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Old 03-24-2014, 07:35 PM   #1
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Deep Ketosis?

I don't know if there's actually a distinction between ketosis and "deep ketosis", so I'd love to hear some input. Here's my experience....and I apologize in advance for it's length....

My little dog has been pretty sick for the past week, so I've been up with her at night, outside stomping around in the cold about every 45 minutes or so. This has prevented me from sleeping well. After crawling back in bed, I'd rub her back to help her relax and rest. In addition, I was working extra hours because of a backlog at work. (My husband works from home and kept an eye on her during the day.) I've just about been at my wit's end with trips to the vet, administering medications, soothing her, worrying, and losing so much sleep. All of this led me to a level of exhaustion and stress where I've eaten very little because I just didn't have the energy to prepare anything. It didn't dawn on me until a little while ago that this could account for some of what is going on now.

I broke out in a flush a few days ago, but attributed it to a small dose of magnesium that I had just begun taking. I quit taking it, but am still flushing. My head hurts too--sort of a weird headache. I have very little appetite. Other than that, I feel okay. I decided to track my foods and found that I've only had 2 grams of carb today. I've eaten mostly fat, of course and moderate protein. The past several days have been super low carb as well. Another thing--I finally started losing weight again. Haven't hit my low weight again since October until today.

Do you think there is such a thing as "deep ketosis"? Could it cause flushing and headache? Any other comments from your own experiences?

(On a bright note, my little dog is responding to treatment, feeling better, resting well now, and she's going to be okay! )

Last edited by dgidaho; 03-24-2014 at 07:37 PM.. Reason: grammar boo boo
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:03 PM   #2
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Glad your pup is okay.

People SAY there is no difference between levels of ketosis, and no such thing as "deep" ketosis... But I have experienced otherwise. When I am losing best, I pee deep purple. Also, if I am light pink only then a little bit of carb can bump me out, but when I am deep purple I can eat whatever I want for a day and still be in ketosis the next morning. So there's such thing as "deep ketosis" as far as I am concerned.

Headaches may be a side effect for some, but I don't get them. I get a yucky tasting mouth more than anything, which I don't get when I am only in light/moderate ketosis.
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Old 03-25-2014, 06:25 AM   #3
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Im not exactly sure if there are levels, all I know is it seems my color on the sticks is much more related to hydration than anything. I know im in ketosis because I bounce between a trace, and darker pink/purple, but it seems to be based on my water intake.
Although I know some people can drink 100oz in a day and still pee purple, just not me.
I also know that im in ketosis because ive lost 60lbs in 3 months, and for example yesterday I only ate like 9 carbs. My rule of thumb is eat as few of carbs as possible and let the chips fall where they may.
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Old 03-25-2014, 06:30 AM   #4
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Are you drinking enough?

Also, are you eating enough salt? Adding a good quality unrefined salt (himalayan, celtic, etc) can help with that 'funny' feeling.

Also a cup of broth with some added salt may help.
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:14 PM   #5
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Thank you for the responses!

Mimosa--I always drink plenty of water, but amped it up just in case.

Has anybody experienced pink cheeks/flushing with ketosis?
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:41 AM   #6
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I've never experienced pink cheeks/flushing with ketosis. I do feel warmer after eating though.

How is your blood pressure? This is the only thing that jumps out to me... I would go see your doctor just in case...
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Old 03-26-2014, 04:44 PM   #7
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I find that hydration seems to affect the strength of the colour but not its hue of you know what I mean. So when I am in "deep ketosis" if there there is such a thing, but I am drinking a lot, it will be a more washed out deep purple but not a lighter shade. But this is just me and in fact just me guess about me as I cant really know...I think it is really hard to be certain and I don't know of any research that really gives us info about different degrees of ketosis...so we all just have to guess based on experience which is why we all tend to reach different conclusions. There is likely a lot of individual variability as well. I really hope more research is done over the next few years to help us understand ketosis more in depth.
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:30 PM   #8
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I've never experienced pink cheeks/flushing with ketosis. I do feel warmer after eating though.

How is your blood pressure? This is the only thing that jumps out to me... I would go see your doctor just in case...
Thank you for your input! I do take bp meds, but it's always been under control on them. I should probably check again....especially when flushing!
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:59 AM   #9
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If you are asking if there are levels of ketosis, the answer it yes. People who are measuring their ketones know this fairly well. If a person is getting readings around or below, .5 - it means a lighter level of ketosis and could mean that it is not a constant state. Levels above this on a consistent basis means likely a steady state of ketosis. Levels above 3, 4 or up means deep ketosis and that will bring about the most distinct symptoms.

None of this means 'good' or 'bad'. It is a personal choice.

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Old 03-27-2014, 01:01 PM   #10
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I also find it isn't related to hydration at all for me. For instance, I am doing Stillman's right now and losing 5lbs+ a week (I'm just finished week 2.) I pee purple at any time of day, BUT I am drinking tons of water (100oz or so) so it isn't hydration for me.
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Old 03-29-2014, 02:16 PM   #11
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If you are asking if there are levels of ketosis, the answer it yes. People who are measuring their ketones know this fairly well. If a person is getting readings around or below, .5 - it means a lighter level of ketosis and could mean that it is not a constant state. Levels above this on a consistent basis means likely a steady state of ketosis. Levels above 3, 4 or up means deep ketosis and that will bring about the most distinct symptoms.

None of this means 'good' or 'bad'. It is a personal choice.
Thank you for this information. I do not have a ketone meter, so I've never had an accurate way of measuring. Your response triggered another question for me. Is it possible to bounce in and out of ketosis? For instance, if I eat something today that pushes me just out of it, can I get back in tonight or tomorrow? Or will it always take several days?

Been doing this awhile now, but still have much to learn!
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Old 03-29-2014, 02:52 PM   #12
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Thank you for this information. I do not have a ketone meter, so I've never had an accurate way of measuring. Your response triggered another question for me. Is it possible to bounce in and out of ketosis? For instance, if I eat something today that pushes me just out of it, can I get back in tonight or tomorrow? Or will it always take several days?

Been doing this awhile now, but still have much to learn!
I think it depends on the cheat. So if you went slightly over your body's threshold for carbs, you would bump out of ketosis but you would likely slip back in again quickly...however, if you ate a box a doughnuts and a 2L of Coke, you would have to go through the whole process of water weight gain and working your way back down again...I think just how long depends on your metabolism. I remember I overindulged in some low carbs treats for a couple of days and I went out of ketosis but after I had a negative reading on my ketostix (plus no weight loss) I was really really strict the next day and no real harm done except for not losing weight those days...but after a legitimate binge I a huge gain in weight immediately (water mainly) and it took a few days to get things back in order.

I know a blood meter is most accurate but i am not about to take blood samples everyday... instead lots of us use ketosix which any pharmacist will sell you...they aren't totally accurate as has been discussed, but i love them...they help me know what is going on with what I eat on a daily basis better than the scale (which flucuates a lot) and for me I find they are pretty accurate....when I am really being good, they are dark purple, and when I let things slip they get lighter.
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Old 03-29-2014, 04:15 PM   #13
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Thank you for this information. I do not have a ketone meter, so I've never had an accurate way of measuring. Your response triggered another question for me. Is it possible to bounce in and out of ketosis? For instance, if I eat something today that pushes me just out of it, can I get back in tonight or tomorrow? Or will it always take several days?

Been doing this awhile now, but still have much to learn!
Yes it is quite possible to bounce in and out of ketosis. I thiaperture a person has been in a state of ketosis for a good length of time and without disruption, it is less 'unstable' but that would be highly individual. It really amounts to becoming 'keto-adapted' which means making those pathways the primary rather then the secondary.
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Old 03-29-2014, 04:49 PM   #14
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Would any one venture a guess WHY in the morning when I use a ketostick its typically trace, but at night before bed its typically small-moderate etc?
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Old 03-29-2014, 05:04 PM   #15
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I'm not sure...maybe you eat more of your carbs at night before bed? That's just a guess though!
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Old 03-29-2014, 05:08 PM   #16
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well, that could be true. I do tend to snack more at night...
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:47 PM   #17
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Ketones are typically lowest first thing in the a.am due to lack of dietary influences. Those numbers reflect what is not dietary but just what the body is doing.
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:46 PM   #18
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Yes it is quite possible to bounce in and out of ketosis. I thiaperture a person has been in a state of ketosis for a good length of time and without disruption, it is less 'unstable' but that would be highly individual. It really amounts to becoming 'keto-adapted' which means making those pathways the primary rather then the secondary.
Thank you Cathy! That makes perfect sense. Not sure if I'm keto-adapted or not, but probably not. I've spent the last 6 months having too many "special occasions". I always get right back on plan, but that has probably been a "not very smart" thing to do. So I put it behind me about a month ago. My weight had stabilized where it is now and I will work toward becoming keto-adapted.

The cafeteria manager at work bought some low carb tortillas so I could have a chicken quesadilla. (Super thoughtful of her!!!) I had a half quesadilla two days in a row this past week. They didn't have the packaging from the tortillas (for me to see), so that was the only thing remotely questionable in my diet either day. About 20-24 hours after eating each of them, I had a very brief, light dizzy spell. Nothing to worry about at all. But I've only had those, in the past, when my blood sugar wasn't right (I tend toward hypoglycemia.), or as I'm getting back into ketosis. That made me wonder if the tortillas had thrown me out, but not far, and I was re-entering about 24 hours later. One thing I've learned in the last 6 months is that once I am thrown out of ketosis, it usually takes 4-5 days to reenter--and another week to recover lost ground. This is what motivated my question. The answer will help me moderate things in the future--and I appreciate everybody's responses!
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Old 03-30-2014, 05:36 AM   #19
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You may be interested in joining us on the nutritional ketosis sub forum (if you haven't already). Here is a link just in case....

Nutritional Ketosis / High Fat, Low Carb - Low Carb Friends

The low carb tortillas are likely going to be an issue as they almost certainly contain some grains. I would give them a total pass until you have been well established in ketosis and maybe not even then.
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:24 AM   #20
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You may be interested in joining us on the nutritional ketosis sub forum (if you haven't already). Here is a link just in case....

Nutritional Ketosis / High Fat, Low Carb - Low Carb Friends

The low carb tortillas are likely going to be an issue as they almost certainly contain some grains. I would give them a total pass until you have been well established in ketosis and maybe not even then.
Thanks for the link Cathy! I've just entered that forum and begun reading. I pretty much have traditional low carb down. But NK presents a new learning curve for me. I'm very interested and would love to see menus. Hopefully there will be a thread for that over there. I'm doing this for my health, but decided that I'm ready to drop some more pounds which is also for my health. Hopefully that can give me the boost I need.
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:42 AM   #21
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dgidaho - I'm in the same place as you. I have low carb down and have spent a couple of weeks getting my head around NK. It's definitely a new way of looking at things, but you can see overlaps to Atkins, other diets, so it will seem familiar, but perhaps a bit more stringent but this has been a good thing for me.

One place to get some good recipes and ideas is a website called i breathe i eat - she posts a weekly keto menu, including shopping list. I don't follow it, but it gives some good ideas.
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Old 03-30-2014, 05:01 PM   #22
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Sbar--thanks for the heads-up about that site. I've been there before, but it's been so long I forgot about it! She has started since I was last there, so I had no idea.

I'm thinking seriously about making this shift, but will wait a little longer before diving in. Just don't need the stress of something new at the moment, but will do my research while I get some events behind me.

Thanks again!
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Old 03-30-2014, 05:56 PM   #23
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Come on over when you're ready - it is a shift. One advantage, ongoing ketosis, no cravings and appetite! The recipes on that site are pretty good, but you'll see some familiar stuff, like faux cauliflower potatoes.
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Old 04-01-2014, 06:20 AM   #24
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Yes, but a ketostix is not an accurate way of measuring it. I also think it's possible for your body to adapt to vlc to the point where you just aren't burning the ketones anymore...although this may be due to the fact that there's no more weight to lose. Dunno.

When I was still losing weight, I didn't need a meter to tell me I was in 'deep' ketosis vs ketosis. When I hit deep ketosis, my skin would feel flushed, my breath was horrendous and my skin even had an 'off' aroma. Despite drinking *a lot*, my urine was stinky. I also dealt with a constant low level headache and irritability.

Now I routinely eat about 10-15gm of carbs (only non-starchy vegies) a day. Sometimes I'll go up to 25gm but not often. I have a meter to test my ketones and I am not in ketosis even at that level (protein at 63gm per day and fats around 73%).
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Old 04-01-2014, 06:38 AM   #25
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Glad your pup is okay.

People SAY there is no difference between levels of ketosis, and no such thing as "deep" ketosis... But I have experienced otherwise. When I am losing best, I pee deep purple. Also, if I am light pink only then a little bit of carb can bump me out, but when I am deep purple I can eat whatever I want for a day and still be in ketosis the next morning. So there's such thing as "deep ketosis" as far as I am concerned.

Headaches may be a side effect for some, but I don't get them. I get a yucky tasting mouth more than anything, which I don't get when I am only in light/moderate ketosis.
I'm similar, I am so low in carbs every day that I'm in deep ketosis, very dark color on the sticks. I have a carb night once per week and I'm back in moderate ketosis by the next afternoon. I find that if I splurge more, like at the holidays, it can take several days to get back to ketosis. Or if I'm not in deep ketosis it can take a while to get back.

After reading and researching so much about ketosis and the beneficial health affects and losing so many family members to a variety of metabolic diseases (and dealing with metabolic problems of my own), I've decided I have to stay in ketosis the rest of my life, at least most of the time.

Ketostix are great for knowing when you're out of ketosis. Don't need the blood test for that. If there is no purple, you aren't in ketosis. Where they are limited is if you've been keto adapted for a long while and find that even though they show you are in ketosis you aren't losing weight it may be that you are getting too much protein which is raising insulin levels so you aren't losing weight even though the stix still show you are producing ketones.
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Old 04-01-2014, 02:37 PM   #26
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Ketostix are great for knowing when you're out of ketosis. Don't need the blood test for that. If there is no purple, you aren't in ketosis.
Not necessarily true. Which is why the ketostix are a less than reliable method for determining ketosis and more likely a gauge of how hydrated you are. Even when I was in deep ketosis, my sticks rarely turned any color because of how much water I drank.

Urine should be a pale, almost colorless liquid (assuming you aren't taking meds that would change that). If it is that *and* your sticks are turning purple, then it may be reflecting ketosis. If the urine is darker, it means you aren't drinking enough and the ketostix will reflect a 'concentration' of ketones but will not be an accurate measure of ketosis or level of ketosis.
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:38 AM   #27
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Not necessarily true. Which is why the ketostix are a less than reliable method for determining ketosis and more likely a gauge of how hydrated you are. Even when I was in deep ketosis, my sticks rarely turned any color because of how much water I drank.

Urine should be a pale, almost colorless liquid (assuming you aren't taking meds that would change that). If it is that *and* your sticks are turning purple, then it may be reflecting ketosis. If the urine is darker, it means you aren't drinking enough and the ketostix will reflect a 'concentration' of ketones but will not be an accurate measure of ketosis or level of ketosis.
I disagree, too many beginners are being discouraged from using the stix when they are a great and very inexpensive tool for them. I don't believe most people need those very expensive blood tests. I've tried a couple of brands and they have all been very accurate. When I eat too many carbs I don't get visible purple and I don't lose weight. When I'm back on track it is purple and I am back in losing mode. There has been no deviation from that, it's always been accurate for me.

Are they perfect? No, but for most people they do work well, especially in learning their carb tolerances. Maybe months or years in to the diet, and if they aren't losing despite the stix being purple, then yes...maybe they want to invest in the blood test. But, for most people, especially starting out, they are very helpful.
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Old 04-02-2014, 07:14 AM   #28
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BringOnTheLard I agree. I know they may not work for some people but they seem to exactly match how on plan I am so for me they are a good guage. They are dark purple when I am really on track, lighter if I am in my upper range of carbs, and quit changing at all if I go totally off plan.
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Old 04-02-2014, 01:36 PM   #29
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Just be aware that ketostix can only info ate the presence of one of the 3 types of me to e bodies that are produced when in ketosis and many people stop spilling g that particular o e once fully adapted.
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Old 04-02-2014, 02:27 PM   #30
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I have heard that and so if they stop working for I won't panic...maybe it would even be a good sign that I am fully adapted...but at the moment they are working for me. I think why I like them is that they help mitigate my scale obsession (although it would take a the power of a hadron collider to fully rid me of my unhealthy scale obsession)
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