Tuesday, September 25, 2007

You don't have to suffer alone....

*sigh* I'm sitting her with my heart breaking. I've recently had the privilege to get to know many former Kimkins members. I never spent much time on the Kimkins forums, so I only knew of the few that were high profile. I've now had a chance to really get to know a host of wonderful people. Two of them I am quickly becoming acquainted with because we are all three part of the moderating team at www.lowcarbdiscussion.com. I'm speaking of Christin and Deni, two of Kimkins most famous faces.

They've been nothing but wonderful and have been doing their best to make amends for promoting a plan they now believe is unsafe. I believe they have nothing to apologize for, as they were taken in just like the rest of us.

I wish I could say that everything is returning to normal in the low-carb world and Kimkins is fading out. Sadly, that is not yet the case. And lately there has been even more worrisome news regarding the health implications of using the Kimkins plan.

The two biggest concerns I've seen recently (outside of people reporting hair loss, messed up menstrual cycles, muscle fatigue, and anorexic thinking/habits) have come from these two wonderful ladies.

Deni just went to the doctor. Here's what happened, in her own words, from her blog The Open Bench:

...she asked me, "why are you here today?"

And I had to tell her the truth... and with a downward, broken hearted glance, I had to tell her that because of that wonderful, rapid weight loss that she was just gushing over me for... I needed to have the doctor run some tests to see if I had done any damage to myself or not.

She immediately stopped gushing over my weight loss... took down some notes, and shook her head as she walked out of the room.

The doctor came in... so proud and ecstatic to see my weight loss.. knowing that he and I had discussed it many times over the past few years, and then as he listened to HOW I lost the weight (with Kimkins- low carb, low fat, and usually 600-800 calories) he said... "Well, starvation always works doesn't it... but hopefully you only lost weight and nothing else important for your body to function properly."

She goes on to describe the symptoms she's having:

Here's my side effects:
1. extra periods (told this was normal)
2. loss of hair ... loss of about 60% of my thickness if not more. (told it was normal, and even looked it up online for myself! Saw that it said it was common in people who were dieting and skimmed over the part that said "fad diets" or nutritionally deficient diets.)
3. Lightheaded dizzy spells- never mentioned these to anyone .. they were not an everyday occurrence, and I had them sometimes prior to this diet so I easily ignored them.
4. Weird blurred vision- like my eyes would dilate at different degrees... things would get fuzzy and look far away and warped.. I would then readjust my own "focus" and a few minutes later it was back to normal. Again.. I didn't mention it.. figured it was a fluke.. it only happened a few times.
5. heart flutters- never mentioned these to anyone either. Even when they happened, I dismissed them in my mind as quickly as I could. (these are still happening randomly)

Other strange things I noticed:
6. Peanut butter CRAVINGS... like really super cravings... and I knew I wasn't the only one having this. I read post after post after post about people who were feeling guilty for giving into peanut butter or any kind of nuts. So, I wrote this off as "normal"
7. Milkshake CRAVINGS... again.. these cravings were much stronger than any craving I'd ever had before dieting. I heard lots of other people also talk about craving milkshakes, including my mom who also did the diet.

Now the doctor is very concerned and running tests. He told her this:

...warned me strongly that while being extremely overweight isn't good for your health, or for you heart... that sometimes losing it all super fast and not getting all the nutrients necessary for bodily functions.. is an even quicker route to heart disease.
(emphasis Deni's)

Then Christin told us today that she was rushed to the hospital last night with chest pains. Thankfully the ekg's, blood work, and chest x-rays all came out OK. But her pulse kept dropping to as low as 39! She has orders to rest today and is on pain meds for her chest pain. She has to see a cardiologist tomorrow.

Friends, this stuff really worries me. I hope you'll join me in prayer for these ladies, as well as for others who are having problems. Coincidence? I highly doubt it.

Becky, aka ex-kimkins member littlebit, did a search on Christin's symptoms and came up with an alarming find. Here's what she said in a post on www.lowcarbdiscussion.com:

I have been trying to do some research, and what I am coming up with is that this sounds like brachycardia, abnormally low pulse rates caused by electrical malfunctions of the heart. When it occurs, it is almost always in older people. In the young, it is usually a complication of . . . very low calories . . .like those associated with anorexia.

Now this may or may not be what Christin has. Only the doctors can say for sure what is wrong. But I felt it was an important enough possibility to share with you.

Many Kimkins members have fled to our forum for help, friendship and advice. They are suffering.. not only physically, but emotionally. They feel betrayed, used and fragile. They now know they don't have to suffer alone, and neither do you. If you need someone to help you through your journey, someone to reassure you during the confusion, please come and see us. We are loving group who truly want to help. We want what is best for YOU.

If you are considering, or currently on Kimkins, remember: This isn't just about losing weight, it could possibly mean losing so much more. Your health. And that's something that's awfully hard to get back once you lose it. Please don't take the gamble.


Becky said...

Well said!

I hope many will heed your warning and accept your invitation to a healthier way to lose weight in a more helpful environment.

Sparky's Girl said...

Thank you Becky! I do hope others will listen to the warnings so many are trying to send.

DietKing2 said...

Oh, God, this keeps getting worse, doesn't it? I'm so sorry to hear about the ripple effects you're describing here with regard to these poor women.
It's unbelievable how we as humans are so fragile and so desperate to change our body images SO QUICKLY that we'll endanger the one life we are given on this Earth to get there.
You know something Amy? I've been there myself a million times--it's not something I'm proud of or boast about, but I've gone the "rabbit starvation"(http://backacrosstheline.blogspot.com/2007/09/rabbit-starvation-syndrome.html) route too many times before in an effort to drop pounds quickly. How fragile we are, always in such a rush to lose weight fast fast fast. We'll buy all kinds of nonsense to get there, too.
I share your sentiments on this one and these poor ladies have my support and sympathy, too.
Great post--found it to be eye-opening.

Sparky's Girl said...

Thanks Adam. It does indeed seem to be getting worse. If I can persuade even one person to rethink this plan and walk away, I'll feel better.

Sherrie said...

Great post SG :)

I knew about Christin but not about Deni, was everything okay?

I wonder if the light headiness is hypoglycemia.

Sparky's Girl said...

Hi Sherrie!

I haven't heard the results of Deni's tests yet. Maybe she'll share something with us when she knows more. :)

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Sparky's Girl said...

Thanks for your comment Laura! I just blogged about this video.

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Sparky's Girl said...

Thanks Mohit! Good luck with your new blog!

WildAngel6 said...

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Say NO to Kimkins!