Ketosis and Adrenal Fatigue

Hello, I have been reading mixed information online about how ketosos affects adrenal fatigue.  Does anyone have any specific resources speaking to how it affects DHEA levels and testosterone.  Thanks!

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  • Hi I was advised to do Keto because of having adrenal fatigue. Dr Eric Berg  on YouTube talks about it in many videos. Getting off sugars & alcohol were my first priority. I will see what else I have read.

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  • My experience was after 2 weeks on 18-20 net carbs I gained energy that I never thought was possible. When I cheat for the holidays with carbs and sugar I always regret it afterwards, because I'm tired and my inflammation in my joints let me know I messed up again.

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  • Joanna Curious. How did you know you had fatigued adrenals ?

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  • Joanna 

    And  how did they diagnose that?

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  • badmojomn I was starting with extreme fatigue fears, having that was NOT allowed (! - this is me talking to myself) once a year I have an asmatha review and I discussed the fatigue that was blighting my life, and still does some days but less. Adrenal problems were of interest to the nurse practitioner (almost a Dr/nurse) so I had 2 blood tests in one day am & pm and they showed low cortisol. She rang me and discussed but never said the word Keto Diet, cutting all sugars including alcohol and fruits as well as all grains from my diet for 3 weeks. Me being me, then started the google search and found Keto info on YouTube etc. I have B12 injections 3 monthly and take magnesium, zinc, potassium (was very low) and probiotics. Causes: lack of sleep about 5 yrs, IBS - so so much better on Keto, too much alcohol 🍷 (3-5 bottles a week) steroid inhaler taken over the summer months. What I have since found out, it takes 12-18months to cure! Not 3 weeks 😂🤣😂

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  • Joanna Interesting. I thought lower cortisol was acceptable. Plus, could it have been that you were on prednisone that made the cortisol lower?

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  • badmojomn from what I was lead to believe, Low cortisol with additional factors, (yes can be caused or stressed by steroids in my case an inhaler) is unless Addison’s disease, best helped by a non sugar non grain non alcohol diet 😱 aka Keto 😀 I am relieved she advised diet not medication as the latter causes your adrenal glands to shut down as the synthetic substance renders the glands works unnecessary. I am always happy to keep learning so don’t hesitate to point me in another direction for reading 🙂🤓

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  • Joanna So what your saying is everyone has a "sweet spot" for cortisol levels? 

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  • badmojomn not necessarily, it was the combination of the substances that did me in. Without the inhaler I was eating & drinking and gaining weight without wipe out most days..... 

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  • Joanna 

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  • Joanna I saw those videos.  He did not comment on what many other notable people have said which is that ketosis is a state of stress so bad for adrenal fatigue.  Have you read any resource about how ketosis effects DHEA and testosterone and if it is a perceived state of stress by the body.

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  • Joanna  trying to reply 

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  • wamdesigns  do you have adrenal fatigue?

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  • Has any one seen any resources on how ketosis effects DHEA levels and Testoterone.

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  • Northern Girl Have you tried googling this?

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  • badmojomn I spent a whole day on google😳  There is only very generic and very mixed results about ketosis effect on Adrenal fatigue.  Nothing specific to DHEA.  The science behind the cortisol discussion is over my head.

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  • I have had adrenal fatigue, diagnosed through saliva testing, that eventually improved a lot on a very low carb diet (and other interventions) . At first, I do believe it was a stress to the body since the body has to make a lot of changes, biochemically, when transitioning  from primarily glucose burning to fat burning. It can take awhile (months)! But I had to wait it out because I was becoming diabetic.

    I will say that a few concurrent changes were also really important in recovering from adrenal fatigue. Taking iodine, beginning an exercise routine and getting enough salt/potassium.  Regarding exercise, I had to start this carefully at first, but within a few months I was climbing mountains and feeling great afterwards. I can go onto more detail if you want. 

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  • Elle Russ is an author who discusses using a low carb diet to recover from adrenal/thyroid problems. 

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  • Northern Girl All I know, is I feel a lot better now that I'm fat adapted. I think a lot of other people can contest once getting there, it's pretty awesome. Really, what's more important? Lol Joanna can contest, she loves the way she feels. I guess my point being, I think our adrenals are doing much better now, knowing that we feel better. 

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  • Sarah love your reply you give me such hope thank you. I am walking again, (not wearing monitor yet so not sure how far) which I just couldn’t do outside of the home any more so I can wholeheartedly varify that Keto at 3 months in is already getting me back on track to my 5-7 miles a day 🎉🎉🎉

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  • Joanna something I’ve noticed, and I think some others with adrenal fatigue have noticed as well is that longer but less vigorous exercise can be harder on the adrenals than shorter but harder workouts. When I began, I couldn’t  walk a half a mile without crashing, but was able to do 10 min HIIT on an elliptical and and 45 min of strength training. I couldn’t lift much but it was hard! The secret, I think, is that I was doing short bursts of intense activity rather that endurance exercise.  After a few, though, My endurance improved as well. 

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  • Joanna In thinking about this some more, I realize I have left out an important caveat. It is important to figure out why you have AD in the first place and deal with the cause. In my case, I was a mom of three young, active boys at the time and I pushed myself too hard. I wasn’t getting enough rest, had food sensitivities I was ignoring, had gained weight, was experiencing high blood sugars and was a mess emotionally .  It took me years to deal with all of these issues, and it wasn’t until my boys were teens that I figured out how to rest enough to avoid crashes. 

    I couldn’t have begun exercising before improving the above issues. When I started exercising, it was on days I had gotten a good night sleep and felt pretty good. I listened to my body. 

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  • I’m writing a lot here, but this is a passionate interest of mine!

    I just wanted to mention some other things that have really helped me heal my adrenals.

    1. I take vitamin c (ascorbic acid) to bowel tolerance daily (in at least two doses. 

    2. I take magnesium to bowel tolerance. 

    Most importantly:

    3. I take sea salt and potassium in water. Both Keto folks and AF folks need a LOT of salt. There are specific ways to do this which you can find online. ( and be careful as too much of these minerals can cause loose stools). The most recent research indicates that more salt is ok for most people (but check with your doc of course).

    4. I eat a high protein breakfast within an hour of waking. There is a doc onljne that recommends 40g protein at breakfast. This is a lot (it’s actually my entire daily protein allowance according to some calculators- I’m short), but I can’t tell you how helpful this has been to me. 

    5. Most importantly, I must asleep before 10pm. Non negotiable. 9ish is actually better for me. 

    And a caveat: perhaps others have had a different experience, but I think that once you have had  adrenal fatigue, your body may always be susceptible. I can still crash if I get too little sleep for too many days in a row and then workout or have an emotional upset. I still need to listen to my body. 

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  • Sarah  yes please go into detail and thank you!  How long was your revovery?

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