Reactive hypoglycemia is a condition in which the body reacts to a perceived catastrophic drop in blood sugar. I say perceived because during an episode, the blood sugar readings may be in the normal range, but still "feel" like low blood sugar to the person having the reaction. In my experience, hypoglycemia happens to most people when first beginning a low carb, ketogenic diet. It may be especially strong in people who have already developed insulin resistance or pre-diabetes from a chronic excess of carbohydrate intake. There are different types of low blood sugar causes. Transient hypoglycemia normally happens when most people who have been eating a high carb diet drastically reduce carbohydrate intake for the first time. This type happens during the first several weeks of carb reduction because the body has not had time to create the enzymes or metabolic state to burn internal fat stores for fuel. Basically there is a gap in the amount of carbohydrate available for fuel, and the process of accessing fat stores for fuel. The lack of fuel sources results in transient low blood sugar. Reactive hypoglycemia is more of an acute reaction to a very high carb meal. For instance, when a person eats 2 or 3 glazed donuts, there is a huge spike in blood sugar and compensating insulin secretion after such a meal. The large insulin spike drives blood sugar very low several hours after the meal. How Reactive Hypoglycemia Happens Insulin, a hormone, is secreted from the pancreas in response to eating food, especially foods high in carbohydrates. Its main job is to move the sugar your body makes from the food you eat into your cells so that this excess sugar can be broken down for energy or stored. Insulin is a very powerful hormone, and it acts very quickly. The amount of insulin Continue reading >>
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 >>
Source Ketosis is the name for a state achieved on a low-carbohydrate diet. According to WebMD, when you are in ketosis, it means your body is burning fat for energy. When that happens, your body releases ketones into your bloodstream, and you are in ketosis. This state may cause a host of temporary symptoms. Understanding the Symptoms Many dieters develop symptoms that let them know ketones are present. For many people beginning a low-carb diet, ketosis kicks in after a few days of strict adherence to the diet. In fact, many low-carbohydrate plans, such as Atkins and paleo, have an initial phase in which dieters take in extremely low amounts of carbohydrates (usually less than 25 grams per day) to kick start ketosis. You can test for ketones in the urine using ketosis strips, or rely on symptoms to tell you ketosis has been achieved. Early Stages Symptoms of ketosis vary, depending how long you've been in the state. In the early stages, the symptoms may be a bit unpleasant. However, as your body adapts to ketones in the bloodstream, symptoms may decrease. Early symptoms usually last for several days or up to a week in some people. This period of symptoms is sometimes called the keto flu. It may continue until your body is used to burning fat instead of glucose. Afterwards, the levels of ketones should lessen, but that doesn't mean you aren't losing weight. It means your body has found a balance and is no longer producing excess ketones. According to Diet Doctor, early stage symptoms include: Flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue and headache Nausea Brain fog Constipation Leg cramps Feeling unusually thirsty Irritability Heart palpitations Dry mouth Ketosis breath, which smells fruity and unpleasant Decreased energy and weakness Dizziness Sleep problems Cold hands and feet Continue reading >>
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 >>
Is Ketosis Safe And Does It Have Side Effects?
Some people think that ketosis is extremely dangerous. However, they might be confusing ketosis with ketoacidosis, which is completely different. While ketoacidosis is a serious condition caused by uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a natural metabolic state. In fact, ketosis and ketogenic diets have been studied extensively and shown to have major benefits for weight loss (1, 2). Ketogenic diets have also been shown to have therapeutic effects in epilepsy, type 2 diabetes and several other chronic conditions (3, 4, 5, 6). Ketosis is generally considered to be safe for most people. However, it may lead to a few side effects, especially in the beginning. First, it's necessary to understand what ketosis is. Ketosis is a natural part of metabolism. It happens either when carbohydrate intake is very low (such as on a ketogenic diet), or when you haven't eaten for a long time. Both of these lead to reduced insulin levels, which causes a lot of fat to be released from your fat cells. When this happens, the liver gets flooded with fat, which turns a large part of it into ketones. During ketosis, many parts of your body are burning ketones for energy instead of carbs. This includes a large part of the brain. However, this doesn't happen instantly. It takes your body and brain some time to "adapt" to burning fat and ketones instead of carbs. During this adaptation phase, you may experience some temporary side effects. These are generally referred to as the "low-carb flu" or "keto flu." In ketosis, parts of the body and brain use ketones for fuel instead of carbs. It can take some time for your body to adapt to this. In the beginning of ketosis, you may experience a range of negative symptoms. They are often referred to as "low-carb flu" or "keto flu" because they resemble symptom 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 >>
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 >>
Other people report the same thing occasionally on forums. The standard medical textbook on clinical use of ketogenic diets doesn't mention it, which suggests that it's not very common. There doesn't seem to be a single mention of this in the biomedical literature, which also suggests that it's not very common. But it does happen. You're not the only one. It's possible that you were close to the threshhold for night sweats for other reasons before you began your ketogenic diet and ketosis nudged you over. If you are taking any medications, you might want to consider the possibility that they are interacting with ketones in your blood. Two things occur to me which might help and can't hurt. First, make sure you're getting adequate amounts of all micronutrients. You can help make this happen by including certain foods (like liver) in your diet but the only practical way to accomplish it completely is with supplements. Perfect Health Diet by Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet contains excellent advice about micronutrients. Second, whenever you experience unpleasant symptoms from ketosis, you can reduce or eliminate symptoms within a few minutes by eating a tiny amount of sugar. This is what people on medical ketogenic diets do. It's a way of fine tuning the degree of ketosis. Children on medical ketogenic diets are usually told to drink 30 ml of orange juice for this purpose. That's about 2.5 grams of sugar. I eat a stalk of celery instead. Believe it or not, the tiny amount of sugar in a stalk of celery (about 1.5 g) is enough to affect me noticeably within about 20 minutes. If it doesn't work, I eat another stalk. I'm on a medical ketogenic diet so my blood ketone levels are probably higher than yours and I may be more sensitive to sugar than you. Therefore you may need more su Continue reading >>
Everything You Need To Know About Ketogenic Diet And Alcohol
Let me be real with you for a second… I was born in the USSR and spent the majority of my life there. Alcohol is running through my veins from generations to generations of Eastern European drinking culture. It is only logical to create the ultimate keto diet alcohol cheat sheet. Alcohol is not only a topic that I want to discuss but I also want to share some Russian hacks that I use to stay ketogenic and tipsy at the same time. Keto diet macros Most people on ketogenic diet track their macros. Macros are macronutrients in short. There are 3 main macronutrients that provide us with energy throughout the day: protein, fat, and carbs. Where does ketosis and alcohol fit in? Interestingly enough, alcohol is the fourth macronutrient. It provides us with plenty of fun and energy on weekends. Alcohol runs at 7 calories per gram. That is a lot of energy! In comparison, fat runs at 9 calories per gram, protein and carbs at 4 calories per gram. It should give you an idea that drinking a lot can easily put you overboard with your daily keto caloric intake. I want to admit that I have done this multiple times. No worries, alcohol during keto can be done. So, for example, you go out with your friends and it feels like a fun night so you take 2 tequila shots. What happens to that liquor in your body? BTW, high five on that keto sodium intake with tequila. It definitely helped you out. Our body processes alcohol as a toxic substance. About 98% of it gets metabolized by our liver and another %2 is excreted through our keto urine, keto sweat, and even keto breath. Russian Alcohol Hack #1: Before you start drinking, take 2-3 activated charcoal pills. No hangover since 1995. Proven to work for me. Keto alcohol tolerance Let’s go back to the two tequila shots that you just took. If you Continue reading >>
Metabolism And Ketosis
Dr. Eades, If the body tends to resort to gluconeogenesis for glucose during a short-term carbohydrate deficit, are those who inconsistently reduce carb intake only messing things up by not effecting full blown ketosis? If the body will still prefer glucose as main energy source unless forced otherwise for at least a few days, is it absolutely necessary to completely transform metabolism for minimal muscle loss? Also, if alcohol is broken down into ketones and acetaldehyde, technically couldn’t you continue to drink during your diet or would the resulting gluconeogenesis inhibition from alcohol lead to blood glucose problems on top of the ketotic metabolism? Would your liver ever just be overwhelmed by all that action? I’m still in high school so hypothetical, of course haha… Sorry, lots of questions but I’m always so curious. Thank you so much for taking the time to inform the public. You’re my hero! P.S. Random question…what’s the difference between beta and gamma hydroxybutyric acids? It’s crazy how simple orientation can be the difference between a ketone and date rape drug…biochem is so cool! P.P.S. You should definitely post the details of that inner mitochondrial membrane transport. I’m curious how much energy expenditure we’re talkin there.. Keep doin your thing! Your Fan, Trey No, I don’t think people are messing up if they don’t get into full-blown ketosis. For short term low-carb dieting, the body turns to glycogen. Gluconeogenesis kicks in fairly quickly, though, and uses dietary protein – assuming there is plenty – before turning to muscle tissue for glucose substrate. And you have the Cori cycle kicking in and all sorts of things to spare muscle, so I wouldn’t worry about it. And you can continue to drink while low-carbing. Continue reading >>
5 Common Keto Challenges—and How To Overcome Them
The transition from a high-carb diet to one that’s built around healthy fats can trigger some side effects. Here’s how to dissipate them. Unsplash/Eduardo Roda-Lopes The transition from a high-carb diet to one that’s built around healthy fats can trigger some side effects. Here’s how to dissipate them. Unsplash/Eduardo Roda-Lopes In the age of the “obesity epidemic,” more research than ever is focused on determining safe, effective, and long-lasting ways to help prevent or reverse unhealthy weight gain. And studies have found that one possible solution is following a very-low carbohydrate diet called the ketogenic diet. The keto diet drastically reduces the body’s supply of glucose—which is typically obtained from eating carbohydrate-heavy foods like grains and sugar—instead forcing the body to use fat for energy. That may sound similar to other low-carb diets, but there is one key keto distinction: Instead of a focus on lots of protein, the keto diet emphasizes healthy fats, mostly from keto-approved foods like coconut or olive oil, butter, meat, avocado, and eggs. For this reason, the keto diet doesn’t just help with weight loss. It’s also been shown to reduce the risk for diabetes or heart disease, protect against certain neurological disorders, and improve cognitive function. But that doesn’t mean that adopting the keto diet will be all smooth sailing, either. For many, the transition from a high-carb diet to one that’s built around healthy fats and plenty of vegetables can trigger some side effects. If you’re considering adopting the keto diet to help improve your overall health, be advised that you may run into one or more of the following challenges. The good news, however, is that most of these will very likely dissipate within severa Continue reading >>
Does Ketosis Cause An Internal Rise In Body Temperature?
Ooh, ooh, ooh, I feel my temperature rising Help me, I’m flaming I must be a hundred and nine Burning, burning, burning And nothing can cool me I just might turn into smoke But I feel fine –Elvis Presley singing “Burning Love” Somebody’s turned up the heat up in here and it’s gotta be that low-carb diet I’m on, right? That’s what everybody does with livin’ la vida low-carb when something new happens to them after starting this way of eating–they blame it on low-carb! I mocked this notion in this blog post about an earache a couple of years ago, but what if there is merit to some rather strange side effects of following a controlled-carbohydrate nutritional approach? Hmmmmmm. There are several things we KNOW will happen to most people when they begin the low-carb lifestyle: their HDL “good” cholesterol goes up, there is a marked improvement in mental health, for women it helps with reproductive health, blood sugar levels are stabilized, they end up having less acne, triglycerides plummet (a VERY good thing!), and so much more I could spend hours sharing with you about. But there are some things that can vary from person to person as one of my readers shared with me in a recent e-mail. This 43-year old man starting cutting his carbohydrate intake beginning in January 2008 and has lost over 25 pounds so far. WOO HOO! He has really enjoyed this new low-carb lifestyle change, but was curious about an unexpected side effect that has been plaguing him with no apparent cause. Here’s what he wrote: Hey Jimmy, After lots of searches, I’m having trouble finding out if anyone experiences a sensation of a rise in body temperature while in ketosis. There are some days I feel like I am literally burning up (but I don’t have a fever or anything). Coinciden Continue reading >>
Keto Flu: Symptoms And Relief
Many people (not everyone!) who start a low carb diet experience what’s called the “keto flu” or the “induction flu” in the first few days while the body is adapting to burning ketones instead of glucose. What is keto flu? The basic symptoms are: headaches nausea upset stomach Lack of mental clarity (brain fog) sleepiness fatigue It’s called the “keto flu” for a reason: you feel sick. I’ve gone through it, and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. Fortunately, it only lasted four days (2 of them were pretty bad) but then suddenly I woke up feeling much better, less hungry and my energy level was high and consistent throughout the day! While at one point (or three or four) I thought to myself: “what the serious F am I doing? I’m going to die!” but I plowed through it, and when it was over I didn’t regret a thing because what I gained mentally and physically was 100% worth it. Keto and autoimmune disorders I have an autoimmune disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis, and Fibromyalgia to top it off. So, I’m no stranger to brain fog and fatigue, but the fatigue and brain fog that comes with keto flu is a little different, and feel much more like having the regular flu. How long will the keto flu last? It depends. Some people don’t experience any symptoms at all, but some suffer anywhere from a day to a week. In rare cases up to 15 days. Everybody’s bodies are different, and some people handle switching over better than others. You might consider starting keto on the weekend or sometime when you’re able to get good rest deal with the symptoms. For those of you that are going through the keto flu, don’t give up! I know you feel like it’s never going to get better but stick with it and you´ll be so happy you did! I’m telling you, waking up r Continue reading >>
Ketosis & Measuring Ketones
Generally, ketone concentrations are lower in the morning and higher in the evening. Whatever time you pick to measure ketone levels, make sure to keep it consistent. Also, do not measure your ketone levels right after exercise. Ketone levels tend to be lower while your glucose levels higher so you won't get representative numbers. Keep in mind there are daily fluctuations caused by changes in hormone levels. Don't get discouraged! Another aspect that affects the level of ketones is the amount of fat in your diet. Some of you may show higher concentration of ketones after a high-fat meal. Coconut oil contains MCTs that will help you boost ketones. To easily increase your fat intake on a ketogenic diet, try fat bombs - snacks with at least 80% fat content. Ketone levels tend to be higher after extensive aerobic exercise as your body depletes glycogen stores. Exercise may help you get into ketosis faster. ketogenic "fruity" breath is not pleasant for most people. To avoid this, drink a lot of water, mint tea and make sure you eat foods rich in electrolytes. Avoid too many chewing gums and mints, as it may put you out of ketosis; there may be hidden carbs affecting your blood sugar. Increase your electrolyte intake, especially potassium. You are likely going to lose some sodium and potassium when switching to the keto diet. Finally, if you find it hard to lose weight on a ketogenic diet, there may be plenty other reasons than the level of ketone bodies: Not Losing Weight on Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet? Don’t Give Up and Read Further. Continue reading >>
7 Signs You Might Be In Ketosis When Doing The Ketogenic Diet
One of the main goals of starting the ketogenic diet is to get your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. Note: If you don’t know what the ketogenic is all about then check out the Ketogenic Diet: Beginner’s Guide to Keto and Weight Loss. This is when your body starts to produce a lot of ketones to supply energy for your body. Why is this good? Because it means your body has converted from a sugar-burner to a fat-burner. If your body is burning fat for energy then something amazing starts to happen. The fat on your body starts to disappear. But how do you know when you’re in ketosis? Besides using test strips or an instrument there are some signs that your body will give. 7 Signs You Might Be in Ketosis These don’t 100% guarantee that your body is in ketosis but if it is in ketosis then these signs will appear. 1. Weight Loss One of the obvious signs of ketosis is weight loss but this can also be pretty deceptive because many people don’t experience the kind of weight loss that they expect. This can happen for a variety of reasons but when you get close to entering ketosis or do enter ketosis you’ll find that you lose a healthy amount of weight quickly. For example, when you switch to low carbs you usually experience significant weight loss in the first week. In fact, my wife lost 12 lbs in the first 28 days of Keto and I lost 13. This isn’t your body burning fat but finally being able to release the water that was being held by the fat cells. If your fat cells don’t release this water then they can’t flow through the bloodstream to be used as fuel so losing water weight is a good thing. After the initial rapid drop in water weight, you should continue to lose body fat consistently if you are able to stick with the low-carb aspects of the diet Continue reading >>