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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Second Day Of Treatment At Chemo Thermia....



My dad and I are currently in Istanbul, Turkey. I'm receiving treatments at a prestigious clinic, attempting to save my life using both conventional and well-known varieties of chemotherapies as well as scientifically studied and proven treatments which, focus on cancer as a metabolic disease.

We landed in Istanbul, Turkey earlier this week and began consulting in person with the physicians at the  Chemo Thermia Clinic. Over the past months and weeks, my physical quality of life has declined drastically. When we arrived at the airport in Tel Aviv, I was already having difficulty walking. Luckily, I received wheelchair assistance. The flight was under 2 hours and by the time we landed, I could no longer walk on my own and was again assisted with wheelchair assistance from the aircraft to the waiting driver, who arrived to pick us up from the clinic.

We're staying less than a 5 minute walk from Chemo Thermia Clinic and have been driven back and forth whenever necessary because at this point in time, I'm unable to walk more than a few meters.



On Tuesday evening, I completed my first treatments at the clinic. It was one of the most difficult days of my life. I received infusions of vitamins, antioxidants, anti-nausea, 4 types of chemotherapy, and Avastin. I also received two of the most intensely grueling treatments I've ever experienced: hyperthermia and oxygen in a hyperbaric chamber.
Hyperbaric O2 chamber
We returned to the hotel and I could no longer stand on my own two feet. I cried and climbed into bed and went to sleep.
I slept through the night without painkillers and the next morning was able to walk from our room, to the lobby, and to the awaiting car.

The treatments on Wednesday were less grueling yet very tiring as I received intense local treatments, oxygen, and infusions of antioxidants. I also spent an hour in the hyperbaric O2 chamber. 
On arrival at the hotel, I was able to walk in, take a shower, and walk around the room. Feeling even the smallest positive changes in my condition is certainly encouraging.

Since we've been here, we've met patients from all over the world: Iraq, England, Scotland, Africa, the USA, Russia, and of course many non-English speaking countries throughout Europe and Asia. The bond that these patients share is that they arrived at the clinic with stage 4 cancer and within 3 months many of them have clean PET CT scans! Many of these patients are in remission and it's remarkable to view their PET CT scans. We have been talking with everyone we can about their journeys - especially my dad, who has a lot of time to interact with other patients and their loved ones while I receive full days of treatments.  My dad and I have met and seen scans from patients with many different types of cancer.

In addition to the treatments that patients at Chemo Thermia receive, we are also given many bottles of medications which are inclusive in the expenses of the other treatments. 

The Chemo Thermia Clinic is using methods to kill cancer that are not new. They're in direct touch with top researchers including professor Thomas Seyfried of Boston University who until now does ALL  of his research in the labs - on mice and rats. Dr. Abdul Slocum works closely with Professor Seyfried and as a medical practitioner, Dr. Slocum is able to treat patients using the models developed by researchers like Professor Seyfried to treat cancer as a metabolic disease using so many modalities as well as conventional chemotherapies which, every oncologist is familiar with.

The case studies speak for themselves.

We met Brian with stage 4 esophageal cancer who was expected to live with his advanced  state for only 8 months. He has been very friendly and forthcoming in sharing his personal story with us both in person and on the Clinic's website where there are many other success stories available for viewing.

I am here... and we are praying for similar results - hopefully remission! There are countless stories and people eager to share them! 

Please continue to pray for Ahava Emunah bat Chava Ehta.



Sunday, August 26, 2018

It's (NOT) About Me


I hope that my beloved readers have had a wonderful and blessed summer. 

Summertime can be difficult for working parents or those who already feel the financial strain of both the last and impending years. 
Summer is hot!
Summer is expensive!
Summer is a wonderful time for both the trees and the flowers to grow.... and the children seem to need the miracles of summer-sun too.

As Summertime approached, I greatly feared how and what I could do, in my gradually worsening condition, to make positive summer memories for my family and myself. While the world has been away on summer vacations and trips, working, and whatnot, Cancer has been on full time high drive, making my life more and more difficult to enjoy in any physical sense.

I am thankful and blessed to have such loving and special people in my life. The love and kindness that is showered on my children and my whole family comes from such pure and modest loved ones and I am careful about what I'm willing to share. Believe it or not, there are some things that I keep strictly private.

While I seem to stay in a perpetual state of "everything is great" and "As long as I can live like this for years and years.... I'm happy and fine".... That state of being physically able to be "happy and fine" while in constant pain has become unbearable. 


I've reached a junction. Mortality is becoming stronger and stronger. The PET CT scans show the progression. Without me needing to actually even see the results, I know.

My dad went to work researching treatments.  If you remember past posts about the Ketogenic Diet and Lifestyle, you'll know what we have been looking into and I'm even surprised that that was back in May, exactly a year after investigating the last very important treatments that I underwent at UCSD, in San Diego, California.  

The professor that’s famous for the current treatments we're about to try is Professor Thomas Seyfried, a professor at Boston University, known for his cancer research and specifically treating cancer as a metabolic disease. 

Of course with every treatment that I do, we’re hoping for miracles. The treatments I am going for are NOT experimental however I must remember that my hope must be stronger than my expectations; nothing is promised to me and each day that I am given is an invaluable gift. 

My dad researched the treatment and the science behind it and we believe that it could save my life. We wish to and plan to work together with every member of my oncology team; weighing in on their experience and expertise in every way that we can while making choices and decisions about my care. These treatments are only available for humans in Istanbul, Turkey, which is where I will be traveling to, with my father this week, to begin treatment.

I’ve read and watched many research papers and videos and compiled what I believe to be a good cross section of the methods used at Chemo Thermia Clinic in Istanbul, Turkey.

This is a scholarly article from Professor Seyfried‘s book: 


Below is an approximately 1 hour YouTube video presented by Professor Thomas Seyfried of Boston University including a lengthy interview with Dr. Abdul Slocum. 





One of the things that Professor Slocum had to say which, impressed me was a personal understanding of who I am and what I believe in regarding my own disease, regarding myself being an exceptional patient. Dr Abdul Slocum - who is the one who’s become an expert on the details of my case has made it pretty clear that he’s memorized my PET CT scans and patient history. This treatment is really important for me as my illness has progressed and I needed to find something that is special and specific to my body and course of disease. While Dr.s Slocum and Mehmet Salih iyikesici recognize the advanced state of my disease, they’re still optimistic about treating me because I keep myself strong and fit physically and because I have an exceptional patient’s outlook and attitude. They have witnessed that people who are exceptional in that way do better overall in treatment and have better prognosis’s when their will to live is very strong; like mine. My physical fitness is very important to them and the fact that “I am NOT cancer” and that I choose to live an almost normal life IN SPITE of cancer gives me the status of an exceptional and compliant patient that will follow through even with “annoying/difficult” physical challenges as part of the treatments. They’re absolutely NOT making any promises however they feel that I’m a very good candidate for metabolic treatment of cancer and it will be given in tandem with multiple types of chemotherapy: Taxotere, Avastin, Gemcitabine, Cisplatin and Doxil. The doses are low and given in tandem with the other treatments. I'm pretty sure that I will lose my hair (again) but we don't know yet.

I am excited and terrified about this next stage in my treatment and my life. I'm doing it - not for myself - but for my precious 5 young children who, need a mother. I pray that this will be the beginning of the end to skepticism as I did promise myself that I would "never do chemotherapy again"


My life isn't about me. My life is a miracle and a blessing and I will do all I can to give as much of it as I can to my family and of course to serve the Almighty Above.

Please pray for Ahava Emunah bat Chava Ehta

Here we go.....

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Six Years of Cancer

Six years.
July, 2012



I knew something wasn’t right. For some time I’d been feeling sluggish, bloated, tired, and simply “not me”. I kept going back to my doctors; anyone who would listen to me for any type of support. I pushed hard because I felt that something was wrong yet none of my doctors were alarmed and my basic blood counts were all normal aside from the vitamin D deficiency. I was deflated and felt alone and misunderstood. 

As a busy mother of 5 young children, including a breastfeeding tot, I had run out of choices other than to accept that perhaps there wasn’t “anything wrong with me”. I resigned myself to being a 36 year old wife and mother who was no longer fit and energetic - even though I’d always been the example of good health in body, mind, and spirit.  In 2012, I felt haggard and run down. I was no longer the energetically inspired mommy that I’d always strived to be. 

I was depressed. 
I felt like a failure.
I was misunderstood.
My family doctors let me down.

The irregular spotting that I experienced a few days earlier was a sign. I immediately made an emergency appointment with an obstetrician gynecologist and went on to wait impatiently through a day and a Shabbat to arrive at that terrible day....

July 22nd, 2012 arrived and I eventually arrived at the emergency room after visiting the ob/gyn.
July 22, 2012 - Emergency Room
Ultrasound was a disaster.
CT scans confirmed that the disaster was cancerous.

July 26th, 2012: I underwent major surgery to remove an aggressive and cancerous tumor - the size of an average newborn baby - from my abdomen and life has never been the same.

I had surgery on a Thursday.
July 26th, 2012 - post surgery

I remained in the hospital over Shabbat.

Then it was the saddest day on the Jewish calendar: Tisha B’Av - The 9th day of Av.

This evening, as the sun set, the 9th of Av began. It’s actually the 10th of Av because when 9 B’Av lands on the Sabbath, it’s not observed until the following day. 

The saddest day of the year reflects the destruction of both Temples - may they be speedily rebuilt in our time! May Mashiach arrive.... now! Please G-d!

Six years.
Six years of blessings - I am alive!
Six years that the L-rd continues to bless me with miracles!
I pray to continue to be blessed with such miraculous blessings everyday.

Thank You G-d for all You provide!
Thank You L-rd, All Mighty, for your love and for saving me from death so many times.

I am sometimes sad for the moments that I’ve missed yet I remind myself how very blessed and lucky I am that G-d blesses me with another day on this earth.

Another day to breathe.
Another day to celebrate motherhood.
Another day of life.



Thank You God!

Friday, June 1, 2018

Thank You G-d For Not Giving Me What I Always Wanted...


Our family started out like a modern-day American family. There was Mom and Dad, then came me, a couple of cats, a dog, and my adorable little brother, Eli.

We were a happy family of four. I didn't really meet many families who had more than 2 or 3 kids but then one year, my mom got sick. She was REALLY sick. My mom was so ill that she had to be in the hospital and we didn't know when we'd see her again. She had a neurological illness which, we suspect was Guillain Barre Syndrome. It was scary.

During or after that time, my parents realized what was most important in their lives I guess or maybe they felt that they could have lost my mom and she was really so good at being a mom; why not add one more to our family? I remember being told that I was going to have a baby brother or sister! I was so extremely excited because I'd always wanted a baby sister! My parents hired a midwife and they planned an early 1980's home-birth.

As the pregnancy progressed, my mother's belly doubled and grew so large, for such a fit and smaller-framed woman, many people stared and made comments about the possibility of twins. She just laughed. It was the time before mass ultrasounds were performed and the midwife was keeping everything professionally measured. There was one baby in there and I prayed every single day for a baby sister! I collected pink baby onesies and dresses. When friends gave us gifts of little boy or girl clothing, I caressed and held onto the girly outfits.

Suddenly, mere weeks before the due date, a second heartbeat was detected and the measurements showed the telltale signs of twins growing! My parents went privately to see an Ob/Gyn and sure enough, there were the two huge and fully formed twins staring back at them on the ultrasound, almost too big to fit on the screen! How I prayed and prayed for a baby sister and now my chances had just doubled!

My mom went into labor only 2 weeks before the twins due dates and the next morning my brother, Eli, and I received the exciting news that we had two new identical twin brothers, Matt and Levi. Over 15 pounds of heathy bouncing baby boys! I admit, I was disappointed for a few minutes. G-d, hadn't I spent enough hours each day praying for a baby sister? 

As my brothers grew, we all grew more and more in love with them. We were a house of 3 brothers and me and our bigger family was wonderful.

Years passed and the 1990's came. My parents decided to expand our family again. I was certainly going to have a baby sister this time! Sure, I was already a teen, and I'd never have the little sister I'd dreamt of playing dolls and house with yet still, I was desperate for a little sister. I prayed daily for the sister of my dreams. 

This time around, we were living in Israel and every pregnant woman had ultrasounds and because my mom was considered to be having an "elderly pregnancy" at the ripe age of 39, she was encouraged to have an amniocentesis and therefore we knew early in the pregnancy that my dreams of having a baby sister were yet again not to be. My 4th sibling was destined to be Gabriel Josef, another brother. Was I disappointed? Only for a few minutes. I was mostly just so looking forward to having another baby in the house and the whole family was very excited to meet the first Israeli-born child in our family. I was 16 when Gabriel was born and quite enjoyed the mistaken assumptions that I was his teenaged mother when I carried him in a baby carrier or pushed him proudly down the street in his baby carriage.

Around the time that little Gabriel was six or 7 months old, my mother became very sick again. She was bitten by a sand-fly and contracted a debilitating illness known in Israel as: Shoshanat Yericho; the Jericho Rose. Her leg swelled up to painful proportions, she suffered from pain, weakness, and a very high fever. There was little my mother could do but rest and try to care for baby Gabriel and the rest of us.

After about four or 5 months, my mom was finally well enough to start her road to recovery. After so many months in bed, unwell, and not eating, you may have expected a very frail and emaciated woman to emerge yet that wasn't the case. My father even made the faux pax of commenting on what seemed to be a growing belly on my mother... the same week that she made a delicious chopped liver delicacy for Shabbat which, had come to symbolize a craving that meant one thing; Mom is pregnant! I remember literally jumping up out of my seat for joy! My mom was probably pregnant and I MIGHT be getting a baby sister! Please G-d! I began to pray...

I was already a senior in high school. Many of my friends already thought my obsession with babies was a bit unusual. I loved looking after my younger brothers and never needed to be asked. I volunteered. The day after Shabbat, my parents were already anxious to visit the doctor and I couldn't wait to find out if my little sister was finally on her way!

Being that my mother was already in her 5th month of pregnancy (surprise!) it took only a quick minute with the ultrasound to discover that baby boy #5 was on his way to our family. This time I was disappointed more than the other times because I knew that this was definitely the last chance I had to have a sister as my parents were both in their 40's. Luckily I had a few months to get used to the idea before my youngest brother was born on the night of the Pessach Seder in my final year of high school. I stayed home to take care of my brothers and as soon as my mom walked in the front door, she handed me my new brother so that she could cuddle little Gabriel, who was most certainly in shock. I immediately fell in love with little baby Josh and have loved him dearly ever since. I quickly forgave G-d for giving me 5 brothers and not a single little sister.

In 2006, My brother, Eli, gave me my first sister, Briana. My brother Levi gave me my second sister, Hadar, and Matt gifted me with my third younger sister, Maya. I am more than blessed with the most wonderful sisters that a person could have!

I'm so thankful that G-d said, "No," to my prayers for a biological sister. In doing so, a great kindness was bestowed on my entire family because I carry the BRCA1 mutation, inherited from my father. Who knows if that's the reason? Nobody but G-d, however we are all spared the worries of breast and ovarian cancer possibly preparing to prey on one of my sisters. When I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, at such a young age, it suddenly became clear why I never had a biological sister and I'm forever grateful to You Almighty L-rd, King of the Universe. Thank you for giving me 5 healthy brothers and thank you for my fabulous sisters-from-other-misters. I love them as much, if not more, than any biological sister could be loved.

Monday, May 14, 2018

It's All Right And Part Of Life To Feel Sad


I have many reasons for sharing my journey. Spiritually and emotionally, I receive so much strength, it touches my soul so deeply, from countless people in our community and around the world. I'm convinced that my challenging cancer journey is also a test and a blessing. One of the great things about sharing my journey publicly is, not only the loving and supportive feedback I receive from people who tell me that my writing has helped them through a difficult time or inspired them in some way, but also the kindness that I receive from people who were complete strangers one moment and have come into my life in any number of ways.
In my early childhood, I had the charming bedtime rituals of childhood fantasy. My mom had the patience of a saint and it felt like she allotted endless time making our bedtime rituals enchanting and memorable with books, stories, and songs. It must have been the late 70’s and early 80’s and my brother, Eli, my mom, and I cuddled up together every evening on the bottom bunk bed. First we read books and then we sang songs.
We had multiple rounds of hugs and kisses and the worst part, for me, was when it was time for my mom and dad to leave the room for the night. I dreaded the dark and worried about falling asleep. Even with the soft constant glow of a nightlight my fear of the darkness and night was always there until I was at least 10 or 11. The fear of night added something to our bedtime rituals; my mom or dad always put on a record for us to listen to as we drifted off to sleep.
We had quite a collection of vinyl back then and I had my favorites. Some nights we might have only listened to one side of the record, but most nights my mom or dad had to come and flip the record several times for me. My brother, Eli, had it easy and drifted of to sleep in minutes. I remember listening to my all time favorite, Free to Be… You and Me over and over and over again.

That LP with the pink jacket was a record album and illustrated book that came out before I was born. Back in 1972, celebrities of the era  including Alan Alda, Rosey Grier, Cicely Tyson, Carol Channing, Michael Jackson, Shirley Jones, Jack Cassidy, and Diana Ross sang the songs and narrated the stories.
You can listen to the entire album on Spotify.
The concept of the album was to encourage gender neutrality. The narrative of the record praised values like tolerance, uniqueness, and taking pride in individuality and your own identity. One of the main messages of the record was that boys and girls can do anything. That was how I grew up: free to be me. I always loved music and I usually have music playing in the background; sometimes only in my imagination – in my head. In every situation I star in imaginary music videos somewhere in the back of my brain. For a while, when I was feeling sad, "my Song" was: “It’s All Right to Cry,” performed by football hero Rosey Grier.

The science of tears is that, we need them to keep our eyes lubricated. Tears are universal.  My Google research proved to me that humans are the only species that cry for emotional reasons. The flow of tears have other purpose beyond the flow of salty water. When you cry, your heart rate increases, you sweat, your breathing slows and you sometimes get a lump in your throat. Red puffy eyes and salt water in tandem with the Fight Or Flight system known as the sympathetic nervous system take over your life for whatever amount of time is necessary.
Some researchers claim that suppressing tears is a physical health hazard. There’s a saying attributed to a British psychiatrist, Henry Maudsley, “The sorrow which has no vent in tears may make other organs weep.”
Fear, helplessness, frustration, sadness, and anger have the potential to make us cry. Joy and relief can make us cry tears of relief or happiness too. 
Life is a cry-fest and it should be. If you care enough to cry then your life is meaningful. It’s alright.
If you can feel then you are alive. 
I still think that the artistic exploration of crying by song writer, Carol Hall and her conclusion expressed in her 1972 song is brilliant and timeless.
It's All Right To Cry by Carol Hall copyright - 1972
It’s all right to cry
Crying gets the sad out of you
It’s all right to cry
It might make you feel better
Raindrops from your eyes
Washing all the mad out of you
Raindrops from your eyes
It’s gonna make you feel better
It’s all right to feel things
Though the feelings may be strange
Feelings are such real things
And they change and change and change
Sad ‘n’ grumpy, down in the dumpy
Snuggly, hugly, mean ‘n’ ugly
Sloppy, slappy, hoppy, happy
Change and change and change
It’s all right to know
Feelings come and feelings go
It’s all right to cry
It might make you feel better
{Spoken}
It’s all right to cry, little boy
I know some big boys that cry too
I miss hearing that Free To Be You And Me Record crackling away as I drift off to sleep and I still sing it in my head quite often and I remember ALL of the words.
Please continue to pray for Ahava Emunah bat Chava Ehta

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happiness And Personal Growth - Perspective


Everything is for the good and I repeat this sentence all the time because it’s true. I didn’t make it up. It comes from the wisdom of those much smarter and learned than I am. Of course, nasty painful things happen to every single person on earth, but that doesn't mean that they are bad. A simple example that everyone can relate to: medicine often has awful side effects but who would say that medicine is bad because it causes so much pain? Medicine also saves lives....

What about "good" versus "evil."?


The common argument is that if God is good than everything that happens in this world should look and feel good. The source of evil is never God. Originally, everything from God is good. However, by the time it actually takes place, it may, for some reason, result in a bad thing.  A loving and kind gesture might be delivered, but on the way the act gets misinterpreted and misconstrued by improper reporting or deliverance of the kindness. That's bad, but it's not God's fault. That's human error.
In the case of bitter medicine, some will ignore the need to relieve an illness or pain and therefore refuse to swallow it or receive the painful injection. Willingly or not, the painful moment has the potential to get rid of pain for a long time but if we refuse to try - we will continue to suffer - possibly endlessly.
There are two kinds of "evil": 
Is a temporary setback which soon proves to be a blessing in disguise, like medicine, evil?
What about life threatening threats like sickness or death which, seem to possess no good at all. It's necessary to have faith and trust to know that some things hold a purpose known only to The Almighty. This is probably the most difficult type of thing to accept even for people who have faith and even if you believe in One God, the One Creator, who created heaven and earth, light and darkness, and everything that exists. 
I believe that the Creator of the whole world is 100% pure good, and no evil can come from Him. The only one I can change is myself and it’s something that can be difficult to accept because it’s human nature to want to bend and convert those around us to our way of thinking and our way of doing things. It’s this born instinct that causes political unrest and wars. 
I have learned, along the way, that when I’m feeling sad or upset about someone or something - it always means that it’s time for me to make a change in me. Anger and sadness can be a God-send wake-up call. A gift and an opportunity to change Those changes can have a positive impact on one person and believe it or not... the whole world!

A well known story which took place during the first week of Creation tells a tale about all of the newly formed animals that were busy testing out their abilities; flipping and hopping around. There was this one imbalanced animal that wasn't enjoying his newly acquired abilities and limped and floundered around; envious and jealous of his animal friends because they could jump, walk, and fly while he couldn't.
The frustrated creature turned to God and cried and blamed the Great Creator, "God! Why did you make me into such a pathetic useless creature?!"
God tried to soothe and comfort the self-pittying animal. "My creature, I'm here to help you rise above all the other creatures."
Suddenly two heavy limbs appeared on both sides of the animal. At first the creature was overjoyed, but when he tried to walk or run, he felt the weight of two appendages and that made him feel even more awkward and unstable.
The animal returned to God and complained again, "These floppy things are making everything worse!" 
"Silly bird, those are wings. Use them to fly!" God replied.
It all depends on our perspective. The lesson learned from this famous story is that  sometimes our seemingly worst challenges and painful obstacles become our greatest sources of growth. 

Happiness can and should be a part of every journey - we choose it - it’s not a destination unattainable. I know I must sound a bit like a broken record because, I say these things all the time however it's the truth and I will continue to spread it. 


I continue to experience that joy and happiness are the products of faith, gratitude, and being thankful for every moment and for every single thing that I have. 

It truly changes my mindset and lifestyle to take pleasure in witnessing the happiness of others.  Being able to give a blessing to someone else is one of God’s greatest gifts to humanity and will result in feelings of wonder and ecstasy inside... that's happiness.


Living this particular path actually guarantees many more blessed days. The concept of "Always being happy" is a derivative of making personal changes which, produces something magical and that byproduct is true happiness.


Please continue to pray for me: Ahava Emunah bat Chava Ehta

Breaking In The Ninja!


We received a “Ninja” blender type of appliance as a work gift from my husband’s company for Pessach.

This morning, I finally decided to try it out and made some 
“Keto-juice”.

I’ll call it: Ninja Juice

I made a big batch to share:

Juice of 2 fresh lemons 🍋
Some homegrown basil 🌿
Some homegrown mint sprigs
Ice
Water

It packs a zing! Sour and refreshing!

NO sweeteners!


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

My Notes: Measuring Ketones For Cancer and More About Ketones


Ketonix breathalyzer kit from https://www.ketonix.com/


Ahava Emunah Lange: summary of notes. 

Measuring Ketones










Ketogenesis and measuring ketones 
When your body becomes a fat-burner vs a glucose-burner, you produce measurable ketones which, can be measured in 3 ways.
  1. Urine strips (dip-sticks such as Bayer brand)
  2. Blood strips (glucometer for ketones such as FreeStyle)
  3. Breathalyzer device (I use Ketonix)


Burning fat vs being in Ketosis
Fat adapted vs Ketosis

Why measure Ketones? 
Different people have different goals for using the Ketogenic Diet which, I prefer to call the Ketogenic Lifestyle. Ketogenic isn't a fad-diet. There's a growing community of people who mostly focus on a common goal of losing weight by eating Ketogenic. 

Measuring for disease management
The use of a Ketogenic Lifestyle for management of disease such as cancer, diabetes, depression, epilepsy etc changes the emphasis and requirements. When using Ketosis as a metabolic treatment, there's no option of "cheating" or going on-and-off of the Ketogenic Plan. When you experience therapeutic results from being in ketosis, there's really no other option than to follow the regiment. Measuring ketones at different times of the day and during different situations can be part of maintaining a healthy treatment plan.

Measuring For Dieting/Fat/Weight-loss
It's not necessary to constantly measure ketone bodies levels religiously. Ketone production are the RESULT and NOT THE CAUSE of fat burning so the ketone levels aren't predicative of weight or fat-loss. A scale and tape measurer are the best measurement tools for actual weight loss. According to "Keto Gains": Chase results -NOT ketones.

Experiencing and witnessing higher levels of ketones viewed via various testing methods can be emotionally encouraging to a person who is in the beginning of their journey. Usually the urine strips are the first choice for this type of measuring as they're readily available and inexpensive.

STOP THE KETONE SHAMING!
Unfortunately, there is an online phenomenon of self-proclaimed Ketogenic "experts" and enthusiasts using their knowledge to bully followers in online support groups and in online comments sections. My philosophy is if you're knowledgeable and can help others - just do it! No need to make someone's mistake into an opportunity to belittle or shame them online. YUCK.


Nutritional Ketosis Range
Jeff Volek PhD, RD and Stephen Phinney MD, PhD agree on a blood level nutritional ketosis range of:
BLOOD LEVEL (BOHB): 0.5 - 5.0 mmol/L

Ketone levels fluctuate throughout the day.
Urine ketones: highest in the morning
Blood ketones: highest later in the day

Quick fixes to increase ketone levels
  1. Eat a fat-rich meal
  2. Eat MCT or coconut oil
  3. Exercise
  4. Fasting
  5. Use of exogenic ketones (supplements) - these are usually expensive and I'm unsure of their long-term effects. There are also ketone salts and esters which, I personally don't know much about and haven't found scientific basis for using them.

Other methods to kickstart or boost ketones involve the use of fasting. This seems to be a controversial subject for some however for the use of ketogenesis for management of disease, especially cancer, CR (calorie restriction) is an approved and valid method. The hardcore weight-loss gurus will possibly knock you out for suggesting CR. I've experienced that online.

Interpreting Ketone Measurements: supplies information on the effects of:
1.Diet
2. Sleep
3. Stress levels
4. Exercise
5. Learning how to interpret personal level fluctuations

Urine Levels of Ketones
Ketones found in the urine are being excreted - NOT being used as fuel in the body. Over time, ketones may not show up as readily in urine. This is possibly a sign that the body is utilizing ketones more efficiently and therefore not being excreted as much into the urine.

Blood Levels of Ketones
A person whose body is better adapted to USE ketones for energy won't excrete as much ketone into the blood. This situation can be compared to that of a well-trained athlete who utilizes ketones efficiently - uses them and therefore doesn't excrete them as much.

Ketones and Fatty Acids - Body Fuel
The body is capable and runs on 3 types of fuel for energy:
  1. Blood glucose (measurable)
  2. Ketones (measurable)
  3. Fatty acids (not measurable)

Astrocytes are cells that break up fats into ketones. These cells export ketones to be used by neurons. There is evidence that the brain participates in ketone production.

Coconut oil contains fatty acid and lauric acid which, appear to be good substrates for that process and is likely to be helpful against neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer's.
Ketones = incomplete oxidation (burning) of fats.

How and why we produce ketones
Fat adaption vs ketosis

The KREBS CYCLE
Definition: the sequence of reactions by which most living cells generate energy during the process of aerobic respiration. It takes place in the mitochondria, consuming oxygen, producing carbon dioxide and water as waste products, and converting ADP to energy-rich ATP.

Pyruvate converts to Acetyl CoA from pyruvate or fatty acids/fats. The product of this cycle can go one of two ways:

1. Acetoacetate CoA to acetocetate AcAc which produces Acetone which, is a breath ketone and Beta-hydroxybutrate which, is a blood ketone.

2. Succinate enters the cycle from 2 directions: Citrate to isocitrate to beta-ketoglutarate from succinyl CoA originating from succinate OR succinate to fumerate to malate to the byproduct: OAA oxyaloacetate.

Amino acids can be used as substrates for pyruvate synthesis or OAA synthesis. If amino acids are converted into glucose via glyconeogenesis - they can become pyruvate again.

It's necessary to keep carbohydrates LOW ENOUGH to force the body to turn to a different fuel source = FAT

Keep insulin LOW ENOUGH for the body to turn to fat for fuel.

Insulin inhibits lipolysis
Most people don't go out of ketosis from eating too much protein. The body will still burn fat even without generating high levels of ketones.

Ketosis lifestyle vs metabolic treatment
When using the ketogenic lifestyle for disease management 
keep ketones high! When treating a disease, ketosis levels need to be more extreme and patients must be more vigilant.
Using ketosis for weight-loss involves a completely different goal, diet, and lifestyle when compared with use of ketosis for metabolic treatment of disease. Using ketosis for good health and weight-loss is beneficial to health no matter what but is NOT a fad-diet.

Benefits of ketosis:
  1. Weight-loss
  2. Blood sugar balance and insulin sensitivity
  3. Increased satisfaction -- decrease in unhealthy food cravings

Fast well - Feel well
Here is the is the " secret to the magic" of ketones:
Deplete glucose -- produce ketones
True ketosis occurs when ketones are naturally released as a byproduct of training the body to be a 

FAT BURNER!!!

As a result: the body receives high energy from consuming fat.

Artificially driving up ketones can lead to failure. Nutrient dense food will nourish mitochondria and reduce unhealthy cravings and seeking carbohydrates.

The best exogenous ketone supplement:
FEASTING and FASTING

DISCLAIMER:


All information provided here is a culmination of my personal research, reading, listening, and watching videos and podcasts. I am NOT a nutritionist nor a medical doctor. I do not provide medical services or treatment plans. This post is intended as an update of my own interest in the Ketogenic Lifestyle. Always consult with your medical team about your treatment.