Inflammation is a contributor to many diseases including infertility, diabetes, cardiovascular disease (atherosclerosis), insulin resistance, PCOS and obesity. It may also have a hand in preeclampsia and preterm labor.
Inflammation is a symptom, as well as, a disease whose exact root cause is unknown. Some of the inflammation that we see in reproduction is manifest in irregular cycles, weight gain (the “tire” effect) and the inability to lose weight despite the consumption of blocks of oatmeal or some tragic, ultra-low calorie diet. The inability to lose weight despite exercise and Puritanic diet may be sourced in how the body deals with inflammation and how it feeds the cells.
Glucose is the ultimate food source – it is quick, it is easy and universal. Glucose (sugar) travels in blood vessels and directly is transported into cells that use if for energy. Sugar is the commerce, except when sugar can’t get in – when the currency has changed. Inside of the cells becomes oblivious to its presence on the outside of its cell door and commands the brain to act. The brain, in turn, slows metabolism to a crawl (it is starving and packs on weight).
Much frustration and consternation occurs when, despite best efforts, almost no weight is lost. So, perhaps the cells need to think outside of the box, equally. Here in lies the success of the keto-based diet. Where glucose uses the front door (provided it is open), ketones slide in through the open kitchen window (of the cells). Ketones are an alternate energy source that can be used by cells. Satiating the mechanisms within the cells stops the brain from its continued emergency broadcasting and in turn, does not slow metabolism.
The diet and lifestyle themselves are held in great esteem by some and in poor repair by others – both health professionals and laypersons alike. Once into the routine, the diet can be easily managed. The ketogenic diet promotes high fat and low carbohydrates (20-30 grams daily). It forces the body to welcome those kitchen-window energy sources and fuels function. The liver convert the fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies (“keto”). Elevated ketones in the body are referred to as “ketosis” and are the goal of any keto-practioner. Is it a panacea for all, certainly not.
However, for our patients with insulin resistance and inflammation, it has provided a fix and validation for years of effortful but empty weight loss. If you have questions about healthy weight loss for your fertility, please contact us. We are here for you.