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Old 07-17-2014, 11:05 AM   #1
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Better immune system?

My kids and other people around me keep getting sick (like derby skaters... it is a full contact sport so we spread some germs...) and I haven't been sick once since starting keto.

I know keto people still get sick, but in general do we have a better immune system?
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:14 AM   #2
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I don't know if better immunity is a trait of NKers, but I rarely ever get sick when I take a multivitamin. Unfortunately, in life before NK, I rarely took a multivitamin except when pregnant.

I think that this WOE has made me feel that supplements are more important, at least for now. So, I've been been taking my multivitamin and a few other things more regularly...
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:26 AM   #3
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I would like to think so...but individuality has such a massive influence.
For myself (n=1) I have only had 1 cold in the past 6 years that required a visit to the MD. ...and I think that I can draw direct lines to 'stress' in that event.

Is it also that we keep after the other aspects of living that contribute to a healthier self?

All I know is, I feel better Low Carb.
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Old 07-17-2014, 02:12 PM   #4
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I've put a little more thought into this.

A lot of us have given up gluten as a part of this WOE. If we are truly gluten- (or carb-) intolerant, it might make sense that this way of eating would boost our immune systems.

If our bodies' resources aren't being drained dealing with influxes of irritants, maybe those resources can be used to support immunity instead?

Idk, though. I am not very knowledgeable about medicine...
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Old 07-17-2014, 04:59 PM   #5
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I never got sick much anyway but it has probably been 3 years since I was sick with anything that was "going around."

I think part of it has to do with taking care of ourselves in general. But add to that the foods we eliminate tend to be inflammatory & what we add supports healthy immune systems... There is an argument there.
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Old 07-17-2014, 05:02 PM   #6
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For me, I think so - I haven't gotten a painful cold sore since starting NK - and I used to get them occasionally. A couple of times I had a little bit of tenderness on my lip, but no outbreak. I am attributing it to NK.
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:27 PM   #7
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Hey, Erica good to hear from you!

I've only really been sick once in the 5 months I've been on this diet. Since it was right in the middle of my exams, I would guess that stress and a couple less hours sleep played a huge part. I also had a touch of a flu a couple months back that lingered but never got bad.

This isn't typical for me pre-diet. I usually/used to pick up everything that goes around and be bedridden for a week. At work, bugs made their rounds four times from Jan-Jul. To have avoided most of that is wonderful.

Is it LCHF/keto? I am certainly eating better quality food and have more energy, which probably helps. I also think the reduced burden on my immune system from avoiding foods I'm sensitive to, plays a part.
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:36 PM   #8
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I forgot to mention that I seem to be healing minor bruises and cuts faster than pre-diet. Bruises in particular used to take ages to fade. Much faster now!
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:52 PM   #9
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backseat - that's interesting. I've had the opposite, in which an infected insect bite and a scrape took far longer to heal - almost a month when I would have expected to be a bit over a week.

On the other hand, no cold sores....
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Old 07-17-2014, 07:13 PM   #10
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I've also been healing faster.
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Old 07-17-2014, 07:38 PM   #11
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I have not had a cold since I started this WOE and neither has DH. My ears occassionally get blocked up for short periods but I can't figure out why. But otherwise I haven't taken an actual sick day in quite a long time. On the other hand, since starting this WOE (like a month or two after, so it may not be related) I developed what is considered an autoimmune disorder. So not quite sure what to think about that.

Last edited by Mistizoom; 07-17-2014 at 07:40 PM..
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:02 PM   #12
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@abuvia, i think that is a very good theory.

I heard someone (online, talking about keto diets ) say once that sugar shuts down your immune system for 4 hours- but I don't know who she is or where she got her info, so I don't really know if it is true.

I tend to catch everything that goes around- and so I have been stoked that I have not been sick with anything since starting keto.
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Old 07-20-2014, 06:43 PM   #13
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I get every single flu that goes around.

Also I often have flu like symptoms (not fever though) without actually having the flu.

I think I've always had a bad immune system though no matter what type of diet I'm on. I think it's too early to say if keto will have a positive effect or not, but so far after 7 months it seems like it's just as it's always been. I think my ADD has improved a little though.
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:00 PM   #14
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Yes. A ketogenic woe will provide better defence from illness because excess glucose is known to suppress the immune system.
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:22 AM   #15
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Thanks Clackley - that is what I was thinking.

I think we probably also have better gut flora, and that would help too.
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Old 07-21-2014, 11:00 AM   #16
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I used to get upper respiratory infections (URI) 6 to 10 times a year, and as my asthma got worse several of these URI's turned into terrible cases of bronchitis that made me very, very sick.

Now, I get 1 or 2 very mild URI's per year, and went almost 3 years with NO bronchitis (ruined the record earlier this year with 2 bouts). Asthmatic bronchitis is really an autoimmune response to a trigger, not a viral or bacterial infection. URI's can be one of the triggers.

So I think that by changing my diet, I'm much less vulnerable to those triggers.

BTW, Mr. G., I think these URI's are not a sign of a week or poor immune system, but a very robust immune system that overreacts. That's why you have a build up of mucous in the respiratory tract--it's your body's natural defense mechanism, but it can go into overdrive. So if it's not better on low carb/keto alone, you may want to look at whether some of the foods you eat are inflammatory and may be causing this overreaction. Typical culprits are eggs and dairy--both commonly used foods in keto diets.

Also, I have found that when I'm coming down with something, the best thing I can do is support a normal immune response rather than trying to turn off my body's response with over the counter acetaminophen, antihistamines, decongestants, NSAIDS. Allow your body to do it's job. Drink lots of fluids--especially warm broth, and don't stamp out a low grade fever--that's how your body is supposed to fight the bug. I find the more I do to relieve the symptoms of something like that, the longer and sicker I get. The body mounts a stronger defense, when the mild attempts to fight the bug aren't working.
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:58 PM   #17
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Well I never get fever which is why I'm thinking it's weak rather than strong. If I get a flu I have mild symptoms for weeks while other people around me get very sick for few days, with fever of course.
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Old 07-22-2014, 08:12 AM   #18
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Also I often have flu like symptoms (not fever though) without actually having the flu.
I get that too. I had some tests done and my doc says I am carrying the Epstein Barr virus from an illness years ago. It never really goes completely away and will flare up from time to time, but not as seriously as a normal flu. For me it is just a day or so feeling poorly.
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Old 07-23-2014, 04:38 AM   #19
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I've noticed that mosquitos, ticks, and chiggers don't like me as much, even though lately I've been in light ketosis at best. We live a bit far back in the woods, and the chiggers are especially bad. My dad sees me out walking the dog in shorts and flip flops and is astounded that I don't get chigger or mosquito bites. I just tell him that there is far better and sweeter cuisine walking around. I didn't really notice until he said something. I've been out here for over two months, in high summer, and have not had a bite or reaction that I am aware of.

Maybe someone should do a study...
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:14 AM   #20
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I've noticed that mosquitos, ticks, and chiggers don't like me as much, even though lately I've been in light ketosis at best. We live a bit far back in the woods, and the chiggers are especially bad. My dad sees me out walking the dog in shorts and flip flops and is astounded that I don't get chigger or mosquito bites. I just tell him that there is far better and sweeter cuisine walking around. I didn't really notice until he said something. I've been out here for over two months, in high summer, and have not had a bite or reaction that I am aware of.

Maybe someone should do a study...
That's awesome!

Sadly, mosquitoes still like me. I'm scratching bites right now. One got into our bedroom two nights ago and I think my non-keto hubby and I got apx equal biting attention...
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:35 AM   #21
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Mosquitoes still like me and I got a bunch of bites recently but not one of them became itchy or inflamed. Not sure why this might be??? I have been know to have some pretty adverse reactions to bug bites.
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:41 AM   #22
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That is interesting! I went for a walk by the river ( I an in nm, there is really only one, lol ) and there were tons of sand gnats but I did not notice any bites when I got home. I didn't put much thought into it until now. This diet is anti-inflammatory, but I wonder if there is more to it.

When my husband lived in Costa Rica (he did some research there when he was younger) they would swallow whole cloves of raw garlic to keep the bugs away, and I guess it worked really well. I am guessing he was also very pungent.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:43 AM   #23
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I thought inflammation from bites was a sign of a strong immune system rather than the other way around. Kinda like fever, something the body does to fight the threat.
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:44 AM   #24
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I think it could mean an 'over reactive' immune system where the body response is too strong. I think there is a happy medium in the case of immune response.
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Old 07-27-2014, 11:39 AM   #25
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I had one cold in my first 2 years of low-carbing – in contrast to my past of getting one every 3 months. I even survived a major flu epidemic in my office unscathed (which kind of sucked, because I wound up doing everyone else's work while they were out sick!) But this year I'm having more problems with feeling fluish - one-day kind of experiences. Not sure why.

I've also noticed I'm not having issues with bug bites anymore. The mosquitos look me over but they never bite me anymore - or if they do, I'm not getting the inflammation. Either way, no ongoing welts, and I spend a lot of time in the woods.
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Old 07-27-2014, 01:01 PM   #26
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I've wondered about mosquitoes. Years ago they would eat me up. Now they rarely bother.

I used to think they were attracted to people who ate lots of sugar but I recently researched the subject & found info stating that is not true. I don't recall if it said it was DNA based or what but I remember thinking it did not make sense because they used to like me & now they don't. Something I do now makes them less attracted to me. I really tend to think it is my diet.
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