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How Long Does Ketosis Insomnia Last

The Beginners Guide To Ketosis: Investigating Low-carb, High-fat Eating

The Beginners Guide To Ketosis: Investigating Low-carb, High-fat Eating

The only hard and fast rule of health is that health is personal and what works well for one person may not work for someone else. Aside from that rule, there are “frameworks” that seem to benefit large groups of people. One more level down from that are alternative strategies that benefit smaller groups. Ketosis is likely one of those alternative strategies that works well for certain, smaller groups of people. So, right off the bat I want you to understand that Ketosis might not be for everyone. I’m going to lay out the case for potential benefits of Ketosis. If it sounds interesting and beneficial to you, then consider trying it. (see our free cheat sheet to help you). What is Ketosis Ketosis occurs when liver glycogen gets depleted and the body burns fatty acids for fuel. The primary driver of this state is a very low carbohydrate intake. Often, it also requires a low protein, higher fat intake. You can also achieve a state of ketosis by not eating altogether. The creation of ketones is a byproduct of this metabolic state. Ketones are a source of fuel, just as glucose is a source of fuel. Ketones tend to have some added benefits, though. What role does Ketosis play in human health? Ketosis allows our bodies to function in the absence of carbohydrates, both physically and mentally. Instead of burning carbohydrates, or converting protein to glucose, the body burns ketones. This is pretty much a survival mechanism. It allows your body to function in a state of caloric deprivation. This is why ketosis often gets bad press (as it’s linked to “starvation”). Being a survival mechanism doesn’t make it invalid as a strategy, though. There can still be potential benefits to be had. Let’s cover a few of them… Ketosis and Accelerated Fat Loss Being in ketosis Continue reading >>

A Quick History

A Quick History

A Little History The Really Short Version Burnout Trying to Stop Coreg Exercising The Atkins' Diet What a Trip Updated April, 2005 - I went into heart failure at age 36 for no apparent reason. The illness and its meds gave me severe insomnia, and foot and lower leg pain. Soon after, I got lightheaded from heart medication and fell down a flight of stairs at home, injuring my lower back. My IQ dropped a couple of dozen points and I didn't quit smoking until 2 years after I got sick. I rapidly lost the muscle gained from years of weight lifting. In 1996, I became a Christian, and started the web site that is now CHFpatients.com. I also got a terrific dog. Without Jesus, I'd have lost it. Since heart failure hammered me in 1994, I had never managed to sustain a regular exercise routine. In September of 2002 I started the Atkins' diet to lose weight and stabilize my blood sugar. My wife joined me on the diet. I am 5 feet 7 inches tall. Before CHF, I was 199 pounds of solid muscle. Over the first 8 years of my heart failure, I lost all the muscle and ballooned up to 207 pounds when I started Atkins. Now into January of 2005, I am down to 184 pounds and have regained a lot of muscle from weight lifting successfully for 2 years. My weight loss is from eating half as much food as I ate before Atkins. With low carb intake, I don't get as hungry and I don't get stupid or tired when not eating much. I now sleep about 8 hours almost every night. After 8 years of serious insomnia, this is huge. Although I still have foot and lower leg pain, it is less than before. I no longer take aspirin, digoxin, spironolactone, or a diuretic. My mood is much better. I function better. Burnout the long version Rewind to September of 2002. I was getting seriously burned out on doing the heart failu Continue reading >>

Does The Ketogenic Diet Cure Candida? The Ketosis-candida-mercury Link

Does The Ketogenic Diet Cure Candida? The Ketosis-candida-mercury Link

You’ve been on the Ketogenic Diet for a while now and you’ve been promised weight loss, more energy, clearer head, better sleep or possibly even ascension? But instead you got some or all of the following? weight gain stiff neck fatigue brain fog heart palpitations head pressure burning sensation in the mouth insatiable thirst impaired breathing / coughing / shortness of breath headaches nausea stiff joints muscle stiffness depression insomnia rash bloated, painful intestines constipation or diarrhea white coated tongue phlegm or mucus or the feeling of having a “frog” in your throat just overall feeling more miserable But you aren’t willing to give up on the diet just yet because you were told all those negative symptoms you’ve started to experience were due to your body adjusting from a sugar to a fat burning metabolism? Or that your mtDNA was being repaired? That you just need to stick through it, or drink more water or take a few supplements? That in order to get well you have to get sick first? That the insomnia really is you having more energy and hence needing less sleep? And yet it’s been weeks, months, or more than a year but you still experience those symptoms and you’re not really feeling well and – surprisingly – you have actually GAINED some weight?! If so, then it might be time to consider that the Ketogenic Diet is actually making you sick. WHAAAAAT??!! How could that be? You ask. And: Who am I to suggest such blasphemy? I’m a former Keto Fanatic, someone who had been on the Ketogenic Diet for over 1 year until I realized that ketosis was wrecking havoc with my body, and now I’m here to tell you all about it. How did I get into the Ketogenic Diet? Did I go from eating pizza and drinking Cola straight to eating 4 eggs for breakfast Continue reading >>

Sleep Interrupted? The Blood Sugar And Sleep Connection

Sleep Interrupted? The Blood Sugar And Sleep Connection

In my last newsletter, I wrote about how most people with sleep trouble think they have too much energy and simply can’t settle down. I also discussed that one of the main causes of insomnia is actually a deep level of exhaustion. Odd as it may seem, the body needs energy to calm or sedate itself for sleep. Without energy, we stay awake, “wired and tired.” The second most common cause of insomnia is a silent blood sugar issue that affects one third of Americans. The worst part is, a shocking 90% of people are unaware of this problem until it is too late! (1) Could you or someone you know be suffering from blood-sugar-related insomnia? Keep reading to learn the facts about this troubling, little-known sleep issue. First Comes Stress, Then Come Cravings Sleep disorders affect an estimated 50-70 million Americans and, as I discussed in my last newsletter, much of this is caused by stress and exhaustion. When under stress, the adrenals go shopping for energy. Their favorite stop is the pancreas, where stress generates insatiable cravings for sweets to create the energy the adrenals can no longer provide. Before you know it, Americans are waking up to a sugar-laced cup of coffee or two. In an attempt to pick the healthy choice, we might sip green tea to keep us going through the morning. Lunch might be a salad and a diet soda. Then, as the blood sugar starts plummeting, bringing on the all-too-well-known afternoon crash, dark chocolate is passed around the office as if you had called room service. By the end of the workday, either a workout, latte or a nap is the only thing getting us home without falling asleep. The Band-aid Cure To remedy this, some of us have adopted a diet that was originally formulated for folks with severe hypoglycemia”the “six small meals a Continue reading >>

Low Carb Diet Side Effects

Low Carb Diet Side Effects

Low carb diet side effects are manageable if you understand why they happen and how to minimize them. Understanding your physical reactions will help you avoid the worst of the symptoms, and keep you from quitting before you get out of the chute, so to speak. After several weeks, these side effects will subside as you become "keto-adapted" and able to burn fat instead of glucose for fuel. The list below includes the most common low carb diet side effects, and I've included tips on how to handle them. The only caveat is that you have no contraindicated health conditions. I have detailed here who should NOT follow a ketogenic diet. Frequent Urination After the first day or so, you'll notice that you are in the bathroom urinating more often. Your body is burning up the extra glycogen (stored glucose) in your liver and muscles. Breaking down glycogen releases a lot of water. As your carb intake and glycogen stores drop, your kidneys will start dumping this excess water. In addition, as your circulating insulin levels drop, your kidneys start excreting excess sodium, which will also cause more frequent urination. (see this reference). Fatigue and Dizziness As you start dumping water, you'll lose minerals such as salt, potassium and magnesium as well. Having lower levels of these minerals will make you very, very tired, lightheaded or dizzy, give you muscle cramps, and headaches. You may also experience skin itchiness. Fatigue and dizziness are the most common of the low carb diet side effects, and they can be avoided for the most part by making sure you stay ahead of mineral loss. You can counteract mineral losses by eating more salt or sipping salty broth throughout the day, and eating potassium rich foods. (Dairy foods, green leafy vegetables and avocados are high in potas Continue reading >>

10 Signs And Symptoms That You're In Ketosis

10 Signs And Symptoms That You're In Ketosis

The ketogenic diet is a popular, effective way to lose weight and improve health. When followed correctly, this low-carb, high-fat diet will raise blood ketone levels. These provide a new fuel source for your cells, and cause most of the unique health benefits of this diet (1, 2, 3). On a ketogenic diet, your body undergoes many biological adaptions, including a reduction in insulin and increased fat breakdown. When this happens, your liver starts producing large amounts of ketones to supply energy for your brain. However, it can often be hard to know whether you're "in ketosis" or not. Here are 10 common signs and symptoms of ketosis, both positive and negative. People often report bad breath once they reach full ketosis. It's actually a common side effect. Many people on ketogenic diets and similar diets, such as the Atkins diet, report that their breath takes on a fruity smell. This is caused by elevated ketone levels. The specific culprit is acetone, a ketone that exits the body in your urine and breath (4). While this breath may be less than ideal for your social life, it can be a positive sign for your diet. Many ketogenic dieters brush their teeth several times per day, or use sugar-free gum to solve the issue. If you're using gum or other alternatives like sugar-free drinks, check the label for carbs. These may raise your blood sugar levels and reduce ketone levels. The bad breath usually goes away after some time on the diet. It is not a permanent thing. The ketone acetone is partly expelled via your breath, which can cause bad or fruity-smelling breath on a ketogenic diet. Ketogenic diets, along with normal low-carb diets, are highly effective for losing weight (5, 6). As dozens of weight loss studies have shown, you will likely experience both short- and long Continue reading >>

Ketosis Symptoms & Low Carb Flu Explained

Ketosis Symptoms & Low Carb Flu Explained

What does Ketosis mean exactly, and what are Ketosis symptoms? There are a lot of questions about the Low Carb Flu, also known as “Induction Flu” (based on the Atkins Induction Phase). If you’ve just started eating low carb and you feel miserable, you’re experiencing the low carb flu. Ketosis symptoms include: Headaches, bad breath or a metallic taste in your mouth, irritability (like PMS on steroids! lol), leg cramps, insomnia, nausea, etc. It basically feels like you’ve been hit with a nasty flu. Symptoms vary from person to person. The good news is, it means you’re doing it right! The even better news is… it only lasts a few days. What Is Ketosis? It is a state in which your body burns fat for energy instead of carbs/sugar. A keto state means you are fueling your body on healthy fats instead of carbohydrates. So that saying that “You need carbs for energy!” is untrue. But you DO need either carbohydrates OR healthy fats for energy, which is why you can’t (or shouldn’t) eat “low carb, low fat”. See Low Carb, High Fat Diet Explained Your body and your brain actually operate much better on healthy fats. A ketogenic diet is known to reduce seizures, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, control diabetes and chronic pain issues (fibromyalgia, arthritis, etc) and remedy many other common health issues. The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fuelling brain function. However, if there is very little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pas Continue reading >>

The Beginner’s Guide To Exogenous Ketones

The Beginner’s Guide To Exogenous Ketones

Have you been wondering what exogenous ketones are? If so, you’re not the only one. The keto-dieting world has been buzzing with information about developments on exogenous ketones for awhile now, with many brands producing exogenous ketones that are used by Keto lifestylers around the world. But the majority of Keto dieters don’t completely understand what exogenous ketones are or how they can benefit their diet (or dieting options). In this post, we’ll provide you with easy to read information about exogenous ketones. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to utilize exogenous ketones in your diet, and teach others about their value. Let’s start with the label! The Definition of Exogenous Ketones Two words: exogenous and ketones. The word exogenous describes something that is developed from external factors; something outside of the usual production. So in terms of ketones, this means that exogenous ketones are synthetic: created outside of your body by scientists and then ingested for accelerated ketosis. We assume that you already know what ketones are, but just in case, we’ll give you a brief description of this term as well. Ketones, are organic compounds produced by in your body when your system experiences starvation, or when you restrict carbohydrates and increase fats, which inhibits a starvation-like state that produces ketone bodies. These ketones are an ideal fuel source for your body and your brain. Studies have suggested that when your body is in a ketogenic state, it utilizes oxygen more efficiently in the generation of energy. In short, ketones are secret weapons for anyone looking to take their body’s fueling system to the next level! To restate the point: Exogenous Ketones are ketone supplements. They’re created outside of your body and i Continue reading >>

The Effects Of The Ketogenic Diet On Behavior And Cognition

The Effects Of The Ketogenic Diet On Behavior And Cognition

Go to: Experimental animal findings Ketogenic diet and seizure models Application of the KD to multiple animal epilepsy models has demonstrated therapeutic effects, e.g. KDs can increase induced-seizure threshold, delay seizure development, attenuate seizure risk and decrease the seizure severity (Maalouf et al., 2009; Todorova et al., 2000; Xu et al., 2006; Mantis et al., 2004). While careful attention has been paid to the effects of KD upon seizure activity, less is known about its effects upon cognition. Neuroprotective capacity of the ketogenic diet Data are available that suggest that the KD has neuroprotective effects that could be applied beyond its treatment for epileptic conditions. Several studies have demonstrated that KDs can enhance cognitive function in both pathophysiological and normal healthy experimental animal systems (Appelberg et al., 2009; Xu et al., 2010). For example, KDs were able to improve the motor coordination and cognition recovery in young rats suffering from traumatic brain injury (Appelberg et al., 2009). Pro-cognitive and memory enhancement effects of KDs have been demonstrated in normal, healthy, aged rats and to a lesser extent in young rats, suggesting that age may not be a confound for KD use (Xu et al., 2010). In a murine model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in which mice express a mutated human amyloid precursor protein (APP) transgene, KDs have been shown to attenuate the production and accumulation of the cytotoxic proteolytic products of APP, i.e. amyloid-β 40/42, that are thought to underlie the etiology of AD (Van dA et al., 2005). Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS; Lou Gehrig’s disease), like AD, is a neurodegenerative disorder often linked to oxidative stress of neurons. Murine models of ALS, in which transgenic mice pos Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet & Sleep Problems: How Are Carbohydrates And Ketosis Associated With Disturbed Sleep?

Ketogenic Diet & Sleep Problems: How Are Carbohydrates And Ketosis Associated With Disturbed Sleep?

A diet which is rich in fat and low in proteins and carbohydrates is called a ketogenic diet. Going on a ketogenic diet is one of the ways people revert to in order to achieve quick weight loss. While ketogenic diet can have adverse consequences to a person's well being, it can also lead to sleep deprivation or insomnia over a period of time. Consumption of carbohydrates is vital for the body that not only keeps the energy equilibrium maintained, but also plays a role in your quality of sleep. If you are planning to adopt ketogenic diet then beware my friend of the complications it can have in the long run over your sleep cycle! Maintaining a good body is essential, but it should not compromise with your sleep which is vital for your health and well being. Herein, we break down some valuable information on how ketogenic diet can be associated with sleep disturbances and how it can be managed. A diet which is rich in fat and low in proteins and carbohydrates is called a ketogenic diet. Carbohydrates are called storehouse of energy as their breakdown results in enormous energy released by the body needed for performing its functions. In absence of these dietary carbs, the glycogen and fat is broken down thereby causing enormous loss of weight. It is during fat breakdown that causes release of ketones in blood also known as ketosis. The weight loss of a person of a ketogenic diet can be sudden and high in intensity often causing euphoric feeling, but leading to sleep problems over a period of time. Known to cause a soothing effect on the body, carbohydrates are often referred to as "comfort foods" in dietary terms. These carbs are responsible for maintaining steady glucose supply, maintaining energy equilibrium and at the same time keeping the protein balance in the brain. Continue reading >>

So, Apparently I Don't Sleep Anymore ...

So, Apparently I Don't Sleep Anymore ...

I am in Ketosis (checked with Ketostix). For the past two and a half weeks, I haven't really been sleeping. I probably REM cycle a whopping 5 hours every night, sometimes 4, and occasionally 6-7. When I wake up I still feel a bit tired, but I'm 'awake' if that makes sense ... I have read that people on Ketosis sleep less but I'm a bit apprehensive about this dramatic change (I usually/use to sleep 8-9 hours a night). Other info: Not hungry. I don't eat nearly as much. For instance, yesterday I ate 2 eggs, 1/2 cup ground beef, 2 small round steaks (the thin tenderized kind, probably about .4 lb total ... maybe less), and 1/8 of an avocado. 20 pounds to lose? Don't have a scale ... haven't checked in a year ... I lift weights, moderately, 3-4 times a week. I run-walk every other day. (Note: I am not giving up running. I do not care if cardio isn't all that great. I love to run. I will continue to do so.) I drink Kombucha everyday (home brew). Vitamin D supplement Natural Calm supplement 2 weeks sober from coffee ... :p My job requires me to stand most of the day (M-F) and go up and down scaffolds, thus, quite active. That's all I can think of to add ... So, my question: What the heck is going on? Should I be concerned with this lack of sleep (darn you Lights Out for raising my cortisol!)? What should I do differently, if anything? EDIT: The cortisol I mentioned in respect to Lights Out was a joke ... as in ... reading it raised my cortisol levels because I'm not sleeping and that is a detriment according to the book ... just a clarification (I'm unsure if it's been taken the wrong way, if so, my bad.) Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes! Continue reading >>

Chasing Away Insomnia With A Bowl Of Oatmeal

Chasing Away Insomnia With A Bowl Of Oatmeal

Mike, the guy behind the desk at the gym, was yawning so much he could barely say good morning. “Late night?” I asked him. “No,” he yawned in reply. “I haven’t been sleeping well for days.” “How long have you been on the high-protein diet?” I asked, knowing nothing about what he had been eating, but guessing he had fallen prey to the fitness hype about the benefits of avoiding carbohydrates. I was right. Mike’s sleep problems started two weeks earlier because he had cut all starches and sugars from his diet. Now his sleep was like a yo-yo: asleep/awake/asleep/awake all night long. “I go to sleep at midnight, and I wake up at 2 or 2:30. I then fall back asleep, and I’m up again in another hour. My mind is racing, and I feel agitated and simply can’t relax,” he told me. If Mike had searched the Internet during those wakeful early morning hours, he would have read countless anecdotes from others describing similar sleepless nights. Whether the problem was failing to fall asleep easily, or get through the night without multiple awakenings, all the insomniacs had one thing in common: they were on high-protein, low or no-carbohydrate diets. This is not to say that there are not many other causes of sleep disturbances from taking too long to fall asleep, trouble staying asleep, or waking up too early. Anxiety, age, sleep apnea (which awakens the sleeper many times during the night), drug side effects, some degenerative diseases, and even shift work are but a few of the obstacles preventing this most natural and wanted behavior. But if someone stops sleeping normally at the same time as he or she stops eating carbohydrates, it does not take a sleep disorder expert to figure why…too little serotonin is the cause. Serotonin, the multi-functional brai Continue reading >>

Common Ketosis Side Effects And Treatments

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 >>

The Official “ask Me Anything About Ketosis & Ironman” Premium Podcast With Ben Greenfield

The Official “ask Me Anything About Ketosis & Ironman” Premium Podcast With Ben Greenfield

If you read my article “The Great Ketogenic Ironman Experiment – Can You Go Low-Carb And Be A Fast Endurance Athlete Without Destroying Your Body?”, then you may know that I’m just 3 weeks out from Ironman Canada – and a 12 week experiment with a very low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet leading up to that race. Want to know how that experiment is going, and what happens when you combine extreme endurance training with ketosis? You’re about to find out. Today, I released a Premium podcast episode in which I answered questions submitted on the BenGreenfieldFitness Facebook page, including questions about ketosis, Ironman training, nutrition and more, including: -Do you use bitter melon to help buffer blood sugar spikes in a effort to continue producing blood ketones? If yes, how important is the timing of taking the bitter melon for this and how much do you take each time? -Have you had any breaks from ketosis where you carb binge? -Please let us know about your experiences with oxaloacetate — most importantly about the safety of it and how much (in your opinion) it boosted your performance. -I’m doing your TriathlonDominator.com plan, and am curious as to how you typically train right now… Are you still doing predominantly H.I.I.T. with long Z2 efforts sprinkled in? -How much does it cost you a month to eat that way? Carbs are so cheap and yummy. -Is there any advantage to adding hard to find meat like lamb and bison to my diet? -What are your thoughts on barefoot/minimalist running? -Do you recommend anything for me in my first 5K? So far I’ve been working out for the last 2 months, 6 days a week, eating ok, I do cheat but I just pray I make it to the end. -What do you think of Ezekiel bread? I haven’t heard much, but I love bread and people say it is Continue reading >>

7 Things Everyone Should Know About Low-carb Diets

7 Things Everyone Should Know About Low-carb Diets

Last week, my staff nutritionist Laura Schoenfeld wrote a guest post for my blog called “Is a Low-Carb Diet Ruining Your Health”. Perhaps not surprisingly, it has caused quite a stir. For reasons I don’t fully understand, some people identify so strongly with how many carbohydrates they eat that they take offense when a suggestion is made that low-carb diets may not be appropriate for everyone, in all circumstances. In these circles low-carb diets have become dogma (i.e. a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true). Followers of this strange religious sect insist that everyone should be on low-carb or even ketogenic diets; that all carbohydrates, regardless of their source, are “toxic”; that most traditional hunter-gatherer (e.g. Paleolithic) societies followed a low-carb diet; and, similarly, that nutritional ketosis—which is only achievable with a very high-fat, low-carb, and low-protein diet—is our default and optimal physiological state. Cut through the confusion and hype and learn what research can tell us about low-carb diets. On the other hand, I’ve also observed somewhat of a backlash against low-carb diets occurring in the blogosphere of late. While I agree with many of the potential issues that have been raised about low-carb diets, and think it’s important to discuss them, I also feel it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that low-carb diets can be very effective therapeutic tools for certain conditions and in certain situations. With this in mind, here are 7 things I think everyone should know about low-carb diets. #1: Paleo does not equal low-carb, and very low-carb/ketogenic diets are not our “default” nutritional state, as some have claimed. Some low-carb advocates have claimed that mo Continue reading >>

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