The Negative Impacts of Keto

In my research, I do research especially for changes I plan on making or medications I will be taking, I look for the weird and less likely things that may happen. I look for these less common side effects because I am usually the weird person who gets them, it’s happened to me on several medications where the things that happened were “rare” side effects.

So before thinking about trying Keto for my brain and body and multiple health issues I wanted to find out what weird and wonky things may happen if I did.

“Keto Flu” this is the most common thing to happen to a person who changes their eating habits to a low carb, high fat diet. The severity depends on how much of the processed foods, simple carbs and simple sugar you were consuming in before changing. Awesome, this one will definitely suck because I love soda, ice cream, potatoes and bread… sigh.

It’s called the flu because that is what it feels like, fatigue, dizziness, headaches, stomach pain, brain fog, muscle soreness, confusion and trouble sleeping. Hmmm, maybe it won’t be so bad because I have all of these things most days already. This happens to your body when you stop giving it easy to burn simple carbs and sugar, because now it has to work so much harder. Symptoms usually start the first or second day and can last up to a month.

From this article it states “As soon as insulin levels drop, sodium is released from the body, taking water along with it. This can cause up to 10 pounds of water weight to be lost during the first 5 days of the ketogenic diet.” It is important to remember to take in salt while on this diet so you don’t get dizzy and pass out (trust me on this one because I did a regular low carb diet in 2014 and blacked out at a movie theater and fell down a bunch of stairs).

“Keto Rash” itching and rash, when it happens it is symmetrical. It is caused by the reduction of carbohydrates and is caused by ketones in the sweat. The easiest and fastest way to resolve this is by bumpong your carb intake up to 50mg (supposedly you still have benefit, perhaps just a touch slower). The other suggestions include comfortable clothing and shower after you are done sweating since the theory is that being on such low carbs causes ketone body acetone in the sweat.

“Keto Breath” can happen during the keto flu or really any time. It is not just from being in ketosis, any low carb diet can cause this. Not everyone will get this, I have noticed dry mouth more than anything and I am drinking more than 120 ounces of water a day so I keep sugar free gum in my purse.

When you increase your protein intake it creates more ammonia to be excreted from your body, this can also cause changes to your breath.  Solutions can be drinking more water, change the balance of your protein intake and adjust the amount of carbs you consume.

“Hair Loss” this one is rough for me since I already have alopecia, but apparently after being on keto for a couple of months you can experience more hair loss than usual. This will happen in the people who lose a significant amount of weight and will grow back once your body adapts to the new way of eating. Check out this link for some good science information because she has done all the research and I really like the information on her blog.

The solution to keto breath – an annoying low carb side effect


The Difference Between Friend, Good Friend and Great Friend

I never thought of friendships as having levels. I have friends, two best friends (based on length of friendship and history) and acquaintances.

When searching online, there are only differences between “friends” and “best friends”. Based on what I read, I disagree with those. It discusses honesty, having your back, supporting you among other things, it also says if your best friends you talk every day. While I consider my husband one of my two best friends, and I do talk to him every day, my other best friend I do not talk to every day but I have known her for more than 20 years and I know that it will always be an easy conversation filled with love and support.

If you are my friend, I will do what I can when I can to support you and be there for you when you need me. To me, friendship is being honest, caring, helping and perhaps even doing things that make you happy even though there may be physical and mental consequences for me after because of my Multiple Sclerosis.

There is no difference in the type of friend I am going to be to you, I will be your friend, the only way I know how. There will not be any difference between a friend of a year and a friend of 5 years, there will be no difference. You will not get a regular friend one day and 6 months later a good friend and perhaps two years later a great friend.

I am not religious but there is one thing I follow, and they learn it in girl scouts too; treat people how you want to be treated. It’s simple, if you want your friends to be there for you, you start by being there for them. I am here for my friends, I will support and assist you whenever I can. It could be as simple as taking your kid to school for you because you have scheduling issues or being in your wedding.

No relationship can last if one person is constantly giving and not getting anything back. I do not mean material items, I don’t mean same level of helping either. If you need me to grab your kids from school because you are having a bad day that doesn’t mean you have to do the same thing for me. It could mean that when I want to talk or get an opinion you are there for me, being a friend.

It’s odd, I was told I was a “great friend” by a couple of people recently because I was in my dear friend’s wedding even though there were consequences for me after. Yes, I had to drive, yes, I had to talk to a lot of people, yes, I stood in the heat, yes she is my friend. That’s what friends do. I made adjustments to how much time I spent with people, I skipped the events the day before so I could be there for her. You know what, she appreciated it and she’s only going to have one wedding. Someone didn’t go to my wedding for a reason less than it having fairly significant impact on their person, when I look at my wedding photos I remember THAT, and they regretted it later.

So while my brain is tired, my body aches even two days later, I cleared my week following the wedding to properly rest to regain the limited mobility and brain power I had before. That does not make me a great friend, that makes me the kind of friend I think others should be. It didn’t even occur to me to not be there for her, it was more of trying to determine how much I could be there for her.

So here’s your heads up, if you are friends with me, you are going to get the whole me. There’s no difference in time, if I count you among the few friends I have I will be there for you whenever possible and however I can be. I hope you will be there for me too.

Do you think there are differences? Should there be?


Ketogenic Diet, Nutrition & Multiple Sclerosis – Introduction

This is not a post about the “fad diet”, rather information I gathered through research and my attempt to balance my system after a nonstop, downward spiral of MS and other diseases.

The first big nutrition information that came out in regards to MS was Terry Wahl and her Wahl’s Protocol. This was huge! She went from a wheelchair to walking and riding bikes, from her book mostly due to diet changes, which were paleo-ketogenic changes. Now the original book was hardcore, way more than what I was willing to do. When I was diagnosed with MS all I really had going for me was the delicious food I loved.

When I was first diagnosed the neurologist (several actually) pressed upon me a healthy diet. They never explained why though, I am a information and science kind of a girl and I am not going to do something just because you tell me to and say it’s healthy. I mean it wasn’t terribly long ago that people swallowed Radium because they thought it was healthy.

There are posts about Keto and MS on Reddit from more than 6 years ago, definitely before it really hit mainstream. Paleo has also been long thought to help, due to the fact that you are not eating any processed foods, most of which can trigger inflammation in the body. Though it is now known to not be a wholly inflammation disease (neuro-degeneration continues without inflammation) for a substantial portion of it’s history it was believed to be just that. Inflammation is the reason that people who have relapses get steroids, calms it down very quickly.

So what is Ketogenic? It was originally designed in 1921 by Dr. Russell Wilder at the Mayo Clinic for the treatment of epilepsy in children (this was before anti-convulsant medications). This original diet plan was 90% fat, 6% protein and 4% carbs, ack! There have been four additional versions since Dr. Wilder’s introduction of this diet for treatment of epilepsy. If you want to see that stats and some nifty graphs and charts definitely visit because those are helpful.

The most common version of the diet now is 70% fat, 20% protein and 10% carbs, this comes close to the “modified keto” which is 70, 15 and 15. “The diet enhances the ability of mitochondria, the power plants of our cells, to deliver our bodies’ energy needs in a manner that reduces inflammation and oxidative stress.” There’s the science I was looking for, turns out mitochondria are a big part of MS.

During the first attacks of MS, immune cells are mistakenly allowed through the blood brain barrier (it’s called a barrier for a reason, nothing is supposed to go through). With each attack the barrier becomes easier and easier to access. Once they realized MS wasn’t a diseased caused by inflammation and they started looking at numerous other things they found a pattern of dysfunctional mitochondria and damaged mtDNA (this is DNA inherited from the mother). I would be interested to know if this is why women are more likely to have MS than men.

“A ketogenic diet causes your body to burn off fat rather than carbohydrates. Glucose is the body’s preferred fuel, but a change in metabolism occurs when you restrict your intake of carbohydrates. Your liver starts producing bodies called ketones. These ketones appear to protect the cells of the nervous system, the site of damage in MS. ”

Interestingly, ketones reduce toxic effects of glutamate acid, which is a byproduct of injury to the brain and keytones are an alternative energy source during metabolic stress. The key to this diet change is eating good, healthy fats (avocados, coconut, olive oil, fish and nuts) and not heavy in the not as healthy fats mostly bacon and cutting out all processed foods and complex carbs. Ketogenic diet also helps decrease cancer/cancer cells, which thrive on glucose and insulin, can increase your HDL levels which will help lower your overall cholesterol levels.

The Ketogenic diet, which has been around for 95 years has been looked at for helping Multiple Sclerosis patients for at least the last 3 years. The book Wahl’s Protocol came out in 2014, so 5 years if you count that. There a multiple considerations when deciding if you are going to try Keto though, you should always talk to your doctor first, especially if you have more than one health concern.