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Can Ketosis Make You Anxious?

Ketogenic Diets For Psychiatric Disorders: A New 2017 Review

Ketogenic Diets For Psychiatric Disorders: A New 2017 Review

If you have a brain, you need to know about ketogenic diets. The fact that these specially-formulated low-carbohydrate diets have the power to stop seizures in their tracks is concrete evidence that food has a tremendous impact on brain chemistry and should inspire curiosity about how they work. I first became interested in ketogenic diets as a potential treatment for bipolar mood disorders, given the many similarities between epilepsy and bipolar disorder. Ketogenic diets have been around for about 100 years, and have proved to be invaluable tools in the treatment of stubborn neurological conditions, most notably epilepsy. They have also shown promise in the management of other brain-based disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease, ALS, Traumatic Brain Injury, Multiple Sclerosis, and chronic headaches, as well as in metabolic disorders like obesity, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. But where does the science currently stand on the ketogenic diet and psychiatric disorders like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s Disease? How many human studies do we have, and what do they tell us? If you are struggling with mood, attention, or memory problems, should you try a ketogenic diet? If you are a clinician, should you recommend a ketogenic diet to your patients? A recent review article “The Current Status of the Ketogenic Diet in Psychiatry” by researchers at the University of Tasmania in Australia [Bostock et al 2017 Front Psychiatry 20(8)] brings us nicely up to date on all things ketogenic and mental health. I summarize the paper below and offer some thoughts and suggestions of my own. [Full disclosure: I am a psychiatrist who studies nutrition and eats a ketogenic diet.] First, some basics for those of you who are unfamiliar with these special diets. Definition Continue reading >>

Common Ketosis Side Effects And Treatments

Common Ketosis Side Effects And Treatments

There are many awesome benefits with come with adopting a low-carb ketogenic diet, such as weight loss, decreased cravings, and even possibly reduce diseases risks. That being said, it’s also good to talk about possible ketosis side effects so you know fully what to expect as you start this new health journey. Not everyone experiences side effects when starting a ketogenic diet, and thankfully, those who do don’t usually experience them for very long. It varies with the individual, but just to make sure all your bases are covered, we’re going to breaking down each possible side effect and go over ways to manage and alleviate them if needed. KETOSIS SIDE EFFECT 1 – Frequent Urination As your body burns through the stored glucose in your liver and muscles within the first day or two of starting a ketogenic diet, you’ll be releasing a lot of water in the process. Plus, your kidneys will start excreting excess sodium as the levels of your circulating insulin drop. Basically, you might notice yourself needing to pee more often throughout the day. But no worries; this side effect of ketosis takes care of itself once your body adjusts and is no longer burning through the extra glycogen. KETOSIS SIDE EFFECT 2 – Dizziness and Drowsiness As the body is getting rid of this excess water, it will also be eliminating minerals like potassium, magnesium, and sodium too. This can make you feel dizzy, lightheaded, and fatigued. Thankfully, this is also very avoidable; all it takes is a little preparation beforehand. Focus on eating foods that are rich in potassium, such as: Leafy greens (aim for at least two cups each day!) Broccoli Dairy Meat, poultry, and fish Avocados Add salt to your foods or use salty broth when cooking too. You can also dissolve about a teaspoon of regu Continue reading >>

A Ketogenic Diet For Energy, Mood Stability And An End To Anxiety

A Ketogenic Diet For Energy, Mood Stability And An End To Anxiety

Dr. David Jockers, is interviewed on the topic of the ketogenic diet on the Mental Wellness Summit 2, which airs online September 25 – October 2, 2017. The title of his interview is “Ketogenesis for Energy Stability” but I feel it could be called “Ketogenesis for Energy, Mood Stability and an end to Anxiety.” It’s a brilliant interview and he starts by sharing how the brain can use ketones and not only sugar: We know that about 2/3 of the brain energy can be produced by ketones. We used to think that basically the brain depended upon sugar as its only energy source. And it does need a small amount of sugar, and that’s why it’s so important we have to have a certain level of blood glucose. However, as we get keto-adapted, when we start to utilize ketones as an energy source, the brain gets much more effective and efficient, and it needs less of the sugar. And that’s important because sugar produces a lot more metabolic waste. And so when the brain is using ketones, there is going to be less free radical damage and what we call oxidative stress in the brain, so less damage being associated with the various neurons in the brain therefore better connection, better communication. He shares that ketones are epigenetic influencers and improve neuron sensitivity thereby improving neurotransmitter production: Ketones act to induce healthy genetic expression. They’re epigenetic influencers where they actually influence the brain to promote more BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic growth factor), which helps grow more neurons and more synapses (little gaps between the neurons). They help produce more neurotransmitters and really optimize the expression of these neurotransmitters to where we get good sensitivity between the neurons. So when the neurons secrete sero Continue reading >>

7 Things Everyone Should Know About Low-carb Diets

7 Things Everyone Should Know About Low-carb Diets

Last week, my staff nutritionist Laura Schoenfeld wrote a guest post for my blog called “Is a Low-Carb Diet Ruining Your Health”. Perhaps not surprisingly, it has caused quite a stir. For reasons I don’t fully understand, some people identify so strongly with how many carbohydrates they eat that they take offense when a suggestion is made that low-carb diets may not be appropriate for everyone, in all circumstances. In these circles low-carb diets have become dogma (i.e. a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true). Followers of this strange religious sect insist that everyone should be on low-carb or even ketogenic diets; that all carbohydrates, regardless of their source, are “toxic”; that most traditional hunter-gatherer (e.g. Paleolithic) societies followed a low-carb diet; and, similarly, that nutritional ketosis—which is only achievable with a very high-fat, low-carb, and low-protein diet—is our default and optimal physiological state. Cut through the confusion and hype and learn what research can tell us about low-carb diets. On the other hand, I’ve also observed somewhat of a backlash against low-carb diets occurring in the blogosphere of late. While I agree with many of the potential issues that have been raised about low-carb diets, and think it’s important to discuss them, I also feel it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that low-carb diets can be very effective therapeutic tools for certain conditions and in certain situations. With this in mind, here are 7 things I think everyone should know about low-carb diets. #1: Paleo does not equal low-carb, and very low-carb/ketogenic diets are not our “default” nutritional state, as some have claimed. Some low-carb advocates have claimed that mo Continue reading >>

Insufficient Carb Intake And Anxiety

Insufficient Carb Intake And Anxiety

Low-carb diets offer a number of benefits, from weight loss to improvement in heart health. But that doesn't mean they're free of side effects. Complaints include fatigue, depression, lack of motivation, irritability and restlessness, which are also symptoms associated with anxiety. If you're following a low-carb diet and have these symptoms, consult your doctor to determine if it's one of the temporary side effects from your diet or something more serious. Video of the Day Low-Carb Diet and Your Body Carbs serve as your body's preferred source of energy, and the dietary reference intake suggests you get at least 130 grams of carbs a day for good health. Your brain alone consumes about 120 grams a day, according to the textbook Biochemistry. While there are no set guidelines for how to do a low-carb diet, many popular commercial plans start you on a very low-carb intake, restricting you to 20 to 50 grams of carbs a day. Without enough carbs, your body is forced to burn fat for energy. Your brain can't use fatty acids for fuel, so your liver converts the fat into ketones, pushing your body into ketosis, which is the goal of your severe carb restriction. Low-Carb Diet and Anxiety During the first three days of a low-carb diet, you may feel tired and faint or experience heart palpitations, headaches or cold sweats, according to a case report published by UCLA. Although anxiety isn't a common complaint for those following a low-carb diet, the case report noted a woman with a several-year history of well-controlled anxiety who experienced panic attacks while following this type of diet. Once she reintroduced carbs, the anxiety and panic attacks were resolved. The authors of the report note that the anxiety may have been brought on by a decrease in serotonin levels in the bra Continue reading >>

10 Side Effects Of Ketosis: The Pitfalls Of A Keto Diet

10 Side Effects Of Ketosis: The Pitfalls Of A Keto Diet

A low-carb, high-fat diet takes your body to a state of ketosis, when it burns fat for energy. Result is you lose weight fast, but mostly by dehydration. As this diet robs you of several vital nutrients, you suffer from constipation, headache, bone erosion, leg cramps, and even disrupted menses. Kidney stones may also be formed due to a rising acidity of the blood. When you follow a diet which drastically restricts the amount of carbs you consume, you will not have enough glucose in your blood to fuel your body. In this situation, your body turns to fats for energy. When your fats are broken down, small molecules called ketone bodies are produced, which act as an alternative source of energy. This condition is known as ketosis, and it is a natural state your body goes into. Since your brain requires a constant supply of energy, it would shut down if your body did not produce this alternative fuel source, but it cannot run on ketones forever. Low-carb diets or ketogenic diets, which help your body get into the state of ketosis, help you lose weight quickly but can adversely affect your overall health. 1. Fatigue When your body is in a state of ketosis, you will experience fatigue as your body has to adjust to using an alternative source of energy apart from glucose. If you work out, your workout routine can suffer. Make sure to consume lots of water and salts when on this diet to fight fatigue and lethargy. 2. Headaches And Anxiety You can experience splitting headaches within a few days when you follow a ketogenic diet. Your brain preferably wants to run on glucose; so it burns the last stores of glucose before switching to ketones for energy. You can feel anxious and find it difficult to concentrate as your brain adjusts to using this alternative energy source. 3. Bad Continue reading >>

Does A Ketogenic Diet Cause Anxiety?

Does A Ketogenic Diet Cause Anxiety?

Ordinarily no. However there’s some caveats which means “maybe” in some cases: Some of the side-effects can be really unpleasant and may cause some level of discomfort and (perhaps therefore) secondary anxiousness. Furthermore (agreeing with Doug here) if you push too hard for too long this might also cause a further stress response increasing cortisol etc which will feel fairly close to being anxious I suppose. One of my friends who originally joined me on my journey had a very rough time at one stage (including feeling anxiety), such that he basically eventually gave up the diet. Subsequently having learnt more and looking back with hindsight, we both agree and came to the conclusion that he was perhaps pushing too hard too fast for too long and that what he experienced was caused by this and likely a case of stress response, further exacerbated perhaps by real anxiety due to lingering doubts in the back of his head about the diet (he suspects). Bottom line, a ketogenic diet properly followed does not cause anxiety directly, but there may be some symptoms that either feel like you’re anxious, or cause you to feel perhaps secondary anxiety due to their presence in the beginning (first several weeks perhaps). Or you’re experiencing stress that’s close enough to feel like anxiety. (Perhaps the difference is moot.) Anyway, mostly these are due to loss of minerals and can be resolved by taking mineral supplements to compensate (bouillon mix highly recommended in the beginning, as well as possibly potassium and magnesium supplements, off the top of my head) and perhaps backing of slightly. I’m not really in favour of cyclical keto (cheating periodically), however if you run into trouble sustaining a really low carb level for too long, then there’s no shame i Continue reading >>

I Tried The Ketogenic Diet To Help With My Anxiety—here’s What Happened

I Tried The Ketogenic Diet To Help With My Anxiety—here’s What Happened

When you’ve had anxiety most of your life like I have, you’re familiar with all the tricks. Meditation, essential oils, probiotics, wine…I’ve tried it all. And while I’ve mastered some tools for feeling better in the moment (deep belly breaths do actually work, it turns out), nothing has been 100 percent effective in preventing the anxious feelings from rising up in the first place. Not everyone with anxiety experiences it the same way—or for the same reasons. Sometimes, I don’t even know why I’m feeling anxious. I just am. Other times, like if public speaking is involved, it’s almost a given that my heart will race and my stomach will feel queasy. As Well+Good’s food editor, I’m well aware of the mind-gut connection and that certain foods can boost your happiness levels. But experiencing anxiety isn’t quite the same as feeling depressed (though the two are often coupled). Recently, I’ve noticed that scientists are linking the high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet to the treatment of certain psychological disorders including depression and anxiety, but also bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). That seems pretty darn powerful, right? So besides being the diet of choice for Vanessa Hudgens, Adriana Lima, and yes, even Kim Kardashian, the mental health benefits were enough to really intrigue me. I decided to commit to the ketogenic diet for a month to see if I noticed a difference in my body and mood. Can the ketogenic diet ease anxiety? Keep reading to find out. Meeting the nutritionists celebs swear by If I’m going to do this, I’m going to go all in, so I schedule an appointment with Charles Passler, DC, a nutritionist and life coach to whom celebs including Bella Hadid, Adriana Lima, Sara Sampaio Continue reading >>

The Current Status Of The Ketogenic Diet In Psychiatry

The Current Status Of The Ketogenic Diet In Psychiatry

Go to: Abstract Background The ketogenic diet (KD) has been used in treatment-resistant epilepsy since the 1920s. It has been researched in a variety of neurological conditions in both animal models and human trials. The aim of this review is to clarify the potential role of KD in psychiatry. Results The search yielded 15 studies that related the use of KD in mental disorders including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These studies comprised nine animal models, four case studies, and two open-label studies in humans. In anxiety, exogenous ketone supplementation reduced anxiety-related behaviors in a rat model. In depression, KD significantly reduced depression-like behaviors in rat and mice models in two controlled studies. In bipolar disorder, one case study reported a reduction in symptomatology, while a second case study reported no improvement. In schizophrenia, an open-label study in female patients (n = 10) reported reduced symptoms after 2 weeks of KD, a single case study reported no improvement. In a brief report, 3 weeks of KD in a mouse model normalized pathological behaviors. In ASD, an open-label study in children (n = 30) reported no significant improvement; one case study reported a pronounced and sustained response to KD. In ASD, in four controlled animal studies, KD significantly reduced ASD-related behaviors in mice and rats. In ADHD, in one controlled trial of KD in dogs with comorbid epilepsy, both conditions significantly improved. Conclusion Despite its long history in neurology, the role of KD in mental disorders is unclear. Half of the published studies are based on animal models of mental disorders with limited generalizability to the analog Continue reading >>

41: Acidic Ketones, Anxiety, Calories In Ketones, Allergic Reaction, 130g Carbs For Brain Health

41: Acidic Ketones, Anxiety, Calories In Ketones, Allergic Reaction, 130g Carbs For Brain Health

LISTEN AND DOWNLOAD AT ITUNES If you are interested in the low-carb, moderate protein, high-fat, ketogenic diet, then this is the podcast for you. We zero in exclusively on all the questions people have about how being in a state of nutritional ketosis and the effects it has on your health. There are a lot of myths about keto floating around out there and our two amazing cohosts are shooting them down one at a time. Keto Talk is cohosted by 10-year veteran health podcaster and international bestselling author Jimmy Moore from “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb” and Arizona osteopath and certified bariatric physician Dr. Adam Nally from “Doc Muscles” who thoroughly share from their wealth of experience on the ketogenic lifestyle each and every Thursday. We love hearing from our fabulous Ketonian listeners with new questions–send an email to Jimmy at [email protected] And if you’re not already subscribed to the podcast on iTunes and listened to the past episodes, then you can do that and leave a review HERE. Listen in today as Jimmy and Adam continue answering YOUR questions about nutritional ketosis in Episode 41. **THANK YOU to Derek, Cristina, Erika, Rush, Karen, John, Jennifer, Craig, Lidia, and Wisdom** KEY QUOTE: “If you’re already an anxious person and you drink lots of caffeine and then I put you into ketosis, the ketones actually upregulate the production of atrial natriuretic peptide…which can increase the sensation of anxiousness.” — Dr. Adam Nally Here’s what Jimmy and Adam talked about in Episode 41: – Why does a breath alcohol device give a reading with higher ketones? Hi Jimmy and The Doc, I read an article this week that dismissed the ketogenic diet for some specific health reasons. Here’s the link: They say in the column tha Continue reading >>

Paleo Keto Diet Causing Anxiety?

Paleo Keto Diet Causing Anxiety?

I have been on a keto paleo diet for almost 2 years. Since i started I have experienced anxiety. It gradually got worse, I thought it was b12 for the first year cause a b12 shot helped. Then just after the first year it stopped helping. My doctor ordered blood work and found my b12 was at 499. Which is really high for me. So the shots were taking so that wasn't the cause of my anxiety. Now going on to almost 2 year mark, its quite bad and I can't figure out why. I can't stop it. I eat low carbs which I know can cause it so I increased my carbs for 2 months and came out of ketosis for that time. It did't help at all, it made my other health issues worse (ms, keto/paleo diet helps with symptoms.) I drink at least 200 ml of full fat coconut milk in a smoothy a day. I've heard that can cause an over growth of bacteria (sibo?) in the gut which might cause anxiety(i cut out the coconut milk for the 2 months when I increased carbs). There is so many "cause" that I have read for this but I can not narrow it down. I am pretty sure it has to do with what I am eating but can not find the cause. I never experienced this in my life so this is a first for anxiety for me. Has anyone else experienced this? Anyone find a solution? Any help is greatly apprecieated. TIA Continue reading >>

This Reddit User Swears The Ketogenic Diet Made Him Less Depressed—but Is That Possible?

This Reddit User Swears The Ketogenic Diet Made Him Less Depressed—but Is That Possible?

People swear by the low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet for plenty of reasons—they say it can help lower your blood pressure, reduce your risk of heart disease, and help you lose weight. But now one Reddit user says the ketogenic diet helped fight his depression, too. Under the title “Depression is gone,” Redditor willilikeit writes, “Six months on keto. Have lost 40 pounds. But the best result is how I feel. I've gone from waking up with dread and fighting suicidal thoughts off and on most days, to feeling energetic, positive, and only a rare, passing, suicidal thought. It is night and day! Omg. Thank you for all of your posts and support!" Several other people said in the comments that they experienced similar results with ketogenic diets. “So true, I sleep less, wake up ready for the day instead of dreading it. I have energy and want to actually do things now. So glad you feel it too!” Sea_Hag wrote. “I’m right there with you,” writes EffectedCat. “I don’t constantly think of how much I suck or constantly ask what I’m going to screw up today. …Anger and sudden emotional outbursts have dramatically decreased and everyone around me can notice the difference in my mood. This diet has changed my life.” Does the Keto Diet Really Fight Depression? It actually might, says women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, M.D. “Your diet can absolutely have an effect on your mood,” she says. “Many studies have shown a clear link between diet and a person's state of mind.” The keto diet in particular may cause certain bodily processes that can help fight depression, she says. I Tried It: Keto Diet Here’s how it works: For some reason, when you're on a ketogenic diet, your body produces more GABA, a major neurotransmitter that helps the brain function Continue reading >>

Why A Low Carb Diet May Not Be Best For You

Why A Low Carb Diet May Not Be Best For You

Does Low Carb = Low Energy? I have yet to meet a woman on a long-term, low carb diet who is loving life. I’m here to explain why I think this may be the case. While we have, collectively, reacted to the low-fat brainwashing of the past half-century, with a defiant, “Fat rules!” attitude, this zeal may be taking us too far astray. I am passionate about the ancestral diet and everything implied by “going back to our roots”, but I also raise a brow at more rigid interpretations, assumptions, and academic flourishes about true replication of a Paleolithic diet. We’ve relinquished Darwin and redeemed Lamarck, so the truth is that we can evolve (or devolve) within one generation. Adaptations to stress and environmental exposures can change our biology and impact our grandchildren. Thanks to the work of Weston Price, we may not have to go back as far as the Paleolithic to send the body a signal of safety. As recently as the early 1900s, he found traditional cultures flourishing, many with incorporation of agricultural foods like grains and legumes. That said, we also know that the microbiome plays a powerful role in adaptation to these foods, and that some of our guts may not be up for the challenge. Back in my self-experimentation days, I spent two months on a carb-restricted diet, kicking starchy veggies, fruit, and grains to the curb. I felt great for two weeks, and not a day after. I felt cloudy, tired, and started obsessing about moisturizer and conditioner. Perhaps this is most relevant for those with a history of compromised thyroid function, as the Jaminets have discussed, but I believe it’s relevant to many women. Many Body Types = Many Right Diets I look to the Hadza whose women foster gender-distinct microbial profiles, ostensibly related to their cons Continue reading >>

Experts Say The Keto Diet May Have An Unexpected Emotional Benefit

Experts Say The Keto Diet May Have An Unexpected Emotional Benefit

We are familiar with keto, the high-fat and low-carb diet that has become the latest weight-loss trend, but were you aware that it might have emotional benefits as well? "It might sound like snake oil, but do any digging on the internet about the ketogenic diet, and you'll find personal stories of rapid weight loss and improved memory," said Emily Bartlett, a holistic health professional and founder of Real Plans, a meal-planning service that offers recipes following a keto diet plan. You'll also find a bit of science explaining how tumor cells rely on sugar for fuel and learn how with access to only ketone bodies, they die. Or how a ketogenic diet can improve mood. The point of this diet is to avoid carbs like the plague and consume plenty of fat so that you can make ketonic fuel. "If you've got a health problem you can't hack — and this problem involves blood sugar control, brain health, or your metabolism — you may thrive on a keto meal plan," Bartlett said. The good news is that eating low-carb foods doesn't mean you leave the table unsatisfied. "If you regularly feel hungry, tired, shaky, or have headaches and mood swings in between meals, there's a good chance you're not eating enough fat and/or overconsuming carbohydrates and sugar," said Dr. Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C., founder of DrAxe.com, bestselling author of Eat Dirt and cofounder of Ancient Nutrition. The ketogenic diet puts the body into a state of ketosis, meaning it pushes the body to burn through glucose (sugar from carbohydrates) and forces stored fat to be used for energy. "This process creates ketone bodies, which provide the brain with a steady supply of fuel. Research shows that ketones are effective against mental-health-related pathologies associated with altered glucose metabolism," Dr. Continue reading >>

Is Your Diet Making You Depressed? Expert Warns Ditching Carbs Can Trigger A 'drop In Mood' And Make You 'less Likely To Exercise'

Is Your Diet Making You Depressed? Expert Warns Ditching Carbs Can Trigger A 'drop In Mood' And Make You 'less Likely To Exercise'

Swapping out your bread, pasta and carbs for a low card diet sounds like a surefire way to drop those extra kilos. But experts are warning to watch for signs of anxiety and mood changes if you do so. Australian dietitian and nutritionist Lyndi Cohen claims when we choose not to include carbohydrates in our diets, our moods can change drastically. Speaking to Body and Soul, Ms Cohen said carbs trigger positive mood chemicals in our brain. 'When your brain doesn't get enough (or produce enough) of these chemicals, it can cause depression, which is just one of the reasons it's essential to keep a balanced diet that includes all food groups,' she told the publication. There is a connection between what we eat and how we feel, and Ms Cohen said as it's the brain that chooses what we eat and when, it's important to account for our mental health for a healthy life as well. 'If you've cut our carbs and experience anxiety or depressive feelings as a result, you're actually less likely to exercise, eat well and take care of yourself,' she said. Ms Cohen was diagnosed with clinical anxiety in 2010, and with the help of her doctor she stopped dieting and calorie counting. 'My friends said I was turning into a recluse,' she previously told Daily Mail Australia. 'The diagnosis (of clinical anxiety) was intimidating and shocking. 'I felt isolated and didn't know where to go for help or what to do. I felt stuck.' Ms Cohen said that instead of obsessing over foods you shouldn't eat, you should focus on the foods you can eat. 'Lots of vegetables and legumes to give slow burning carbohydrates which help to keep your mood and hormones more stable,' she said. Before her diagnosis, Ms Cohen was an emotional eater but has since swapped calorie counting for a healthy, wholesome diet. She told Continue reading >>

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