Wondering if this diet might help me


Hello all, I am a 25 year old male and I suffer from numerous illnesses that I believe are neurological in origin. My list of symptoms is massive but I will try to list the major ones:

Derealization/Depersonalization (I feel disconnected from the world like I am in a dream. Its very disturbing)
Poor memory (I can watch a movie and not remember it an hour later. Its like my brain doesnt form memories)
Anhedonia (inability to feel pleasure sometimes)

Joint/Muscle pain
Inability to tolerate heat and sunlight

I have been tested by my doctor and the found nothing physically wrong with me so I believe I am suffering from some neurological dysfunction. I abused marijuana for years and have been clean for 11 months now so I am not sure if that has something to do with it. I think part of it is the antidepressants I have been on for 9 years. They have never worked for me very well and my doctor has never tried to switch them. I have been attempting to come off of them for the past year and I am now at half of what I used to take. I am unable to tolerate any new medications so that route is closed to me.

I have heard that the keto diet is beneficial for brain health and I am hopeful that it can ease some of my symptoms. I used to be a high functioning person, I had a girlfriend a dog a house and a good job. This whole mess has crippled me and I was forced to move back into my mothers house.

Does anybody have any advice or experience with any of these issues being helped with keto or zero carb? Thank you in advance

(Dom DePlume) #2

Greetings, friend. I’m first going to start with the classic: “I am not a doctor or medical practitioner of any kind. You should definitely work with one as you pursue a path to health”.

Having said that, firstly, it sounds like you could use a change of doctor. If you’re unhappy with your psychotropic medication regimen and its side effects or efficacy, be certain to have them on board as you taper off.

For various reasons that I can’t go into here due to time, I’ll say that you may want to go see an endocrinologist (someone who works specifically with the hormonal system). We are just now starting to understand how hormones regulate things like mood, mental clarity and acuity, and over-all cognition, AS WELL AS weight-loss, body composition, aging, and stress/cortisol levels. I’m not saying “there’s your solution!” because I don’t know that, nor do I know you. But I do know a number of people close to me who’ve experienced similar circumstances to yours, and they’ve been helped greatly by simple adjustments in hormones, and were able to regain and reclaim their lives, come off the anti-depressants and other mood- and mind-altering drugs, and move forward. BUT, there are some who truly need and benefit from the very same drugs, so please keep an open mind about them, because they may very well be needed. Keto has a lot of benefits besides weightloss, BUT for some, it CAN, HAS, AND/OR COULD EXACERBATE certain pre-existing, or unknown latent conditions, so I say again: get your doctor, or A doctor on board with you as you explore alternatives.

My very best to you…

(Hoteski) #3

I’m a borderline personality disorder sufferer and with that comes detachment, depression, anxiety, fear of loosing people, extreme moods swinging from one extreme to the other at a drop of a hat, irrational thinking, paranoia, sucicidal thoughts and attempts, erratic behaviour, caring too much or not caring at all about anything. Anyways you get the gist. So I had been on meds for the past decade trying to fix myself and a year ago I decided I was strong enough to stop them all together. In December I started keto and my moods are stable and have remained stable for the most part. I’m genuinely content most of the time and consideration myself normal now. I don’t even think I have BPD anymore. Sticking to keto has made a huge difference too me. After the initial first few weeks I’ve found it easy to stick to and rarely have over 20g carbs a day. Also drinking plenty of water and exercise is key as I function better mentally if I do all three… keto, water, exercises.

(Charlotte) #4

Okay, I can’t give you any reliable medical or scientific insight, and our experiences are by no means identical, but I can personally relate to this so much, it’s kind of scary. I also struggle with depression, anxiety, and a variety of manifestations of chronic pain. I also was in a really tough place in my life, also moved in with my mother for a period of time after a breakup, also abused marijuana daily for many years. It’s hard, and a miserable place to be in. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with all of that.

While a lot of things have contributed to improvements in my life (a good therapist, the right mix of medication–and I know meds aren’t for everyone, but for me they have been beneficial-- and yoga and meditation), keto has contributed tremendously to my overall wellness–mentally, emotionally and physically. I started keto after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and gaining back the 20 pounds I’d previously lost on Weight Watchers. At first it was purely as a means of losing weight and dealing with the diabetes. I didn’t think it would help with anything else, but at this point it’s undeniable. My mind is clearer, my memory is better, I’m way more productive at work, my chronic pain is less severe, my anxiety calmer, my depression more manageable. I’ve only been on keto for a few months, but the change really has been remarkable. I moved out of my mom’s house and got a great apartment in a great neighborhood, I’m socializing again, I re-committed to a spiritual practice that is important to me, I’m able to get my butt to a couple exercise classes a week, and I’m planning for the future in a way I just couldn’t when I was weighed down by so much physical, mental and emotional pain. Don’t get me wrong–my problems are not magically gone. But they are manageable in a way they haven’t been for a long time, which is huge.

It’s gonna suck at first, so be prepared for that. Read up on keto flu and do the best you can to mitigate it. I was tired and cranky and got woken up almost nightly by leg cramps when I first started, but I am SO glad I stuck with it, because once I got through it I started to feel really good, and at this point I’ve never felt better. Also, it can be intimidating. Keto is very science-y, and a lot of folks who are really into it are super type A and into stuff like bodybuilding and Crossfit. I’m a right-brained creative type who is just looking to improve my health, not get rock-hard abs or win a triathalon, but I’ve learned to take in what’s helpful from all the information out there and set aside that which doesn’t fit for me (I do a fat fast every morning until lunch time, but a true fast is not on the table for me right now. And I don’t track my macros–the tedium and anxiety around tracking food is what has made me quit every diet I’ve ever been on in the past). Watch videos, visit blogs, listen to podcasts, take it all in, and try not to be in a hurry. Keto is something you really have to commit to, and the pace at which you make changes is far less important than consistently making them. Posting here is a fantastic start–I just found this forum, and I wish I’d done so months ago.

Best of luck to you, and I truly hope things get less difficult for you very soon.


Hey there, thanks for the reply. My doctor is also of the opinion that the antidepressant has been harming me and is supporting me as I taper off of it. I am not against medication, in fact I have tried several new ones over the past year but they always make my symptoms worse. I will look into an endocrinologist in my area, thank you :slight_smile:


Hey thanks so much for your reply. Thats so great that you have found relief with keto, it gives me some hope. If i could get even a 50% reduction in my symptoms I think I could live with that. I do drink plenty of water and I exercise as much as I am able. I typically walk a mile or so at night, which is when my symptoms bother me the least. Thanks again!


Hey thank you for sharing your story with me. I’m really glad things have worked out for you :slight_smile: Its reassuring to know I am not the only person in the world who has gone through something like this. I have done my research on the keto flu and I have stocked up on magnesium and some lite salt. I’m kind of into the science aspect of things so I have done quite a bit of research. I’ll be sure to update you if anything changes with me

(Jane) #8

I started low-carb after Thanksgiving last year and discovered “keto” after a few months, which helped me sustain this WOE.

My DH decided to go full keto to support me, even though he wasn’t overweight. He had suffered from chronic joint pain and severe headaches from allergies for years. And depression, even though he never took any pills for it.

ALL OF IT went away with a keto diet. He LOVES carbs and baking bread but he told me it wasn’t worth the pain he suffered to go back to a SAD.

(karen) #9

There is a funny thread on here somewhere called “keto complaints”, which is basically people talking about the annoying ‘side effects’ of keto like having to buy smaller pants and belts all the time. IIR, many people there “complained” about not being so agitated or moody any more.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #10

@skookum You might find it helpful to check out Dr. Georgia Ede, a psychiatrist who has gotten very interested in the influence of diet on the brain. I am not sure she would claim that a ketogenic diet could cure you, but I bet she’d say it might very well help, and I am sure that she would tell you that the standard American diet has betrayed you. Here is a lecture she did recently on the subject of dietary influences on brain function and her fears about what the SAD has done to this nation’s young people:


Hi all, just wanted to update and I had a few questions. I started eating keto last thursday so today is day 5. I have noticed a serious improvement in all of my symptoms, yesterday especially. I was full of energy, my body pains were down, I felt more connected, my mind was clear, and my depression was at a 2 or 3 out of 10 (usually at a 8 or 9). I went to the library, mowed the lawn, and went clothes shopping. It was nice being able to do things and not be confined to my bed and my room. I noticed that the pressure in my head would still pop up, but it would fade away after an hour or two. So I am feeling pretty confident about things.

Today however, I am feeling rather more depressed and disconnected. My vision is a little blurry as well and as a result my anxiety is up. Overall though I would say that today I am about 30% better than I was last week this time. My question is what I was feeling this weekend possibly a placebo??? The difference was so stark that I find it hard to believe that it could have just been a placebo. I am still going to stick with it, I was just wondering if anybody has had a similar experience with things getting better initially then worse. I have been on top of my electrolytes, drinking ketoade and eating buillon to keep my sodium levels high. I am also drinking water like its nobody s business so I don’t think that its that.

(Robert C) #12

Here’s something you might want to give a listen to:

(Ron) #13

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #14

@skookum There are going to be highs and lows on your keto journey. Try to keep track of the trend, and if it’s positive, don’t worry about the lower days. My depression is pretty level, between keto and the anti-depressant, but my energy level does vary a fair amount from day to day. I’m not noticing any correlation between how I feel and what or how much I’ve been eating, as long as I’m keeping the carbs as low as possible. When I indulge a little bit, I do notice a difference. But that’s the only correlation I’m noticing.

(belgian_dude) #15

Hi @skookum just wanted an update on your health. I’m going through pretty much the same thing right now and wondering what to do. Are you better? If so, what helped? Thanks

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #16

Just be aware that, since skookum hasn’t been seen on the forums for four-and-a-half years, you are not likely to receive an answer.

(Laurie) #17

Welcome, @belgian_dude ! Yes, @skookum seems to have left the forum. I’m sorry you’re having some problems. Please feel free to participate in other threads (or start a new thread).