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Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe For Diabetics?

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Is Ketosis Dangerous?

You may have heard from your doctor that ketosis is a life-threatening condition. If so, your doctor is confusing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) with nutritional ketosis, or keto-adaptation. First, some semantics. Our body can produce, from fat and some amino acids, three ketone bodies (a “ketone” refers to the chemical structure where oxygen is double-bonded to carbon sandwiched between at least 2 other carbons). These ketone bodies we produce are: acetone, acetoacetone, and beta-hydroxybutyrate (B-OHB). [For anyone who is interested, they are the 3 most right structures on the figure, below.] Why do we make ketones? For starters, it’s a vital evolutionary advantage. Our brain can only function with glucose and ketones. Since we can’t store more than about 24 hours’ worth of glucose, we would all die of hypoglycemia if ever forced to fast for more than a day. Fortunately, our liver can take fat and select amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) and turn them into ketones, first and foremost to feed our brains. Hence, our body’s ability to produce ketones is required for basic survival. What is diabetic ketoacidosis? When diabetics (usually Type I diabetics, but some Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. utshell

    I've been nervous to post this, but I'm just going to throw this out there...does anyone use Metformin to "optimize" insulin and (potentially) weight loss? All current signs point that I'm one of those women Dr. Gerber described in the last podcast - insulin sensitive, lab work excellent, but just hold onto weight and difficulty losing it. Insulin test is pending - that said, my A1C has been excellent for years so my provider expects my insulin to be good, but maybe not optimal.
    I do strict keto, IF, and up to 72 hour fasting. My latest stall is at 6 weeks.

    Thoughts? I know using medication to basically optimize could be controversial. (And berberine hasn't done anything.)

  2. Cocoplum

    I take 1000 mg per day of metformin, up from 500 mg last year. My primary care physician was totally cool with writing the prescription when I asked. My goals were a wide range of health benefits; my weight after 2.5 years in ketosis is great (same as freshman year college), and my HA1c is 5.0, so weight loss wasn't my goal. A great survey paper on metformin is available (free full text) here:
    www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/pdf/S1550-4131(16)30229-7.pdf
    90
    All the best,

    Kevin

  3. utshell

    Thanks! I've read quite a few LCHF researchers/experts take it and aren't necessarily diabetic. I'm not sure if that's true or not. I figured it won't hurt anything. My A1C fluctuates between 5-5.2, and has been as low as 4.9. But I still carry a bit of excess weight that even on strict keto and fasting is very slow to come off and has stalled for over 6 weeks now. I figure really working on the insulin level can't hurt the situation I can't find literature on this application specifically and was curious if anyone here has had any experience with this.

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