Here’s a question you might be asking yourself.
You’ve started one of the intense low-carb diets, probably for health reasons. But then you start to feel bad. A few Googles later, you’ve convinced yourself that these are die-off symptoms, which are caused when unhealthy bacteria in the body are killed or die of starvation and so their cell walls break open and all the toxins that they contained are then released into your body. When this happens (and it can happen) you feel pretty bad.
But that should make you happy, right? Because the worse you happen to be feeling, the more bad bacteria are being executed!
On one hand this makes total sense, especially if you are desperate. On the other hand, it is also possible that you are hurting yourself. After all, the body invented ‘feeling bad’ as a quick, all purpose warning sign that you should change your behavior. It could very well be that such feelings of depression, anxiety, fatigue, etc. are a collective red flag that your body is waving in a frantic attempt to get you to back off that crazy diet.
In that case, you may want to simply up the number of carbs that you are eating, because, if you aren’t killing off bacteria, then there is a good chance that your body has begun ketosis.
This happens when the glucose (from carbs) that the brain normally uses to power itself is not present and so the brain begins to feed off of ketones (or fat). While your brain is in the midst of this switchover, you could feel some nasty carbohydrate starvation symptoms. And this is completely natural and could be good for you in the short term, depending on how bad your symptoms happen to be. It is a natural and much-discussed aspect of the early stages of the GAPS diet and others.
The point of this post, however, is that you shouldn’t automatically assume that these reactions are the result of a massive bacterial or fungal die-off. Statistically speaking, it’s probably the onset of ketogenesis.
If you want to test yourself to see if you are in ketosis,
Bayer has a product you can use: (It’s an Amazon affiliate link)