I Started Atkins and Feel So Sick

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by greeneyes24, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. greeneyes24

    greeneyes24 New Member

    Due to CFS I gained about 30lbs in 1 year. While I'm still not horribly overweight (I'm 5'9" tall) I hate the way clothes fit me now and I adore clothes and fashion so this is really depressing for me.
    I bought Atkins Diet book, read it from cover to cover and decided to give it a go. I started the induction yesterday morning. I felt ok till the evening when I suddenly started feeling really hungry and anxious. I couldn't get to sleep despite eating some eggs and cheese and in the end I had to eat half of the cereal bar (about 10 extra grams of carbs) and finally fell asleep at 4am.
    Today I woke up and felt exhausted from lack of sleep but decided to stick with the diet. I had omellete breakfast and I suddenly needed to go to the toilet every 15mins or so, seemed to be losing water as crazy. I bought some ketone testing strips from the chemist and did a test which already showed up as low-moderate which was a good sign. BUT this evening I feel worse than ever. I feel dizzy, weak, have a horrible headache and am exhausted. I think I'll have to cheat and eat some carbs again *sigh*.
    Seems like this diet is not going to work out for me. Now I'm not sure what to do. Do I stick with this despite feeling like this?
  2. ImDigNiT

    ImDigNiT New Member

    The Atkins diet can make you feel that way at first. Try to really stick with it a few more days if you can and it should go away.

    One of the many benefits with Atkins is that if you are currently having stomach problems, it will help tremendously. Also, you will soon not have to carb cravings.

    Let us know how you do.

    Good Luck
  3. Crispangel66

    Crispangel66 New Member

    Hi, I just wanted to tell pretty much the same thing Marcia told you. My sisterin-law and brother went on that diet and they had the same trouble at first but then they stopped having the cravings, the good news is that she lost about 24lbs the first wk and a half and he lost about 20lbs in the same amout of time. Well good luck, I tried to do this diet and didn't have enough will power. But just keep trying. Hugs Pamela
  4. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    Wow. It sounds like your body is really trying to tell you something. I'd be a bit leery about staying on something that affected me that much.

    Have you heard of the South Beach Diet? It overlaps with part of the Adkins, but isn't as restrictive. My cardiologist, endocrinologist, and primary doctor are all very much in favor of this diet. I'm handicapped with rheumatoid arthritis; I also have FM. I use an electric mobility scooter so I can't exercise. I've now lost 18 pounds on this diet and my cholesterol has dropped 75 points. The South Beach Diet is a meal plan for life. It is not a lose the weight now, and regain the weight when you go back to "normal eating".

    I don't know if the South Beach would be as devastating to your body, but there are a whole list of vegetables that you are allowed to eat even during phase I (which lasts 2 weeks). Beginning with phase 2 (on the third week)---there are a long list of fruits that can be added back into your diet.

    Anyway, I thought I would share this with you. My old rheumatologist told me not to go on the Adkins Diet. We are all so different. What works for one, may not work for the next person. Good Luck. Joyfully
  5. Spoonerpaws

    Spoonerpaws New Member

    I wouldn't think that you would be so sick from Atkins. I would be a little leary if you felt so bad

    I have heard (from a Nutrionist) that South Beach Diet and the Mediterranean Diet is better
  6. Greenbean7

    Greenbean7 New Member

    When we started on Atkins two years ago I got horribly sick and stayed that way for 3 days. If I hadn't gotten rid of everything I wasn't supposed to eat I would have eaten everything I could find.

    My doc says it was sugar withdrawel. Makes sense. So many of the things we eat every day are high in sugar and when you start Atkins you knock out all sugar for the first two weeks. We get sugar from fruit, some veggies, and most processed food, so even if we feel that we don't eat a lot of sugar, we may be getting more than we realize.

    I lost over 50 lbs in the first 3 months. I also did a low impact, aerobic breathing exercise program so I had none of the lose skin problems that some people have when they lose that much weight.

    Atkins and exercise worked for me (also cleared up my heartburn prolbems). But, I always caution people by saying that it may not work for them. What works for one, doesn't always work for another. We are all so different.

    After two years on Atkins I now can eat about 60 carbs a day without gaining weight. I choose to use my carbs by adding fruit to my diet. Still avoid anything white, potatoes, bread, etc. However, I will have those things once in a great while. I do not eat any refined sugar, but do get sugar from the fruit I eat.

    So if you can hang in there for a few days you will start to feel better and eventually you will have more energy and less tummy trouble. I would caution you to take your magnesium, it helps counteract the constipation problem often brought on by low carb diets.

  7. Bet2

    Bet2 New Member

    I don't think you are suppose to feel quite that ill on this thing. OF course all of us are different but I think that I would go and have a blood test first. You may be having some sugar problems. But at this point it is just a guessing game.

    We should all check with our doctors before trying any kind of plan, and Atkins is extreme. Especially the induction phase. Keep in mind you are totally taking your body away from everything that it is use to.

    It is "very" hard for me to stay on the Atkins diet. Instead I eliminated the things that were making me sick.

    Sugar, wheat, yeast, gluten, processed foods, caffeine and alcohol.

    I lost weight and it has stayed pretty even with moderate excercise and I feel better. Doesn't mean I don't still flare but it isn't as bad anymore and not as frequent.

    Oh and I seem to be able to eat some natural sugar, such as fruit and raw honey. (Go figure)

    Good luck hon,

  8. jbg

    jbg New Member

    I too did the Atkins. I thing the biggest mistake people make is not getting enough carbs. My sister reacted the same way...but we found out that she had her carb intake down too low. She wasn't even eatting 7 a day. After she added some controlled carbs everything balanced out. YOu might have gone a bit over board on lowering your carbs. I have been on it for over a year now and never felt better in my life. Just make some slight adjustments and you'll be fine. Some times people need more than 20 just to keep in balance. You can go the the Atkins web site and ask one of their pro's and they'll help you out.

    Good luck.
  9. petsrme

    petsrme Member

    I tried Atkins a few years ago. I have always had a problem with fainting. Ever since I was about 6 years old if I didn't eat enough I would pass out. Once I got overweight that problem disappeared. I don't know if it was low blood sugar or what. Doctors never investigated it. Anyway, when I went on the diet I did it exactly as I was supposed to. I ate eggs, bacon and sausage for breakfast, I had big chef salad or grilled chicken salad for lunch and then pork chops or steak with vegetables for dinner and 90 0z water a day.

    I remember thinking I was eating way too much too lose weight. By the third day I was so weak I was unable to stand up without feeling like I was going to faint. I then got to the point where I couldn't sit up without feeling faint. I would break out in sweat also. I decided I couldn't live like that and got my husband to make me some carbs. I felt better almost immediately.

    I am still not sure if it was the lack of sugar or what. All I know is that I can't stand to feel that way. I recently started feeling faint all the time again, but it was because I was dehydrated.

    The diet worked for my mother great. I guess it just isn't for everyone. Just listen to your body and hopefully you will find something that you like.
  10. a friend of mine lost over 100 lbs on it, and did so well in a years time. I went on it and lost at first 20 lbs, it was tough, but it is just too resrictive. I have to do something else I think.
  11. cilli

    cilli New Member

    Hi Greeneyes,

    I have been on atkins for awhile now. I started the same way as you. It made me sick for about a week.

    It was explained to me that this is a symptom of detox, which is what your body is doing. It should only last for no longer than a week. Also you should add an extra salad in to help with the stomach sick feeling.

    Do try to hang in there, this diet is great, it's works and eventually you get to the point you can have most carbs in moderation.

    Like everything moderation is the cure. There are also some very good sweat products out there that do not have sugar in them.

    I don't know about you but sugar is very hard on me. It always causes me to flare badly.

    Good Luck
    LOve Cilli

  12. etoyl

    etoyl New Member

    I truly believe the answer to making us feel a little better is a diet high in protein. It's hard to do since we all seem to crave sugar.

    Since most of us have a problem with constipation, this diet will take care of that and help your system to work more efficiently.

    Hang in there and don't go too drastic on NO carbs and I think you'll be okay. You do need to make sure this is alright with your doc, though.

  13. jillmay

    jillmay New Member

    Interesting dicussion on the Atkins diet. I tried it once. Followed it to a tee for a week, and I felt like I was going to die! I'm beginning to wonder if what I have is truly fibromyalgia. It seemed that the first day, my calves started to cramp. By day five, I was shaking so bad that I had to crawl on my hands and knees to keep from passing out. Although I don't normally pass out. I couldn't think. I was weak, disoriented and confused. My muscles ached and felt like they were twisting into knots. I couldn't stick to it. When I had to crawl on my hands and knees, I crawled right to a cracker. I don't know why my body reacted so severely, but I'm surprised that most of you had no major reactions and did well on it. I seriously felt close to death on that diet, but yet I've seen all my relatives and friends do well on it. BTW, after sticking to it for a week straight, I didn't not lose one single ounce. And I swear I never cheated one bit. Hmm.

    I guess we are all differnt. But I'm beginning to think I'm really weird! LOL

  14. raccoonmom

    raccoonmom New Member

    You made me crack up with the cracker story! I picture someone crawling on their hands and knees to the bathroom, to water, but never a cracker!
  15. jillmay

    jillmay New Member


    You made me laugh hard by laughing at my cracker crawl! Thanks for the chuckle! Now that you mention it, it does sound hysterically funny! But I swear, it's a true story. haha

  16. greeneyes24

    greeneyes24 New Member

    By the third day on the diet I felt so light headed that I was nearly fainting every time I sat up. I don't think you are supposed to feel THIS sick. But I do think that high protein diets are healthier and better for us, just Atkins is too extreme for me.
    Now I'm doing a relaxed version of Atkins, I eat around 40 grams of carbs a day, I added a serving of strawberries or watermelon a day (they are both low in carbs), and I feel heaps better.
    I probabably won't lose much weight though, but I think that at least I'm eating healthier.
  17. Lady_Bayou

    Lady_Bayou New Member

    Hey greeneyes....you said you read the book cover to cover! good for you. most people don't and end up eating so many things they really aren't supposed to have.

    my advice would be to definitely use the vitamins & supplements he says to use. They are a must-have! You're losing so much while on his diet that without them you'll feel like crap every day! (for most ppl)

    he tells you to buy like a hundred dollars worth of stuff (if you bought it all), just buy the main ones, but DEFINITELY take a multi-vitamin.

    you'll start to have more energy! promise :)

    I lost 20 pounds in the first 2 weeks ;-)

    also drink plenty of water!!
  18. mkbee

    mkbee New Member

    I too have tried Atkins only to have the same results of feeling weak, dizzy, light headed, etc. etc. I have read that people with FM need more carbohydrates than those that do not have FM. If that is true, it would explain why FM patients do not do well on the Atkins diet. In what I was reading it said that FM patients need the extra carbs because of problems with sore muscles and that the carbs helps with that. Anyone heard this before?