Is Keto Safe For Women With Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes manifests in pregnant women around the 24th-28th week of pregnancy. It causes high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, which is dangerous for mom and baby.
Developing GD doesnt mean you had diabetes before you got pregnant or that youll have it after. But it does raise your odds of getting Type 2 diabetes down the line.
Theres some debate on the best diet for women with GD.
The general safe consensus among mainstream health experts is that you should not follow a ketogenic diet while pregnant.
But the truth is, being in ketosis is a natural part of being human and while there arent many studies on GD and the ketogenic diet, if you dig around, youll find several positive anecdotal accounts.
So the answer isnt so straightforward. Adopting a ketogenic diet might help mitigate symptoms of gestational diabetes, but it should be done with extreme caution and medical supervision.
Eating a low carbohydrate diet may be a better approach to help prevent and manage gestational diabetes. Just be sure to consult with your obstetrician before making any dietary changes so they can help guide you through the process.
Fat Is A Source Of Energy That Does Not Raise Your Blood Sugar
Unlike carbs or protein, fat cannot be broken down or converted into glucose efficiently. Furthermore, fat does not require insulin to get into cells to be used for energy, thereby bypassing the problem of insulin resistance. In fact, high insulin levels impair the bodyâs ability to use fat for fuel, driving it instead into fat cells for storage.
To adapt your metabolism to using fat as your main source of energy, dietary carbohydrates must be reduced to below your unique tolerance level. When you do this, your blood insulin level will come down, giving your body increased ability to burn both the fats you eat and those which you have in storage. For most people, this means switching from the standard recommended high carb, moderate protein, and low fat diet to a high fat, moderate protein, and low carb diet. Fat adaptation does not happen overnightâit can take anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks for most of its benefits to occur, and possibly longer for the full benefits to occur.
How Keto Can Help With Diabetes
The Ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb eating plan in which you eat 60-70% of your calories from fat, 20-30% from protein, and 5-10% from carbohydrates. Keeping your macros in these ratios trains your metabolism to enter a fat-burning state called ketosis.
Think of ketosis as the opposite of diabetes. Instead of fostering high blood sugar, ketosis is generally a state of lower blood sugar, maintained within a healthy range. Ditto for insulin and its resultant fat-storage mode.
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What Is The Ketogenic Diet
A ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet, considered to be when you eat a level of carbohydrate of around 30g of carbohydrates per day or below.
This encourages the body to get its energy from burning body fat which produces an energy source known as ketones.
The diet helps to lower the bodys demand for insulin which has benefits for people with type 1 and
Note that it is important that you speak to your doctor if you are considering following the diet as precautions may need to be taken before starting.
People With Diabetes Who Shouldnt Try The Keto Diet
Whats certain is this diet isn’t for you if you have kidney disease one reason being that you want to limit protein in that case, Zanini says.
Last, if you have a history of struggling with an eating disorder, work with your doctor to determine if this is the right diet for you. Despite what you may have read online, the keto diet and a personal history of binge eating disorder do not mix. In fact, Because of the severe carb limits imposed by the ketogenic diet, the risks of bingeing, compulsive overeating, and other eating disorders is much higher, says White.
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Clinical Evidence For Keto Reversing Diabetes
Time to review some hard evidence now. Heres a small yet informative sample of the research suggesting Keto can reverse diabetes:
- The Virta Health study. Researchers put 218 type 2 diabetics on a Ketogenic diet for a full year. By the end of the study, 60% had reversed their diabetes , and theyd lost 30.4 pounds on average. Incredibly, 94% reduced or eliminated insulin therapy.
- The Nutrition & Metabolism study. Eighty-four type 2 diabetics were randomized to eat either a low-carb Keto diet or a calorie-restricted, higher-carb diet. After 24 weeks, the Keto dieters had significant improvements in blood sugar, insulin, and body weight compared to the higher-carb group.
- The consensus report. A recent consensus report published in the journal Diabetes Care cited low-carb diets as the nutritional intervention with the most evidence for improving blood sugar levels in diabetic populations.
There are other examples, but the conclusion is fairly clear: When it comes to reversing diabetes, the Keto diet is extremely promising.
Reversing Type Two Diabetes
Dr Glen Davies is a passionate advocate of lifestyle approaches to reversing chronic disease. Through his prescription of LCHF/ keto diets, he has helped over 100 patients reverse their prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
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- 05:08 What sort of diet to prescribe
- 15:01 What to eat in a typical day
- 17:43 Vegetables below and above ground
- 19:16 The five-year reversal window
- 26:46 What else can be reversed
- 30:56 Do you also discuss sleep, exercise, stress, etc?
- 33:40 Online support group
- 39:34 The ripple effect of diet, and health equity.
- 41:34 Take-home messages.
Dr Glen DaviesGeneral Practitioner & Lifestyle Medicine Physician
Glen was recognised for his work in 2021 by being awarded the prestigious GP of the year title at the NZ primary care awards.
Recognition of Learning Activities
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Contemplating The Keto Diet For Yourself
“Those with type 1 diabetes should avoid a ketogenic diet,” warns Joseph Galati, MD, a hepatologist at the Liver Specialists of Texas in Houston, “Many patients with type 1 diabetes have some degree of renal impairment, and handling the build-up of ketones and acids in the body may cause too much stress on the kidneys. Of course, any pregnant women with diabetes, especially those requiring insulin should avoid such an extreme diet given the low glucose levels will be a constant threat.”
As for individuals with type 2 diabetes, Dr. Galati says, “a very low carbohydrate diet could be tolerated, albeit with extreme caution. Transitioning to a ketogenic diet will require several lifestyle changes as well as careful monitoring of both your food intake and glucose levels and adjustments to your medications. Also, you should increase your water consumption.”
For those who want to follow a ketogenic-type diet, Dr. Reynolds says it is important to first talk to your doctor and to discuss your goals so you can be sure that this approach is suitable for you given your medical and health history. Ongoing monitoring is needed if you do decide to adopt this very carb approach to eating. Seeing your doctor regularly is important to make sure that your blood pressure, lipids, blood sugar, mood, and medications are within normal ranges as you lose weight. Adjustments are likely going to be necessary from time to time.
Reversing Type 2 Diabetes With Nutritional Ketosis
Nutritional ketosis can sustainably reverse type 2 diabetes by directly reducing blood sugar , improving insulin sensitivity and reducing inflammation . If you are able to consistently and safely maintain nutritional ketosis , diabetes reversal becomes much more likely.
Because nutritional ketosis can lead to rapid decreases in blood sugar and blood pressure, Virta strongly recommends getting medical supervision before making any dietary changes, especially if you are on medications for blood sugar or blood pressure. A physician can help you safely reduce your medications so that they donât drive your blood sugar or blood pressure too low. Both hypoglycemic and hypotensive episodes can be very dangerous, and potentially even fatal.
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Impact On Blood Sugar Levels
A ketogenic diet may help some people with type 2 diabetes because it allows the body to maintain glucose levels at a low but healthy level.
The lower intake of carbohydrates in the diet can help to eliminate large spikes in blood sugar, reducing the need for insulin.
Studies on ketogenic diets, including , have found that they can be helpful in controlling levels of HbA1c. This refers to the amount of glucose traveling with hemoglobin in the blood over about 3 months.
Remember That It Takes Time
At first with keto, youll lose a significant amount of water weight, and this can be really exciting. After a while, youll notice that it tapers off and you may get demotivated, says Lele. Dont worry about it just keep doing what youre doing.
Lele is the first to admit that adjusting to a new dietary regimen and making the considerations she needed to in order for it to work took time.
I knew that not injecting insulin meant that I had to really be careful about what I eat from now on, she says. The mentality of, Oh, I guess Ill inject myself extra insulin to cover that carb-loaded foodthat way of thinking was gone for me. It was great not having to do that anymore, but at the same time it took a while to get used to.
If youre living with type 2 and you want to try keto, I would highly suggest talking to your doctor and seeing if they can work with you, suggests Lele. Keto has been life-saving for me, in more ways than one.
Its never too late to change your life.
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Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe For Other Types Of Diabetes
With the overwhelming evidence supporting the ketogenic diet as a way to prevent diabetes, there are some precautions to consider.
If you have kidney disease, for instance, you need to regulate the amount of protein you eat. Too much or too little can cause complications.
The keto diet is traditionally a low- to moderate-protein diet, but some experts claim that you dont need to limit protein intake to stay in ketosis. In any case, talk to your doctor about your optimal protein intake if you have kidney disease.
What about other forms of diabetes? Is ketosis still safe? Or even beneficial?
What Is A Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet famously called the Keto diet, is a low carb and high fat diet that offers many health benefits. This diet has proven to help you lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Ketogenic diets have great benefits against diabetes, epilepsy, Alzhimers and cancer too.
The diet involves keeping low carbohydrate intake and increasing the fat-food. This method puts the body into a metabolic state called Ketosis. This diet helps your body to burn fat at a high energy pace. It also turns the fat into ketones in the liver, which then supplies energy to the brain. All this finally helps reverse Type 2 diabetes. As it causes reduction in the blood sugar levels and insulin.
Ketogenic diet is an alternative diabetes treatment in India preferred by many individuals along with certain medications.
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Benefits Of A Ketogenic Diet
Ketone bodies produced from burning fat for fuel have been shown to have potent weight loss effects, help lower blood glucose levels and reduce peoples reliance on diabetes medication.
The diet has also shown evidence of having benefits on:
- Reducing high blood pressure
- Raising HDL cholesterol levels
- Improving mental performance
Read more about the benefits of ketogenic diets
In addition to that, there has been a lot of interest in therapeutic ketosis for other long-term conditions, such as cancer, epilepsy, Alzheimers disease or dementia.
Are Ketogenic Diets Beneficial For Type 1 Diabetics
Type 1 diabetes is not caused by insulin resistance, but it still makes sense to lower the need for insulin. Because type 1 diabetics hardly produce any insulin, they rely on external insulin when following a standard high-carb diet. Through carb restriction, a ketogenic diet decreases the need for insulin. In some type 1 diabetics, their insulin production is sufficient when following a ketogenic diet. Others still need to inject insulin, but much less than on a high-carb diet. Overall, it is much easier to control blood sugar levels with injected insulin on a ketogenic diet because blood glucose raises only mildly after meals.
In fact, a recent survey of the TypeOneGrit Facebook group established the valuable proof-of-principle. Managing type 1 diabetes with a well-formulated ketogenic diet results in astonishingly improved control of blood sugars . In the words of the authors, they say exceptional control of T1DM without increased risk of adverse events.
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Carbohydrates Are Not Essential
You may have heard in the past that you âneedâ carbs for energyâbut basic biochemistry and decades of clinical studies demonstrate otherwise. Carbohydrates are actually the only dietary macronutrient not required by the human body. There are certain essential amino acids that we need from dietary protein and essential fatty acids that we must consume from dietary fats, but no one has yet discovered a carbohydrate molecule that we canât make within our own bodies. Furthermore, fat is not inferior to glucose as a fuelâyour heart and brain actually prefer ketones as a primary fuel source.Â²
The exception where dietary carbs are necessary is if a person is currently taking diabetes medications associated with the risk for hypoglycemia such as insulin or a sulfonylurea. In this case, dietary carbohydrate reduction has to be closely coordinated with the reduction or withdrawal of these drugs under expert medical supervision.
How The Keto Diet May Help With Type 2 Diabetes
Keto is all about keeping carbs lowusually to around 30 grams per day. Its not about mainlining fat, as many misinformed influencers suggest. Mainlining fat often means that folks dont get enough protein. Check out this article on doing keto macros right.
Back to carbs, because keeping carbs low has metabolic benefits for diabetics and prediabetics. Lets explore those now.
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Safety Of Keto With Type 2 Diabetes
Reversing Type 2 Diabetes with nutritional ketosis sounds very simple but, it can be a complex process. Whenever you make changes in your diet, it isimportant to discuss those changes with a doctor, especially if you are on medications.
People with type 2 diabetes who are taking medications for diabetes or blood pressure should not begin a ketogenic diet without adequate medical supervision.
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Virta Health: Reverse Your Type 2 Diabetes With Ketogenic Coaching
Its possible to sign up and pay cash if youre not on an employer-sponsored health plan. The price has been a bit unclear until now, but appears to be $400 per month for the first year:
diaTribe : How will the individual version of Virta Health be priced?
Virta Health : Most of Virtas patients come through employer-sponsored health plans, and Virta is covered for those people. For patients who come to Virta directly, we offer an out-of-pocket option that costs roughly $400 per month for the first year. Virta has both monthly and yearly payment options, and also offers a patient assistance program based on the ability to pay. After you apply online, youll receive more information about Virta that includes pricing details, which you can review before scheduling a consultation.
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Ial Reversal Of Histological Evidence Of Pathology In Diabetes
As shown in , in contrast to albumin/creatine ratios that were completely reversed by the ketogenic diet, histological pathology was only partially reversed by the ketogenic diet in diabetic mice. Representative glomerular histology is presented in . These conclusions were corroborated by a blind qualitative assessment of the mesangial matrix expansion rating using a scale of 0â3. These data suggest that reversal of functional and molecular markers of nephropathy occur more rapidly than reversal of histological markers of nephropathy.
Improvement in glomerular histopathology in diabetic db/db mice fed the ketogenic diet.
Morphometric study demonstrating the mean values of glomerular deposition of PAS positive material in db/db using light microscopy in fixed kidney stained with periodic-acid-Schiff stain as described in Research Design and . Images of representative glomerular histology from WT-Chow , WT-Keto , db/db-Chow , db/db-Keto . *p< 0.05 vs. Control groups .