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March 19, 2019 by Dr. Kyle Varner in Ketogenic Diet
Oh God, here we go again….
I’ve become well-adjusted to criticism. Not a week goes by without some arrogant doctor saying all kinds of nonsense about keto or someone who rationalizes why we have such destructive medical laws in this country.
But we live in a post-truth, internet-dominated, Trumpian era.
And that brings a whole different type of fake news: clickbait.
A ton of people have sent me emails asking me about this ‘keto crotch’ thing.
I actually had to look it up, because I’ve genuinely never heard any complaints from my patients or other members of the keto community. That’s how far removed it is from reality!
The idea is that people who have gone keto have noticed an unusual, smelly discharge down below…
It’s in the same vein as ‘keto breath.’ Supposedly, you produce so many ketones that they ‘infect’ your bodily functions so those who are deep in ketosis smell like nail polish remover.
But it’s all nonsense. It is true that urine can take on an odd smell during ketosis –this is a result of the ketone bodies being shed in the urine– it’s doesn’t harm you, and most people don’t find it problematic. It’s similar to how asparagus can make your urine smell!
But it’s honestly kind of weird that people have jumped on the bandwagon and say it’s to do with their diet, simply because they’ve heard of the keto breath thing –cue media hysteria.
Vaginal odors typically happen as a result of disturbances to the normal microbiome, or infections. This can happen because of antibiotics or changes in environment, but I’m not aware of any reason to believe a ketogenic diet would cause this.
In fact, the link between diet and vaginal health is usually smaller than you’d think. So why point the finger at carbohydrates?
The only plausible explanation I can think of comes from Dr. Jessica Shepherd, an OB/GYN at the University of Illinois, Chicago. She suggested that keto practitioners had changed their vaginal pH through their diet, which made it favorable for certain types of bacteria.
I can see faintly how this could have happened, but that doesn’t have anything to do with low-carb, high-fat. Your blood pH shouldn’t be that different on keto if you do it properly. Even things as basic as lemon zest can put your blood pH on the right track.
To me, if anything, it just sounds like some people have completely misunderstood keto, ate a poor imitation of the diet, and therefore suffered health problems. That’s not news, that’s standard human error.
It’s the same story as just about every critique of keto that’s come before this one, like the ‘reputable cardiologist’ who thinks that ‘low-carb’ equals ‘high protein.’
First, they misrepresent things to say that the diet increases mortality, now they think it’ll wreak havoc down under.
There is no reason to believe that these clickbait media stories represent an actual result of ketogenic diets.
I don’t think these journalists have an explicit anti-keto agenda, but they’re going to act as journalists do. Sensational claims of ketogenic diets get lots of clicks. Why?
Because those of us who have experienced the life-changing benefits of ketogenic diets get mad and click on their links!
Don’t fall victim to the clickbait, and don’t play their game: ‘Keto crotch’ is fake news, and you should ignore it!
This information is intended to help readers be more informed about their health options when speaking with a professional, but it should not be used alone to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition. Be sure to speak to a qualified doctor before taking any action to make sure that your choices reflect your actual health situation.