Low-carb, low-sugar diet causing nausea

Patient

Q: I began a low-carb, low-sugar diet about two months ago. I have been eating mainly organic foods. However, a couple of weeks ago I began experiencing severe nausea and stomach pain after eating- usually about once or even twice a day. I'm afraid to eat anything, since it doesn't seem to be after any specific thing. I could eat something and be fine, then the next time I eat it I will feel ill. I don't know what kind of doctor to see about this, or what I should do.

Symptoms:  Nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea
Doctor

A:   Thank you for question. A low carbohydrate diet can assist you in losing weight however it is possible for you to develop an excess in amount of ketone bodies. Ketone bodies are a byproduct of fat metabolism. In the absence of carbohydrates, your body resorts to metabolizing body fat for energy. The excess ketoacids that are produced can lead to symptoms of nausea, abdominal pain, and fatigue.
Another possibility could be unrelated to your diet changes but may be that you have contracted a gastrointestinal infection. This could either be due to a viral or bacterial infectious agent you may have contracted from contaminated food. We recommend that you follow up with your doctor to be examined to determine if either your symptoms are being caused ketoacidosis or a gastrointestinal infection. Please see your doctor.

Thank you for consulting AskTheDoctor.com

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