Diet, Treatment

Ketogenic Diet for Migraine: Too Much Weight Loss

ketogenic diet for migraine weight lossElementary school is the last time I weighed this little. I’m not bragging, I’m worried. I was at my ideal weight when I began the ketogenic diet for migraine in January. My dietitian wanted me to lose a couple pounds at first to kickstart ketosis. 17 pounds disappeared in two months. I knew I was too thin, but the weight loss seemed temporary and manageable. Until I lost three more pounds in the last couple weeks and crossed from too thin to frighteningly so.

You may be thinking I’m lucky or that this is a problem you wish you had. I expect you’d reconsider if you saw me without a shirt on. My sternum is pronounced and my ribs are clearly countable. I look sick. I do not feel lucky. I feel sick.

Talking about unintentional weight loss is a strange thing. I used to think it was the same as unintended weight gain, just in the opposite direction. Then I gained weight on cyproheptadine and discovered how different the two are. Weight gain is almost always reviled in this culture; weight loss is typically celebrated. I see a skeleton reflected back at me in the mirror, but people keep telling me how good I look.

I am on the ketogenic diet for migraine—that is, I’m on the diet to become healthier. Yet I keep losing weight that I’m trying to keep and am likely malnourished. Neither of these things is entirely unexpected. A less extreme version of the diet is popular for weight loss and it’s well known that ketogenic diets are not nutritionally complete. The surprise is in how much difficulty I’m having managing the diet. I didn’t expect so many different, complex variables. I certainly didn’t expect to drop to a pre-puberty weight.

P.S. I’m working with my dietitian and naturopath to increase my weight and correct nutritional deficiencies. The problems I’m having with the diet are solvable. Right now I’m feeling overwhelmed by how quickly the issues escalated and expect I will be on edge until the numbers on the scale increase.