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Do Ketones Damage Kidneys?

Diabetes, Kidney Damage, And Ketogenic Diets

Diabetes, Kidney Damage, And Ketogenic Diets

Take a look at this PBS video sent to me by one of our readers – and try not to punch your monitor near the end: So close … Okay, let’s focus on the positive for now. I was delighted to hear one of the on-screen experts explain that high glucose levels appear to cause repeated injury to the kidneys. Well-meaning people have tried to warn me over that a “high protein” diet is hard on the kidneys. Why? Because damaged kidneys leak protein. But that doesn’t mean protein is causing the damage. If your kitchen pipes start leaking water, do you assume the damage was caused by water? Of course not. The kidneys are damaged by excess glucose, and then they leak protein. I was delighted again to hear a researcher explain that ketones can be used as an alternate energy source by most cells in the body, and that on a ketogenic diet the body switches from being primarily a glucose-metabolizing machine to a fat-and-ketone metabolizing machine. As I like to explain it to people, you can be sugar-burner or a fat-burner. I find life as a fat-burner much more pleasant … more consistent energy, better mood, no more creeping weight gain, and no more ravenous hunger if I skip a meal. As I write this, I’m 23 hours into a 24-hour intermittent fasting day, and I feel fine. I was delighted yet again when the researchers speculated that removing glucose from the picture might help the kidneys recover, then discovered that putting mice on a ketogenic diet did indeed reverse the kidney damage caused by diabetes. Sure, it’s just a rodent study with results that may or may not apply to humans, but as the researcher said, it’s a proof of principle, an avenue to be explored. All right! Cool! Great story so far. I was anxiously waiting for the part where he suggests we try the same Continue reading >>

Clearing Up Kidney Confusion: Part Deux

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 hyperinsulinemic characteristic, an autoimmune characteristic, and or a combination of autoimmunity or hyperinsulinism. A standard, low-ish carb paleo diet can fix most of these issues. 5-For serious kidney damage a low-protein, ketogenic diet can be remarkably therapeutic. 6-If you get kidney stones that are from oxalates, reduce your green veggie intake (spinach for example) and have other types of veggies. 7-If you get kidney stones that are from urate salts, you are likely NOT following a low-ish carb paleo diet, you likely have insulin resistance and your liver is not processing uric acid Continue reading >>

Ketosis & Kidney Failure

Ketosis & Kidney Failure

Ketosis happens when your body resorts to fat for energy after your stored carbohydrates have been burned out. It often occurs when people fast and exercise. But most commonly, ketosis occurs in people who eat low-carb, high-protein diets, which are also called ketogenic diets. There’s some evidence that ketosis can tax your kidneys, leading to kidney stones and low blood pressure. In diabetics, a variant of ketosis can be fatal. However, a small but growing group of health professionals say ketosis is not the poison you’ve been lead to think it was, and it may be better for you than high-carbohydrate eating. Your specific dietary habits are best advised by your healthcare provider or nutritionist. Video of the Day Ketosis happens when you get a buildup of a substance known as ketones, or ketone bodies in your blood. They are released when your body’s carbohydrate stores run out and you have to break down fat stores for energy. Dieters tend to deliberately cause ketosis because it makes you feel less hungry. However, ketosis also makes you feel tired and sluggish, because as "Medical News Today" reports, ketones aren’t the most efficient source of energy, especially for your brain. Ketosis can also harm your kidneys. Annually, more than 100,000 people are diagnosed with kidney failure in the United States, reports the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, or NIDDK. The condition is marked by the inability of your kidneys to do their job of eliminating wastes. One treatment for kidney failure is dialysis, a draining and lengthy artificial blood cleansing process. Another option is a kidney transplant. The NIDDK states that the cost of care for patients with kidney failure reached close to $32 billion in 2005. The federal government sub Continue reading >>

Does High Protein Intake Cause Kidney Failure?

Does High Protein Intake Cause Kidney Failure?

The role of protein in muscle repair and development is evident. Our body metabolizes a large amount of protein throughout a day. Some research claims that excess amount of protein metabolism can affect the kidney function. So far, there is no direct relation to excess protein intake and kidney damage. However, there are few hypothesis that points out the effect of excess protein on kidney function. Important role of Protein Some important role of protein in our body includes Make hormones Repair and heal tissues Produce antibodies and enzymes Fluid and electrolytes balance Foods high in protein includes eggs, chicken, cottage cheese, milk, peanuts, etc. In what ways an excess protein can affect kidney function? (Src) Metabolism of protein in our body produces some toxic element like ketones as a byproduct. Most of the time, ketones are eliminated by the kidneys. But sometimes they are left behind. These ketones can hamper the kidney function. It can also cause other complications such as dehydration, dizziness, fatigue, heart palpitations, and bad breath. Let see on what basis this is concluded. The Kidney function is measured by Glomerular Filtration Rate ( GFR). It determines how well the kidney is working or filtering the blood. Research have shown that excess protein filtration can affect the GFR rates. Also known as hyperfiltration. Over the long term, hyperfiltration may lead to acute renal failure. CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) (Src) The various Scientific report indicates that restriction of dietary protein in CKD patient can reduce albuminuria (albumin protein found in urine) and uraemic symptoms. Here are some CKD diseases that is closely related to the dietary protein intake. Proteinuria When kidneys are not functioning well, they cannot filter protein proper Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

As fat is broken down, acids called ketones build up in the blood and urine. In high levels, ketones are poisonous. This condition is known as ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is sometimes the first sign of type 1 diabetes in people who have not yet been diagnosed. It can also occur in someone who has already been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Infection, injury, a serious illness, missing doses of insulin shots, or surgery can lead to DKA in people with type 1 diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes can also develop DKA, but it is less common. It is usually triggered by uncontrolled blood sugar, missing doses of medicines, or a severe illness. Continue reading >>

Low Carb Dieting Myths

Low Carb Dieting Myths

The myths about low carb dieting and specifically ketogenic diets abound in the American collective consciousness. These are just a few of the most pervasive myths I've encountered, with explanations as to why they are incorrect and simply don't make sense, scientifically: Myth 1: Carbs are an essential nutrient for good health. Some nutrition professionals still believe that carbohydrates are necessary to provide glucose to fuel the brain and avoid hypoglycemia. It's an old way of thinking, and it's just not true scientifically. Essential nutrients are nutrients which your body cannot make, so they have to be obtained on a daily basis from your food sources. There are essential proteins, and essential fatty acids, but there is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate. When the body is in ketosis, it has a “glucose sparing” effect. First, the skeletal muscles burn fatty acids preferentially which spares glucose for the brain to use. Second, once a person is keto-adapted, the brain switches to using ketone bodies for over half of the fuel it needs, and less glucose is needed since ketone bodies are being used as an alternative fuel. This small amount of carbohydrate (glucose or blood sugar) needed to fuel the brain during keto adaptation can be generated internally. Your liver can make all the glucose needed for brain function from glycogen stored in the liver. And if need be, the body can also make glucose from the protein in your food. Hence, carbohydrates are NOT essential nutrients, and many people, such as the Inuit of Alaska and the Masai of Africa live without them for long periods of time without any effect on health and well-being. The “brain needs carbs” idea is only true if you consistently eat a high carb diet (as most registered dietitians will tel Continue reading >>

Low-carbohydrate Diets: Are They Safe And Effective?

Low-carbohydrate Diets: Are They Safe And Effective?

Mayo Clinic Low-Carbohydrate Diets: Are They Safe and Effective? Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research Mayo Clinic is a charitable, not-for-profit organization based in Rochester, Minn. comprising of an integrated multi-specialty clinic and two hospitals, staffed by more than 1,500 physicians. Americans spend billions of dollars yearly on weight-loss programs and products, looking for the magic cure to help them shed pounds quickly and painlessly. Anyone who has tried to lose weight knows how challenging it can be. This is why many people turn to fad diets. Fad diets have been around for decades. New ones surface regularly, and some older ones fall in and out of favor. One of the more popular diets today is a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet. Researchers have reported some successful short-term results from restricting carbohydrate intake, findings that have sparked further debate in the medical community about the effectiveness and safety of such diet programs. Low-carbohydrate diets — such as the Atkins diet, the Zone and the South Beach Diet — have received a lot of attention. With book sales in the millions and pervasive marketing campaigns, many people turn to these diets for help in losing weight. But it's important to ask yourself the same questions posed by health experts: Do these low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets work? Are they safe? Low-carbohydrate diets: The theory The main thrust behind low-carbohydrate diets is that carbohydrates promote insulin production, which leads to weight gain. So, the theory goes, reduce your intake of carbohydrates and you'll shed extra pounds. The Atkins diet — one of the more popular low-carbohydrate diets — limits carbohydrates to 20 grams a day initially. By contrast, the Nationa Continue reading >>

Is Keto And Ketosis Safe?

Is Keto And Ketosis Safe?

The ketogenic diet and ketosis are safe. Not only are they safe, but they are useful in helping people with many different conditions. The ketogenic diet has helped cancer patients, people with diabetes (type 1 and type 2), women with polycystic ovary syndrome, people with heart disease, and many others. So, where does the rumor that the ketogenic diet and ketosis may not be safe come from? Well, it starts with ketones. Rumors Spread Like Ketones in an Insulin Deficient Body One of the primary goals of the ketogenic diet is to enter ketosis (a normal metabolic process when ketones are produced for fuel). Ketosis is primarily regulated by the liver, which helps produce enough ketones to meet the body’s needs. However, ketone production can get out of hand when insulin is deficient, leading to ketoacidosis. This may be where the rumor that keto and ketosis are not safe came from. Ketoacidosis — A Serious Condition That Is Not Caused By The Ketogenic Diet Ketoacidosis is a serious condition caused by uncontrolled diabetes. It is brought on by being born without the ability to produce enough insulin (type 1 diabetes) or living a lifestyle that promotes insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes). In both cases, there isn’t enough insulin to tell that cells that energy is available (insulin deficiency). The lack of insulin signaling causes the fat cells and liver cells to go into starvation mode, even after a calorically dense meal. The fat cells begin to dump triglycerides into the blood to provide the other cells with energy because the cells are perceiving that there is no fuel available. Meanwhile, the liver starts mobilizing stored glycogen and using gluconeogenesis and ketogenesis to provide the body with sugar and ketones that it doesn’t need. All of this causes bloo Continue reading >>

Diabetes With Ketone Bodies In Dogs

Diabetes With Ketone Bodies In Dogs

Studies show that female dogs (particularly non-spayed) are more prone to DKA, as are older canines. Diabetic ketoacidosis is best classified through the presence of ketones that exist in the liver, which are directly correlated to the lack of insulin being produced in the body. This is a very serious complication, requiring immediate veterinary intervention. Although a number of dogs can be affected mildly, the majority are very ill. Some dogs will not recover despite treatment, and concurrent disease has been documented in 70% of canines diagnosed with DKA. Diabetes with ketone bodies is also described in veterinary terms as diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA. It is a severe complication of diabetes mellitus. Excess ketone bodies result in acidosis and electrolyte abnormalities, which can lead to a crisis situation for your dog. If left in an untreated state, this condition can and will be fatal. Some dogs who are suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis may present as systemically well. Others will show severe illness. Symptoms may be seen as listed below: Change in appetite (either increase or decrease) Increased thirst Frequent urination Vomiting Abdominal pain Mental dullness Coughing Fatigue or weakness Weight loss Sometimes sweet smelling breath is evident Slow, deep respiration. There may also be other symptoms present that accompany diseases that can trigger DKA, such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease. While some dogs may live fairly normal lives with this condition before it is diagnosed, most canines who become sick will do so within a week of the start of the illness. There are four influences that can bring on DKA: Fasting Insulin deficiency as a result of unknown and untreated diabetes, or insulin deficiency due to an underlying disease that in turn exacerba Continue reading >>

Are Ketogenic Diets Bad For People With Kidney And Liver Issues?

Are Ketogenic Diets Bad For People With Kidney And Liver Issues?

There is an international organization of doctors and other professionals who have clinical experience with ketogenic diets. It's called the International Ketogenic Diet Study Group. They publish guidelines for safe use of ketogenic diets. The guidelines include a list of medical conditions (contraindications) which would make a ketogenic diet unsafe. At least one of the conditions on the list (carnitine deficiency) can cause liver dysfunction. You don't say exactly what sort of liver problem you have in mind. If you personally have a disease that affects the liver, maybe you should look at the list of contraindications carefully. Another condition on the list, beta-oxidation defects, can cause the liver to lack the ability to oxidize fatty acids. Regarding this condition the guidelines say, "An inborn metabolic error at any point along this pathway can lead to a devastating catabolic crisis (i.e., coma, death) in a patient fasted or placed on a [ketogenic diet]." Ketogenic diets increase the risk of kidney stones. Doctors often prescribe potassium citrate to people on medical ketogenic diets as a prophylactic measure against kidney stones. Here is a link to the full text of the guidelines. Contradindications are in Table 2. The title says "children" because virtually all clinical experience with ketogenic diets has been with kids. If you want to read more about the risks of ketogenic diets, click here to see a bibliography on my website (with many links to full text) of articles about risks and prevention. Some people seem to believe that ketogenic diets are harmless, risk-free, totally wonderful things. This isn't true. Ketogenic diets are like medications. They bring benefits but they also bring risks and harmful side effects. They involve tradeoffs. I'm not against Continue reading >>

Is The Keto Diet Safe? 10 Myth-busting Arguments For The Safety Of Ketosis

Is The Keto Diet Safe? 10 Myth-busting Arguments For The Safety Of Ketosis

Is ketosis safe? The truth is that we can’t say for certain that it is 100% safe. Humans don’t understand everything under the branch of nutritional science and probably won’t for a very long time. As an individual, the only thing you can do is take a look at the research yourself and form your own conclusion. Personally, through the reading I’ve done and the experience I’ve had with the Keto diet, I’ve formed my own conclusion that ketosis is safe. Could I be wrong? Absolutely. But I could also be right. I’m willing to take that risk in order to follow a diet which could maximize longevity, well being and function. My personal conclusion shouldn’t matter to you though. You need to do your own research and come to your own conclusion. I’ve put together this post to organize all of the issues surrounding the safety of ketosis so that you can make your own decision. In trying to prove something to be safe there are two ways to go about it. Disprove the claims of danger Show evidence which may be correlated with safety This article will dispel the top 10 claims people make in an argument to label ketosis as dangerous. Like I said, the science on ketosis is still quite immature. The following data is not meant to 100% prove or disprove the safety of ketosis. It’s merely the information we have available today which can help us form a nutritional strategy we feel is best for ourselves. I’m not a doctor or a researcher. The following information is material I’ve collected in my attempt to feel confident following a Keto diet indefinitely. Most of it is sourced from doctors or authors although I have also included anecdotal accounts from experiences posted on message boards and Reddit. I know, much of the information here isn’t sourced directly from s Continue reading >>

Diabetes, The Ketogenic Diet & Stem Cell Therapy

Diabetes, The Ketogenic Diet & Stem Cell Therapy

More and more people are getting to know the benefits of the ketogenic diet. Why? A ketogenic diet (also known as a keto diet) focuses on the benefits of a low carbohydrate, high fat nutritional program. And while this healthy, new lifestyle trend certainly does wonders with weight management, the advantages go far beyond that. A ketogenic diet has been shown to help control seizures caused by epilepsy, especially in the case of children, and appears to aid in the reversal of kidney disease related to both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Stem cell therapy for diabetes is one of the most sought after treatments at the National Stem Cell Institute. So it is no wonder that the physicians and nutritional counselors at NSI have found that the ketogenic diet is a natural partner to stem cell therapy in treating this disease. Studies are showing that a well-planned keto diet may also benefit people who suffer from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and Parkinson’s disease, among others. So, why is the ketogenic diet proving to be such a boon to health and a valuable addition to stem cell therapies? Let’s take a closer look at the basics: first for keto diet regimens and then for therapy using stem cells. Ketogenic Diet Basics Ketogenic is derived from the word “ketone.” Ketones are an energy source that the body can utilize. Ketone bodies are three water-soluble molecules that the liver produces. During a ketogenic diet, the ketone levels in the blood elevate. This is known as ketosis. The body’s cells can get energy from ketones, which are produced when fat levels in the blood are raised and blood sugar levels are lowered. Basically, the body turns fat into fuel instead of relying on carbohydrates. A ketogenic diet is designed to make this switch to fat burning happen. There Continue reading >>

Lupus And Kidney Disease: What You Should Know About Lupus Nephritis (lupus Kidney Disease)

Lupus And Kidney Disease: What You Should Know About Lupus Nephritis (lupus Kidney Disease)

Adapted from a presentation at the SLE Workshop at Hospital for Special Surgery Introduction At this session of the SLE Workshop at HSS, Dr. Kyriakos Kirou presented his expertise on the diagnosis, symptoms, treatments, and research related to lupus and kidney involvement, including lupus nephritis (LN). Dr. Kirou is an assistant attending physician at HSS and the co-director of the Mary Kirkland Center for Lupus Care. When presenting, Dr. Kirou emphasized that the purpose of his presentation is to educate patients about lupus and its interaction with the kidney and should not be used as therapeutic advice. He stressed that when patients need to make a decision about their own specific care, they should consult their own rheumatologist. It is important to recognize that there’s no “one fits all” therapy. Dr. Kirou discussed how lupus can affect the kidney and cause the disease known as lupus nephritis (LN). He also discussed tests that are used for diagnosis, as well as available therapies. He also spoke about the necessary lifestyle changes that LN patients may have to adopt after their diagnosis of LN to minimize harm in their bodies. First, it is important to understand how the kidney functions, what happens when someone with lupus has problems with their kidneys, and how they can go about dealing with the situation. Background Information Lupus:Lupus is a chronic and autoimmune disease that affects several parts of the body, including joints, blood, skin, and kidneys. The immune system of those with lupus does not function properly. Lupus creates autoantibodies that fight and damage the cells, tissues, and body organs. When they are present, they can likely lead to disease. Kidney: The kidney is a bean-shaped, fist-sized organ that helps cleans the body from a Continue reading >>

Patients With Type 1 Diabetes May Need To Check Ketones More Often

Patients With Type 1 Diabetes May Need To Check Ketones More Often

(Reuters Health) - Many people with type 1 diabetes don’t check frequently enough for buildup of ketones, acids that can cause serious damage to the kidneys and other organs, according to a U.S. study. Ketone monitoring is particularly important when patients with type 1 diabetes are sick or have consistently high glucose levels, the authors write in Diabetes Care. “Ketones occur when the body burns fat instead of using carbohydrates for fuel,” lead author Anastasia Albanese-O’Neill told Reuters Health by email. “If high glucose levels and ketones remain untreated, there is an increased risk for a life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, which requires hospitalization,” said Albanese-O’Neill, a pediatrics researcher at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Dangerously high ketone levels can happen to anyone with diabetes, though the problem is rare in people with type 2, according to the American Diabetes Association. People with type 1 diabetes have lost the ability to produce any insulin, so ketones can occur when insulin doses are missed, or when the body’s insulin requirements rise due to stress or illness, she said. “Monitoring for ketones as recommended allows for early detection and treatment. Ketone testing supplies are available over the counter without a prescription at a local pharmacy and online,” Albanese-O’Neill said. About 5 percent of people with diabetes have type 1, according to the American Diabetes Association. Type 1 diabetes is most commonly diagnosed in young kids, and for that reason it used to be called juvenile diabetes. But the disease does not go away, and it can also be first diagnosed in adulthood. While children usually have caregivers to help them manage the disease, adults typically need to manag Continue reading >>

Ketone Supplements: More Harm Than Good?

Ketone Supplements: More Harm Than Good?

Enjoy this article co-authored with my dear friend, Tatiana Schallert, who is co-serving with me, my ministry, and my family. I AM Love, Dr. Sharnael Have you noticed that Ketone supplements are so popular recently? I know my Facebook newsfeed is buzzing with different articles and brands promoting ketones. I honestly had no clue what the deal was so I decided to do some research, which is exactly what I encourage you to do before jumping on the bandwagon. There is a lot of information out there on this topic right now and from what I found – taking Exogenous Ketones may be more harmful than good. What are Ketones? Ketones are produced in the liver from fatty acids. Then they are consumed as alternative fuel by the body, particularly the brain, when blood sugar (glucose) is in short supply. The brain consumes lots of energy every day and it can’t run on fat directly – only in the form of glucose or ketones. Ketones are popularly known as “brain fuel.” Eating a no-carb, moderate-protein, and high-fat diet encourages the body to organically reach a state of Ketosis. It takes about 72 hours for the liver to be in full ketosis so the kidney can assimilate the changes as the ketones gradually increase. Then it takes about two weeks for your body to adjust to the new pathway. What Is Ketosis? When the body produces ketones it’s said to be in ketosis (you can test ketone levels through urine tests). The fastest way to get there is by fasting. However, fasting is not something we do forever. On the other hand, a low-carb or “keto” diet also leads to ketosis and is a more sustainable option. The idea of a ketogenic diet is to get the body to switch its fuel supply to run almost entirely on fat. As insulin levels become very low, fat burning increases dramatically Continue reading >>

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