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Keto/Low Carb Diet and Electrolytes

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Since I have my annual physical exam coming up, I've been really trying to get my blood sugar levels down, as well as lose as much weight as I can. For several months now, I've been eating very low carb meals. My goal is to get the carbs down to less than 20 grams/day (ketogenic diet) but that is so hard to do... so I figured I can do it incrementally.

What the Keto folks always tell you is that when you are starting out, there is usually a period of time when you develop 'keto flu' but I always thought it was just having headaches and dizziness, or maybe some flu symptoms. That is because your body is adapting to not using glycogen from carbs and sugar to using fat as fuel. I never had these symptoms at all, and I think it is because I haven't been eating sweets or desserts or adding sugar to anything for years now.

So, what happened to me was very strange! A few weeks ago, I started getting seriously dehydrated. So much that I couldn't get enough water even though I was drinking tons and tons of water. It started causing heart palpitations. I decided I would stop drinking alcohol and coffee, and that seemed to help a lot but I was still feeling the palpitations. For anyone who has had these, it's like your whole attention goes to your own heart because it's supposed to not feel like anything. I think I was probably skipping beats and there was a general discomfort that scared me. I went to the doctor to have this checked out.

Now I have a cardiologist for the first time in my life. Both of my parents have heart disease and I also have high blood pressure, so the doctors want to take this matter seriously. Right now, I have a heart monitor on and will have an echo cardiogram done to really look into this.

But what I've learned through all of this is-- I think that all along, it has to do with my diet! I wanted to share this in case anyone else can learn about how important diet is with our health. One of the nurses at my doctor's office suggested to me that maybe I've been losing electrolytes and I'm thinking that she may have nailed it on the head.

See, I've been eating very few carbs, so what is suggested is to balance your electrolytes is to actually add salt to your meals! Also, people say to drink bone broth. I found an article on this whole matter, and it actually says in it that some of the symptoms of not having enough electrolytes is heart palpitations and dehydration, so I believe that this is the root of my issue.

Totally fascinating stuff, learning about our body chemistry. Anyway, I started eating beans again, and had lots of sauerkraut (drank the juice of it, too!) and my symptoms went away. I feel totally normal again! I can't wait to tell my experience to the doctors and see what they think. I'm still going to get my heart checked out with the echocardiogram to rule this out (and see how I'm doing) but I feel like I've learned something really interesting and important.

Take care of yourselves, everyone!! Hope your weekend is a great one!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    forgot to mention that all along, my heart would feel fine during intense exercise such as Crossfit so I knew that some kind of imbalance was happening. I still feel great, after eating more carbs again.
    I'll try Keto again, however... after all my cardiology appointment results come back and all is clear.
    Thanks everyone!
    1032 days ago
    Cool! Glad the symptoms subsided.
    1032 days ago
    It makes perfect sense. When I was doing Keto, I would drink pickle juice to help with salt loss.
    1033 days ago
    Hope everything goes well at the doctor!
    1034 days ago
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