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What Does Lower Back Pain Have In Common With Low Carb Eating?

Strange question, huh? Before you get too excited, I’m not about to tell you that a low carbohydrate diet is a remedy for back pain. Instead, I am going to explain a remarkably parallel experience I’ve had. I never made the connection until this week when a reader asked an unrelated question about lower back pain. The best, worst experience of my life As my third year of medical school was winding down, and I was just about to embark on a bold fourth year curriculum of back-to-back-to-back-to-back surgical sub-internships, I was on top of the world. I was 27 years old, living in Palo Alto, California with my best friends, I had a wonderful girlfriend, I was working hard to prepare for my application to a surgical residency, and I still found time to work out like a wannabe Olympian. What more could I ask for? One sunny, June afternoon I got out of the pool after a good workout and felt a very strange pain in my lower back. After riding my bike a few hundred yards to the weight room, it wasn’t getting better. Actually, it was getting worse. So bad, in fact, I did something I’d never done before – I decided to skip my workout and pedal home. I iced my back, took some ibupro Continue reading >>

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  1. teamzissous

    I made a post a little while back about having consistent bladder and or kidney pains whenever I was in ketosis. It took a while to correlate the pain with low carb (originally thought I may have a hernia, even a doctor thought so and ordered a CT scan, found nothing and gave up on me)
    One redditor (THANK YOU SoftwareMaven) suggested an acidic urine pH. After charting my pain and testing my urine with rapid response urinalysis strips I found that my urine was much too acidic, and it correlated with the pain.
    Apparently ketones tend to make your urine more acidic and you HAVE to balance out your protein/meat intake with alkalizing vegetables (fruits really help too) I've been following the PRAL food lists in order to help keep my urine more alkaline.
    It was also suggested that I try adding some baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to some water if I was eating a particularly acidic forming meal, and IT WORKS!
    There are also some supplementary benefits of baking soda according to examine.com, it has the same benefits of supplementing with beta alanine (reduces muscle burn when taken 60-90 min before a workout) They also note that a study has shown it has no significant effect on your blood pressure, good to know.
    note: I make a point to drink a TON of water, but it is not sufficient to balance out my urine pH.
    TL;DR Thank you SoftwareMaven! Ketosis can make your urine too acidic causing kidney/bladder pain. Eat more alkalizing vegetables (and/or fruit). Also drinking baking soda and water with your acidic forming meal can also keep your pee balanced.

  2. emag

    It's interesting that acidic foods like lemon juice, orange juice, tomatoes, and vinegar all exert a base effect...

  3. happee

    What about coffee? It's pretty acidic, would it exert a base effect as well?

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