The Low Carb Luxury Newsletter: 
Volume III / Number 16: August 30, 2002: Page 7
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      Answering Mail

Dear Lora,

Since beginning to low carb a few days ago, I have had a constant headache (and I don't have them often!) I can't see how this can't be because of the diet. I won't be able to keep staying on plan if this pain continues. Am I just eating too few carbs? Do some people need more?


Helen C.

Dear Helen,

This is a pretty common complaint we hear. Actually what you are probably experiencing happens to about 60% of new low-carbers. It's a withdrawal from sugar (yes, sugar acts as a drug and there IS a withdrawal.) Many get headaches for the first few days and some have problems for up to 10 days. It all depends on how much sugar you routinely took in beforehand (and remember, your body sees white flour and other highly refined carbs as sugars.)

Take a mild analgesic like aspirin but keep them to a minimum if you can. Warm baths help too. And here's a really interesting piece of research that I have found ACTUALLY works:

Research conducted at Washington State University and published in the journal Horttechology (yes, this is the correct spelling) suggests that people in rooms with a lot of greenery can tolerate more physical pain that those in surroundings without any plants. 200 people were tested for how long they could keep their hands submerged in ice water. The findings reinforce previous studies that found that people work more efficiently when they can see houseplants, and patients recover more quickly from surgery and use fewer drugs when they are in a room with a green view.

So surround yourself with greenery, get plenty of sleep, fresh air, and sunshine, and stick with that low-carb diet. You'll soon be feeling better than you have in years!


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