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Can Keto Cause Low Blood Sugar

Its National High Blood Pressure Awareness Day

Low Blood Sugar On Keto (Hypoglycemia On Ketogenic Diet)

The ketogenic diet can bring a myriad of health benefits as people replace heavy starches and sugars with healthy fats, proteins, and nutrient-dense lower carb foods. There are a lot of misconceptions about the effects of the ketogenic diet on heart health, so lets discuss what the research says about the keto diet and blood pressure. You might be surprised to find out that studies show going keto might reduce blood pressure and minimize hypertension..

What Is The Ketogenic Diet

A ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet, considered to be when you eat a level of carbohydrate of around 30g of carbohydrates per day or below.

This encourages the body to get its energy from burning body fat which produces an energy source known as ketones.

The diet helps to lower the bodys demand for insulin which has benefits for people with type 1 and

Note that it is important that you speak to your doctor if you are considering following the diet as precautions may need to be taken before starting.

When To See A Doctor For Ketosis Or Ketoacidosis

Because ketosis is not a medical condition but a natural metabolic state of the body, it doesnt require medical attention. Its when ketone levels get too high and blood sugar levels rise that people should see a healthcare provider. If you have diabetes and your blood or ketone levels are high and getting higher, or if you dont feel well even though your blood sugar and ketone levels are normal, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible.

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Getting Sick From Keto Diet

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Controlling For Monitor Accuracy

Can a Ketogenic Diet Cause Hypoglycemia and Insulin ...

Oftentimes I have seen that certain blood sugar monitors can have off readings every now and then. If you have an elevated reading that seems unexpected, take the same measure 2 more times and average the values, oftentimes an elevated reading can be a monitor malfunction.

Other things to consider are any kind of residues that are present on the surface that you tested. For example, if you recently held a piece of fruit or used a product that contained sugar then this can also throw off your monitor.

Make sure you wash the testing area thoroughly before testing and take multiple readings to ensure accuracy.

Monitoring both ketones and fasting blood sugar can be extremely helpful as well. This is because if your ketones are elevated at the same time as a slightly elevated blood sugar reading, this is a good gauge that you are still in ketosis. As I describe above, this scenario may be more likely to be adaptive glucose refusal. My favorite 2-in-one monitor is the Keto Mojo.

Read Also: What Happens In Type 1 Diabetes

I Eat Almost No Carbs And My Blood Sugar Is Still High Charlottes Story

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Meet Charlotte Faith.

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 14, Charlotte weighed only 83 pounds.

Even though she ate large amounts of food, she found herself ravenously hungry and began gaining weight rapidly. Only 1.5 years following her diagnosis, Charlotte gained about 70 pounds, weighing over 150 pounds.

Soon after, Charlotte embarked on a journey to lose weight and fully control type 1 diabetes, which involved eliminating heavily processed foods and eating a low-carbohydrate paleo diet.

In combination with moderate exercise, Charlotte began losing weight. As a paleo food blogger, she made sugar-free, low carb treats to satisfy her cravings for carbohydrate-rich food and was able to lose about 32 pounds.

Charlotte limited her carbohydrate intake to no more than 50 grams per day, yet still experienced high blood glucose values after eating a banana or half a sweet potato.

She often complained to herself: I eat almost no carbs and my blood sugar is still high! How is this possible?

In addition, Charlotte developed hypothyroidism and lost her period for 7 years.

Keto Diet For People With Existing Diabetes

The study in mice is at odds with some previous research on the benefits of low-carb diets.

Previous short-term studies have shown that low-carb diets including the keto diet can improve glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes and lower the amount of medications they need, noted Dr. Reshmi Srinath, director of the weight and metabolism management program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.

There isnt much data on long-term effects of low-carb eating.

We also know that limiting carbohydrates to such a degree can be challenging for some patients and there can be a risk of hypoglycemia particularly in patients with type 2 diabetes, Srinath said.

She said that short-term use of low-carb diets in people with diabetes has to be closely monitored by doctors.

She recommends carbohydrate moderation, and provides instruction on how people can count and manage carb intake along with the addition of physical activity.

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Forget About Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fastingin which you alternate between periods of eating and fasting for 16 hours or morecan be dangerous if you have hypoglycemia. When your blood sugar levels drop too low after a meal, fasting can worsen symptoms and lead to fainting.

Eating a huge meal and then eating again a few hours later to avoid hypoglycemia wont likely lead to weight loss. The key here is to expect drops in blood sugar, and plan your meals accordingly. Basically, there couldnt be a worse diet for someone with hypoglycemia than intermittent fasting.

Optimal Ketone Levels And How To Measure Them

Low Blood Sugar Issues on Keto Diet | Dr.Berg

Ketone levels are important because they are a marker of ketosis. There is a range of ways to test them that can all be done in the comfort of your home.

When it comes to actual ketone levels, the target measurements range depending on what your goal for the ketogenic diet is.

If you are trying to lose weight, then having a ketone level of 0.5 mmol/L to 1.0 mmol/L is key. As you move from losing weight to maintaining weight loss, you can aim for 1.0 mmol/L to 3.0 mmol/L.

On the other hand, if you are on a ketogenic diet for more therapeutic benefits, aim for a ketone level between 3.0 mmol/L and 5.0 mmol/L.

Also Check: Life Expectancy For Type 1 Diabetes

Thoughts On Can A Ketogenic Diet Cause Hypoglycemia Or Low Blood Sugar

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  • Im sure I was hypoglycemic this afternoon. I started my Keto diet a month ago. My appetite early morning is nonexistent after coffe and Im not eating until noon. Today, I became shaky, nauseous, headache and anxious. I started eating eggs but wasnt feeling relief. I ate 3 slices of peaches and began feeling relief in 15-20 min. I completed my breakfast but still felt fatigue. Should I force myself to eat earlier?

  • I have been doing the Keto diet since August. I took a break from it for Christmas, and started back on the 27th. I have been doing great and feeling wonderful. This weekend we went out of town and I had a cheat meal of pasta and dessert Friday and then some ice cream yesterday. I dropped out of ketosis. This morning I decided to fast until this afternoon, because that is what I normally do when I drop out of ketosis accidentally or on purpose. About 1:30 I got dizzy and passed out. Would this be diet related? Do I need to rush to the doctor?

  • I am not a doctor so theres no way Im qualified to tell you whether or not to go to the doctor. It sounds a bit like a hypoglycemic episode though. Do you have a way to check your blood sugar? I would definitely get checked out if it persists.

  • How A Ketogenic Diet Works

    On a ketogenic diet, blood glucose levels are kept at a low but healthy level which encourages the body to break down fat into a fuel source known as ketones

    The process of breaking down or burning body fat is known as ketosis

    People on insulin will typically require smaller doses of insulin which leads to less risk of large dosing errors.

    The diet helps burn body fat and therefore has particular advantages for those looking to lose weight, including people with prediabetes or those otherwise at risk of type 2 diabetes.

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    What Gum Is Allowed On Keto Diet

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    How To Avoid Reactive Hypoglycemia

    Can a Ketogenic Diet Cause Hypoglycemia or Low Blood Sugar?

    However, eating more carbohydrate is not the best solution long term because it perpetuates the blood sugar spike/insulin cycle. So what’s the solution?

    In the short term, when first starting a low carb diet, eating more frequently may help. Conversely, I’ve had some people write to me to tell me that fasting for longer periods seems to calm the blood sugar roller coaster effect of eating carbohydrate. I’ve also been told that some people eat a little protein and fat before bed and this helps them stave off middle-of-the-night episodes.

    Long term, I believe the best way to avoid reactive hypoglycemia is to permanently reduce the amount of carbohydrate that you eat on a per/meal and daily basis. This will eventually lower your baseline blood sugar and circulating insulin. Once insulin returns to normal levels, your body can then access its fat stores, and quickly switch over to burning fat for fuel when you go without a meal or two.

    During the first phases of eating a lower carb, ketogenic diet, you’ll need to monitor your reactions to your meals. Some people may need to eat more frequently until their bodies become fat-adapted and are producing a higher level of ketones. Others may find that fasting for longer periods between meals actually helps reduce the reactions. One of my readers reported that taking a drug called Januvia helped with the symptoms as it knocks down the insulin response to carb intake, but this should be discussed with and monitored by your physician.

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    Symptoms Of The Keto Flu

    • Digestive problems
    • Headache
    • Difficulty sleeping
    • Sugar cravings

    These side effects occur because of the sudden drop of glucose in your system. However, these symptoms are normally temporary because your body will eventually get used to the new glucose level. Still, some people may find these symptoms intolerable, and there are supplements available just to address the keto flu.

    Benefits Of A Ketogenic Diet

    Ketone bodies produced from burning fat for fuel have been shown to have potent weight loss effects, help lower blood glucose levels and reduce peoples reliance on diabetes medication.

    The diet has also shown evidence of having benefits on:

    • Reducing high blood pressure
    • Raising HDL cholesterol levels
    • Improving mental performance

    Read more about the benefits of ketogenic diets

    In addition to that, there has been a lot of interest in therapeutic ketosis for other long-term conditions, such as cancer, epilepsy, Alzheimers disease or dementia.

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    How Many Carbs Should A Type 2 Diabetic Have In A Day

    The Basics of Counting Carbs

    You can use these basic tips to help manage your carb consumption: Foods that contain carbohydrates include starches, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, beans, and sweets. Most people with type 2 diabetes should stick to eating around 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per meal.2 2016 .

    Factors That Raise Blood Sugar

    KETO DIET | How to stabilize your blood sugar levels and stay in Ketosis.

    #1: High carbohydrate intake

    Of all the macronutrients, carbs spike your blood sugar the most.

    Thats because carbs are sugar and that sugar enters your bloodstream as soon as its digested. Its been shown, in fact, that a high carbohydrate diet raises blood sugar significantly more than a high fat diet.

    But high carbs are not the only problem. Even moderate carbs, the research shows, can negatively impact blood sugar levels.

    Protein also raises blood sugar, but in this regard: not all protein is created equal.

    Collagen protein, for instance, has been shown to improve the blood sugar response in type 2 diabetics.

    #2: Stress

    When a caveman got spooked by a dangerous beast, a hormonal response would kick in.

    His adrenal gland would release the hormone cortisol, then cortisol would signal the release of glycogen, or stored glucose, from his liver. Then hed have the energy in the form of blood sugar to run or fight.

    These days, youll probably never encounter a hungry predator, but your stress response still works like gangbusters.

    Its true: everyday chronic stress from sitting in traffic to arguing politics contributes to chronic elevations in blood sugar.

    #3: Natural Circadian Rhythms

    Recall that cortisol your stress hormone signals your liver to dump glucose into your bloodstream. But cortisol is not just a stress hormone. Its also a get-up-and-go-hormone.

    Now on to what lowers blood sugar.

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    May Cause Digestive Issues And Changes In Gut Bacteria

    Since the keto diet restricts carbs, it can be difficult to meet your daily fiber needs.

    Some of the richest sources of fiber, such as high carb fruits, starchy vegetables, whole grains, and beans, are eliminated on the diet because they provide too many carbs.

    As a result, the keto diet can lead to digestive discomfort and constipation.

    A 10-year study in children with epilepsy on the ketogenic diet found that 65% reported constipation as a common side effect .

    Whats more, fiber feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Having a healthy gut may help boost immunity, improve mental health, and decrease inflammation .

    A low carb diet thats lacking in fiber, such as keto, may negatively affect your gut bacteria although current research on this topic is mixed .

    Some keto-friendly foods that are high in fiber include flax seeds, chia seeds, coconut, broccoli, cauliflower, and leafy greens.


    Due to its carb restrictions, the keto diet is often low in fiber. This may trigger constipation and negative effects on gut health.

    Can Fasting Raise Your Blood Sugar

    Yes, fasting can raise your blood sugar levels if you have insulin resistance.

    In fact:

    With this condition, when you wake up in the morning after going for all those hours without food, your blood sugar levels will typically be at their peak before they go back to normal over the course of the day, even when you are consuming foods rich in sugars.

    Fasting brings about certain hormonal changes in the body that result in a rise in blood sugar levels. In people without insulin resistance issues, the increased blood sugar triggers the release of more insulin which gets the blood sugar levels back to normal.

    However, insulin resistance is not the only culprit as far as increased fasting blood sugar levels go, the foods you had before the fast also play a role.

    But generally, when you fast, your body releases hormones that encourage the body to create glucose from stored energy.

    So, in cases of inadequate insulin or insulin resistance, glucose levels can get too high. However, for people with proper insulin response, the fasting levels of blood sugar never get too high as the body will respond appropriately by releasing more insulin to ensure there is no excess glucose in the body.

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