Today’s few photos are from those taken in the past 24 hours.
Although today’s story may be of little interest to many readers, I felt it was important to share it with those who may be interested. None of today’s information is intended to provide medical advice in any manner. Please contact your health care professionals for assistance with these or any other issues if they apply to you or someone you love.
On November 2, 2020, in this post, I described how the restaurant had been making chicken burger patties for me, that without my knowledge, included bread crumbs as a filler. I have been gluten, sugar, and starch free since 2011 in order to reduce a chronic spinal pain condition exacerbated by inflammation from food, stress, and lack of sleep.
It was this way of eating, basically, a very low carbohydrate, ketogenic diet, consuming no more than 20 carb grams per day from both small amounts of dairy and certain low carb vegetables that changed our lives in 2012. As many of our long-time readers are well aware, the almost total reduction in pain was instrumental in our deciding to travel the world, while we may never know when and if the pain would return, as I’ve strictly adhered to this way of eating.
At the time I embarked on this way of eating I was on two drugs for hypertension since developing hypertension in the year 2000, Lisinopril 10 mg with HCTZ 25 mg daily which I’ve continued for 20 years, and also was diagnosed as pre-diabetic with a strong family history of metabolic disease including diabetes, heart disease, severe spinal stenosis, and more. For many of my family members, obesity was not uncommon, as often is prevalent in those with metabolic disease.
As a child, I witnessed relatives suffering from these diseases and at a young age, I started exercising and carefully watching what I ate, primarily focused on the dictates of the medical profession, a low-fat way of eating, that kept me slim most of my adult life but didn’t spare me from all of these conditions.
Thus, weeks ago, when I discovered I was being fed “wheat” in those chicken burgers, after specifically informing the restaurant that I would not be eating, wheat, grains, starch, or sugar in any foods served to me, the pain only increased since arriving at this hotel, which had continued after cardiac bypass surgery and subsequent leg surgeries due to infections from the grafts taken for my heart.
In worsening pain in my legs over these past many months, while struggling to walk 5 miles, 8 km, per day in the corridors, I finally realized I must have been eating something horribly wrong for me. Immediately, I went on a drastic mission to reverse this situation by cutting out all carbohydrates from my diet, including vegetables but leaving in a small amount of cheese. This was about three weeks ago. My intent was to basically do a zero carb, carnivore-type (no beef available here) way of eating until I got back on track.
In the mornings, I’ve had two hard-boiled eggs, which hold me until dinner. For dinner, I had either grilled chicken or salmon topped with Emmental cheese, four thin slices of bacon, two more eggs, fried in butter, and mustard as a dipping sauce. I requested no oil (only butter), minimal spices, and have freely used pink Himalayan salt while drinking only water throughout the day.
From Amazon India, I ordered powdered unsweetened electrolytes which I add to a big glass of bottled water. I have been satisfied and not hungry while continuing to slowly lose weight, which I’ve needed to do. I felt great. Two weeks ago, the pain was literally gone. But, I noticed something else, I felt better, different.
What was going on? For the heck of it, I tested my blood pressure using an Omron device we’ve carried with us for years, which I’ve used each week and also, tested my blood sugar, using fresh Accu-Chek sticks I also ordered from Amazon India. I was astounded by what I was seeing. For the first time in 20 years, my blood pressure was so low, I decided to gradually reduce the dose of my medication. I am now down by 75% of my former dose, to a tiny dose of 2.5 Lisinopril, 6.25 HCTZ.
With my blood pressure still too low, compared to a high normal of 120/80, I will continue to check it and will drop the last 25% dose in the next several days.
Additionally, to my amazement, my blood sugar is now in the 70s, (3.9mmol) and 80s, (4.4mmol) for the first time in 20 years when only two months ago my blood sugar ranged from the 100s (5.55mmol) before meals to 130s (7.22) after meals! I can only attribute this to the reduction in carbohydrates to this large degree.
After reading many scientific studies over the past few weeks, I’ve noted that an extremely low carbohydrate intake for those with severe metabolic disease might, for some, lower both blood pressure and blood sugar, both of which vastly contribute to cardiovascular disease.
Of course, in the interim, I will continue to closely monitor these two drastic changes, and once we get to South Africa, I’ll make an appointment with Dr. Theo to review these changes and see if I need to do anything differently. In the meantime, I’m reeling with delight over these two massive changes.
I realize there is no guarantee of long-term improved health from these changes, but I feel confident the numbers are going in the right direction.
So there it is. While in lockdown in India, with no access to a family doctor, with medical clinics, hospitals jammed with COVID-19 patients, I had to take the bull by the horns and be proactive in my own health care. I’m no expert, but being one’s own advocate during challenging times may present some advantages.
BTW, Tom rarely eats vegetables and he’s ok.
Photo from one year ago today, November 22, 2019:
|While we were so busy in Minnesota on this date, one year ago, we posted this photo, from today’s date in 2014 when we stopped along the highway in Maui for a breathtaking view. For the story one year ago, please click here.|