How Does Starvation Affect High Blood Pressure?
Starvation is a type of malnutrition, which is caused by being deprived of food or eating food that is inadequate for your body’s nutritional needs. Not eating for a day or longer will cause starvation. Starvation and malnutrition have long-term effects on blood pressure, including causing your blood pressure to elevate. Video of the Day High Blood Pressure High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a condition where your blood pressure is elevated to a level sufficient to cause you harm. The minimum blood pressure for hypertension to be diagnosed is 140/90 mmHg, MayoClinic.com explains. Generally both the systolic and diastolic pressure readings are important. However, it is typical for people over the age of 50 to have hypertensive systolic pressure even if their diastolic remains normal. Factors such as insufficient potassium and vitamin D in your diet elevate your risk of developing hypertension. Excessive stress will also cause your blood pressure to spike, albeit temporarily. Malnutrition and High Blood Pressure Starvation and malnutrition subject your body to both stress as well as potential potassium and vitamin D deficiencies. Your blood pressure is likely to increase as a result of these factors. A study featured in a 2004 issue of the “Nephron Clinical Practice” found that blood pressure increased in malnourished children, including those who recovered from malnutrition six years later. The study involved 172 impoverished children that were over the age of 2. Out of the 172 children who participated, 91 suffered from malnutrition, 20 had recovered from malnutrition and the remaining 61 were not malnourished. Blood pressure readings were taken from two of the three groups and compared against those of the group that was not malnourished. The results of the Continue reading >>
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 >>
Tweet Ketogenic diets are very effective at achieving two common aims of diabetes control, lowering blood glucose levels and reducing weight What is the ketogenic diet? A ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet, considered to be when you eat a level of carbohydrate of around 30g of carbohydrates per day or below. This encourages the body to get its energy from burning body fat which produces an energy source known as ketones. The diet helps to lower the body's demand for insulin which has benefits for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Note that it is important that you speak to your doctor if you are considering following the diet as precautions may need to be taken before starting. How a ketogenic diet works On a ketogenic diet, blood glucose levels are kept at a low but healthy level which encourages the body to break down fat into a fuel source known as ketones. The process of breaking down or ‘burning’ body fat is known as ketosis. People on insulin will typically require smaller doses of insulin which leads to less risk of large dosing errors. The diet helps burn body fat and therefore has particular advantages for those looking to lose weight, including people with prediabetes or those otherwise at risk of type 2 diabetes. How to follow a ketogenic diet Based on the understanding that carbohydrate is the macronutrient that raises blood glucose the most, the primary goal of a ketogenic diet is to keep consumption lower than that of a traditional low carbohydrate diet with moderate protein and a very high fat content. This will determine the nutrient density of the ketogenic diet as well as how to follow it, as different foods will have different effects on insulin and blood sugar levels. Which foods to eat on a ketogenic diet There are a number of differen 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, its 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 Im not eating any carbs? The answer is simple, yet often overlooked. The Hormone that Raises Blood Sugar: No Carbohydrates Required 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 arent enough carbs around to do the job. This is called gluconeogenesis, and its 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 sugareven if they are on a low-carb diet. The trouble is, cortisol isnt just breaking down the protein you eat. Its 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 isnt 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 wouldnt. But every time your body uses c Continue reading >>
Keto And High Blood Pressure
I agree with the others. If low sodium helps you then keto will probably help you. My husband and I live the Keto Lifestyle his A1C was a 6.2 and he is on cholesterol meds and high blood pressure meds. He just went to the doc and his A1C 5.8 blood pressure much lower and his cholesterol much lower! Even with the meds he ran high and now in normal range! They see him in 3 months and may try him off the meds! Doc said keep doing what he's doing ! I agree with the others. If low sodium helps you then keto will probably help you. I thought on keto you are supposed to up your sodium levels as well as potassium to prevent keto flu and to keep electrolytes balanced? which I read can raise blood pressure in some people Huh I never thought about that. Thank you guys for the insight! I'm on BP meds (verapamil) for my migraines and have been doing the stand up/get the spins thing. I'm not low low with the carb range (55 gross, 35 net, light purple) but it gives me something to take to my doctor to make sure I'm doing this right. Thanks!! I agree with the others. If low sodium helps you then keto will probably help you. I thought on keto you are supposed to up your sodium levels as well as potassium to prevent keto flu and to keep electrolytes balanced? which I read can raise blood pressure in some people Yes, but if high sodium levels are exacerbating a high BP condition, then keto is a good fit because it will lower your sodium levels. If sodium levels get too low, then the electrolyte imbalance (aka keto flu - I hate that term) will occur. You generally don't need to increase potassium and magnesium unless sodium has been low for a while. Its then that the body will leach out its K and Mg to use as electrolytes if Na is unavailable. I agree with the others. If low sodium helps Continue reading >>
High Blood Pressure. Get It Under Control With Atkins
High blood pressure is a serious health problem, one that you need to get under control as quickly as possible. If your blood pressure is in the high normal to Stage 1 hypertension range (131 to 159 over 85 to 99), weight loss and some other important lifestyle changes may well be enough to bring it down to safer levels. If your blood pressure is higher than that, you may need antihypertensive medication —but weight loss and lifestyle improvements can definitely still help. Step 1: Lose Weight Because obesity is the leading risk factor for hypertension, losing weight is the most important step you can take to lower your blood pressure—and improve other aspects of your health at the same time. You don't need to trim down a lot to start seeing the benefit. Losing just 10 pounds will have a positive effect; losing 10 percent of your body weight will be even better. As a general rule, your systolic blood pressure (the higher number) will drop one point for every pound you lose.1 In practical terms, that means losing just 10 pounds could lower your blood pressure from the high normal range (130 to 139 over 85 to 89) back to normal (130 over 85 or lower). As your blood pressure drops, so does your risk of a heart attack or stroke. The controlled carbohydrate approach to weight loss is particularly effective in helping your blood pressure. When you follow the Atkins Nutritional Approach™, you lose weight steadily and easily on a diet that's naturally high in nutrients such as potassium and magnesium that have been shown to help reduce blood pressure (see “Mineral Supplements for Hypertension,” below, for more on this). A controlled carb program also helps lower high blood sugar. And because high blood pressure and high blood sugar are very closely linked, you help im 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 >>
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 >>
Dash Diet Lowers Inflammation And Blood Pressure
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The DASH diet is designed to reduce blood pressure and improve blood lipids. It’s typically low in fat and relatively high in carbs, but it’s not clear what role these macronutrients play in the diet’s effectiveness. For this reason, a group of researchers compared the effects of a higher-fat, lower-carb DASH diet to the conventional DASH diet. Their results were recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The DASH diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. The diet was designed after researchers noticed that high blood pressure was much less common in those who followed a plant-based diet, such as vegans and vegetarians, than in meat eaters (5, 6). This led researchers to design a diet that provided liberal amounts of the nutrients that appeared to protect people against high blood pressure. The result was the DASH diet, which is high in fruits and vegetables and contains some lean protein sources like chicken, fish and beans. The diet is low in red meat, salt, added sugars and fat. It’s thought that one of the main reasons people with high blood pressure can benefit from this diet is because it reduces the amount of salt they’re eating. The regular DASH diet program recommends that people eat no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day (or 1 teaspoon), which is in line with most national guidelines. The lower-salt version recommends that people eat no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day (or 3/4 of a teaspoon). Conclusion: The DASH diet was designed to reduce high blood pressure. It’s rich in fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, but it restricts red meat, salt, added sugars and fat. Background It is currently the world’s most popular diet aimed at lowering b Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet And High Cholesterol
I recently got some blood work back and I wanted to share my results in hopes that it may offer some insight to others who may find themselves at the crossroads of the ketogenic diet and high cholesterol. I have been following a low-carb high-fat diet since July and generally speaking I have been really happy with how it has impacted my body composition, athletic performance, energy and blood sugar control. I’ve written an ebook about it (specifically in relation to type 1 diabetes) and I want to be fair and share the challenges that I’m having as well. What I am presenting here is in no way advice or even a solution that I have found for myself–but rather a question that I am working through. I’ve always had elevated cholesterol (last 10 years) and I’ve always prioritized my blood sugar management over cholesterol. Simply put, there are more questions about the risks of cholesterol than the risks of elevated blood sugar, so I focus on the “devil I know”. I got my bloodwork back and found that my total cholesterol is 383 with LDL at 292. My a1c was 6.5. Neither of these individually are what I am shooting for and both in combination are a bit more alarming. Being perfectly honest it feels like a massive failure to be back at this point of reevaluating everything again. It’s hard not to be governed by numbers but it’s not responsible to ignore them either. I declined statin medication and I was told to switch to a low fat diet high carb diet. My blood pressure was 104/84 and I typically have a resting pulse rate of about 60. I immediately did an internet search on the keto diet correlating to elevated cholesterol and found a whole lot of conjecture. There haven’t been conclusive tests done to evaluate the risk of elevated LDL while on a ketogenic diet Continue reading >>
Starting Low Carb With High Blood Pressure
So you have high blood pressure and you want to try a low-carb diet? Congratulations! It may be the most effective thing for lowering your blood pressure naturally. In some cases it may even normalize your blood pressure completely. However, there are two minor potential problems. 1. Blood pressure medication If you’re on blood pressure medication and start a low-carb diet there’s a risk of getting low blood pressure. You may relatively quickly become too healthy for your medication. This blood pressure lowering effect on low carb can happen within days, but it may also take months or even a year to reach full effect. If you feel weak, tired, dizzy etc. you should check your blood pressure. If it’s low, e.g. below 120/80, you should contact your doctor to discuss lowering or stopping your medication. 2. Salt and bouillon When starting a low-carb diet we often recommend getting extra fluid and salt, perhaps in the form of bouillon – especially during the first two weeks. The reason is to minimize early side effects that can otherwise be troublesome during the first week on low carb, e.g. headache. You should only take this bouillon if your blood pressure is well controlled, as it may increase blood pressure marginally. If your blood pressure is high despite medication you should not take extra salt or bouillon. Doing so could raise the blood pressure even higher, and it is not wise to risk that. Any side effects will usually pass within a few days anyway. Learn more How to normalize your blood pressure Return to the low-carb beginner’s guide Low carb for doctors Are you a doctor or do you know one? Here’s our low carb for doctors resource, with information on how to safely handle medications on a low-carb diet: Continue reading >>
Low-fat Or Low-carbohydrate Diet: What's Best For Your Heart?
Recently I met with a patient who was in his early thirties. He had been treated for high blood pressure for almost a decade. He came to me because he was in atrial fibrillation and felt short of breath and noticed his heart was racing. We talked about his abnormal heart rhythm and that he was developing diseases that we typically see in older adults. I asked if his family also had abnormal heart rhythms or problems with their blood pressure. He said yes, but with each generation the problems were coming earlier. When I asked him why he thought this was happening, he said that everybody in his family struggles to maintain their weight and he was the biggest of all. He also said, "I am going to start on a diet and exercise." His wife said, "I am going to write that down and hold you to it." He then said, "I am committed. What diet is the best for me?" Comparing Diets for Heart Health I recently wrote about 50 years of diets to prevent heart disease. With these diet studies we learned that low-fat diets alone are not that helpful in preventing heart disease. A diet approach that is balanced is often optimal for long-term compliance and use. Recently, low-carbohydrate, or low-carb, diets have become very popular. In regular diets we consume a lot of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are abundant in potatoes, breads, pastas, cereals, some dried fruits, and of course candies and sweets. In low-carb diets, these carbohydrate dense foods are replaced with low-carbohydrate foods such as apples, carrots, lentils, etc. In some diets, low-carbohydrate foods are replaced by protein-dense foods such as meats. As I discussed in my prior column about diets, low fat diets simply try to reduce total intake of daily fat to a certain percentage of the total diet (often less than 30 percent). I Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet And Diabetes-how Does It Help You With Diabetes?
Ketogenic diet and weight loss What is the Ketogenic Diet? The ketogenic diet was actually developed in 1924, but was actually used as treatment for epilepsy. Most diets for type 2 diabetics are designed for weight loss and usually not by a high fat diet, but then again what diet isn’t created to lose weight, period? But what the ketogenic diet and diabetes will have in common is that because it is a low carb, high fat diet, there shows the potential to change the way your body uses and stores energy which have an end result of decreasing your diabetes symptoms. This particular diet also aids in reducing risk factors for epilepsy, stroke, Alzhemier’s disease, heart disease, and diabetes. With the ketogenic diet, your body enters ketosis, which is a metabolic state, and the body then uses ketone “bodies” for energy in lieu of glucose. These bodies are more of a constant source of energy than of glucose that gets its energy from carbohydrates. Let’s talk about fat here The truth is that too much fat is no good but I’m sure that you’re not surprised to hear that. Most but not all fats are essential for our health and are good for us. There’s more calories in in a gram of fat compared to carbohydrates and proteins, but they are the best of efficient energy available. Promoting consuming foods such as vegetables, fish, healthy fats and oils, and meats is what the keto diet is all about. This particular diet is one that you can support long term. And recent studies have shown that by eating a diet that consists of a high fat, low carb diet as opposed to a high carb, low fat diet resulted in: Reduced insulin resistance and reduced blood sugar levels, which can reverse prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Greatly reduced blood pressure which in turn also reduces the Continue reading >>
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 >>
Ask Allison: What Is A Ketogenic Diet?
Q: What is a Ketogenic/Keto diet? A: A ketogenic (keto) diet is a very high fat, low carb, and moderate protein diet. It has many medical benefits for children with epilepsy, and some people follow a keto diet for its potential weight loss benefits. A keto diet results in ketosis—a state in which ketones, formed from fatty acids, are burned as the main energy source by the body and brain rather than glucose (glucose, or blood sugar, is the broken down, usable from of carbohydrates). Q: What is ketosis? A: Ketosis is the result of a ketogenic diet in which the body produces ketones for fuel instead of using glucose. While in ketosis the body switches to fat for almost all energy needs. Q: What are ketones? A: Ketones are an alternative fuel to blood sugar (glucose) for the body. There are three different ketones (or “ketone bodies”) used by the body for fuel (acetone, acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate). Ketones are produced in the liver from fat as a byproduct formed during the conversion of fatty acids to fuel. Q: What do you eat on a ketogenic diet? A: Someone following a ketogenic diet will consume moderate amounts of protein, high amounts of fat, and very low amounts carbohydrates (less than 50g/day); a rough macronutrient ratio would be 15-25% protein, 70%+ fat, and 10% carbs. This usually includes natural fats (butter, olive oil), meat, seafood, eggs, cheese, and primarily green vegetables. People on a keto diet will avoid sweet, sugary, and starchy foods such as potatoes, pasta, rice, and bread. Q: What’s the difference between keto and low carb? A: They are very similar; in most low carb diets, however protein is not restricted whereas for a keto diet protein is restricted to moderate amounts. Additionally, many low carb diets don’t require the majorit Continue reading >>