Jennifer Marie’s Update
I consulted with Jennifer Marie after a two-day Christmas train ride to Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. The Northern Lights sat on my bucket list for many years. Our family trekked to the Polar Bear Capital of the World to witness this fascinating light show in the sky. The colder the better when viewing the Northern Lights. God blessed our trip with fifty degrees below zero Fahrenheit. Yes! The sky sparkled.
Those cold temperatures kept most people away from this northern tundra. Most folks visit Churchill in the summertime when the Baluga whales migrate to those shores in Manitoba. The advertisements to swim with the whales seemed impossible. Deadly.
The temperatures in Northern Canada require a robust metabolism to survive. The Inuits native to that land use ketones to survive.
While there, I interviewed members of that Inuit tribe about their carnivorous lifestyle. For centuries, the Inuits sustained themselves on every piece of an animal, from nose to tail! That information, interestingly, becomes a part of our consultation.
Resetting sleep and pain
Jennifer Marie shared John’s three-day sleep re-set. His success came after a few days of struggling. Thanks to that sleep protocol, he sinks into a much deeper sleep. Restorative, deep sleep holds the key to mending his brain. His brain signaled pain for months. He “practiced” feeling that pain by firing those nerves causing his pain. At first, the nerves were small. But weeks after the accident, the nerves grew in size and in their signal. To reset those electrical signals, he must sleep. Specifically, he must sleep deeply. Before he used that sleep-training protocol, his brain had not sunk into a deep sleep in months. Now his sleep chips away at reversing those signals each night he settles into the deeper sleep. He must continue to sink into deep sleep each night to get that pain to disappear completely. Each night improved his “injury” to the brain. The sleep protocol resets his sleep. Ketones make that repair process faster.
A week after starting this sleep protocol, John now endures much less pain. So much less, in fact, that he had yet to use the pain medication this past week. Previously he used that medication nightly! We obtained our goal of overcoming the sleep-pain cycle so John can become fully keto-adapted. Despite these results, John is reluctant to use the sleep medication again. This is common from most patients. Their brain really sinks deeply into sleep with the medication. After that initial protocol, it can take a few days for them to feel fully awake. I encourage John to use the training medication a few times in the next month. This will “remind” his brain how to sink into that deep sleep. As the weeks go by, he will need that reminder less and less. Intermittent medication use will help John avoid a full relapse in the future.
Using the smallest dosage a couple of times a week on sleepless nights will help John’s nerves remember how to sleep deeply. .
In my ICU experience, I learned that deep, prolonged sleep cures injuries. Having tricked his body into a better sleep pattern, John has reaped the rewards of less pain. His sleep-wake cycle shifted several hours in the wrong direction at first. I reassured him that his routine will return as his body adjusts.
Sweating the numbers
Jennifer Marie finds herself with some new troubles this week. After two weeks of illness and an antibiotic, her ketones slumped into the 0.3-1.4 range.
Checking ketone and insulin levels can be a blessing and a curse. When you don’t check your numbers, weight loss can stall as the numbers slide in the wrong direction. Without checking, you won’t know why the scale stopped moving. When you do check your numbers, you can predict trouble before it finds you.
Jennifer Marie surprised me by reporting a 0.9-pound weight-loss during her sinus infection. While I predicted a plateau—or even a gain—during her illness, Jennifer Marie’s steadfast commitment to ketosis kept her on the straight and narrow. While many people would give up the lifestyle during sickness and consume high-carb comfort foods, she remained true. She sipped on bone broth and kept the twelve-hour eating window from 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. Bone broth contains protein, fat and a whole list of nutrients that help your body heal. Using this as her comfort food provides a win-win for her body and immune system.
Jennifer Marie’s blood glucose stayed between 72 and 79 during her illness. She found hot flashes an embarrassing symptom that reminded her of the first weeks after she went keto.
In her early ketosis days, Jennifer Marie experienced night sweats. This is worrisome. Early menopause scares all women in their forties. Maybe it is from vitamin deficiencies? I assured her this returning symptom indicates something positive: her body ramping up for the next level of production! At least that was my hope. There are scary reasons for night sweats and hot flashes. But let’s watch and wait to see what these symptoms do.
Patients transition into the ketogenic chemistry often drag along their low metabolisms. Their metabolisms increase as they fuel with fat. In turn, their bodies produce more energy. Each little mitochondria “throws another log into the fire” of the overall energy in the system. They see a rise in perspiration. Jennifer Marie stressed her system in recent weeks. Although that sounds like a bad thing, the increased stress at the cellular level activated several more mitochondria to burn fat instead of glucose. Her increased number of mitochondria feeding off ketones left her with a supply-and-demand energy imbalance that will work in her favor. Those ketones put out far greater energy than glucose churning through mitochondria. To help her through the transition, I recommended magnesium replacement. Jennifer Marie already scheduled another magnesium float this week. That ought to help!
Returning to ketosis after error
A viewer asked how to increase ketone levels quickly. Exercise helps burn excess calories. For the average keto newbie, regular exercise has not been a part of their lifestyle. Jumping straight into a marathon isn’t realistic. I recommend that exercise begins with a jump rope. Yes. A jump rope. I encouraged Jennifer Marie to jump rope for one minute a day, logging the number of times she gets over that rope in one minute. Like any habit, you’ve got to start with a small routine and grow from there.
You cannot walk your way out of a bad diet or bad ketone levels. Your diet MUST support your goals. She is a master of ketosis. This solid foundation must be established before I talk about exercise with my patients.
The other bio-hack I recommend for those who have fallen off the wagon is EXOGENOUS KETONES. Exogenous ketones are also called BHB – beta hydroxybutyrate. I affectionately call them “Ketones-in-a-can.” Ketones made in a lab have been around for years. Recently the technology to offer them at a “more reasonable” price has made them readily available. I put the words “more reasonable” in quotes because the cost is still kind of pricey. The Dr Boz brand of Ketones-In-A-Can contains magnesium, sodium, calcium with BHB and a sugar substitute. There isl less than 1 carb in each scoop of powder, and no fat or protein. When you want back into ketosis after a dietary slip-up, products such as this offer a great solution.
Avoid iron deficiency
The standard American diet lacks many essential things. Among them, iron. And, in our society, many people can’t break down the iron they do consume.
Adequate iron levels assure mental and cognitive health. Our levels tend to lag because of the SAD diet. A high instance of bariatric surgery puts many patients at risk for a lifetime of poor iron absorbtion. The surgeon cut out the section of the gut that absorbs iron the best. Also, women have fewer pregnancies than they did 150 years ago. That is blessing if you ask most women, but we pay a price. Did you know that women today have as many menstrual cycles by the age of 21 as they had in an entire lifetime 200 years ago? That is a lot of wasted blood! In other words, that is a lot of wasted iron.
Carnivorous diets such as keto help increase iron levels when tackled correctly. In order for this to happen, we have to consume organ meat like the Inuits whom I visited this week. We must increase our fat, salt and protein intake and do away with carbohydrates. This is crazy-talk to someone accustomed to the SAD diet, but iron deficiency is foreign to the native tribes of Manitoba.
The Inuits were known to consume an animal from its nose to its tail. While that likely won’t be the norm for most keto participants, liver, sardines and the Beef and Butter Fast Jennifer Marie created make wonderful tools.
Make it measurable!
When Jennifer Marie began her keto journey nearly two years ago, she aimed to overcome insulin resistance. She found herself shedding weight thanks to her shifted chemistry. Many people new to the ketogenic lifestyle come at it from the weight perspective and find the health benefits to be pleasant side effects.
Whatever your goal, make sure you can measure it! Whether it’s a certain weight, body mass index or depth of your sleep, set a measurable goal, and put a deadline on it!
Calorie-tracking dieters can find themselves living by the 2,000-daily-calorie goal. A commitment to better health shouldn’t equate to lifelong counting. With keto, get used to what 20 carbs looks like, and then walk away from being ruled by those numbers. Hunger signals will peak and valley once you’re fully keto-adapted, and you won’t have to wonder.
As you get started, find a partner. Jennifer Marie shared that she’s set weight-loss goals numerous times, but it wasn’t until February 2017 that she actually got started and stuck with it. This was partly because she did her research, but also because she didn’t do it alone.
Thanks to technology, it’s possible to create authentic human relationships and build a like-minded community regardless of whether your neighbor is interested in ketosis. Through websites like this and Jennifer Marie’s, you can find your tribe across the world from the comfort of your smartphone.
For the full story on John’s Sleep Story struggles, read the articles below:
Have you read my book yet?
Anyway You Can is an amazing resource to guide you on your ketogenic journey.
Keto Reference Guide: https://bozmd.com/product/quality-eating-guide/
Boz BHB Exogenous Ketones: https://amzn.to/2GXLlSw
Glucose & Ketone Testing Kit: http://bit.ly/2QKGmKG
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