“Every week that passed, my brain felt clearer and more alive”
Cat was suffering from hypothyroidism, inflammation, and IBS for three decades. Her sleep quality was worsening and she felt that she had had enough.
It was at this time she stumbled upon Diet Doctor while looking for lectures and documentaries about metabolism. She then managed to transform her life and learned something about her relation to food that she never would have guessed.
Here is her story.
Before adapting to the low-carb lifestyle life was one of fatigue, inflammation, foggy head, and regular dips into depression. My Hashimoto’s hypothyroid condition had been with me for three decades, and IBS followed me around like a stray dog, sometimes there, sometimes not.
I left my desk job nearly five years ago, to help my mother cope with my father’s many metabolic problems. He went to a better place in 2016, aged 88, after about three decades of chronic illness.
During this stressful time, my weight continued to climb, despite exercising more and practicing intermittent fasting. I didn’t know then that stress can affect insulin levels, and I was still indulging in a small amount of “comfort foods”.
The turning point
The last straw was when my sleep quality started deteriorating, around 2016. They called it ‘late onset asthma’ – but I didn’t care what they called it – I just knew I couldn’t function without proper sleep.
I started looking at metabolism-related documentaries, then my daughter sent me the “Magic Pill” documentary and it blew me away.
I followed that up with as many lectures as I could find by Dr. Stephen Phinney, and then I discovered Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt and DietDoctor.com, and the whole LCHF community. WOW. This was a major turning point.
The love and care which has been put in to this website to help non-medical people navigate a new lifestyle is exemplary, and to my knowledge, unprecedented. It provided a source of more learning plus the practical help I needed at the start of my journey.
Life now is enjoyable, with vastly improved sleep, lower inflammation, stable mood, digestion and weight. I lost 15 kg (33 lbs) in 18 months, without much exercise.
Every week that passed, my brain felt clearer and more alive. I started studying and enjoying it. I would never have imagined I would be studying complex biochemistry in my 60s, with a growing appetite for more.
I now yearn to help others on their journeys. Before, I only yearned to get through the day without too much exhaustion, and get through the night with a better sleep than the night before.
My weight has reduced significantly and stabilised. I had a calcium CT score done and it was zero.
I waited until now to get my bloods done. It took that long to find a doctor on board with LCHF who knew what markers to measure. Every marker is normal, so I’m over the moon. Cholesterol is up, but my ratio is OK (see below), so I’m not worried.
My biggest challenge
The biggest challenge I faced was carbohydrate addiction. For a start, I had no idea I had one – I was always the anti-sugar bore!
Once I watched Dr. Robert Lustig explain how the psychology and physiology of addiction are intertwined, I realised I used carbs like a junkie.
Case in point, in my first months on LCHF I still thought I could make scrumptious ‘date balls’ and eat only one per day, kidding myself like every addict that it would have zero impact.
Then I watched myself finding excuses to have more and more, plus pigging out on nuts. The food was healthy and unprocessed but I was having too many carbs. I was a text-book carb addict!
Also my IBS would return when I went off-track, so it was a no-brainer – I had to ‘go hard or go home’ – from that point on it was strict keto for me.
If only I had known…
If only I had known at the beginning that carb addiction was actually a real thing. My generation was taught that people can only be addicted to mind-altering substances. To learn that carbs are mind-altering substances was hard to get my head around at first. I knew about sugar, but grains? Surely not!
Now, from personal experience, I know that they made my brain slow and foggy, lowered my mood, undermined motivation, constipated me, and limited my ability to make clear-headed choices.
As soon as I excluded them everything improved. I put encouraging quotes up on the fridge, like “Nothing tastes better than being healthy feels”, and watched many success story videos on Diet Doctor. Dr. David Unwin’s story was very moving.
Above all, learning more about the metabolism was really the most powerful thing for me. It’s complex, but makes sense and is evidence-based. The study replaced the fog and my brain really needed a work-out.
If only I had known that the longer you stick to eating the correct amount of carbs for your own particular tolerance level, the easier it gets. It’s no different to giving up nicotine – difficult, but slip-ups can become set-backs if you are particularly carb-intolerant like me.
Congrats on your journey and finding your own path to health, Cat. I appreciate how you took steps to educate yourself and turned that into action. Keep up the great work!
/ Dr. Bret Scher
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