My keto journey so far...
I have struggled with my weight as long as I can remember and have been a yo-yo dieter for most of my adult life (and yes there are very few diets I haven't tried, had a measure of short term success with and then failed). I wanted to find a way to be "healthy" but always found myself falling off the bandwagon and putting all the lost weight, and usually more, back on.
From my mid to late teens onwards I had issues with abdominal weight, irritable bowel, irregular menstrual cycle, hair loss, depression and yet was never thoroughly investigated.
A series of events after moving to Australia led to me being diagnosed with Autoimmune hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, non alcoholic fatty liver disease and PCOS.
I knew my lifestyle was the main problem but felt powerless to consistently change my way of living, instead giving in to huge carb cravings and feeding what had become an incessant appetite. In addition to the above issues I increasingly experienced bloating, fatigue and physical pain in my joints and back.
As a health care professional I was all too aware of where this road was taking me and I was becoming desperate to change direction.
Fast forward to January of this year, I was the heaviest I'd ever been at 100kg and my blood tests weren't painting a pretty picture; they were a bit of a slap in the face to be honest- definitely a wake-up call!!!
I decided to go back (yes this was my 2nd attempt) on a ketogenic way of eating.
Just after that decision I came across exogenous ketones and decided to use them to help the transition my way into ketosis. I love the keto way of eating, after all what's not to love about meat with creamy homemade sauces and vegetables dripping in butter!!!! So for me I've never struggled with the concept of adding the fat, reducing carbs has been my challenge.
Very quickly I noticed I wasn't feeling hungry as often so I started intermittent fasting (minimum of 16 hours in every 24) and for me that has been the most positive change. I only eat when I'm hungry and no longer because it's lunchtime or dinnertime.
What changes have I seen in the last four months? I sleep better, have more energy, the brain fog has gone, I have seen improvements in my memory and focus, I no longer have a constant background level of pain and the bloating has gone. A few weeks ago I found myself wanting to exercise!!
And then there's the weight loss, currently sitting at a 21kg weight loss in the last 3 1/2 months.
Have I arrived? No! But I am enjoying this new road I am travelling and the people who have joined me along the way!
Analysis from Dr Brukner
Cheryl’s blood test results are very impressive and in fact are very similar to my own experience when I first went low carb.
1. LIVER FUNCTION TESTS
Her liver function tests (AST, ALT, GGT) demonstrate that in January Cheyl had a condition known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in which fatty deposits are found in the liver. It is related to excessive fructose (found in table sugar and fruit) intake and is known to be a precursor of both diabetes and cirrhosis of the liver. Cheryl’s April results showed that her NAFLD had completely resolved and her liver function was back to normal.
2. DIABETES TESTS
Cheryl’s diabetes test were abnormally high. Normal blood glucose should be under 5.5. A level of 6.3 is in the diabetic range. Her serum insulin is very high at 30. Normal is under 10 so she still has a way to go, but 19 is definitely an improvement. Her HbA1c which is an indicator of the level of blood glucose over the previous three months was high at 6.1. It should be under 5.6% and her April result of 5.4 is now in the non-diabetic range.
Unfortunately we only have the total cholesterol and triglycerides levels,. It would be good to have the HDL so we can calculate the Trigs/HDL ratio, but the results are as we would expect - the total cholesterol is unchanged and the triglyceride level has come down from 1.9 (upper limit of normal is 1.5) to 1.6. Usually the triglyceride levels take a while to come down and I suspect in another three months the levels will be within the normal range.
The ESR is a broad indicator of the level of inflammation in the body. Normally it should be under 20, and Cheryl’s has come down from 25 to 18 indicating a reduction in the amount of inflammation in her body.