The Ketogenic Diet in Annapolis, MD
The ketogenic diet started as a medical intervention for epilepsy as early as the 1920s. It is commonly prescribed to children that have drug-resistant epilepsy and is a viable treatment option that can reduce the frequency of seizures. Some believe that it can serve as a treatment for other neurological conditions as well, including headaches, bipolar disorder, and even brain cancer. Modernly, it has quickly grown in popularity as a mainstream diet choice.
The Fundamentals of the Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet requires an extremely high fat (70% to 90% of ingested calories) and low carbohydrate (less than 50g a day) diet that puts the body into starvation mode. The body's default energy source is glucose, which circulates through the bloodstream and is delivered to cells along with oxygen. The glucose and oxygen provide energy through a process called respiration in cellular mitochondria. This is a well-known mechanism taught to students in grade schools across America as a tenant of biology. Lesser known is that, in the absence of glucose, the body goes into stress and relies on the liver. With a sustained absence of glucose, the liver is prodded into burning fats for energy in a process called ketosis. Byproducts of this process are ketone bodies, and these molecules are the basis for the diet's name.
|Foods to Include||Foods to Exclude|
|Nuts||Processed foods and refined sugars|
|Butter and cream||Legumes|
|Fresh, low-carb vegetables||Saturated fats|
|Fish and seafood||Vegetable and hydrogenated oils|
|Unsaturated oils (olive, coconut and flaxseed oils)||Artificial ingredients such as corn syrup, sweeteners and preservatives|
What to Expect on the Ketogenic Diet
Living in a state of metabolic stress changes the body's metabolism so that it runs on fats instead of sugar, and overhauling the body's metabolic machinery involves an unpleasant adjustment period. At the very beginning, all the carbohydrates that are stored in the muscles and liver will be utilized and depleted, leading to lethargy. Other initial consequences of carbohydrate withdrawal include the "keto flu," which has the following symptoms:
- Cognitive fuzziness
- Coughing and sneezing
Staying hydrated and maximizing electrolytes will help combat these symptoms. Your healthcare provider may also recommend a daily tablespoon of salt to minimize keto flu symptoms and water retention. Keto flu symptoms generally subside within a few day.
The sudden metabolism switch to ketosis can also affect the digestive symptom, as nausea and diarrhea are common transitional problems. Bile production needs to exponentially increase in order to digest the large amounts of fat. The gut flora will also need time to readjust. Your healthcare provider may recommend certain dietary supplements as you transition to the ketogenic diet to help with these concerns.
Once the adjustment period is over, your body becomes increasingly efficient in burning fat for energy. Lasting side effects of a ketogenic diet are having sweet "keto breath" and ketones in the urine.
Ketogenic Diet Benefits
While its main intention has traditionally been to aid epileptic children and those with other neurological conditions, there is a growing body of research revealing additional benefits of adhering to a keto diet. These include:
- Weight loss support
- Blood sugar balance
- Insulin sensitivity improvement
A ketogenic diet is becoming the low-carb diet option in overweight and diabetic individuals as well as those looking to improve their overall health status. It is crucial to only begin the ketogenic diet under the guidance of your healthcare provider. He or she may recommend additional support to aid your body's full transition into ketosis while helping to minimize transition symptoms. You may also require ongoing monitoring from your healthcare provider or from a dietician.
Request more information about the ketogenic diet today. Call (410) 567-0667 or contact Annapolis Integrative Medicine Clinic online.
Annapolis Integrative Medicine Clinic
Address1819 Bay Ridge Avenue
Annapolis, MD 21403
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