Keto and Serotonin Regulation

I got into Paleo years ago and eventually followed nearly everyone in that community over to Keto. Keto never seemed to work very well for me. I didn’t know what else to do and kept at it for a long time, even though some issues it caused were difficult to deal with.

My sleep was a wreck when I was in ketosis and I often would clench my jaw and grind my teeth during my sleep. I would search google for others with those symptoms and nobody would mention it so I thought I just wasn’t getting enough electrolytes or something.

More electrolytes and more magnesium seemed to help a bit, but I felt it was just masking a problem. I still had trouble sleeping and would still clench my jaw or grind my teeth occasionally if I took too many or too few of certain electrolytes.

I did a lot of research and found Ray Peat’s Information online. I am starting to believe the sleep problems were caused by the brain not being able to regulate serotonin, as well as higher cortisol. Keto, Low Carb, and Carnivore can cause you to be unable to regulate your serotonin and induce more cortisol and a stress metabolism state. I believe this higher stress is why weight loss can occur on keto, however it is probably not a good state to be in for very long.

Serotonin isn’t just a happy chemical as the pharmaceutical companies would like you to believe. Serotonin syndrome is a recognized issue that causes a number of symptoms, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle Rigidity
  • Diarrhea
  • Bowel Sounds
  • Shivering
  • Dry mucous membranes

I believe many people who have tried low-carb, keto, and carnivore diets have experienced many of these symptoms. They are unwittingly causing themselves serotonin dysregulation.

The solution is simple, though in the keto community it is sacrilege. Even though you are scared out of your mind to eat more sugar and carbs in your diet by all these keto gurus, you can just try it for a month or two like you did when you started keto and see how it works for you. Simply bring carbs like fruit and sugar, maybe some starches, back into the diet, while still avoiding harmful substances like vegetable oil as much as possible.

You may lose weight more slowly and will not quickly get six pack abs, but you will not be dieting at the expense of other parts of your life and wellbeing. Being less stressed and more resilient is a very valuable quality in these times.

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