Watch Out For Diabetic Ketoacidosis
If you have diabetes or suspect you may have developed it, youll need to watch those ketone levels closely.
Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when ketone levels in your body get too high, causing your blood to become more acidic. It generally occurs due to a lack of insulin or an infection/inflammation in peeps with diabetes.
DKA is no joke. It can lead to coma or even death. Its always best to speak with a healthcare professional before starting on a keto diet, especially if you have an underlying health condition. They can offer support, advice, and peace of mind ahead of your weight loss journey.
We go into more detail on the different between ketosis and DKA here.
Urine And Breath Testing
Urine tests are less accurate than a blood ketone monitor. But theyre a great option if youre scared of needles. Theyre also a lot easier to use than all these newfangled electronic devices *waves fist in the air*.
And theyre super cost-effective: A pack of 100+ will cost you less than $10 . Youll have to buy more when you run out, though, so make sure youre stocked up.
All you need for this to work is a full bladder and a test strip. The darker the strip, the more ketones present in your body. You dont get an exact number to work with, but it gives you a sense of whether your low carb eating plan is having the desired effects.
If youd rather not pee on a strip, a breath testing device could be a solid investment. This device measures the levels of acetones components of ketones that remain after your body breaks them down in your breath.
These devices are relatively new, and theyll need some TLC and R& D before theyre 100 percent reliable on a mainstream level. But, again, they paint a picture of how your fat-burning plan is going.
Although youll have to fork over a chunk of change for a good one, theyre painless and dont require any annoying attachments.
Theyre still not as accurate as blood ketone meters. But theyll definitely be good enough if youre just keeping an eye on your rough ketone levels while losing a few pounds.
Youll be looking for breath acetone levels between 2 and 40 ppm to indicate ketosis.
Are There Any Side Effects
- A person starting the ketogenic diet may feel sluggish for a few days after the diet is started. This can worsen if a child is sick at the same time as the diet is started.
- Make sure to encourage carbohydrate-free fluids during illnesses.
- Other side effects that might occur if the person stays on the diet for a long time are
- High cholesterol levels in the blood
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Youre Not Drinking Enough Water
Due to the restriction of carbs, you lose a lot of water in the body. So, make sure that you drink more water to prevent dehydration.
A common side effect of the ketogenic diet is constipation, but it is preventable. Dr. Sudano says that for every gram of carbohydrates you consume, your body holds four grams of water. Overall, this effect can be a good thing because your body is going to shed excess water weight. The problem occurs when you lose water that your body needs for vital functions like digestion.
Make sure to up your water intake if youre feeling stopped up. Start by drinking 64 ounces of water a day, and then increase it if youre still not regular after a few days.
Keep your water bottle on you at all times, as its easy to get sidetracked and forget to drink. Dont let your thirst be the only indicator to have some water. If youre thirsty, it means that youre already getting dehydrated, and we want to avoid going down this path.
If your urine is on the yellow side, then drink up! It means that you are not drinking enough water. You want it to be light or pale yellow.
Is 80 Too High For Ketosis
Ketosis is characterized by the presence of increased ketones in the body, most often in the blood. When ketone levels rise over 7 or 8 mmol/L, it may be an indication of a potentially life-threatening illness known as ketoacidosis.
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Fair Warning: There Are Challenges To Choosing A Keto Diet
The first few days are extremely difficult as your body tries to acclimate to such a low level of carbs. During this adjustment to burning fat instead of glucose, the side effects will make you feel awful hence the term, keto flu.
Youll be depriving yourself in social situations
Youll need to prepare meals ahead and take them with you since you are confined to eating specific foods.
3 Common Mistakes to Keep In Mind When On a Keto Diet
Adhering to the keto diet puts your body into a state of ketosis, which sounds similar to ketoacidosis. However, dont confuse these terms as ketosis and ketoacidosis are two very different physiological states, Dr. Goss explains.
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What Is The Difference Between Ketosis And Diabetic Ketoacidosis
These words sound similar, but theres a difference between ketosis and diabetic ketoacidosis. Whereas ketosis is a metabolic response, ketoacidosis is a serious, life-threatening complication of diabetes.
Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when ketone levels become too high, due to a lack of insulin, and poison the body. This condition can happen to anyone with diabetes, but it is more common in people with type 1 diabetes because their bodies dont make insulin. In the event that their ketone level rises, their bodies are unable to produce insulin to slow down this production. If left untreated, this condition can lead to a diabetic coma or death.
Signs of diabetic ketoacidosis include a high blood glucose level, a high ketone level, dehydration, frequent urination, nausea, difficulty breathing, and dry skin. If you have poorly managed type 1 or type 2 diabetes, test your blood glucose level regularly before and after meals, and make sure you check your ketone level whenever your blood sugar is higher than 240 milligrams per deciliter .
A ketone level between 1.6 and 3.0 mmol/L is high and increases the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis. Drinking fluids and taking your insulin can bring down your ketone level. If your level doesnt decrease or continues to rise, go to the hospital. A ketone level higher than 3.0 mmol/L is a medical emergency.
Youre Avoiding Fruit And Vegetables
Too many people focus on restricting carb intake to the point where they dont eat their vegetables. Dont do this. Vegetables are critical to your health, even if youre on the keto diet.
They also contain micronutrients and fiber, so you dont want to miss out on them. Make sure that youre eating your veggies, especially the non-starchy kinds. Cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, and mushrooms are great options.
Fruit also becomes the enemy for people following a low-carb diet. But, just like with vegetables, they are an important factor in your health. While some fruits are higher in carbs, there are also alternatives, such as berries, that are delicious and are low in carbs.
Eating your servings of whole foods, such as fruit and vegetables, is important. Dont just rely on products that are marketed as keto-friendly, because chances are, they are also processed.
While it is okay to indulge a little, you want to make sure that youre eating as much whole food as possible. That includes your fruits and veggies.
Dr. Anthony Gustin, Co-Founder of Perfect Keto, says, I would ten times out of ten rather have you eating a diet composed of 90 percent real food carbs and not have a single ketone in your body than eating a heap of processed junk.
He emphasizes food quality. Whatever food plan or diet you choose to follow, this is an important factor.
Carbs -Fiber = Net Carbs
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Mistake #: Stagnant Macro Ratios
There are three major macronutrients that supply humans with energy from foods: carbohydrate, fat, and protein. On a well-formulated ketogenic diet, your daily energy needs should be satisfied by approximately 5-10% carbs, 70-80% fat, and 15-20% protein.What people frequently overlook is the fact that when you initially begin a ketogenic diet and are losing weight, a significant portion of that 70-80% of energy from fat will actually come from burning your own body fat stores from adipose tissueso its NOT entirely from dietary sources. Later down the road as you approach weight maintenance and are aiming to remain weight-stable while keeping your energy levels high and metabolic health at optimum, the fat needed to supply your daily energy will have to come from your food. After all, in this scenario you no longer have as much excess fat to lose! The chart below shows food macronutrient intakes plus body fat contributions as one progresses from through the stages of weight loss to eventual weight stability.
Although your intake of dietary fat will need to increase, no matter if its Day 1 or Day 500, you will continue consuming approximately the same, moderate amount of protein in addition to non-starchy vegetables . Depending on your personal health goals, and particularly how well your initial diabetes or prediabetes is held in reversal, some people may be able to increase their carbohydrate intake somewhat in maintenance.
Dr. Phinney on macros
What Is A Dangerous Level Of Ketones
Ketones can rise to dangerous levels, making your blood too acidic. This condition is known as ketoacidosis, and it is a common complication of Type 1 Diabetes although it can occur in individuals with Type 2 Diabetes 15.
While nutritional ketosis is characterized by blood ketone concentrations of 0.5 and 2 mmol/L, ketoacidosis is characterized by high ketone concentrations that can exceed 20 mmol/L 2.
Ketoacidosis occurs when blood sugar levels remain too high for a long period of time. For instance, a diabetic patient who hasnt complied with his or her insulin therapy. Since insulin helps glucose enter the cells, a lack of insulin forces your body to utilize fat for fuel instead. Thus, the excessive buildup of ketones in the blood.
A lot of people ask whether ketosis can lead to ketoacidosis. Please bear in mind that a well-formulated ketogenic diet will not cause your ketones to exceed 5 mmol/L 2.
However, people without diabetes may be at risk for ketoacidosis if he or she also suffers from alcoholism or alcohol dependency, starvation, or an overactive thyroid 16.
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When Do Ketones Build Up
Youre most at risk of a build-up of ketones if you dont inject enough insulin or if you miss a dose of insulin. Its important to know that sometimes you need more insulin than usual and need to check for high blood sugars more regularly, like when:
- youre not feeling well
- you have had an injury or surgery
- youre pregnant
- youre having your period.
All of these times are just part of normal life and that can be a reminder that diabetes is always there in the background. If youre struggling to cope with your diabetes you can have a chat with us on our helpline. We can support you when youre feeling down or tired with managing your diabetes.
Who Is At Risk For Dka
DKA is most commonly experienced by people with type 1 diabetes because people with type 2 generally have some insulin production. People with type 2 diabetes can also develop DKA, but with a much lower risk although when it develops, complications can be just as severe. Type 1 patients taking SGLT-2 inhibitors are at higher risk of ketoacidosis though, its widely believed that DKA caused by SGLT-2 inhibitors may be able to be prevented if the proper steps are taken quickly. See our infographic here! For more background on SGLT inhibitors for type 1 diabetes, see here.
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Can Ketones Be Too High Lose Weight On Keto
The objective of the keto diet is to provide the body with more calories sources from fats instead of from carbs. It consists of appropriate protein quantity, healthy fats, and minimal carbohydrates. It diminishes the bodys sugar reserves with a resultant fat breakdown to produce energy and the body produces ketones which it utilizes to supply energy.
Can Ketones Be Too High
Weight Upkeep and Loss Making use of a ketogenic diet plan over extended periods achieves a significant quantity of weight reduction. This is the primary advantage. It reduces cravings and enhances metabolism. The diet has makes a person feel full thus there is decreased cravings hormonal agent stimulation. In the ketosis state, where there is restricted carbohydrate intake, there is retention or boost in muscle mass and decreased body fat. The diet plan is more effective to obese people planning to lose weight. It reduces the danger of weight problems related issues like PCOS, stroke, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancers.
It helps in controlling the blood pressure. Carbohydrate, a macronutrient is the primary reason for the high blood pressure increase beyond the normal ranges. There is the elimination of high blood pressure in the keto diet because it has simply a very little amount of carbohydrates.
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How Much Protein To Eat On Keto
The Standard American Diet is dense in carbs, with some protein and very little fat. On keto, you take a seemingly opposite approach, with the bulk of your calories coming from fat, some calories coming from protein, and very few from carbohydrates.
While every person has individual needs, most people follow these macronutrient guidelines to enter ketosis:
- 75-80% of calories should come from fat
- 20% of calories should come from protein
- 5% of calories should come from carbohydrates
This is a common way to break down your macros on the ketogenic diet. And while it may help you to start producing ketones, it may not be the most effective approach for overall body composition and weight loss.
Instead of setting up macronutrient percentages, theres a better alternative.
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Mistake #: Too Much Protein Not Enough Fat
A well-formulated ketogenic diet is moderate, NOT HIGH, in protein. Protein has a moderate insulin-stimulating effect, and although its less than the impact from a similar amount of carbohydrates, it can interfere with ketone production by the liver when consumed in excess. Most healthy individuals require between 1.5 and 1.75 grams of protein per kg of reference body weight to maintain lean body mass and function during a ketogenic diet. Intakes above 2.0 g/kg reference weight show no additional benefit. Here’s where you can find your protein needs on a ketogenic diet.
The Pros And Cons Of Following A Keto Diet
The major benefit of the keto diet is that it does work so you lose weight, says Ms. Zarabi. But then again, it is a diet and like all diets, it is a short term solution, something you do, then you stop. It is not really a sustainable diet in real life situations. More importantly, your goal is not just to lose weightanyone can lose weight. The more necessary goal is to keep the lost weight off.
The keto diet can be an effective way to reduce excess body fat but there are several cons that should be noted by anyone wanting to follow this eating plan, says Ms. Zarabi says. In fact, the keto diet has serious risks. For one thing, its high in saturated fat, which has been linked to heart disease. Additionally, a nutrient deficiency and constipation could occur since the keto diet is very low in fibrous foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Liver problems for those with existing liver conditions could possibly worsen since the keto diet puts stress on the liver, and kidney problems could also occur.
If you are considering going on the keto diet, work with a knowledgeable practitioner or seek out a registered dietitian with experience in prescribing it and following you to avoid any adverse effects, Dr. Goss says.
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