In a nutshell, the keto diet is broken down into 75% fats, 20% proteins, and 5% carbohydrates. By eating macronutrients in these percentages, instead of burning carbs and sugars, you burn your body’s own fat stores. This is called ketosis, which your body recognizes as a type of fasting. Your fat cells are where you store toxins you are unable to process and your body dilutes those toxins with water to keep them from poisoning you.
The first weight you lose on a ketogenic diet is water weight, which causes the toxins in your fat cells to concentrate, often giving you symptoms that have been coined the “keto flu.” These symptoms range from digestive upset and skin rashes to headaches and body aches, similar to the symptoms you get from toxicities.
At first, you feel good and the weight loss is a morale-booster. But after a while the fatigue sets in, often accompanied by anxiety, insomnia, and more. What’s causing these troubling symptoms? You see, while you’re losing that water weight and flushing those fat cells, the minerals you’ve accumulated are going along for the ride. At first, this can feel like a good thing if sodium retention has been causing you swelling. But, eventually the mineral loss is more than what your body needs and you begin showing te signs of the mineral imbalances resulting from severe carbohydrate restriction. Once mineral imbalances and deficiencies set in, it isn’t long before adrenal fatigue follows behind, and that’s when you start feeling tired from your carb restriction.
As critical minerals are becoming imbalanced, stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline are affected, and this leads to what we call adrenal fatigue. If you feel tired all the time and are experiencing anxiety and/or insomnia, I strongly suggest getting an HTMA (Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis) done as soon as possible to measure your mineral levels. We can do this right in the office. Using a small hair sample, the lab generates a detailed report of which minerals are too high or too low and gives recommendations to get them back in balance.