Thursday, January 10, 2019

A Huge Change and a Whole New Plan - Keto, Health, Hospital Trips and Hyponatremia - Very, Very Long


This has been quite a week that ended up leading to some really big changes in how I handle my health and my food.

It actually started last week when I began to feel lightheaded now and again when I stood up. Now, to set the stage, I have chronic hyponatremia, which is low sodium, due to one of the psych medications that I'm on. The plan is to get me off of this medication eventually but it hasn't happened yet and I've been dealing with this for about 4-5 years now.

My symptoms always, always start with feeling lightheaded while standing, feeling like I'm going to pass out and needing to either sit or lay down immediately. My liquid intake is limited due to this issue and that's also why I add electrolytes to my daily water.

So, seeing that I've been dealing with it for 4-5 years now and know my symptoms you'd think that when I started feeling this way last week that I would put two and two together, right? Well, that would have been nice but that's not what happened. What happened was I kept waving it off while reasoning that "...it couldn't be my sodium again because I'm doing everything right!!!" Yeah, I actually said that to a few people.

Anyway, all was well and good with my symptoms getting worse and me ignoring them because... well, because I was doing everything right damn it, until Tuesday morning where I went to wake up Gabriel and almost fell due to the lightheadedness. I had to lay back down immediately and it was to the point where I couldn't get him to school because there was no way in hell I was going to try to drive when I couldn't even stand up (yes, I know I should have gone to the ER at that moment but... I don't know why I didn't).

Eventually I crawled my way out of bed and called my doctor and was told to go to the ER so I went being really worried that I was overreacting and that I would be wasting their time. Nope... I was right, my sodium was tanking!

A healthy sodium level is 135-145. The time I was in the ER for this for the first time my numbers were 126 and I was falling and had an altered mental state at that time and the last time I was in there for this I was at 131. This time I was at 129 and was down to 126 by the time they finished giving me the saline solution.

I actually came very close to being admitted on Tuesday night. The only reason they let me go home was because my blood pressure was behaving itself. Anyway, I had to come back Wednesday and have labs redone (between Tuesday and Wednesday I had IV's in both arms and blood drawn from both arms) and luckily by Wednesday afternoon I was at 130 so they let me go home because 130 is pretty good for my body. It's not at the healthy level but I have chronic low sodium so for my body it was acceptable.

But, here is were things take a turn for the huge change that I am making... the ER was really busy on Wednesday and since I was just waiting to get my blood checked (the first vial wouldn't work right so I was there twice as long), I started doing some research and I discovered something that I should have known about keto since I've been doing it for three and a half years now is that keto causes hyponatremia. So I was adding additional loss of sodium to my already chronic condition and, frankly, that was an asinine idea.

So I did more research looking up sodium supplements, how keto affects sodium, how to up sodium and more and the more I thought the more I realized that I haven't really felt "great" on keto this time around for more than one or two days. I also realized that all four times in the last 3-4 years that I have been in the ER for low sodium was when I was on strict keto and that I have had no energy and haven't felt good enough to work out since I restarted keto 16 days ago. Yes, I've had some good days but they were few and far between.

So I did some reading and chatted with some keto people online and began to understand that even though keto has been amazing to me for the most part, I'm not healthy right now and in the last 16 days all it has done is make me sicker.

So after all that, this is what it come to: I am ending my keto journey here.

Yes, keto has been amazing to me: I've lost a huge amount of weight (before it started coming back), I've calmed down my fibro pain and my migraines, I had way more energy (except for this time around) and it controls my binging but I'm NOT getting healthier from it anymore and that sucks.

Of course I want to, and need to, lose more weight but I don't want to sacrifice my heath in order to get there faster and right now, that's what I'm doing so here is the new plan/journey:

On Saturday I'm going to start a healthy low carb and IIFYM (if if fits your macros) lifestyle. I'm still working out my new macro amounts which is why I'm starting Saturday but I plan to keep carbs at 150 grams and under and stick with my 1200 calories. Also, this is going to be a much healthier lifestyle. Most of my carbs will be coming from veggies and fruit and for the most part I want to avoid the simple carbs like processed crap food: donuts, pasta, most bread, boxed stuff... you know what it is.

At the same time I want to stop with cheat foods/feast foods or whatever they are. I want to learn to eat like a normal person and be able to eat a slice of cake on my birthday instead of the entire cake. That will take a lot of work so I don't have plans to tackle that portion of it right now but I want food to be food and not a reward or something and I want to not have whole "cheat" days when I binge just because I can.

I'm also adding a sodium supplement to my supplement list as well as taking in more salt daily. In fact, since my sugar's in a decent place I'm going to put sodium in it's place on my MyFitnessPal food tracker and keep an eye on it every day.

I will definitely miss keto. It has taught me a lot and I've done it for so long now that I'm not sure how to not do it and not just go crazy with carbs but I'll figure it out.

And, yeah, I'm fully expecting several pounds to come back this week between the saline they gave me in the ER and stopping keto (I'll do my first weigh-in on Saturday) and I'm expecting that my weight loss will be a lot slower off of keto but at this point in time I'm willing to lose slower if that means I'll feel better and will be able to function and work out again.

I don't just want weight loss, I want health and I don't think that's too much to ask for.

So for all my keto friends and followers, if you've gotten this far, I'm not abandoning you and I want to continue to watch your journeys unfold. I'm just changing the path of mine but I still hope to see you all along the way!

We've got this!

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