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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Keto Diet Herx

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Author Topic: Keto Diet Herx
Charles12
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I’ve been very well, but I had pasta for dinner last week, and felt odd afterwards. So despite feeling good, I decided to try something I hadn’t tried before. Just to see what would happen.

Blood cells infected with Malaria consume 75x the amount of energy as healthy cells. Malaria has a massive demand for glucose, and can’t survive without it. Conversely, people with elevated blood sugar levels are known to have malaria more often and to have more serious cases. I mention that because Babesia also relies on glucose to survive.

Lyme also lives off glucose.

Bartonella on the other hand does not, it catabolizes amino acids.

My thought was that I’d go on a keto diet, an almost zero carbohydrate diet, for a month and see what happened. If I did have a residual infection lurking in my bones, this would help starve the Babesia and the Lyme.

Apparently I do.

I don’t know if I’ve experienced a Lyme herx, but I’ve experienced a powerful Babesia response. Headaches, chest pressure, tightness in my throat, air hunger. I’m also seeing dead blood cells in my urine. It’s actually the worst herx I’ve experienced. Worse than Mepron and all the anti malarials I’ve taken.

I don’t know how long I’ll keep this up, perhaps a month, perhaps three months. But Keto appears to be a powerful tool for killing Babesia.

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hiker53
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Keep us posted as you go on this diet.

--------------------
Hiker53

"God is light. In Him there is no
darkness." 1John 1:5

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Charles12
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I will.

I’m going to keep track of when the Babesia symptoms disappear.

No joke though, yesterday was something else.

It’s my assumption that this will cure Babesia, but it won’t cure Lyme, as the Lyme can go into stasis.

I’ll be interested to see how long it takes though.

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Carol in PA
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quote:
Originally posted by Charles12:
I’m also seeing dead blood cells in my urine.


This part has me concerned.
What color is the urine?
How are you seeing the blood cells? You are using a microscope?
What is your temperature.
Are you having pain. If so, where.

From what I know, dead blood cells in the bloodstream are filtered out by the spleen, not the kidneys.

If your kidneys allow red blood cells to leak into the urine this may indicate a serious disorder such as a urinary tract infection or kidney infection.

Source: Blood in urine, hematuria

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Charles12
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My urine turns a ruddy color. It’s something I’ve seen whenever I’ve treated Babesia. In this case it last perhaps two or three days.

My mental clarity today is amazing. This might be something I stick with permanently.

No joke.

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LisaK
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oh my gosh I have "ruddy urine"!!!
I kept thinking I am nuts!
I drink and drink water and then dark color urine.

how do you know that is dead blood?????

I am v interested in this dietary test of yours charles. I am gluten free. I also try and avoid sugar, but sometimes the craving is SO strong I have to give in. then I feel so good.. its crazy

--------------------
Be thankful in all things- even difficult times and sickness and trials - because there is something GOOD to be seen

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Garz
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I have been on an extreme keto whole foods diet for over a year now. it made quite a difference to me. Fatigue improved significantly.
my partner who has the same illness went from almost housebound to going for a 3mile run after a week or so of this diet. then went on to go back to work etc so it was a game changer for her.
i went from around 10-15% of my previous healthy energy levels to something like 30-40%. so very helpful - but i did not improve further.

i should stress though that this diet we are following has no "keto chocolate brownies" - or "keto pancakes" or any other products marketed as "Keto" or factory produced food at all.

we simply eat meat and eggs and fish and non-starchy vegetables. not even sweet potatoes, squash or cassava or any pseudo-grains like Chai or Quinoa. also absolutely zero sugar, no honey, coconut sugar, agave etc etc

actually I would like to eat more vegetables - but it seems if I add any of those things I lose the benefits pretty quickly

a couple of pointers:

salt - you need more when on keto - a lot more - and if you stop eating processed food you will not be getting it there any more - so use high-quality sea salt and add it liberally to all meals

fibre - one of the problems with long term Keto is the fibre intake in your diet drops. this is not good for your body in a number of important ways. so esp if you want to stay on it for more than a month or so you would likely benefit from adding foods rich in fiber, especially soluble fiber from several sources to your mealplans. Remember, diversity of the soluble and insoluble fiber in the diet leads to a diversity of bacteria in your gut - and the health of your immune system depends on that diversity.

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Garz
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ps dark urine does occur with systemic infections of the blood that cause Hemolysis ( breakdown of the red blood cells ) eg malaria, Babesia etc

but I think its just the pigment that is being excreted in the urine. the body and or the pathogen lysis the blood cells and the hemoglobin in the RBC is released - then excreted by the kidneys.

"Hemoglobinuria is a well-known complication seen in malaria, primarily in falciparum infection. Blackwater fever occurs due to massive intravascular hemolysis. Free hemoglobin gets filtered by the kidney which imparts the dark "Coca-Cola" color of the urine."
http://www.atmph.org/article.asp?issn=1755-6783;year=2016;volume=9;issue=5;spage=340;epage=343;aulast=Karak;type=3

when you first stop eating carbs it takes your body a week or two to work out how to make and use Ketones = we all can - it's just with western-style diets most of us haven't had to since birth - so it takes a while. during that time you typically feel pretty awful. headaches, body aches may be surplus ketones in the urine and a bunch of other odd stuff can happen.

its possible that's what you have been experiencing

keto is for a lot of people associated with rapid weight loss. this has the tendency to release toxins stored in the fat cells that are being broken down - and can make you feel pretty dreadful also.

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Garz
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stick at it - it should settle down after a few weeks. its well worth it for me.

keep us posted :up

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Charles12
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This is making a massive difference for me. It’s astonishing.
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Charles12
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The herxes have quieted down for now.

My vision is much clearer.

My skin looks younger, it’s not as dry and tired.

I’m thinking more clearly, and faster.

For a day or two I experienced some mania.

Exercise tolerance is better.

I don’t feel sluggish after eating.

The diet is very restrictive through. My staples right now are steak, eggs, and avocado. I love steak, so this isn’t the end of the world, but it is a sacrifice. And if you’re being social, it could make eating our complicated.

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Lymetoo
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Carbs help lyme (and candida) flourish.

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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Garz
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it's hard to keep bowel health in a good place long term without fiber.
Some sources of that which I find i can deal with in moderation - and have v little starches associated are:
-olives
-mushrooms
-celery
-green salad leaves in moderation
-fine green beans
-asparagus

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Charles12
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The herxing has quieted.

I had a few nights, the immune system is more active at night, where my sinuses and throat swelled up.

In one case it, it woke me up when I was sleeping.

That has subsided though.

My vision is consistently good now. It doesn’t fluctuate. My head is much clearer too.

I do need to figure out a way to get enough calories though. It’s difficult on such a restricted diet.

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Garz
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the Keto Diet is essentially just switching your main source of calories from carbs to fats.

so if you need more calories = just add more fats. I find i need to add 1-2tablespoons of additional healthy fats to each meal to maintain the balance.
I am male and around 190lbs

healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, cold pressed coconut oil, ghee from grass fed butter (or butter if you tolerate dairy OK) are all good - but equally good are fatty cuts of meat, eggs, nuts, avocado as you mention, olives etc.
I like to mix them up to get a good spread of different high-quality fatty acids so butter with breakfast, coconut oil with lunch and olive oil with supper. olives with most meals.
Try to ensuire your meat is not factory/feed-lot produced as its profile of fatty acids is not good.

one of the common pitfalls with Keto - especially in the beginning, is to eat too much protein and not enough fat - ie filling up on meat - this negates many of the benefits as the body will try to breakdown protein for energy in preference to fats and that results in fewer ketones and more harmful waste products for your liver to deal with.

You will also need more water and salt long term as your body needs more water on keto to help detox and if you no longer eat processed foods - you will have unintentionally dropped your sat intake dramatically. if you find yourself getting cramps in feet/calves etc add more salt.

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Charles12
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Garz,

Do you believe you developed a permanent intolerance to carbohydrates?

- Charles

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Charles12
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Garz,

Do you believe you developed a permanent intolerance to carbohydrates?

- Charles

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Garz
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Hi Charles, No, i dont think its permanent.

my own thoughts are that the illness i have has driven a number of changes in the gut which mean i suffer from inflamed intestinal mucosa ( several gut tests have shown highly elevated secretory IgA in my gut, and other inflammatory markers similar to conditions like IBD but not as severe ).

there are then a number of downstream effects of this, like further disrupted immune function, disruption of the gut microbiota and reactivity to various foods etc. possibly some degree of SIBO etc

eating carbs exacerbates this process for me. i believe the mechanism is to do with feeding gut bacteria - that are either in the wrong place ( ie colon bacteria in the small intestine AKA SIBO) or immune reaction to normal/ normalish gut residents due to disarrangement of the immune system. The evidence for this is things like
-adding any probiotic causes increase in general symptoms - esp gut symptoms - presumably by producing more bacterial by-products.
-adding any prebiotic - feed existing bacteria and also causes increased symptoms - per above
-adding anything that is antimicrobial ( including those that do not cross the gut mucosal barrier - and therefore would not act on systemic infections ) cause increased symptoms - presumably by killing off gut bacteria and thereby releasing more bacterial by-products.
the composition and abundance of gut bacteria populations are driven mainly by carbohydrate and fiber intake - with fats and proteins being far less of a factor.


my partner had all the same symptoms - but is now 80% recovered - and is able to tolerate much more carbs including baked goods - so it seems as the rest of the body recovers so the gut recovers also.

so I believe the infection/infections are at the root and expect gut function to return to normal or near-normal if they can be successfully resolved. I have had some success in this direction with both antibiotics and herbs and am currently using a combination fo the two with encouraging results.

Bartonella, Chlamydia Pneumoniae and possibly Mycoplasma are on the main suspect list

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Charles12
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Thank you Garz

Do you have the impression that your diet is helping you to defeat the infection, or does it simply prevent otherwise unpleasant symptoms?

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Garz
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very hard to say with certainty

however, my partner experienced around 80-90% recovery over a 12momnth period since changing her diet to this approach. Before that, we had both been stuck for several years. she did no long term antibiotic ( just short term for ear infection) and only basic buhner herbs and supplements besides the diet( as well as the necessary lifestyle changes, sleep, exercise, stress management etc - of course).

I had an approx 50% reduction in symptoms since starting and feel I am continuing to make progress - but together with extensive herbs/supplements and long term antibiotics and all the lifestyle stuff.

so for my partner, it was the main thing, I think - for me its helping, but not enough on its own.

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Charles12
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I continue to feel, pretty good.

I did try a few raspberries a few days ago, and it triggered a sugar craving. Or at least, I found myself craving the sugar in the berries.

Fruits are probably a bad idea in general I think - they're like candy.

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Garz
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pretty normal on Keto.

you feel fine on fats and protein - but if you introduce sugars - your body goes - "Hell yes, I'll have some more of that!!"

We are hard-wired for an easy life from an evolutionary perspective.
Food was scarce and hard to get in the environment we evolved in - easy calories were like a jackpot to be enjoyed whenever you could get them then.

Now, in today's environment, they are so available its just an easy route to type 2 diabetes and heart disease! [Smile]

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S13
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wait... what?
Berries are the route to type 2 diabetes and heart disease!?
Thats the world upside down if you ask me, lol

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Charles12
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quote:
Originally posted by Garz:
pretty normal on Keto.

you feel fine on fats and protein - but if you introduce sugars - your body goes - "Hell yes, I'll have some more of that!!"

The compulsion felt like a drug addiction, it was very funny.
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Charles12
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quote:
Originally posted by S13:
wait... what?
Berries are the route to type 2 diabetes and heart disease!?
Thats the world upside down if you ask me, lol

We've engineered them for much higher sugar contents, so there's that, but I think in general, they're really just natures candy. Natural, but lots of glucose.

As Garz notes, if we still lived in a state of nature, that wouldn't be a bad thing at all. But we don't need easy calories like that in this modern life. Nor the sugar.

-

I really do appreciate how much better my eyesight is on keto. The inflammation was seriously compromising my vision.

I am trying to avoid sugar too. Be it in berries, or balsamic vinegar. It feels like my symptoms flare up whenever I consume it.

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Garz
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quote:
Originally posted by S13:
wait... what?
Berries are the route to type 2 diabetes and heart disease!?
Thats the world upside down if you ask me, lol

Lol.
no. I think you know that's not what I'm saying.


I'm am saying that the availability of calories from high carbohydrate foods in general in today's world bears no relation to the environment humans evolved in and are still biologically adapted for.

The example I had in mind was thinking about how much effort does it take to put a family pack of chocolate chip cookies in the supermarket trolley .... whereas, in nature, getting more calories takes more effort.

Not that Charles is going to die of heart disease because he ate some berries. Lol

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S13
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well you had me worried there [Wink]
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Garz
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quote:
Originally posted by Charles12:

I am trying to avoid sugar too. Be it in berries, or balsamic vinegar. It feels like my symptoms flare up whenever I consume it. [/QB]

my partner and I both have or had noticeable symptom flares whenever we fell off the wagon with diet and esp if we ate carbs - like baked goods.

she is much better now and can eat limited less processed carbs without any significant effect - eg oats.

I am defo making progress also - although v slow ( i ran for the first time in around 5 years the other day - only around 100yards - but I mean I ran - a pretty much a full-on sprint! - the feeling of having some power in my body was profoundly different to how it used to feel only a few months ago - that was like i had sandbags strapped to me all over - i know its a really, really positive sign)

I am so encouraged after being ill and no progress for so long I haven't cared to test messing with the diet - at least not beyond a v small kind of all-butter and a tiny bit of honey oat flapjack or a small piece of 85% dark chocolate around 1x per week.

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