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We have heard about keto blast and keto flu, but there is now another side effect of the popular diet that has taken the Internet by storm: the crotch keto. The latest Internet sensation is in a Reddit chart on the ketogenic diet, where a number of women complained of vaginal odor after starting the diet.
"I have been on a diet for about a month and a half now and have noticed that my vaginal smells have become MUCH stronger," wrote a user. Another wrote, "I'm glad it was posted because I just changed out of underwear today because I felt bad. At least I know I'm in ketosis, I guess.
Can ketosis change your vaginal odor?
The ketogenic diet is a diet high in fat, protein and carbohydrates, about 80% of which comes from fat, 15% from protein and only 5% from carbohydrates, which induces a ketosis in your body. body. "Ketosis, which is the breakdown of fat for fuel, produces a ketotic state," says Dr. Jessica Shepherd, OB / GYN. "However, if its production is in excess, it can create more pungent vaginal odor."
The reason for this possibility is that it has been proven that food affects our smells and body secretions. "Some foods and spices can be processed in our body through blood circulation, lungs, sweat and vaginal secretions and can also cause intense odors in the body, including the genital area," says Shepherd.
In fact, according to Dr. Will Cole, a practitioner of functional medicine and author of Ketotarian, any change in your diet can displace your microbiome, or the bacteria in your skin and intestines. "When you get rid of sugar, it can cause" dead "or detox reactions in people with bacterial overgrowth or yeast," he says. Although he admits that there is "little or no solid research on what is called the kernel crotch" and thinks the phenomenon is "far too dramatized to get clicks "Cole said, similar to keto breathing, because of a shift in the microbiome, the smell coming from the vagina could change from a high-carbohydrate diet to a diet high in healthy fats.
Is it normal for the foods we eat to affect the pH of the vagina?
"Normally, the body is able to maintain the pH vaginally. However, with certain diets and conditions such as diabetes, this can change the vaginal pH, "says Shepherd. "This pH imbalance can cause poor growth of bacteria, which can cause irritation, odor and infections such as bacterial vaginosis."
However, according to Dr. Aastha Kalra, a physician based in Westchester, NY, who suggests a ketogenic or low-carb diet for his weight loss and diabetes reversal program, there is little evidence on how the diet might affect the vaginal pH. She cites a 2014 study that showed that essential fatty acids could possibly help reduce vaginal atrophy (vaginal dryness), but she suggested no odor. "Personally, I did not meet anyone who complained of a change in vaginal odor," she says. "In fact, most women say that they have fewer vaginal infections or yeast or bladder infections (since the keto diet)."
Kalra thinks that the keto-fork "reflects misinformation and that there is no science at its core". If Kalra met a patient who claimed to have her, she "would advise her to evaluate other problems that might have caused her," she said. "It could be hygiene, the menstrual cycle, menstrual products or clothing."
Cole has a slightly different grip. He says that if you suspect that your vaginal odor has changed as a result of the keto diet, the best thing to do is to allow the area to breathe by wearing more loose clothing. "But remember, this is your body's natural response to your change in your microbiome and should go away on its own after time."
However, the basic rule should always be to consult your family doctor first. "I would suggest to someone to consult their doctor to find out if there is a vaginal infection, because its odor could result from other medical conditions," Shepherd says.
While the "crotch" issue hit the headlines, the experts we interviewed said literature and science simply did not support it. At least not yet.