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Old 07-07-2012, 01:24 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2012
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Elevated Liver Enzymes

(sorry is so long)
Went to doctor because I thought I might have a thyroid issue and he took blood. He called me today and said that my liver enzymes were elevated, at first he wanted to test me for hepatitis but then I told him I was on Atkins (almost two weeks of induction) he said that could be the cause. He said I needed to get off of Atkins and then retest. He also said that my kidneys looked a little off too but didn't go into it. I tried to get my test results but couldn't down load the page so will call and ask for exact numbers.

I am a 28 year old female in decent health, I work out 4-5 times a week and got on Atkins to lose the excess fat I just can't seem to drop. Thought thyroid was an issue because I have all of the symptoms and in regards to that he said I was just on the high side of normal range.

After hearing this info I got on the web to research (this is kind of scary), and found several references of people that had high enzymes and were on atkins but tested further and were fine. I also found a body building site that said too much protein could cause liver and kidney issues and that most of the diet should be either carbs or fat. I don't want to give up this diet as it is the first time EVER that I haven't felt constantly hungry and fighting cravings. Lost a little weight too! So for now I am going to really watch how much protein I am eating and try to add in extra calories with fat or salad.
I also found that milk thistle helps with liver issues.

I'd love to hear anybody elses stories or thoughts about this? Of course while doing research I read all about the evils of atkins but I don't want scare tactics to prevent me from the truth. I just want to find what is healthy for me where I don't feel like I am struggling constantly to maintain my weight and my sanity!
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:57 AM   #2
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Stats: lost 130 lb so far, and miles to go before I sleep
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high protein does not cause kidney problems. that is an old idea. once someone has very serious kidney disease and is in dialysis, they have to limit protein, but then they have to limit water and all minerals too, pretty much EVERYTHING.

it's true that many low carbers eat too much protein though. you don't need all that much. one expert says eating more than 30% of your calories in protein can knock you out of ketosis, but I imagine that is not true if your calories are very low.
Often I don't come back to read threads where I've posted. If you want me to see something, please send me a private message. Thanks!
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Old 08-03-2012, 04:41 PM   #3
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one expert says eating more than 30% of your calories in protein can knock you out of ketosis
I'm surprised to hear that. Eating even a modest amount of carbs can do it I know, but protein doesn't make sense.

Your body needs a small amount of glucose and if you don't take enough in your liver will create it. That process uses protein and fat to synthesize glucose. A byproduct of that is ketones. If you do not take in enough protein the body will take it from somewhere. Typically it's the protein plaques that form naturally, so in that sense it's a detox diet, but it will move up to more and more important parts of the body.

With that said I've always shot for 1 to 1.5g per kg of ideal body weight. 2.2lbs is 1kg so if your ideal body weight is 220lbs, that's 100kg or 100-150g of protein/day. If you are working out and really tearing apart your muscles you'll want to increase that to 1.5-2.0g/kg or more so your body can rebuild itself. The balance of your calories will be mainly fat. Atkin's intro is <20g or about 80 cal/day. At 220lb ideal weight you'd be on a 2k cal diet for light activity so 400 cal is Protein, 80 is Carbs and a whopping 1520 is from fat. That's just shy of 170g of fat. It's hard to eat that much fat so it's probably going to work out more like 600 cal from protein, 80 Carb and 1320 or 150g from fat.

Still seems like a lot, almost 50/50 fat/protein but some ketogenic diets are as much as 85% fat.

And yes kidney/liver damage is a myth for most people. In fact there is research going on using a ketogenic diet (87% fat) to treat kidney failure in mice with type1 and type2 diabetes. Not only has it halted the failure, they're showing an improvement indicating the kidneys are healing.

Wish I knew more about the liver enzyme issues. My liver numbers improved because I had fatty liver from all the sugary drinks I was consuming.
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