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Can Keto Cause High Blood Pressure

Increasing Your Likelihood Of Ketoacidosis

can a keto diet cause high blood pressure

You might have heard of ketoacidosis, but do you understand what it is?

Ketoacidosis is a condition that happens when the ketone level in your blood rises too high. This can happen when your body is in ketosis.

Ketosis is a natural process that allows your body to create fuel from fat when carbohydrate sources arent available for body energy.

Most of the time, ketosis isnt dangerous. However, if youre producing more ketones than you can use, Ketoacidosis can occur.

This condition can be deadly. In people with diabetes, ketoacidosis occurs with a high blood sugar level and a lowered PH in the blood.

How Did The Researchers Interpret The Results

The researchers said their “primary novel finding” is that a 4-week high-fat diet “results in a similar increase in systolic BP in male and female DSS rats”.

They said this was “associated with an increased percentage of total T cells in the kidney as well as an increased percentage of renal and aortic pro-inflammatory Th17 cells”.

They go on to caution that “the rapid BP response to a HFD , especially under a relatively short treatment period, appears to be unique to DSS rats” and hasn’t been seen in other types of laboratory rat.

Youre Eating Too Much Fat

The ketogenic diet is a big fan of healthy fats, but could too much fat could be hurting our blood glucose levels. Dr. Nikola Djordjevic, MD from explains that the general assumption of the ketogenic diet lowering blood glucose levels is only partially correct. Some individuals do experience high levels of glucose in their blood while on a ketogenic diet. The reason for this is that substituting fat for sugar isnt exactly sustainable over time, she explains. Whats important to understand is that the glucose in your blood is dependent on both carbohydrate and fat intake. According to Dr. Djordjevic, when you consume too much dietary fat, you can actually increase your insulin resistance. This results in high glucose levels in your blood and can lead to conditions such as high cholesterol. It can also increase your risk of developing chronic diseases.

While its true that cutting down on carbs will definitely help reduce glucose levels in the short term, says Dr. Djordjevic, I wouldnt recommend loading up on dietary fat in order to achieve ketosis, since, in the long-term, it can affect your insulin resistance and lead to more serious health conditions.

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The Bottom Line On The Relationship Between Keto And Heart Disease

Heart disease development is based on multiple factors, including blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, family history, smoking, and stress, says Steinbaum. Your diet, while important, is just a piece of the story, she says. Ultimately, its not about keto. Its not about eating sugar. People may want to follow this diet because it makes them feel in control, but nothing is such a quick fix. Its just not that simple, she says.

Dont rely on keto to prevent heart disease or treat existing heart disease. If youre at risk, go on a keto diet only under the supervision of your doctor or cardiologist, especially if you have a family history of the disease, which, in that case, may mean a keto diet could be dangerous.

Can Keto Diet Lead To A Healthier Heart

Can I Take Keto Pills With High Blood Pressure Medication ...

The simple answer to this question is yes, but only if you go about it the right way! Keto diet has become one of the trendiest lifestyle changes out there. Everyone is doing it, or at least everyone is trying it.

However, if you look at what Keto is all about, namely high fat and low carb foods, one might scratch their head and ask: How can this be beneficial for high blood pressure conditions?. The average person on Keto diet is going all out on processed meats, bacon, beef and dairy products to stay true to that high fat requirement. But there is a healthier way to go about doing this, and it wont kick you out of ketosis. In our recent articles we talked about How to Follow a Ketogenic Diet as a Vegetarian and How to Maximize your Fat Intake as a Vegetarian on Keto Diet. If you are suffering from high blood pressure, then this is exactly the path you should take to get a healthier heart.

Recently the term Ketotarian has emerged in many blogs linked to the Keto diet. And essentially, if you are suffering from high blood pressure and are looking for a way to reduce it in a healthy way, then you should become a Ketotarian. Its the best choice for people with high blood pressure who are a.) looking for a way to get a healthier heart and b.) want to try Keto diet.

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The Ketogenic Diet : Does It Help Lower High Blood Pressure

What Is The Ketogenic Diet?

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates.

The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that shares many similarities with the Atkins and low-carb diets.

It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.

When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain.

Ketogenic diets can cause massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. This, along with the increased ketones, has numerous health benefits.

How Does The Ketogenic Diet Work?

The aim of the keto diet is to put, and keep your body in a metabolic state called ketosis.Our bodies normally burn carbohydrates for energy. When you restrict the amount of carbs, the body will break down stored fat, creating molecules called ketones to use as fuel.

Ketosis is a normal physiological process. Theres nothing dangerous about it. Its just that this particular eating style is keeping your body in that state all the time, says Mangieri.

What Is Ketosis?
  • sugar such as fruits and milk or yogurt
  • starchy foods such as bread and pasta

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Is The Keto Diet A Good Choice If Youre Living With Heart Disease

If you have heart disease, you need to be working closely with your cardiologist to make the best heart-healthy lifestyle changes for you. In terms of your diet, your doctor may recommend the Mediterranean diet not keto.

One study published in April 2016 in the European Heart Journal looked at 15,482 patients with stable heart disease and asked them questions about their diets. After a four-year follow-up, those who more closely followed the Mediterranean diet had a lower risk of a heart attack or stroke compared with those on a Western diet . The researchers concluded that adding these healthier foods, which include sources of carbs banned on keto fruit, veggies, legumes, and whole grains rather than avoiding unhealthy foods was the most important factor in preventing another heart problem.

In an analysis for the American College of Cardiology in May 2016, which was geared toward an audience of cardiologists, Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, a cardiologist and professor of nutrition at Tufts University in Boston, advised doctors to wade through the trendy diets, including low-carb diets, noting that these have a minor or uncertain influence on health. He adds that the Mediterranean diet comes the closest to an evidence-based diet that hits the mark.

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A Little About Lada Latent Autoimmune Disease In Adults

If all the information in this article hasnt helped you understand how blood sugar rises on a low-carb diet, and if your blood sugar rises not only in the morning but also at other times of the day, you may have a problem with latent autoimmune diabetes in adults , sometimes called type 1 diabetes.5

Both Hallberg and Fung say they regularly see LADA patients who have been incorrectly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

LADA is similar to type 1 diabetes in that antibodies attack the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, but the disease occurs in adulthood rather than in childhood or adolescence. Diabetes researchers note that LADA also shows signs of type 2 diabetes, but patients tend to lose weight and need insulin faster because their insulin-producing beta cells have been attacked by the antibodies. The highest rates of LADA are found in Northern Europe, where up to 14% of people with type 2 diabetes actually have the disease.

I test serum C-peptide and insulin in everyone who follows my crash diet, says Dr. Fung. I examine them over time, and it often takes 6 months to a year to make a definitive diagnosis. I suspect that about 5-10% of my type 2 patients are actually LADA patients. Dr. Nyman has a similar experience and routine.

High Levels Of Insulin

Does keto or low carb cause high blood pressure?

Insulin resistance and hypertension have a cause and effect relationship. High levels of insulin can increase the reabsorption of sodium by your kidneys.

As you learned above, high levels of sodium increase the volume of your blood and can, therefore, increase your blood pressure .

Elevated levels of insulin can also activate your sympathetic nervous system, which drives up your blood pressure.

For this reason, keeping your blood glucose and insulin levels steady is essential to managing blood pressure. Both impact your sympathetic nervous function and your sodium to potassium ratio.

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To Salt Or Not To Salt

Eating less salt may lower your blood pressure a little.

However, despite various trials showing a slight reduction of blood pressure with lower sodium diets, we lack definitive evidence that less salt in our food will reduce the risk of heart disease or death.30

In addition, its unclear if sodium reduction is as important as increasing potassium.31 Some studies suggest that the sodium-to-potassium ratio is better at predicting cardiovascular disease and death than the intake of either nutrient alone.32

Regardless of whether sodium or potassium is more important, we should note that much of the salt we ingest comes from fast food, ready-made meals, bread and soft drinks. Therefore, most low-carb diets automatically lower salt intake, because these foods are avoided.33 Furthermore, when starting a low-carb diet, insulin levels tend to drop, which is thought to help explain why blood pressure drops on low carb.34

Lastly, large observational trials, such as the PURE study, suggest that the risk of heart attack and death increases with sodium intakes less than 3000mg and greater than 7000mg per day. Moderate intakes between these amounts were not associated with increased risk.35

With all the conflicting evidence, its unclear whether you will become healthier by eating less salt. However, if you stick to a low-carb diet, you should be able to enjoy salt in moderation without excess risk.36

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Is The Keto Diet Safe With High Blood Pressure

For people who have high blood pressure and have sought a keto diet as a solution, it may not be the safest option. Cardiologists from the renowned St. Elizabeth Heart and Vascular Institute believe that keto may not be the best option when dealing with blood pressure.

Also, a research conducted by the American Journal of Physiology, Heart and Circulatory Physiology concluded that a keto diet, which recommends the consumption of about 75% fat, about 5% carbohydrates, and about 20% protein, can adequately burn body fat instead of the glucose contained in carbohydrates and use it as a source of energy for the body. The study also says that this phenomenon may also release hormones that can increase blood pressure.

What will work instead is a program that gradually reduces body weight over 12 months. Doctors agree that gradual weight loss is the best option for keto diets, which tend to cause rapid weight reduction. However, I must say that generally, it is relative and depends on an individuals body system and other particular circumstances. There are cases where keto diets normalize blood pressure.

However, before going on a keto diet plan, two minor factors must be put into consideration:

Will The Keto Diet Raise Blood Pressure

Can the Keto Diet Reduce High Blood Pressure?

Keto is a diet plan that involves eating foods that are high in fat and low in carbohydrates. The ultimate aim of keto is to starve the body of carbohydrates but allow enough calories. This way, the body burns fat as an energy source instead of glucose thus , there is a reduction in weight and prevention of the various diseases associated with obesity such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and even heart attack.

The keto diet allows meat, full-fat dairy, vegetables, especially leafy greens, nuts and seeds, avocados and berries, and other fats such as coconut oil. However, it doesnt include grains such as rice and wheat, sugar, and variants such as maple syrup and honey, sweet potatoes, and most sugary fruit.

Experts have conducted several studies in medicine and nutrition/dietetics concerning whether the keto diet can raise blood pressure.

According to US Government statistics, high blood pressure caused or primarily contributed to about 494,873 deaths in the US in 2018 alone. Also, statistics from the UK government show one in every four people worldwide are suffering from hypertension, which also refers to high blood pressure, and projections suggest that it will affect 1.5 billion people by 2025.

Male Dahl rats have shown a significant increase in their blood pressure after consuming a fatty or salty diet. However, no previous studies had been conducted on female Dahl rats.

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May Stress Your Kidneys

High fat animal foods, such as eggs, meat, and cheese, are staples of the keto diet because they dont contain carbs. If you eat a lot of these foods, you may have a higher risk of kidney stones.

Thats because a high intake of animal foods can cause your blood and urine to become more acidic, leading to increased excretion of calcium in your urine .

Some studies also suggest that the keto diet reduces the amount of citrate thats released in your urine. Given that citrate can bind to calcium and prevent the formation of kidney stones, reduced levels of it may also raise your risk of developing them .

Additionally, people with chronic kidney disease should avoid keto, as weakened kidneys may be unable to remove the acid buildup in your blood that results from these animal foods. This can lead to a state of acidosis, which can worsen the progression of CKD.

Whats more, lower protein diets are often recommended for individuals with CKD, while the keto diet is moderate to high in protein .


Eating a lot of animal foods on the keto diet can lead to more acidic urine and a higher risk of kidney stones. This acidic state can also worsen the progression of chronic kidney disease.

Blood Pressure Warnings About The ‘keto Diet’ May Not Apply To Humans

“Is the trendy keto diet bad for you?” asks the Mail Online.

The headline refers to the increasingly popular ketogenic diet. This diet involves eating a combination of high-fat and low-carbohydrate foods.

As the body usually uses carbs for energy, the diet is designed to “force” the body to burn off fat instead as an alternative energy source. This can help promote weight loss.

Researchers fed one group of rats a high-fat diet and another group a normal-fat diet.

After 4 weeks, they found rats on the high-fat diet had an increase in blood pressure of around 20% compared with the rats on a normal-fat diet.

But it’s not accurate to describe the high-fat diet used in the study as a “keto diet”, as it consisted mainly of lard and rodent feed and was higher calorie than the normal-fat diet used in comparison.

This study tells us little about the potential effects of such a diet on humans.

The researchers said the rats used in the study were bred specifically to show an increase in blood pressure in response to diet, and that the 4-week response to a high-fat diet “appears to be unique to DSS rats”.

When it comes to a healthy diet, weight loss is not the only concern. A balanced diet brings a range of benefits, ranging from strengthening your bones to helping keep your kidneys healthy.

If you need to lose weight and want to avoid potential health problems from fad diets, take a look at the NHS weight loss guide.

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