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Old 04-18-2012, 01:59 PM   #1
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Ketosis...What gives? O_o

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen...long time lurker here. I'll save my reintroduction for another post later, but now I need some insight on this ketosis thing. It's really irking me!!!

I've been losing pretty steadily since starting this WOE about a month ago. Two week induction and all. I am following Atkins, but I shy away from putting an exact name on my low carb style because I might tweak here and there...but I have stayed under 20 net carbs a day since the beginning.

My question is about these ((irritating)) ketostix...I do not test everyday, but I wanted to start getting in the habit in an attempt to understand what my body can/cannot tolerate. I first go them around day 3-4 and I was registering pinkish. I was okay with that because I was losing and had read that as long as you were registering you were pretty much in the clear. I might've tested a week later or so and still pink or so...maybe lighter pink...still losing and all...this monday I decided to test...NO TRACE. It's scaring me! Tuesday...NO TRACE. Today...NO TRACE. What's going on?? Can anyone give me any insight?? Should I be worried? I'm pretty much eating the exact same things. I did try FAGE yogurt on Sunday. I wish I would've tested before then. Should I check daily??

Thanks in advance for any advice...you guys have NO IDEA how much you've helped me over the past month just by allowing me to read your stories and successes. What a wealth of knowledge.
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:13 PM   #2
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I can't help with the stixs per se. What I CAN tell you is that they are notoriously inaccurate. There are so many things that can affect how many ketones are in your urine that it's impossible to say exactly what's happening.

Personally, I think ketostix are infused with evil energy before they go on store shelves. That way, they are most likely to find an innocent low-carber and make her cry. Granted, it is kind of funny in a way. In a very sick way.

My advice is to treat keto stix the same way you would treat the scale: Ignore them both. There are so many more reliable metrics for your progress.

And remember: reuniting yourself with health is about more than just losing weight.
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:57 PM   #3
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Evil is a good way to put it. Everytime I use one I want to say not so nice words LOL...maybe I'll just stick with how my clothes fit. I really should measure, but I've never been too good at that...and the scale will give you the flux with its addictive nature grrrrrr *sigh* Thanks!!
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:52 PM   #4
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Ketostix themselves are accurate. It's the person that is the variable.

Most people learn to use them as a rough indication. But the simple fact is that the quantity of ketones in your urine is highly variable based upon a quite large number of factors. You don't have a sufficient level of control over your body to form a meaningful baseline and as such thier value is quite questionable.

A quick search on this forum will find people showing dark purple and not losing to people showing nothing and losing a lot of weight.

It should be remembered that the ketones measured are those that are flushed by the body. It is possible to be ketogenic and be actually using the ketones efficiently as fuel resulting in a low or zero colour change. Similarly you can dehydrate, not eat and perform hard exercise, this will increase the concentration and darken the stick. In fact you can go from both extreme in whichever direction you choose quite easily within just a few hours.

I still have some ketostix left, and I use them very occasionaly. In several months I've not seen any significant correlation between ketostix colour and weight loss. I won't bother buying any more when these are used up, simply because they provide almost no information. I suppose if you report zero over a few days then that's something to consider, but fluctuation of the colour is almost entirely meaningless.

John.
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorithickulous View Post
maybe I'll just stick with how my clothes fit. I really should measure, but I've never been too good at that.
Yes, this is what I was alluding to. No need to measure, though. Just notice how much looser your pants fit. Be sure to get a smaller size before they fall down around your ankles in public.

Also notice how you're feeling. I find that when I really clean up my eating, I'm much calmer. I also notice my resting heart rate is quite a bit slower. But YMMV.
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:05 PM   #6
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I gave up on Ketostix for the most part because they didn't seem too reliable.
My new test is my teeth - if they feel clean - I'm good.
If they feel grimy I have had too many carbs.
Ketosis keeps my teeth feeling smooth!
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:43 PM   #7
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Thanks, that eases my mind so much. If I was this concerned about what I was putting in my body in the first place I'd be good
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psmileyf View Post
I gave up on Ketostix for the most part because they didn't seem too reliable.
My new test is my teeth - if they feel clean - I'm good.
If they feel grimy I have had too many carbs.
Ketosis keeps my teeth feeling smooth!
Wow... That's so weird... I thought that was just a me thing, but I can tell a lot from that. For me, if my teeth feel clean and smooth, I can bet my ketostix will be deep purple.

I find the stix to be an aid, because I will drop to a pink shade from extra lactose. I'm very sensitive to the littlest increase in any type of sugar, but I don't use them as my sole measure of compliance with my plan.

They help me to check if a new food has hidden sugar since I will usually be deep purple and if I am not I look at what has changed.
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:23 PM   #9
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Back when I used the sticks -- and had a TOTM (hysterectomy in '09) -- the sticks registered negative about 3 days before and during my TOTM. It could be that.
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psmileyf View Post
I gave up on Ketostix for the most part because they didn't seem too reliable.
My new test is my teeth - if they feel clean - I'm good.
If they feel grimy I have had too many carbs.
Ketosis keeps my teeth feeling smooth!

omg same here!!!
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:04 AM   #11
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if u count carbs, and read labels....

u do not need ketoSTYX. Love & Profits: FLATFERENGHI
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psmileyf View Post
I gave up on Ketostix for the most part because they didn't seem too reliable.
My new test is my teeth - if they feel clean - I'm good.
If they feel grimy I have had too many carbs.
Ketosis keeps my teeth feeling smooth!
I've never heard this about the teeth--ketones keep them clean?
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:24 AM   #13
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I've never heard this about the teeth--ketones keep them clean?
I have no idea. I know it makes people breath smell bad.

Someone mentioned it when I first started here and I have found it to be true.

And my elbow skin is softer.
How many people are touching their elbows right now?
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:44 AM   #14
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Back when I used the sticks -- and had a TOTM (hysterectomy in '09) -- the sticks registered negative about 3 days before and during my TOTM. It could be that.

I agree with this..usually during that time, i have no luck with the sticks..doesnt mean your not burning, maybe just gets thrown off by other things going on in your body..are you at TOM?
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psmileyf View Post
I gave up on Ketostix for the most part because they didn't seem too reliable.
My new test is my teeth - if they feel clean - I'm good.
If they feel grimy I have had too many carbs.
Ketosis keeps my teeth feeling smooth!
Oh wow...that's pretty interesting. My teeth do feel smooth, but I just attributed it to proper brushing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Psmileyf View Post

And my elbow skin is softer.
How many people are touching their elbows right now?
Most definitely rubbed my elbow...

Quote:
Originally Posted by skuma View Post
Back when I used the sticks -- and had a TOTM (hysterectomy in '09) -- the sticks registered negative about 3 days before and during my TOTM. It could be that.

I agree with this..usually during that time, i have no luck with the sticks..doesnt mean your not burning, maybe just gets thrown off by other things going on in your body..are you at TOM?
TMI...but my cycle has been a little "off" I guess do to my BC pills...so I suppose that could play a role as well...
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Old 04-20-2012, 09:15 AM   #16
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I would think that hydration may have some thing to do with it also...I don't use the sticks, but it would just make sense that if your urine was more dilute the sticks would be a lighter color.
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Old 04-21-2012, 04:27 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psmileyf View Post
I gave up on Ketostix for the most part because they didn't seem too reliable.
My new test is my teeth - if they feel clean - I'm good.
If they feel grimy I have had too many carbs.
Ketosis keeps my teeth feeling smooth!
Interesting! A quick tooth check early morning when teeth would be gunky on regular diet yields smooth teeth-wow!
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Old 04-21-2012, 06:56 AM   #18
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No matter how few carbs I ate, I never registered on the ketostix. It didn't keep me from losing 90 pounds, lol.
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:27 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by ab1ht View Post
Personally, I think ketostix are infused with evil energy before they go on store shelves. That way, they are most likely to find an innocent low-carber and make her cry. Granted, it is kind of funny in a way. In a very sick way
I just had to say I love your sense of humor, and please don't ever change it or try to scale it back (no pun intended)!

Excellent advice, too, of course!
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:45 AM   #20
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A better way to monitor how your body is responding to foods you eat is with a blood glucose monitor. You can purchase these without a prescription. The machines are usually inexpensive and often there's a rebate so you get back the cost of the monitor. However, the strips can be very pricey, so when you shop for a monitor, be sure to compare prices for the strips--I use a True Result monitor, those strips are not as expensive as others and it's very easy to use.

At first you will want to test your morning fasting blood glucose and then monitor your post-prandial (after meal) BG at 1, 1.5, and 2 hours to find out where you tend to "peak" (some people have earlier or later peaks, and certain foods can be earlier or later). Then when you eat something out of the ordinary, you can test when you think you might peak to see how your body is handling it. This tells me a lot more than ketostix.

I found that my BG's stay pretty even and in a good low normal range most of the day on low carb. Sometimes I eat 1/2 a sweet potato and I'm fine but one night I ate the whole thing, and sure enough had a big spike in BG, close to the 140 mm/dl which is where organ damage is said to begin. So now I know that if I want to eat sweet potatioes, I'm going to have to exercise some portion control.

I also learned that my morning BG's were consistently high, despite low carbing. This is "pre-diabetes", but I wasn't interested in "watching" until this becomes diabetes. I talked to my doctor and we decided (we, not he!) to start Metformin. Since that started my morning FBG's have come down considerably.

Another thing I've noticed is that if I'm fighting off a virus, my morning FBG's go up. It helps me understand what's happening with my body--last week I was fighting off the cold my daughter had the week before and my FBG's were about 30 mm higher than usual. I drank a TON of fluid and it seemed to help--in a few days my FBG's were back to normal. It's kind of nice to have that early warning system, and it worked better than monitoring my peak flows which I do for asthma.
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Old 04-21-2012, 12:19 PM   #21
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Ketostix are a very unreliable way of telling whether or not you're in ketosis. If I'm drinking eight 8 oz glasses of water a day, my ketostix won't turn even a little bit purple. If I cut back on the water, deep purple.
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:19 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janknitz View Post
A better way to monitor how your body is responding to foods you eat is with a blood glucose monitor. You can purchase these without a prescription. The machines are usually inexpensive and often there's a rebate so you get back the cost of the monitor. However, the strips can be very pricey, so when you shop for a monitor, be sure to compare prices for the strips--I use a True Result monitor, those strips are not as expensive as others and it's very easy to use.

At first you will want to test your morning fasting blood glucose and then monitor your post-prandial (after meal) BG at 1, 1.5, and 2 hours to find out where you tend to "peak" (some people have earlier or later peaks, and certain foods can be earlier or later). Then when you eat something out of the ordinary, you can test when you think you might peak to see how your body is handling it. This tells me a lot more than ketostix.

I found that my BG's stay pretty even and in a good low normal range most of the day on low carb. Sometimes I eat 1/2 a sweet potato and I'm fine but one night I ate the whole thing, and sure enough had a big spike in BG, close to the 140 mm/dl which is where organ damage is said to begin. So now I know that if I want to eat sweet potatioes, I'm going to have to exercise some portion control.

I also learned that my morning BG's were consistently high, despite low carbing. This is "pre-diabetes", but I wasn't interested in "watching" until this becomes diabetes. I talked to my doctor and we decided (we, not he!) to start Metformin. Since that started my morning FBG's have come down considerably.

Another thing I've noticed is that if I'm fighting off a virus, my morning FBG's go up. It helps me understand what's happening with my body--last week I was fighting off the cold my daughter had the week before and my FBG's were about 30 mm higher than usual. I drank a TON of fluid and it seemed to help--in a few days my FBG's were back to normal. It's kind of nice to have that early warning system, and it worked better than monitoring my peak flows which I do for asthma.
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:52 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psmileyf View Post
I have no idea. I know it makes people breath smell bad.

Someone mentioned it when I first started here and I have found it to be true.

And my elbow skin is softer.
How many people are touching their elbows right now?
OMG! I thought I had just been scrubin them better
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