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Ketosis Effects Menstrual Cycle

The Keto Diet Podcast Ep. #042: Optimizing Your Menstrual Cycle On Keto

The Keto Diet Podcast Ep. #042: Optimizing Your Menstrual Cycle On Keto

Interview with Alisa Vitti, a functional nutritionist, women’s hormone expert, best-selling author and founder of floliving.com, chatting about how to adjust the ketogenic diet to compliment your menstrual cycle, heal your hormones, and boost energy and vitality… every day. For podcast transcript, scroll down. SHOW NOTES + LINKS TIMESTAMPS Fats that cause PMS (14:34) FREE hormone testing from the comfort of your home (33:43) Eating to support your cycle (50:56) PARTNERS OF THE KETO DIET PODCAST 100% grass-fed & finished FERMENTED beef sticks with 1 billion naturally-occurring, gut-healing probiotics! Go to Paleovalley.com for 20% off. The podcast is partnered with Wolfe Clinic Royal Flora, my choice in soil-based probiotics. Get 20% off your soil-based probiotics with the coupon code GUT at checkout. Use the coupon code HEALTHFUL all in caps, no spaces, for 15% off your first Perfect Keto order at perfectketo.com/hp. Once you’ve loaded up your cart, use HEALTHFUL for 15% off your first order. Again that’s HEALTHFUL at perfectketo.com/hp for 15% off your first order. TRANSCRIPT FOR THIS EPISODE Leanne Vogel: You’re listening to Episode Number 42 of the Keto Diet Podcast. Today, we’re chatting about fats that cause PMS, free hormone testing from the comfort of your own home, and eating to support your cycle. So, stayed tuned. Hey, I’m Leanne from HealthfulPursuit.com, and this is the Keto Diet Podcast, where we’re busting through the restrictive mentality of a 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. All listeners of the podcast receive a free seven-day keto meal plan complete with a shopping list and everyt Continue reading >>

The Effects Of A Low-carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet On The Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Pilot Study

The Effects Of A Low-carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet On The Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Pilot Study

Go to: Methods Subjects were recruited from the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill areas in North Carolina through a community PCOS support group and by word of mouth. After meeting initial eligibility criteria by phone, including replying "yes" to the question, "Have you been told by your health care provider that you have PCOS?," subjects were asked to attend a screening visit for a medical history and physical exam. Informed consent approved by the local Institutional Review Board was obtained. Baseline blood tests were also performed at the screening visit. There were no monetary incentives for participation. Inclusion/exclusion criteria The inclusion criteria were age 18–45 years, diagnosis suggestive of PCOS based on history of chronic anovulation and/or hyperandrogenemia, no other serious medical condition requiring medical supervision, body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 27 kg/m2, willingness to use acceptable contraception, and a desire to lose weight. Exclusion criteria included pregnancy, nursing or positive pregnancy test during screening period, and rapid progression of hyperandrogenic signs and symptoms. Intervention Subjects received an intensive group education program during monthly group meetings held every other week throughout the 6-month study period. During the first group meeting, subjects were instructed on both the rationale and implementation of the dietary intervention via use of a LCKD diet book and handouts containing suggestions on choice of appropriate foods.[18] Subjects were then instructed to begin the diet the following day. During follow-up group meetings, study outcome measures were obtained, and continued dietary counseling, adjustment of individual medications, supportive counseling, sharing of food choices, and review of urin Continue reading >>

Ladies: Extra Mini-periods?

Ladies: Extra Mini-periods?

Whoo! Sit down with a nice hot cup of tea. I've got a big answer. Pardon me, while I dust off my soapbox. ;) DISCLAIMER #1: If you want to have children some day, then you should seek specific professional guidance (ie someone who deals specifically with reproductive health) when dealing with reproductive hormones. What you do today could have serious consequences years from now. That said, most women can correct years of hormonal imbalance in just a few cycles and still conceive. DISCLAIMER #2: It's hard to say what's "normal" for someone doing paleo while on the pill, because I don't think being on the pill can be considered paleo. As people following a paleo diet, we're basically trying to regulate our hormones by eating quality food and getting quality sleep. Unless we have a real medical condition that requires prescribed hormones (the use of which usually tends to follow natural rhythms); we should not be messing with our body's natural monthly hormonal rhythms by using the pill. So here's another situation where it's important to understand how the hormones are working and how they affect your body. Every cycle, under the influence of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), about two dozen eggs start to mature. Each egg is encased in a follicle. The follicles produce Estrogen. Estrogen is the hormone necessary for ovulation to occur. Eventually, when Estrogen reaches a threshold that is high enough, one eggs bursts out (ovulation!). This usually takes about two weeks from the beginning of menses but can take anywhere from 8 days to several months! Following the release of the egg, the follicle that held the egg begins to release progesterone (typically for only 12 to 16 days). This is known as the Luteal Phase. Progesterone prevents the release of all other eggs and Continue reading >>

Symptoms Of Ketosis:

Symptoms Of Ketosis:

If you are considering the ketogenic diet or have already started down this carb-free road, you may wonder what you can expect. Here’s the thing. Ketosis looks different for everyone, but I will share many of the most common symptoms with you today. If something other than what’s listed here is happening to you, just do a quick Google search for that symptom and keto. You should be able to find what you’re looking for! The Early Signs: The early signs of ketosis vary from person to person. The biggest impact on how quickly you notice the symptoms of ketosis will have a lot to do with how you ate before you started the diet. If your diet was very high carb, you might get hit pretty quickly and furiously with what we like to call the “Keto Flu.” This can last anywhere from 3 days to a week or more. Once your body has adapted to burning ketones for energy instead of glucose, you’ll be golden so don’t give up! Here’s what you can expect within the first 2-3 days of starting the Ketogenic Diet: Fatigue & Weakness (lack of concentration) Headaches Metallic taste or sweet taste in your mouth (I experienced this, and it tasted like blood in my mouth) Lightheaded / Dizzy upon standing Heightened Thirst Hunger / Sweet or Carb Cravings Dry Mouth possibly paired with “Keto Breath.” Stomach Discomfort / Mild Nausea / Cramping Trouble Sleeping or Staying Asleep (early waking) Water weight loss (perhaps an excessive loss of weight within the first two weeks) Frequent Urination Allergies or cold like symptoms may flair up For the ladies: Period issues: You may experience a longer, shorter, earlier, later period because of Keto. Seriously it causes all of that. Each woman is different, and I have experienced every one of those issues with my period since starting ket Continue reading >>

Does A Ketogenic Diet Affect Women’s Hormones?

Does A Ketogenic Diet Affect Women’s Hormones?

Does a ketogenic diet affect women’s hormones? Yes—you can count on your nutrition to affect your hormones. Does it ruin or destroy your hormones? No. The unfortunate part is that if women rely on hearsay and don’t source better information about ketosis and their hormones, they lose out on the benefits of ketosis, especially those who suffer from PCOS, endometriosis, and uterine fibroids. Women with these conditions can benefit significantly from the ketogenic diet. [1] In this post we’ll discuss the ketogenic diet’s impact on your thyroid and the HPA axis, then look at ways to evaluate your hormones, how you feel, and what adjustments to make. The Ketogenic Diet and Your Thyroid Is ketosis bad for your thyroid? No. Let’s break it down: It’s true that low-carb diets (like the ketogenic diet) and calorie restriction lowers T3, the thyroid marker hormone. [3] [4] T3 make your cells use more energy. Because of its function, scientists have hypothesized that “a reduction in T3 hormone may increase lifespan by conserving energy and reducing free-radical production.” [4] Together with T4, these hormones regulate your metabolism, heart rate and body temperature. Most of T3 binds to protein and some free T3 circulates in your blood. But a lowered T3 doesn’t mean you get thyroid dysfunction or hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is often a case of high levels of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and low levels of free T4. The pituitary gland tries to get your thyroid gland to produce T4: high levels of TSH. But the thyroid isn’t responding: low levels of T4. When T3 is reduced, the thyroid is called “euthyroid.” A normal thyroid. For a more in-depth look at what a low-carb diet does to T3, T4 and TSH levels, read Dr. Anthony’s article on ketosis and women Continue reading >>

Adverse Reactions To Ketogenic Diets: Caution Advised

Adverse Reactions To Ketogenic Diets: Caution Advised

As the ketogenic diet gains popularity, it’s important to have a balanced discussion regarding the merits of this diet. Let me emphasize right out of the gate that this is not a diet without merits (excuse the double negative); in fact, it has significant therapeutic potential for some clinical pathologies. However, it is also a diet with inherent risk, as evidenced by the extensive list of adverse reactions reported in the scientific literature—and this has not yet been a thorough enough part of the public discussion on ketogenic diets. The AIP Lecture Series is a 6-week video-based, self-directed online course that will teach you the scientific foundation for the diet and lifestyle tenets of the Autoimmune Protocol. This is the first of a series of articles discussing various facets of a ketogenic diet with an inclination toward balancing the discussion of the pros and cons of this high-fat, low-carb, low/moderate-protein diet. My interest in this topic stems from concerns I have over its general applicability and safety, simultaneous with its growing popularity. I feel a moral and social obligation to share what I understand of these diets, from my perspective as a medical researcher. The dangers of a ketogenic diet was, in fact, the topic of my keynote presentation at Paleo F(x) this year (links to video will be provided once available). This series of articles will share the extensive research that I did in preparation for this presentation, including all of the topics covered during my talk as well as several topics that I didn’t have time to discuss (also see the free PDF Literature Review at the bottom of this post). For every anecdotal story of someone who has regained their health with a ketogenic diet, there’s a counterpoint story of someone who derai Continue reading >>

Do Very Low-carb Diets Mess Up Some Women's Hormones?

Do Very Low-carb Diets Mess Up Some Women's Hormones?

Studies show that low-carb diets can cause weight loss and improve metabolic health (1). However, even though low-carb diets are great for some people, they may cause problems for others. For example, following a very low-carb diet for a long time may disrupt hormones in some women. This article explores how low-carb diets may affect women's hormones. Your hormones are regulated by three major glands: Hypothalamus: located in the brain Pituitary: located in the brain Adrenals: located at the top of the kidneys All three glands interact in complex ways to keep your hormones in balance. This is known as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The HPA axis is responsible for regulating your stress levels, mood, emotions, digestion, immune system, sex drive, metabolism, energy levels and more. The glands are sensitive to things like calorie intake, stress and exercise levels. Long-term stress can cause you to overproduce the hormones cortisol and norepinephrine, creating an imbalance that increases pressure on the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands (2). This ongoing pressure may eventually lead to HPA axis dysfunction, sometimes controversially referred to as "adrenal fatigue" (3). Symptoms include fatigue, a weakened immune system and greater risk of long-term health problems such as hypothyroidism, inflammation, diabetes and mood disorders. Many sources suggest that a diet too low in calories or carbs can also act as a stressor, causing HPA dysfunction. In addition, some evidence suggests that low-carb diets can cause increased production of cortisol ("the stress hormone"), making the problem worse (4). One study found that, regardless of weight loss, a low-carb diet increased cortisol levels compared to a moderate-fat, moderate-carb diet (5). Eating too fe Continue reading >>

Why I’m Using The Ketogenic Diet To Treat My Pcos + Why I Think You Should Too.

Why I’m Using The Ketogenic Diet To Treat My Pcos + Why I Think You Should Too.

Hello Cysters! I’ve been MIA for a little bit- trying to center myself and walk purposefully and passionately in everything that I do. While I was away, I stumbled upon what might just be the answer to all of my PCOS prayers. Scroll down to find out why I’m using the Ketogenic diet to treat my PCOS and why I think you should too. The best PCOS diet plan So, if you’ve been following my journey or have joined any of the past webinars you know that I am very serious about tackling insulin resistance as a first line of defense against PCOS. Most women with PCOS are insulin resistant- meaning our bodies just don’t recognize insulin. Insulin resistance is usually the culprit behind missed periods, failure to ovulate, hirsutism, acne, and all those other awful PCOS symptoms. Insulin is produced in the pancreas and has a couple different jobs in the female body like controlling blood sugar levels and managing hormonal levels. When your body doesn’t recognize insulin, the pancreas attempts to make more insulin and eventually gets tired which can lead to Type 2 Diabetes. All the excess insulin floating around also results in a bunch of testosterone. Many Cysters take medications like Metformin or supplements like Inositol in order to manage their insulin resistance. I’ve tried both and am currently taking Ovasitol (Click to order and use code 132503 for a $12 discount) in order to increase my insulin sensitivity. CHECK OUT MY KETO UPDATE HERE It is always my goal to treat PCOS as naturally as possible which is why I spend A LOT of time researching and figuring out natural ways to lower my insulin resistance. As I was creating this month’s meal plan for the subscription service, I stumbled upon the Ketogenic (Keto) diet. I’ve been Keto for about 4 days now and I fe Continue reading >>

When Not To Be On A Ketogenic Diet

When Not To Be On A Ketogenic Diet

When Not To Be on a Ketogenic Diet A ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high fat based nutrition plan. A ketogenic diet trains the individual’s metabolism to run off of fatty acids or ketone bodies. This is called fat adapted or keto adapted, when the body has adapted to run off of fatty acids/ketones at rest. This nutrition plan has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation. It also improves cellular healing and mitochondrial biogenesis which supports stronger and healthier cells. All of this leads to reduced risk of chronic disease as well as improved muscle development and fat metabolism (1, 2). Where Ketosis Can Be Extremely Beneficial There are certain cases, where I typically recommend a ketogenic diet as the research appears to support that ketosis significantly improves the functionality of these individuals. Overweight or Obese Neurodegenerative Conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Most Cancers but especially those of the brain, nervous system and blood (leukemia) Chronic Pain Seizure Disorders Non-Elite athletes or individuals looking for higher mental & physical performance The final one is the area that I and many others who have pursued a state of ketosis fall into. At this point in my life, I have no chronic diseases, I feel great 99% of the time, but I am always looking to improve my productivity and performance. I have found being in mild-ketosis to be one of the best ways to improve my energy, mental acuity, creativity, physical strength and overall life performance. There is no one diet that works perfectly for everyone. Ketosis has the potential to benefit everyone, but under unique circumstances it would not be warranted. Here are a list of special cases where long-term st Continue reading >>

Ketosis – Advantaged Or Misunderstood State? (part I)

Ketosis – Advantaged Or Misunderstood State? (part I)

As The Eating Academy approaches its first birthday in about a month, I figured it was as good a time as any to put together some thoughts on a subject I get asked about with great frequency. (For those wondering when I’ll get to Part X of The Straight Dope on Cholesterol, the answer is, “hopefully before the end of the year.”) A few months ago I was planning a post along the lines of “the 10 things you need to know about ketosis,” but I’m now thinking that might be putting the proverbial cart before the horse. So, let’s start with a more fundamental set of questions. In part I of this post I will see to it (assuming you read it) that you’ll know more about ketosis than just about anyone, including your doctor or the majority of “experts” out there writing about this topic. Before we begin, a disclaimer in order: If you want to actually understand this topic, you must invest the time and mental energy to do so. You really have to get into the details. Obviously, I love the details and probably read 5 or 6 scientific papers every week on this topic (and others). I don’t expect the casual reader to want to do this, and I view it as my role to synthesize this information and present it to you. But this is not a bumper-sticker issue. I know it’s trendy to make blanket statements – ketosis is “unnatural,” for example, or ketosis is “superior” – but such statements mean nothing if you don’t understand the biochemistry and evolution of our species. So, let’s agree to let the unsubstantiated statements and bumper stickers reside in the world of political debates and opinion-based discussions. For this reason, I’ve deliberately broken this post down and only included this content (i.e., background) for Part I. What is ketosis? Ketosis is Continue reading >>

Low-carb Eating During Your Period

Low-carb Eating During Your Period

Eating right at any time of the month is challenging, but many women find it especially difficult in the week before or during their period. Your nutritional needs do not vary significantly during your menstrual cycle, but you need to eat a balanced diet throughout the month to meet your dietary requirements. A low-carb diet restricting breads, pasta and sugars is one of the many different ways of eating to meet your dietary needs that is suitable for some women throughout their fertility cycle. Nutrition During Your Cycle Women tend to eat differently depending on where they are in their menstrual cycle, as reported in a review article published in 1997 in "Human Reproduction." For example, most women eat less during the first part of their cycle and then increase their food intake after ovulation, probably due to a slightly accelerated metabolism during the 10 to 14 days preceding your period. This does not apply if you are taking birth control pills. Authors of this review also found that women tend to consume more carbohydrates and less protein and fat when they are premenstrual. There is no contraindication to consuming a low-carb diet at any time during your menstrual cycle. Roughly 35 to 40 percent of women experience moderate to intense cravings during their period, making it hard to adhere to a low-carb diet during this time. Try to satisfy your cravings with lower carb options, such as berries, plain yogurt, butternut squash or pumpkin to help adhere to a low-carb diet. For most low-carb diets, you must aim to keep your daily carb intake under 100 grams per day. Replenishing Lost Iron Iron lost during menstruation places women at an increased risk for iron-deficiency. You can combat this with a low-carb, high protein diet by including lean, iron-rich meats and Continue reading >>

Ketosis And Menstrual Function: A Canary In The Mine?

Ketosis And Menstrual Function: A Canary In The Mine?

In the 1920’s, researchers at the Mayo Clinic used a ketogenic diet to treat adults with ideopathic epilepsy. In 1930, Dr. Clifford Barborka published a paper detailing their findings with their first 100 patients. Among other findings, Barborka notes that 20% of the women involved in the study experienced complete cessation of menstruation during treatment, which didn’t return until a normal diet was resumed. He only reported on menstrual cessation, but given more contemporary research on the subject we can reasonably speculate that many more women experienced menstrual irregularities that stopped short of complete cessation. Subjects were eating appropriate calories to maintain their weight, so weight loss was not a confounder here. He speculates that it may have been related to a vitamin B or E deficiency, but has no clear explanation. (Note that this was many decades before the discovery of Leptin and it’s role in hormonal regulation.) In 2003, researchers published their retrospective study of 45 adolescents aged 12-19 treated for epilpsy with a ketogenic diet over 8 years. They noted that 45% of the girls involved in the study reported menstrual irregularities, most (2/3) of whom experienced complete cessation of menstruation (the other 1/3 were reported as experiencing delayed puberty or menstrual irregularity). Most resumed menstruation after ending the diet. 2 were treated with hormone therapy to induce and regulate menstruation. A majority of the girls did not lose weight on the diet, so again, weight loss was not a confounder in most cases. Researchers speculated that: “The diet may mimic the menstrual side effects seen in starvation and certain female athletes.” In 1999, a group of researchers published a review of a small group (9 women, 2 men) of Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet Therapy

Ketogenic Diet Therapy

If you have been diagnosed with epilepsy, physicians of the Jefferson Comprehensive Epilepsy Center may utilize a ketogenic diet therapy to help control the number of seizures you experience, when traditional medical or surgical procedures prove unsuccessful. What Does Ketogenic Diet Therapy Involve? Developed in 1921, physicians discovered that patients who fasted had fewer seizures. Since prolonged fasting is not practical, the concept of the diet is to "trick" the brain into reacting as though fasting was still in progress with dietary modification. The dietary modification "trick" relies upon forcing the body to convert fat to ketones. Ketones, in turn, are used by the brain as an energy source when its normal fuel, glucose, is unavailable. The ketogenic diet makes glucose unavailable to the brain by restricting access to the carbohydrate foods. Possible Side Effects of Ketogenic Diet Therapy Like all treatments for epilepsy, the ketogenic diet has side effects which may or may not affect a particular individual. Some side effects can be easily managed if caught early; knowing what to look for can make a difference. A common side effect is constipation. Some ketogenic diet plans restrict fluid and lead to significant problems with dehydration, kidney stones and gallstones, but that has not been a great difficulty for Jefferson patients – we do not restrict fluid. Women on the diet may have irregular menstrual cycles. If you are family planning, it is not recommended that you follow the ketogenic diet. There have been reports of decreased bone density on the diet, and a DEXA scan or bone density scan will be performed while you are on the diet. There are also concerns about the possibility of elevation in cholesterol and lipids; lipid levels will be followed closel Continue reading >>

Females, Carbohydrates, And Hormones

Females, Carbohydrates, And Hormones

Oh, carbohydrates. Just like politics and religion, discussion on this macronutrient is not dinner table material. There are many strong opinions on just how many carbohydrates are “safe” to consume. Some advocate “high” carb, others prescribe a “moderate” amount, others “low” or even “very low”. And to mystify things further, what’s considered a low amount of carbohydrates to some, may be considered too high for others. Even the scientific literature doesn’t seem to agree on a common definition. See how it can get confusing? The purpose of this post isn’t to tell you which way is better. In fact, that is a decision you may never make. What works for some people, won’t work for others. What works for you now, may not work for you next week. If something is working for you, great! Right now, I want to explore one piece on the topic of carbohydrates that isn’t discussed often in this community. I bring up this topic because I personally struggled with finding the “right” amount of carbohydrates for my body. I want to make sure others don’t have to go through what I did. In the past, I’ve done damage to myself by going too low (almost on accident) and I want to stop you before it’s too late. If you’re in the same boat as I was, I’m hoping this will be an aha! moment for you. When I first started with my Paleo lifestyle, I realized just how amazing I felt going lower carb (probably in the range of 100 grams a day). The problem was, I was also doing high intensity workouts (kickboxing, interval training) multiple times per week. At first, I felt great. I was recovering like a champ, my sleep was perfect, I had a very stable, positive mood, and even though I knew I would probably benefit from more carbohydrates, I stubbornly went on Continue reading >>

The Side Effects Of A Low Carb Diet

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 >>

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