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  • My Doctor is Scaring Me!

    So yeah I decided (who knows why) to go to the doctor a few weeks ago for a health check up.

    They put me on blood pressure medicine, which has now decreased my potassium to "critically low" levels.

    I picked up the potassium this morning and they said I had to take it IMMEDIATELY with "lots" of food and water. Since I'm on 24H IF and have been for 2 weeks now, I don't have any food with me (at work) and I am certainly not going to break my 3 months of no fast food streak.

    THEN I got an email from the doctor saying that my cholesterol and glucose were elevated and because of these things I was pre-diabetic. She said I have to immediately begin eating lean meats and whole grain breads and cereals plus fish. 1. I don't eat bread 2. I loathe fish, the smell makes me nauseous. 3. Lean Meat?! QQ

    But they've seriously got me scared, I don't want to completely reverse all my primal plans because I feel amazing. I've lost 25 pounds in 2 months, my skin is so clear I no longer need makeup, my hair is shiny, and I'm more active than I've ever been. None of which seems to be impressing my doctor.

    Doctor orders are compelling and I feel really stuck between a rock and a hard place. I don't want to go back to bloating, IBS, adult acne, and sluggishness. I also don't want the doctor to yell at me anymore, and I don't want to get diabetes (though how going back to eating starch and sugared things will help that, I don't know.)

    I guess I need advice or help or just someone to pat me on the back and say all will be ok.
    yay!

  • #2
    Ask for your test results so you can see for yourself what your "high" levels are. Many doctors think anything over 130 is high and needs to be lowered. Not true.

    Comment


    • #3
      My cholesterol was 215, the report says that average is <200.

      My fasting glucose was 112, the report says that average is 77-99.

      I AM substantially overweight (5'8" and 308 lbs currently) but it is going steadily down. My BP was 131/96 and it was the third time it had been high (especially my resting rate) and that is why I'm on the meds. They say if I keep losing weight and my big stressor (my mom is in the hospital and I'm handling all her finances/affairs for 2+ months now) that I won't need the medicine anymore. I can't stand doctors or medicines and I honestly regret going.

      I also have not told the doctor about intermittent fasting because I don't imagine that going over very well, either. It has been met with 2000% resistance from pretty much everyone I've told.
      yay!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by qqemokitty View Post
        So yeah I decided (who knows why) to go to the doctor a few weeks ago for a health check up.
        Some people would say this was your first mistake: Going to a doctor when you don't have a serious illness/injury. Do you take the car to the mechanic when it's running perfectly (assuming necessary maintenance is up to date?) Of course not. They'll try to sell you something...

        Originally posted by qqemokitty
        They put me on blood pressure medicine, which has now decreased my potassium to "critically low" levels.
        Those same people (not me. I wouldn't give out medical advice. That would be horrible. I'm no doctor!) might say your second mistake was taking blood pressure medicine. Treating symptoms rather than underlying causes might not prove to be a great strategy in the long-term.

        Originally posted by qqemokitty
        I picked up the potassium this morning and they said I had to take it IMMEDIATELY with "lots" of food and water. Since I'm on 24H IF and have been for 2 weeks now, I don't have any food with me (at work) and I am certainly not going to break my 3 months of no fast food streak.
        So they prescribed you something that had adverse effects, then prescribed you something else to deal with those effects? (I use prescribed in the "recommended" sense, not necessarily the medical-license sense)

        Originally posted by qqemokitty
        THEN I got an email from the doctor saying that my cholesterol and glucose were elevated and because of these things I was pre-diabetic. She said I have to immediately begin eating lean meats and whole grain breads and cereals plus fish. 1. I don't eat bread 2. I loathe fish, the smell makes me nauseous. 3. Lean Meat?! QQ

        But they've seriously got me scared, I don't want to completely reverse all my primal plans because I feel amazing. I've lost 25 pounds in 2 months, my skin is so clear I no longer need makeup, my hair is shiny, and I'm more active than I've ever been. None of which seems to be impressing my doctor.

        Doctor orders are compelling and I feel really stuck between a rock and a hard place. I don't want to go back to bloating, IBS, adult acne, and sluggishness. I also don't want the doctor to yell at me anymore, and I don't want to get diabetes (though how going back to eating starch and sugared things will help that, I don't know.)

        I guess I need advice or help or just someone to pat me on the back and say all will be ok.
        I'm not gonna say that the simple solution is to stop going to the doctor (until you actually need a doctor), but a lot of people here might. Do you want to get better or do you want to stay sick and be under treatment?
        The Champagne of Beards

        Comment


        • #5
          So they say your blood pressure will get better once you've lost weight. Eating grains and low fat food is not going to help you with that! Stick to a Primal diet with plenty of variety to make sure you're getting all the fat, protein and essential nutrients you need.

          Intermittent fasting can be good for correcting insulin sensitivity, but it can add unnecessary stress too. Maybe give fasting a rest until your life stresses are reduced. As you are still big, the weight will drop off fast even without fasting.

          They are trying to panic you into changing your diet, not understanding that you're already doing the right thing. Just nod and pretend to agree with them when they get stuck on a CW loop, and reassure them that you're doing your bit.
          Start weight: 238 lbs (March 2012)
          Current weight: 205 lbs (July 2012)
          Loss so far: 33 lbs!!!
          WOE: Primal + IF
          Movements: Hiking, sprinting.
          Goal: to see my abs some time in 2013!

          Comment


          • #6
            I think it's normal to be worried when your doc tells you to change what you're doing. But have you thought of getting a second opinion from a different doc? We can all give you advice till we're blue in the face, but you'd likely feel better if you had a different MD review your situation and give you their input.

            Comment


            • #7
              Fasting makes me feel really good actually, though I am going to give in and break it today so I can take the potassium pill at lunch since such low potassium can cause arrhythmia and I don't want THAT to happen. (Of course my potassium was fine before *rolleyes*)

              I think I'm going to keep doing what I've been doing. I'll take the bp meds and the potassium because my bp IS high, I suppose. Though it has not gone down since taking the pill. >.> I don't know. Once you get sucked in, you are SUCKED IN and they want to be poking and prodding and testing and leaving persistent voice mails every other hour, heh.

              Since I have Kaiser I'm fairly certain any other MD I get for my PCP will be fully engaged in the CW approach, as that is part of their riff lately, fighting obesity with whole grains and regimental exercise etc.

              I feel calmer now, thanks everyone.
              yay!

              Comment


              • #8
                You have an intelligent plan--the BP is the only thing that's currently critical, and as you lose weight you'll be able to get off the BP meds.

                Ignore the doctor's 'dietary' advice. Eating grains will drive you right into diabetes. Just stick with what you're doing. You know it's the right thing; he's just spouting the crap he learned in med school--or what the drug reps tell him.

                It's too bad about your insurance because any doctor who 'yelled' at me would be my former doctor.

                If I were you, I'd invest in a home BP monitor (they're inexpensive, and I have had one for years). This way you can monitor your own BP and go to the doctor as seldom as possible. You want to watch it because as it lowers naturally, the meds can bring it too low.

                Comment


                • #9
                  That's a good idea on the home BP monitor, thank you!

                  I could request a different doctor, but I am not offended enough yet to do so. PLUS I really like the nurse there, who is very supportive and positive towards me when I go. I spend more time with the nurse than the doctor typically, he was just on vacation this week. =P
                  yay!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by qqemokitty View Post

                    I also don't want the doctor to yell at me anymore .
                    Well that's enough to raise your BP in the doctors office. REally 131/96 isn't that high. Personally I think the drug companies have managed to manipulate all of the target numbers lower and lower so they can get everyone on all of their toxic drugs. 131/96 used to be in the normal range.

                    I would sure try some natural solutions AND monitor my BP at home for a while before getting on BP meds; especially one that messes with your electrolytes. Potassium helps LOWER BP. I just can't get my head around taking something that depletes it to lower BP??????

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ncgirl View Post
                      Personally I think the drug companies have managed to manipulate all of the target numbers lower and lower so they can get everyone on all of their toxic drugs.
                      This. My last cholesterol test result was 265 for my total cholesterol and my doctor was not terribly concerned. And yours is 211 and your doctor wants you on statins? I'm thinking he's got too much stock in the drug companies and is getting close to retirement.
                      Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                      • #12
                        The only possible recommendations I would have are these:

                        1. If your eyes are bugging out at the possibility of 'lean meat' then what are you eating? Is the meat you're ingesting grass-fed and organic or is it conventional? Grass-fed meat is naturally leaner than conventional meat and has a different fatty acid profile that makes it healthy, but the fat from conventional meat is NOT healthy IMO and there's a reason many paleo people recommend lean cuts of meat if you buy conventional. Are you eating a lot of processed 'meats' (sausage, lunch meat, etc...) that are really in a different category from well-raised natural meat? I'm a fan of chicken skin, steak, and occasional bacon (1-2x/month max) but I think that some people go a bit too gung-ho into 'all meat is healthy - all meat-based-fat is healthy!' and can gorge themselves on stuff that is not good for their bodies. Store-bought bacon 3x/day=unhealthy, I'm sorry. Eating chicken/beef/lamb 3x/day? Great! Ground lamb and Oscar Meyer Bacon are not even in the same ballpark when it comes to the health of their fat.

                        2. Are you taking omega-3 if you refuse to eat fish? Your dr.'s rec here is spot on IMO and part of living primally is expanding your palate. Fish are a VERY healthy source of food and fat. How are your omega 3:6 ratios?

                        3. How is your vegetable intake? Is it at least 50% of your total intake per day (not in terms of calories but if you were to lay out all your eating on a table, would vegetables (and a few fruits) compromise half of the table?

                        4. How is your sodium intake? Are you getting your salt from natural 'real' sea salt (that is multi-hued) or is it coming from salty processed meats or salty packaged paleo foods?

                        No need to eat cereal grains, but perhaps rethink if there are areas of your diet that could use tweaking .
                        Last edited by FrankiG; 06-15-2012, 12:53 PM.
                        Teacher and Homeschooler
                        One husband of 9 years,
                        Two kids (6 & 3)
                        Pregnant with #3, due this summer

                        Going primal resolved my anxiety symptoms!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I had a health MOT y'day evening at my gym. My total blood cholesterol came out at 6.3 mmol/L in the elevated zone. When I asked what about the breakdown into LDL and HDL? The response was - well if you are concerned, go to your GP and get a test that does a breakdown, accompanied = by a spiel on how a diet high in saturated fat raises cholesterol levels. Yeah right.

                          There is no way I am going to go to my GP and ask for a detailed test, because I'm loathed to be coerced into taking statins. My random blood glucose (no food within last 2 hours) was 5.1 mmol/l, only slightly up from since I went primal, and my resting heart rate was down from 82 to 66. VO2 max was seriously down too but I question the validity of the measurement when I was laying down for a few minutes - wtf is that about?
                          F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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                          • #14
                            As someone who decided to make substantial changes (thought I was eating healthy, but it was just mostly CW) when faced with the rising BP, rising glucose, and the "pre-diabetic" scare/lecture, I can tell you that eating according to the PB will help you with BP and blood sugar. Do NOT follow the doctor's dietary advice unless you want things to get worse. It may take some time - I'm a work in progress, but heading in the right direction - but the first thing I would suggest is to tell your doctor you want off whatever diuretic is being prescribed. They CAN mess with your potassium levels and if you forget to take your potassium, it's not fun.

                            Get your weight under control, get your diet right, and some day you can ditch the pills entirely. In the meantime, accept the fact that your doc is going to spew CW dietary advice. Don't worry about high cholesterol and don't accept any prescription for statins, PERIOD. Eating PB will lower trigs, raise HDL, and the rest will work itself out.

                            Seriously, been there, done that, feeling better than I have in a decade-plus.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks so much everyone!

                              Re: My lean meat cry face. I eat only grass fed prime organic best possible (sadly expensive) cuts I can find and all the chicken I eat is free range. I don't eat any processed meats at all aside from occasional organic chicken sausage. I no longer eat sandwhich meat or anything salt added. I even eat no nitrate no salt no sugar added bacon! I'm an obsessive label reader, and I made the switch to organic, local, free range emphasis before I started going primal. It started with horror stories about tyson chicken and went from there. :P

                              I do need to take omega3, because I really do not care for fish. I kinda like scallops I guess... >.< I know the not liking fish thing is a failing but the very smell of it approaching me, cooked or raw, gives me the heaves.

                              I eat a good amount of veggies and fruits but I plan to step up my leafy green intake much more. I cook with sea salt, EVOO, and bacon fat that my roomie and I collect.

                              Thank you everyone!

                              Oh btw my doctor is probably my age (29) or thereabouts, and female. I was hoping she'd be a little more progressive but no luck with that.

                              PS, Potassium pills taste NASTY. :s
                              yay!

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