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Ketogenic Diet

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Now a question for any of you on a ketogenic diet.  Since my onc told me he doesn't have anything else for me and turned me over to the Mary Crowley Cancer Research Center and now they have found problems with my blood work that may exclude me from their trials, I have turned to a ketogenic diet to at least be doing something to combat the spread and growth of the mets while I try to find another onc for a 2nd opinion for conventional treatment.  I've stopped as many carbs as possible (less than 5% of daily requirement) for 13 days now.  Is it normal for me to be so drained of energy?  Is it normal to have this constant nagging discomfort across my upper abdomen?  I can barely work for more than 2 - 3 hours before I absolutly have to sit down or lie down for 15 min to get enough energy to last a little longer.  This is becoming a major change in my routine of being physically active all day.  I felt better during 5 yrs of chemo than I do now.

Starting to get a little discouraged and depressed.  That's not normal for me.  I may not be the best fighter, but I am a survivor. I always get up when I get knocked down.


Posts: 1170
Joined: Sep 2012

Yes, this is normal.  I went on this diet to lose weight.  It damn near killed me.  No energy.  Other odd effects, as well.  It may help with regards to the cancer but it makes the body so weak.  I can't imagine having cancer or going through treatment and being on this diet.  I could not do it.

lp1964's picture
Posts: 1240
Joined: Jun 2013

On the cellular level the only fuel for the cells is glucose. So if you cut out sugar you are running out of energy until your body learns to get it from the protein and fat that you eat or stored.

The other thing I wanted to suggest if I may is to have a chemo sensitivity test done on the cancer cell to see if there is a chemo or combination of chemos that maybe effective. The website is:


Hope you figure out something,


thxmiker's picture
Posts: 1282
Joined: Oct 2010

When I get a low energy, I eat a snack of Herring or Cheese. This protein boosts my energy.  We switched over to mostly veggie and protein diet.  Not quite the Ketogenic, but not far off.  We still allow our selves rice and the occasional pasta. 


Saturday we had a run with a group of friends, 8 1/2 miles from the coastal mountains to the beach.  We had a BBQ waiting for us at the end of the fun run. Many people this was their first run of this difficulty. When we (my Beagle Gizmo and I) go to the beach, she got a piece of beef and I had herring.  The Protein hit made me feel better in about 15 minutes.   A couple of friends asked why the protein and not sugar. I told them the Protein was a long term energy fix and not a short term fix. 


The idea of the Ketogenic diet is to burn off the sugars and for the body to run more off of the proteins. This takes some practise for us to get this balance correct.  One runs out of energy because their balance is off. Eat protein more often in small amounts.


Best Always,  mike

Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

Dan I have been on the diet for about four months now. Low energy is normal at first. Make sure you are eating a lot of fat so your healthy cells get energy. I consume a lot of coconut and olive oil. Interesting what you said about the abdominal discomfort. I have been experiiencing a lot of discomfort mainly on my right side for the past 4 weeks. I had wondered if it could be related to the diet although I didn't have it for the first 3 months on the diet.

I am sorry to hear about the trials. Find another onc and keep fighting.

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010


watch this if you have not already.

i would find a doc willing to support you, the real value is controlling insulin spikes.

a few keto challenges and risks, watch your immune function which is my tip.

mct oil with meals.

also add good whey protien ie mercolas 

my clinical goal is g/K <1 goodluck this is blooody difficult.

I also would stick to weight training once per week, to ensure on gain muscle and loose fat. any fat is proinflamatory and bad.

the key is moderat exercise, not too much and it must be supported by diet.

the lack of energy could be many many many factors beyond diet, i would look at co q10 and nadh+ to start.

as per seyfried, some patients keytone enzymes are suboptimal, I hope you are not in that group.

its criminal we have to do these diets ourselves, with our own research. 

none of my german doctors are really into ketogenic, they pay lipservice to it, but the high level of supervision it takes and guidance, well they dont know shiiit.

for me keto is apart of the puzzle, some moderate exercise can help with insulin resistance

a friend setup this site, its good http://www.ketogenic-diet-resource.com/ i would read the book

Dan, the silver lining is that I believe metabolic and immunotherapies can work in a metastatic context, why just today I heard of a prostrate cancer guy who has had 68 vaccines at 3 per year, and he is doing very nicely. he is my role model!

we are unstoppable, I will only stop believing in cure after the last breathe, even then I will be smiling.

goodluck on the diet, fix the energy issues. you might need some raw liver if your iron is low.

at least do a full naturopathic workout for everything especially your gut, which is the seat of the immune system. your mircobiome is the only thing that will save your life!

 pm me, I dont look here to much anymore for my own reasons

http://ketonutrition.blogspot.de/2012/12/starving-cancer-ketogenic-diet-key-to.html other pro keto articles

lilacbrroller's picture
Posts: 412
Joined: Jun 2012

Hi Dan. I don't think the ketogenic diet is a good idea; my onc in NYC specializes in alternative medicine, and when I asked him about it, he said it benefitted brain cancer patients but didn't do any additional good for colorectal patients.   My onc said to cut down on sugar.

Personally, I think it's hard on our bodies and can overly tax our liver and kidneys, potentially causing damage.  These two organs are already overworked processing chemo, why weaken them further?

My advice is that if you're healthy, then play around with different diets, even harsh ones, but once your health starts to decline, stop them and focus on eating a healthy complete balanced diet to give your body enough energy to tolerate the treatments. 

- Karin

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