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Does Ketosis Affect Blood Pressure

Can A Low Carb Diet Lower Blood Pressure?

Can A Low Carb Diet Lower Blood Pressure?

We previously looked at research suggesting that a well-planned, low-carb diet coupled with exercise can help you lower blood sugar, triglycerides, and body weight and also improve HDL cholesterol and insulin sensitivity. But what impact does ketogenic diet have on blood pressure? Recent research suggests that maintaining an optimal blood pressure is even more critical for your heart and overall health than previously thought. Read below to learn how cutting carbs and keto may be a good tool in maintaining a healthy blood pressure. What is Blood Pressure? Before looking at the research, we need to straighten out the sometimes intimidating terminology behind blood pressure. Blood pressure, often shortened as BP, is the pressure exerted by blood upon the walls of blood vessels. Typically, it refers to the pressure exerted upon arteries which are the vessels that carry blood away from the heart. As you might know, BP is usually expressed as one number over another. The top number, called systolic pressure, refers to the amount of pressure in your arteries when your heart contracts. This is the maximum pressure exerted upon the walls of the blood vessels. The bottom number, called diastolic pressure, indicates the pressure in your arteries between heart beats. This value is lower than the systolic pressure because the heart is exerting less force on the fluids against the artery walls. Both pressures are measured by the units “millimeters of mercury”, which is abbreviated as mm Hg. What is a Healthy Blood Pressure? According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the “standard” human blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg. Healthy blood pressure is typically below these numbers. People with a systolic blood pressure between 120-139 mm Hg and a diastolic blood pressure bet Continue reading >>

What To Do If A Low-carb Diet Raises Your Cholesterol

What To Do If A Low-carb Diet Raises Your Cholesterol

Low-carb and ketogenic diets are incredibly healthy. They have clear, potentially life-saving benefits for some of the world's most serious diseases. This includes obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, epilepsy and numerous others. The most common heart disease risk factors tend to improve greatly, for most people (1, 2, 3). According to these improvements, low-carb diets should reduce the risk of heart disease. But even if these risk factors improve on average, there can be individuals within those averages that experience improvements, and others who see negative effects. There appears to be a small subset of people who experience increased cholesterol levels on a low-carb diet, especially a ketogenic diet or a very high fat version of paleo. This includes increases in Total and LDL cholesterol... as well as increases in advanced (and much more important) markers like LDL particle number. Of course, most of these "risk factors" were established in the context of a high-carb, high-calorie Western diet and we don't know if they have the same effects on a healthy low-carb diet that reduces inflammation and oxidative stress. However... it is better to be safe than sorry and I think that these individuals should take some measures to get their levels down, especially those who have a family history of heart disease. Fortunately, you don't need to go on a low-fat diet, eat veggie oils or take statins to get your levels down. Some simple adjustments will do just fine and you will still be able to reap all the metabolic benefits of eating low-carb. Interpreting cholesterol numbers can be fairly complicated. Most people are familiar with Total, HDL and LDL cholesterol. People with high HDL (the "good") have a low risk of heart disease, while people with high LDL (the " Continue reading >>

How You Can Have High Blood Sugar Without Carbs

How You Can Have High Blood Sugar Without Carbs

Can you have high blood sugar without carbs? Well, it’s important to look at common beliefs about high blood sugar first. “High blood sugar is bad. Carbohydrates raise blood sugar. Therefore carbohydrates are bad.” The theory is simple, and yet incredibly flawed. The truth is, you can have chronically high blood sugar even while religiously avoiding every starch and sugar in sight. Low-carb forums are littered with posts asking a very relevant question: Why is my blood sugar so high when I’m not eating any carbs? The answer is simple, yet often overlooked. If the body were an engine, glucose would be its fuel. Most people think glucose only comes from carbohydrates (sugar and starch), but protein can also be turned into glucose when there aren’t enough carbs around to do the job. This is called gluconeogenesis, and it’s performed by one of the major stress hormones cortisol. When you have high cortisol levels (from diet, lifestyle, etc.), the cortisol rapidly breaks down protein into glucose, which can raise blood sugar levels considerably. For some folks, this results in chronically high blood sugar–even if they are on a low-carb diet. The trouble is, cortisol isn’t just breaking down the protein you eat. It’s doing something far more destructive. The body is quite a smart machine, and it has no problem taking detours to get energy if necessary. If your body isn’t getting the energy it needs from your diet, it has a back-up source: its own tissue. It sounds kind of cannibalistic, eating your own lean body tissue for energy. I mean, I seriously doubt any one of you would relish cutting off a chunk of your leg for dinner. I know I wouldn’t. But every time your body uses cortisol to break down lean tissue for energy, this is basically what you are do Continue reading >>

Long-term Effects Of A Ketogenic Diet In Obese Patients

Long-term Effects Of A Ketogenic Diet In Obese Patients

Go to: Abstract Although various studies have examined the short-term effects of a ketogenic diet in reducing weight in obese patients, its long-term effects on various physical and biochemical parameters are not known. To determine the effects of a 24-week ketogenic diet (consisting of 30 g carbohydrate, 1 g/kg body weight protein, 20% saturated fat, and 80% polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat) in obese patients. In the present study, 83 obese patients (39 men and 44 women) with a body mass index greater than 35 kg/m2, and high glucose and cholesterol levels were selected. The body weight, body mass index, total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting blood sugar, urea and creatinine levels were determined before and after the administration of the ketogenic diet. Changes in these parameters were monitored after eight, 16 and 24 weeks of treatment. The weight and body mass index of the patients decreased significantly (P<0.0001). The level of total cholesterol decreased from week 1 to week 24. HDL cholesterol levels significantly increased, whereas LDL cholesterol levels significantly decreased after treatment. The level of triglycerides decreased significantly following 24 weeks of treatment. The level of blood glucose significantly decreased. The changes in the level of urea and creatinine were not statistically significant. The present study shows the beneficial effects of a long-term ketogenic diet. It significantly reduced the body weight and body mass index of the patients. Furthermore, it decreased the level of triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and blood glucose, and increased the level of HDL cholesterol. Administering a ketogenic diet for a relatively longer period of time did Continue reading >>

How Fat Lowers Your Blood Pressure

How Fat Lowers Your Blood Pressure

Hypertension (elevated blood pressure) is one of the triad symptoms of metabolic syndrome. Most of the hypertension that I see clinically is driven by insulin resistance as the underlying cause. I see this problem in a very large majority of the people in my office and I am seeing people younger and younger show up with continually increasing blood pressure. In medical school, we were taught to treat “borderline” or “slightly elevated blood pressure,” through “lifestyle changes” which was another way of saying exercise, caloric restriction & hold the salt. But most physicians today will tell you that exercise, salt & caloric restriction doesn’t work. When asked why the 34 year old male in my office suddenly has elevated blood pressure, the only explanation we had was it is a “genetic problem,” or “blood pressure naturally goes up as we get older,” or “you’ve been eating too much salt,” and they are started on blood pressure medication and sent on their way. But, as time went on, I found that I had to keep adding more and more blood pressure medication to control the continually rising blood pressure of the patients in my practice. Most of these people will have a progressive elevation in blood pressure over time, and these blood pressure (anti-hypertensive) medications are/were continually raised until the person is on four or five different blood pressure pills at maximal doses. Again, when questioned why, their genetics are blamed and that is the end of it. Or is it?! What shocked me was that when I took patients off of salt & caloric restriction, and placed them on low carbohydrate high fat diets (and yes, I gave them back their salt), their blood pressure normalized. I noticed that as their fasting insulin levels began to fall, their bloo Continue reading >>

How To Normalize Your Blood Pressure

How To Normalize Your Blood Pressure

Elevated blood pressure is a common health issue today. Almost a third of U.S. adults have high blood pressure – perhaps you or someone in your family does? High blood pressure isn’t necessarily something you can feel, but it increases the risk of serious conditions such as strokes and heart attacks. The good news is that you can improve your blood pressure by way of simple lifestyle changes. The usual treatment for elevated blood pressure today is medication. This is often reasonable. But what if you could achieve perfect blood pressure without pills or side-effects – with improved health and weight as welcome side-bonuses, instead? The truth is that high blood pressure was extremely rare as recently as a few hundred years ago. Something in today’s environment is giving more and more people high blood pressure. What is it? Contents What is blood pressure? Five ways to lower your blood pressure What is blood pressure? Blood pressure is exactly what it sounds like: the pressure in your blood vessels. With a normal amount of blood, a healthy heart and healthy, elastic blood vessels, you’ll experience a normal blood pressure. Low blood pressure can make you feel dizzy, especially right when you stand up from having been seated. This is usually harmless and can be the result of dehydration or salt deficiency. Mildly or moderately elevated blood pressure will rarely give obvious symptoms (a light headache might occur sometimes). A very high blood pressure can give severe headaches, fatigue and nausea. High blood pressure is the result of an increased amount of liquid and salt in the blood, and also of the blood vessel walls being thicker and harder than normal. As high blood pressure often goes unnoticed, it’s common for people to live with it unawares for some t Continue reading >>

Keto Tip: Eat More Salt On A Ketogenic Diet!

Keto Tip: Eat More Salt On A Ketogenic Diet!

I said last week that most issues with the Ketogenic Diet can be fixed by doing one of three things; drink more water, eat more salt, or eat more fat. Last week we talked about water, now let’s talk about salt. Of all the things that were difficult for me to start to do once I started eating on a Ketogenic diet, it was probably upping my salt intake that really messed with me the most. All my life I have had high blood pressure and of course, the first thing the Docs tell you to do is cut your salt intake. You may have heard of the DASH diet that consists primarily of veggies, lean protein, low fat dairy, fruits and whole grains and no added sodium. Well guess what that diet also happens to be low in? That’s right, our old friend sugar. And according to a 2010 University of Louisiana study, reducing your dietary sugar has a much bigger impact on your BP than added salt. Why is that? Here are 3 reasons. Hydrophilic Effects of Sugar One reason is that sugar is hydrophilic, in other words it tends to absorb water. So if you have high levels of blood sugar it will tend to absorb water creating a larger volume of fluid in your veins and arteries. This increased volume raises blood pressure. Insulin Resistance Blocks Magnesium Insulin helps your body store magnesium but if you are insulin resistant (and if you are obese, you are by definition insulin resistant) your cells wont take up the insulin or the magnesium that come along with it. Magnesium stored in cells relaxes your muscles and without it, the blood vessels become more rigid which increases blood pressure. On a personal note, once I started taking these Magnesium supplements I saw a huge drop in my overall BP as well as an easier time sleeping through the night. Fructose Elevates Uric Acid The metabolization of Continue reading >>

Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe For Everyone?

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 >>

Conditions Shown To Benefit From A Ketogenic Diet

Conditions Shown To Benefit From A Ketogenic Diet

Obesity and heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer have something significant in common — they’re all rooted in insulin and leptin resistance By eating a high-quality fat, low-carbohydrate diet, you achieve nutritional ketosis; a metabolic state in which your body burns fat rather than glucose as its primary fuel. Maintaining nutritional ketosis may have health benefits in diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, MS, autism, migraines, traumatic brain injuries, polycystic ovary syndrome and much more By Dr. Mercola Obesity and top killers such as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's and cancer have something significant in common — they're all rooted in insulin and leptin resistance. In other words, the underlying problem is metabolic dysfunction that develops as a result of consuming too many net carbohydrates (total carbs minus fiber) and/or protein. Sugars found in processed foods and grains are the primary culprits, and the standard American diet is chockfull of both. Once you develop insulin and leptin resistance, it triggers biochemical cascades that not only make your body hold on to fat, but produce inflammation and cellular damage as well. Hence, whether you're struggling with weight and/or chronic health issues, the treatment protocols are the same. This is good news, as it significantly simplifies your approach to improving your health. You won't need a different set of strategies to address each condition. In short, by optimizing your metabolic and mitochondrial function, you set yourself squarely on the path to better health. So how do you correct these metabolic imbalances? Your diet is key. The timing of your meals can also play an important role. Nutritional Ketosis May Be Key for Optimal Health By e Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet Lowers Blood Pressure: Fat For Fuel!!

Ketogenic Diet Lowers Blood Pressure: Fat For Fuel!!

Low Carb – High Fat Diets It wasn’t that long ago that low-carb diets were being targeted by medical professionals as unhealthy and detrimental to people’s health. The high fat intake in these diets was thought to be at the root of increased cholesterol and subsequent heart disease. However, in the last 15 years or so, due to a significant number of studies, the medical field has started to change its tune. Now it seems that low carb diets are seen to be amongst the most effective in dealing with a number of health conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, weight loss and circulatory and other metabolic diseases. The Ketogenic Diet – what exactly is it? According to Dr Joseph Mercola, a highly respected Osteo-pathic physician and Alternative Health Advocate, the Ketogenic Diet is “An eating plan that’s low in sugar and net carbs (carbs without fiber), moderate in protein and high in healthy fats. A ketogenic diet helps you reach nutritional ketosis where your body burns fat for its primary fuel instead of cell-damaging carbs.” The body is designed to use fats more efficiently than carbohydrates with the result that by eating more healthy fats, less protein and carbs you will kick start the body’s metabolism to burn more fat and ketones. Ketones are substances which naturally occur in the body and are created in the liver. These are then the substances which are purposed to be turned into and used as energy. Additionally, this ketogenic process will also stimulate the mitochondria (the fuel producing elements of each cell) to produce optimal amounts of energy. This is certainly very beneficial to the body as a whole, and especially to the high energy-driven organs like the brain, heart and muscles. for more info click here How does this Continue reading >>

Low Carb And Cholesterol – A Case History

Low Carb And Cholesterol – A Case History

Three months ago I had a visit from a 53 year old gentleman who was worried about his health. His name is Peter. He had been gaining weight for some time, his knees were aching and he was having trouble playing his weekly tennis with his old classmates. He told me he had probably put on approximately 55 lb (25 kg) in the past five years. “It all started when I quit smoking” he said Peter was working as an accountant. There was a lot a stress at work, long working days and sometimes he had to go in on the weekends as well. Apart from his weekly badminton, he wasn’t really exercising at all. Although he had quit smoking, he had never really bothered about his lifestyle and was totally uninterested in diet and nutrition. His wife took care of the cooking at home and was trying to limit his intake of calories. She was very conscious about cholesterol and tried to use low-fat varieties. At work however, Peter relied mainly on fast food, sandwiches, sodas, chocolate bars, chips, and an occasional fruit in between. Usually a few beers and some red wine on the weekends, bot otherwise not much alcohol. Peter had suddenly become worried about his weight gain and felt his general condition was slowly becoming worse. He was feeling out of breath. For the first time in his life he was really thinking about his health. He appeared to have suddenly realized that, he himself might have to take action. Peter told me he wanted to try a low carb diet. A friend of his had been getting good results with such an approach, was feeling well and had lost a lot of weight. Peter thought this might be the way for him to go. However, his wife was reluctant. She didn’t like the idea of eating so much fat. She had a history of elevated cholesterol herself, and had been trying to avoid animal Continue reading >>

Low-carb Diet Lowers Blood Pressure

Low-carb Diet Lowers Blood Pressure

Jan. 25, 2010 -- A low-carbohydrate diet may have health benefits that go beyond weight loss. A new study shows that a low-carbohydrate diet was equally good as the weight loss drug orlistat (the active ingredient in Alli and Xenical) at helping overweight and obese people lose weight, but people who followed the low-carb diet also experienced a healthy drop in their blood pressure levels. "I expected the weight loss to be considerable with both therapies but we were surprised to see blood pressure improve so much more with the low-carbohydrate diet than with orlistat," researcher William S. Yancy, Jr., MD, an associate professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center, says in a news release. "If people have high blood pressure and a weight problem, a low-carbohydrate diet might be a better option than a weight loss medication." Researchers say studies have already shown that the two weight loss methods are effective at promoting weight loss, but it's the first time the health effects of each have been compared head to head. "It's important to know you can try a diet instead of medication and get the same weight loss results with fewer costs and potentially fewer side effects," Yancy says. In the study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, 146 obese or overweight adults were randomly divided into two groups. Many of the participants also had chronic health problems, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. The first group was advised to follow a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet consisting of less than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day, and the second group received the weight loss drug orlistat three times a day, plus counseling in following a low-fat diet (less than 30% of daily calories from fat) at group meetings over 48 weeks. The results showed we Continue reading >>

Does Keto//os Effect Blood Pressure, Heart Rate Or Tachycardia?

Does Keto//os Effect Blood Pressure, Heart Rate Or Tachycardia?

Supplementing with KETO//OS or following a ketogenic diet can cause a slightly diuretic effect, and can deplete magnesium, potassium and sodium stores. This can be rectified by supplementing with a good electrolyte or increasing the sodium in your diet. However KETO//OS adds additional sodium to the formulation to counter-act this sodium depletion. The first signs of dehydration or too much caffeine are fatigue, headache, dizziness, dry mouth, swollen tongue, possible elevation of blood pressure, palpitations or muscle cramping. If this occurs, decrease your serving size of uncharged Keto//OS/Max, drink plenty of water throughout the day. If you experience any of these symptoms of dehydration, please discontinue the use of Keto//OS for 24-28hours and hydrate. Then, it is recommended that you use the uncharged version of Keto//OS 3.0/Max, start with a reduced servings the first few day, stay well hydrated and continue to monitor your blood pressure daily or as recommended by your health care physician. In addition, continue to monitor your potassium, magnesium, calcium and sodium level at your routine check ups with your physician. Continue reading >>

High Blood Pressure And The Low Carbohydrate Diet

High Blood Pressure And The Low Carbohydrate Diet

Hello, fellow low carbers. It’s nice to be back. I am now married, so you will notice a name change. I will now be able to add new articles to “The Nurse Is In” on a regular basis. There will be a new one every two weeks, so please keep those questions coming. I will be answering them individually, as well as taking a few of them and expanding them into articles. I decided to pick out a question on high blood pressure and the low carbohydrate diet for this article. The question has been asked several times by different people, and I think that it’s an important one. Can A Low Carbohydrate Diet Cause High Blood Pressure? There are many things that happen to your body to cause your blood pressure to increase. I have been asking this question of physicians that I know, and the consensus is that they feel that obesity is a much greater risk factor than any diet. They would prefer that their patients lost the weight on a low carbohydrate diet and just monitored their blood pressure to make sure that it did not get dangerously high. There was also a general consensus that they actually saw their patients’ blood pressures decrease when they followed a low carbohydrate regime. What About Salt? Standard medical advice has always been for people with high blood pressure to reduce their sodium intake. Why would blood pressure decrease when so many low carbers crave salty foods and increase their sodium intake? There is a fairly simple answer to this question. Excess salt consumption can cause excess fluid retention, which can lead to an increase in blood pressure. However, a low carbohydrate diet puts one into ketosis and is naturally diuretic. This helps to reduce the excess fluids in the body, thereby reducing the blood pressure. When your body does not have to pump th Continue reading >>

The 11 Most Common Keto Side Effects

The 11 Most Common Keto Side Effects

The 11 Most Common Keto Side Effects The ketogenic diet is a powerful new tool to hit the mainstream recently. This style of eating has substantial data behind it showing that it can boost fat-burning, reduce inflammation, boost cognitive performance, and more. What has not been covered quite enough are common keto side effects and how you can avoid them to make the best of this powerful eating style. Although there can be many different side effects that manifest while becoming keto-adapted, many of them stem from similar underlying issues. In this article, I outline what those underlying issues are, their related side effects, and simple strategies to overcome them so you can become keto-adapted as smoothly as possible. Three Primary Causes Although there are a variety of symptoms that can arise during keto adaptation, they mostly manifest from the same three underlying causes. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis dysfunction, and electrolyte/mineral deficiencies. While these three causes are seemingly different, they are actually all related. When becoming keto-adapted initially, your body has been running on sugar for years. When you suddenly switch to fats, your body has to essentially build the cellular machinery necessary to generate and utilize ketone bodies as a fuel source. This means that instead of generating tons of ketones from the very beginning, most people experience hypoglycemia for a period of time. With hypoglycemia comes a disruption in cortisol signaling which is what accounts for the HPA axis dysfunction. Finally, HPA axis dysfunction leads to an increase in secretion of minerals from the body in the urine. Together these three causes can create all kinds of side effects. Once you understand them, though, a lit Continue reading >>

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