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Is Ketosis Bad For The Kidneys?

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Clearing Up Kidney Confusion: Part Deux

It’s funny how our mental state really affects how we write and what we are interested in. When I wrote the introduction to this piece I was just getting settled into our new place in Santa Fe, NM and was looking at over a month at home to work and write. Then a number of wacky events happened and I’ve been home about 7 days out of the last month and I’ve only made it about 70 pages into Kon-Tiki. Ouch. Now I’m home for 8 days and will then be gone for a project that will take me completely off the grid for nearly 3 weeks. No phone, email…nada. When I sat down to do this kidney piece it was with a mindset that I had a ton of time and could really sink my teeth into it. Now I’m time crunched and anxious that I will get it done at all! Up front here I’d like to thank Mat “The Kraken” Lalonde with his help on some literature for this piece. Any inaccuracies however are my own tomfoolery. If I wanted to cut to the chase I could boil this whole thing down to the following: 1-Dietary protein DOES NOT CAUSE KIDNEY DAMAGE. 2-Chronically elevated BLOOD GLUCOSE levels DO cause kidney damage. 3-Dietary fructose REALLY causes kidney damage. 4-Many kidney issues have either a Continue reading >>

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  1. Prairie-dawg

    So I went to the pharmacy yesterday to pick up a new scale and some Ketostix. The pharmacist (who works right next door to me and I've become friendly with) asked me if I was "starting some kind of crazy diet." I told him I've started a ketogenic diet and I'm just trying it out to see if it's right for me. He asked me a few questions about it, mostly about macro ratios and if it's been working so far. When I told him about the higher fat ratio (as opposed to high protein) he seemed somewhat intrigued, but still a little skeptical. The other pharmacist who was working with him chimed in at that point. He said apparently in some Scandinavian countries, they've found that a higher fat content and fewer simple carbs in a person's diet is ideal and actually recommended. However, they both agreed that ketosis for an extended period of time can be very hard on the kidneys. I did a little investigating on my own and there's very little info regarding the long-term effects of the high fat/moderate protein/low carb keto diet. So my question is, has anybody experienced any kidney issues on this diet? Has anyone received any similar warnings from their physician?
    TL;DR
    Pharmacist warned about kidney issues caused by long term ketosis. Seeking out facts/sources to prove or disprove this claim.

  2. cloudmind

    When I first started keto I ended up going to hospital because I had severe internal pain that wouldn't go away. Turns out I was eating far too much protein so my kidneys were giving me grief. Fixed it by upping the fat macros in my diet and I went back to being pain free. Hooray for butter and coconut oil!
    Given my experience, I can understand where the pharmacists are coming from since I think there might* have been a spate of people doing atkins-like diets with kidney problems in the past (too much protein, not enough fat).
    *rampant speculation on my part

  3. Prairie-dawg

    I don't blame them for that at all. In fact, before I really started doing my homework on keto, I used to internally roll my eyes when people would talk about low carb dieting. I think there's a lot of risidual negativity held over from the early days of Atkins regarding low carb diets. Fortunately, I'm always happy to have a teaching moment when the chance arises!

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