I’ve been following a ketogenic diet


The protocol calls for an “ancestral diet” (low carb/high fat), and I’ve been following a ketogenic diet (very lo carb/very high fat) for almost 3 years. I was doing great with it the first two years, and then started having digestive issues; more recently other symptoms. Lately, my stomach often feels so heavy after my afternoon meal that I can’t get up and move, or take my sunset walk on the beach. Tonight it kept me from my dance work, and from going to bed on time. (It’s almost 1am.) My huge brunch always feels fine. Second meal that creates digestive problems is lots of green or cruciferous vegetables sautéed in coconut oil and Kerry Gold butter, or a very large salad, and 3-4 ounces of animal protein. I tried Enzymedica’s Digest Gold with ATPro for a few months and got no relief. Now I’m taking Betaine Hydrochloric Acid with Pepsin with my meals, and that helps. I eat only twice a day, around 11am and 4-5pm, often have a cup of bone broth at night after my beach walk, when my stomach feels good. Other symptoms: though I’m in nutritional ketosis (producing ketones, which I should be burning for fuel instead of glucose), my fasted, waking blood sugar is high, around 95-100. A year ago, it was 70-90. That may have been because I was doing a lot of resistance training. Also, I tested my urine and saliva pH the last few days and they both jump around between 6 and 7.5, each more alkaline than what I believe is normal. Two years ago, on the same diet, my pH levels were great. And I just remembered that in my first year on the ketogenic diet, I lost about half of my gorgeous, super-thick, curly hair. It’s mostly grown back now, but much less curly, not as thick, and it’s still thin at the crown.
And my fingernails, which for these last few years were super-strong and grew really fast – started breaking and splitting this month. I thought I was in outstanding health, but suddenly all these symptoms appearing together are really disturbing. Is it the poor digestion? The mag protocol done wrong? I’m gradually adopting the mag and cp protocols, and I haven’t yet done the recommended testing. Regarding my digestive issues, I have blood type A+ (we don’t produce enough HCL). Any insights?

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Helaine 4 years 47 Answers 1268 views 0

Answers ( 47 )

  1. This is interesting – I'm A+ and have had great success with LC years ago – increased energy, mental clarity, better skin, thicker hair, more definition then I stopped and ate "normally" for a few years. My health deteriorated, started gaining weight, hair thinned etc, so I returned to LC, but saw none of the improvements from last time, and now am left with fatigue, aching muscles, gut issues and foggy mind. I can't piece it together, other than LC "doing something" to us A+ types that's isn't good long term.

  2. Yes, Ella it worked 'miraculously' for about a year then nose-dived at great speed.

    I'm trying to research for myself as I don't have much faith in conventional medicine.

  3. There must be something/s we are slowly becoming deficient in by following a ketogenic diet. There's a group in South Africa called The Big Breakfast Banting Debate who say a ketogenic diet has to start with a huge breakfast to the point of wanting to barf then nothing for 6-8 or more hours, then a much smaller dinner. Must have medium protein, lots of fat and only avocado or spinach for breakfast and small protein and a few more veg for dinner. Supplement with Moringa and eat beef liver and other offal if possible. So many long term success stories but I wasn't one of them.
    Perhaps the nutrients in the Moringa helped in filling the nutrients excluded?

  4. I definitely need to ensure my evening meal is my smallest meal.

    Easier said than done but something I'm definitely going to try.

  5. I'm A+ & back in 2009 my thyroid dr got me to do a CDSA test to check gut & digestion. Everything was excellent, except I lacked some digestive enzymes to digest protein, but fats & carbs digestion was excellent. Also my good gut bacteria, gut dysbiosis, short chain fatty acids etc all excellent.

    But then 18 mths ago we tried to be even more health conscious & especially after reading how carbs turn to sugar etc etc we started omitting certain things & changing eating habits. I then did another CDSA test last year & all my excellent results had slipped somewhat. Then I happened to hear from a friend how her diet had led to less good gut bacteria & coincidentally there was a documentary on TV about how good gut bacteria need lots of fibre & also resistant starch. So now I'm going back to my normal eating style.

  6. Theres a lot out there about how low carb can really be bad for our thyroid health…all those symptoms you are having sound like thyroid issues..

  7. I wonder if it has more to do with other things going on. If liver or gall bladder is already struggling or if bowels are sluggish. Makes sense that all that extra burden would tax them further. When I posted about having gall bladder flare ups on another group, I was told to just have it out and go back to eating fat.

  8. Eliminating sugar and processed carbs and too many grains is a good thing and not being afraid of well sourced fats is a good thing. It just feels like we are lumping fruit and some veg into the same unhealthy category of bad sugars and carbs.

  9. Could it be parasites? Would milk thistle maybe help support your liver? Are you doing the adrenal cocktail?

  10. Do you eat fermented foods?

  11. Many people are sensitive to cruciferous vegetables. That alone can cause your problems. It maybe causing leaky gut.. and from here all the other probs.

  12. When u don't eat enough carbs your body turns the fat into sugars (and raises your levels trying to hang on to it) as it desperately needs some to function but it's not good for the system to do it this way. I'd say add a few more good carbs and see how you go.

  13. I seem to do well on fermented veg and cruciferous. I do the adrenal cocktail and take DE in case of parasites (though it can be constipating). I have MTHFR which I don't look to as the big cause of everything but I know my liver doesn't detox well and methylation is not yet optimal. I take milk thistle and dandelion tea and digestive enzymes. Well, I did. Don't seem to need them now after doing a bowel cleanse and upping my fruit and veg intake but staying away from lazy grains. I also have a huge glass of fresh juiced celery every morning after my lemon water and digestion has improved hugely.

  14. Helaine Treitman, I am A- and did not fare well under the A-type diet, and am doing very well on a low-oxalate version of ancestral diet. Something that may be an issue based on your post is the amount of food you are consuming at one sitting. With low stomach acid, A's typically do better on a few (at least 3!) smaller meals. Too much food at once is too taxing on the digestive system.

  15. Could the stomach issues just be a food intolerance? Try Eliminating items in your evening meal, for 6 weeks and reintroduce it. I was having serious issues with heaviness, gas, indigestion and bloat like you are experiencing. I suspected peanuts, which I have never tested positive for on an allergy test. Anyways, I just reintroduced it last week, and I thought I was going to kill over from diarrhea. The other symptoms have disappeared completely, well, except when I eat pears now.

  16. Iodine? I crashed too on a hc/lf diet and couldn't work it out. I started putting decent amounts of iodine on my skin to help with fibroids and it cleared the fibroids up but it also gave me a huge boost and my nails started growing stronger etc. I realised that I had become totally iodine deficient since starting to eat natural salt as I barely ate seaweed or any other iodine rich foods.

  17. There are so many factors that can cause your symptoms. The key is to find your own "sweet spot" & continue with it! I was in ketosis for about 3 years due to having problems with my glucose pathway. This is due to G6PDD which is an enzyme that converts carbs to glucose & shuttles them into the cell's Mitochondria to be burned as energy. MCT'S (medium chain triglycerides) are carbon 8's & carbon 9's & can convert immediately into ketones & shuttled into the Mitochondria to be burned inside the Mitochondria instead of glucose. You can buy MCT oil at vitamin & Health Food Stores or online. This eases up the digestive tract. For the people who are having problems with legumes ( beans, soy & peanuts) read up on Glucose 6 Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Difficiency. The best resource is Dale Baker's g6pdd.org site for the most updated information. They never check women properly, you cannot tell in a blood enzyme assay. It will almost always come up normal. The body automatically speeds up making new red blood cells so the enzyme amount t looks normal. You can be chronically anemic which leads the MD to tell you to take iron which can be dangerous. I agree to try to stick to an ancestral diet of fresh, whole food, vegetables off the farm, grass pastured meets,eggs, dairy if you tolerate it. Make lots of broths from scratch & freeze in batches & ice cube trays for future use. Add in the liver & wild caught fish if tolerated. I have Celiac disease & G6PDD, lactose intolerant, fructose intolerant, as are my kids. I have to watch my oxalates & sulfites as well. It's a lot of planning & work but well worth the efforts.

  18. Are you eating GMOs? They can wreck your gut bacteria and poison you in so many ways. It takes a lot of vigilant awareness to avoid them. Eating out can be a big problem because of GMOs. Any animal products can be seriously compromised if the animals eat GMO. Industrial food is generally quite toxic. It's not a joke!

  19. Seems like betaine is a good start– there's other things too that could help…. once i took bismuth powder for tummy problems (not pepto bismal b/c it has pink coloring) for 3 days and my tummy felt completely better after that…… Now i do take betaine off & on

  20. A lot of people I believe have this happen after ancestral diet for an extended amount of time . Why not add in sprouted grains or soaked legumes ?

  21. Yea… legumes & grains kinda hard to add in on 20 -50 grams of carbs a day– it wouldn't be much!

  22. Helaine Insulin does not work well on a high fat diet. Increased fat in the blood can be a contributor to insulin resistance. On a ketogenic diet insulin does not work as well. As the amount of fat gets lower, insulin gets better.

  23. Have you had an HTMA? I had a similar experience and adjusted my diet based on HTMA results and recommendations of restoring mineral balance from my functional nutritionist based on HTMA.

  24. When I think of an ancestral diet, traditionally prepared foods come to my mind. This would include soaked/sprouted grains and legumes, raw dairy, real sourdough, fermented/cultured foods along with good quality meats and produce, pastured eggs, etc. This is how we eat- based on cookbooks such as Nourishing Traditions or one of my faves, Nourished Kitchen. Morley Robbins is this what you had in mind, for the protocol? Seems like you've mentioned it is. Should it be renamed to "Traditional Foods" on the Root Cause Protocol to keep from confusion?

  25. Melissa Marie have you read this thread? There are a few posted links regarding Paleo negatively effecting gut bacteria?

  26. Someone else mentioned getting an HTMA done Helaine Treitman, and I second that. I did post a few things earlier in the thread as well….I can't help but wonder what issues you have going on that the blood and hair tests would show. Also, this is recommended by Morley. http://allergytx.com/

  27. If keto isn't working for you are feeling healing anymore try another avenue. A girlfriend of mine has been doing keto 2 years, seen amazing healing and is vibrantly beautiful again………she just two months ago started introducing carbs back in via the "trim healthy mama" plan and is doing great with safe carbs.

  28. Add a bit more starch (rice, potato).

    Read Perfect Health Diet for more on this!

  29. Everyone's been so helpful and thoughtful. I really appreciate it. Getting back to client work now, but later I'll read all the linked articles! Thank you!

  30. My adrenals crashed 6 months in. I also have no stomach acid – symptom of high copper for me. I'm struggling to get grains back in, looks like I might have SIBO which the diet (GAPS) hasn't addressed. My liver is not in great health because of past alcohol abuse and high toxic iron. Because my body is struggling to pull iron from storage I'm looking at doing a liver flush to break the deadlock (although they aren't recommended here). I know from the GAPS support page that some people simply don't do well on low carb high fat diet. Mostly underlying thyroid issues that come to light as far as I can gather.

  31. You need more carbs. Very low carb really taxes the thyroid after a few years. Add in a little safe starch – white rice or potato – and I reckon you will feel a whole heap better

  32. You should check your butyrate levels in good stool test! So incredibly important for strong healthy digestive track and intestines. No or low carbs and correct fibers destroy this and can Ruin your intestines leading to cancer!

  33. Csilla Bischoff and others in this thread; I'm going for blood testing for my conventional annual exam in the next few weeks. What symptoms should I tell my doctor about to get additional tests like the full thyroid panel someone mentioned, and other tests that might be skipped. Any way I can get her to order the RBC mag test, cp, and others Morley recommends?

  34. Helsinki also I forgot to mention stress and cortisol will raise fasting blood sugar… woman don't digest certain carbs well , short chain carbs well like cantaloupe and spinach. They may ferment and bloat us. Your stomach maybe slow now emptying so your feeling full longer than normal. Many things to consider but in your photos you look lovely.

  35. I couldn't do the diet long term, my stomach got really messed up and I got super thin and very lethargic. I have added in just a few grains like white rice and occasional gluten free bread (Canyon Bakehouse) and do much better all around in those areas with this. Also lots of greens makes me feel awful and can't sleep. It's not a one size fits all when it comes to foods.

  36. Why is white rice recommended as one of the first things to increase carbs with a low-carb diet, and not brown rice?

  37. It sounds like you have problems with methyl donors, metylation. And probably you can't produce enough bile to handle the fat you consume.

  38. Since when was an ancestral diet low carb and what exactly entails a high fat diet? Animal protein? Our Ancestors rarely ate meat.

  39. Helaine, I recently had a lightbulb moment when I read about peristalsis. If things are being moved along in the intestines then the stomach won't 'move things along' neither.

    So while we think we are struggling with the protein it could actually be the breakfast/brunch foods that are stalling things. This could explain why our first meal feels like it digests.

    Hmmm I need to look at this.

    Fransiska Spitzer also recommends that women have a few more carbs on a normal keto diet to take care of our thyroid.

    There's a PHD/Perfect Health Diet (Paul Jaminet) fb group with many knowledgeable people there.

    WE shall succeed!

  40. I did the keto diet and it ended up having a lot of negative effects on me as well. I just came across this blog post a week ago, and it has me wondering if my negative reactions were stemmed from the lack of key nutrients as Jack Kruse desribes. At the end of 5 months on it, I was diagnosed as Hypothyroid with Hashimotos. While on it I ate a heavy animal protein/fat diet, which completely lacked iodine and DHA. No idea if it was the cause or not, but I didn't have bad thyroid numbers prior. It could have been just the straw that broke the camel's back. It's a very interesting read, and have started trying to add in a lot more seafood and shellfish, and still following mag protocol. https://www.jackkruse.com/brain-gut-12-dare-to-disagree/

  41. Using the cream of tartar causes my digestion to tank in about 1-2 weeks. I become very bloated and uncomfortable around mid day as well. It took a few "rounds" of the ac cocktail to figure that out. Now I just skip cot and use a carrot or tomatoes juice in the cocktail because they both have high potassium. I also supplement with potassium to cover all bases and to get enough of it in my diet.
    The cot really wipes out the hcl, which is why you are improving when adding it back into your diet.
    Without that basic hcl to break down food, you haven't been absorbing your food well, which would lead to those symptoms of nutrient deficiencies. There sis a possibility that you picked up a parasite or have a candida overgrowth as well. Slowed digestion (a slow house keeper wave) would also be involved in that whole mess. Imo, cot really shouldn't be promoted.

  42. Helaine Treitman you might want to read this article about some of the problems with going too low carb for too long, especially if you have adrenal and/or thyroid issues. https://chriskresser.com/the-3-step-process-to-determining-your-ideal-carbohydrate-intake/

  43. I'm over whelmed. Doing the mag protocol has been. Surprisingly easy to adopt. I do occasionally miss the rice bran at night because of a late meal. I have missed the AC a couple times. Can we take potassium on those days we miss the AC?

  44. Too much for me to figure out. Eat oats? Yeah or nay? Nuts and seeds are AIP no nos, but the docs say yes but not too much. I'm tired of poor impulse control with sweets. Some things have improved some not. I don't have a clear direction. The mag has helped so many things. Sleep still is an issue. Ugh

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