The April Fool Day 7: Low Carb…or Else

Monday, April 7, 2014 – 229.4

A comment by a long-time reader misinterpreting my existential despair post from the other day made the following comment:

If you had an anaphylactic reaction to carbs and they were going to kill you….you’d find a way to stick to your diet.

Well, anaphylactic shock – which can be caused by a severe allergic reaction to a bee sting or nuts in sensitive individuals – doesn’t exist for eating cookies…or does it for me?

I won’t bore you with my transgressions, but it did involve carbs eaten late at night and the attendant thirst that I typically get when I eat too many carbs. In terms of overall eating for the day it wasn’t all that much of a transgression – given I didn’t eat a good part of the day a total tally would have probably landed me within the normal 200 grams of carbs and caloric intake that was high-normal.

The result of this venial sin was epic, however.

At about 12:30am I awoke choking. I’ve never been diagnosed with GERD, but I would imagine that a combo of eating carbs late at night caused my stomach contents to leak into my lungs. I have experienced this on occasion since my 20s when I was about as fat as I am now – my first experience being with an overindulgence in Eskimo pies late at night.

I never get this when eating low carb.

The feeling is what I would imagine drowning in hydrochloric acid might feel like. The burning in my throat was unbearable. No less than a baker’s dozen of Tums were needed to control the burning somewhat. Even after the fire got put out there was still gurgling in my lungs when I breathed.  I was choking and coughing for at least 20 minutes until I had cleared my lungs and the gurgling stopped. Each cough that cleared my lungs burned my throat again. Both my wife and my older daughter – who I woke from my coughing and came in to see what was going on asked: “Are you OK?”

I gave them a thumbs up, which really meant: mind your own business.

Maybe an hour later I was able to get back to sleep, but this time lying with my head up to prevent another incident.

I awoke exhausted.

It’s not anaphylactic shock, but it’s a damn good reminder as to *why* I can’t eat like a normal person. I’m not a big fan of negative reinforcement as motivation, but this is not something I’d like to experience again. Negative experiences do sometimes result in positive outcomes – a good health scare sometimes works wonders to change long-term behaviors.

I’m more the ‘carrot’ than the ‘stick’ kind of guy with myself and others, but the beating I took from this stick is worthy of remembering – and might just tip the scale towards me being more careful about my diet.

If my transgressions have such dire consequences, it might be prudent for me to remember this.

 

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3 thoughts on “The April Fool Day 7: Low Carb…or Else

  1. It’s an awful way to learn a lesson but sometimes that’s what it takes. I do have GERD and it is under control without meds when I follow low carb. However, when I transgress, big time, and follow that with lots of fluid, which you may have done as you said you were thirsty – I may as well not try to sleep. I hope you feel a little better today. Moderate indulgence in carbs seems to be okay, accompanied by a little indigestion, but as you know, it is hard to moderately indulge in carbs. Its generally all or nothing because carbs call our name. I can hear them even from the freezer in the basement. But somehow I become deaf when I adhere to low carb for a few days. Good luck getting carb clean again. It’s tough but you are a tough guy, been there, done this many times. Time to get back on that wagon 🙂

  2. Same thing used to happen to me until I gave up drinking soda, diet or otherwise ~ what a horrible feeling! It stopped immediately after I took bubbly out of my life. Hope you are better.

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