Many people who are trying to achieve significant weight loss and/or control over chronic diseases try following a ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet is a type of low-carbohydrate diet, but it is high in fat. Before making a drastic dietary change, there are reasons you should discuss your decision with your doctor.
Get Baseline Lab Work
There is controversy associated with the higher fat content when going keto because there is no definitive evidence on whether higher fat will have health repercussions. Before starting your diet, you should inform your doctor and ask them for complete blood work. You want to know your fasting blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. This will help you determine if any of these numbers improve through the course of your diet or if they become worse.
Discuss Other Health Issues
Your current health and family history of chronic disease can sway your decision about whether it is safe for you to try a ketogenic lifestyle. In general, low-carbohydrate diets are encouraged for people who have diabetes because the decreased carbohydrates make it easier to control blood sugar. On the other hand, some health problems that may warrant caution are current issues with high cholesterol, hypertension, kidney problems, or cardiovascular disease.
Eliminating most of the carbohydrates from your diet will cause some electrolyte imbalances until you become adjusted to burning ketones for fuel instead of carbs. Normally, people following the keto diet supplement these electrolytes by including more salt, potassium, and magnesium. You need to discuss with your doctor if it is safe to take these supplements and how the diet will affect medications you already take. For example, if you take a medication for hypertension that includes a diuretic, this could lead to increased electrolyte imbalances. Your doctor may want you to take extra potassium to compensate.
Establish A Follow-Up Schedule
Based on your doctor's concerns, they may want you to establish follow-up visits frequently to check for any concerning symptoms and to have more blood work. You should also ask your doctor about any signs that should prompt you to make an appointment earlier, such as chest pains, shortness of breath, or headaches. After following the diet for several months, you and your doctor should have a better idea how the changes in your diet are affecting your body beyond weight loss. Your doctor may also suggest modifications to your diet based on your blood work, such as changing the amount of fat or salt you are consuming.
There is no diet plan that works for everyone. If you are interesting in going keto, it is important to inform your primary care physician so you can find a lifestyle that helps you lose weight and improve your health.
While it's true that aging and illness used to go in hand, today's medical advancements now mean we don't have to settle for that eventuality anymore. I'm already considering the aging process although I'm still middle aged because I intend to enjoy my later years with the best health possible. Living well and aging gracefully aren't just about maintaining your appearance, but also feeling as good as you can as you get older. I'm sharing what I discover in my personal quest with everyone here on this convenient website so we can all join together to cross into the golden years with our health intact.