SoOoOoOoOooo…..I’ve decided to quit keto.
This decision was not a fast or easy one. It took a few weeks and A LOT of trial and error to figure out what was going on with my sugars.
Keto seemed to be the answer to
all most of my diabetic prayers. See how much I praised it in my post here. It stabilized my sugar, required less insulin (my wallet loved this), and didn’t require as many finger jabs. But after about 6 months of strict keto (under 20g carbs) I noticed a very bad trend happening.
All of a sudden I needed more basal. Then I needed a more aggressive bolus ratio. Then I needed a temp basal running for 4-5hrs after I ate. And despite all that I still wasn’t “in-range”.
WTF was going on? Before I knew it I would spike into the 300 zone after eating a measly 10g carbs THAT.I.BOLUSED.FOR.. I had more than doubled my insulin needs despite eating less than 20g carbs per day.
I went down the usual list of culprits (changing pumps, doing MDI injections, changed insulin, got even more aggressive with my ratios), but nothing seemed to work.
So I fired up Facebook to see if others had experienced the same thing on Keto. Turns out, it’s a thing called “Carb Sensitivity”.
Carb Sensitivity on Keto
There are a few theories as to why this happens. The theory that holds the most weight is The Enzyme Theory.
This theory states that when our body is not exposed to a certain kind of food, like carbs for example, it will slow down the production of enzymes needed to break it down (because the body’s #1 goal is to be efficient). This is proven to be especially true for foods like dairy & gluten.
So when you do eat some carbs (or come out of the “Keto Honeymoon” phase) your body doesn’t have enough enzymes to break it down properly, resulting in BG spikes that last for hours.
Shading the Hate
I was shocked to see how much shade was thrown by Keto Extremists on this topic. Despite a bite-sized breath mint throwing someone into the 200’s the extremists aggressively advocated for this person to stay on this diet when it clearly wasn’t serving them.
Let’s all agree that no Body is the same. So no diet can be used universally.
How to Fix Carb Sensitivity
It’s simple. Eat more carbs. By consuming more carbs, you’re showing your body that it needs to produce more enzymes to break down those carbs.
Keep in mind that during this “re-training” phase you’re going to have to give a lot more insulin than you’re used to because of how sensitive you’ve become.
What worked for me was running a temp basal increase of 50% all day long (which is think is 150% if you’re on medtronic?).
I went from eating 0-5g carbs per meal to about 15-20g per meal. My goal was to hit 60-80g carbs daily. So, still low carb, just not keto.
Slowly but surely my carb sensitivity was going away.
- After 1 week I was able to cut my temp basal down to only a 30% increase
- After 2 weeks I didn’t need a temp basal running at all
- After 3 weeks I got a nasty cold/virus and needed to go back to a 30% increase in temp basal for a few days. Once my cold was over I removed the temp basal and even noticed a couple lows after meals.
- After 4 weeks I have adjusted some of my ratios and am almost back to where I was pre carb sensitivity.
Have you Experienced Carb Sensitivity on Keto?
I would love to know! Let me know in the comments below. And remember friends, be friendly 🙂 I know this can be a charged topic.
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