September 24, 2019

Is Insulin Messing with Your Skin?

Question: Is there anything in the body insulin doesn’t affect?

Answer: From what I’ve seen, no.

If you’re new to my blog or are a newcomer to the science of the clinically therapeutic effects of dietary carbohydrate restriction, you might think of insulin mostly as a blood sugar hormone. People with diabetes have blood sugar that’s too high, so they take insulin to bring it down. Simple, right? Not quite.

I’ve written in past posts that reading and learning I’ve done over the past few years has led to me to the perspective that lowering blood sugar is among insulin’s least important effects. (In fact, insulin isn’t even required to lower blood sugar at all. Your body can do that just fine without insulin…even in someone with type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetics do need insulin, just not solely for the purpose of lowering blood sugar. Details on all this here.)

I’ve written articles about insulin as a major factor in the development of gout, migraines, Alzheimer’s disease, PCOS, erectile dysfunction, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, a.k.a. enlarged prostate), Parkinson’s disease, and more. The short list of things we know for certain are damaged by chronically elevated insulin and/or blood glucose (BG) includes the liver, kidneys, eyes, cardiovascular system (heart muscle and blood vessels), ovaries, the brain and nervous system. At this point, knowing what I now know about insulin, I don’t need someone to explain to me why insulin would affect any particular organ, gland, or tissue system; I need them to explain why it wouldn’t.

With this in mind, is it possible insulin is affecting your skin? You can’t see a fatty liver, polycystic ovaries or an enlarged prostate gland from the outside; you need special tests to determine for sure whether you have those. But what about acne, skin tags, psoriasis, and other things we can see just by looking at someone? Could insulin be playing a role here, too?

Tl;dr: If you want a brief summary of this article, read this. And if you have a few extra minutes and want to read one paper that will give you an enormous amount of insight into this topic, read this one. But if you come to my blog because you enjoy digging into the meaty details, stay here and keep reading. 

September 1, 2019

Get Early Access to Blog Posts

Hi all!

Just a quick note to let you know there’s a way to get early access to blog posts from now on. I’m on Patreon, and I’ve added a benefit to patrons who support me at the $5/month level. For the price of two or so cups of coffee, you can read new blog posts a few days before the rest of the world. If you have the means and want to check this out, see here for details.

In case you’re wondering what topics I'll be writing about next, right now I’m working on a post about the effects of chronically high insulin on the skin, and one on why people need to stop freaking out about slightly high blood sugar at random points in time. (See here for a preview of the one on insulin & skin. It’s a post I wrote on this topic for Designs for Health, but they don’t give me a byline. Trust me, it was me.)

The $10/month level gets you access to my monthly research review, wherein I discuss scientific papers I’ve read over the preceding few weeks. The papers cover a range of topics – whatever strikes my fancy that particular month, or whatever things I happen to be reading and learning more about. Sometimes it’s low carb and ketogenic diets, sometimes it’s diabetes, sometimes Alzheimer’s, sometimes cholesterol and statins…whatever papers catch my eye and that I think I’ll learn something valuable from.

You can also support me for as little as $2 or $3/month, but there are no special perks for that…unless you count my deep gratitude and appreciation for your generosity!  

As always, however, my blog itself is free and always will be. So if funds are tight and $5/month is beyond reach, no worries whatsoever. All posts will still be right here too. Patrons simply get to read them a few days in advance of the general public. And if you want to experience more of my approach to “Keto Without the Crazy,”™ remember my videos are all free as well, as is my Twitter account.

Here’s the link again to my Patreon page.

Thanks, everyone. I’m glad you’re here. In this age of quick sound bites and instant gratification, I’m thankful anyone out there still likes (prefers, even!) reading long, in-depth blog posts. I do love writing them, even if I don’t do it as often as I’d like to.

Disclaimer: Amy Berger, MS, CNS, NTP, is not a physician and Tuit Nutrition, LLC, is not a medical practice. The information contained on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical condition and is not to be used as a substitute for the care and guidance of a physician. Links in this post and all others may direct you to, where I will receive a small amount of the purchase price of any items you buy through my affiliate links.

August 13, 2019

Turning Wednesday into WINEDAY

Hey all!

Love keto? Love WINE? Join me and my friend Casey Durango (of Go Keto with Casey fame) on Wednesday September 4 for a fun & casual Wednesday “Wineday” evening. We'll sip wine, chat about keto, wine, the meaning of life, and whatever else comes up. (I’m guessing cheese and charcuterie at a minimum...probably because I’ll bring them up, hehheh!) It's online, so you can participate from anywhere...and there's zero travel required so you don't even need Uber or a designated driver. Get comfy in your PJs, grab a glass of your adult beverage of choice and log on.

Not an alcohol drinker? No problem! Water, coffee, tea, broth, or whatever else you prefer is most welcome. We just want your company; we don’t care what you’re drinking.

Click on this link for more information.

This is a great way to interact with me if you’ve been unable to attend any of the keto and low-carb events I’ve been at in the past couple of years. (See here for my upcoming public appearances; maybe I’ll be in your area soon.)

If you don’t know who Casey Durango is, she’s only one of my favorite people in the keto world and in my actual, “real life,” away from the interwebs. She has a fabulous transformation story and now shares the lessons learned, the trials and tribulations, and the straight-up way it works with others via her videos and other content. (By the way…how’d she lose almost 100 pounds? By following page 4 … with some wine here and there, of course. Let’s get real, friends…for some of us, it’s a lot easier to ditch the bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, cereal, cookies, and cake, if we can sip on a cabernet or pinot noir from time to time.)

See you on Sept 4!

P.S. Wondering if alcohol is allowed on keto? (First of all, who gets to say what’s “allowed” and what isn’t? Who died and made anyone else their food police? No one, that’s who!) Is wine keto? YES, you CAN enjoy alcohol on a ketogenic diet, provided you're intelligent about it. (See here for a video I did on this topic.)

P.P.S. I’m on Instagram now! I am clueless about how it works, so bear with me while I learn. You know me here; I’m a writer, not a photographer. I’ve been posting pictures of some of my meals, but I refuse to turn into one of those people who is physically incapable of consuming a molecule of food without telling the whole world about it and providing photographic evidence to go along with it. I don’t really know what I’ll be posting there, or even if I’ll stick with it. (There are only so many platforms and accounts I can keep up with. I'm an introvert, for goodness sake; this is all totally overwhelming for me!) I’m just trying it out for now, testing the waters a bit. I didn’t think I would like YouTube all that much, but it turns out I do have a few things to say and there are a lot of people who aren’t big on reading long blog posts who still need sanity and simplicity regarding keto. I’m happy to be filling that niche. 

Disclaimer: Amy Berger, MS, CNS, NTP, is not a physician and Tuit Nutrition, LLC, is not a medical practice. The information contained on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical condition and is not to be used as a substitute for the care and guidance of a physician. Links in this post and all others may direct you to, where I will receive a small amount of the purchase price of any items you buy through my affiliate links.

July 17, 2019

Hair Loss on Keto

Let’s say you adopted a ketogenic or low carb diet not long ago. And let’s say some or all of these have happened:

Basically, keto has been working AWESOMELY for you so far. You have more energy, your joint pain is gone, and you can go comfortably for several hours without food and not turn into a pile of white-hot, murderous, hypoglycemic human rage. (Not to mention, you get to eat insanely delicious food.)  

Everything that’s happened to you since going keto has been great.

Except for just one thing.

You’re losing hair.

Like, alarming amounts of hair. Massive amounts. Hair coming out in clumps. You see a frightening amount of hair in your shower drain or hairbrush every day. It’s so bad that you’re worried if it keeps up, it won’t be long before you have no hair left at all.  

What gives? Is it possible a way of eating that’s been so good for the entire rest of your body is doing damage to your hair?

If you’re worried about hair loss on keto, you’re not alone! This is a common issue—very common!

I wrote a detailed blog post about hair loss on keto for the KetoDietApp site. KetoDietApp is run by Martina Slajerova, who’s authored several keto cookbooks, all of which are pretty fabulous. (Check them out here.)

If you’re wondering what the deal is with losing hair on keto and you want an answer to the most important question of all—will it ever grow back?!—check out my article:

Happy reading!

Disclaimer: Amy Berger, MS, CNS, NTP, is not a physician and Tuit Nutrition, LLC, is not a medical practice. The information contained on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical condition and is not to be used as a substitute for the care and guidance of a physician. Links in this post and all others may direct you to, where I will receive a small amount of the purchase price of any items you buy through my affiliate links.

June 18, 2019

The PCOS Post: Hormonal Havoc From Hyperinsulinemia

As I mentioned in the previous post, I’ve been plugging away this blog since 2012. It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years, but even harder to believe that in all that time, I’ve completely neglected the topic of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). I’ve written a ton about insulin, glucagon, thyroid hormones, digestion, cancer, and more, but not one word about PCOS, except for a brief mention in this post. This is a glaring omission, because PCOS is a huge issue for reproductive aged women these days, and, no surprise if I’m writing about it here, it’s intimately tied to chronic hyperinsulinemia and metabolic dysregulation.

A while back I wrote about the effect of elevated insulin on men’s hormones, explaining the concept of a “male equivalent to PCOS,” and I didn’t realize that I hadn’t even yet written about actual PCOS. I don’t know how such a huge gap has existed on my blog for so long, but this is being corrected right now. Whew!

I’ve seen online in various places women saying that they’re at increased risk for type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome because they have PCOS. It’s actually the other way around: chronically high insulin (basically metabolic syndrome, whether you know you have it or not) is the main driver of PCOS. The reason so few women who have PCOS are aware of this is … surprise, surprise … most doctors are clueless about insulin’s many functions unrelated to blood sugar and they never bother measuring insulin levels.

Women with PCOS are often given unhelpful and condescending advice.  There is a lot of "blame the victim" that goes on with this condition. I sincerely hope this post does not come off that way. That is the very last thing I intend. I have only one goal here: to provide information. Information that can be empowering to women who have PCOS. If you are living with this condition and you feel disappointed by the help you've gotten from healthcare professionals so far, please know that you can take control. You have more power than you might realize. I hope what follows here is helpful.   

This is a long post (some of you are rejoicing now and others are groaning), so grab yourself a beverage of choice, a bag of pork rinds or some string cheese, and happy reading!

June 12, 2019

Blog Update & the Famous Dr. Westman "Page 4 Diet"

Hey Everyone,
Man, I have really been neglecting this blog. I’m very active on Twitter and I’ve been posting videos on my YouTube channel, but the blog, sadly, has been collecting dust. This is a shame for two reasons:

First, even though I seem to be reaching more people with my tweets and videos, writing is, always has been, and likely always will be my first love. I consider myself a writer first and a nutritionist second. I truly like writing, and the beauty of writing my own blog, as opposed to some of the paid “day gig” writing I do to keep my bills paid, is that I get to write about whatever I want to write about, and say things the way I want to say them. I don’t have to answer to anyone, censor myself, or present things in a certain light in order to fit in with someone else’s “message” or brand. Tuit Nutrition is me. My voice, my perspective, and yes, my sarcasm and snark. I start to feel not-so-good when it’s been awhile since I’ve written anything substantial on the blog—something I think is truly educational and helpful for people navigating the crazy world of low carb & keto. Sharing little snippets of this & that on Twitter is great, and I’ve made some important professional connections there, but my blog is where I can really get deeper into things. Write something meaty, something detailed, something to make people think. When I hit publish on that kind of post, I feel a sense of satisfaction and purpose that I rarely ever experience otherwise.

The second reason it’s a shame I’m not blogging regularly is that I know many of you prefer to read, and even though you can hop over to YouTube anytime and watch me talk about any number of keto-related issues, you’d prefer to wait for the next written post. Frankly, my dear readers, I don’t blame you! I, too, prefer reading, and long posts don’t scare me away. My attention span hasn’t yet been decimated to the point that anything longer than a 15-second read gets passed over in favor of a meme with a whopping 4 words on it. (Not that there’s anything wrong with funny memes.) My point is, I know some of you enjoy reading my posts as much as I enjoy writing them, and I feel bad leaving you without something to dig into for such long periods of time. (And I love hearing from those of you who’ve told me you don’t mind my very long posts. Some of you actually like immersing yourself in something a bit more substantial. In that case, we’re a perfect fit.)

With this in mind, I’m committing to blogging a little more regularly than I have been in the last year or so. I won’t commit to once a week because I know myself too well, and I just won’t be able to keep up that pace. But twice a month? I think that can work. And I can’t promise every post will be something of great substance (in fact, I can promise some posts won’t), but I think just getting back in the habit of writing regularly at all will be a good move for me.

Here’s what I have in mind for the coming weeks and months: