Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Concise History of Why I Low Carb

I was a fat kid.

Then for many, many years I was a low fat aerobics bunny and lost a bunch of weight. I was hot too--that was kind of fun.

Then I got mono.

Which aggravated my asthma.

Which meant I was on a lot of prednisone (oral steroids).

Which led to Cushings-- a bad thing that happens to adrenal glands while taking steroids. My adrenals became very lazy and barely did anything for years.

The Cushings led to weight gain that resisted a low fat diet and exercise. This consumed the entire decade of my 20s. The best years of my life were a nightmare.

Doctors told me I needed to go to Overeaters Anonymous and diet. They weren't very helpful. So I stayed fat.

Symptoms of PCOS appeared. PCOS is short for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It is a hormonal condition that affects women and leads to weight gain, difficulty losing weight and infertility. Long term, it can result in Type II Diabetes and heart disease. It affects anywhere from 6% to 10% of the population and is underdiagnosed. (Tip: If you are a woman who is overweight, ask your doctor about PCOS.)

(A thought: If we properly screened every woman in America for PCOS and properly treated them we could decrease the obesity rate in the US by 6% - 10% and prevent or delay a similar percentage of Type II Diabetes diagnoses. Why there are not PCOS centers that offer comprehensive, coordinated care for this population, I don't know.)

The PCOS was diagnosed when we tried to conceive and could not.

The reproductive endocrinologists were only interested in my uterus, so I sought the care of a 'regular' endocrinologist to try and mitigate the other components of PCOS.

He started me on a Protein Sparing Modified Fast (PSMF) diet and promised me I would lose weight.

I laughed in his face. Rudely. I did not believe him. At all.

He was right though. I lost 20 lbs in a month and went on to lose about 60lbs over the course of a year.

I liked low carbing. I learned a lot about it--read everything I could; books, medical studies etc... I was ecstatic to find a solution finally.

We did IVF and were able to conceive our daughter. I had a wonderful, happy pregnancy. Happiest time of my life, especially after 4 years of infertility treatment hell.

I gained about 40lbs with pregnancy and then kept gaining once the baby was born. Between the sleep deprivation (it was so bad, I quit my job after an episode where I didn't sleep for 3 days) and breastfeeding, I was a hungry, hungry hippo.

High blood pressure appeared. As did an enlarged thyroid which is still working for now, but the theory is I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis--I'm in the process of seeking a second opinion on this.

And here I am. Trying to lose it all again and maintain it long term.

P.S. Usually for PCOS they prescribe metformin, however, I had some serious side effects so it was discontinued. Meaning I'm kind of handicapped in my fight against PCOS. The one medication that could help and I can't take it. That really sucks! I am considering doing another trial run just to triple check on the off chance my body has changed and will tolerate it. You never know...it can't hurt (much) to try, right?

1 comment:

  1. I have PCOS too......we are lucky to have 2 daughters...extremely low carb got me pregnant both times! Nice toknow someone else has issues with Met....