The last couple of months have been interesting in an unexpected way. For almost 4 years I've been following the Ketogenic diet. My motivation for following this diet was to combat inflammation more than for weight loss and I have had great results. For me, the diet was easy to follow. On the Ketogenic diet your body uses fat for fuel instead of glucose. This diet is very low carb, high fat and moderate protein. There is no sugar - at all. One of the biggest benefits is you never have to worry about bonking from low blood sugar. If your body needs fuel it will turn to stored body fat for energy. This is very helpful for endurance sports like touring. I felt really good on the keto diet and had no plans to change from this way of eating. I had already decided how I would pack and cook for following the Keto diet while on tour.
About 3 months ago, I started having unexpected physical issues. I suspect this was something that happened very slowly over time but, for me, it felt sudden. One day I noticed that my pee was much darker than I'm used to seeing. I also started to pee more often having to get up more than once in the night. I immediately thought this sounded like symptoms of diabetes but dismissed the thought because I've been strictly following the keto diet eating less than 20 grams of total carbohydrates daily. This is the diet medical professionals turn to for treating diabetes and controlling insulin levels. My skin started having a grey pasty color and my muscles mildly ached all the time. In fact, my whole body ached from head to toe. I have a blood meter with strips to check glucose and ketone levels. My glucose level was below 100 everyday but my ketone levels were barely visible, whereas, before these symptoms I always had high ketone levels. I upped my water intake and started to track my eating more closely making sure I wasn't eating too much protein. Excess protein can raise insulin levels. For the next couple of weeks there wasn't any change and I continued to feel poorly. I had complete blood and urine lab work done which showed an alarmingly high A1C level of 7.5. This is a level that is associated with diabetes. How could this be possible while following the keto diet especially with normal glucose numbers? A week later, I had the test redone and the level was 6.3 - better but much higher than the 5.0 I'm used to seeing.
I've been with an online Keto group for a couple of years that meets weekly on Zoom. They suggested I up my carb intake to see if this would help. I added more green veggies and I felt better. I didn't feel good but I felt better. I added beans with the veggies and felt better still. Then I added oatmeal with berries for breakfast and felt much, much better and my skin began to look much healthier as well.
Of course, the obvious thing to do is to go see a doctor. I know the 1st thing a doctor is going to say is to get off the Ketogenic diet. And that is what I've done. The transition from the keto fat-adapted diet back to a glucose fueled diet is slow and can take many months. After 2 months, I'm almost 100 percent feeling healthy again. My blood work is now all good including an A1C level of 5.1.
I can not explain what happened that my body started requiring more carbohydrates and rejected the keto diet. Perhaps, this is not a diet meant to stay on long term? I am now thinking about my upcoming tour and what foods I'll carry. To stay within my budget, I am planning to camp as much as possible. I enjoy cooking and know how to cook while touring. This diet change is unexpected but I am very relieved it happened before I started the tour with enough time to make the change gradually. I still have 7 weeks before I set out and plenty of time to tweak things so I'll feel great at the start.
Get a book called The Wahl Protocol. It’s by a doctor who greatly improved her M.S. symptoms by changing her diet. Think keto meets veggies. She advocates eating 9 cups of fresh veggies per day. And she’ll even tell you that if you feel like you need a bowl of oatmeal then have it. It’s is a zero sugar plan as well. I’m only just starting it but I already feel better.ReplyDelete
thanks! I like the idea of being more metabolically flexible.Delete
This is such good info. We are pretty much keto and I’ve been feeling low energy lately. Oatmeal for breakfast tomorrow.ReplyDelete
It's hard to know what to do. I've been reading Dr Cywes (Keto Dr) and he talks about a transition that happens after being being long-term very low carb. He says lots of long-term Carnavore eaters will heal insulin resistance becoming insulin sensitive. When this happens you require more carbs. He says he eats 150g of carbs daily now. I would keep track of your carb intake to monitor if increasing carbs helps how you feel. Best of luck!Delete
We both have arthritis and our joints are hurting. I’d like to hear what other symptoms you had, if you with to share.ReplyDelete
I recommend keto for arthritis. Anything with sugar is going to be inflammatory especially if you are insulin resistant. I had mild arthritis in my hands. The big thing keto helped with was my right ankle and foot would swell up after almost every meal. That was resolved over 6 months ago and hasn't returned even though I'm not doing keto anymore.Delete
try and stay away from salty foods they will cause swelling in your legs.Delete
Salt is not the only thing that makes your joints ache and swell. Wheat and sugar do it to me. Figure out your allergies.Delete
I also recommend the Wahls Protocol. I've found her work very helpful. She has 3 levels to her diet so you can build what your body needs.ReplyDelete
I love hearing about new ideas. I'll check out Dr Wahls. Thanks!Delete
I also recommend Dr. Terry Wahls. I know her somewhat personally because she practices medicine and gave speeches years ago and I attended everyone. Might I suggest you just listen to her TED Talk. My best to you. Signed Linda Drish.ReplyDelete
Very interesting - thanks, Linda! I'll listen to the TED talk tonight.Delete
I have had type 2 for some time and have tended twards plant based. Recently went full on plant based ie: no anamal products at all, no dairy and no oil. Check out Forks over Knives, Neal Barnard and The Physicians Committe for Responsible Medicine (and their You Tube channel), Dr. Will Bulsiewicz and his book Fiber Fueled, The China Study, The Blue Zones and many others. This is so clear to me as the right way to go. Now for eating this way on the road or traveling in my boat is something I am still working on. I am currently in a Forks over Knives 90 day online cooking school to expand my resources in the plant based cooking world.ReplyDelete
Sylvia, GOOGLE Dr Stacey Simms. She has done some excellent research on women and nutrition. She says Keto is terrible for most women but especially for post-menopausal women. I felt terrible on Keto and her research explains why. Since you will be doing a lot of miles you will NEED your carbohydrates. Most of the stuff out there that “diet culture” grabs onto is not based on solid science and especially on women. I would encourage you to look at her stuff. Let me know if you would like specific references. It completely changed what I do and how I eat.ReplyDelete
Google search 80-10-10 I’ve logged over 192,000 human powered miles so far and this is my secret to giving my body everything it can need for constant deep level over adaptation or regeneration and way above normal recovery and systematic detox or purification.ReplyDelete
The body truly does know how to heal and balance itself if given the right living foods.