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Old 05-27-2010, 03:41 PM   #1
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Does eating low-carb lower your anxiety?

Does anyone find that eating low-carb/a ketogenic diet lowers their anxiety? I have some issues with anxiety and I find that eating low carb seems to improve them. I notice a marked difference in my anxiety levels when I am eating low-carb. I hear and read a lot of stories where people say they had the opposite experience, and that eating low carb made them anxious and depressed and I've read that eating very low carb can lower serotonin (which is why some people have trouble sleeping at first), but I seem to feel less anxious eating this way. Does anyone else experience this or know the biological reasons one might experience this?

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Old 05-27-2010, 03:44 PM   #2
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Actually, I find myself more relaxed and less stressed now that I have been eating low carb. That may have something to do with the fact that I my joint and back pain have disappeared. But yeah, I'm probably less anxious.
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Old 05-27-2010, 03:46 PM   #3
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I think fat really is a calming ,soothing element + we know we don't have to be hungry so that takes the edge off too
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Old 05-27-2010, 04:11 PM   #4
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I used to have very bad panic attacks - I never did get myself medicated for it but i think I would have eventually ... Within about a month of starting Atkins they pretty much disappeared!!!

I think with me, maybe the blood sugar highs and lows contributed (?) and without those, I am just much calmer ...
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Old 05-27-2010, 04:18 PM   #5
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I guess it depends on what you view as a comfort food.
Ice cream, among others, would relieve my anxiety - if I had any.
(ice cream or anxiety)

For someone else that might be a steak - or bacon and eggs.

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Old 05-27-2010, 04:20 PM   #6
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I find it has calmed me down too. Emotional slumps are few and far between now, which is great!

My only complaint is that I now dream about carby food non stop. It sometimes takes me a while upon waking to realise I haven't actually cheated, only dream me. And that doesn't count
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Old 05-27-2010, 04:58 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jezzie View Post
I guess it depends on what you view as a comfort food.
Ice cream, among others, would relieve my anxiety - if I had any.
(ice cream or anxiety)

For someone else that might be a steak - or bacon and eggs.

My comfort foods are actually carby foods. I love carbs! I'm guessing the lowered anxiety I have on low-carb has more to do with hormones or something (as opposed to the foods I'm eating now being comfort foods) but I'm not sure exactly what hormones or how they are being affected to help with my anxiety.

But hey, I'll happily take this side effect! LOL
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Old 05-27-2010, 04:59 PM   #8
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I find it has calmed me down too. Emotional slumps are few and far between now, which is great!

My only complaint is that I now dream about carby food non stop. It sometimes takes me a while upon waking to realise I haven't actually cheated, only dream me. And that doesn't count
I just started this WOE again so I haven't had any carb dreams yet, but I remember dreaming about eating pizza the last time I did this. I even felt guilty in the dream, thinking I'd cheated. LOL.
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:05 PM   #9
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Yes, I am calmer eating this way too. Avoiding the carbs is part of it, but for me I think it is also peace of mind. I'm not hearing that little voice in my head saying 'you need to lose weight' cause I am losing weight! Slowly, but it's coming off!
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onestepcloser View Post
I just started this WOE again so I haven't had any carb dreams yet, but I remember dreaming about eating pizza the last time I did this. I even felt guilty in the dream, thinking I'd cheated. LOL.
Yeah! Me too! In the dream I felt guilty and was then hiding it from people, pretending I hadn't eaten anything bad. Sneaky
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:41 PM   #11
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I wish it did, but I am pretty high strung and worry about every move. If anything LCing gave me one less thing to worry about...my weight!
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:40 PM   #12
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I have PTSD and this woe really does help. Not to the point where I don't need my medications anymore, but every little bit helps!
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:43 PM   #13
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This WOE doesn't alleviate my anxiety completely, but it does take the edge off. I've struggled with anxiety for a long time now, and may still need to consider medication down the road. But it is nice to have a WOE that helps a bit or at least doesn't exacerbate it!
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:54 PM   #14
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I was on three different anti-anxiety meds before I started a low-carb diet; since then, I've stopped taking all but one, and that one only occasionally.
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:57 PM   #15
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A couple of months before I started eating low carb again I started having anxiety attacks. My first one while on the freeway driving to work. It was so scary. And then I'd start to get them more frequently, almost always in the morning, often while driving (in anticipation of the first one). I'm SURE it was a blood sugar thing, though I never tested. Since eating low carb, I have not had another issue.
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Old 05-27-2010, 07:05 PM   #16
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I feel better, my blood pressure is below normal, my blood glucose is always in good range, my joints don't hurt. I have an overwhelming sense of calm and contentment with this way of life.
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Old 05-27-2010, 07:08 PM   #17
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Nope, that's why I have some dark chocolate nearly every day, gotta keep up the seretonin levels in the old brain in order to stay calmer. I get all out of sorts and irritable if I don't eat enough starches each day. So, for me, I eat bread at lunch time and lots of veggies at each meal. That took some time to figure out, but it works. But that's just me.............
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Old 05-27-2010, 07:21 PM   #18
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I can't say that it does. I've been doing low-carb for 2 years and just started on zoloft for anxiety.
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Old 05-27-2010, 07:51 PM   #19
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Now that you mention it I do believe LC does lower my anxiety level. I'm not sure whether that is an affect from the low carb eating or the emotional response of knowing I'm eating right.
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:59 PM   #20
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I can't say that it does. I've been doing low-carb for 2 years and just started on zoloft for anxiety.
If you don't mind me asking, what kind of anxiety do you have? How are you finding Zoloft so far?
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:03 PM   #21
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I have a number of health problems.. one being anxiety.. a lot of it... I think I may feel a little bit more even on low carb.. but my depression gets worse... I'm not sure why... Meds, have never worked that well for me.. I'm going to start water walking.. and I'm hoping that will help some of those issues..
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Old 05-28-2010, 02:53 AM   #22
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Insulin is one of the most powerrful hormones in the body. Wild insulin swings affected my sense of well being. Since eating VLC I feel much more at peace and much less stressed.
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Old 05-28-2010, 03:38 AM   #23
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oh, i think it has made me more serene.

I have often been mistaken for Perry Como, in spite of my generous avoidupois, due to my calm demeanor. Hot Diggity Dog, Diggity Boom!!! Love & Profits: FLATFERENGHI
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Old 05-28-2010, 05:40 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onestepcloser View Post
Does anyone find that eating low-carb/a ketogenic diet lowers their anxiety? I have some issues with anxiety and I find that eating low carb seems to improve them. I notice a marked difference in my anxiety levels when I am eating low-carb. I hear and read a lot of stories where people say they had the opposite experience, and that eating low carb made them anxious and depressed and I've read that eating very low carb can lower serotonin (which is why some people have trouble sleeping at first), but I seem to feel less anxious eating this way. Does anyone else experience this or know the biological reasons one might experience this?
Oh most definitely, when I eat low carb and eliminate white flour, white sugar, and potatoes along with all foods high in carbs, my anxiety is lower and I feel less stress and less depressed. I also have MUCH MORE ENERGY eating low carb too!!!!
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Old 05-28-2010, 06:05 PM   #25
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One common cause of anxiety: low blood sugar

Carbs give us blood sugar swings, when we eat a nice balanced lowcarb diet with just a few carbs at every meal the blood sugar levels stay nice and low and level.

If you eat a bunch of carbs you can overshoot your insulin levels causing your blood sugar to effectively crash, triggering a panic attack.

I get panic attacks on lowfat diets. The carb balance is off and I feel shaky half the time and then also wake up in early am freaking out and feeling like I'll die.

A lowcarb diet that's not too low in carbs (about 30-50 a day) and anxiety is eliminated for me.
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Old 05-29-2010, 08:25 AM   #26
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When I feel anxious, I really want chocolate (and a lot of it). However, if I do give in it will actually make both anxiety and carb craving even worse. The sugar also causes an actual physical reaction for me, my heart pounds faster and i feel very unsettled and nervous without any other reason.
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Old 05-29-2010, 11:26 AM   #27
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Agreed. I feel more focused and more relaxed when I eat low carb!!
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Old 05-29-2010, 02:53 PM   #28
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Those of you who do suffer anxiety might just suffer a magnesium deficiency. Anxiety/Panic is one of the symptoms
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Old 05-29-2010, 03:07 PM   #29
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Not only that - but when in ketosis I actually experience light euphoria.

Generally speaking, I just feel really thankful, happy, contented and once in a while - downright giddy with life.

I've been off my diet for the last week and GAH. I feel like I'm having reverse withdrawal! I feel like I can't get back into ketosis fast enough. Forget about the weight gain - I just want to get rid of the anxiety, slight depression and the insomnia again!
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:48 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onestepcloser View Post
If you don't mind me asking, what kind of anxiety do you have? How are you finding Zoloft so far?
GAD. Its been there for years but mildly. Once I started to hit my late 20's I began to feel it more. Last year it felt like it spiral that is why I finally considered medication this year. I've only been on zoloft a few weeks but so far it seems to be helping. I also do a lot of meditation/prayer/self-talk so that might be what is helping as well. What I don't like about zoloft is that if I skip a dose it makes me extra emotional.
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