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  #1   ^
Old Sun, Oct-01-17, 18:53
Silence102 Silence102 is offline
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Posts: 2
 
Plan: vegan
Stats: 130/125/135 Male 70 inches
BF:
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Default Help! My feet are swelling!

Hello, first post, here. I started a low carb diet almost 3 months ago, due to a persistent high blood sugar scare, that I'm pretty sure now, was caused by a defective glucose meter.

Anyway, I eliminated virtually all carbs from my diet about 3 weeks ago. I'm vegan, if that matters, so this has meant eating just a wide variety of raw nuts (I've even gone so far as to stop eating "high carb" nuts like cashews and pistachios), seeds, vegetables, oils (lots of MCT oil), sea salt and vitamin supplements (cal/mag/zinc, B12, milk thistle, papaya enzyme). I started that about 3 weeks ago. I felt extremely weak for about the first two weeks, so much so that I all but eliminated my cardio and weight lifting routines, and have slowly started increasing my exercise just over the last few days.

For about the last 10 days or so, my feet and ankles have been very swollen, which is my main health concern now, and the reason for this post. Other than making my feet swell up and making me extremely weak, eliminating carbs from my diet hasn't had any noticeable effect.

I saw my doctor last Monday (6 days ago), and he did a blood test. It showed that my iron and blood proteins were both low. I started eating lots of canned spinach (which I read was an even better source of iron than canned). Everything else from the test was normal.

My doc had an interesting theory about the low protein. He said that this made my blood more aqueous (having less "stuff" in it), forcing water into the interstitial fluid, which might be causing my feet to swell.

On this theory, I tried consuming both more fats and protein for the next few days, but that didn't reduce the swelling. So, figuring that my body might have so much protein that it's just turning it into glucose, and then burning the glucose as it's primary energy source (which might explain why my protein was low). So, I've been consuming more fat and LESS protein for the past few days, but so far that hasn't had any apparent effect.

So my main question is, why have my feet been swollen?

And, on a side note, does anyone know where I can find info on the actual physiology and biochemistry of what happens during the "switch," when a person's body adapts to a ketogenic diet, and starts burning fat instead of carbs? I've seen a million websites that say that's what's going on and you'll start feeling better, etc., but none that explain the actual physiological details.

Thanks!
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  #2   ^
Old Sun, Oct-01-17, 19:41
Nancy LC's Avatar
Nancy LC Nancy LC is offline
Experimenter
Posts: 45,211
 
Plan: Paleo 99.5%
Stats: 210/170/160 Female 67.5"
BF:
Progress: 80%
Location: San Diego, CA
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Tell your doctor about it. I recently had a friend with a blood clot in her legs and her main symptom was pain and soreness in her lower extremity.

Your foot swelling could be entirely unrelated to your diet.
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  #3   ^
Old Sun, Oct-01-17, 20:41
nawchem's Avatar
nawchem nawchem is offline
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Posts: 7,611
 
Plan: atkins
Stats: 178.5/172.5/170 Female 62
BF:
Progress: 71%
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Maybe your original diet was better for you, find out if was just a broken meter. Can you run controls with it?

When I was anemic I was told the body doesn't absorb iron from plant sources as well as from animals. I took an iron supplement with vitamin C to help absorption and still make it a point to eat beef daily.

I don't think a diet of spinach and nuts agrees with you. Can you add stuff like yogurt and protein shakes? I'm sorry about the foot problem, I think checking back with the dr is a good idea.

Most of the biology textbooks are still using the flawed data from Ancel Keys and don't advise eating fat as they still think its the cause of heart disease.
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  #4   ^
Old Mon, Oct-02-17, 04:55
Calianna's Avatar
Calianna Calianna is offline
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Posts: 1,025
 
Plan: Atkins-ish (hypoglycemia)
Stats: 000/000/000 Female 63
BF:
Progress: 50%
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Quote:
I'm vegan, if that matters, so this has meant eating just a wide variety of raw nuts (I've even gone so far as to stop eating "high carb" nuts like cashews and pistachios), seeds, vegetables, oils (lots of MCT oil), sea salt and vitamin supplements (cal/mag/zinc, B12, milk thistle, papaya enzyme).




The first thing that stood out to me on your list of foods and supplements was the sea salt. If you weren't using the sea salt supplement prior to going LC, it's possible that's why your feet are swollen.

I mention this because the reason a lot of LCers need to add salt to their diet is simply because of the amount of fluid lost initially on LC. Not everyone is like that though - for some people, just going LC eliminates a lot of truly excess body fluid, and sodium buildup.
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  #5   ^
Old Mon, Oct-02-17, 06:08
teaser's Avatar
teaser teaser is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 11,448
 
Plan: ketosis/IF
Stats: 190/158/154 Male 67inches
BF:
Progress: 89%
Location: Ontario
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You have a bmi of 17.9. Your blood protein is likely low because you're in a chronically underfed state, not because of your day to day protein intake being low. Your body protein stores are low. Worrying about keeping your protein low enough to avoid processing it into glucose right now is not only wrong, but dangerous. Eating less protein to increase your blood protein isn't going to work, and will do harm.



The only cure for being chronically underfed is being chronically properly fed.

This is assuming there isn't some endocrine problem leading to weight loss. Has your insulin been measured? Maybe those elevated blood glucose numbers weren't a faulty meter, after all. Is your doctor just assuming that you're undereating, or has he checked to see whether there might be some hormonal backdrop to all this?
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  #6   ^
Old Wed, Oct-04-17, 15:39
Silence102 Silence102 is offline
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Posts: 2
 
Plan: vegan
Stats: 130/125/135 Male 70 inches
BF:
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This is intended as reply to all of the posts on this thread. Sorry if it doesnít work out that way; Iím still learning the technicalities of using this forum.
First, Iíd just like to say that Iím humbled that people have taken the time and effort to help me with this. Thank you.
I met with a nutritionist yesterday. We went over everything I had been eating, lately, and calculated that Iíve only been getting about 30 grams of protein a day! That definitely changed my perspective on the situation. She advised that I more than double my protein intake, which I started to do right away, using mostly protein powder.
She said that the body stores protein (?óI should have asked her to clarify this, and will if I see her again), and mine may have used up its store, which is why symptoms showed up only recently. So, hopefully, more than doubling my protein will make my foot swelling go away, although she said that it may take a few weeks.
At the advice of ďteaserĒ and the dietician, I have been eating a lot more, especially protein, for about the last 30 hours. I do feel a whole lot better, but itís still very early to be making definitive correlations.
Someone on another message board suggested that I look up ďlymphedema.Ē Itís an umbrella term for poor lymph circulation. The lymph backs up, causing swelling. Iíve been getting more fat, trying to push my body into ketosis, which needs to go through the lymphatic system to reach the liver, where itís broken down into ketones, and distributed to the blood. So, the fact that muscle contraction is needed to circulate lymph, and that I had drastically reduced my workout routine around the time that my feet started to swell, do seem to point to this. I hope not, because the photos I found of where lymphedema can lead were horrifying.
I brought up lymphedema with the nutritionist, and she basically said that low protein intake seems like the more obvious cause for my low blood proteins, which, she agreed with my doctor, is likely to be the immediate cause of my foot swelling. She said that since increasing my protein intake wonít hurt even if I do have poor lymph circulation, I should try that, anyway.
I had been thinking that the problem wasnít that I was getting too little protein, but rather, that my body was turning it all into glucose. At 30g/day, though, that now seems very unlikely. The nutritionist also said that the body will use up all of the dietary fat that it gets before starting to turn protein into glucose.
When I read the suggestions to use a glucose meter test solution, I thought, ďWhy didnít I think of that!?Ē It seemed so obvious! I was surprised to find, though, that drug stores donít carry test solution, so I had to order some, online. Iím a little confused about how itís supposed to work. I thought that it would just be a glucose solution of a known concentration, but every solution said that it only read ďhigh,Ē ďlow,Ē etc., and only worked with a specific meter. So, I ordered a meter/solution combo, for only a few dollars more that just the solution.
Iím not sure what to do about salt. Iíve been told that I may need a lot more or a lot less. Iíve tried both, although only for a few days at a time, and neither had any apparent effect on the swelling, so I settled on a ďmediumĒ amount, about 2-3g/day.
Iím vegan for ethical reasons, so canít add any animal sources of iron. I did start taking an iron supplement, a few days ago.
I see my doctor again, in about a month. Hopefully, my foot swelling will be gone by then.
Once again, thank you, everyone, for your help!
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  #7   ^
Old Sat, Oct-14-17, 13:52
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nawchem nawchem is offline
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Posts: 7,611
 
Plan: atkins
Stats: 178.5/172.5/170 Female 62
BF:
Progress: 71%
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Brilliant! I'm so glad you're feeding yourself. I'm in school and we studied protein last week. This made me think of you.

"When the concentration of plasma proteins is significantly decreased, the concomitant decrease in the plasma colloidal osmotic pressure results in increased levels of interstitial fluid and edema. Albumin is the protein that makes up 80% of the osmotic pressure of intravascular fluids, which maintains the appropriate fluid balance in the tissue. Albumin transports thyroid hormone, other hormones particularly fat soluble ones, iron and fatty acids, calcium, magnesium ions and many drugs. The half life of serum albumin is 20 days."

Clinical Chemistry by Bishop.

You can go to the phlebotomist let them test blood sugar on their meter than you take it again on your meter as an easy check.

Last edited by nawchem : Sat, Oct-14-17 at 14:17.
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