Working as a Dietitian can be a very stressful job. It’s like being a teacher, except a lot of the time you’re teaching people who think they already know everything you’ve got to say (the key word here being THINK). A dietitian knows so much about food and nutrition, that sometimes it becomes overwhelming trying to pass this knowledge on to others; now in Kuwait, those “others” are usually very ignorant. During my clinic, I see a lot of patients who have numerous problems; mainly Diabetes, Obesity, and High blood cholesterol levels. Sometimes I wonder where I should begin. How am I going to pass all this knowledge that I have to this person sitting infront of me in a period of 25 minutes (it sounds long, but believe you me, it’s VERY SHORT! It feels like 1 minute!!!). Unfortunately (and believe me I truly feel saddened by this fact), most of those patients who come to visit me are not interested in what I have to say. All they want is a piece of paper that tells them what they should have for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, and they hope for a Diet Pill as well. And as soon as they pop The Question (and no, in this case the questions isn’t “will you marry me” 😛 It’s “Can you prescribe me a Diet Pill??”) I feel like everything I said to them was completely and utterly POINTLESS. The words “Diet pills may cause heart attacks and sudden death” just seem to go through one ear, and right out the other!!! Who cares!! I’ll take a chance and die!!! Just make me lose weight as fast as possible, without making me reduce the massive amount of food I’m consuming on a daily basis!!!!
Then, I give them my famous look of death. The one that says, if you’re gonna say diet pill one more time, I’m gonna take that day off :p So then, they refer to the all-so-famous Atkins Diet. Now, I’m not gonna get into a discussion here about why I am totally and utterly against it, simply because I’ve had enough of explaining that! I’m just gonna give you guys an example…a REAL LIFE example of what happened to one of MY patients, when she didn’t listen to me, and decided to follow that diet. And mind you she got it from a very famous Dr here who thinks he can give dietary advice just because he’s a Doctor. Excuse me, you’re a Doctor, you’re not a Dietitian…we don’t interfere in your work, so make our lives easier and stay the hell out of our job!!! You’re just making it HELL for us!!!
Anyway, now that I got that out of my system… yesterday afternoon, my patient approached me in the hall, bawling her eyes out. I asked her to come to my office and we can have a chat. She admitted (which was brave of her), that she took the Atkins Diet after visiting that Famous Dr and she followed it for a period of 2 weeks. The first couple of days she was ok, didn’t feel anything. Then, the 3rd day she started to feel tired and faint. within the first week she fainted about 3 times. On the second week, She started to shiver (this is because her body wasn’t getting enough Carbohydrates and Carbs are extremely important for our body), so she couldn’t bare with it and started eating sweets like crazy…she had 50 Dates in one go!! That was her body crying out for Carbs!!! She was out of control. After doing that she fainted twice and ended up hospitalized. Guess what they found out? She has Diabetes. Now, I’m not saying The Atkins’ Diet caused that….it didn’t…she was showing early signs of Diabetes from before, but it would have been controlled through a balanced diet…but after starving herself from CArbs, an then suddenly endulging it, she put her body into shock, and now her poor Pancreas is confused and has no idea what’s going on. Doctor said she has to start on pills if her blood sugar doesn’t go down within the next 2 weeks through following a Diet. So, what happened exactly? She managed to speed up the process of becoming a Diabetic on Oral Medication, instead of being normal and just watching out on what she eats so she doesn’t develop Diabetes! Not to mention, her blood cholesterol levels sky rocketed!! They were normal last month!
In my ideal world, my patients would listen to what I have to say. Not only would they do that, they would actually follow my advice, so that I don’t have to watch them suffer later. It was very unfortunate what happened to her. She will be the example that I tell my patients about when they ask me about such diets. Please, spread the word…. it’s time our society becomes aware of these things…and not just aware, they should take it seriously. If you think this won’t happen to you, you are wrong. Everyone thinks that bad things won’t happen to them….and that’s how bad things end up happening to them….