Warning about low carb dieting... Atkins, South Beach, etc.

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Robin'sBrood, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. Robin'sBrood

    Robin'sBrood Flock Mistress

    May 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    I am 1 week away from having my 2nd kidney surgery in 4 months. On Feb. 16, 2009 I had to have a 10mm kidney stone surgically removed from the ureter on the right side of my body. This was after hours of excruciating pain and vomiting led to a middle of the night trip to the ER. About 3 weeks ago I passed a small, 1mm stone from my left kidney. This one caused some pain and discomfort, but it nothing compared to the 1st one. Last Friday I had ultrasounds done of my kidneys, to be sure that they are functioning properly. On Tuesday of this week I met with my urologist to go over the results, only to find out that I have a 2nd 10mm stone in my right kidney. I made the decision to have removal surgery done on Thursday of next week.

    I am a 42 year old woman who has never had any major health problems. I started gaining weight after the birth of my 4th child, when middle age was starting to set in. I'm not diabetic and I don't have high blood pressure. I'm not a smoker or a drinker. Having these kidney problems are a big concern to me since, unlike some of the other organs in our bodies, we can't live without them.

    The first time I met with my urologist after my surgery I told him how, after doing the Atkins diet full force for just 2-3 months back when I was 36 years old, I started having bad kidney pain. At the time I blamed it on the Splenda I was using and, fortunately, stopped doing the diet. A few years later I decided to give Atkins another try, since I did lose weight while on it, and since eating while on that diet is actually enjoyable. Once again, my kidneys started hurting after a couple of months on it. Fast forward to Oct. 2008. I decided to give South Beach a try since it was supposed to be a more heart healthy version of low carb dieting. This time I was not using Splenda and, when I didn't have kidney pain, I thought I had found the perfect combination for me... South Beach and the natural sweetener, Stevia. However, that was not to be. Because this time when the kidney pain started it didn't stop until after surgery. During that consult with my urologist, he told me that in his profession, low carb diets - Atkins in particular since it is such a high protein diet - are referred to as "The Kidney Stone Diet." Great.

    Why am I telling you all this? Because some of us should never do low carb diets. Some of us are prone to kidney problems as a result of those diets. But we're not going to KNOW that until it is too late and the kidney problems have already reared their ugly heads.

    Now, the main reason for this thread...


    Please, before starting any kind of low carb diet, read through the expert opinions section found here: atkinsexposed.org
    Concerned with the public’s health, Dr. Michael Greger, along with the generous talents of designer James D. Hamilton of Offshoot launched AtkinsFacts.org in June 2004.

    Michael Greger, M.D., is a general practitioner, a founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, and an internationally recognized lecturer on nutrition and food safety issues. He has been invited to lecture at countless universities, medical schools and conferences around the world, including the 2004 Conference on World Affairs. Dr. Greger is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Agriculture and the Tufts University School of Medicine.

    It seems to me that this doctor just wants to public to be warned and is not doing this for money...
    Please feel free to copy, post, distribute or use Atkins Facts in any (nonprofit) way. All of the proceeds from the sale of Dr. Greger’s books, CDs, and DVDs are donated to charity.

    My urologist is Dr. Karl Pete. His credentials can be found here.
  2. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap

    I never did Atkins, because I always wondered how all that fat could possibly be good for a person! Every diet needs balance. [​IMG] [​IMG] I am so sorry you are going through this!!!!
  3. Chicky Tocks

    Chicky Tocks Songster

    Oct 20, 2008
    Benton, Arkansas
    I did South Beach when I was a good sized 10. I got down to a 2-3 and 5 years later I'm a size 5. (I have a very small frame - 5 foot 4 - and size 10 was horribly wrong for me).

    I was wise to the low carb diets because not only are they hard on your kidneys, they're hard on your heart and this alone is why I chose South Beach over the Atkins diet. So I grazed on the best carbs. I ate mostly fresh vegetables outside of the starches. Left out sugar and potato chips...etc. I ate pistachios instead, and other nuts....lots of eggs.

    I never starved myself. This diet worked miracles for me and I refer back to it when I'm up a little heavier than I want to be.

    Your warning is a good one though. You have to be sensible and not rely on protien alone. Give yourself the good carbs and just cut out the junk.
  4. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Crowing

    Feb 15, 2007
    Austin area, Texas
    I've always considered any diet that outlaws whole classes of foods to be somewhat suspect. I'm also dubious about a diet that won't let you eat carrots, but thinks bacon rinds are a fine food.

    Sorry about your experience with the kidney stones. Dh went through that years ago, and it was unpleasant to say the least.
  5. Robin'sBrood

    Robin'sBrood Flock Mistress

    May 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    I should mention that when people are prone to calcium oxalate stones like I am, there are some grains, fruits, berries, and veggies that are on the no no list because they are high in oxalates. I was eating a lot of those when I was on South Beach. That is probably one of the reasons South Beach seems to have been the straw that broke the camel's back for me.
  6. Rolsjo

    Rolsjo Songster

    May 18, 2009
    I have not tried either the Atkins or South Beach diets, but I a friend of mine did Atkins for 4 months before her daughter's wedding. She lost a lot of weight and most of her HAIR! It was ultimately determined that the shock to her system caused extreme hair loss and skin problems (her skin was very scaly).

    That just reinforced my belief that any elimination diet is not healthy. Granted, as a whole, Americans eat way too many junk/filler calories and the majority of those are carbs. However, just switching to healthier carbs, reducing fat and increasing exercise has worked for me.
  7. Robin'sBrood

    Robin'sBrood Flock Mistress

    May 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    Had my 2nd kidney stone surgery yesterday. Turns out that stone was bigger than the first one, just under 1cm. My anesthesiologist was kidding around with me saying my urologist was going to be playing some Star Wars with his laser on the asteroid that was in my kidney, lol! I had a lot of pain when I first got home, until I was able to start taking the Percocet. Not as bad now, but a kidney stent is now in place and those things are not pain free.

    The best news... as of now I am completely stone free, praise God! [​IMG]
  8. Phox01

    Phox01 Songster

    May 9, 2009
    Straughn , Indiana
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2009
  9. chickabator

    chickabator Songster

    Nov 30, 2007
    I am a diabetic and so is my dad he just had quadruple bypass surgery back in december and his heart dr.s put him on an atkins diet. My dad has now lost over 40 pounds. he lives in frankfort Indiana. His heart dr. said it is the best diet around, he has not had kidney problems and his sugar levels are the best they have ever been. Now me on the other hand have to watch everything because of kidney problems, I can't eat alot of protein, calcium, have to watch for infections and stuff cause I had a stone 2 years ago this december that had my right kidney 100% blocked and caused kidney failure. It did damage to my kidney I have a permanant (sp) stent in my kidney . It was the worst pain in my life. worse than giving birth to both my girls. My uroligist said mine was as big as a golf ball and it sure felt like I was trying to pee out a golf ball.
  10. While this is not about the diets, another thing that is really bad for kidneys are those Energy drinks that you see promoted everywhere. A checker at WM told me her nephew had genetic kidney issues and had to have a transplant, but when his brother started showing signs of kidney problems, they naturally assumed he was also genetically inclined. The kidney spec. in Springfield, Il. could not figure out what his problem was, because it wasn't what his brother had. Had him write down everything he ate or drank in the next two weeks and he would drink on the average no less than 4 energy drinks a day. The spec. said they are now seeing a dramatic rise in kidney failure/transplants and the first thing he is asking his patients is how many energy drinks they consume a day. He said, and I don't have any documentation that this is true, someone might know more, but the kidney spec. in US are wanting to get them outlawed because they are such a danger. I know its not related to dieting, but thought it would be a good way to get the word out on those drinks. They are usually so darn $$ I don't see how people afford them, but I feel that way about cigs and beer too, so not for me to say!!

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