Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe For Everyone?
Is a ketogenic diet safe for you? Is a ketogenic diet safe? Before you try this at home… First and foremost, if you pick up a copy of Jimmy Moore and Dr. Eric Westman’s excellent new book, Keto Clarity (which I highly recommend–see my review here) and feel (understandably) inspired to immediately embark on a ketogenic diet, I would caution anyone with a serious chronic health problem, especially anyone who is taking prescription medications, not to attempt a ketogenic diet on his/her own without medical supervision. Medications and Early Ketosis Even though I personally believe in the power of ketogenic diets to improve and even reverse many chronic illnesses, from diabetes to chronic fatigue to mood disorders, the diet does this by causing very real shifts in body chemistry that can have a major impact on medication dosages and side effects, especially during the first few weeks. Examples of problematic situations include sudden drops in blood pressure for those on blood pressure medications (such as Lasix, Lisinopril, and Atenolol), and sudden drops in blood sugar for those on diabetes medications (especially insulin). These changes in blood pressure and blood sugar are very positive and healthy, but the presence of medications can artificially intensify these effects and cause extreme and sometimes dangerous reactions unless your dosage is carefully monitored by you and your clinician in the first month or so. Another important example of a medicine that would require careful monitoring is Lithium, an antidepressant and mood stabilizing medicine. The ketogenic diet causes the body to let go of excess water during the first few days, which can cause Lithium to become more concentrated in the blood, potentially rising to uncomfortable or even toxic levels. These Continue reading >>
Feline Chronic Kidney Disease
ON THIS PAGE: Risk Factors Home > Related Diseases > Diabetes It is not uncommon for a CKD cat to also have or develop diabetes. The dietary needs of a diabetic cat may seem incompatible with the needs of a CKD cat but the diabetes must take precedence. What is Diabetes Mellitus? Insulin is a hormone which enables the body to process food and to produce energy from it. Diabetes mellitus is a disease in which: not enough insulin is produced by the pancreas; or the cat’s body cells do not properly process insulin which the pancreas has produced. As a result, the cat develops high blood sugar levels (hyperglycaemia), which eventually lead to high sugar levels in the urine (glucosuria). Diabetes may present as: uncomplicated; or diabetes with ketoacidosis (DKA) Cats with the former may only have mild symptoms, at least in the early stages, but cats with ketoacidosis are usually very ill, and may die if not treated promptly. There is another, much rarer form of diabetes called diabetes insipidus which is beyond the scope of this website. Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine has a good general overview of diabetes in cats. Feline diabetes mellitus: from diagnosis to therapy (2009) is a helpful article by Dr DL Zoran. Feline Diabetes provides detailed answers to frequently asked questions. Risk Factors Increasing age is a factor (as it is for CKD cats). Steroid-induced diabetes in cats (2013) Peterson ME Veterinary Endocrinology says "The average age at diagnosis for feline diabetes is 10 years, with a peak incidence between 9 and 13 years." Obesity in cats, as in humans, is a strong predisposing factor for diabetes. For some reason, male cats and neutered cats are more at risk of diabetes. Burmese cats in the UK and Australasia (but not the USA) appear to be mo Continue reading >>
Could A High-fat, Low-carb Diet Someday Replace Dialysis?
MORE A type of low-carb, high-fat diet that's typically used to manage seizures for children with epilepsy could reverse kidney disease in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics, a new animal study suggests. If successful in humans, the so-called ketogenic diet could have the potential to replace dialysis, which is a procedure that artificially filters blood in place of a damaged or failed kidney, said study researcher Charles Mobbs, professor of neuroscience and geriatrics and palliative care medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. "I speculate that this may be useful to completely cure diabetic kidney failure , and I hope that it's possible," Mobbs told MyHealthNewsDaily. "If it's possible, we can potentially not require dialysis. That's a big deal." However, a lot more research in mice is needed before any studies can be done in humans, Mobbs said, let alone determine if the diet can reverse advanced kidney disease in humans, he said. "That's the first thing we want to establish in mice: Can we truly reset the clock? Can we completely correct the [kidney] impairments?" Mobbs said. Other experts say the finding is promising for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics with earlier-stage kidney disease, but more research must be done to provide evidence that the diet can make an impact on end-stage kidney disease , or kidney failure. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin (needed to move blood sugar into cells for energy) to control blood sugar levels, according to the National Institutes of Health. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin, leading to high blood sugar levels. Overweight and obesity, a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet are risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, according to the N Continue reading >>
> Hyperglycemia And Diabetic Ketoacidosis
When blood glucose levels (also called blood sugar levels) are too high, it's called hyperglycemia. Glucose is a sugar that comes from foods, and is formed and stored inside the body. It's the main source of energy for the body's cells and is carried to each through the bloodstream. But even though we need glucose for energy, too much glucose in the blood can be unhealthy. Hyperglycemia is the hallmark of diabetes — it happens when the body either can't make insulin (type 1 diabetes) or can't respond to insulin properly (type 2 diabetes). The body needs insulin so glucose in the blood can enter the cells to be used for energy. In people who have developed diabetes, glucose builds up in the blood, resulting in hyperglycemia. If it's not treated, hyperglycemia can cause serious health problems. Too much sugar in the bloodstream for long periods of time can damage the vessels that supply blood to vital organs. And, too much sugar in the bloodstream can cause other types of damage to body tissues, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems in people with diabetes. These problems don't usually show up in kids or teens with diabetes who have had the disease for only a few years. However, they can happen in adulthood in some people, particularly if they haven't managed or controlled their diabetes properly. Blood sugar levels are considered high when they're above someone's target range. The diabetes health care team will let you know what your child's target blood sugar levels are, which will vary based on factors like your child's age. A major goal in controlling diabetes is to keep blood sugar levels as close to the desired range as possible. It's a three-way balancing act of: diabetes medicines (such as in Continue reading >>
Beware Exogenous Ketones
There are three ways to raise blood levels of ketones and obtain the potential benefits from them: physiological ketosis via strict carbohydrate limitation or fasting; supplementation of medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oils that are metabolized in the liver to ketones; and actually taking the ketone, beta-hydroxybutyrate. In this Undoctored Blog post, I’d like to discuss exogenous ketones. While fascinating with potential for substantial health benefits, there are some very real dangers with the current products on the market, so much that I have reported two of the products to the FDA. This is part of the expanded health discussion I begin in the new Undoctored book, Undoctored: Why Health Care Has Failed You and How You Can Become Smarter Than Your Doctor, with a comprehensive discussion of all aspects of ketosis in the Undoctored Inner Circle Advanced Concepts, the membership site for the truly serious Undoctored follower. You will also find a brief conversation about what I call “Assisted Fasting” using MCT oils in this video. Early research on supplemental exogenous ketones demonstrated fascinating effects, such as protection from hypoglycemia (as ketones are an alternative source of brain energy), protection from seizures (including in Navy seals who breathe high levels of oxygen that can cause fatal underwater seizures), and improved aerobic performance in trained athletes. More recent research has uncovered or confirmed additional effects of supplemental exogenous ketones: Improved endurance and aerobic performance in athletes—-Indeed, many professional athletes are supplementing exogenous ketones. Modest increase in muscle growth with exercise; less muscle lost with weight loss Greater fat burning (oxidation) during exercise, less reliance on glycogen/s Continue reading >>
What Causes High Ketones In A Canine?
A dog with a high level of ketones in his urine suffers from a condition known as ketonuria, usually resulting from a buildup of these substances in the dog's blood. A ketone is a type of acid, which, if allowed to accumulate in the blood, can lead to ketoacidosis, a potentially fatal condition. The main health conditions that can cause high ketone levels in a canine are starvation and diabetes. A dog's body breaks down the food that he eats into sugars, also called glucose, that the cells of the body use for energy. The dog's pancreas then produces the hormone insulin to regulate the amount of glucose that the body will absorb. If the insulin to regulate the glucose is insufficient, typically due to chronic diabetes mellitus, the body breaks down alternate sources of fuel for its cells; a dog's body that is starved of nutrition will do the same. One of these sources is the fat stored in the dog's body. When the body breaks down this fat, it produces as a by-product toxic acids known as a ketones. These ketones then build up in the dog's blood and also his urine, leading to ketoacidosis. Always consult an experienced veterinarian regarding the health and treatment of your pet. A dog suffering from high ketone levels in his blood and urine exhibits symptoms of weight loss, vomiting, increased thirst, decreased appetite, increased urination, lethargy, low body temperature and yellowing of the skin and gums, according to PetMD. The dog's breath may also have a sweet, fruity smell due to the presence of acetone caused by ketoacidosis, says VetInfo. To properly diagnose high ketone levels and ketoacidosis in your dog, a veterinarian will take blood tests and a urinalysis, which will also check your dog's blood glucose levels. Depending on the dog's physical condition, hospit Continue reading >>
All About Kidney Stones
There are three things related to nutrition and lifestyle that I never want to experience: A cardiac catheterization A Cinnamon Toast Crunch-induced coma A kidney stone Needless to say, I was excited to write this article. What are kidney stones? Kidneys make clean blood by eliminating wastes. For instance, if you eat a can of soup with lots of salt, the kidney will excrete more salt to balance out levels in the body. If you eat a big steak, more urea will be excreted in the urine. If the body is unable to eliminate these wastes, you get sick. (Here’s a primer on the urinary system.) Our kidneys eliminate waste products through urine, and when there is excessive waste or not enough fluid volume, urine becomes supersaturated and a stone can form. Stones can be tiny like a grain of sand or big like a golf ball. Stones can hang out in the kidneys for years without obstructing any tubing. But when a stone obstructs the ureter, serious pain follows (it’s been said that kidney stones are the worst pain imaginable). The pain can stop/start as the stone heads to the bladder. The bladder tunnel is where most stones get hung up. Since stones may have sharp edges, they can draw blood into the urine. Kidney stone types There are four main types of kidney stones: Calcium-containing stones – these make up a majority, nearly 75% of stones Uric acid stones – these make up about 10% of stones Struvite (infected) stones – these make up about 10% of stones and form after an infection in the urinary tract Cystine stones – these are stones that form from the amino acid cystine, the most uncommon The table below shows the composition, frequency, and causes of kidney stones, aka nephrolithiasis (nephro = kidney; lith = stone). Why are kidney stones important? Kidney stones are inc Continue reading >>
There is a lot of confusion about the term ketosis among medical professionals as well as laypeople. It is important to understand when and why nutritional ketosis occurs, and why it should not be confused with the metabolic disorder we call ketoacidosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state where the liver produces small organic molecules called ketone bodies. Most cells in the body can use ketone bodies as a source of energy. When there is a limited supply of external energy sources, such as during prolonged fasting or carbohydrate restriction, ketone bodies can provide energy for most organs. In this situation, ketosis can be regarded as a reasonable, adaptive physiologic response that is essential for life, enabling us to survive periods of famine. Nutritional ketosis should not be confused with ketoacidosis, a metabolic condition where the blood becomes acidic as a result of the accumulation of ketone bodies. Ketoacidosis can have serious consequences and may need urgent medical treatment. The most common forms are diabetic ketoacidosis and alcoholic ketoacidosis. What Is Ketosis? The human body can be regarded as a biologic machine. Machines need energy to operate. Some use gasoline, others use electricity, and some use other power resources. Glucose is the primary fuel for most cells and organs in the body. To obtain energy, cells must take up glucose from the blood. Once glucose enters the cells, a series of metabolic reactions break it down into carbon dioxide and water, releasing energy in the process. The body has an ability to store excess glucose in the form of glycogen. In this way, energy can be stored for later use. Glycogen consists of long chains of glucose molecules and is primarily found in the liver and skeletal muscle. Liver glycogen stores are used to mai Continue reading >>
Low-carb Dieting And Kidney Health: Setting The Record Straight
A s I walk down my hospital unit, on my way to the lunch room, I try to not be so conspicuous. The aroma of crisp fatty bacon leaves a trail of evidence that I simply can’t cover. In normal situations, I wouldn’t care if people saw me eating bacon. However, I’m a dietitian, and unless you are caught up on research, registered nutritionists should NOT be eating bacon. Explaining myself sometimes takes a lot of energy, and the last thing I need on my lunch break is a headache. Thus, I often chose my battles when it comes to explaining my low-carb, high-fat lifestyle. For clinical workers who are not up to speed, I may be viewed as a clinician who lacks integrity. Those of us who follow Carb Nite® or Carb Backloading™, know that simply isn’t the case, and in fact, quite the opposite. One of the biggest misconceptions I find is the thought that higher protein, or low-carb diets, cause damage to the kidneys. As I chomp on my bacon people often look at me with a dumbfounded look and ask, “Isn’t all that protein bad on your kidneys?” I thought this topic was old news. I was incorrect. It’s actually one of the most common questions, next to the saturated fat topic, that seems to keep resurfacing with whoever questions the low-carb lifestyle. It’s time to set the record straight. • Higher protein diets are safe for the general population. • There is a small population who may need to keep their protein intake at a minimum. • High-fat, moderate protein diets may have a protective effect in those with insulin resistance. It’s important to note the researched reviewed was not done on athletes; the recommendations made are for the average population. Higher protein diets are safe, for most people Research shows that high-protein diets may be harmful for Continue reading >>
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a potentially life-threatening complication of diabetes mellitus. Signs and symptoms may include vomiting, abdominal pain, deep gasping breathing, increased urination, weakness, confusion, and occasionally loss of consciousness. A person's breath may develop a specific smell. Onset of symptoms is usually rapid. In some cases people may not realize they previously had diabetes. DKA happens most often in those with type 1 diabetes, but can also occur in those with other types of diabetes under certain circumstances. Triggers may include infection, not taking insulin correctly, stroke, and certain medications such as steroids. DKA results from a shortage of insulin; in response the body switches to burning fatty acids which produces acidic ketone bodies. DKA is typically diagnosed when testing finds high blood sugar, low blood pH, and ketoacids in either the blood or urine. The primary treatment of DKA is with intravenous fluids and insulin. Depending on the severity, insulin may be given intravenously or by injection under the skin. Usually potassium is also needed to prevent the development of low blood potassium. Throughout treatment blood sugar and potassium levels should be regularly checked. Antibiotics may be required in those with an underlying infection. In those with severely low blood pH, sodium bicarbonate may be given; however, its use is of unclear benefit and typically not recommended. Rates of DKA vary around the world. In the United Kingdom, about 4% of people with type 1 diabetes develop DKA each year, while in Malaysia the condition affects about 25% a year. DKA was first described in 1886 and, until the introduction of insulin therapy in the 1920s, it was almost univ Continue reading >>
The Keto Diet Is Gaining Popularity, But Is It Safe?
A new twist on extreme weight loss is catching on in some parts of the United States. It’s called the "keto diet." People promoting the diet say it uses the body’s own fat burning system to help people lose significant weight in as little as 10 days. It has also been known to help moderate the symptoms of children with epilepsy, although experts are not quite sure why it works. Proponents say the diet can produce quick weight loss and provide a person with more energy. However, critics say the diet is an unhealthy way to lose weight and in some instances it can be downright dangerous. Read More: What is the “Caveman Diet?” » What Is Ketosis? The “keto” diet is any extremely low- or no-carbohydrate diet that forces the body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis occurs when people eat a low- or no-carb diet and molecules called ketones build up in their bloodstream. Low carbohydrate levels cause blood sugar levels to drop and the body begins breaking down fat to use as energy. Ketosis is actually a mild form of ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis mostly affects people with type 1 diabetes. In fact, it is the leading cause of death of people with diabetes who are under 24 years of age. However, many experts say ketosis itself is not necessarily harmful. Some studies, in fact, suggest that a ketogenic diet is safe for significantly overweight or obese people. However, other clinical reviews point out that patients on low-carbohydrate diets regain some of their lost weight within a year. Where It’s Helpful The keto diet was created by Dr. Gianfranco Cappello, an associate professor of surgery at the Sapienza University in Rome, Italy. He claims great success among thousands of users. In his study, more than 19,000 dieters experienced significant, rapid weight loss, few side Continue reading >>
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 >>
Low Carb Diet Myths
One of the strongest points in favor of this diet is the fact that you never have to weigh or measure your food and you can eat as much as you like. There is no counting of carbs, calories or any other nutritional values in any phase of The Dukan Diet. In The Dukan Diet, you eat from the list of 100 foods, while including other foods in the Consolidation phase. Portion sizes are based on how hungry you feel. If you are still hungry – eat some more! Anyone who reads the official book will immediately see that the Dukan Diet encourages you to eat as much as you want! No starvation here. The Dukan Diet gives you many options, including a list of 100 approved foods. You don’t have to think about the food you’re eating and whether or not it will cause you to gain weight – you can be confident the approved foods will not cause you to put on any pounds. It’s auto-pilot for weight loss. There is a tendency to consider anything new a fad. Yes, the Dukan diet is new to the USA and Canada, but this weight loss program has a long history. The official book is translated into 10 different languages and has been the diet of the French for the last 20 years. In fact, the very first diets were based on cutting down carbohydrates. In the Paleolithic era foods that were eaten prior to agriculture and animal husbandry included meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, tree nuts, vegetables, roots, fruit, berries, and mushrooms, etc. The science behind the Dukan diet is nothing new and is based on proven nutrition principles. The Dukan diet encourages you to eat whole unprocessed natural foods free of chemicals and preservatives. Dr. Pierre Dukan emphasis’s the importance of preparing your own food from scratch and savoring each meal. The diet urges you to drink plenty of water, to eat heal Continue reading >>
By-products formed when the body breaks down fat for energy. When the body is starved of glucose or, as in the case of Type 1 diabetes, does not have enough insulin to use the glucose that is in the bloodstream, it begins breaking down fat reserves for energy. Unlike glucose, which “burns clean,” the breakdown of fat creates potentially toxic by-products called ketones, which accumulate in the blood. An excessive amount of ketones in the blood is called ketosis. When the kidneys filter ketones into the urine, the condition is called ketonuria and can be detected by urine ketone tests. If enough ketones accumulate in the blood, they can cause a potentially life-threatening chemical imbalance known as ketoacidosis. The symptoms of ketoacidosis include nausea, vomiting, tiredness, frequent urination, and a fruity odor to the breath. Anyone with symptoms of ketoacidosis should seek medical help immediately. Ketoacidosis is often what causes people to first be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes: Beta cells in the pancreas stop making enough insulin, thus preventing body cells from getting energy in the form of glucose. The body responds by burning fats for fuel, creating an excess of ketones in the blood. As dehydration also sets in, the person develops ketoacidosis. The nausea and vomiting that accompany ketoacidosis are sometimes mistaken for the symptoms of a bad flu. People with diabetes, particularly those with Type 1 diabetes, are at increased risk of ketoacidosis when they are sick. The stress of illness tends to raise blood glucose levels. But since illness often decreases a person’s appetite, resulting in less food intake than usual, some people mistakenly decrease their insulin dosages. In fact, increased amounts of insulin are often needed when a person is sick. Continue reading >>
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious problem that can occur in people with diabetes if their body starts to run out of insulin. This causes harmful substances called ketones to build up in the body, which can be life-threatening if not spotted and treated quickly. DKA mainly affects people with type 1 diabetes, but can sometimes occur in people with type 2 diabetes. If you have diabetes, it's important to be aware of the risk and know what to do if DKA occurs. Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis Signs of DKA include: needing to pee more than usual being sick breath that smells fruity (like pear drop sweets or nail varnish) deep or fast breathing feeling very tired or sleepy passing out DKA can also cause high blood sugar (hyperglycaemia) and a high level of ketones in your blood or urine, which you can check for using home-testing kits. Symptoms usually develop over 24 hours, but can come on faster. Check your blood sugar and ketone levels Check your blood sugar level if you have symptoms of DKA. If your blood sugar is 11mmol/L or over and you have a blood or urine ketone testing kit, check your ketone level. If you do a blood ketone test: lower than 0.6mmol/L is a normal reading 0.6 to 1.5mmol/L means you're at a slightly increased risk of DKA and should test again in a couple of hours 1.6 to 2.9mmol/L means you're at an increased risk of DKA and should contact your diabetes team or GP as soon as possible 3mmol/L or over means you have a very high risk of DKA and should get medical help immediately If you do a urine ketone test, a result of more than 2+ means there's a high chance you have DKA. When to get medical help Go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department straight away if you think you have DKA, especially if you have a high level of ketones in Continue reading >>