Thursday, January 03, 2019

Why Keto Works for Me

Have you heard of the Ketogenic Diet?
I am not sure how long it has been around, but several months ago my husband discovered it when he was searching for a diet which would reduce inflammation. He was concerned about inflammation because of his family history of heart disease, and decided he wanted to start a keto diet. (And because I didn't want to make two different options for each meal, I decided to have the whole family eat keto.)
The more Brian researched the keto diet, however, the more I became interested in it for my own health benefits. (Because he usually watched videos about it while I was within ear-shot, so I got to "research" with him.) That is to say, I wasn't interested in it for the weight-loss or the anti-inflammatory or diabetic benefits. But when I heard that some people who battled depression were actually able to quit taking their anti-depressants while eating keto?
Well, let's just say my keto-enthusiasm quickened.
I researched what-to-eat and what not-to-eat.
I started scouring the internet for keto-friendly recipes.
And I stopped taking my anti-depressant.

Now, those of you who've been around me for a while know there have been a couple of occasions in the past when I tried putting my meds aside. And you may recall that I swore off the insanity of ever attempting that again.
The thing is, each of the times I contemplated ditching anti-depressants in the past - I was motivated by shame. I felt like I "shouldn't" be taking meds. Since I had learned how to monitor and manage my negative thinking, I figured I ought to be able to continue on in life without the drugs. That is, while I made every effort to legitimize my prescription and talk myself into accepting the help, I still struggled with needing it.
But when this keto idea came around I was willing to give it a go once more.
See, this time it wasn't just a matter of stopping what was working because I was ashamed that I needed the help. Thanks be to God for bringing me past the point of shame - to being able to trust in whatever way He chooses to work. Rather, this time there was science and a reasonable explanation behind the endeavor. So I made the decision to stop taking my anti-depressant - fully aware that I might need to return to it, and completely OK with that option should it prove to be necessary. (What I mean is, a Ketogenic Diet isn't the answer for everyone who battles depression. And I still believe medication is beneficial, according to the way God chooses to work in each person.)
Now, I am not even going to pretend to be able to explain or fully comprehend the reason this diet is helping my brain. But I do know that heavily limiting carbs in my diet has caused my body to find a new way to "fuel" itself. I'm creating ketones for energy, and somehow those fuel molecules get my brain to operate differently in whatever way is necessary to help me avoid and overcome depressive episodes. How's that for a vague, non-scientific interpretation?
The bottom line is this: My brain is deficient in some way, and I need help.
For years that help came in the form of fluoxetine.
Now it's coming in ketones.
And to be honest? I miss a few things. Like popcorn. And chocolate. And ice cream.
I have taken a couple "keto-breaks" - on Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have another one planned at the end of the month while my hubby and I are on a cruise.
Did I mention I really miss my popcorn?
But I feel good.
I feel happy.
Sometimes I feel sad, too, but the feelings don't overwhelm me.
I can cry when feelings move me so. (That's something I couldn't do when I took Fluoxetine. Even when I tried "adjusting" the level. I wished that I could cry at appropriate times, but I couldn't. And it was a trade-off I was willing to make, so I didn't cry uncontrollably.)
Yeah. I miss popcorn.
But I really like the way I feel.

And that's why Keto works for me!



Heaven said...

Wow! I just scheduled a post for tomorrow that talks about depression and medicine and what I've been going through. I didn't know Keto helped with that! I identify with the "not being able to cry at appropriate times". The medicine I am on is causing me to be numb. Almost mechanical. I'm stable. No mood swings, but also no other emotions. Which means no joy! I miss having joy! I miss being interested in things I used to do. I have a doctor appt with a new doctor at the end of the month. I'm hoping she will have another option. I'm praying for a new freedom that I haven't experienced before. I look forward to hearing more about your journey and how the depression responds. Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing!

Karen Hossink said...

Heaven - Yes. Having ALL the feelings (without the uncontrollable crying) is what I love so much about this thing. I haven't taken an anti-depressant since September. That's almost four months... I think I've found my solution. Thank You, JESUS!
Praying for your doc appt and that new freedom.