Ketosis & Depression
According to the British National Health Service, or NHS, ketosis results when too many ketones build up in your blood. Ketones are chemicals that your body produces as a byproduct of burning fat for fuel. Ketosis is a goal of some very-low-carb diets. Some people may experience increased symptoms of depression during ketosis because their bodies may have a hard time producing the mood-elevating chemical called serotonin. Video of the Day Carbs are your body's fuel of choice. When your body has very little carbohydrate available -- as it would after a week or so on a very-low-carb diet -- it is forced to start breaking down and using fat for energy. This process is called fat metabolism. The byproducts of fat metabolism include ketones, which are acidic chemicals that exit your body through urine and breath. Depressed people typically have a persistent feeling of sadness, worthlessness and emptiness. There are many possible reasons for depression; in some cases, depression results from a lack of the brain chemical serotonin, a compound that makes people feel naturally happy. According to MayoClinic.com, having too little serotonin can disrupt communication between your brain cells, making depression worse. Your body has to make serotonin; you can't get it from the food you eat. MedlinePlus explains that your body uses tryptophan, a type of protein, to make serotonin. You can find tryptophan in protein-rich foods like turkey, eggs and fish -- all foods that are allowed on a low-carb diet. So it would seem that people on low-carb diets should have all the tryptophan they need to make serotonin in excess, but that's not the end of the story. There is a tiny amount of tryptophan available compared to all the other kinds of protein in eggs. Since only so much protein can cro Continue reading >>
The Side Effects Of A Low Carb Diet
Who should go on a low-carb diet? Low-carbohydrate diets — like the ketogenic diet — are effective for weight loss and improving health. They are also especially helpful for anyone who: Is overweight or obese Is sedentary Has epilepsy Has polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), fibroids or endometriosis Is diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes Has a neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s Has certain forms of cancer Has cardiovascular disease A typical low-carb diet limits the daily intake of carbohydrates to between 60 and 130 grams, while a ketogenic diet tends to stay below 30 grams of carbohydrates. This is done by excluding or limiting most grains, legumes, fruits, bread, sweets, pasta and starchy vegetables from the diet and replacing them with added fats, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, non-starchy vegetables, nuts, and seeds. When we eat in this way, our bodies begin to change dramatically — especially for those who habitually eat plenty of carbohydrates with each meal. Not all of these changes, however, are going to be positive. When carbohydrates are restricted, it is stressful for the body because it must find another way to fuel itself. This can cause side effects, like nausea and headaches, that is commonly called the “keto flu”. The lack of carbohydrates will also lead to fluid and mineral loss and hormonal changes that can cause health issues if not addressed. The Most Common Side Effects The most common side effects that are experienced when restricting carbohydrates are: Headache Bad breath Weakness Fatigue Constipation or diarrhea It is important, however, to consider how common these symptoms actually are. In studies that put obese patients on a ketogenic diet for 6 months or longer (up to two years), no side effects or co Continue reading >>
Does Anyone Else Get Depressed/anxious On Low Carb?
When I was first starting out with Paleo, I tried to it low-carb. Everything seemed to be well, but after about a month and a half, I started getting*very anxious and stressed out*. What ends up happening is your body must break down protein for glucose needs, and it releases a lot of cortisol to make this happen, leaving you feeling anxious, and stressed, which inevitably leads to depression. Do some carb refeeds. Around 250 grams twice or three times a week. Make your first one today. You'll still be "fat-adapted" with infrequent carb refeeds, but you won't suffer from low glycogen stores. I go through phases, during a low-carb streak... At first: I'm tired, a little depressed, a little cloudy, just sort of feeling overall like I'm missing something. I do get a little anxious after the tiredness passes, I feel that I have more energy than I know what to do with; I usually don't sleep more than five hours a night during this phase. This lasts the first couple days. After that: I break through a wall (low-carb flu) and start feeling really, REALLY good. I'm elated, I'm giddy, I'm clearer than I've been in a long time, I feel like I've figured it all out. A fatty meal makes me feel like I'm flying on several illegal substances. Still sleeping five - six hours a night, but could care less because I have energy. I mean I have ENERGY! This lasts another three or four days. At this point I'm seven - ten days in, and I start noticing that I'm snapping at people here and there. Irritability sets in; I'm not seeking trouble per se, but if anyone shows any sign of weakness or stupidity at all around me, I have ZERO patience and I pounce like a starving lion aiming to rip the throat out. If I continue in this phase, I feel like I might lose my job; it requires both patience and t Continue reading >>
8 Low-carb Conundrums
Thinking of making the switch to low carb? Here's the lowdown on eight low-carb diet side effects. The good news? They're temporary. Low-carb diets are known to burn serious blubber. Many followers of the low-carb life experience quick fat loss, lower hunger levels, and stable energy. Since low-carb lovers cut out most "cheat" foods, like donuts and candy, they also have a fairly easy time controlling total caloric intake. Sounds like fat-loss paradise, right? As those who have undergone the "low-carb switch" can attest, the early fat loss often comes at a price. The first few days or weeks of low-carb living can be a bear, physically and mentally. As your brain and body struggle to adapt to post-glycogen life, you might be downright miserable. Don't pound a Mountain Dew in despair—the misery is often temporary. Before you pay thousands to have that "ketogenic 4 life" tattoo removed, check out this list of common short-term side effects that accompany the switch to low-carb. You won't necessarily suffer from them all, but knowing the signs can help you prepare. The first major side effect that you'll likely experience—usually about 2-3 days into your low-carb "induction"—is a mental lethargy often called "brain fog." You may find yourself staring at the wall for extended periods of time, feeling half-drunk, and unproductive at work. What gives? The primary reason this occurs is because your brain, if given the opportunity, will run almost entirely on glucose. Once your body makes the switch from burning carbs to burning fat, your brain will begin to use ketones as fuel—but not until you've burned up your body's glycogen stores. This is why people often go super-low carb at first: To use up that dwindling glycogen as quickly as possible. In the meantime, you are Continue reading >>
Low-carb Diet = Depression??? Not So Fast!
I’ve noticed a few blogs on the internet recently and posts within our Community from people asking about the effects of Atkins on their sleep or whether doing Atkins would increase their risk of depression. I’ve addressed this topic before, but I thought it would be a great time to revisit it. One study that was well publicized in the past followed a group of adults who were separated into two weight-loss groups: a very low-carb plan and a restricted-calorie, moderately high-carb plan. Both groups lost about the same amount of weight over a year—30 pounds. But, according to the researchers, the low-carb group reported higher levels of anger, depression and confusion vs. the higher-carb group. The researchers suggested a link to better serotonin (a neurotransmitter involved in mood) synthesis with the higher-carb group while the low-carb group had lower levels of serotonin. Concluding that higher carbohydrate intake can increase serotonin concentrations in the brain, while fat and protein reduce concentrations. But it’s just not that simple. Even the researchers suggest that more studies need to be done to support this theory. Let’s start with this indisputable fact: The body needs tryptophan to make serotonin. No one denies this—tryptophan is an essential amino acid, and we need it for all sorts of things, including making serotonin. Tryptophan is a good guy. But no one knows just how much is needed; nor does anyone know exactly how much serotonin we need to make in order to “not be depressed”. What we do know: Depression is a function of an Internet-like maze of interrelationships between serotonin, dopamine, beta-endorphins and other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and epinephrine. The making of any of these chemical messengers can be influenced Continue reading >>
8 Ways To Blast Through Low-carb Flu And Dive Into Ketosis
Have you just started a low-carb diet? Do you find yourself feeling exhausted and overcome by tiredness? Perhaps you are thinking that going low-carb wasn’t a good idea after all… You might already know that these symptoms are not uncommon, especially if you are doing low-carb for the first time. Also known as “low carb flu” or “Atkins flu”, this phase is completely normal – although by no means pleasant. This condition occurs when you cut your carb intake sharply, to about 20-30g a day, in order to induce ketosis. What is low-carb flu? Your body is used to running on carbs. It’s been operating this way for decades. Cutting carbs in favour of fat is a huge change for your metabolism. Your body needs some time to adjust to this change. This period of adjustment can sometimes cause flu-like symptoms. Fatigue is the most common one, but you could also get muscle cramps, headaches, dizziness and mental fog. Some of these symptoms are markers of sugar withdrawal. Sugar addiction is real and common, so trying to break away can be difficult. Low-carb flu is not actual flu Please note that “low carb flu” does not include fever or respiratory cold-like symptoms such as coughing or sneezing. If you are experiencing any of these, it means that you might have actually caught an infection! So it would be a good idea to postpone starting your diet until you are all clear. How can you fight tiredness and other symptoms of low-carb flu? First of all, remember that it won’t last forever. Low-carb flu usually lasts around 3-5 days (although could be 1-2 weeks for some unlucky people with high metabolic resistance). Here are some simple tips on making this transition easier. 1) Eat more fat Fat is the key to this whole issue. You must eat lots of it – a lot more th Continue reading >>
Ketosis For Depression
Depression is so common these days that it seems hard to meet anyone who hasn’t experienced it in some degree. While this has perhaps become the new normal, it doesn’t need to be. Our eating choices not only affect our physical health but our mental health as well—so if you’ve been wondering whether the ketogenic diet can positively impact your emotional state, read on for the use of ketosis for depression. Diet and Depression It’s no secret that most people are overworked, under-rested, and living on a poor diet. It’s also no coincidence that the modern advice to eat a diet high in carbohydrates, low in fat, and with constant snacking or small meals throughout the day has coincided with a rise in diabetes, obesity, and mental issues like anxiety and depression. Let’s take a look at why this difference in diet could be causing these problems—and how ketosis and a ketogenic diet can help. Ketogenic Nutrition and Depression Most of us can agree that a high intake of sugar has a negative impact on mood. Just think of the sugar highs and crashes that result from eating high-carb foods. What follows is feelings of crankiness, low-energy, and maybe even depression. Now, think about how a steady intake of fats from a ketogenic diet could have a positive impact on mood and endorphin levels. Many people who start eating keto have come from a background of eating the Standard American Diet and not exercising enough. Starting a ketogenic diet, removing high-carb refined foods, losing weight, and eating whole foods is bound to help with mood and make you happier. This alone could have benefits for those with depression. In addition, there are some interesting links between ketones and many conditions of the brain similar to depression, including epilepsy and Alzheim Continue reading >>
If you have recently started a an All-Meat diet and you find yourself “lion” around – or wanting to – more than normal, rest assured that nothing is wrong. Switching from a diet high in plant foods to one low in or completely devoid of plant foods requires the body to shift metabolic gears. Many people who go on a high fat low carbohydrate ketogenic diet often experience a constellation of unpleasant symptoms which have come to be known as the “keto flu.” People who adopt an All-Meat diet, often experience a similar phenomenon, even if they have already become “keto-adapted” by eating a low-to-very low carbohydrate diet. Why this is remains a bit of a mystery, but it seem that some people are extremely sensitive to carbohydrates, or something in plant foods, and when they stop eating them altogether, they experience the “keto flu” all over again. This is not true for every one, of course, but it happens often enough that it is worth mentioning. More than likely, many people are actually addicted to some of these plant foods (or other non-food keto-friendly substances such as artificial sweeteners), and – as long as they continue to ingest even small quantities of them – they avoid experiencing the unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal from these foods or chemicals. There are other reasons besides addiction for some of the symptoms people experience when first embarking on a low-to-no carbohydrate diet. These symptoms are more a result of the changes in fluid and electrolyte balance. Carbohydrates cause the cells to retain fluid, so when you abruptly reduce or eliminate them, the cells begin to release the excess water. A side effect of this process is the concomitant flushing of electrolytes from the body. It takes the kidneys a little while to re-or Continue reading >>
The Keto Diet Podcast Ep. #018: Keto Prime, Depression + Carb Ups, And Keto Side Effects
Solo episode, chatting about exogenous ketones, what to do when you experience depression after a carb-up, steps on removing birth control, how to test ketones, side effects of keto, and how long to do keto until you decide it’s not working for you. For podcast transcript, scroll down. SHOW NOTES + LINKS TIMESTAMPS Bulletproof Keto Prime (05:46) Depression after a carb-up (16:09) Side effects of going keto (26:22) How to know when keto isn’t working (38:34) PARTNERS OF THE KETO DIET PODCAST Get the nourishment your body deserves and try Vital Proteins collagen protein, gelatin or liver capsules today. 100% grass-fed & finished FERMENTED beef sticks with 1 billion naturally-occurring, gut-healing probiotics! Go to PaleoValley.com for 20% off. Get 25 to 50% off your favorite premium organic products with Thrive Market. And, receive a FREE jar of Thrive Market Non-GMO Creamy Almond Butter + 30 Day Trial, only pay $1.95 shipping! *US only TRANSCRIPT FOR THIS EPISODE Leanne Vogel: You’re listening to episode number 18 of The Keto Diet Podcast. Hey, I’m Leanne from healthfulpursuit.com. This is The Keto Diet Podcast, where we’re busting through the restrictive mentality of our traditional ketogenic diet to uncover the life you crave. What’s keto? Keto is a low-carb, high-fat diet where we’re switching from a sugar-burning state to becoming fat-burning machines. If you’re in need of keto recipe food prep inspiration, I’ve prepped a free, seven-day keto meal plan exclusive for podcast listeners. The plan is complete with a shopping list and everything you need to chow down on keto for seven whole days. Download your free copy at healthfulpursuit.com/ketomeal. Before we get started with the questions, the awesome thing this week that I want to share with you gu Continue reading >>
Dear Mark: The Low Carb Flu
Conquering carbs offers a whole constellation of rewards, not the least of which is a steady, brisk energy unlike most people have known before (well, maybe since the whirling age of 10 or so…). People tell me constantly that they can finally make it through the day without being down for the count every midafternoon. They enjoy enough vigor and vitality to weather a whole day’s worth of activity. The busyness of life becomes easier to handle: the energy demands of daily work or business travel, the mayhem and constant commotion of kids, a weekend’s worth of chores and errands, etc. A skipped meal doesn’t suddenly change the agenda to including procuring a bagel or other false pick-me-up. Nonetheless, for some folks, there’s a common, temporary but still bothersome bump in the road on the way to that Primal prize. Though it varies, it often means a couple weeks of mental fuzziness, fog and fatigue. Although your body might be off to the races, your brain can lag behind like a little brother in a stuffed snowsuit. It’s a game of “hey, wait up!” while the body’s mechanisms and metabolism align themselves. They call it “low carb flu,” and rest assured it’s just as temporary. Dear Mark, I just want to know if anyone who has been Primal for some time had any trouble with cognition in the first few weeks. I can hardly think straight, especially after eating, and I am also low on energy. Will this pass??? Besides that, my body feels great!” Thanks to Jessica for her question in response to Matt Garland’s excellent guest post last week. It’s a common subject of emails I receive. First off, I should mention that some folks experience the low carb flu, and others don’t. Overall, those who have been lower carb for some time seem to have fewer proble Continue reading >>
Surviving Wheat Withdrawal
Wheat withdrawal can be unpleasant business. Read the many thousands of comments on this blog describing the physical and emotional turmoil that develops in the first few days of wheat avoidance and you will come to appreciate just how awful it can be. It is important that wheat withdrawal is recognized for what it is, as some people say, “I feel awful. It must mean that I need wheat.” Nope. It is a withdrawal syndrome, a good thing, a transitional phase as your body tries to return to its normal state. Wheat withdrawal has been labeled by different names over the years–“Atkin’s flu,” “Paleo flu,” “keto flu,” “low carb flu,” etc. Because this only happens with the various forms of carbohydrate restriction (there is no corresponding “low-fat flu” or “Ornish flu”), it has often been attributed to the delayed conversion of a glycogen/glucose-dominant metabolism to that of fatty acid oxidation. This is true . . . but only partly. Yes, forcing the conversion from a constant flow of carbs from “healthy whole grains” and sugars to increasing the enzymatic capacity to oxidize fats does indeed cause several weeks of low energy–but how do we explain the depression, nausea, headaches, lightheadedness, dehydration, emotional outbursts, intensive wheat cravings, bloating, constipation, even intensification of joint pain, effects that are not likely attributable to hypoglycemia or poor mobilization of energy? Delayed ramp-up of fatty acid oxidation is indeed part of the reason for the phenomena of wheat withdrawal, but does not explain all of it. Most of these phenomena are caused by withdrawal from the gliadin-derived opiates in wheat, the 4- to 5-amino acid long polypeptides that increase appetite and cause addictive eating behaviors. You can a Continue reading >>
What Is Lipolysis And Ketosis?
Ketogenic Diet What Is Lipolysis and Ketosis? The body typically gets its fuel from dietary carbohydrates, which includes foods like rice, bread, pasta, and other grains, along with fruit, sugars, and vegetables. When carbohydrates, specifically starches and sugars enter the body they are broken down into glucose, and used by the body for energy. The hormone insulin then steps in to remove glucose from the bloodstream and the body either uses it for energy or stores any that is unused. Any glucose that is not immediately used as fuel will be sent to the liver and muscles to be stored as glycogen as a fuel reserve, and any unused glycogen in the muscles, such as through exercise or energy expenditure turns to stored body fat. For people with a carb sensitivity or those with insulin resistance it’s a grim outlook that can lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes… High carb diet = high glucose in the blood = high insulin = high amounts of body fat. Lipolysis and Ketosis An alternative source of fuel for the body is its own body fat, this process is triggered when the intake of carbs is limited, and their sources controlled, the body enters a state called lipolysis, the most efficient biochemical pathway to weight loss and a scientifically proven alternative to the body using or needing glucose for energy. Lipolysis occurs as the body begins to burn the body’s own fat stores for energy instead of dietary carbohydrates and the by-products of this fat burning process are ketones and so ketosis is the secondary process of lipolysis. When you eliminate carbs, the body is forced to use its fat stores instead, which literally turns into a fat burning machine. Ketones are the byproducts of ketosis and provide fuel for the body. The only true exception to the body not needin Continue reading >>
- Reversing Type 2 Diabetes with Nutritional Ketosis
- Caffeinated and Decaffeinated Coffee Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and a Dose-Response Meta-analysis
- Insulin, glucagon and somatostatin stores in the pancreas of subjects with type-2 diabetes and their lean and obese non-diabetic controls
Keto Flu A-z: Causes, Symptoms & How To Get Over It For Good!
Keto flu: the ugly side of Ketogenic diet. Most people suffering from keto flu symptoms say things like “It feels like death”. Are you one of them? Well, rest assured knowing you’re not alone. But guess what? Keto flu is not actual flu, yeah the symptoms are pretty similar if not worse but it’s not the one caused by any flu viruses. It’s more like the side effects of Ketogenic diet. And guess what? Had you done some deep research prior to starting your keto diet, you could have avoided it by at least 80%. But it’s not too late. Once you finish reading this article, you will have a better idea of what causes Keto flu and how to get rid of it for good. What is Keto Flu? As far as medical research is concerned, the term ‘keto flu’ does not exist. BUT, it’s real. As mentioned before, It’s not real flu but some of the symptoms of keto flu are pretty similar to normal flu and that’s probably how it got its name. Before we get started, I just want to remind you that you’re not alone. The majority of people on the ketogenic diet go through keto flu at some point. You will feel crap, you will feel like it’s never going to go away and you’ll feel like giving up, but DON’T. Once your body gets adapted to ketosis, you will feel 100 times better and it will all be worth it. What are the signs and symptoms of Keto Flu? You may experience some or all of these symptoms. Headache Nausea: Remember, it will only get worse if you avoid eating. If you’re not feeling hungry because you feel nauseous and exhausted, remind yourself you must eat to get better. Dizziness Exhaustion Brain fog: Feeling like you can’t recall simple stuff or focus on your day to day activities properly? Do you feel like you can’t concentrate on a single thing? Lethargic Cravings F Continue reading >>
Here Are The Keto Flu Symptoms And How To Beat Them
Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard from a few low carbers who had questions about some issues they experienced. They all say that they had rapid weight loss, but some had severe headaches, some had joint pains, one even claimed they had diarrhea. One lady thought that I didn’t know these diets can do this, but alas I was fully prepared. These people were suffering from dreaded keto flu symptoms. Not only was she wrong in assuming I didn’t know about these pains, I’ve actually experienced all of these over the last few years. Some of these are easier to manage than others, but any one of these will send you running to the nearest fast food restaurant. That’s why I wanted to write everything I know about the keto flu and how to get over each of these common symptoms. Update: If you take a look at the comments section, you’ll see that MCT oil is my recommendation for many of the issues people ask about. So, I decided to write a few posts on what it is and why you HAVE to include MCT in your diet. Here’s the first post! Keto Flu Symptoms The format for this post will be where I list each of the common symptoms and I’ll describe it as best as I can. After that, I’ll write everything I know about how to beat the pain. Most of my recommendations come from my own experience while others will be from trusted sources. Also, I’ll continue to update this page as people reply with more symptoms. The Ketosis Headache Often describe as a migraine, the ketosis headache is one of the most painful of the keto flu symptoms – in my opinion. This mostly occurs in the first 24-76 hours of an LC diet. People suffering from this describe the pain as being in the head but hard to pinpoint it to any particular region. The entire outer head feels stuffy and the pain is ofte Continue reading >>
7 Ways To Prevent Keto Flu
7 Ways To Prevent Keto Flu Have you ever started a ketogenic or low-carb diet only to find that you feel sluggish and brain fogged? What happened to the promise of rapid weight loss, mental clarity, and endless energy? Well you may have encountered Keto Flu. This article covers how to identify it and 7 ways to prevent keto flu so you can reap the full benefits of a ketogenic diet. What Is Keto Flu? The experience of keto flu is often discouraging and can lead many people to fall off their nutrition plan completely. Due to a number of physiological changes that occur during the initial stages of a lower-carb diet, some people experience sluggishness, intense cravings, and many other flu-like symptoms. When many people think that maybe their body just doesn’t respond well to a ketogenic diet, there are typically three underlying causes: hypoglycemia, HPA Axis Dysfunction, and electrolyte imbalance. By addressing these three underlying causes, keto flu can be significantly reduced to improve your keto adaptation process and get you on your way to becoming a fat-burning machine! Keto Adaptation Most people beginning a ketogenic diet have been primarily burning sugar for energy their entire lives. When they all of a sudden stop consuming carbs, the body must then relearn how to burn fat for energy. Hypoglycemia occurs because the body quickly burns through stored sugars and hasn’t yet learned to burn fat, leaving you with an energy deficit (don’t worry it is temporary!) HPA Axis Dysfunction occurs because sudden drops in blood sugar will tend to promote cortisol release (cortisol raises blood sugar). If this happens too much, then your stress response can become dysregulated and stable blood sugar becomes harder to attain. Electrolyte Imbalance occurs due to a drop in Continue reading >>