck with the diet, hoping to feel better, but am definitely not feeling better... actually, I am feeling much worse.  

Prior to the Whole30, I was on a pretty good diet and my gut was much happier.  My weight and BMI are normal and I wanted to do the Whole30 to improve my health - have more energy and clear the brain fog - not to loose weight.

Now, I am sitting here at 4 am, not able to sleep and feel like I have rocks in my stomach... My hands used to swell occasionally but nothing like it has been lately.  I am achy all over.  All these symptoms are new and not nice.

I used to eat yogurt and drink kefir daily. I tried fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi, but nothing is working.  I am feeling disappointed that the diet has made me feel overall much worse.  

Any suggestions?


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Hey there


Sorry to hear you're not feeling so good.


Can you give us a run down of what you have eaten, say over the last four days - giving specifics about vegetables types, portion sizes, water intake etc - as well as any pre-existing medical conditions or medications that you are taking.

It's likely that something you are eating is causing the symptoms you describe so hopefully armed with that info we'll be better equipped to help you troubleshoot...



ETA: Please note I have deleted your duplicate post in the Whole30 with medical conditions section - as per the rules of the forum we would ask that you don't post the same topic across multiple forums.

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Here is what I have been eating:

Breakfast: usually 2 eggs over easy and a vegetable of some sort - 1/2 avocado, cooked green beans, coriander sprouts - whatever is in the fridge at the time

Lunch: soup - vegan vegetable soups, salad - spinach, cooked beets, a small slice of steak or cooked shrimp, garlic and lemon salad dressing, tomato, red onion, avocado salad, green salad

Dinner: chicken chowder, roasted chicken, steamed cauliflower or broccoli or green beans. Chicken with cauliflower and legal curry sauce, baked or roasted sweet potato and baked or roasted potato - I am not a huge eater, but eat enough not to be hungry.

Snacks: 1 fruit (apple, mandarin, mango, pear etc); handful of pecans or almonds, occasional 1/2 larabar (find the whole larabar too filling), dried fruit: 2 figs, 5 dates, 1 serving of apple sauce.

I drink water with a little lemon juice, green tea, ginger tea or mint tea. 


I cut out pistachios completely and stopped nuts for a couple of days, but that did not help.  I started a probiotic to replace the usual dose of kefir.  I stopped all supplements like fish oil, vitamin C etc. that could be contributing.  


I have never been diagnosed with scleroderma, but some of my blood work showed some markers for it (not enough to diagnose), I have raynaud's and mild asthma.  I don't take any meds for any of these conditions.  I have issues with inflammation and I was hoping that this diet would help. I usually eat less meat - probably once per day as opposed to 2-3 times per day.  There were a couple of days where I didn't feel like eating at all from my stomach being so unhappy.  


Thank you for any input.

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Ok, the figs, dates, nuts & larabars are not doing you any favours - I'd ditch ALL of them (larabars are for emergency use anyways) and up the content of your meals to avoid snacks unless you have a particularly long day. If you DO have a particularly long day then it's fine to add in a mini of at least two of the three macro-nutrients, with protein & fat being your best combo (although protein & carbs, or carbs and fat will work okay too - no fruit on it's own as a snack, even if fresh)

I'm guessing that some of the veg are causing the inflammation (your symptoms sound like malabsorption) so if you can give me specific info on the veg you have eaten in the last 3-4 days it would be very helpful, rather than giving possible options or saying 'whatever is in the fridge'. 

How much water are you drinking daily? How are your energy levels? Do you have excessive gas/wind? Stomach cramps?

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I really appreciate your taking the time to help problem solve this.


Veg: avocado, tomato, red onion (in small amounts), broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale, asparagus, romaine lettuce, green beans, sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, zucchini - those are the main vegetables I tend to buy


I will cut out the dried fruit and larabars - like I said, I only have 1/2 of one on any one occasion - mid afternoon when my energy dips down.


I think I need some more ideas re. proteins - I don't love meat.


Fluids: I have a water bottle - 750 ml and at least 2-3 teas per day (green, mint, ginger)



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You could avoid that dip in energy if you upped the protein & fat content of each of your meals - protein & fat provide a much more stable release of energy than carbohydrates & the larabars are carb heavy being made up of dates & nuts - dates have a HUGE sugar hit.

Water-wise I'm guessing you're not drinking nearly enough - you need to be aiming for a half ounce of water per pound of body weight daily. 750mls is good if you weigh 50 kilos.

Veg wise - there are a few groupings of veg which can be problematic:

Nightshades (of which you're eating potatoes & tomatoes - are you eating any kind of peppers? or flavouring food with cayenne?)
FODMAPs (of which you are eating sweet potatoes, onions, avocados, broccoli, cauliflower & asparagus - possibly tomatoes depending on type and I'm guessing maybe garlic too)

Cruciferous (of which you are eating kale, cauliflower & broccoli)

The symptoms of Nightshade sensitivity often involve skin issues (rashes/itching) & swelling.

FODMAPs and cruciferous veg tend to present more as digestive problems - bloating, feeling stuffed yet hungry, excess gas/wind, stomach cramping, diarrhoea/constipation.

FODMAPs & cruciferous veg tend to become problematic once our system has had it's fill of them, in that those sensitive to them have a  specific (& v personal) tolerance level, but once we surpass that limit that's when the problems start & the gut gets inflamed. Symptoms disappear within a matter of days of excluding them & you can go through a reintroduction process with them to see what you can tolerate going forward - once the gut is healed.

Nightshades symptoms tend to show up as soon as someone sensitive to them eats them.

What are you eating most often? Have you kept a food diary so that you can see patterns of symptoms alongside particular foods?

For protein have you tried shrimp? King prawns, scallops, crab meat? Tuna steaks, monkfish, seabass...? Or something like pulled pork which is less 'meaty' than other meats?


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It's worth talking with your doctor about this. Scleroderma is frequently associated with SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), and so is IBS. SIBO shows a lot of the symptoms you're experiencing, and fermentable foods (ie, FODMAPs, which are in many of the veggies you're eating) can make it worse. It might be worth getting a lactulose breath test to check for SIBO. It's  a simple, non-invasive test, and treating SIBO is reasonably straightforward (2 weeks of antibiotics, and a low FODMAP diet).


You could also just try taking digestive enzymes and reducing the FODMAPs in your veggies. These veggies that you eat are fairly high in FODMAPS: avocado,  red onion (in small amounts), broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, sweet potatoes.


Good luck!

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