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 >>
There is a lot of confusion about the term ketosis among medical professionals as well as laypeople. It is important to understand when and why nutritional ketosis occurs, and why it should not be confused with the metabolic disorder we call ketoacidosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state where the liver produces small organic molecules called ketone bodies. Most cells in the body can use ketone bodies as a source of energy. When there is a limited supply of external energy sources, such as during prolonged fasting or carbohydrate restriction, ketone bodies can provide energy for most organs. In this situation, ketosis can be regarded as a reasonable, adaptive physiologic response that is essential for life, enabling us to survive periods of famine. Nutritional ketosis should not be confused with ketoacidosis, a metabolic condition where the blood becomes acidic as a result of the accumulation of ketone bodies. Ketoacidosis can have serious consequences and may need urgent medical treatment. The most common forms are diabetic ketoacidosis and alcoholic ketoacidosis. What Is Ketosis? The human body can be regarded as a biologic machine. Machines need energy to operate. Some use gasoline, others use electricity, and some use other power resources. Glucose is the primary fuel for most cells and organs in the body. To obtain energy, cells must take up glucose from the blood. Once glucose enters the cells, a series of metabolic reactions break it down into carbon dioxide and water, releasing energy in the process. The body has an ability to store excess glucose in the form of glycogen. In this way, energy can be stored for later use. Glycogen consists of long chains of glucose molecules and is primarily found in the liver and skeletal muscle. Liver glycogen stores are used to mai Continue reading >>
Am I In Ketosis? The Symptoms And Signs Of Ketosis.
One of the questions people who are new to the LCHF (keto/ketogenic/low carb) diet frequently ask me is: how do I know if I’m in ketosis? What are the main signs of ketosis? Everyone’s different and while some may experience all of the symptoms of ketosis, some might only feel a couple of them. Some feel none at all. There are basic signs and symptoms that indicate that you’re in ketosis. But please note that I’m differentiating between the signs of keto flu (covered in the post I’m linking to) that many experience in the first days of a ketogenic diet, and the feeling of being in ketosis when the flu has subsided: Dry mouth (eat more salt and drink more water to alleviate this). See my keto breath article here. Weight loss. Yay! Metallic taste in your mouth or a strange taste in the back of your throat. Some describe it as fruity or a little sweet. A kind of “buzzing” feeling that’s hard to describe. Almost euphoric at times. Different kind of urine smell, stronger too! “Ketosis breath” – It can range from being a little sweet to being almost like you’ve had a drink of alcohol. Less appetite. You can go for hours without eating and don’t feel very hungry. Increased energy. If you don’t experience it try to eat more fat. Also, drink more water and watch your electrolytes. A ketone strip you pee on shows a positive result. There are also blood ketone meters, or the popular ketone breath test, that give a more specific result. (Pro-tip: If you get the pee strips, cut them in half ) But do note that even with a positive pee strip it’s not 100% certain that you’re in ketosis. A very dark positive result may only indicate that you’re dehydrated. For me personally, the main signs of ketosis are hard to miss. I just feel different! It’s hard Continue reading >>
How To Detect Ketosis
How can you tell if your low-carbing efforts have been effective enough to induce ketosis? Learn how to check your ketones! The state of ketosis The state of ketosis means that the body has switched from depending on carbohydrates for energy to burning fats for fuel. This means not only dietary fats (olive oil, guacamole, deep-fried pig ears), but also all the jiggly bits around your waist — clearly a desirable state for anyone looking to shed extra weight. When the body metabolizes fat, it generates molecules called ketones (also known as ketone bodies). As you restrict carbohydrate intake and amp up the dietary fat, more fat is metabolized and a greater quantity of ketones are created. Most of the cells in your body — including those in your brain — are able to use ketones for energy, although many people experience a few days’ adjustment period, often called the low carb flu. One of the varieties of ketones generated — acetone — cannot be used by the body and is excreted as waste, mostly in the urine and the breath. Conveniently, this makes it very simple to measure whether or not you are in ketosis. Upon entering ketosis, some people report a distinct change in the smell of their breath as a result of the extra released acetone. It could be “fruity” — it’s been likened to overripe apples — or even “metallic.” If you notice this happening during your first few days of changing your diet, it could be a good sign you’re in ketosis. The unusual smell isn’t anything dangerous, but it could be annoying. Drinking plenty of water should help, or get yourself some sugar-free gum. Most people report “keto-breath” diminishing after the first few weeks. Detecting ketones in urine The more accurate way — and the one we recommend — to check f Continue reading >>
Keto Breath: Cause And Remedies
You’ve been on a ketogenic way of eating for a couple of weeks now, and you’ve stayed under your 20g of carbs every day. Congratulations on your dedication, your reward is… stinky breath? That’s right, most people who try keto at some point in the first month or so of being in ketosis will experience some unpleasant breath. Some people describe it as “metal smell” or having “metallic taste in the mouth”. What a fun reward for choosing a healthful way of eating! The Cause of Keto Breath The explanation is simple, though it’s usually unavoidable, at least until you’re fully fat adapted. As the body shifts into ketosis, it turns fats into ketone bodies, specifically beta hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate, and acetone. They are all completely normal and healthy to have in the body in the amounts it produces. These ketone bodies, especially acetone, can be detected by smell on the breath. This is actually one of the most reliable ways to tell when you have gotten into ketosis, and can be smelled more easily when you are deeper into this fat burning carbohydrate deprived state. Studies have shown this, and there are devices such as breath ketone test monitor that can measure the amount of acetone in your breath, and tell you the level of ketones that you’re producing (1). The science of this lays in the lungs, and the blood vessels that supply them. Since ketones circulate in the blood, they interact with the small air sacs in the lungs. As these ketones are exposed to the air in your body, they are expelled as a gas, with the distinctive odor of acetone. How Long Does Ketosis Breath Last? Some people never experience this phenomenon, even when they are doing the keto diet correctly and healthfully. Others experience it more as a taste than as an odour. For Continue reading >>
Signs That You Are In Low-carb Ketosis
The idea behind restricting your carb intake is to reach a state of ketosis in which your body, having used all its glucose stores, begins burning fat for energy. Urine and blood tests can confirm ketosis, but certain signs can also reveal the body's switch from glucose use to ketones for fuel, including the presence of acetone breath, a decrease in appetite and constipation. While low-carb diets help you lose weight, not much is known about the long-term effects of ketosis, so you should consult with your doctor before starting a low-carb diet. Video of the Day Noticeable Signs of Ketosis It takes about three to four days for your body to burn through your glucose and start using fat for energy. One of the first things you -- or more likely your friends -- may notice once you hit ketosis is your breath. Ketone production creates acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyric acid and acetone. Acetone is a toxic chemical you may know better as nail polish remover. It causes your breath to smell sweet or fruity, similar to nail polish. Feeling less hungry may also be a sign you've reached ketosis. Its been theorized that ketosis affects appetite hormones, decreasing your desire to eat, according to a 2013 article published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Although not a pleasant sign, constipation may also indicate ketosis. Without carbs, you're not getting enough fiber, which may make it more difficult to have a bowel movement. Measurable Signs of Ketosis Your breath, appetite and bowel function may indicate you're in ketosis, but you may want to confirm it with measurable tools. Your body excretes ketones through urine. Urine ketone testing strips, which you can find at your local pharmacy, are commonly used to test for ketosis. These strips may be able to tell you wh Continue reading >>
Ketosis symptoms are a result of the way the body gets rid of the excess ketone bodies which build up in the blood stream when a person eats a low carb, ketogenic diet. In short, the body has three ways of dealing with excess ketone bodies: First, the muscles liver and brain can burn them for energy in the cells. Second, the body can breathe ketones out through the lungs. And third, the body can flush ketones out through the kidneys and urine. Legionella Testing Lab - High Quality Lab Results CDC ELITE & NYSDOH ELAP Certified - Fast Results North America Lab Locations legionellatesting.com The ketosis symptoms associated with the benign dietary ketosis caused by eating a low carb, ketogenic diet are not dangerous. They may differ for each individual, with the most common symptoms being: Ketosis breath, which has a fruity odor, and the person in deep ketosis may feel a sort of slight burning in the nose and a slight smell of ammonia. Dry mouth, which is alleviated by drinking more regular tap or bottled water. (Reverse osmosis water will make this worse.) In the first week of beginning a ketogenic diet, most people experience frequent urination followed by fatigue, as insulin levels come down, and the kidneys release extraneous water stores. Minerals such as sodium, magnesium and potassium are also lost with excreted urine, and it is the mineral loss that causes the fatigue. This can be offset by eating more salt, drinking more fluids, and increasing the intake of magnesium and potassium containing foods. (Dairy foods and avocados are high in potassium, and you can drink broth for more sodium.) A slight headache at first which goes away in a few days. This is usually a sign of not getting enough salt. Ketone bodies become detectable in the urine. Ketone bodies are molecu Continue reading >>
How Do I Know If I Am In Ketosis?
[Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you choose to purchase something by using one of those links, I may receive a small financial compensation, at no cost to you.] Ketone testing strips are not reliable, so it can often be difficult to know if you are in ketosis, especially, if you are not losing weight as quickly as you had hoped. Weight loss isn't a sign of being in ketosis, so even if the scale isn't moving, you could still be using dietary fats to fuel your daily activities. To put your mind at ease, we have put together a list of the signs and symptoms of ketosis for you, as well as advice on what you can do to be more comfortable during Atkins Induction. "How do I know if I am in ketosis?" I have been getting quite a few emails and comments lately from people who have been asking me if they are in ketosis. After a bit of discussion back and forth, the conversation usually reveals that: 1) The ketone strips that Dr. Atkins recommended are only turning pink; and 2) They are not losing much weight. Both of the above ideas show a misunderstanding about: the purpose of ketosis weight loss and low-carb diets So, I went searching through the archives to see what I had already written on the topic. During that extensive search, I found this old post on how to tell if you are in ketosis. This post was originally written in 2012. It contained a bullet list of symptoms that could help you know if you are in ketosis. It also explained what you can do to ease the symptoms and make yourself more comfortable while going through the change. I decided that since so many of you are struggling and don't know if you are in ketosis, or not, I would give the post a major overhaul. I wanted it to accurately reflect what we know about ketosis today. Many people believ Continue reading >>
Ketosis Breath: Causes & Solutions For Bad Breath
Ultra-low carb diets have grown in popularity over recent years. These so-called “keto diets” aim to facilitate rapid weight loss, through the consumption of minimal carbohydrates. Keto diets have become understandably popular on account of their rapid results, together with the practical benefits of consuming healthy volumes of the right foods, making hunger less of a problem than on more typical calorie-controlled diets. However keto diets are not without their issues, and one of the most common complaints comes in the form of “ketosis breath”. Quite simply many individuals making use of very low carb diets suffer from pungent and unpleasant breath. The question is what can be done to counteract such a problem? The Cause of Ketosis Breath In order to learn how to get rid of keto breath, we first need to understand why breath can smell under such a regime. As it turns out there are two potential reasons(1), both of which can operate independently, or in conjunction. Ketone Release The most typical source of energy used by the body is glucose. This is typically derived from carbohydrates, where the digestive system breaks down complex sugars into simple glucose molecules. On very low carb diets, however, the body is unable to utilize such a fuel. Instead, the liver utilizes the fat present in the body as an energy source, producing “ketones” in the process(2). This is known as “ketosis” – and is the process from where keto diets get their unusual name. These ketone bodies come in three common forms; acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetone(3). In large quantities they are removed from the body in the urine or through exhalation. Ketones can have quite a characteristic smell; they often make the dieter’s breath smell quite sweet and fruity, quit Continue reading >>
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 >>
No More Dragon Breath!
Too many people who eat low carb diets believe that they have to live with the intense bad breath nicknamed "ketobreath" if they are to keep their carbs down either to control their blood sugar or lose weight. That's because they believe that the bad breath is a sign that they are eating what is called a "ketogenic diet" which some dieters and low carb enthusiasts believe makes it much easier to burn off fat. The term "ketogenic" simply means "producing ketones." Ketones are a byproduct of fat digestion. They become significant when you are eating so few grams of carbohydrate each day because at that point most of your cells switch over to burning fats, including ketones, rather than glucose. You can tell when you have entered a ketogenic state because your body will dump a great deal of water when this happens, causing a weight loss of anywhere from two to six pounds within a day or two. When you exit the ketogenic state, those same water-related pounds come right back. Why this happens is explained in greater detail on this web page. Unfortunately, most people who cut carbs low enough to remain in a ketogenic state for more than a few weeks develop a distinctive and truly awful bad breath that they assume is a necessary part of eating a ketogenic diet. This is not true but widely believed. It is also the major reason why the loved ones of low carb dieter, after a period of patience, may start undermining the low carbers' diet, tempting them with carbs in the hope that if they ruin their loved one's diet they will no longer have to live with the wretched smell of that "ketobreath." This is rational behavior on the part of those loved ones. The bad breath--which the dieter usually can't themselves smell--is often so strong it makes riding in a car with the dieter unplea Continue reading >>
Symptoms Of Ketosis On Diet
Ketosis is a metabolic state that occurs when you have an insufficient amount of stored carbohydrate to provide energy to the brain and red blood cells. Ketosis is the process of fat stores being broken down into ketones to supply the necessary energy. If you are following a very low-carb or specifically ketogenic diet, you are likely to experience a range of symptoms. Video of the Day Ketosis typically happens when you are following a low carbohydrate diet, or to a lesser degree if you don't eat sufficient amount of carbs for a day or so. Entering mild ketosis, particularly overnight between meals, is completely normal. If your body uses up all its available energy and glycogen you get from carbohydrates, it starts breaking up fat molecules for energy instead. The liver uses the resultant fatty acids to create ketones, bodies of energy, which can be used by the brain, nervous system and red blood cells. One of the key indicators for ketosis is the state of your breath. There is a diverse and concentrated range of organic compounds in human breath, which can demonstrate what is going on inside your body. Acetone, for example, is a ketone produced when fatty acids are metabolized for energy. Your body wants to excrete the increased acetone, so it releases it on the breath. This can lead to your breath smelling either like fruit, or having a metallic scent like nail-polish remover. This depends on the severity of your ketosis. If your breath is extremely acetone-heavy, you may be approaching ketoacidosis in which the concentration of ketones in your blood is too high and can poison your body. This is dangerous and requires medical attention. If you are in ketosis consistently, you will begin to excrete acetone in your urine as well. You can test for acetone in your urine Continue reading >>
Fasting Ketosis Symptoms: Common Side Effects
Ketosis is one of the natural, physiological effects of the body when fasting. When we’re eating a ketogenic diet or have gone on an extended period of time without food, our bodies will enter ketosis. This is because the body no longer has glucose available and begins breaking down the body’s fatty tissues for energy. With the ketogenic diet, we’re inducing ketosis by “starving” the body of carbohydrates so that it must turn to fat burning, which has many benefits. Simply fasting by not eating any food can have the same effect. Many people on the ketogenic diet will incorporate fasting to speed up ketosis and also reap the benefits of fasting on keto. Whether you’re eating a ketogenic diet, simply fasting, or combining the two, your body is entering ketosis. Since the symptoms can be similar, this article covers the common fasting ketosis symptoms, as well as how to deal with them. Fasting Ketosis Symptoms It’s important to note that most of these symptoms are temporary as your body is getting adapted to being in ketosis and can be remedied by the tips we cover below. Ketosis Flu If you’re using fasting as a way to get into (or get back into) ketosis, you might experience what’s commonly known as the “keto flu” as the body adapts to fat burning. The keto flu typically includes symptoms like: Water Flushing As your body burns through its glucose and stored glycogen during a fast, a lot of water is released. Your kidneys will also excrete more sodium as insulin drops. This is why people who start low-carb often experience a big initial loss of water weight and reduced bloating. Fatigue With the loss of excess water, the body also flushes out electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and magnesium. This can cause you to feel lightheaded and fatigued more Continue reading >>
Low-carb Diets Can Cause Bad Breath
Low-carb diets may be good for your waistline, but you might not be able to say the same for your breath. Low-carb lifestyle junkies are more likely to suffer from a seldom discussed side effect of such diets -- halitosis, aka bad breath. And since more than 25 million people say they have tried the Atkins diet (not to mention other low-carb eating plans), according to the National Marketing Institute, bad breath may be an epidemic! Bad breath in the low/no-carb sect is often caused by certain chemicals that are released in the breath as the body burns fat. They are called ketones, and entering into a fat-burning state of ketosis is the hallmark of the Atkins diet. So the good news is that if your breath stinks, you're probably doing a good job of sticking to that low-carb diet. "Carbohydrates aren't readily available, so you start to use other fats and proteins as your source of energy, and as a result you are going to get a breath problem," explains Kenneth Burrell, DDS, the senior director of the council on scientific affairs of the American Dental Association. Pass the Bread? This is not an oral hygiene problem, Burrell says, so "all the brushing, flossing, and scraping of the tongue that you can do is not possibly enough to overcome this." The bottom line is that you must "reconsider the diet and modify it so this doesn't happen," he says. Sure, "there may be some ways to mask it by using mouthwashes, but you can't overcome the fundamental problem other than by changing the diet -- or at least introducing some carbohydrates." "It's a difficult problem to solve because if one uses any sucking candy or lozenge, one has to be careful that it has no sugar in it" as sugar is a big no-no on many low-carb eating plans, says S. Lawrence Simon, DDS, a New York City periodon Continue reading >>
Ketosis: Symptoms, Signs & More
Every cell in your body needs energy to survive. Most of the time, you create energy from the sugar (glucose) in your bloodstream. Insulin helps regulate glucose levels in the blood and stimulate the absorption of glucose by the cells in your body. If you don’t have enough glucose or insufficient insulin to get the job done, your body will break down fat instead for energy. This supply of fat is an alternative energy source that keeps you from starvation. When you break down fat, you produce a compound called a ketone body. This process is called ketosis. Insulin is required by your cells in order to use the glucose in your blood, but ketones do not require insulin. The ketones that don’t get used for energy pass through your kidneys and out through your urine. Ketosis is most likely to occur in people who have diabetes, a condition in which the body produces little or no insulin. Ketosis and Ketoacidosis: What You Need To Know Ketosis simply means that your body is producing ketone bodies. You’re burning fat instead of glucose. Ketosis isn’t necessarily harmful to your health. If you don’t have diabetes and you maintain a healthy diet, it’s unlikely to be a problem. While ketosis itself isn’t particularly dangerous, it’s definitely something to keep an eye on, especially if you have diabetes. Ketosis can be a precursor to ketoacidosis, also known as diabetic ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is a condition in which you have both high glucose and high ketone levels. Having ketoacidosis results in your blood becoming too acidic. It’s more common for those with type 1 diabetes rather than type 2. Once symptoms of ketoacidosis begin, they can escalate very quickly. Symptoms include: breath that smells fruity or like nail polish or nail polish remover rapid breat Continue reading >>