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Ketosis, Very Low Carb Diets, and Cardiac Arrhythmias (& Mg, K deficiency)

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  • Ketosis, Very Low Carb Diets, and Cardiac Arrhythmias (& Mg, K deficiency)

    Hello,

    recently came across some statements that a deep / long ketosis (eg from being on a very low carb diet for extended periods of time) can lead to cardiac problems, in particulars problems of the heart rhythm. Some people also seem to relate this to an assertion that ketosis causes an imbalance in the magnesium / potassium levels (others disagree, as usual)

    Any views, experiences, and/or sources on this?
    http://thorfalk.wordpress.com

  • #2
    Any references?
    Thanks.

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    • #3
      I'd check here: Zeroing In On Health - The Forum!

      or here:Dirty Carnivore Forum - Index

      or here:Raw Paleo Diet Forum - The Raw Paleolithic Diet Tribe

      They've all been at that VLC/ZC for awhile and would have an opinion (or two)
      Retirement has afforded me the ultimate affluence, that of free time (Sahlins/Wells)

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      • #4
        Hyperlipid: A brief discussion of ketosis
        OhioHealth - The truth about fad diets

        also some references on ketosis cardiac rhythm - Google Search but those are rather vague and/or not understandable for me
        http://thorfalk.wordpress.com

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        • #5
          thx
          http://thorfalk.wordpress.com

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          • #6
            Where did you get the vitamin K reference? I ask because I tested deficient. K is fat soluble, so I'm not sure where the connection is. K1, found in leafy greens isn't as good as K3, but that shouldn't be a problem if you're eating organ meats and eggs. Aged cheese is also a good source if you eat dairy.
            Buy house, Demolish house, Build house.

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            • #7
              Matt Stone at 180degreehealth has written about the dangers of very low-carb diets for extended period of time... he doesn't seem as scientifically grounded as Mark, but here it is - 180 Degree Health: Zero carb dangers

              I recall several members here reporting that after they'd lost weight and gotten used to VLC, they started feeling fatigued, etc., and started feeling better when they added more carbs back in. I'm not sure about cardiac arrhythmias though.

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              • #8
                I had this problem a couple of weeks ago. I was having some sort of arrhythmia which was freaking me out. I've been eating primally for 7 months and I've lost 46 pounds (still have a ways to go... weight loss has definitely slowed lately). I've never counted carbs, but I'm pretty low carb. I started googling and looking through the forums and I saw mentions of Mg/K deficiency. I've added some carbs back in and started taking a Mg supplement (which I haven't really been doing consistently) and it took a couple of days but then went away. I would like to find a definite explanation for the cause of this (including what I have to eat but still stay low carb), but I haven't found it yet.

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                • #9
                  Kurt Harris at PaNu has a couple of good blog posts on Ketosis:
                  PaNu - P
                  PaNu - P

                  He was eating vlc (5% carbs) for 2 years with no issues, except for some orthostatic hypotension after working out.

                  My uneducated guess is that the only problems with vlc for most people (who don't have a pre-existing heart condition) is mineral deficiencies caused by lack of organ meats/lack of variety in the diet/lack of magnesium in the water, etc.

                  My n=1 experiment so far indicates that I do very well on vlc, as long as I supplement magnesium and eat dairy. It's only been 2 months, though!
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                  • #10
                    I would love to hear more on this. I am mostly VLC sort of by accident sort of by design. I feel normal and great (take lots of vits, though, including magnesium); I never even considered ketosis an issue until little rumors like this popped up here or there.

                    Last thing I want to do is hurt myself. But I'd be bummed if VLC were bad because its so easy -- adding in carbs in some regimented way would be no fun.

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                    • #11
                      Mg, K is Magnesium, Potassium. Did not have enough space
                      http://thorfalk.wordpress.com

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                      • #12
                        Thanks. This is really interesting.
                        http://thorfalk.wordpress.com

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                        • #13
                          Thx. He is actually referring to the article I have mentioned above. Seems to be rare but happening
                          http://thorfalk.wordpress.com

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                          • #14
                            I've been having issues with palpitations and weird muscle spasms since starting primal. I've tried both low sodium and added sodium to no avail. I've also tried supplementing with magnesium but it makes the palpitations significantly worse, which usually sparks panic attacks and anxiety.

                            I'm pretty sure I eat a lot of potassium-rich foods, and I'm nervous to supplement with anymore electrolytes after the terrible experiences I've had with magnesium.

                            This doesn't really make sense to me. What about low-carb eating would cause arrhythmias, if this is truly how we're supposed to eat?
                            Last edited by Styrofoam Jones; 03-07-2011, 12:30 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Styrofoam Jones View Post
                              I've been having issues with palpitations since starting primal. I've tried both low sodium and added sodium to no avail. I've also tried supplementing with magnesium but it makes the palpitations significantly worse, which usually sparks panic attacks and anxiety.

                              I'm pretty sure I eat a lot of potassium-rich foods, and I'm nervous to supplement with anymore electrolytes after the terrible experiences I've had with magnesium.

                              This doesn't really make sense to me. What about low-carb eating would cause arrhythmias, if this is truly how we're supposed to eat?
                              Did you try splitting your magnesium between three meals? Many have issues with too much at once.

                              Not everyone who follows primal is VLC or even LC. I think it is important to do what is right for your situation, your health issues (if any) and know where you need to be depending on where you are now (fat loss, eight loss or maintenence etc), what your goals are and how you feel.

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