Carb Counters - Help with very low carb...

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07-16-2010, 11:41 AM
My husband bought keto sticks and I began tracking my ketones. After two weeks of being in ketosis and eating less than 50g of carbs a day, I went to work and was dizzy, felt like my muscles were lead heavy and began seeing spots. I drank some OJ felt better for a while and then after 8 hours felt that way again, so again drank some OJ (4 oz), and I had a lunch in between! roast beef with some cheesy potatoes - the first time for a potato product for me in almost five months. Didn't stop the dizzy feeling at the end of my shift, though.

SO I get up the next day and again I feel like my body can't function. I ate a big salad hoping that would help but it didn't. I finally splurged like a madwoman and had an ice cream sundae from DQ and for the next two days I felt better.

But then I became run down again.

Is this my body trying to go through the "low carb flu" that everyone talks about?

Before this very low carb thing I was eating between 60-120 grams a day, but under 50 grams a day and my body felt really run down and awful.

Should I power through? Is it the flu carb thing people talk about or am I doing actual harm.

07-16-2010, 11:50 AM
A while ago I was having problems doing low carb as well. I posted complaining on how much trouble I was having. Someone came & posted saying to join them at the Staying Prima ( thread. After asking questions & reading up on it I decided to give the primal diet a try. It is still low carb but we can eat more fruits & veggies then the Atkins. I like it much better & do not get dizzy or jittery like I did before. I am not testing my blood levels like I was before.

07-16-2010, 11:55 AM
Yeah, I am still essentially primal (have been following it for a number of months), but I was trying lower carb because my weight loss stalled.

My husband is doing a bodybuilder "cutting" style diet where he goes very low carb for six days and then refeeds with carbs for one day. I do NOT want to do that, because I want to avoid sugar/grains. it's essential that I stay away from this.

I would like to be able to go VLC though to see if it will kick start weight loss.

07-16-2010, 12:09 PM
I did 5 weeks on +/-15g carbs but after feeling fine to start with, I then developed all the symptoms you mention, apart from seeing spots.

My doctor didn't like my u's and e's, and told me to try low GI instead. So I'm now on +/- 100g carbs, and feel wonderful. My weekly losing rate is only fractionally slower than on very low carb, and I'm happy to stay with the slightly slower but far healthier-feeling WOE.

07-16-2010, 12:27 PM
Yes, I think this is what I felt was my low carb flu.

Oh Kathy! You already know I can hardly talk in a straight line but here we go ...

I believe that our bodies become accustomed to using easily available glucose. It's easy. And when it's used up and our blood sugar drops, our bodies feel awful and we know we need sugar. So we scarf something "quick" like SevenUp :devil: That glucose is easy. We feel better almost immediately. But our insulin spikes in response driving our blood sugars back down. And we begin the cycle again.

I think we can teach our bodies to use body fat for a more level "serving" of energy. But it is harder work.
Eventually, I always come out of a hypoglycemic incident whether I eat something or not. So whatever I need is already in me. The key for me is prevention.
I can't ever allow the last fueling I had to be just carbs.
A nice fatty, protein rich meal will not bring my sugars up quick enough for comfort.

Read, read, read. The Glycemic Index is good.

Yes, that was disjointed ... hopefully some of it was helpful.

07-16-2010, 12:37 PM
This page is very good (says the nurse in me)

Especially this line.
The oral glucose tolerance test is no longer used to diagnose reactive hypoglycemia because experts now know the test can actually trigger hypoglycemic symptoms.
Anybody had this test? You drink a cup of horrid sugary blech.

07-16-2010, 01:02 PM
I'm sorry sassykathy. You already know about the Primal thread. It has been one of those mornings. My daycare baby is back after being out sick & spending time with Grandma. She's always a handful after time with Gma.

Susan- Yes I had to have the test done. We were thinking that I am border line diabetic. After I got home from doing the test is when I started feeling off again but I felt fine while sitting there drinking the sugar mixed drink. The test came back fine so I dont understand why my levels drop like they do.

I have not been losing but I have been feeling better then I had before. I think it is due to the fact that I have been eating more fruits & veggies.

07-16-2010, 01:12 PM
I would really like to push through this, because I know I need to help my body to use fat easier for energy, but I don't know how I'll work and do this at the same time!

I am moving to KC in 12 days. I need to pack my house (DH is too busy with studying to help much, but we already decided that he will do most of the heavy lifting to get it all in the truck YAY!), I need to interview to find a new job (Boo!), and then I need to be at my best to learn the ropes in my new environment.

I wish I were just a stay at home mommy and could get through this without endangering lives at work. Maybe I just have to wait a while before i can try it. :?::(

07-16-2010, 01:25 PM
This page is very good (says the nurse in me)

Especially this line.
The oral glucose tolerance test is no longer used to diagnose reactive hypoglycemia because experts now know the test can actually trigger hypoglycemic symptoms.
Anybody had this test? You drink a cup of horrid sugary blech.

With a number of my pregnancies over these past 2.5 years (all resulted in losses) I dx myself with reactive hypoglycemia. My doc shrugged her shoulders when I explained my symptoms, but I knew there was something bad happening. Shaky, puse went into the 130's, bp up, inability to concentrate all after eating, especially if I ate a bigger meal.

Which is why I researched and happened upon the Primal diet. I wanted to be able to control that. I want to be pregnant and healthy during pregnancy. I am tired of losing babies and I am too old to wait until I lose enough weight to be considered "safe." I thought this diet might help.

Now if I ever get pregnant again, I am definitely following primal and no more VLC for me, but in the meantime, I want to try and lose weight while waiting for the big fat positive.

07-16-2010, 02:00 PM
Don't tell anybody who really is seriously primal but ... I eat often. I dunno about this reprogramming my genes thing. My genes are well used for the last fifty years and I suspect set in their ways.

Nibble Kathy and often. Hard boiled eggs, pepperettes, cheese ... If you drink coffee, make sure there is always coconut oil and cream in it. Try spreading 100 gms of carbs (or so) evenly out over your day.

But if push comes to shove ... you have to function and there definitely is a transition period. Do the best you can do with the best carbs you can.

Go ahead and diary in our thread. What you ate and when, how you felt after. Even what you have to do and how to prepare for it. We're here for ya!

07-16-2010, 02:34 PM

Thank you, Susan!

I'll write out all I eat on the thread and see if it helps and get some feedback. I ate like a pig this morning. I should definitely try and spread out my food. I gorged!

07-16-2010, 02:36 PM
LOL! I gorge and then eat my nibbles too! :o

07-16-2010, 03:22 PM
Don't tell anybody who really is seriously primal but ... I eat often.

Haha, Susan.

Kathy, as you know I am the resident fasting fiend who goes long stretches without food, but the great thing about primal is the variability. If you have hypoglycemic issues, and I think Susan has mentioned she does, then you have to eat often. Primal allows for that, because primal is smart enough not to try to fit us all into the same category. Besides it stands to reason that while paleo hunter man was out chasing the herds, paleo gatherer woman was nibbling on tasty things preparing for him to come home empty handed yet again.:)

Some current information out there in the blogs would suggest that protein is key. We talk so much about keeping the carbs down and healthy fats up that protein gets ignored sometimes. Protein raises your insulin, not your blood sugar, and may be key to lowering carbs to fat burning ketogenic levels without the terrible side effects.

If you think about what that Sundae did for you it was not unlike a smoker in withdrawals deciding not to quit. I believe carbs are addictive. I believe some of us have no choice but to suffer flu and withdrawal to get over them, and I believe it is worth it. Jimmy Moore lost 200 pounds on Atkins but he spent six weeks with the flu. Susan has mentioned that hers was also long. Mine was a week. One full day of bed ridden sickness and 6 or 7 days of feeling in desperate need of SUGAR! You can rely on nuts and dairy for those cravings and just don't worry about the weight loss until you have kicked habit. Another very positive way to imitate Susan is to take strength training more seriously.

Anyway, hang in there and don't give up. Everyone is different, but I do believe this lifestyle makes the most sense and within it somewhere is an answer for just about anyone.

07-16-2010, 05:16 PM
I've done the sugar/flour withdrawal. I did it months and months ago! It's only when I went VLC that it got really bad.

07-17-2010, 12:46 AM
Mine did drag out but I was never sick in bed. I worked every day just like usual ... well maybe kinda grumpy. I was hard to function though ... I would definitely eat lots over a couple of hours before an interview.

I wonder if we could find someone who never went very low carb.

07-17-2010, 01:16 AM
The few times I tried low-carb dieting in the past, and one of the reasons I never gave very low-carb diets much of a chance, is because of the "low carb flu."

The low carb books always claimed it was "carb withdrawal" and that it would disappear after the first two weeks - but it never did. In fact, it often got worse.

I've learned that the symptoms of low-carb flu and low-blood sugar are one and the same. It's possible that some people's bodies do become accustomed to the new diet, and and blood sugar spikes and dives levels out.

That hasn't really happened for me, so I've learned to eat more often and not to cut carbs to Atkins induction levels (under 40g of carbs).

80g of carbs is about as low as I can go without feeling ill. I need a little more if I'm going to be exercising. For example today I went swimming, and I worked out really hard (my arms and legs felt like rubber when I got out of the pool). I had only had fruit and an egg for breakfast, so my blood sugar tanked and by the time I got home I felt like vomitting.

Before I decided that I would try to eat primally, I would have gone straight for the sugar or the starch. Something that would "fix" the flu quickly.

Instead I ate a high protein salad and a handful of cherries. It's not as fast-acting as bread or sugar would have been, so I also took a nap, as much to distract myself until my blood sugar stabilized, as because I was tired from the swim.

07-17-2010, 01:20 AM
Ask and you shall recieve! Thanks Colleen!

07-23-2010, 03:56 PM
I did, it was yucky! And it came back normal, so I guess that's good, but now seeing your thread, i wonder if it was really ok!

Arkansas Kel
07-27-2010, 09:07 AM
Could also consider just raising carbs a little per day until the symptoms subside. Also the eating more often is a GREAT idea.

For the hypoglycemic episodes - I have this too - keep regular hard lifesavers on hand. I KNOW _ SUGAR SUGAR. But you may only need to eat a couple to get over the hypoglycemic episodes. Use them like medicine - only as needed. Better than passing out. And be sure you have a meal soon after an episode - doesn't have to be a carby meal - just a good snack or meal.

07-28-2010, 02:02 PM
I have been lowering the daily carbs slowly for a while and find that the kind of carbs and when I eat them, as well as what the carbs are combined with, makes a huge difference in how I feel.

I don't know if dropping from a 90-120 to a less than 50 is a drastic change for others, but to me that is a difference that would take a big adjustment, if done in one fell swoop.


08-23-2010, 11:31 AM
Hi, sassykathy,
I am a BFC (Belly Fat Cure) newbie, so I can't vouch for its effectiveness, yet.
However, it is a low sugar and somewhat low carb diet. If it works well, it will be an easy diet to follow. No hunger. Some of the members have done very well on it. That might be another option for you to investigate. There is no induction phase.

08-23-2010, 12:15 PM
I'm a little nervous because I am just starting to do the VLC (around 20% or less per day -- a la Atkins Induction), and I'm hoping to be able to feel well and sustain my energy. We shall see.

I'm also doing it in hopes of pushing through a plateau. I eat Primal, too, like Sassy.

Sassykathy - let us know how you're doing now. I also just read the entire thread and wanted to say I'm so sorry to hear about all your miscarriages. I hope you will have a healthy pregnancy soon!