Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Speaking of Scales and Diets

I use a kitchen food scale to weigh my food. It's nothing fancy; it weighs to the nearest eighth of an ounce or full gram (stop smirking). Since I'm terrible at gauging portion sizes, the food scale has proved to be invaluable to me. However, I don't want to give the impression that I got the food scale specifically for my weight loss program. I've had this scale for years albeit for a different diet.

Once upon a time, when my youngest son was a baby, he used to have atonic seizures (aka "drop seizures"). The first two antiepileptic meds did not control these seizures, so the pediatric neurologist suggested two options: (1) continue down the list of antiepileptic meds or (2) try the ketogenic diet. We opted to try the ketogenic diet because we reasoned that we could always go back to trying different meds. I won't go into a long description of the ketogenic diet; if you're interested, you can follow the link. However, I will say that in describing the diet, the words "restrictive" and "laborious" are too kind.

Truth be told, had we not seen its effects during our son's hospital stay, we would have quit. Even when we did see immediate positive results - and by 'positive results' I mean no seizures - I still wanted to quit within those first two weeks. Every component of every meal had to be weighed and the liquids had to be measured. In addition, while my son was adjusting to the reduced calories and reduced liquids, he was miserable and acted accordingly. It took about a month for him to fully adjust. And don't get me started about checking his urine for ketones using the Ketostix. I don't want to scare anyone who is considering this diet because it can be a Godsend for some. But I do want to make clear that it requires total commitment. My son was on the diet for two years before he was weaned off. Praise the Lord, he has been seizure free ever since. If I had to do it all over again I would. And if I had to continue the diet in order for him to be seizure free or to reduce the number of seizures, I would. But honestly, I'm glad it's over.

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