Okay, ladies! Here we go! I'm going to try to type this up in the 15 minutes my DH and DS are gone to Ace Hardware. Good luck to me on that one!
This could be big....
A month or two ago, someone posted an article on my local birth network Yahoo! group which had been posted on the blog "The Heart Scan Blog," which is authored by a cardiologist in Wisconsin, Dr. William Davis, who treats cardiology patients using a low-carb diet approach. I've been reading his blog ever since, and it's very interesting - I recommend it.
I should say here that I am in NO way an expert in nutrition. I do a ton of reading on the subject, but I find the subject baffling in that there is an immense amount of information and opinion, much of it conflicting. The only concrete personal conclusion I have come to is that I believe the official information given by the government is pretty much dead wrong. On other subjects, I'm still reading!
Anyhow, the article posted was this one:
The Low-Carb Gynecologist
(*Clock ticking while I wait for everyone to read the article....*)
For those naughty readers out there who didn't read the article (shame!), Dr. Davis records his interview with Dr. Michael Fox, a fertility doctor in Florida who uses very-low-carb diets in his practice to treat fertility disorders and promote IVF transfer success.
Originally, the diet developed by Dr. Fox's center was used primarily to treat PCOS/PCOD (polycistic ovarian syndrome/disease), but they now use the diet with all of their fertility patients. Because I don't want to waste time rehashing what the article already said about the history of the diet and how they use it, just refer to the article (read it now!).
So anyway, I found this information fascinating - but, naturally, what fascinated me the most was the little sentence in the paragraph regarding pregnancy nausea:
"We know that pregnancy hormones dramatically worsen insulin resistance that is responsible for the condition, gestational diabetes. If insulin resistance is worsened, then reactive hypoglycemia is worsened. One of the biggest symptoms of hypoglycemia is nausea. So, in response to this, we have counseled our patients on the diet in pregnancy and have found a dramatic reduction in nausea. We recommend snacking every two hours in pregnancy."After seeing this, I immediately hopped onto the center's website and emailed Dr. Fox to find out more - specifically asking him if he would recommend the diet for prevention of HG. Several weeks later, I received a very gracious letter from him, in which he stated:
"I would definitely recommend the diet. Our patients that follow the diet experience little if any nausea. Nausea is due to the hypoglycemia produced from the dramatic increase in insulin resistance in pregnancy. Our most dramatic example was a patient who actually had electively terminated about 7 pregnancies for nausea and came to us with that story."That one sentence really got me. A woman who has electively aborted multiple babies due to HG is someone dealing with serious HG - and she was able to have a pregnancy without undue nausea. That is BIG.
He also said:
"The other areas that appear to be dramatically changed by the diet in pregnancy are gestational diabetes, hypertension in pregnancy and reduction in the weight gain in pregnancy."Dr. Fox sent me the center's diet sheets, and he has given me permission to share them (as well as the content of his emails). He recommends that a woman be on this diet for at least 2 months pre-conception so that her body can get used to it. Post-conception would NOT be the time to try this diet, in my opinion, as once NVP/HG has developed, carbs are often the only helpful foods. This is really a pre-pregnancy diet.
A few notes:
(1) Either one lives on this diet (and is okay with surprise babies) or conception has to be planned around the diet.
(2) After studying the sheets, I can tell you frankly that this diet is NOT EASY. It is not just low-carb, it is VERY low-carb. Coming from someone who lasted 48 hours on the last low-carb diet I tried (24 hours if you want to discount the 24 hours I spent cheating) and who has an ongoing love affair with carbs (I went to school to be a pastry chef, for goodness' sake!), I can say that this diet is extremely difficult. Dr. Fox says that many of his clients require nutritional counseling (plus a whole lotta discipline) to make this diet work. You have been warned.
Also, I make no guarantees. This may or may not work in individual cases. Do not try this diet and then say "You promised it would work!" I have no idea if it will work in any specific case. It's just a "give this a try and see what happens!" sort of thing.
Additionally, if you do use this diet, please get in touch with Dr. Fox and let him know how it went. They have not been able to study this phenomenon formally, but they would love any input.
I'm going to be trying this diet starting tomorrow - not for conception, but just to lose some baby weight if possible. I will report in! Phase I (which lasts 1-2 weeks) is the easiest phase (it's just the phase that gently "weeds" out bad carbs, so it's cutting out added sugar, white flour, white rice, and potatoes).
And there you have it! Thoughts?
On the diet document - I can't figure out how to upload it to my blog - does anyone know how to attach a document to a blog? In the meantime, if you send me your email, I will email you the document.
Okay, let's try this....
Pregnancy Diet Sheets
That seemed to work. Cheers!
* One later note: All users use this diet at THEIR OWN RISK. Please do your research and come to your own conclusions as to whether this diet is safe for pregnancy. There are those who think that low carb diets are not safe for pregnancy. I am not one of them - I believe that low carb diets are perfectly safe, pregnant or not, and I am completely comfortable with doing a VLC diet while pregnant. Further evidence of the safety of this diet comes from meat-eating cultures who live their entire existence on low carb (or no carb) diets, such as the Inuit people and the Masai. However, this is YOUR body, YOUR baby, and YOUR choice to do the diet, so please do your research FIRST.
* Later note: Now click to Part II in this series, "The Answer to the Big Question," for more updated information and tips on doing this diet.
* An Even Later Note: See my final summary post from November 2014, Avoiding Hyperemesis Gravidarum With a Very Low Carb (VLC) Diet
Material on this blog is provided for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical care or advice. Please consult your healthcare provider before undertaking any dietary changes. Under no circumstances, shall the author be liable under any theory of recovery for any damages arising out of or in any manner connected with the use of information or documents from the site.