Understanding discomfort during ketosis

Commented on November 09, 2010
Created November 09, 2010 at 5:31 AM

It wasn't a per se goal of mine, but I recently realized that the oily, acetone urine and the metallic taste in my mouth are probably signs that I'm in ketosis. Ketosis has also seemed to bring with it a host of not so great side effects -- twinges of colitis pain, insomnia, as well as anxiety and a weird uncomfortableness in my upper back that makes me question is my adrenals a working a little harder now. I was doing wonderfully on paleo before all this. I'm trying to sort out if these are signals that my body wasn't meant for low carbing or if these are just side-effects of my body releasing toxins as it breaks down fat. If it's the latter, then I think the fact that I want the fat and toxins out of my body are reason to tolerate any discomfort experienced while my body flushes this stuff out. But otherwise, I have no real attachment to ketosis if it's going bring me this discomfort. I haven't really noticed any weightloss since discovering ketosis a few days ago, but I'm not sure that the effect is supposed to be instantaneous either.



on November 09, 2010
at 06:37 PM

That's a good point guys. I made a Drs appointment just to be sure.



on November 09, 2010
at 04:09 PM

I agree. Oily urine & back pain would make me consider renal problems.



on November 09, 2010
at 02:42 PM

Oily urine and colitis pain do not sound like ketosis to me, though I have heard of anxiety and insomnia that pass after a few days.

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2 Answers



on November 09, 2010
at 04:07 PM

You don't need to be in ketosis to eat paleo. How much daily carb are you eating? You could try eating a bit more fruit and some tubers and see how that does ya. Some do well on low carb but some people do seem to have trouble with very low carb. However few seem to have problems at around 100 grams per day. I have often wondered why there can be such a difference between reactions. Maybe it's genetics or perhaps also a lifetime of the body and epigenetics adapting to high carb such that making a complete reversal may not be so easy for some. If you spend 30 years adapting to high carb, can everyone so easily go back to a more natural lower carb routine? Perhaps not. There is so much we still don't understand. I am still on the fence about the concept of 'releasing toxins.' SOunds logical but I haven't seen much scientific evidence for it and the same goes for other theories like the gut bacteria die off theory. Both sound good, but so also does the idea that maybe the body just needs time to adapt its functioning. I don't think we know enough to really know which if any or maybe if multiple of these problems occurs.



on November 09, 2010
at 03:42 PM

Hi Olga,

I'm sorry to hear that you are in such discomfort.

First, I would verify that you are in ketosis by using KetoStix (available at any drug store) to make sure one shouldn't be thinking that something else is causing your problems. You mention adrenal fatigue, but back pain, especially between your hips & spine, can signal kidney problems. Would you be willing to describe what you're feeling in more detail?

Second, I would consider what you are eating to determine if while decreasing carbs & increasing fats other things changed in your diet.

Third, if you determine you are in ketosis and eating what you think you are then you may just have to give it time. Much of the initial weight loss rush is water. After that the fat burns slowly. This is good for sustained energy, but makes it much more difficult to get rid of!


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