Author Topic: metallic breath/ ketosis a sign of danger?  (Read 11150 times)

Offline serendipideez

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metallic breath/ ketosis a sign of danger?
« on: July 17, 2012, 10:11:49 AM »
I've been enjoying reading posts people have made about ketosis, because my husband is complaining a lot about my breath and is very worried about my health on this diet.  I'm a 39 year old female and have been eating paleo for about 6 months.  I have lost about 8 pounds (went from 112 to 104), but I like being thin.  My husband, however, is worried about my weightloss, and wants me to change my diet because of my breath...  He tells me my breath is "weird" and smells like a strong "chemical" and that sometimes he doesn't want to kiss me.  I don't like the metallic taste in my mouth either.  So I started eating a lot of fruit and squash every day and that seems to help tone down the chemically breath sometimes. 

So two questions:
Does anyone else have an icky "metallic" taste in their mouth due to ketosis?  And is this a dangerous sign?   
     
Is it unhealthy or dangerous to one's health to be in ketosis often...?  My husband worries that it could potentially be breaking down my muscles and/or putting strain on my organs if I don't eat more carbs...?


Offline C C G

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Re: metallic breath/ ketosis a sign of danger?
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2012, 11:58:24 AM »

So two questions:
1) Does anyone else have an icky "metallic" taste in their mouth due to ketosis?  And is this a dangerous sign?   
     
2) Is it unhealthy or dangerous to one's health to be in ketosis often...?  My husband worries that it could potentially be breaking down my muscles and/or putting strain on my organs if I don't eat more carbs...?



1) I did when I was VLC and in frequent ketosis, along with constant thirst.  It's just a sign that you're in ketosis, it's the ketones on your breath and not necessarily dangerous....but...

2) For some women, it can be.  Keep a very close eye on your menstrual cycle and your weight loss.  If your periods become irregular or stop, or you frequently feel fatigued and cold, then you need more carbs.

The reason behind this is, is that when you're VLC and in ketosis you hardly ever spike your insulin even slightly.  This can lead to your body thinking that it's not getting enough food, and the lack of insulin leads to low leptin and low active T3, (thyroid) the result being that you stop losing weight and your body shuts down your reproductive capabilities.   (You also will have high levels of t4, as the rT3 is converted to this instead of active T3.  Being in ketosis a lot is quite demanding on the liver)


Add some more starch! (as you have done). You can be low carb and maintain weight without being in ketosis all the time.  If you don't need to lose more weigh then it's not necessary.  You probably need 40-70g carbs a day

104 - lucky you!   


Offline serendipideez

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Re: metallic breath/ ketosis a sign of danger?
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2012, 08:03:37 PM »
Wow, thank you so much for the helpful information!   :) I really do appreciate it.  This is really intestesting to me, and I would like to learn more about this.  My doctor recommended the paleo diet to me in the first place because my insulin is very low.  Ironically, my Thyroid T3 levels are also very low... (I'm on 60 mg of Armour Thyroid daily for this).  I almost always feel cold and have raynauds (both of these symptoms since I was about 13 yrs old, way before starting paleo diet).  However, my menstral cycle is relatively normal... but some months very painful cramping, and other months none at all.  I have no idea about the current condition of my liver...  But I'm very interested in how this diet could be affecting my liver.  If you have any recommended readings for me to learn more about ketosis or any potential dangers to my liver or thyroid, I would be grateful for you to pass them along. Thank you again!!   :)

Offline C C G

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Re: metallic breath/ ketosis a sign of danger?
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2012, 05:02:48 AM »
if you can, get your leptin checked, as well as active T3, reverse T3 and T4
If your leptin, and aT3 are low and T4 is high, then you need to eat both more calories and more carbs.  If this is the case, your thyroid meds will probably not help your active T3 levels and you need more leptin, and it's very hard to get synthetic leptin to inject

You can also spike your insulin with dairy, rather than carbs.  Small regular spikes of insulin will boost your leptin.  So keep eating the fruit and squash

I don't have anything bookmarked on thyroid/low carb but if you google 'hypothalamic amenorrhoea' 'leptin hypothyroidism' or 'low carb hypothyroid' and related terms it should turn up the relevant reading.  It is well know that VLC can cause hypothyroidism especially in women.  The best study is the ketogenic diet for epilepsy study, where over half of the female participants reported menstrual irregularities or loss of menstruation

IMO I don't recommend being in heavy ketosis for a woman unless you are overweight, which you are not.  Unless you're 5'3'' or under I'd personally say that 104 pounds is underweight.  Hell I'm 5'1'' and 118 pounds, and am size 4-6 (35-25-37 measurements ie, not fat)

Re: painful periods - magnesium apparently helps a little, but not as much as consuming ibuprofen, aspirin or diclofenac for 3 days prior to the start of bleeding (or whenever you get your cramps).  Cramps are caused by lack of oxygen to the inflamed uterine muscles (which contract to start the bleeding which is why you get those horrible rhythmical cramps).  Personally I can't work out on the day I start bleeding as it results in a massive cramp attack as the blood is directed to the skeletal muscles and the uterine muscles are deprived of the oxygen they selfishly demand

Also, check your iron, and if you can, bone density.

Interesting that your insulin was low pre-paleo.  Do you mean that your body is not very good at producing insulin as the correct response to carbohydrate consumption?  Like a border-line type1 diabetic?  If this is the case then attempting to spike your insulin may not work, and to fix your thyroid levels you might need either synthetic insulin or synthetic leptin (rather drastic measures I guess but low thyroid isn't that fun!)

Offline serendipideez

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Re: metallic breath/ ketosis a sign of danger?
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2012, 09:15:18 AM »
Thank you, Celticcavegirl for your thoughtful response.  :)  I don't think I've ever had my leptin levels checked before...??  Next doctor visit I'll ask about that.  Unfortunately, since I just moved from Santa Fe to Boise, I have to find another doctor here.   :-\

What I do know from my lastest bloodwork is that my T3 is just below normal.  My T4 is within normal range, but on the low end of the norm.  My iron levels are all normal.  I don't think I've ever had a bone density test either.

My doctor in SF told me that my insulin is very low, and I think you're right in saying my body is not good at producing insulin as a correct response to carb consumption.  She told me that I am a "diabetic type one and a half!" and that there is really no cure/treatment for this that she knows of, beside managing with diet.  That is why she suggested that I follow the paleolithic diet, which I have for about 5 months now. 

I started off with 30 mg of armour thyroid, and after 9 weeks there was no improvement, so now I'm taking 60 mgs daily.  I don't really know if it's helping much.  Since I started the thyroid med and the paleo diet at the same time I don't know which is helping more.  Likely the diet.

My doctor firmly believes that the mercury in my body from cavity fillings (I have six plus a crown) as well as frequent fish/tuna comsumption is the cause of my hypothyroidism and until I get my fillings replaced and do chelation that I'll still have all these symtoms.  She gave me a chelating agent and I took a urine test to check my levels of mercury.  She said you cannot tell from a blood test because merc stores in your organs and doesn't stay in your blood.

I don't know the cause of my low insulin or why my body is not producing enough.  I just eat "all the time" as my husband puts it... (at least a little something every two hours) and if I consume too many carbs in one meal my heart races and I feel very anxious (as if I've taken cocaine or speed) and then after about an hour I'll crash and start to feel hungry again. 

I'll try to google some of those terms you suggested about hypothyroidism, low carb and leptin, maybe I can find some more clues.  Thanks again!

 


Offline Warren Dew

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Re: metallic breath/ ketosis a sign of danger?
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2012, 09:38:48 AM »
serendipideez, are you getting enough salt?  You need adequate salt to maintain blood pressure, and the iodine in iodized salt is necessary for thyroid funciton as well, though you might get the latter from salt water fish.

Offline serendipideez

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Re: metallic breath/ ketosis a sign of danger?
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2012, 10:23:01 AM »
hmmm, I think I'm getting enough salt.  I sometimes get intense salt cravings, where I'll over salt foods to satisfy.  (I also get sour cravings where I want apple cider vinegar or tart/sweet fruits... kinda weird).  Admittedly, tamari and rice vinegar are "cheats" of mine.   I just checked, and I've been using natural sea salt though, which doesn't have iodine in it! 

My blood pressure is quite low, as well as my thyroid.  Unforturnately my doctor doesn't want me to eat fish until after I get my teeth filings replaced and go through chelation to rid my body of mercury. 

But I'll buy some regular salt with iodine in it, and see if there's any improvement.  Thanks!

Offline C C G

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Re: metallic breath/ ketosis a sign of danger?
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2012, 04:37:20 AM »
Thank you, Celticcavegirl for your thoughtful response.  :)  I don't think I've ever had my leptin levels checked before...??  Next doctor visit I'll ask about that.  Unfortunately, since I just moved from Santa Fe to Boise, I have to find another doctor here.   :-\

What I do know from my lastest bloodwork is that my T3 is just below normal.  My T4 is within normal range, but on the low end of the norm.  My iron levels are all normal.  I don't think I've ever had a bone density test either.

My doctor in SF told me that my insulin is very low, and I think you're right in saying my body is not good at producing insulin as a correct response to carb consumption.  She told me that I am a "diabetic type one and a half!" and that there is really no cure/treatment for this that she knows of, beside managing with diet.  That is why she suggested that I follow the paleolithic diet, which I have for about 5 months now. 

I started off with 30 mg of armour thyroid, and after 9 weeks there was no improvement, so now I'm taking 60 mgs daily.  I don't really know if it's helping much.  Since I started the thyroid med and the paleo diet at the same time I don't know which is helping more.  Likely the diet.

My doctor firmly believes that the mercury in my body from cavity fillings (I have six plus a crown) as well as frequent fish/tuna comsumption is the cause of my hypothyroidism and until I get my fillings replaced and do chelation that I'll still have all these symtoms.  She gave me a chelating agent and I took a urine test to check my levels of mercury.  She said you cannot tell from a blood test because merc stores in your organs and doesn't stay in your blood.

I don't know the cause of my low insulin or why my body is not producing enough.  I just eat "all the time" as my husband puts it... (at least a little something every two hours) and if I consume too many carbs in one meal my heart races and I feel very anxious (as if I've taken cocaine or speed) and then after about an hour I'll crash and start to feel hungry again. 

I'll try to google some of those terms you suggested about hypothyroidism, low carb and leptin, maybe I can find some more clues.  Thanks again!

Stop eating so often, eat 3x a day, low carb paleo, (30-60g carbs a day), give your tired pancreas a rest!  Diabetics need to take insulin because glucose at too high a concentration is toxic to the body.

The thyroid thing, it sounds rather complicated, could be to do with leptin, could be the mercury thing.  Usually when you have hypothyroidism from low carb or low cal, you have elevated T4, as the T3 is converted to that instead of active T3

If you get your leptin checked and it's low, it may be worth monitoring your blood glucose and taking tiny insulin if it's too high (i.e get a pump), but on paleo this is unlikely to happen, because you're not eating enough carbs to require it.  A lot of type 2s come off their diabetes meds on paleo.

Does your doctor test your fasting glucose?