The press have had a field day recently with headlines such as these:
“A mother developed a life-threatening condition due to eating a low carbohydrate diet while breastfeeding, … http://dailym.ai/1MdlItJ#i-f5f1785f5530c676”
The woman was suffering from a condition called ketoacidosis, literally dangerously high, acidic levels of ketones in the blood stream. If left untreated this is a life threatening condition and, quite rightly, should be taken seriously. When you mention LCHF to any uninformed physician, this is the first thing they think of and it is the primary reason that most doctors run a mile from LCHF diets! It is quite literally the “dirty word” of LCHF.
However, before we all follow the Daily Mail “shock headlines” and literally throw the LCHF baby out of the window with the bath water, let’s first see what Phinney & Volek have to say about ketoacidosis. Page 5 of “The Art & Science of Low Carbohydrate Living” refers, namely:
Of course, this does not relate DIRECTLY to pregnancy or breastfeeding but there is plenty of other research out there relating to this, in particular at DietDoctor who’s own wife is/ was LCHF both during and after pregnancy with no issues whatsoever. Even if you are Type 1 diabetic, the danger of ketoacidosis is perfectly manageable, as witnessed by the many health care professionals who are successfully managing their disease on LCHF:
So, when it comes to ketoacidosis, here’s my advice:
- If you are diabetic, either T1 or T2, take medical advice before starting out on LCHF, preferably from someone with the same condition, already on LCHF. Uninformed advice from an uninformed medical professional both deserves, and in fact MUST be challenged in my opinion. If you are unhappy about the advice you are getting, seek a second or even third opinion.
- If you are neither diabetic, pregnant nor breastfeeding, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, see DietDoctor website, above, for further advice.
- Don’t take media scare stories at face value. They are simply there to sell newspapers!