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New & New to LCHF - Keto Flu?

Discussion in 'Newly Diagnosed' started by Kalkie, Oct 22, 2020.

  1. Kalkie

    Kalkie · Member

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    Hi. I’m brand new to the forum.

    I had GD when pregnant with my son (now 11) and had an inkling something’s been amiss with my BG recently. I bought a monitor and have been taking random and fasting readings but saw my GP yesterday for proper blood and urine checks (there was protein in my urine)

    I’ve done a LOT of reading on here (it’s a great resource, thank you) and decided LCHF is a good choice for me. I am already gluten free due to a thyroid disorder so it’s not a huge leap to make.

    I started properly yesterday lunchtime with a cheese and mushroom omelette with tomatoes and avocado, followed by a coffee with milk. Dinner was homemade chicken curry with spinach and cauliflower rice. Breakfast today was a spinach and cheese omelette and a coffee with milk. Lunch was sea bass with kale, broccoli, onions and cauli rice with garlic, ginger and chilli. I had a coffee with cream about an hour after. I’m drinking lots of water - no other squashes or fizzy drinks.

    My BG was 6.3 fasting this morning, 6.2 before lunch and 6.0 two hours after lunch.

    However I now feel rotten. I’ve got terrible diarrhoea (sorry TMI) and I’m freezing cold. Admittedly not unusual for me as I have thyroid and B12 issues as well. I’ve read about “keto flu” and I wondered if the diarrhoea could be caused by the lack of carbs and increased fats. But is it too soon to hit within 24 hours?!

    I’m drinking lots of water and also had a 45 minute walk this morning. I am also overweight (BMI 36.6), female and 47. Any advise would be welcome as this has been a lot to take in!!

    Thanks.
     
    • Hug Hug x 1
  2. RosieMaxwell

    RosieMaxwell Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Kalkie, I would think it might be a bit early for Keto flu however maybe you're "lucky" and moving to ketosis is happening faster for you!

    I do recognise the symptoms though and in my experience, what happened was that by doing Keto I was actually eating quite a bit less than what I was eating before (in terms of calories) and that made me feel a bit rubbish for a few days. I had a dicky tummy - I think because of the sudden increase in fibre from veg and of course, fats. If it's the same situation for you, don't worry - it's temporary.

    About being cold... I'm not sure what causes that but I can say that I too am always freezing cold. Especially my extremities. I didn't get those symptoms until after I'd lost a bit of weight though.

    I would see how you feel after a week or two because I would expect your body to have adjusted by then. It helped me to think of all the negative symptoms as a sign that my body was reacting to the change in my diet, so the changes I was making were clearly effective.
     
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  3. Kalkie

    Kalkie · Member

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    Thanks for your reply. I also think it’s a bit early for “keto flu” so I’m thinking it’s more likely to be down to the stress of this week. I’ve found it incredibly stressful facing this diagnosis and maybe it’s all just caught up with me. Early dinner and early bed for me tonight I think!!!
     
    • Hug Hug x 2
  4. RosieMaxwell

    RosieMaxwell Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

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    I was SO sad when I got my initial test results. Sad and panicking. But honestly, I can promise you one thing. Even a week into your journey, you will start to feel more in control and the stress and anxiety WILL subside.
     
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  5. Kalkie

    Kalkie · Member

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  6. ianf0ster

    ianf0ster Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Kalkie and welcome to the forum.
    You probably have no idea how high your Blood Glucose levels were before you started to change your way of eating.
    If it was much higher than now (as it may well have been) then your body could be feeling unwell because it is not used to the healthy normal BG levels you are having now.
    You have started hard and fast, which is the opposite to the way most people go about reducing carbs, your great BG readings are a testament to that. The downside of this is that the sudden change in what you are eating will naturally have an effect on your digestive system. The old carb loving microbiome will be dying off and being replace by microbes which prefer the food you are now n. This only takes a few days, but it is understandable if you have some digestive problems until things get back in balance.

    So far as feeling cold is concerned, it may be that you are eating fewer calories than you did before. If this is the case then until your body adjusts to 'fat burning mode' your body will be in energy preservation mode making you more sluggish and thus feeling colder. What I did initially was to increase my intake of traditional fats to more than compensate for the reduction in carbs. Thus consuming more calories than before, until I got 'fat adapted'. In my case I was eating more eggs, cheese and avocados.

    Getting 'fat adapted' often takes 2 weeks (more if the carbs are reduced slowly). You know you are fat adapted when you don't actually feel hungry at a normal mealtime. I found I was no longer hungry at breakfast time, so now I eat only 2 meals (sometimes only one) per day - lunch and dinner.

    Having said all the above, it's possible that your symptoms are caused by an infection or by something else. Personally I doubt its an infection because infections tend to raise Blood Glucose significantly.
     
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  7. LittleGreyCat

    LittleGreyCat Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Feeling cold could just be your metabolism slowing down, as suggested above.

    I feel the cold more now that I am in ketosis, but mainly only when I am resting.

    Activity still warms me up.

    If you put on an extra jumper and don't feel any warmer then this could be a hint that your internal central heating has gone down a notch.
     
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  8. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    The Metformin made me feel dreadful, I was a lot better after stopping them. Your levels are very good, if you go on feeling rotten you might argue for stopping it because of its unwanted effects.
     
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  9. Kalkie

    Kalkie · Member

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    Thank you all for your replies.

    I’m literally just off the phone to the doctor. My HbA1c has come back at 36 which is good news. My cholesterol is high, though, as is my blood pressure.

    My FBG before starting LCHF was 6.5, 7.6 and 7.0. The last two days (since starting LCHF) were 6.3 and 6.7. Which I still feel is a little on the high side.

    So I’m a bit confused now. Have I just caught this super early and it’s not showing up in my blood tests results yet?

    Plan is to lose weight and exercise and return to the GP in 3 months for a check up. No medication at the moment.

    I’d welcome any comments or thoughts though as I’m more confused than ever.
     
  10. Kalkie

    Kalkie · Member

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    Thanks ianf0ster. That all makes a lot of sense. Especially about the gut microbes changing. I slept for over 12 hours last night. I think it’s just been the stress of this week. So I’ll see how the next few days go.
     
  11. Kalkie

    Kalkie · Member

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    Thanks Resurgam. I’m not on any medication at the moment but that’s good to know for the future.
     
  12. LittleGreyCat

    LittleGreyCat Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    FBG coming down a bit is good news.

    HbA1c covers the last three months although weighted towards the last few weeks so your 3 month HbA1c should show you the benefits of LCHF.
    FBG is one of the last things to come down on LCHF so time will tell.
    Expect higher cholesterol when you are losing weight and eating LCHF - more fats in the bloodstream as you use your body stores for fuel.
    Hopefully your BP will come down as you lose more weight.

    A personal opinion - resist any attempts to prescribe statins for your high cholesterol.
    Enormous amounts of information on this forum about that.
     
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  13. ianf0ster

    ianf0ster Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    In general a LCHF way of eating will tend to reduce both weight and Blood Pressure (if its was high). Dr David Unwin a low carb GP found he started getting light headed when standing up quickly because he was already taking BP meds. So he de-proscribed himself the BP meds and his BP was then fine with the LCHF.

    I don't think he was particularly overweight, so it seems that the effect on Blood Pressure is separate from the weight loss or the Blood Glucose improvement. He also says 'Don't blame salt for what sugar did' - meaning that is is commonly thought that people with high BP need to reduce salt in their diet. This doesn't always apply - particularly for people on LCHF because we tend to eat less salt than the average person because of eating little highly processed food..

    On the Cholesterol situation, it is almost universal that LCHF increases HDL Cholesterol (thought to be good) and reduces Triglycerides which is also good. However in some (including me) it also increases LDL cholesterol which is required for making hormones, immune response etc and so isn't always as 'bad' as most people (including GPs ) think.
     
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  14. Kalkie

    Kalkie · Member

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    Thanks both. This forum continues to amaze me with people’s helpfulness and depth of knowledge.

    I didn’t ask for a breakdown of HDL, LDL and triglycerides which I’m kicking myself for. I was just wanting the key numbers. But I might phone the surgery and get a print out next week.

    I’m really impressed with my GP. My thyroid levels were also out but I’ve been self-medicating my thyroid for over 12 years now and she actually listened and took it on board which is almost unheard of.

    I feel the situation is definitely retrievable. I just need to keep focused on the goal (no meds and being healthy).
     
  15. Kalkie

    Kalkie · Member

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    That’s interesting. I hadn’t heard of the link between LDL and immune response before. I have two autoimmune illnesses (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and pernicious anaemia) so I’ll read up a bit more on this link.

    I treat both the hashi’s and the PA outside of my GP and the NHS so I’m the kind of person who likes to look into stuff and decide for myself anyway.
     
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