Before I performed my 2 1/2 month long Ketogenic experiment my energy level has never been the same and I have not felt as good as I did then. My energy level had continued to get lower and lower while I seemed less and less able to deal with stress of any kind. It was extremely aggravating to continue trying to eat a low carb paleo diet while at the same time continuing to feel worse and worse. I even told my wife months ago that something was off with me but I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong. I just seemed to be falling apart but the problem seemed to change day by day. It was confusing that no matter what I did with my diet it just kept getting worse.
Over the last couple of months I would get a blood test trying to find what was wrong but the blood tests came back saying that I was fine. The only thing that the doctor was able to find wrong with me was that my testosterone level was half that of a 65 year old man. Considering that I am a workaholic and deal with a farely stressful job it was no surprise that cortisol was running rampant in my body and lowering my testosterone in the process. So I thought that getting some more sleep and maybe some testosterone injections would help bring everything back in line.
Three weeks into getting testosterone and B12 shots I was sitting at work and started realizing that I was unable to see parts of my computer screen and as I got up and walked around I also started seeing in tunnel vision. I’m not one of those people who tend to get migrains and usually eating ketogenically is an extra layer of protection from getting one. This seemed to match up with what I have been told was the signs of an oncoming migraine. I left work to go home and take an ibuprofen and go to sleep.
The next day I woke up, stepped out of bed and felt like I had a bruised heel (Planar Fasciatis maybe?). Over the next 9 days my ankles on both legs began to swell and get progressively worse each day. I was eventually walking around on the balls of my feet because my heel was red but not swollen. My ankles were still the only part of each foot that was swelling. My toes and the bottom of my feet were fine!
So on day 9 as I was laying on the couch at night feeling exhausted and noticed that my heart was racing at over 100 beats per minute from just laying there. This began to look like a heart problem since my ankles were so swollen. It seemed as though my heart was becoming unable to pump enough blood down through my feet. This began to worry me and at this point my wife was slightly freaking out. So I called the ER, told them my symptoms and they recommended I might want to come in for evaluation. So I jumped in my car and drove to the ER!
Upon initial triage and being brought into an ER room the concern initially was that I most likely was showing signs of congestive heart failure. After ruling out blood clots and getting a catscan of my heart they came back and said that the congestive heart was definitely not what I have. That was great news because I hate the idea that I would need a new heart or have my chest cavity cracked open leaving a huge scar down the center of my chest (I am so damn vain at times).
The benefit of the catscan of my heart was that they saw some masses in my chest and now thought that I may have lung cancer. So far this last week and half I could definitely say that I am on one hell of a roller coaster ride. So I spent the next several hours waiting for a specialist to come in and take a look since it was about 4 am in the morning. At this point I was exhausted and wanted to do nothing except get some sleep. So, of course, the lady who is suppose to make sure that my ER room is stocked with all the necessary equipment comes in, turns on the light and decides to do inventory. OK, I get it! I’m not getting any rest…
So now that I don’t have congestive heart failure and I’m waiting for some info about whether or not I have lung cancer I end up talking to a nurse who was concerned about whether or not I was worried or scared. I found this touching but at this point I’ve been around the block enough to not start worrying around possibilities that have yet to be at least verified at a minimum. I’ll worry about it once it’s confirmed and not a moment till then. Plus, I am less afraid of cancer than I am congestive heart failure. Congestive heart failure is not something you can fight, it’s a problem that there is little you can do to help it when the muscle has become severely damaged. A ketogenic diet does make a preferred fuel for the heart muscle but I cannot say whether or not over time it would help repair any of the damage. What I do know is that when the heart is under distress it causes the body to produce more ketones for fuel for the heart. Information related to this ketone production can be found on PubMed HERE.
So let’s get to the conclusion! Once the pulmonary specialist was able to review my test results he seemed to be absolutely sure that he knew what was wrong before a blood test was completed to confirm it. Turns out that I don’t have congestive heart failure nor do I have lung cancer but I have a condition known as Sarcoidosis. In a nutshell my lymphnodes at the top of my lungs have become massively inflammed and needed some corticosteriods for several weeks to fix the issue.
So what are the symptoms of Sarcoidosis? Chest pain, dry cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, fever, joint achiness, overall feeling of discomfort, illness, or lack of well-being, headache, weakness on one side of the face, dry eyes, vision loss and abnormal breath sounds. There are a myriad of other symptoms but as you can see they are all over the map and they are not consistent on a day to day basis besides the feeling of illness or lack of well being. There’s a detailed explanation HERE.
So now I’m taking my meds and hopefully in a couple of weeks the problem will be gone and I won’t show any lung scarring or other issues. The doctor did say that I have had this for while and it helps to explain so much. The primary reason I started looking into nutrition and studying biochemistry was because I was so tired of always feeling like hell! My ketogenic diet experiment at the beginning of the year was the only thing that seemed to help but it did not fix the problem (Obviously!)
Hopefully this condition being eliminated will give me more energy and make it more of a possibility that I will have the time and motivation to post more to the blog.
In conclusion, if you are currently feeling like something in your health is off and no matter how tight you are with your diet and exercise it never seems to help but just to wear your ass out! GO SEE YOUR DOCTOR and do not allow him/her to stop taking tests until they find the solution. Annoy the doctor until you find a way to get your health back. My diagnosis was almost a matter of luck and I was not inspired to get help until it looked like I might be on a really bad road. DO NOT DO THIS!!!
If you feel off and can’t oput your finger on it then persist until you find the solution.
Here’s more information relating to Sarcoidosis LINK
And if you have ever been diagnosed with it please tell me how they found it and what your symptoms were!