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A Mom Tried Keto Diet For 30 Days. This Is What Happened When Things Went Wrong.

A mom tried keto diet for 30 days Things went wrong for her, just weeks after starting it

This is what happened, to her pancreas JC is a 32 year old woman, presenting to the emergency room with progressively worsening speech, vision, and strength She opens her mouth to speak to the admitting nurse, but the words don’t make any sense 4 months ago, JC became a new mom She decided that she would feed her daughter, naturally

JC was an elite athlete in her past life She always lived an active lifestyle, and motherhood wasn’t going to change that During her pregnancy, she had gained 30 pounds Now that baby’s out, JC tried the Keto diet, where she’d restrict all carbohydrates to zero, while eating only proteins and fats Paired with an hour of exercise daily, JC was determined, she was going to shed that baby weight

In the weeks following her daughter’s birth, JC felt a numbness in her legs during her morning runs This was without pain Without burning sensations One day at breakfast, JC’s husband noticed her repeatedly pour water from one bottle to another and back, while quietly growling to herself When asked about this after eating, she had no memory of breakfast

As the weeks passed, JC felt a panic and anxiety start to overcome her She started crying everyday She couldn’t sleep through the night Breaking her keto diet, and eating carbs would make her feel better, but she resisted every urge She realized something was wrong

At the doctor’s office days later, JC was diagnosed with postpartum depression These changes in her body are normal She just had a baby Shifts in hormones and increased sensitivity to these changes, can affect anyone But the doctor had other concerns

JC was feeding her daughter Human milk incorporates 50 grams of sugar per day If she’s not eating those sugars because of her keto diet, this COULD be a problem Proteins and fats can be converted to sugar for use in milk, but that conversion doesn’t happen quickly It doesn’t happen easily

And it MIGHT not be enough to keep up with JC’s lactation This can be problematic if it causes blood sugar levels become too low And in JC, those levels are too low A blood test at that visit revealed severe hypoglycemia Hypo meaning low

Glyce from Ancient Greek referring to sugar And emia meaning presence in blood Low sugar presence in blood The brain uses sugar as its most immediate energy source When sugar is suddenly low in the body, this will cause mental status changes and mood swings as the brain’s energy supply is disrupted

And when combined with postpartum depression, then this explains everything that’s happening to JC She was sent home with medicines She was given advice to stop the strict keto diet, so long as she was still feeding her daughter It didn’t need to be a permanent stop, but a necessary change for the time being JC was on her way

She was feeling great with this flexible diet But only for a few weeks One morning, JC stepped on the scale She had gained another 20 pounds since she relaxed her foods after that doctors visit She thought that the medicines were working well on her mood, so that postpartum depression must have been the only problem

She saw no reason to continue the relaxed diet, as she vowed again to shed that baby weight She broke the doctor’s recommendation and returned to her strict keto diet, while still feeding her daughter It was time to wean baby off, anyways she thought As the days went by, JC felt great But one morning, 2 weeks later, her vision started to double

She felt a tingling in her fingers She spoke words to her husband, but he couldn’t understand them He thought she was joking, but realized something was wrong, when she tried to put baby in the refrigerator After breakfast, JC had no recollection of anything The same episodes, would repeat every morning

She would snap out of it after her breakfast of greek yogurt and eggs Her husband shrugged it off as a joke because it kept happening, every day But then JC’s anxiety came back The crying and the insomnia Over the next 4 days, JC’s vision starts to go dark as her bouts of panic intensify

She describes to her husband a mental fog clouding her thoughts And as the night falls, anxiety shrouds her as she knows the insomnia was waiting for her One morning, JC got out of bed She laid on the floor, arms raised She was conscious but not responsive

She was speaking, but incoherent She rolled over on her side, and began to seize as 911 was called and she is brought to the emergency room where we are now At examination, JC isn’t visibly ill She’s verbal, but she’s incoherent She’s responsive, but not oriented

A blood test again reveals hypoglycemia, but this time, less than half the lower limit of normal The medical team administers a sugar water mixture intravenously to JC, her consciousness improves in minutes All other signs and exams return normal, as she appears to be her normal self More tests are done on her, and it’s found that nothing is wrong with her kidneys, liver and heart Overall, it looks like nothing ever happened

She’s admitted into the hospital because even if she looks ok, something is clearly amiss The next morning, the medical team on rounds finds JC on the floor again, arms raised This time, unresponsive but conscious Incoherent, but still speaking, as she rolls over and starts seizing again Doctors order another test for her blood sugar

Severe hypoglycemia found again Another glucose IV was infused in to her JC is conscious, coherent and oriented again, with no recollection at all of what just happened, as this now gives the medical team some clues as to what’s happening Most immediately, JC is showing neuroglycopenic symptoms Neuro referring to the brain

Glyco referring to glucose, another name for sugar And (suffix)-penia meaning a deficiency of A deficiency of sugar, in the brain The brain needs sugar to function But exactly, how much? Well, at rest, the brain accounts for 60% of all sugar consumption, even though it’s less than 3% the mass of the whole body In normal function, the body has protections in place to prevent hypoglycemia so that bad things don’t happen to the brain

This glucose homeostasis, is the equilibrium, or balance of sugar in the body Most of the body’s sugar is stored in the liver When blood sugar decreases, hormones tell the liver to start breaking down those stores and to release them so that levels are steady This is called glycogenolysis The liver also generates sugar from proteins and fats, a process called gluconeogenesis

Both of these increase blood sugar, so defects here can cause a decrease in blood sugar Nothing here was wrong, because JC’s liver function was found to be normal, but there’s more The liver produces ketones, which are a secondary energy source to sugar that can be used by the brain But they’re not as efficient as glucose If someone has been on keto diet for long enough, the liver’s sugar stores become depleted, forcing ketogenesis, giving way for the namesake of JC’s diet But lactation can also increase the production of ketones

So, if she’s doing both the keto diet, and feeding her daughter, then it means that JC should have a high ketone presence in blood The medical team orders JC to fast for 72-hours Over these 3 days, they will monitor her blood sugar and ketones (+proinsulin and C-peptide— students, what are those for?) Things seem to be going well just a couple hours in to the fast But at 7 hours in, JC started slurring her speech

She was no longer oriented again as she lay on the floor, her arms up On measurement of her blood glucose, the results return— less than half the lower limit of normal Ketones, which should be high, were virtually absent, bringing us back to glucose homeostasis Upstream the process, from the liver, is the pancreas This organ produces a hormone named insulin, which is released when blood sugar is high

Most commonly, this happens after one eats Insulin tells the body’s cells, to absorb the sugar in the blood To take in as much of it as possible, until the levels normalize If insulin is high for a long time, then blood sugar will be low Results from JC’s fast show that her insulin levels were 3 times the upper limit of normal, meaning that something is causing her pancreas to secrete too much insulin

But what could it be? Well, It’s probably not medicines because nothing she’s been taking in the hospital would do this It’s not her liver because it’s functioning normally, downstream the process It’s not performing glycogenolysis or gluconeogenesis as a result of the high insulin presence in blood And it’s not her kidneys since they would filter the blood, functioning as intended in JC Meaning there could be an overgrowth or a tumor in her pancreas, that’s releasing insulin with no regard to the feedback mechanisms in place

This is called an insulinoma At this realization, the medical team orders an abdominal MRI with contrast Images reveal a well-defined tumor, 11 millimeters in diameter, in the body of JC’s pancreas Its appearance doesn’t look like pancreatic cancer It could be a cancer from somewhere else in her body that has spread to the pancreas, or it could be a functional neuroendocrine tumor, something releases hormones inappropriately

The extreme hypoglycemia The regular pattern of neuroglycopenic symptoms The resolution of her mental status after correction of her blood sugar [this is called Whipple’s Triad btw] The medical team makes a clinical diagnosis of insulinoma as JC was sent in for surgery Parts of her pancreas were removed along with the tumor, as her depression medicines were tapered and then discontinued

The mornings were the toughest times for JC because of the overnight fasting period where blood sugars are low in everyone The unregulated release of insulin by a tumor, made those levels even lower before breakfast The cause of the tumor, is unknown It wasn’t caused by her pregnancy But the timing of this, just happened to coincide with the pregnancy In the late term, insulin resistance builds in the mother, which would make JC’s body less responsive to insulin

Meaning that the symptoms would be masked But after the baby is delivered, the mother becomes more responsive to insulin, which for JC, resulted in pronounced symptoms This is described in several case reports of insulinoma diagnosed during pregnancy And this is also touched upon in the documentary Microbirth, which you can see on CuriosityStream, who sponsored today’s video CuriosityStream is a subscription streaming service that offers thousands of documentaries and non­fiction titles from some of the world's best filmmakers, with exclusive originals

Get unlimited access starting at just $299 a month or $1999 a year, and if you sign up at curiositystreamcom/chubbyemu, link in the description below and enter promo code ‘chubbyemu’ at checkout, the first 30-days are completely free The three medical related documentaries I really enjoyed are Our Genes Under Influence, Proteom Code, and Vitamania by fellow YouTuber Veritasium

Sign up at curiositystreamcom/chubbyemu and enter code chubbyemu In her first doctor’s visit, JC noted that eating carbs solved her panic, anxiety and insomnia, all of which are neuroglycopenic symptoms, meaning she may not have had postpartum depression from the start, but we can’t say for sure The 20 pounds she gained in just a couple of weeks after relaxing her diet the first time is a normal function of aberrant insulin secretion, as it stored that excess glucose, as adipose tissue All of this was worsened because JC was simultaneously feeding her daughter and following a strict keto diet

In the medical world, hypoglycemia is considered as more acutely dangerous than hyperglycemia, because low sugar can take someone out instantly As she recovered from the operation, her blood sugar levels stayed within normal limits She was able to return home in good mood Back to her family Back to normal life

And she was able to live the lifestyle, that she originally wanted Thanks so much for watching Take care of yourself and be well

Source: Youtube

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