Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Medications and Low Carb Diet

Good morning, readers.  I hope you're having a great day today.  I wanted to go into a little more detail about one of the things I've told you about my low carb experience.  I've said before that I've been off all diabetes related medications for three years, but I don't think I ever told you how quickly I HAD to stop them.  When I started eating low carb, I was on meds for blood sugar, triglycerides, and blood pressure.  Although they weren't controlling any of these things, I was still taking them.  Within less than two weeks, I absolutely HAD to stop taking them all.  The diet was controlling all of my symptoms so well, that the meds were making my blood sugar levels drop too much.  As soon as I stopped taking the meds, everything just leveled off to ideal levels.  The one thing I should have done is worked with my doctor so he knew I was changing my lifestyle and he could help me by giving me advice on the meds thing.  So, I found some information on About.com and thought it was responsibility to share it with you.  I keep promoting the low carb lifestyle but with all the questions we've been getting lately, I feel I should warn you about how your dependence on medications will be affected.  I call it a warning, but it should be called a blessing.  A blessing because a lifestyle change can get you off the meds.  A warning because it happens so quickly.  Anyway, here's the information I read on About.com.  I am writing most of this in my own words but quoting some of it.  The quotes will be in quotations.
We are always told to consult our doctor before starting any new diet, but few of us follow that advise.  If you are on any medications, consulting your doctor before starting a low carb diet is important.
"It is important for your healthcare providers to be aware of your diet change because dosages of medication might have to be adjusted or eliminated, or a change of medication might be in order. This is particularly true if you are being treated for diabetes or high blood pressure.
If you're taking insulin, you are already aware of the relationship between the carbs you eat and the amount of insulin you need to take.  If you greatly change the amount of carbs in your diet, you should coordinate this closely with your doctor, because a low carb dieter will require less insulin.  You need to be very careful that your blood glucose level doesn't get too high or too low.
"If you have been eating a high carb diet and switch to low-carb one, you will likely need to adjust your medications. Many people find that over time they can control their blood glucose with diet and exercise alone and can stop taking the medication. Continuing to take the same dosage could result in hypoglycemic episodes".
This includes blood pressure medications.  New studies show that a low carb diet often at least partly corrects high blood pressure.  "The problem is that if a person is already taking medication to lower blood pressure, it can go too low.
Dr. Mary Vernon tells this story: Someone she knew from work, who she knew had high blood pressure, asked her one day if lowcarb diets are safe. She said, "Yes, but do it with my supervision." Unfortunately, the man did not follow her instructions. Some time later, he called her -- from the floor of his living room. He couldn't stand up without passing out. He was taken to the emergency room, where she met him. His blood pressure was alarmingly low. It turned out he was taking quite a lot of medication to lower his blood pressure, much of which was no longer needed".
Diabetes and high blood pressure meds are the main ones that may need to be adjusted or discontinued on a low carb diet, but others may be affected.
Me, again.  So, there you have it.  This lifestyle change is so powerful, it comes with a warning.  As I said before, it's also a blessing.  In addition to the many health benefits, imagine how much money you'll save when you no longer have to buy all those pills!
I hope this helps you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle.  My life has most certainly changed for the better.  Yours can, too.  See ya!


  1. Diabetes must monitor their blood sugar levels regularly to avoid complications.

  2. I totally agree and should have mentioned that in my post. Even though I consider myself 'cured', I still monitor my blood sugar levels and you should too.
    By the way, I feel I should tell my readers that "easiest way to lose weight" who commented above is really a link to their site where they are actually selling a weight loss plan and products. I do not advocate or promote their site, so be warned, if you click on the link above, you do so at your own risk.