Last reply 2 months ago
My Ketogenic Diet

I want to share my experiences with everyone about my ketogenic diet. The Keto diet is very low in carbohydrates and high in healthy fats with a medium protein intake, and it is designed to put you into ketosis, which makes your body burn fat for energy, instead of glucose. The benefits can be amazing: not only in treating or preventing chronic illness, but in boosting brainpower, increasing energy, providing better sleep and helping people to lose weight and keep it off. The science behind it is a little complicated, so I would urge any interested folks to read “Keto Claritly” by Jimmy Moore or “Fat For Fuel” ny Dr. Joseph Mercola. But this is my story:

I was diagnosed with MS 25 years ago, my first symptom being complete blindness in one eye that never healed. I went along without a hitch for a few more years, until one morning when I woke up and was paralyzed down my left side and after a long and difficult recovery, was on a roller-coaster of relapsing remitting MS. The drugs were brand new back then, so I was happy when Copaxone became available to me, but I didn’t like self-injecting and I felt ‘toxic’ the entire time I was taking it. I stopped after a number of months and decided to try to get control over my own health through diet and exercise. I tried a vegan diet and then a very low fat diet and neither was helping at all. At the same time, I started increasing my activity, first through yoga (modified for me because of my balance issues by a very special teacher) and then I embarked on a weight training program. I started to get stronger and I pushed myself to the gym even during my relapses so that my muscles wouldn’t atrophe. It was a good start but it wasn’t enough.

The Internet was still relatively young back then, but I had found an interesting post by a young man who had cut gluten out of his diet and had good results. He felt it was somehow directly related. I tried it and although it was so difficult to give up bread and pasta, I started feeling better and better. Then I got rid of the rest of the grains: corn, rice, barley, etc., and my health continued to improve, until I was no longer having any exacerbations. My neurologist was so impressed after seeing my progress year after year, that she wanted to do regular MRIs to see what was changing in my brain (I declined because I didn’t think repeated MRIs were healthy and in my best interest).

Then I took my diet one step further: I started on the Atkins Diet (super low carb) because I had wanted to take off a few extra, stubborn pounds that menopause was helping me accumulate. The pounds fell off at an astounding rate, my energy was abundant (with no spikes or drops) and I had never felt better since my first dibilitating exacerbation had occurred years before. I was going to the gym 4 to 5 times a week and even took on a personal trainer. I went from walking with a cane (early in my illness) to being able to leg press 500 lbs. Amazing!! My new neurologist (last one moved out of the country), when he saw my improvement over the previous year, remarked that maybe it was possible that I had been misdiagnosed with MS. (Of course, that wasn’t the case, but it was a nice thought).

Then things turned. My general practioner called me after my yearly physical, to say that my cholestrol numbers were up and that I had to start on a low-fat diet. I complied, but I thought I would just do a low fat/low carb diet so that I wouldn’t gain any weight. I didn’t really understand how important the high fat component of my diet was. My energy level dropped so much, I could barely get out of bed some days. And the weight started piling back on! I thought it had to do with my inactivity, so I pushed myself to the gym 6 times a week and started injuring myself. I had to take long breaks while I healed pulled muscles and ligaments and was spending a fortune on physiotherapy. I was miserable and depressed!

I started searching for answers for why the change had happenned in my health, when I stumbled upon information about the Keto Diet. I picked up some books from the library, and learned that my diet (which had been inadvertently ketogenic) backfired when I stopped eating lots of high quality fats and ate too much protein. A few months ago, I started back on the Keto a few months ago and the results were almost immediate. I dropped 15 pounds to start, but my energy is up, my mood is elevated, my joints aren’t aching and I feel like I’m on my way back!

Now here’s the thing: I told of my experience on a post on a Keto Diet Facebook group page, and I was overwhelmed by the response. There were numerous comments and private messages from others with MS who had similar experiences on the diet! So now I’m trying to spread the word! Has anyone here had any experience with this? The books I’ve read and am reading say this may be a breakthrough for people with neurological disorders. Comments?

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vixen
1 year ago

Hi there, thanks for your post. I didn’t know anything about the Keto diet and have spent time today researching it (whilst on holiday in Spain) . It’s become a new aim for me when I get back, so thanks! Since diagnosis earlier this year I have improved my veggie diet. But no matter what I do I can’t shift the stone I put on whilst miserably waiting for diagnosis. So thanks, will give it a go!


shopaholic84
1 year ago

HI cdag1rl. I’d love to know more about the Ketogenic diet. I’ve read a few other blogs of success with the diet. I currently follow and gluten, dairy and refined sugar free diet.
Is there a good place I could find some food lists???


cdag1rl
1 year ago

I think a good place to start is by reading Keto Clarity by Jimmy Moore. It sounds like what you are doing will make this an easy transition. I started by going gluten free and that was the start of my success. I would also look up “Fat For Fuel” by Dr. Joseph Mercola. I know there is a lot of info online if you Google his name, although you have to go very organic! But both resources will give you all your food lists. I know you will have great success with this so please keep in touch!


cdag1rl
1 year ago

@vixen you will be astounded by your success! please keep me posted and don’t hesitate to ask for support or get more info!

@cdag1rl Its great to hear that it has been really positive for you. Its one of the things my wife was considering but we went with OMS for now, but it is on our list to consider. The closest thing to a study on these was this short trial done on fasting (which is also interesting to for us to consider):

Diet that mimics fasting may also reduce multiple sclerosis symptoms

Take a read on the 3 diets they used in humans and i think the results are at least somewhat promising.


shopaholic84
1 year ago

Thank you I shall take a look and your links. I do try and go organic but the price tag doesn’t encourage me!!!
Are you completely dairy free??? I am now and would probably find it hard to start again.
The one thing I don’t think I can give up is Red Wine and a gin and tonic!! I literally have no other treats!


cdag1rl
1 year ago

[email protected] californiadreamin part of the keto diet includes intermittent fasting (IF) and that may indeed be responsible for my success with it. If you get a chance to pick up “Keto Clarity” by Jimmy Moore or Fat For Fuel” by Dr. Joseph Mercola, you can read several references to studies done in this regsrd. Very promising for neurological disorders and various cancers. Best of luck to the two of you!


tracyd
1 year ago

I’ve done super low carb diets successfully in the past – I lost 5 1/2 stone, I felt amazing and I loved it.
I have tried a few time to try a ketogenic diet again since I’ve had Lem, but my blood test results each month I’ve gone back into ketosis now show thyroid variances. I’ve joked on the blog about it being that my thyroid hates green vegetables, but on a ultra low carb / ketogenic diet they really are the lowest carb.
I’m still playing at trying to make a ketogenic diet work for me, but so far I can’t maintain ketosis without ending up with serum free T4 readings on my monthly bloods …. just got to keep practicing I guess


sumer_puri
4 months ago

What is your diet plan???


vixen
4 months ago

Hello @cdagirl and everyone. Off the back of the original post I started the Keto diet in Sep and was strict with it until March. I posted some updates. To cut a long story short I lost two stone with no additional exercise so it’s been one of my best ever life discoveries. In fact, I stick with it to this day although now, as I don’t need to lose weight I am in the WONDERFUL position of upping my carbs through a daily chocolate treat! I can’t say the diet affects or improves my MS. But I can say that I deffo have more energy these days and feel better now that I have in two years. I am a complete convert to Keto. I owe you a debt of thanks @cdagirl x


livi75
4 months ago

Hi @cdagirl i came across this a couple of months ago after a bad relapse following the birth of my baby in December on Facebook page called Live dieses free . Which is a lady in Canada who was diagnosed 29 years ago . She very interesting she was saying that it’s worms, bugs and paracites in your system ie gut, intestine and blood . So we need to rid them by starting to starve , kill them through diet and then expell them . I only really started the diet a couple of weeks ago but my god the difference / improvement is unreal in every way ie sleep, energy and improvement in movement in my body . So glad to see your post and I’m not the only one of the ms’ers to come across and see the benefit.


lmagnan
4 months ago

This is great to read. I stopped gluten 5 weeks ago and have lost 10 pound which is good but I will look into the keto asap. Thanks so much for sharing xx


deirdre_maher
4 months ago

Hi cdagirl, I log in and your post from last year I believe came up as someone replied. Congrats and well done and so happy you found something that’s working for you and I hope all’s still well for you. I instantly thought wow, synchronicity or what as I recently had somebody recommend it to me as she, although not a MSer herself, was suffering from a different condition herself and read about the ketogenic and started on it and shared her journey towards recovery with me. Not easy, takes time for the mind and body to readjust but gleefully shared how living on the keto diet has transformed her life. So I’m delighted for you and to see your post and would be very grateful of any more information you may be willing to share with me and all of us who may wish to hear it. Wishing you and us all good health physically and in every way. Beannachtaí (Blessings). Deirdre x. 🙂


shazh
2 months ago

Hi cdag1rl,
Very interesting account of your journey so thanks for sharing 🙂 I am like you in that I tried a vegan diet for a while in an effort to control worsening symptoms but am now just in the process of starting my keto diet. I’m sure I’ll have better results and I can start having cheese again which I was missing incredibly!! I had also dabbled in intermittent fasting which was proving some help and I believe the same ketones are released as during the keto diet. did you or do you fast too on some of the week?
ShazH x 🙂
btw. how long before you felt any changes??


vixen
2 months ago

Hi all, Just to update, this time a year ago whilst on holiday, I first came across the original post and decided to give Keto a go. Which, as detailed above, I did. The way I feel now, is not that I’m on a Keto diet, but that Keto is pretty much a life choice in that it’s permanent. I said before that I can’t promise or prove that it affects my MS as I’m on Tecfidera too. But this time one year ago, I was on the same holiday at the same place in Spain. The difference in my energy levels is phenomenal compared to last year. My diet is mega healthy and I have been exercising. Oddly, I am generally sleeping less than I ever have in 20 years of having the same holiday. Call it coincidence, but I’m pretty sure it’s keto. Oh, and I’ve held the weight off too, static for 5 months. Keto wouldn’t suit everyone, but it’s a winner with me x


keepupthefight
2 months ago

Hi @vixen

Would you be kind enough to share your diet plan?
Maybe just a few examples? And what you cut out
Do you restrict the times you eat?

I’m sure others would benefit to hear your experience!

Love the positive news 🙂


vixen
2 months ago

Hi @keepupthefight. To start with, I stopped eating bread and potatoes for a week, to check I could manage without! In the second week I had to start planning a week ahead. Keto is hard for me as I’m veggie, and meat and fish are great on this diet. For breakfast every day I have full fat Greek yogurt, strawberries/raspberries/ blueberries and lots of nuts. I eat this late so it kind of acts as lunch. Around 4 or 5 I make a smoothie, which is full fat Greek yogurt and milk, and fruit. Bananas are higher carb, but they are great for filling you up. I also add to the smoothie flax seeds. For dinner I rely lies on Quorn products. You can make lasagne with layers of mandolin’d swede instead of pasta. Cauliflower cheese is quick and easy. Omelettes. Any time I have salad I supplement with eggs and cheese. You can experiment with almond and coconut flour as pastry replacements to make things like cheese and coconut muffins, or vegetable samosas, using mozzarella as the binding agent. My favourite meal in winter was loads of steamed veggies with mint sauce and gravy, with veggie sausages or other products. Also, stir fries with Quorn pieces are great. Now I’ve lost the weight, I have upped my carbs to just maintain my weight. Tesco do an amazing brand of low carb chocolate which is heaven! If you’re not. Effie, it will be so much easier. There are so many Keto recipes online. Good luck, I hope you enjoy! X


keepupthefight
2 months ago

Thanks @vixen

I’m vegan so this makes it quite tough 🙂
But there’s a way around everything, right.

Glad to know the results have been great for you.

Thank you making time to share your regime

Take care x


fingersandtoes
2 months ago

I am currently reading Brain Food by Dr Lisa Mosconi and she thinks the keto diet is the worst thing you can do to your brain. The brain needs a certain amount of glucose the keto diet just doesn’t supply.

I follow the Overcoming MS programme. The diet is vegan + fish and very low in saturated fat. I feel great, my athletic performance is improving (I am a distance runner) and I haven’t had any relapses since I started. Though I started Tecfidera at the same time.


cdag1rl
2 months ago

Hi everyone! I’m so stoked to read of everyone’s positive experiences with this diet. There are so many books and lots of blogs online (and lots of Facebook groups) devoted to the subject. Plus I think there are lots of ways to successfully modify the diet to make it your own. People with cholesterol problems need to cut out of the saturated fat, which is difficult on this regime, but doable. @keepupthefight being vegan makes this extremely difficult, if not impossible, because you derive your proteing from carbs – but you can still choose your carbs wisely and cut out the GMO products such as wheat and corn and of course sugar. Best of luch to all of you and thank you so much for your posts and updates.


mlm85
2 months ago

I am keto. I feel so good on it.


cdag1rl
2 months ago

@mlm85 I am so happy to hear that!


fingersandtoes
2 months ago

I just want to clarify that no one, even vegans, can derive protein from carbs. They are both macronutrients that come from foods.

Vegan sources of protein:
Tofu, tempeh, quorn, seitan, lentils and other pulses, beans, quinoa, nuts, seeds. It’s best to eat a variety to ensure you get all of the essential amino acids. But these do not have to be in the same meal, as previously thought. Chia seeds and quinoa are both complete sources.

Quinoa and beans and some of those other foods also contain carbohydrates. So do other grains, bananas, fruit, vegetables. If we eat a range of these we get a lot of the vitamins and minerals we need in our diets, as well as glucose which is essential for healthy brain function. Less nutritious sources of carbohydrate are refined sugar and refined flour, fried potato, white rice. The processing strips away the most nutritious parts and much of the fibre, particularly insoluble fibre. Insoluble fibre is not something that is absorbed by the body but it promotes healthy gut function.

So eating a varied diet including wholegrains and a range of vegetables, whether your protein comes from meat or vegetable sources, ensures enough glucose for brain function and fibre for gut function.

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