Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis

Back on the ketogenic diet

with 13 comments

You can take your vitamins and throw them down the toilet. Folate makes me manic and gives me eczema. B12 makes me feel a little bit too happy, very intelligent, too awake (great first thing in the morning, terrible problem at night), makes me easily stressed and irritable, and makes me gain weight quickly. After having stable weight for months and months, I suddenly gained several pounds in the space of a two month B12 (adenosylcobalamin) trial earlier this year. On the plus side it actually helped my residual winter eczema somewhat – though not as much as getting some sunshine has.

The weight gain that B12 causes I suspect is connected to B12’s ability to depress a form of glutamate decarboxylase (GAD67) that converts glutamate into GABA. And of course glutamate stimulates weight gain through insulin production. More on the B12 trials in another post.

So the upshot of this is that I’ve been back on a diet for a few weeks now to get rid of the weight. I’m on a ketogenic diet. Properly. Last year I did a moderate version that included a small portion of rice every day. I tried this because without any carbohydrate at all I tended to just flake out and feel starved. I couldn’t really sustain the rice version for long as I tended to feel just a little too hungry all the time. Of course this means I don’t have much variety in my diet right now. Largely I’m living on lamb, chicken, fish, shellfish, eggs, and A2 dairy (butter, cream, cream cheese), and Woodlands organic sheep’s milk yoghurt, which has turned out to be a life-saver (at last! a yoghurt that doesn’t give me headaches and cravings!). I’m not hungry at all. This probably sounds like a scary anorexic diet, but I am getting enough calories and vitamins, I assure you. I’m also feeling better than I have in years. Literally years, because I haven’t really done failsafe gluten-free for very long before, and I haven’t done it ketogenic like this. All my leftover aches and pains have gone – I suspect gluten and A1 milk bother me rather more than I liked to think they do. This time I have no real hunger, so I feel as though the diet is sustainable and I plan to stay on it for at least six months – or until I get back down to my minimum healthy BMI, because I like being slim.

And I’m calm. Totally calm. Ambien calm. It’s like someone found the centre of my emotional balance and nailed me there. No stressing out over minor things. No irritation. I’m also highly motivated. Hence less posts and more stuff getting done around the house. Like painting walls and constructing furniture and spring cleaning and unpacking boxes that are still left form the house move last year – all the stuff that normally tires me out just thinking about it. I’m not manic however – I’m just happy in a good, balanced way.

No vitamin could ever do this or has ever done this for me. The minor improvements I saw in myself on the B12 (which approached megadoses on occasion) are nothing in comparison to the sledgehammer effect of ketosis. And ketosis comes without the unpleasant side effects. My sleep is fine. I’m waking up fine. I feel sharp. And I’m losing weight instead of gaining it.


Written by alienrobotgirl

13 May, 2008 at 7:05 pm

Posted in Personal Diary

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13 Responses

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  1. I keep reading more and more good stuff about ketosis. Do you know why the optimal diet recommends enough carbs to keep out of ketosis?


    13 May, 2008 at 8:07 pm

  2. Hi! 🙂 Best wishes on continued success with the Ketogenic Diet. Will you be doing “carb ups” weekly? Bi-weekly? Not at all? And if you have the time and inclination, will you please explain your reasoning behind your answer?

    Thank you…..I love your blog!!




    14 May, 2008 at 6:57 am

  3. Excellent post and news. Following reading this site,, I have just cut out dairy with good effects too: better sleep, digestion, mood and glycemic control. My gums have stopped bleeding too. Dogtorj spouts a lot of rubbish along with the interesting stuff such as comparisons of pet and human health. His list of dairy and gluten symptoms coincided nicely with mine.

    I want to stay without any dairy for a while before trying non-cow types. Where do you get the A2 dairy?


    14 May, 2008 at 10:25 am

  4. Which A2 products are you using? Is sheep on the next level up to goat?

    I must try a ketosis experiment this summer. I had such a bad meltdown yesterday I ended up with severe chills and pain so bad that I had to take paracetemol. I can’t keep doing this.

    At the same time I don’t think I could do ketosis when I have such a low tolerance for protein. I’m hoping low carbing will be successful but only if I can find a tolerable source of dairy fat as A1 is all a little too reactive.



    15 May, 2008 at 2:42 pm

  5. In February I gave up vegetarianism (I had given up on veganism a year prior) to deal with what turned out to be a bacterial overgrowth in my small intestines. Reading your blog (older posts) helped the effort immensely and I wanted to thank you for that. Treatment for the overgrowth along with the diet have improved my health by quite a bit – before I had constant bloating and pain, now as long as I steer clear of most carbs I do well, although my doctor has asked me to challenge myself with them now and then and sometimes I oblige him. Something that I’ve continued to deal with even after the switch to low carb is slow weight loss. I thought that would have picked up a lot faster on a high fat diet. I can see a rise in the metabolism, but not by much. I’m excited to hear that you’re back on a ketogenic diet and I hope that you share some menu ideas. I too felt calm and well rested when I first switched but this feeling has eluded me as of late. Best.

    Girrlock Holmes

    16 May, 2008 at 5:54 pm

  6. i am sooo happy i found your blog!!! Keep posting!!!


    21 May, 2008 at 7:31 am

  7. […] I take B12 over doing a ketogenic diet? And here, by a ketogenic diet, I mean a diet that is carbohydrate and calorie controlled – it […]

  8. Hi Chris

    I think Kwasniewski says somewhere that ketosis puts an extra strain on the body and is inefficent because the body has to go to the trouble of turning protein into glucose. I guess it depends what the problem is. He recommends ketosis for diabetics.


    10 June, 2008 at 1:00 am

  9. Hi lovehealthsuccess. I won’t be doing carb-ups deliberately for now, only when my self control slips! I think they may be useful for people who plateau. I have had to do them before when I have plateaued on a low amount of carbs/calories. They seem to get the body burning again.


    10 June, 2008 at 1:01 am

  10. Hi Leroidelyon. A2 dairy includes goat, sheep, buffalo, zebu, and any other strain of ancient cattle. Guernsey milk is about 90% A2, and Jersey is about 50% (?).

    It is definitely worth trying goat and sheep milk in particular. I get no symptoms from them. It’s like you’re not on dairy at all.


    10 June, 2008 at 1:04 am

  11. Hi Elena

    I think the sheep milk does suit me better than goat. It’s also very rich and creamy. I’m not really eating any more protein than I was before, it’s really all fat. I get a lot of calories from that Woodlands sheep’s milk yoghurt (which you really must try!).

    Now, where did we get up to with this? Have you ever tried experimenting with pure Jersey/Guernsey cream? And it’s definitely not salt? Or Tesco’s dodgy fridges? Is it only dairy or beef tallow too? I have seen goat’s cream on sale now and then, if you can stand the flavour! Does it happen if you sweeten the cream? I’m wondering if it could be a histamine reaction in your stomach to A1 peptides, or possibly a carnitine deficiency.


    10 June, 2008 at 1:12 am

  12. Hi Girrlock Holmes

    I probably sound ambiguous on this subject sometimes, but dysbiosis is a real medical condition and I’m really glad that low carbing helped you to fix it. I’ll be writing a few clarification posts on SCD/GAPS and low carbohydrate diets in the future – as I believe they are very useful for dysbiosis (just not for food chemical intolerance!). The trick is in figuring out which you have!


    10 June, 2008 at 1:18 am

  13. Hi,

    I’ve made some revolutionary changes recently with the B12 and eggs. My stress is so much better, I love it but I suspect ketosis would be better since my blood sugar isn’t exactly even. I can tolerate eggs as long as i’m not eating them permenantly like I used to so i’m hoping to be a bit more flexible with some of the other items on failsafe. I tolerate goat butter just fine. But actually now i’m on the b12 I seem to be tolerating everything much better so i’ll have to retrial a lot of things. My protein tolerance has gone way up but I still can’t eat too much in a portion. Still i’m pleasantly excited.

    Is the sheep’s yogurt not glutamatey?

    I tried some fish from Morrisons the other day. I think you mentioned it was Morrisons? Gosh I had so much backpain.


    13 June, 2008 at 11:56 pm

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