Anemia and Keto?!


I am pretty sure I am weight loss resistant. I cannot lose weight despite working out 6 days a week (combination of strength and cardio) and being on keto and tracking everything. Also, I gave up dairy so I don’t know what else I can do at this point.

My anemia is kinda bad and I need to take pills or will need a tranfusion if that doesn’t work. Has anyone experienced weight loss resistance when anemic on keto. My blood levels are 8.8 and should be 12.5 at least.

I know that nothing is wrong with my diet and I am fasting and doing everything right. I had my BMR tested everything i have been working on this since I thought it was just a slow metabolism but can anemia just short change the thyroid even if you don’t have a TSH problem and cause your metabolism to be like the living dead?!!!

EXPERIENCES with this or slower to no weight loss? Anyone?!

(Old Baconian) #2

Are you eating enough? Low insulin is a requirement for fat loss, but so is eating enough food to convince the body it’s safe to part with some of its reserves. That may sound paradoxical, in a world where “eat less, move more” is standard advice, but the body responds to inadequate energy intake (i.e., less than expenditure) by going into famine mode, slowing the metabolic rate and putting non-essential processes (nails, hair, the reproductive system) on hold. In times of caloric abundance, the metabolic rate goes up, and the body finds lots of things to spend its energy on.

So control your carbohydrate intake, be sure to get enough protein, and add enough fat to your diet to satisfy your hunger. The lowered carb intake will help lower your insulin, the protein will provide building materials (amino acids) for new muscle and stronger bone, and the fat will provide fuel for the body’s energy needs. So eat when hungry, stop eating when no longer hungry, and don’t eat again until hungry again.

(Edith) #3

How long have you been keto? What kinds of foods do you eat? Are you eating red meat?

There are many plants, spinach being one of them that can bind with vitamins and minerals and prevent us from absorbing them.


I am eating enough and I eat lots of healthy foods like low carb fruits and superfoods and salads and supplements and what not. i also have nuts and meats and don’t eat ANY junk food. like no processed no DAIRY nothing bad. i am super obsessive about anything going in my mouth being medicine or being junk that’s how i look at food these days like can it provide me with nurishment. anyhow i feel like the healthier i am the more my body hangs on to my fat. i tried slowly adding calories since i was in starvation mode for awhile and doing way too much fasting but this hasn’t helped either. i’m thinking it’s hormones and iron deficiency since iron helps regulate the tyroid alto my TSH is normal. it’s all very odd and i’m trying to figure out why my scale doesn’t budge even when going from not working out to doing some good circuit training and strength a few times a week and walking almost daily. any insights would be great.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #5

Not being negatively critical. You need to help us help you. Vague generalities are not useful. Following was your response to @VirginiaEdie asking what kinds of foods you eat and whether you’re eating red meat.

  • eating enough - what specifically and how much?
  • lots of healthy foods - what specific foods?
  • low carb fruits - what fruits? How much?
  • superfoods - what specifically? How much?
  • salads - what and how much vegetables? Dressing? Mayo? Oil? Vinegar? Tabasco sauce?
  • supplements - what and how much of each?
  • what not / nothing bad - meaningless
  • nuts - what specific nuts, how much and how frequently?
  • meats - what specific meats, how much and how frequently? Any red meat?

Other useful info could include:

  • do you measure/weight food portions? If not how do you know how many carbs you’re eating?
  • do you know anything about macros?
  • do you ever, some times, a lot ignore hunger?
  • do you supplement sodium - usually in the form of added salt?
  • are you ever dehydrated?
  • what medications are you taking?

In your OP you said this:

Well, something is wrong because you’re anemic and on medication for it. As Edith says, there are many plants that interfere with nutrient absorption. Maybe some of those veggies you’re eating in your ‘healthy’ salads aren’t so healthy as you think.

You’ve started numerous topics on the forum and maybe in some or all of them you have described in more detail what and how much you’re eating. If so, well and good. But when you open a new topic and ask for help and suggestions about some specific issue, at least give us a summary. You can assume that few, if anyone, are going to read all your previous posts. If anyone does so, be sure to give them a big heart.


I usually have coffee with vegan low carb creamer when I wake up. This has stevia in it. I hear mixed reviews about stevia actually mimicing sugar in the body. Lots of evidence on this and why the EU doesn’t allow it.

Then I have my lunch which is a big salad with measured apple cider vinegar and olive oil with a serving of pistachos on top and 4 oz of turkey or ham or some kinda meat like shrimp or steak. I then have some coconut keto chips with it that only have coconuts and almonds added.

For dinner, I eat a broth with meat inside and tomatoes and some spinach. I also have a salad with it with more vinegar and oil that i measure.

I have a drink of apple cider vinegar and lemon and cinnamon and stevia twice a day.

For a snack I eat a small amount of berries. Occasionally the only thing bad I have is a bag of smart sweets here and there which has 3 g of sugar and mostly net carbs and fiber.

What’s wrong is my protein too high and fats too low? I feel I’m having the recommended amount of protein and fats at each meal. Thinking this is hormone related and not diet related. I have done this diet before and ate the same including dairy and lost weight in the past. This time around things aren’t working the same. I gave up dairy since I realized it gives me severe stomach cramping and gas and bloat. I am pretty sure I have severe lactose intollerance. Anyhow thanks for reading and responding.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #7

OK, coffee. Now we’re on the same wave length. I love coffee and drink lots of it every morning. Since I’m going to drink the stuff anyway, I figured I may as well get some nutrition out of it as well. So I’ve developed a ‘keto mix’ for my daily coffee that gives me a few hundred calories of fat and protein to my macros. I tried so-called ‘fat bombs’ and ‘bulletproof’ coffee but gave up on them early on since I had to play catch up with protein all day to balance out the big fat hit first thing in the morning.

What’s the name of the coffee creamer you’re using? Maybe it contains MCT powder. If you want an easy non-dairy coffee creamer you can make your own with MCT powder providing the fat and Coffee Booster providing the protein in the form of collagen. Both mix pretty easily into hot coffee.

Dairy causes some folks problems because of lactose (sugar) and/or casein (protein). You can find out for yourself which is causing your problem with a couple simple tests. If you’re interested I can explain. Dairy also contains a second protein called whey, which is the least likely to cause anyone problems. Before giving up completely on dairy, I suggest buying some whey protein isolate and try that. You may find it’s fine for you and can then use it as a protein source.

Also, I’d cut back on the veggies. You don’t need them. When I first started keto I thought I needed lots of veggies and fiber to maintain regularity. But as I continually cut back over several months I discovered that wasn’t so. My regularity simply changed schedule. It may be a bit disconcerting not dumping for a few days, but if there’s no pain or intestinal distress, so what? Without all the crud that accumulates from eating veggies and fruits, it just takes longer to stimulate the bowels. Yes, there’s a transition period when things are kind of neither here nor there, but eventually things work themselves out and regularity returns again. Make sure you eat lots of sodium, both in your food and added otherwise. I add Himalayan pink salt and alternatively Redmond’s Real Salt to my water so that I’m consuming about 12-15 grams each day.

Pro tip: sodium helps the bowels move by holding water there. If you do occasionally get ‘stuck’, drinking a lot of salted water will help get it moving. 2 or 3 tablespoons of MCT oil might also do it.

(Edith) #8

It’s possible with all the veggies, berries, and nuts you are eating more carbs than you think. Nuts are very easy to overeat. Also, don’t count net carbs, count total carbs.

I also don’t think you are eating enough protein. Plus, the proteins you are eating aren’t as rich in iron as beef. Super greens, are really not that super if you eat them raw. Most tend to have anti nutrients and oxalates. Spinach is very high in oxalate and very little of the iron in it is actually absorbed by the body. I would search the web for non vegetable sources of iron.

When I first went keto, I was eating a ton of oxalate containing foods: almonds, berries, “healthy” greens, other types of seeds. Oxalate binds with calcium and magnesium preventing its absorption by the body. I became quite deficient in Mg and developed heart palpitations and a whole host of other symptoms . Unfortunately, plants are not all they’re cracked up to be.

So, in summary, I would suggest you cut way back on the carbs (veggies and fruits are still carbs), eat more protein, particularly fatty protein (think chicken thighs over chicken breasts), more animal based iron sources.


regarding the iron issues: from Dangers from Plants, Dr Kevin Stock----

Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in the world. Since iron plays a crucial role in carrying oxygen to cells, deficiencies are extremely problematic to human health.

Plants have a form of iron called “non-heme iron.”

And phytic acid interferes with its absorption.

Luckily, animal iron, called “heme iron” is immune from phytic acid’s theft.

Worst offenders of phytic acid are seeds, nuts, whole grains, beans.


NOT SAYING AT ALL this is your total issue here :), just expanding on what VirginiaEdie said. But you might be one that having certains nuts/seeds etc in your menu could be truly robbing you of even more iron??

So just something to research a bit and think about…just another angle on maybe if you eliminate a bit and maybe your iron will increase more easily for you? Never discounting any true medical physical body issues that one might have, this is just another food for thought for you :slight_smile: Just another path to explore.


I would say I have 1/4 cup of pistachios daily. I usually stick to one serving of nuts a day mind you I don’t eat any dairy since i am lactose intolerant so what else am i suppose to eat but steak and butter?! I also have maybe 1 serving of berries which is mainly low carb raspberries. My veggies consist mainly of super low carb ones like romaine lettuce which I eat once or twice a day (maybe 2-4 cups). I had about 1/4 or less of spinach that day too sometimes i will have a serving of tomatoes but nothign that high in carbs no beans and no high carb veggies. My vegan creamer has 1 carb and I have two servings and has no hidden ingredients.I forgot to mention I add MCT oil sometimes in it if I think I will be low in fats that day. Mind you I eat NO dairy so if I take anything else out of my diet I will basically be carnivore. I tried eating mainly meat and my constipation with the iron supplements was so bad I can’t eliminate for DAYS! I think dairy is evil and causes people to be fat. I think it’s worse than gluten for me. I don’t really think my diet is flawed at all. I am concerned though that it lacks variety and eating the same boring things over and over can maybe not provide enough nutrients. I am also concerned that I don’t have enough fatty fish which I plan to add more of it to my plate. Any other tips am i just overly stressing my body w coritsol since i am nervous to pratically eat at this point. i read that if you’re worried about your weight constantly especially as you eat that your cortisol spikes not so sure this is true but i am constantly feeling stress since i see no change no matter what i eliminate or take out or tweak.


well see some of us on this planet must be carnivore, we function best and it ‘fixes our life medical issues’ and more…since NONE of us live the same lives or have same body med issues, some have to go here to find truths. I so get what you are saying tho, you want that ‘what you like to eat menu be the ‘everything’ from weight loss to better health and more’ but you might not get what you want from what you do eat? AND this is just how so many of us thru the years ‘find us’ and truths about us so your experimenting and changing and more will help you alot as you do what you need…you will find you in all this LOL

but if you put weight loss as number 1 only factor you almost can’t win cause the only best weight loss is starving…no one can hold that.

So key is ramp up fat intake more than protein intake.

How long have you been changing your menu to keto? And still working out kinda hard when I read your first post? More ya work out the more food ya need to ‘lose’ sometimes and that hits for many so not sure on your ‘kcals daily’ or are ya being tight on control with kcals?

You might be ‘trying too darn much’ in shorter spurts that might not ever show you truths if you ‘do longer term’ holding plan and giving your body time to change ya know.

too much too fast kinda thing?

Is your body changing? Clothes looser but no ‘number loss on scale’? cause that can easily happen as you replace muscle for fat you lean out and get healthier and stronger with muscle but your scale number doesn’t budge much…so looking at other ‘victories’ that aren’t scale number related?

ok just some thoughts truly, things to think about cause the more one chats and talks about ‘what ifs’ and such the more understands themselves. Some info works with you great and other stuff you think, nope, not me and you can bob and weave thru it…you will find your sweet spot for sure :slight_smile: Most of us here did just that but it can take time!

(Bob M) #12

Believe it or not, I’ve reached the conclusion that many fruits and vegetables, particularly salads, are unhealthy. Why do I say this? They provide little to no nutrition and have anti-nutrients.

I was the same as @amwassil: I started low carb believing I HAD to eat veggies. But after eating more and more meat, I still eat some veggies, but have reduced the amount near zero. Not zero, as I still like some, but close, depending on the day and whether my wife has made some.

My rule: if you eat nothing but meat, you’ll get near or all nutrition in the meat. If you add plants to that, you just don’t know what happens. You likely will absorb less, perhaps a lot less. There’s this “famous” graph:

NOTE: I have seen some critiques about this, saying it’s probably not at bad as it looks. But in general, I think adding plants probably reduces what you’re getting in nutrition.

It’s pretty easy to test. Eat (only) meat for 1-2 weeks, get a test. Add vegetables to that or switch back to your normal meals. Get a test.


I like your post ctv

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #14

I’m not carnivore, just don’t eat much plant sourced foods, but 4+ years in and my average is 3-4 days between dumps. Just saying. Pre-keto I was on the dumpster 2-3 time per day!

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #15

Sounds like @Fangs talking about plant food. :flushed: Many folks eat lots of dairy and experience nothing out of the ordinary. I’m one of them. Cream, butter and cheeses are a major part of my diet. As I mentioned above, you can determine what specific component causes you issues if you want. But otherwise just avoid.

If you would simply post a typical day’s or two menu - and I mean details of exactly what and how much of it you ate - we might be able to confirm this or not.

My suspicion, though, is similar to @VirginiaEdie that you may be consuming more carbs than you realize. As mentioned by @Fangs there may also be specific foods (other than dairy lactose/casein) that are affecting you negatively. Most folks who eat carnivore are doing it because other types of foods, especially plant-sourced caused them problems, many quite severe problems. So food sensitivity is not trivial stuff. For some it means the difference between a lifetime of health and vitality and a life of suffering and illness.

Most of us had the same thoughts and fears when we started keto. Coming from typical SAD where hundreds of grams of carbs are the daily norm, we all wondered “What the heck am I going to eat?” The good news is you’ll eventually figure it out. Even I did! I eat a more varied diet now on keto than I ever did pre-keto. I’m also more adventuresome, willing to try different stuff I would never have even considered edible pre-keto.

Good idea.**

I’m sure will be forthcoming when you provide the necessary details of what you’re eating now.

**From the film Never Cry Wolf. If you’ve never seen it, a very good watch! You will then understand my occasional use of the phrase “Good idea”. And why it’s particularly pertinent to keto and especially carnivore. :wink:


LOL thing is if it is evil to you then yea, it is EVIL with a capital E but if you can pass eating some stuff, yea one does well.

very personal views on it of course

(Bob M) #17

Thanks, Fangs.

That post is true for me. I spent years while being low carb, and still having issues such as IBS (where you have to RUN to the bathroom). All of those resolved once I stopped eating a lot of vegetables, particularly salads and other veggies that bother me.


I am with the others.
It’s easily possible that some of the plants are problematic. 4 oz meat is tiny if you ask me, well it’s a bit strange from me as I did vegetarian keto for long and I often eat little meat on my current default carnivore-ish woe too but I always was big on eggs and I am fine with dairy but I still try to keep it low most of the time nowadays.
Nuts, fruits, veggies galore, it’s possible to eliminate some stuff. If only meat or even carnivore doesn’t work, add something else but eating plants all the time isn’t good for many of us. Not even for me and I felt pretty healthy on every woe I ever did, I had other problems due to carbs. The less carbs I eat, the better, until some low level, at least… It’s possible that your problem isn’t not too many carbs but some anti-nutrients, maybe lack of proper, nutritious food but how do you know if your body likes all those carbs? I went into and stayed in ketosis and got fat adapted and felt pretty healthy while eating 40g net and way, way more total carbs a day but it wasn’t ideal for me.
Boring food… I don’t really know that, it’s interesting but as I eliminated things, my food got less boring despite I even started to eat simpler dishes… Yeah, the added meat helped but even when I just took out things, I experienced this. It seems it’s possible to lose the need to eat every typical keto food groups. Elimination can change people even if it’s not a complete one, just “mostly” and “usually” as I did… I more often than not get very few carbs from plants and it was enough to change my life including my taste to a small but important extent, it’s great.
But being very restricted can feel bad and make us quit. If you can afford this and that, fine but it’s quite possible that you eat way too much carbs and at least potentially harmful plant matters at the moment. I couldn’t eat all that stuff you eat and expect feeling right and I never really had health problems…! But carbs still messed with me, even while in ketosis. And it often wasn’t pretty.

Many others need to be stricter than me to feel right. It’s very individual and we just can’t know in advance what will help before we try it for a while…

(Edith) #19

The good thing is we like TMI on this forum, so I am going to ask a TMI question:

Is the constipation uncomfortable or you just don’t go for several days? On carnivore, so little of the food we eat is turned into waste, that many carnivores don’t have bowel movements every day.


severely painful! like i have cramps like no other and mind you i don’t eat much fiber in a day probably 1/3 of what i should eat! anyhow i rarely eat veggies i should eat more they actually usually make me feel less lethargic. when you don’t eat dairy just eating meat is kinda boring and just makes you want to say this is way too restrictive and not worth following. with apple cider vinegar and lemons and cinnamon and such amazing things like low carb berries and avocado why would u want to eat just meat. i feel like the diet should be more hunter gatherer sense like almost paleo is probably the healthiest and most sustainable diet. it’s once we started eating corn and wheat and dairy that people started seeing food allergies and finding out that gmos and additives are so gross and bad for you. i am even getting to the point where i believe stevia is bad after reading why the EU banned it! i think the problem with peoples diets started in the 90s with all these fat free chemically processed garbage foods. it’s no wonder why all our guts feel so awful these days. i truly believe i’m allergic to lectins and corn and dairy and gluten and so my diet is very restrictive. i can’t eat most nuts even so i try and stick to simple foods like meats and berries and romaine lettuce and vinegar based salad dressings that have lemon in them and healthy fats like guac and i eat avocado mayo. i think my diet is really healthy so that’s where the big question mark comes in what is really going on with my body. it doesn’t want to move and just wants to stay the way it is. i want to lose weight just 15 lbs maybe a little more but it’s really been difificult. two or three years ago i could give up gluten and it would happen in a few months! This time around i keep taking so much out of my diet that i have little choices and it has been much harder and impossible to shift my body’s ability to move. i know my body fat is less but my bloating and constipation and what not are not healthy.