Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months you’ve likely heard someone, somewhere talking about being on the keto diet. Besides seeing dramatic weight loss people on the diet often claim to experience a clearer head an increased ability to focus as well as improved concentration in general.
Shockingly it seems as if the effects of keto may go even further than anyone could have imagined. Reddit user scheto (a throwaway account created to share their story anonymously), who has a history of schizophrenia, claims that since he has been following the keto diet, not only has he had a significant amount of weight loss but his schizophrenic symptoms have subsided dramatically. Sound hard to believe? You’re not alone, even his doctor was surprised at the claims “scheto” was making. That is until he came across a study from Duke University that makes virtually the same claims.
This case study is simply amazing.
C.D. is a 70 year-old Caucasian female with a diagnosis of schizophrenia since the age of seventeen. Her diagnosis was based on paranoia, disorganized speech, and hallucinations. She reported both auditory and visual hallucinations, including seeing skeletons and hearing voices that told her to hurt herself. According to her history, she has had these hallucinations on almost a daily basis since the age of seven. C.D. has also been hospitalized at least five times over the last six years for suicide attempts and increased psychotic symptoms. She has attempted to overdose on medications, cut herself, and ingest cleaning agents. Her most recent hospitalization was five months prior to initiating the low-carbohydrate diet. She has discussed both her suicidal ideations and her hallucinations with her psychiatrist who has tried to optimize her medication regimen in an effort to improve her symptoms, but this has been largely unsuccessful. Her prior anti-psychotic and mood-stabilizing medication regimen has included lithium 900 mg qhs, olanzapine (dose unknown), ziprasidone 40 mg bid, aripiprazole 30 mg qhs, lamotrigine 100 mg bid, and quetiapine 900 mg qhs. She is currently managed on risperidone 4 mg qhs.
She returned for a follow-up appointment 7 days after starting the low-carbohydrate diet. She was feeling well, and noted an increase in energy. She was seen again in clinic 19 days later. When asked how she was doing, she responded that she was no longer hearing voices or seeing skeletons. She first noticed this upon awakening about 8 days after starting the program. She had had no change in medication. The only change had been in her dietary intake which now consisted of beef, chicken, turkey, ham, fish, green beans, tomatoes, diet drinks, and water. She denied hunger. C.D. was very happy that she was no longer hearing voices, and believed that it made her calmer. Her body weight was 136.2 kilograms, sitting BP was 150/84 mmHg, and pulse was 76 beats per minute.
Just imagine that, a 70 year-old woman who has suffered from schizophrenia her entire adult life who would hear voices and see hallucinations regardless of what medications she was prescribed. After less than a month of being on a ketogenic diet she reported a complete cessation of both the voices and the hallucinations as well.
Many people that a proponents of the keto diet are convinced that it’s important for us to go back to the high protein, low carb diets of our ancestors. The processed sugars and high carb diets that many of us almost take for granted today is arguably the main factor in the dramatic rise in obesity over the past 30 years in the United States. Click here to see an animated map detailing the rise in obesity by state.
I’ve been sort of half-heartedly following the diet but it’s about time for a trip to the grocery store to stock up and I’ve come across a really good recipe of diets that makes it easy to prepare a weeks worth of breakfast, lunch and dinners ahead of time to make it harder to cheat and easier to stay on your plan. If I actually do go full on keto I’ll definitely be reporting back here to discuss my experience on the diet.
Are you on the keto diet? If you are or have been on the diet I’d love to hear some of your experiences in the comments section.