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Low carb diet, ketones and brain healing


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Just read this online...any merit or credence to it?

 

"Why is this important? Well, it turns out that ketones are a powerful fuel for the brain. Especially when the brain is injured or impaired.

 

For example, scientists have known for years that one of the best ways to stop seizures is to put a patient on a low-carb, high-fat diet. Normally, brain cells prefer to get their fuel from glucose. But impaired brain cells, such as cells that are causing seizures, cannot metabolize glucose well. They need another source of fuel. And that source is ketones."

 

I have heard that not enough carbs and a high protein diet causes a state of ketosis which is not good for the brain so don't know what to believe

 

 

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Protein is essential, it's the building blocks for everything, including those FUBAR'ed receptors.

 

Fuel is also essential, though I'm not sure whether carbs or fat is best, one would assume low-fat is good, but who knows. Sugar is probably good if your metabolism is screwy, but only in moderation, probably preferably natural sugars (fruits etc.)

 

I am six foot and down to 120 pounds. I'll eat anything anywhere anytime to keep my weight up...

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Xeno, I feel you, I'm 5'11 and down to 140..lost 25lbs in 5 months. I'm eating enough calories, but I think all this adrenaline and cortisol just destroyed my muscle, I'm now back to my freshman year in high school size  :(    as far as the diet, fat is essential to health and so is protein..I'm not sure about ketones and seizures..id be interested to learn more.
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  • 2 weeks later...
When I started my taper I gained weight. I went on Dr. Atkins diet. Within a few days I was sick sick sick.. more wd sx.... don't know why. I eat healthy and and fruits  and whole grains. But I am NOT cutting out carbs again. It was awful.
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[0f...]

A good diet.. I find, is the Ketogenic Diet.

Many Epileptics use this diet. It is a healthy diet.

I have to give it a thumbs up.  :thumbsup:

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I alternated prolonged juice fasting with the ketogenic diet during my first years after c/t. It truly seemed to be the only way I could get any healing. I can still get a lot of healing just from really staying clear of any processed foods especially the carbs and no bread or wheat!. Also, I do have to watch my sweet intake. Especially the peanut butter M&Ms. :D
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I went on a low carb diet last August at 9 months off, mostly to deal with elevated blood pressure and pre diabetic type symptoms after a summer of eating poorly, drinking some wine, soda, coffee, lots of chips and peanut M & Ms while travelling Wonderwoman :pokey::laugh:... you name it, I ate it.  

 

It was a pretty strict diet to start, based on "Protein Power".  The good news is that within a couple weeks, my blood pressure was good and I had lost over 5 pounds. I ended up losing close to 30 pounds by last December.  It was too fast!  In January, I started to get high anxiety in the mornings, although it was partly worsened by a decision to add a sick puppy from the local animal shelter to our home.  However, I am convinced that much of the anxiety was related to the low carb diet. I am not really sorry I did it because my cholesterol and bloodwork is all very good now and I do not get faint or dizzy when I stand up.  However, the anxiety although it has lessened in the last couple months, is still lingering.  I have gradually added back complex carbs but still try to stay away from bread and pasta and most cereals.  I have cheated a little bit and since gained back about five to six pounds.  I hope I can manage to not gain too much back this summer.

 

Best wishes,

 

Vertigo

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  • 2 months later...

Maranatha,

Excellent subject.

 

For what its worth, as one who has had siezures I can definitely confirm the high fat/protien diet made my brain much more stable but (for me) carbs(especially whole grains) other than straight sugar could be mixed in ok with the fats/protiens.

 

A partial answer to your question is , carbs (especially sugars )require a lot of regulating in theiir release into the blood whereas fats/protiens digest more slowly releasing sugar at a slower steady rate on their own so the brain doesn't have to do that job(so much).  Plus a fast release of sugars into the blood sets off a somewhat complex reaction that attempts to balance out the blood sugar but ALWAYS overshoots. Thus a sugar high causes a sugar crash which makes the brain unhappy (and can cause siezures in people like me) However this is not a complete explaination.

 

Per Heather Ashton, "To restore normality (to the brain) is a slow process involving much energy, enzymatic activity and protien synthesis"  

 

What I take away from that at this point is we are going to need to take in alot of calories,enzymes and building blocks for protiens.

 

Maranatha,  if I understand you correctly you are basically trying to find the right "Brain food" via the ketone question.  I am glad to see that I am not alone seeking these answers.

I think its going to be critical to our long-term healing.  My daughter-in-law is a nutrisonist I  will talk to her re our issues here.

 

I too lost 25lbs until I started taking probiotics, a little HCL for digestion and went to eating many more meals a day just to stabilize.  I dont think our food has been getting digested sufficiently due to the benzo w/d

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"the ketogenic diet is a high fat adequequate protein low carb diet that in medicine is used primarily to control difficult to treat eplipesy in children.  It is unrelated to the diets for body building and weight loss which often involve much lower levels of ketones. the diet mimics aspects of starvation by forcing the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates.  Normally carbohydrates contained in foods are converted to glucose which is then transported arround the body and is particularlly important in fueling brain function"  Wikipedia

 

 

Whether this gets us closer to actually answering your ketone question I dont know.  I have just got to believe someone else has done this work before, if we could only find it.

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I am 59 and my stomach also did much better, like David, when I started taking HCL and Probiotics (50 billion) starting a month ago after docs tried to treat my nausea with acid blockers that really messed me up.

 

In 1996 I went on a very strict Atkins diet to get rid of a systemic yeast infection that had gone undiagnosed for 3 months. Prior to the diet I had horrible nausea and 2 weeks later the blackest depression set in (I had never had depression before) It was way worse than anything I have experienced in benzo withdrawal. I would spend from 4-8 hours a day on the floor in a fetal position telling God every 15 minutes that I could make it 15 more minutes. I did not know I had a yeast infection and so I ate lots of sugary things for quick energy or I would start shaking every few hours. I lost 30 pounds in those 3 months and averaged 10-15 hours of sleep a week. I would go for 2 nights without sleep and then crash for 4 hours the 3rd night. But the Atkins diet turned me around quickly. In 2 days the depression was gone and in 4 days the nausea was gone. I was still weak for a year and on nystatin (antifungal) but a strict Atkins does put you into ketosis. The most noticeable sign is that your urine will have a very fruity smell. I could eat all the steak and fat and green vegetables w/butter and I still lost weight....as long as I did not cheat and have any starches or sugars.

 

I think for some, the Atkins works. In his second book Dr. Atkins noted that 80% of the diabetics who went on his diet no longer needed insulin after 3 months. There is a book out available on Amazon called "Yeast, the missing diagnosis" that talks about the black depressions and how the byproducts of yeast cut off the serotonin to the brain (that gives you a sense of well being) and how folks end up in institutions when all they need is an anti-fungal. And, by the way, the antidepressants do not work on yeast patients. They tend to make them very agitated and anxious. I got my systemic yeast infection from being on antibiotics for 2 months solid and the PA never told me to take probiotics or avoid sugars. Anyway, in reading some of the prolonged symptoms of some folks on BB I have wondered if they messed up their yeast/bacteria balance on meds enough to have gotten a systemic infection. The mental symptoms sound so similar to what I experienced. Black depression that would suddenly hit even on beautiful days when everything was fine and .....I had 65 employees and I could be in a staff meeting and feel like it was not me sitting in the chair. I would feel like I was having an out of body experience and observing from somewhere else in the room. I had to appoint an acting manager for the last 6 weeks. If you go on a strict Atkins you will loose weight. One indication that you are in ketosis is that your urine will have a very fruity smell. For guys in particular, the easiest way to tell is to go on a strict Atkins for at least 4 days.....no cheating.....not even any complex carbohydrates like wild rice and no salad dressing. Or you can take the standard dose of nystatin that you would give a kid with oral thrush.....and if you feel like you have the flu a few hours later that is a good sign. The antifungal nystatin kills the yeast so fast that the body is overwhelmed. Prior to 1945 diabetes and heart disease were unheard of among Alaska Natives (diet rich in fish and red meat and beach greens) ....now they are epidemic. I know I am off of the brain food topic a little but I don't want anyone going through this needlessly.

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Sorry to keep bringing up the anti-yeast aspects of an "Atkins" type diet but some folks who have been on a lot of antibiotics during their life may also notice that they have lost a lot of their allergies after a while on Atkins. I was always getting ear infections swimming as a kid and using antibiotics. By the time I was 20 I was very allergic to cats and I caught every cold/flu in the class or office. After a year on Atkins and anti-fungal in 1996 I discovered that I was not nearly so sensitive to cats and I rarely got sick. Immune system was much better.
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  • 3 years later...
  • 11 months later...
I feel I'll for a long time when I cut out added sugar. Even if I replace it with fruit! There is a,withdrawal to it and it also makes my anxiety worse. It's like benzos we need to jyst stay off it till our bodies adjust but it seems impossible when we already feel like this. I really need to go on the ketogenic diet not just for brain health but I'm pre diabetic and it gets my sugar down to 68 fasting instead of the 110 it is these days.
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I have heard that not enough carbs and a high protein diet causes a state of ketosis which is not good for the brain so don't know what to believe

 

That is confusing the state of ketosis, which is a totally healthy, normal state for humans to be in, with ketoacidosis, which is a dangerous situation that diabetics using insulin or other strong medications might find themselves in. Unless you are taking diabetic medication, you will not have a dangerous level of ketones in your body just from changing your diet.

 

It is true that the brain can run on ketones (a fat breakdown product), rather than glucose, and in fact seems to "prefer" ketones. A ketogenic diet refers to one that is quite strict in limiting carbohydrates, very high in fat, and moderate to low in protein (protein can actually be converted to blood glucose, just not efficiently like carbs). It's pretty severe and not really appropriate for one just starting out experimenting with low-carb.

 

Dropping the carb level down can be a bit of a shock to the system, it takes a while to adjust, as the body needs to learn to run on ketones somewhat. I did it gradually and didn't notice anything, but I found 50-60g/day to be a lower limit. Less than that makes insomnia worse for some reason. But it is much healthier to run the body on less carbs (especially sugar!) and more on protein and especially fat (good fats!).

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This whole thing is crap...but one way or the other people have healed over the years otherwise they would still be on these boards telling us to stop wasting our time????
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Sure pretty much everyone will heal eventually. But do you want to be one of those who is constantly posting here with dreadful issues, who is having problems still at 1 yr or even 2 years out? or do you want to be one of those who has never been to this forum, or rarely posts, because they really don't have any, or very minor issues with withdrawal? It only makes sense that if we want our bodies to heal faster, we provide them with the best materials and environment to do that healing.
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When I started my taper I gained weight. I went on Dr. Atkins diet. Within a few days I was sick sick sick.. more wd sx.... don't know why. I eat healthy and and fruits  and whole grains. But I am NOT cutting out carbs again. It was awful.

 

 

 

yes awful but I do agree in that it works for some people with great results and hence they should continue. It just isn't working for me and makes me sick in other ways Im afraid but good luck. Im pleased its working for you

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