The following information provides potential solutions for symptoms that participants may experience during the program. These symptoms tend to be mild in nature and short-lived if properly addressed.
Gas/Constipation (bowel movement absent in ≥ 3 days)
If constipation has initiated since starting the diet, first increase the patient’s water intake to half their body weight in ounces. If they are carry over 30% body fat reduce the recommendation to ⅓ their body weight, if they are over 40% body fat, reduce to ¼ their body weight. If no change in constipation, reduce the participant’s total daily fiber intake to 20g per day for 7 days and increase slowly over time (this includes the fiber provided by Peak Protein). Too much fiber may cause constipation. Also, adding 2-3 servings of Triple Mag each day can help loosen the bowels and aid in regular bowel movements.
Diarrhea / Bloating (loose stools >2 times per day)
If diarrhea occurs upon starting the diet, the amount of soluble fiber may need to be increased in the diet. This can be achieved by adding 1 tbsp of Psyllium husk powder (can be found at their local health food store or ordered online) to the protein shakes or increasing intake of soluble fiber-rich foods including Brussel sprouts, onions, chicory, artichokes and legumes. If it continues, you may want to perform additional lab testing such as a Microbiology test and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) breath test to further assess the patient’s digestive health. Both of these tests can be ordered through our lab partner Evexia Diagnostics (see “Additional Testing”). Fiber is essential to feed the healthy bacteria in the gut. However, bacteria can eat the fiber and lead to unpleasant symptoms such as bloating, constipation and/or diarrhea if bacteria are present in areas in the intestinal tract where they shouldn’t be.
Lethargy/Lack of Sleep
If the participant complains of fatigue, have them consume an additional dietary unit of protein for one week. In addition, it is recommended they begin the sleep disturbance dose of Relax and Calm, which is one (1) capsule in the morning and two (2) capsules before bed. If the fatigue or sleeplessness persists for greater than one week, complete a Salivary Hormone + Melatonin Profile from Evexia which tests the sleep hormone, Melatonin (see ‘Additional Testing’). Lower carbohydrate diets can also cause a loss of fluid and electrolytes. Excessive sodium loss can cause weakness and lethargy. If this is suspected, have the participant add ¼ tsp of pink Himalayan sea salt to one beverage each day for a total of 7 days.
If headaches occur on the diet, they are usually related to the reduction of caffeine and/or low blood sugar. Caffeine headaches usually dissipate within 72 hours. If it is blood sugar, it is recommended to increase one dietary unit of protein for two weeks. After two weeks, eliminate the additional dietary unit of protein and re-evaluate.
Complaints of Excessive Hunger
If the participant complains of excessive hunger, first review their total water intake. Make sure the participant is consuming half their body weight in ounces of water per day. The area of the brain that controls thirst also controls hunger. It is not uncommon for dehydrated individuals to crave sugar. If regulation of fluids does not help after one week, then increase one dietary unit of protein. In addition, encourage the participant to consume coconut oil if they tolerate it. Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) that can aid in hunger management. The oil can be taken directly by mouth or added to Peak Protein shake. Be sure and remind them to add the coconut oil to their fat unit allowance for the day.
If the participant is suffering from hypoglycemia and getting lightheaded you can add one unit of protein to assist with them reducing their symptoms.