I've continued to do more research on the Ketogenic diet I am on. It is working well for my own weight loss. I am down 15 pounds from when I started, have lost several inches, I have a lot of energy and don't miss or crave any of the foods I used to eat. I am also free of the pain I once had due to inflammation in my big toes, right hip and right thumb.
While researching, I've come across this study: Ketogenic Diet Improves Forelimb Motor Function after Spinal Cord Injury in Rodents.
As many of you know, RLB was medically retired from the Army in December of 2013 due to his chronic and debilitating back pain. He was later diagnosed with Facet Syndrome and was able to live pain free after one Facet injection. The injections last for four months before the pain creeps back. Due to his medical care being provided through the VA, wait times for procedures are very long. He's had to fall back on drugs like Percocet to endure the pain while he waits for approval for the injections.
His last injection was in the beginning of April. Prior to his appointment, he started feeling new pain down his right leg. Immediately after the injection, he could no longer sit without excruciating pain. For two weeks he wore out his feet walking around. It was the only way he could have relief from the pain. He was exhausted and frustrated. He started taking Percocet again and eventually had to go back on Morphine to get sleep and rest.
His MRI revealed a herniated disc between L4 and L5. It wasn't until May 21 that he was able to speak with a neurologist to discuss his options. It was decided the first treatment they'd try was another spinal injection. The first available date with the VA was July 9.
As RLB tried to navigate the VA to get approval to utilize VA Choice (a new program to provide a temporary fix the backlog), he became increasingly frustrated with the pain and need for drugs. He had already read much of the research I had found on the Ketogenic diet and decided he had nothing to lose. If it worked for rats, it might work for him. He asked the neurologist if there was anything he could do to help with the pain with regards to his diet. "Sure, drink more water, stuff like that" was the response he got. RLB winked at me and made the decision right then that he'd take this into his own hands and start the Ketogenic diet.
His first day of a high fat/very low carbohydrate diet was Friday, May 22. On Saturday he told me he wasn't feeling any break through pain. On Sunday he started weening himself off of the Morphine. As of today he hasn't had Morphine for two weeks and has been weening himself off of the Percocet.
Today was the day his injection was scheduled (due to VA Choice approval) at our University Hospital. He met with an intern first who asked him his pain level. RLB told him about the diet he's been on and how he's been pain free since 24 hours after he started. He kept his appointment because he wasn't sure if he should still have the injection for further treatment of the herniated disc.
When he went to the surgical injection room, the Radiologist came in and asked him more questions. His recommendation was for RLB to keep doing what he is doing, the injection would be redundant since the steroid is an anti-inflammatory and designed to do exactly what his diet has done for him. RLB asked if he had any concerns about this type of diet to which he responded, "No, you're a fit man, there is no reason to not stay the proactive course you've been on."
Could this be typical? And if so, why isn't it prescribed? - I ask this tongue-in-cheek.