Back on the low carb wagon

Last summer I participated in intensive outpatient treatment at the Headache Care Center. For 10 days, each day, I met with the doctor, received IV therapy, physical therapy, individual counseling including biofeedback training, and some group counseling. The doctor recommended I switch to a low carbohydrate diet. He stated that a very low carb diet (aka a ketogenic diet) has been used for years with individuals with epilepsy whose seizures are not controlled by medication. He stated that similar to a person with seizures, a migraineur has a sensitive nervous system that reacts more powerfully and stays activated for a longer period of time than a person with a normal nervous system. He stated that a low carb diet may help calm the nervous system down. He also recommended this diet because I had signs of insulin resistance (I had high triglycerides and inflammation). These and some other factors also put me at risk for diabetes and heart disease.

At the time, I begrudgingly followed the low carb diet. I ate an average of 20-40 g of net carbs for about 6 months. I had more energy and felt great. My triglycerides dropped 70 points. I fell off the wagon during my birthday (in November) and the holiday season. I didn't get back on the diet until now. Having almost daily migraines, having to drop out of school again, applying for disability, and coming to terms with the fact that I may never be able to work again, I turned to food for comfort. Potatoes, ice cream, fruits, bread, et cetera all helped me feel better emotionally.

On Monday I got back on the low carb diet. I'm craving bread, chocolate, and fruit like nobody's business. One common misconception of Atkins/low carb diets is that they're high protein and filled with fatty meats. It couldn't be farther from the truth. The Atkins literature states that 12-15 of net carbs should be from a list of specific low carb vegetables. This works out to be about 5 cups of salad greens or other veggies a day.

So far, I feel okay but I'm still craving carbs something awful. Ben and Jerry's calls my name. Trying to stick with it!!


Post a Comment