Essential Tremor and Keto

July 16, 2018

The keto diet consists of a high fat/ low carb way of eating. This originally started as a way to help treat epilepsy in children, and then became a popular way of eating for weight loss and treatment of other conditions. By eating this type of diet, the body is forced to burn fat rather than the carbohydrates we would normally intake. Ketones pass into the brain and send the body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a state in which some of the body’s energy supply comes from ketone bodies in the blood, in contrast to a state of glycolysis in which blood glucose provides most of the energy. Longer-term ketosis may come from fasting or staying on the keto diet for long periods of time. 

When you eat carbs, your glucose raises and your pancreas secretes insulin and triggers fat storage mode in your muscles. Insulin prevents fat cells from breaking this fat back down to use for energy. But, eating fat and protein does not raise your insulin level, therefore fat is not being stored in your muscles. 

On the keto diet, food is broken down into macronutrients. 70-80 percent of calories should come from fat, 20-25 percent from protein and 5-10 percent should come from carbohydrates. These percentages are then broken down into grams and this determines what foods you can choose to consume on a daily basis. Foods like fatty cuts of meat, oils, eggs, dairy, and low carb fruits and vegetables are common staples of the keto diet. Foods like grains, corn, quinoa, and other combinations of these should be avoided because of their high carb and low protein/fat intake. The keto diet can have many different breakdowns depending on the individual and what the medical need is, but this is the general rule to get the body into the ketogenic state it needs to be in. 

Keto has been proven time and time again to have positive neurological effects on diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. The research is now being extended to essential tremor, and so far the results have been positive. Keto obviously doesn’t cure or correct the neurological issues of essential tremor, but it can relieve symptoms. The ketogenic diet can also protect the brain against any damage that may be caused during these neurological dysfunctions. After researching different levels of carbs and fat being consumed, it was found that even those who do not follow a strict keto diet seem to have some improvement, just with the small increase of ketones in their body. Regardless of how strict the ketogenic diet is, it seems that restricting carbs provides therapeutic benefits for tremors and those that suffer from tremorand neurological conditions. 

Overall, though there is not much research available, the keto diet may be a great solution for those looking for a natural way to help manage tremor symptoms. It can also be a great way to lose weight, and to prevent any neurological damage from being done in the brain.