Low Carb Low Fat Diet

Forbidden Foods

Saw my internist today. Here’s my new diet regimen to lower my triglycerides: 100 gram carbohydrates per day, 60 grams fat day, no more than 5 nuts (preferrably walnuts), no olive oil (save 1 tablespoon to pan fry), no coconut oil, no cheese, no red meat, no pasta, no rice, and no bread.

Wish me luck! I’ve already been using the LoseIt! app to track what I eat for weight loss along with fellow mental health blogger Dyane Harwood and my husband.

There’s a good reason doctors want to meet with you to discuss lab results. See, when you download them yourself, you may misread the results, like I did. I got all worried for nothing. My internist said that my liver panel was fine.

She suspected lab error for my high potassium level.

Often a report of high blood potassium isn’t true hyperkalemia. Instead, it may be caused by the rupture of blood cells in the blood sample during or shortly after the blood draw. The ruptured cells leak their potassium into the sample. This falsely raises the amount of potassium in the blood sample, even though the potassium level in your body is actually normal.

– Mayo Clinic

As my total protein, albumin, and globulin levels were all normal and my albumin/globulin ratio was just above normal, I have no reason for concern. I can keep taking divaproex sodium (Depakote) for bipolar disorder and atorvastatin (Lipitor) for high cholesterol.

The lab sent my internist the liver panel prescribed by my psychiatrist, not the metabolic panel she requested. She relied on my (exaggerated and anxious) self report of high triglycerides (and my charted clinical history of high triglycerides).

Unfortunately, I didn’t remember what the actual triglyceride number was. If I had read the results more closely, rather than catastrophizing, I would have noticed that my triglycerides are just above normal. (I faxed my internist the lab results once I got home.)

Anyway, as high triglycerides are bad news, she prescribed fenofibrate, a medication to lower my triglycerides, and a strict low fat low carb diet. Taking a medication is easy. Keeping to a highly restrictive diet is not.

Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood. Too much of this type of fat may raise the risk of coronary artery disease, especially in women.


Both my mother and my maternal grandmother suffered from strokes. My mother’s stroke resulted in vascular dementia and loss of language (severe damage to the left hemisphere of her brain).

My father now has a fatty liver and dementia, as a result of heavy alcohol consumption. Fatty liver can also be the result of high triglycerides. Got to take care of my heart and my liver. Got to take care of my body and my brain.

Liver Panel Lab Results

Anxiously Waiting to discuss liver panel lab results with docs

So, back in November both my internist and my psychiatrist wrote out lab requests for me to fill. Put it off until January because I was nervous as to what the results might be.

Metabolic panel showed high triglycerides. I fasted, but forgot not to take my fish oil that morning. I currently take atorvastatin (LIPITOR®) for high cholesterol and high triglycerides which I had been unsuccessful at controlling using diet and exercise alone. Unfortunately, atorvastatin is hard on the liver…

Liver panel showed high potassium and high albumin/globulin (A/G) ratio which may indicate liver or kidney problems. I take two medications which can damage the liver and kidneys: atorvastatin and divalproex sodium (Depakote®) — the antiseizure medication I take as a mood stabilizer for bipolar disorder.

Thursday my psychologist, who works with my psychiatrist, cautioned me against catastrophizing, reminding me that there were solutions (reducing dose, changing medications, etc.).

Next week I have an appointment with my psychiatrist, and I plan to see my internist. The easiest solution is to go off atorvastatin and see a nutritionist to improve my metabolic blood chemistry.

Time to lower my bad (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides using diet and exercise. Wish me luck.

New Year’s Resolutions

Love more, Worry less, Exercise more, Eat better, Laugh more, Stay stable, Finish my memoir

Thank you, BipolarOnFire.com, for inspiring me to borrow and amend her resolutions for myself.

  • Love more
  • Worry less
  • Exercise more
  • Eat better
  • Laugh more
  • Stay stable
  • Finish my memoir

Bipolar on Fire‘s list included:

  • Find a job [she] can enjoy
  • Find a place [she] can call home that is peaceful and safe and affordable.

Thank You, My Love, for All You Do

Wedding Kiss Close-Up
Our wedding day kiss at Cal-Neva, North Lake Tahoe.

Thank God my husband, a civil engineer, provides for us well. He makes life much less stressful for me. Honestly, he shoulders that stress. He does a lot around the house — too much, for which I feel guilty that I’m not doing my fair share.

Over a decade ago, I kept our house immaculate, like something out of Architectural Digest. I was an overachiever at home and at work, but didn’t take care of myself and was not available to adequately care for our son. Since overworking led to voluntary psychiatric hospitalization, I’ve made caring for myself and our son a priority, and put housework on the backburner.

I’m truly blessed to have my husband in my life. He’s my caregiver, and I’m grateful for all he does. Thank you.

Coping with Illness

Deleting Emails

For the past few weeks (three?), my son and I (and my husband, but he’s taking care of us) have been sick with gastroenteritis. I haven’t been able to keep up with my usual writing, or with sharing mental health resources on social media. To cope with the many emails piling up, I’m deleting most of them. Yes, I could schedule sharing them, but I simply don’t feel up to it.

When I checked my email this morning, I saw that I had incurred a late fee and interest for a missed credit card payment, which I thought I had already paid online. (Called the credit card company and had the charges reversed.) If I can’t pay bills on time, I need to cut back and focus. I pride myself on managing money well (my last paid job was as an investment analyst for an entrepreneur).

Honestly, all I’ve been up to is watching TV and doing jigsaw puzzles on my iPad. Far cry from workaholic investment analyst.