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How Is Ketosis Dangerous

Is Dietary Ketosis Harmful To The Liver?

Is Dietary Ketosis Harmful To The Liver?

The mild dietary ketosis, such as that which is experienced during the Weight Loss phase of the Lean for Life program, is not harmful to individuals with a normal, healthy, functioning liver. Here is some information about ketosis that may help you to understand its role in weight loss: The carbohydrates you eat are converted to glucose, which is the body’s primary source of energy. Whenever your intake of carbohydrates is limited to a certain range, for a long enough period of time, you’ll reach a point where your body draws on its alternate energy system, fat stores, for fuel. This means your body burns fat and turns it into a source of fuel called ketones. (Ketones are produced whenever body fat is burned.) When you burn a larger amount of fat than is immediately needed for energy, the excess ketones are discarded in the urine. Being in ketosis means your body has burned a large amount of fat in response to the fact that it didn’t have sufficient glucose available for energy needs. Dietary ketosis is among the most misunderstood concepts in nutrition because it is often confused with ketoacidosis, which is a life-threatening condition most often associated with uncontrolled insulin-deficient Type 1 diabetes. In the Type 1 diabetic, the absence of insulin leads to a toxic build-up of blood glucose and an extreme break-down of fat and muscle tissue. This condition doesn’t occur in individuals who have even a small amount of insulin, whether from natural production or artificially administered. Dietary ketosis, however, is a natural adjustment to the body’s reduced intake of carbohydrates as the body shifts its primary source of energy from carbohydrates to stored fat. The presence of insulin keeps ketone production in check so that a mild, beneficial ketosis Continue reading >>

Why Dka & Nutritional Ketosis Are Not The Same

Why Dka & Nutritional Ketosis Are Not The Same

There’s a very common misconception and general misunderstanding around ketones. Specifically, the misunderstandings lie in the areas of: ketones that are produced in low-carb diets of generally less than 50 grams of carbs per day, which is low enough to put a person in a state of “nutritional ketosis” ketones that are produced when a diabetic is in a state of “diabetic ketoacidosis” (DKA) and lastly, there are “starvation ketones” and “illness-induced ketones” The fact is they are very different. DKA is a dangerous state of ketosis that can easily land a diabetic in the hospital and is life-threatening. Meanwhile, “nutritional ketosis” is the result of a nutritional approach that both non-diabetics and diabetics can safely achieve through low-carb nutrition. Diabetic Ketoacidosis vs. Nutritional Ketosis Ryan Attar (soon to be Ryan Attar, ND) helps explain the science and actual human physiology behind these different types of ketone production. Ryan is currently studying to become a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine in Connecticut and also pursuing a Masters Degree in Human Nutrition. He has interned under the supervision of the very well-known diabetes doc, Dr. Bernstein. Ryan explains: Diabetic Ketoacidosis: “Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), is a very dangerous state where an individual with uncontrolled diabetes is effectively starving due to lack of insulin. Insulin brings glucose into our cells and without it the body switches to ketones. Our brain can function off either glucose or fat and ketones. Ketones are a breakdown of fat and amino acids that can travel through the blood to various tissues to be utilized for fuel.” “In normal individuals, or those with well controlled diabetes, insulin acts to cancel the feedback loop and slow and sto Continue reading >>

Is Ketosis Dangerous?

Is Ketosis Dangerous?

It really is a sad fact that some experts add more to the confusion surrounding health and nutrition then they do to clear things up. One such area is that of ketosis vs ketoacidosis. While you may be unfamiliar with these terms, you will most certainly know about low carb and very low carb diets, and it is likely you’ve heard health professionals warning against the dangerous side-efffects of low-carbing. Well, ketosis and ketoacidosis are often quoted as two of those dangerous side-effects. This advice, however, is partly misinformed, partly overcautious. I read about Jimmy’s (Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb) experience recently when he went to give blood. He struck up a conversation with the type 2 diabetic nurse, and talk turned to eating a low carb diet. Her immediate response was that ketosis is a dangerous condition to be avoided. This is a pretty common opinion echoed by many health professionals. Here is what WebMD say on the subject of ketosis; Unhealthy metabolic state (ketosis). Low-carb diets can cause your body to go into a dangerous metabolic state called ketosis since your body burns fat instead of glucose for energy. During ketosis, the body forms substances known as ketones, which can cause organs to fail and result in gout, kidney stones, or kidney failure. Ketones can also dull a person’s appetite, cause nausea and bad breath. Ketosis can be prevented by eating at least 100 grams of carbohydrates a day. It is hardly surprising that the general public are confused, when health professionals and mainstream websites like WebMD make statements like this. And that’s only two examples. If this is all starting to sound a bit worrying, let me clarify things for you by firstly defining the difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis. Ketosis vs Ketoacidosis Continue reading >>

What Is Ketosis?

What Is Ketosis?

"Ketosis" is a word you'll probably see when you're looking for information on diabetes or weight loss. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? That depends. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, something your body does to keep working. When it doesn't have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones. If you're healthy and eating a balanced diet, your body controls how much fat it burns, and you don't normally make or use ketones. But when you cut way back on your calories or carbs, your body will switch to ketosis for energy. It can also happen after exercising for a long time and during pregnancy. For people with uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a sign of not using enough insulin. Ketosis can become dangerous when ketones build up. High levels lead to dehydration and change the chemical balance of your blood. Ketosis is a popular weight loss strategy. Low-carb eating plans include the first part of the Atkins diet and the Paleo diet, which stress proteins for fueling your body. In addition to helping you burn fat, ketosis can make you feel less hungry. It also helps you maintain muscle. For healthy people who don't have diabetes and aren't pregnant, ketosis usually kicks in after 3 or 4 days of eating less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. That's about 3 slices of bread, a cup of low-fat fruit yogurt, or two small bananas. You can start ketosis by fasting, too. Doctors may put children who have epilepsy on a ketogenic diet, a special high-fat, very low-carb and protein plan, because it might help prevent seizures. Adults with epilepsy sometimes eat modified Atkins diets. Some research suggests that ketogenic diets might help lower your risk of heart disease. Other studies show sp Continue reading >>

The Ketogenic Diet And Type 1 Diabetes

The Ketogenic Diet And Type 1 Diabetes

What is type 1 diabetes? How is it different than type 2? Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the body becomes resistant to insulin, forcing the pancreas to produce ever more insulin, and leading to a downward spiral of metabolic illness. It’s also called “Adult Onset Diabetes”, because the vast majority of people who develop it do so in adulthood, after years of eating a high-carb diet. Type 1 diabetes, also known as “Juvenile Diabetes”, is a disorder where the body’s immune system attacks the cells of the pancreas responsible for producing insulin. Only the pancreas can produce insulin, and insulin is the hormone primarily responsible for shuttling molecules out of the blood and into cells for energy or storage. That means, if the pancreas isn’t producing insulin, a person will starve to death from the inside. Their cells, literally, cannot get any food. They can eat and eat and eat, but there’s no mechanism to transport that food energy into the cells. That’s why they need regular insulin shots. On a regular-carb diet, those insulin shots might be several times per day. On a high-carb diet, those shots will be even more frequent. Type 1 diabetics must keep injecting themselves with insulin in order to deal with all the glucose in their blood stream. They have to keep insulin levels high, if they eat high carbs, because they have a high level of glucose to deal with. Being ketogenic means insulin levels don’t have to be high, because there isn’t a high level of glucose that needs to be shuttled around. And, because there isn’t a big requirement for insulin, the type 1 diabetic can reduce the amount of insulin needed on a daily basis (many reduce this requirement by 80%). The important thing to remember is that someone suffering from type 1 dia Continue reading >>

Is Keto Healthy? Ketosis Vs Ketoacidosis

Is Keto Healthy? Ketosis Vs Ketoacidosis

Is Keto Healthy? Ketosis vs Ketoacidosis When looking at a ketogenic diet and ketosis, it’s common for some people to confuse the process with a harmful, more extreme version of this state known as diabetic ketoacidosis. But there are a lot of misconceptions out there about ketosis vs ketoacidosis, and it’s time to shed some light on the subject by looking at the (very big) differences between the two. An Overview of Ketosis A ketogenic, or keto, diet is centered around the process of ketosis, so it’s important to understand exactly what ketosis is first before we get into whether or not it’s safe (spoiler: it is): Ketosis is a metabolic state where the body is primarily using fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. Burning carbohydrates (glucose) for energy is the default function of the body, so if glucose is available, the body will use that first. But during ketosis, the body is using ketones instead of glucose. This is an amazing survival adaptation by the body for handling periods of famine or fasting, extreme exercise, or anything else that leaves the body without enough glucose for fuel. Those eating a ketogenic diet purposely limit their carb intake (usually between 20 and 50 grams per day) to facilitate this response. That’s why the keto diet focuses on very low carb intake, moderate to low protein intake, and high intakes of dietary fats. Lower protein is important because it prevents the body from pulling your lean muscle mass for energy and instead turns to fat. Ketone bodies are released during ketosis and are created by the liver from fatty acids. These ketones are then used by the body to power all of its biggest organs, including the brain, and they have many benefits for the body we’ll get into later. But first, let’s address a common mi Continue reading >>

Dr. Tamsin Lewis: Dangers Of Ketogenic And Low-carb Diets, And Why Females Are Higher Risk

Dr. Tamsin Lewis: Dangers Of Ketogenic And Low-carb Diets, And Why Females Are Higher Risk

We are joined by Dr. Tamsin Lewis, who’s become a new mom since her last appearance on EP! Read Tamsin’s pregnancy blog, mentioned on the show. You can hire Tamsin for a health consultation at Curoseven.com. This episode investigates the risks and dangers of going to low carb, and advises athletes to assess their health via blood tests, consulting with professionals, etc, before taking on any extreme diets. 1. What are the risks of going too low carb or keto; problems you can create with these diets? 2. Who should avoid extreme low carb and ketosis (<50g/day)? 3. Take home: Finding health, finding balance Defining ketosis – similar to starvation mode – use mainly fat and protein for energy – eating <50 g CHO/day – exogenous forms of ketones What are the potential risks of going too low carb or keto; problems you can create with these diets? Gastrointestinal issues – constipation, diarrhea, pain, bloating, etc – disrupting the microbiota, epigenetics, and is keto the preferred diet for you? Female specific issues – problematic for supporting a healthy female hormone environment (disruption; depletion) – high cortisol & the pregnenalone steal – signal that body is in high stress state – can create thyroid problems – TSH increase; T3, T4 decrease – cortisol up, progesterone down; menstrual irregularities – potential loss of cycle or irregular period with too low carb – importance of diet during the luteal phase – psychological issues; anxiety and depression – caloric restriction/low-calorie mistakes – infertility and pregnancy complications – anecdotal evidence of: low-carb great at first, weight loss, etc, then you crash and hormones go crazy, get depleted, etc – Can males suffer from similar hormonal and health issues as females? Continue reading >>

Is Ketosis Dangerous? No, Because Ketosis Is Not Ketoacidosis.

Is Ketosis Dangerous? No, Because Ketosis Is Not Ketoacidosis.

At this point, I consider myself pretty immune to what internet trolls say to me. I have a pretty tough skin, usually laugh off nonsensical comments, and carry on with my day. This last time was different. When checking the social media account for my ketosis supplement company, Perfect Keto, I noticed a rather ridiculous comment. To the best of my memory, the comment said something like this: “How dare you promote ketosis?! I HATE KETOSIS! My daughter is a diabetic and had to be brought to hospital the other day because she was in ketoacidosis! Shame on you and everyone like who you recommends a dangerous diet that kills people! You are killing people! AGHHH!” Not only is this comment wildly misinformed and ignorant, I think comments like this are more dangerous than the promoting the ketogenic diet. When people make comments like this, they use the same scare tactics and lack of facts that have recently overtaken our political system to influence people in not using very beneficial tools to their advantage. Sometimes you just have to use your brain. The unfortunate truth is that this lady isn’t the only delusional and misinformed one instilling fear into people who are trying to gain benefit from their nutritional choices. Plenty of mainstream doctors also think the ketogenic diet is life threatening. I’ve recommended the ketogenic diet to many of my patients trying to fix weight and metabolic issues they haven’t been able to correct for years. One of them mentioned this change to their primary care physician, who was reviewing the statins and several other medications they have this patient on, who reacted with disbelief. Ketosis! How could I recommend such a life threatening intervention?! They were told not to see such a quack like myself any more before Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

Certainly a low carb approach doesn’t work with Type 1’s, right? What about the dangerous risks of hypoglycemia? Actually, this thinking is repeated over and over. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, those using a low carbohydrate high healthy fat (LCHF) approach have much more stable blood sugars, some nearly eliminating hypoglycemic episodes altogether. It really makes perfect sense. Why this reasoning is shunned, defies logic. Think about it…less (fast acting, blood-sugar-spiking) carbs, less insulin, less hypos. Before we go further in this post, I’d like you to read this powerfully compelling account of Dr. Keith Runyan, MD, a Nephrologist, who is a Type 1, and who successfully uses a carb restricted approach to manage his diabetes. Please read his story (link below). There is no way I could do this story justice in fewer words. The entire article is needed to understand its full impact. Afterwards, I would recommend his accompanying video. Nutritional Ketosis vs Diabetic Ketoacidosis Much of the backlash from mainstream beliefs regarding the use of carb restriction with Type 1’s stems from the lack of understanding about the difference between nutritional ketosis and diabetic ketoacidosis. I’m going to quote directly from Diabetes Daily Website. Here is the content of their article entitled “Why DKA and Nutritional Ketosis Are Not The Same”…(read the full article HERE) “There’s a very common misconception and general misunderstanding around ketones. Specifically, the misunderstanding lie in the areas of: ketones that are produced in low-carb diets of generally less than 50g of carbs per day, which is low enough to put a person into a state of “nutritional ketosis.” ketones that are produced when a diabetic is in a state of Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet: Is The Ultimate Low-carb Diet Good For You?

Ketogenic Diet: Is The Ultimate Low-carb Diet Good For You?

Recently, many of my patients have been asking about a ketogenic diet. Is it safe? Would you recommend it? Despite the recent hype, a ketogenic diet is not something new. In medicine, we have been using it for almost 100 years to treat drug-resistant epilepsy, especially in children. In the 1970s, Dr. Atkins popularized his very-low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss that began with a very strict two-week ketogenic phase. Over the years, other fad diets incorporated a similar approach for weight loss. What is a ketogenic diet? In essence, it is a diet that causes the body to release ketones into the bloodstream. Most cells prefer to use blood sugar, which comes from carbohydrates, as the body’s main source of energy. In the absence of circulating blood sugar from food, we start breaking down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies (the process is called ketosis). Once you reach ketosis, most cells will use ketone bodies to generate energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. The shift, from using circulating glucose to breaking down stored fat as a source of energy, usually happens over two to four days of eating fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. Keep in mind that this is a highly individualized process, and some people need a more restricted diet to start producing enough ketones. Because it lacks carbohydrates, a ketogenic diet is rich in proteins and fats. It typically includes plenty of meats, eggs, processed meats, sausages, cheeses, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds, and fibrous vegetables. Because it is so restrictive, it is really hard to follow over the long run. Carbohydrates normally account for at least 50% of the typical American diet. One of the main criticisms of this diet is that many people tend to eat too much protein and Continue reading >>

Diabetes & Ketogenic Diet: Can You Manage Your Diabetes On A Ketogenic Diet?

Diabetes & Ketogenic Diet: Can You Manage Your Diabetes On A Ketogenic Diet?

In this article we will cover what a Ketogenic diet is and if you can manage your diabetes while on this diet. Ketogenic diet for diabetics is a highly controversial topic, but we will break down everything here for you! As a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), I have to tell you from the start I will have a biased view here. Sorry, but I feel that I need to be completely honest right up front! I will however, present all the evidence that is available currently on the subject. As a CDE, I have been taught to follow the American Diabetes Association Dietary Guidelines for Americans which is low in carbohydrates, high in fiber, with fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains. The Ketogenic Diet this article will be discussing is much lower in carbohydrates, in order to promote the state of nutritional ketosis, or the fat burning state for weight loss. What is a Ketogenic Diet? The Ketogenic Diet is a low carbohydrate diet, consisting initially of less than 20 carbohydrates per day. Not per meal, yes, you heard me correctly, per day. It is not for the faint of heart and yes I am writing from experience. Of course I have tried it! Hasn’t everybody in America at some point who has wanted to lose weight? Does it work you ask? Of course it does! The problem is how long can you keep it up? Your body uses the carbohydrates you eat for energy, so if we restrict how many carbohydrates we eat, the body has to get its fuel source from fat. A byproduct of this fat burning state are ketones which are produced; this is called nutritional ketosis. You can determine if you are in this fat burning state by purchasing urine ketone testing strips from your local pharmacy. The Ketogenic Diet with Diabetes Some precautions must be made clear; this diet is not appropriate for people with any Continue reading >>

Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe For People With Diabetes?

Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe For People With Diabetes?

Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe for People with Diabetes? If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, chances are you’re looking for simple yet effective ways to control your blood sugar. And, if at all possible, without the use of daily shots or medications. As I’ve mentioned in earlier blog posts, exercise is one of the best natural ways to manage blood glucose. But perhaps the most obvious way to keep blood sugar at a safe and consistent level without insulin is to pay special attention to what you eat. And, in the case of diabetes, limiting your carbohydrate intake may be the key. What Is the Keto Diet? At first glance the ketogenic (keto) diet may seem like a crazy idea for type 2 diabetics. After all, many patients are put on diets to help them lose weight. The keto diet is high in fat, but it is very low in carbs, and this combination can help change the way your body stores and uses energy. With this diet your body converts fat instead of sugar into energy, which can improve blood glucose levels while reducing the need for insulin. Ketosis VS Ketoacidosis Ketosis and ketoacidosis are two very different things, which are often confused. But it’s very important you understand the difference. What is ketoacidosis? Ketoacidosis (KA) is a life-threatening condition in which your body doesn’t make enough insulin. This causes you to have dangerously high levels of ketones (substances occurring when the body uses fat stores for energy) and blood sugar. The combination of both makes your blood incredibly acidic, and this can, in turn, change the normal functioning of your internal organs such as your liver and kidneys. Patients suffering from ketoacidosis must get treatment immediately or they could slip into a coma and even die. Ketoacidosis can develop in less than 24 Continue reading >>

Are Ketones Dangerous?

Are Ketones Dangerous?

Are ketones dangerous? The answer to that question is it depends. I think it’s important to note that ketones still may pose a risk for those of us on a ketogenic diet, pursuing nutritional ketosis. I have blogged a lot over the years about the benefits of a ketogenic (low carb, high fat) diet for type 1 diabetes. I even wrote an eBook about it. I began my dietary experimentation after 15 years of living with diabetes so my discussion of this topic often assumes that readers are also aware of their own limits and responsibility to establish their limits before inviting complex experimentation. As exciting as the results of a ketogenic diet are, risks must be understood in order to proceed safely. Ketones can indicate diabetic keto-acidosis or DKA, which is life-threatening insulin deficiency, for someone with type 1 diabetes. Sadly, far too many people with type 1 diabetes die from DKA every year. Although the risk is pretty low on an annual basis, there are large numbers of people who actually die from DKA. So, you can easily see why the medical system believes that ketones (or the condition it is associated with) can absolutely can be dangerous.We all enter into experimentation with ketosis having had the “ketones are dangerous” doctrine drilled into our heads from the time of diagnosis. When you have type 1 diabetes, assuming a standard carbohydrate driven diet, the appearance of ketones in any concentration suggests DKA (diabetic keto acidosis) which is life threatening! DKA occurs as a result of insulin deficiency and correlates with elevated blood glucose. In response, usually over a period of hours, the liver dumps ketones which accumulate in the bloodstream at levels approaching 20 mmol/l . At this level of concentration the blood acidifies and the symptom Continue reading >>

Dangers Associated With Ketogenic Diets

Dangers Associated With Ketogenic Diets

Whether you go on a ketogenic diet for weight loss or to manage a health condition, you'll be eating fewer carbohydrates, much more fat and moderately more protein than on a typical diet. You should talk to your doctor before attempting this form of diet as it does pose some risks. When on the ketogenic diet, your body uses fat for energy rather than its standard fuel, carbohydrates. At the beginning, your body has to adjust to using a different fuel source. If the diet is initiated too quickly, or the body is having a difficult time adjusting, you can experience low blood sugar levels -- and the fatigue, headaches and other side effects that come along with it. This is typically temporary, and once the body is fully in ketosis, blood sugar levels remain very stable and typically lower than average, according to a study published in 2008 in "Epilepsia." Ketones are an acid. Therefore, when you are in ketosis, your blood can become more acidic. However, the body is very good at adapting and will produce more bicarbonate to help buffer the acid present in the body. Despite this, you should regularly check blood values to ensure the body is appropriately adjusting for the increased acidic environment. Left untreated, acidosis can lead to kidney stones and bone breakdown. Acidosis is easily managed by the addition of baking soda mixed in water or a variety of pharmaceutical buffers, all of which need to be calculated by knowledgeable health professional for regular monitoring and adjustments -- meaning you should be medically supervised and shouldn't attempt to manage it on your own. Kidney Stones Kidney stones, otherwise called nephrolithiasis, can be a rare side effect of the ketogenic diet. The "Journal of Child Neurology" reports a 3 to 10 percent incidence of kidney st Continue reading >>

Ketosis: What Is Ketosis?

Ketosis: What Is Ketosis?

Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body. Some people encourage ketosis by following a diet called the ketogenic or low-carb diet. The aim of the diet is to try and burn unwanted fat by forcing the body to rely on fat for energy, rather than carbohydrates. Ketosis is also commonly observed in patients with diabetes, as the process can occur if the body does not have enough insulin or is not using insulin correctly. Problems associated with extreme levels of ketosis are more likely to develop in patients with type 1 diabetes compared with type 2 diabetes patients. Ketosis occurs when the body does not have sufficient access to its primary fuel source, glucose. Ketosis describes a condition where fat stores are broken down to produce energy, which also produces ketones, a type of acid. As ketone levels rise, the acidity of the blood also increases, leading to ketoacidosis, a serious condition that can prove fatal. People with type 1 diabetes are more likely to develop ketoacidosis, for which emergency medical treatment is required to avoid or treat diabetic coma. Some people follow a ketogenic (low-carb) diet to try to lose weight by forcing the body to burn fat stores. What is ketosis? In normal circumstances, the body's cells use glucose as their primary form of energy. Glucose is typically derived from dietary carbohydrates, including: sugar - such as fruits and milk or yogurt starchy foods - such as bread and pasta The body breaks these down into simple sugars. Glucose can either be used to fuel the body or be stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. If there is not enough glucose available to meet energy demands, th Continue reading >>

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