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Is Being In Ketosis Safe?

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What Is Ketosis?

"Ketosis" is a word you'll probably see when you're looking for information on diabetes or weight loss. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? That depends. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, something your body does to keep working. When it doesn't have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones. If you're healthy and eating a balanced diet, your body controls how much fat it burns, and you don't normally make or use ketones. But when you cut way back on your calories or carbs, your body will switch to ketosis for energy. It can also happen after exercising for a long time and during pregnancy. For people with uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a sign of not using enough insulin. Ketosis can become dangerous when ketones build up. High levels lead to dehydration and change the chemical balance of your blood. Ketosis is a popular weight loss strategy. Low-carb eating plans include the first part of the Atkins diet and the Paleo diet, which stress proteins for fueling your body. In addition to helping you burn fat, ketosis can make you feel less hungry. It also helps you maintain muscle. For health Continue reading >>

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  1. odinsmama

    So I don't know if I'm just grasping here, but I ran across info on ketotic hypoglycemia when doing a search for "vomiting no fever" and it sounds like it could fit our situation.
    We don't have a LOT of these episodes, but occasionally my son, who will be 7 at the end of Oct, will vomit first thing in the morning. It is all liquid, slightly yellow. I haven't kept track of whether or not he has a fever with these or diarrhea because I just thought he might be more sensitive to stomach viruses than the rest of us or something along those lines.
    But last week Wed. he vomited twice in the morning, had no fever and no diarrhea. A little bite of a strawberry made him vomit again the second time. Eventually he could sip on water again and he was fully eating by 2:30 that afternoon. I made him rest and didn't give him anything heavy to eat, assuming it was a virus.
    After that he was fine for a full week, no diarrhea, no vomiting, no virus symptoms of any kind. None of the rest of us had any symptoms.
    Now this morning he woke up and vomited first thing and then once more. He was ready to start eating and drinking again by 9:30 this morning and has kept everything down. Again, no fever and no diarrhea.
    Once I found the info on the ketotic hypoglycemia I saw that not eating enough the night before (which he didn't last night) can cause this to happen. I know there have been other times when he has only eaten a very small amount of dinner but didn't vomit the next day, so it doesn't seem to be an every time thing. Though maybe he ate less carbs during the day, or less overall during the day... I'll have to start paying closer attention.
    We eat relatively healthy but this boy loves bread and I just decided to cut it out recently (I have GI issues and my younger son stays away from bread so I wonder if it's just not good for him and his body is telling him not to eat much of it). I haven't even cut it out completely yet, as I'm not going to throw out what we have in the house, I'm just not buying any new stuff. That is the only diet change I've made and it hasn't even really been implemented yet.
    He eats lots of fruit and a little bit of meat. Will eat certain veggies and will drink veggie juice when we do it. Will eat sushi (not raw) and beans and cheese and yogurt and eggs...
    He mainly seems to be "picky" at dinner time and is really just not a lover of meat or veggies. This ends up in him eating only a very small portion of the dinner, or me feeling like I need to make him beans every night to guarantee he'll eat a decent sized meal. This is not something I've ever done, I've always served dinner and that's it. I don't do the restaurant kitchen. Obviously if it's a real health issue, I'll modify this policy.
    So, questions...
    Does anyone have any experience with this? Do I need to start to monitor his glucose?
    I read that it can't really be diagnosed, just other things ruled out... anyone have experience taking this theory to a doctor with success?
    I also read that a bed time snack will be helpful, any ideas for this that don't involve flour products?
    I'm also willing to have bread in the house for him, if this is going to help him, and just give him a peanut butter toast at night after his brother goes to bed.

  2. KeliG

    I don't know about ketotic hypoglycemia but in some ways it sounds similar to a genetic disorder that runs in my family called Medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase, or MCAD, deficiency. It is the inability to convert certain types of fat to energy, particularly during fasting. Symptoms include stomach upset, vomiting, low blood sugar, etc. For children even an over night fast can be enough to trigger it. The more extreme symptoms are scary but if a person knows about it there is little risk of them occurring because it's easy to manage.
    I found out about it during a genetic test. I am a "symptomatic carrier". So I have one copy of the gene and have milder symptoms that sound very similar to what you described. Fasting longer than 6 hours often makes me feel strange and hunger sometimes just feels yucky and I don't want to eat so as a kid I often skipped meals or didn't eat enough. That just makes symptoms worse though. Frequent protein + complex carb snacks help (I guess the extra doses of short and long chain fatty acids are making up for the medium chain) as does a supplement called L-carnitine at a dose of one gram a day. I have no idea if that supplement is safe for kids, that is just what has worked for me. If I have to fast for surgery or something I request IV with glucose instead of Saline.
    The test to find it was just a saliva test that I mailed off to a company in California, and it was covered by insurance. There are also short and long chain versions of the disorder. Hope this helps!

  3. pek64

    Ginger tea works great with vomiting and can get him back on track quickly in the morning
    I didn't read the whole post, so I may have missed something, but is he eating dinner too long before bedtime, or not eating enough at dinner?
    Traditional Medicinals makes a ginger and a ginger aid tea. Either should work. You can make it the night before and give it to him first thing already cool.
    Good luck! Hope the tea helps.

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