The unpleasant vagina issue 'keto crotch' plaguing women on low-carb diet

THE KETO diet may be one of the quickest and most effective ways to shed body fat, but following its strict rules may lead to some pretty embarrassing side-effects.

Despite the fact that Gwyneth Paltrow, the Kardashians, and Halle Berry all swear by it, many women have started complaining of "keto crotch".

Following the low-carb, high-protein plan is already associated with a few unpleasant side-effects, including so-called keto flu and keto breath.

But according to Women's Health, some people online have noticed their vaginas have started to stink after going on the keto diet.

What is keto crotch?

In what might be the most convincing argument for eating carbs yet, some suggest that going carb-free can cause vaginas to whiff.

While there's no actual research on whether a low carb diet can cause fishy odours, that doesn't mean that it's not a thing.

The point of the keto diet is to get your body into a state of ketosis, which is when it breaks down fat for fuel instead of carbs.

It does that by producing more ketones – chemicals that naturally occur in the body – than usual.

That excess can make you poo, wee and smell a little more than usual.

That's why people complain about having "keto breath".

But that's probably not what's going on here.

Instead, it might be down to the changing pH balance of your vagina.

Dr Sarah Jarvis, clinical director of Patient.into, told The Sun: Sickly sweet, unpleasant smelling breath is a well known side effect of the keto diet.

"But it’s an extremely restrictive diet, and it’s hardly surprising that it has other effects too.

"One such effect may be a change in the balance of bacteria which live naturally in your vagina. Any woman who has had bacterial vaginosis, or BV, knows all about this. BV is caused by an overgrowth of normal germs, and leads to increased vaginal discharge which often has a fishy smell.

"A change in the bacterial balance because of the keto diet may not lead directly to BV, but it could be responsible for the smell."

You are what you eat

The saying applies to our vaginas just as it does the rest of our bodies.

If you load up on particularly pungent foods, the changes are that your sweat will start to smell of them.

Things like strong cheese, asparagus, spices and garlic can all come out in our secretions – whether that's under our arms, on our scalps or down below.

You know what foods might offset that stench? Wholegrains – AKA, carbs.

There's been so much research come out recently that's proven time and time again that carbs are really vital to our health.

Last year, a study found that switching from a balanced diet to a high-fat, no-carb regime increased the strains of bacteria that metabolise fatty acids but lowered the production of short-chain fatty acids and antioxidants responsible for fighting against DNA damage and ageing.

Changing to a fat-only diet, the authors said, "led to a substantial decrease in the production of [short-chain fatty acids] and antioxidants in the colonic region of the gut, which might potentially have negative health consequences on the host."

In other words, while high-fat, low-carb diets might be useful for burning fat, carbs can be useful in fighting against ageing and inflammation that may then disrupt bowel health.

So keto could affect you in more serious ways than simply smelling a bit off.

What should you do about it?

If you're suddenly noticing a strange pong coming from your vagina, you're best off waiting a few days to see if it goes away.

On Reddit, most of the women discussing the issue said that their symptoms resolved themselves within a month on the keto diet.

Whatever you do, don't douche or start using soap down there.

"I’m all in favour of cleanliness, but it’s important to treat your vulva gently," Dr Jarvis said.

"The lining of the vulva, and the skin around the vulva, are very sensitive.

"Using scented or harsh products can lead to inflammation, soreness and redness.

"It can also alter the make-up of natural ‘good’ bacteria inside the vagina, making you more prone to infections such as thrush or bacterial vaginosis."

And that's only going to make any existing smell worse.

Instead, make sure you're just cleaning around your vulva with warm water and let your vagina breathe a little.

If you notice other symptoms like itchiness, abnormal discharge or burning, then it's time to get yourself to a GP.

That could be a sign that you've got an infection or some issue that's unrelated to your diet.

And if the smell continues, maybe consider if being keto is really worth it.

While the fat burning potential of the diet is widely accepted, experts don't believe that it's the healthiest diet in the world to follow.

Instead, the Mediterranean diet was voted the best plan to follow in 2019 – and that's not really a diet but rather a whole lifestyle.

It encourages you to eat plenty of fruit and veg, healthy fats, wholegrain carbs and little animal protein.

That balanced approach is not only more sustainable and healthy but probably won't cause your body to produce any chemicals that it doesn't already produce – so no real changes in your pH levels.

Source: Read Full Article