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Paleo and GAPS experiences please….

Blog Forums Dieting Sucks! Paleo and GAPS experiences please….

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    This is my first post. I’ve only been on RRARF for about two weeks. My story’s a bit different from the ones I’ve been reading on this forum. I never dieted because I was always thin even eating ridiculous amounts of food. I was popular with my friends’ moms because I’d always ask for seconds. From the time I was a kid, however, I had chronic insomnia and some kind of inflammatory joint problem that never really got diagnosed or treated. I’ve had health problems my whole life, some quite serious, and always had cold hands/feet. I thought it was because of my body type, being so thin/underweight.

    I ended up doing Paleo for about 3-4 years and it worked well for me because I love eating meat. I went “whole hog” literally. And then about 10 months ago, after a road trip, my body just fell apart–severe persistent back and neck pain, major digestive problems, non-stop coughing. So I doubled down and started on GAPS 4 months ago!

    I actually learned a lot from going through these processes. It forced me to keep searching for possible solutions and to experiment with the only focus being “does this make me feel better?” Over the years I had lost weight with Paleo (about 5 lbs, from 109 to 104) because there’s no amount of meat you can eat to gain weight when you’ve cut out grains and dairy. All of that meat was hard on my digestive system; I ended up with a case of silent reflux, GERD’s less recognizable cousin, and scary constipation. HCL with Betaine and the Prescript-Assist soil-based probiotic helped out a lot.

    I was actually not a good candidate for GAPS. GAPS may be helpful as a temporary measure for someone who isn’t already seriously underweight. Emphasis on “temporary.” In addition, somehow I accidentally got sucked into 10 weeks of dental work shortly after I started on GAPS. So the next time I saw my extended family, they were shocked by how much weight I’d lost. I was down to 94 lbs from 102 (I’m 5’5″). I hadn’t even realized I’d gotten into such bad shape! So after Thanksgiving I made it my goal to put the weight back on by Christmas. That was when I learned about RRARF and Matt Stone.

    RRARF’s been kind of a roller coaster for me. I’d already been tracking my BMR since September (probably tells you what kind of person I am, hey I started tracking my temp months before I started RRARF!). My temps were actually in a good range, low 98s/high 97s, and this was through my hellacious dental work and my inadvertent starvation. So once I stopped drinking vast quantities of water, added a heaping clump of quinoa to my diet and focused on 3 solid meals a day, I pretty much have been running a temperature, 98-100 in the morning and 100-102.5 at night. I’ve also been racked with back aches and pain, constant and at times unbearable. Sometimes my hands and feet are still cold (though this past week has been the most frigid weather I’ve ever experienced). And I still struggle with insomnia. It’s too early for me to tell if RRARF will address my health issues. I’m just trying to get through each day. What I do know is that on Paleo and GAPS, my life and functionality basically shrunk down to nothing. There are folks for whom it works. I just am not one of them.

    Anyway, I apologize for the long rambling post. I suppose some folks might say, “hey, lady, I wish I could have your problems, your temps skyrocketed after 2 (bleeping) weeks.” This past year especially, however, my life has really been reduced to nothing but struggling with pain and not being able to function at a very basic level. And I’ve had periods in my life that were pretty bleak, undergoing 18 months of treatment for a life-threatening illness. Not being able to get a single good night’s sleep for decades! But this most recent period it felt more lasting to me. And it made me feel true despair (but also made me start meditating, which I never thought I’d do). And it may be that I’m not going to be able to return to my regularly scheduled life. That this is the reality I must accept. I just want to feel better. I think that’s what all of us (Paleo and GAPS enthusiasts as well!) want. Anyway, I look forward to learning more from you and sharing what I know!



    • This reply was modified 10 years, 3 months ago by jdmc123.

    With the GAPS/PALEO dysbiosis theory in mind on how you should stick away from refined sugar/highcarbs etc. Am I right in thinking that It is possible that I will be able to get rid of my brain fog, leaky gut, yeast and SIBO overgrowth by “improving the terrain” following this diet? If so, where do I sign up?! Also has anyone had similar issues and success following the diet?

    Best wishes


    I tried to do it for 3 months but periods got all weird, hair fell out, pretty gloomy and judgemental and I could not go dining out which I just love to do. I just turned 40 so I tried it to get back to my weight at age 30 which was size 4/6. But now I am a size 10.

    I guess I have been dieting all my life to stay thin but then ate hog wild with 2 pregnancies so..hence have a stretched out abdomen that fills up with gas or whatever I put in it.

    I def don’t recommend gaps but I do like to incorporate stews, fried onions, cooked vegetables, liver, and bone marrow and trotters soup. These are traditional foods I have always loved anyway.


    I have been on GAPS. This is a dangerous diet. Let us keep this thread alive. I got several problems and I have heard of heart attacks (from potassium imbalance due to enemas and huge liquid intake), and in the groups on FB that I am a member of, I heard of people getting hospitalized. One from acidoketos (don’t know how the baby got that, but after two weeks on GAPS and lowcarb this happened) and one got severe break down of all blood cells.

    One case of cancer was missed, cause the person just got “it is die off” when she complained about stomach aches. No die off, of course. It was cancer. She died, did not get help in time (she would have visit the doctor several months earlier if she hadn’t gotten that “DIE OFF!!!” thing.

    For me, GAPS lead to an immediately relief of problems, and my thoughts stopped thinking about food food food. I thought this was the Diet above all. After a while I got worse again. A lot worse. Dr Natasha Campbell McBride says we should eat much garlic, to every meal. And eat as many meal as you want. I ended up with 1,5 dl (1 oz = 2,4 dl) garlic per day and a nice Heinz body hemolytic anemia, the kind that animal gets from garlic and onion. Then I started detox with zeolit. Dr N was asked about this, and she said herself this was safe and a good thing to do. Now I got even worse anemia, getting some kind of aplastic anemia. All blood cells decreased fast and I was scared to death, sent to hemologic (dont know the correct word, hope you understand it anyway) doctor. I stopped zeolit and onion/garlic, and what a relief it stopped the anemia. My blood cells stopped breaking down or not getting build, but still, over one year after I have blood cells on the low side.

    My constipation got worse from GAPS, and I got really swollen.

    I left GAPS last year in the end of September, entering paleo. Same kind of food, but starch was introduced. I for sure can tell I needed starch, but it wasn’t enough.

    At last I understood that I got severe electrolyte imbalance from the stuff one should do within GAPS, but did not know what to do about it. Tried potassium, tried sodium. Got swollen and more imbalanced from both (didnt try both at the same time).

    After finding Matt Stone and Garrett Smith, I understood I was to try for longer time with sodium, initial swollen is normal.

    Everything got better from starting high carb and sodium, but the constipation. I then started potassium at the same time, 1-1,5 grams extra per day. After that, my gut works by itself for the first time in 3 years (of complete total constipation that I had to take harsh laxative drops for). It still is not stable, stress can make gut stop work again, but no laxatives needed since it starts working again 1-2 days later.

    Now I am just waiting to get stable and not be needing tons of potassium and sodium (last day I got so VERY hot after eating, so maybe I can start to take less salts).

    I still try to eat whole foods, but threw out linoleic acid products that is promoted in GAPS/WAPF/Paleo and phytic acid stuff and so on. And I follow Kressers 80/20 rule (kind of) making exceptions when I eat out or at others, but of course choosing the things with the least linoleic acid and so on.

    GAPS should be WARNED about. It is dangerous. At least for those following all the stuff you SHOULD follow if you are fully into this. many just eat “full GAPS”, skipping 2 litres of stock per day, skipping enemas, skipping harsh detox, skipping over eating some things like garlic or ginger. Those people often “cheats” too, making them not getting as sick as we who was dedicated to follow extremely well, to be sure to get well.

    I read the book, and it really promoted daily enemas and too big intake of several things.


    For me, GAPS lead to an immediately relief of problems, and my thoughts stopped thinking about food food food. I thought this was the Diet above all. After a while I got worse again.

    This is essentially how anorexia nervosa works. Feels great for a while and you think you are fine, better than fine! Until your body starts breaking down and then you die….


    tennosea, that shows that restrictive diets works the same as anorexia. The stress they cause when one exclude makronutrients or big parts of common nutrients without successful replacement, makes them progress just like anorexia. Only not as bad, you wont die as fast and easily… (ok, mess with potassium and it can be fast).


    I’m so sorry for what you went through. I can identify with so much of it. Paleo gave me an eating disorder.

    I did paleo for two years. The first year I felt great except for depression at times and constipation (but I put that down to detoxing and getting into the new diet.) The second year, my thyroid problems went so bad. I’d previously been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I thought it was because I wasn’t being strict enough so I went on the AIP diet (which is similar to GAPS) and is very restrictive. I couldn’t go to restaurants or eat at a friend or family member. I spent my life in the kitchen yet I was always hungry. The symptoms didn’t improve. My fatigue and depression got worse and I started getting dizzy spells and low blood sugar dips. In desperation, I nearly paid for one of their nutritionists! I’m so glad I didn’t. Anyway, I stumbled upon Matt Stone’s books and almost immediately ate carbs. Wow, what a difference. I’ve still had some bad days – been eating carbs for about 3 – 4 months, but most of the time, I feel exponentially better. My biggest frustration is that where I live in South Africa now, low-carb dieting is the new fashion and no one wants to listen to me when I advise people not to eat like that.


    I was on the candida diet for about 3 months when I was 19 and I guess that’s kind of like paleo or gaps. It was extremely low carb and probably way too much protein. I did it for gut issues which it help, but turned out because I wasn’t having dairy and discovered my lactose intolerance.

    Not so long after I started eating my old diet again (probably only 2-4 weeks) I woke up one day and had a hairy stomach! This has progressed over 10 years even with eating normally. I don’t know what it’s done but I think the very low carb diet may have screwed me up hormonally and I’m still trying to figure out how to get back to how I was :(
    I’ve always had a fast metabolism and the low carb didn’t screw with that, thank god.

    Oh yeah and it’s really annoying for me because when I type in “low carb” and “hirsutism” into google all I get a websites praising low carb for treatment of hirsutism, and I’m 99% sure it CAUSED it for me, I can’t be the only person in the world this has happened to.


    So sorry, Misselle, what a horrible thing to go through. I hope your hormones come right soon!

    Low carb gave me all those things that it’s supposed to treat – digestion problems, histamine intolerance (which has improved after 9 months off low-carb – I could even eat yeast in my bread last week and didn’t get a severe reaction), low metabolism, thyroid problems, womanly hormone issues, etc. I’ve actually become quite religious in disputing low-carb diets which has become the latest buzz in my country (South Africa). People get annoyed with me and don’t agree. I can’t help it.

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