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Memory getting worse starting keto

Posted: Tue May 14, 2019 11:20 pm
by Jtmon
I’ve noticed a fairly rapid decline in cognition now that I’ve transitioned to a keto diet. I’m also taking a number of recommended supplements, increased my physical activity and am slowly decreasing my clonozepam. I’m forgetting things I recently did and what I plan to do. I almost always remember it later on. I can get lost in the spelling of a word in the middle of typing it. I’m scared of this rapid decline.

Is this common when getting started on a program like this? Do things get worse before they improve?

Re: Memory getting worse starting keto

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 12:03 pm
by Julie G
Hi Jtmon, what you're describing is not a typical experience. When I became ketotic (via fasting + exercise + diet) I experienced increased energy and cognitive clarity. You describe many confounders. Weaning off clonozepam alone is huge, as I'm sure you're aware. I would consider slowing down and reversing back to baseline and very slowly introducing one new strategy at a time carefully journaling any benefits or side effects. Let your body acclimate to it's "new normal" before adding the next new strategy. Only by isolating each change (to the best of your ability) can you figure out what is causing your worsened cognition Best of luck, my friend. -xo

Re: Memory getting worse starting keto

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 3:41 pm
by Jtmon
Thank you for your response. Since I’m already down the road with these changes, I may just stick with them and see if things even out.

Re: Memory getting worse starting keto

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 4:10 pm
by GinnyJohn
I have the same problem. Just started 3 weeks ago and my memory is definitely worse.

Re: Memory getting worse starting keto

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 5:21 pm
by DebS
GinnyJohn wrote:I have the same problem. Just started 3 weeks ago and my memory is definitely worse.


Welcome, GinnyJohn!

I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing worsening symptoms after beginning keto. I would suggest taking a look at JulieG's post above. She makes a good point that if you are making multiple changes at once it is difficult to determine the source of what is making you feel worse. Sometimes our bodies just need time to adjust to change before adding more.

You might find it encouraging to read more of our member stories in the Our Stories thread and perhaps post your own. Our Primer is a great resource written by one of our member doctors. There you will find a list of prioritized strategies so that you will be able to make change at the right pace for you.

We are here to support you! Feel free to reach out with questions.

Re: Memory getting worse starting keto

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 7:34 pm
by CarrieS
GinnyJohn wrote:I have the same problem. Just started 3 weeks ago and my memory is definitely worse.

Hello GinnyJohn and Welcome to the Community! I agree with DebS & JulieG's suggestions to ease in to some of the changes and give yourself time to adjust. If you aren't doing so already, keeping a daily journal where you write down what you eat, supplements, how you feel, sleep, etc can be a great source of information to help you look for patterns.

Re: Memory getting worse starting keto

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 8:00 pm
by mike
Can you guys describe what your macros are - percent calories from carbs, protein and fat? How are you keeping track of your keto journey? Are you testing for ketones?

Re: Memory getting worse starting keto

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 9:49 pm
by mike
Jtmon wrote:Thank you for your response. Since I’m already down the road with these changes, I may just stick with them and see if things even out.

I'm not sure this is such a good idea. When you are getting brain fog, it is likely your brain is not getting enough fuel and/or oxygen. If that happens long enough, then neurons could start dying. If you are just cutting calories without cutting enough carbs to get into ketosis, then you could just be starving your brain. Are you tracking ketones? If no ketones are being created to supplement the lesser glucose, that might lead to brain fog, particularly if you are approaching a threshold of some kind.

Re: Memory getting worse starting keto

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 11:06 pm
by Jtmon
Hi Mike,

I'm using the dip test strips and I am seeing a moderate amount of keytones. I am keeping my carbs under 20 grams per day. I am slo taking MCT oil - about 2 tsp daily at present. I also read that brain fog is one of the symptoms of keto flu. I had that bad yesterday. Today is better. Do you have any recommendations based on this information?

Re: Memory getting worse starting keto

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 11:11 pm
by Jtmon
mike wrote:Can you guys describe what your macros are - percent calories from carbs, protein and fat? How are you keeping track of your keto journey? Are you testing for ketones?


I'm focusing currently on avoiding carbs and eating fats. I'm afraid that if I overload myself with tasks and record-keeping, it will get too complicated and I'll quit. Getting plenty of sleep. I have Apnea but have been using CPAP religiously for many years. I monitor my sleep through SleepyHead and have a very low AHI.