Getting At The Heart Of The Matter- Kimkins Cardio Risks.

There have been some changes going on over at kimkin’s homepage, these began right before the court matters earlier in the week. Heidi Diaz, the Kimmer, is no longer on the frontpage doing her diet challenge for everyone to view. I believe one reason she decided to remove her pictures was the fact that they appeared to have been manipulated with photoshop, and why would this be done? Well, one explanation could be that it was necessary in order to shave off the pounds that Kimmer is claiming to have lost….yet again! The other reason she may have stepped down is the fact that she had a perfect member to take her place and that is the purpose of my post today, new showcased member- Laurala

kk-for-blog-laurala.jpg

This new showcased member is one who actually lost weight and looks great. My first reaction when seeing the member Laurala on the frontpage was what a beautiful person, who must be so proud of their weight loss. The member was a new name to me, so I had to research who was this person who magically appeared on the homepage. I mean after the Russian Brides, let’s just say believing a success story doesn’t come easily to me.

But what I found was much worse than a Russian bride filling in as a fake member. I found a real member, whose posts made me very concerned for her well-being.

Laurala’s post are full of enthusiasm for life and support of the other KK members. Her words gave me the impression that she is truly a kind person and one that has faced many recent challenges in her life. As I read more I truly became concerned for the member, so I posted the following at LCF to see if others had some feedback or maybe someone who knew her could reach the member and verify the situation.

My Post-

….What came as a huge, I mean huge shock to me, was the posts I read about the new member on the front page. The member looks wonder and I think she truly has lost the weight. She appears to be a real success in losing the weight. However, I was distressed when I read that the member had started KK on 1-25-07 and 6 months later became ill in August of that year.

She was having breathing difficulties and thought she had asthma, but then ended up in the hospital.
The diagnosis- CHF -CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE!

She posted about this diagnosis on 8-23-07 or so and then was gone from kimkins. She returned in 12-27-07 and started back posting about doing kimkins. Her plan was to do bootcamp for a week, K/E for a week and then get right back into Kimkins. She is doing KK with exercising/weight lifting and to say the least I am deeply concerned that she is doing more harm to her already struggling heart.” Why the fascination with Kimmer? #14 – Page 36 – Low Carb Friends

So now you can understand why I was deeply concerned for the KK member. The negative health side-effects, that can result from doing a very low calorie diet (vLCD), have been discussed on the blogs and forums, but the fact that the patient was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure after being on Kimkins for 6 months alarmed me. But then to read she came back…well, my by jaw hit the floor! WTH?

A person with a perfect heart and no history of CHF, is risking their heart health by doing a vLCD like Kimkins, but then factor in the difficulties when dealing with CHF and a precarious situation begins to emerge.

A diet that is classified as a very low calorie diet (<800 calories a day) can damage the heart or cause cardiac problems due to some of the following reasons:

  • A breakdown of the heart muscle occurs, if the calories of a diet are too low or the protein is not adequate to cover the energy expenditure of the body.
  • Electrolyte problems can emerge in those who drastically reduce calories and then have “refeed days” or increase their calorie intake quickly.
  • The QT wave of the heart can also become altered based on electrolyte imbalance and that will result in arrhythmias

Those risks do not even take into account the difficult time CHF patients have regulating their electrolytes in general. Doing Kimkins- as a congestive heart failure patient- is like throwing gasoline on a fire. Things can get out of hand, FAST!

An article in the CMAJ describes the risks to the heart while on a vLCD-

The heart is not spared in malnutrition. The decrease in cardiac output in the starved patient is matched by various compensatory mechanisms such that cardiac failure is unusual. With refeeding, reversal of these mechanisms occurs and congestive heart failure may be precipitated before the reversal of myocardial atrophy, even in the absence of other cardiac disease.
The malnourished patient is at increased risk during major surgery, and preoperative nutritional therapy may be indicated.
Chronic cardiac failure often results in a malnourished state and, hence, relative myocardial atrophy.
Cardiac cachexia and associated cardiac dysfunction may be improved with better nutrition.

Rapid weight loss and malnutrition may also be associated with a syndrome of myocardialatrophy, a prolonged QT interval, ventricular arrhythmias and sudden death. Both protein-calorie malnutrition and refeeding have significant implications for the heart.

As I said earlier during refeedings, following a vLCD or following starvation, there is a risk that the process can precipitate cardiac failure and congestive heart failure . This occurrence and mechanism is discussed in the article Malnutrition and the heart- CMAJ-JAMC

Although congestive cardiac failure is rare in malnutrition, it is common during refeeding of the starved patient. “Refeeding edema” and cardiac failure are well known with oral refeeding of severely malnourished patients……[….]……

Starvation is associated with a fall in heart rate, blood pressure and blood volume; however, refeeding is associated with a sudden reversal of these compensatory factors. Further, since severe malnutrition may result in interstitial myocardial edema, cardiac compliance may decrease. The malnourished patient may not cope well with increased salt, water and energy loads. Carbohydrate and fat are potent stimuli for the release of catecholamines and activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone axis.
This further increases blood volume and pressure. Energy intake reverses the natriuresis of the fasting state. Furthermore, catecholamines augment the shift ofpotassium, magnesium and phosphate into cells, with potentially deleterious effects on cardiac function and rhythm.

Below are 17 cases of death in a group of individuals who died suddenly, due to cardiac changes, following a vLCD.

While reviewing the study, it is important to keep in mind the points surrounding the individuals that did die: The median age was 35 years old, they had been on the diet from 2 to 8 months, had lost a substantial amount of weight (86lbs), that was stated to be at a rapid rate which computed to 4.6 pounds a week. The level of physician monitoring range from very thorough to infrequent and 11 of the17 were not taking any other medications- besides vitamins/supplements for the diet.
It appears that the rate of weight loss in those patients who died suddenly is comparable to the fast weight loss noted by kimkins members and so was the low calorie level in these cases approximately 300 to 400 calories a day. The patients in the study also took a prenatal vitamin daily, potassium in different dosages, and some also took calcium supplements.

The take away point is that, these people who died, were in better nutritional and monitoring situations, than the average kimkins dieter.

 

The following are 17 cases of death in a group of individuals who died suddenly, due to cardiac changes, following a vLCD .-Sudden death associated with very low calorie weight reduction regimens

ABSTRACT We studied the cases of 17 individuals who died suddenly of ventricular arrhythmia after prolonged use (median 5 months) of very low calorie weight reduction regimens consisting entirely or largely of protein. The deaths appeared to be independent of type of medical supervision received during the diet, daily dosage of potassium supplementation, and biological quality of the protein product used. Factors common to all cases were marked obesity at the onset of dieting,prolonged use of extremely low calorie diets (approximately 300 to 400 kcal daily), and significant and rapid weight loss. Our review of available electrocardiograms and pathological specimens revealed a pattern of cardiac changes previously described in starvation. We conclude that use of very low calorie weight reduction regimens should be curtailed until further studies determine what modifications, if any, can insure their safety. Am. J. Cliii. Nutr. 34: 453-461, 1981.

Now, to relate that to a person following a very low calorie diet, like Kimkins, we should consider one example of how damage to the heart could occur. One way could be following “refeedings” scenarios.

We can use a hypothetical situation, let’s say a KK member-“Cardia” has been doing the kimkins bootcamp plan for 2 weeks (which is less than 800 calories), then go into doing K/E with a decreased appetite, due to ketosis. They do K/E for 4 weeks, but weight loss stalls so back to bootcamp to kick the weight loss up a notch. At this point the member has been consuming less than 800 calories/day for 6 weeks. “Cardia” makes it through bootcamp for 2 more weeks, but finds her resolve is waning or as Kimmer would say, “they are not tough enough” to stick with the program. The weekend approaches and the member decides a cheat will not hurt, so she has the pasta with the family and dessert. The cheat ends up being an off kimkins weekend, but the stress of trying to move into a new house, made following the diet impossible. Then while picking up boxes and walking up a set of stairs “Cardia” notices she can hardly catch their breath. She decides to rest, since she must be overdoing it too much and on the verge of a cold or something. I mean who would have thought it was your body telling you that you are destroying your heart. The odd fluttering in her chest stops and it only happens once in awhile anyway.

A few days pass and Cardia continues to have some labored breathing, so she decides to go visit the family physician. Here she fails to mention that she is doing the Kimkins diet, because the physician never asks about her nutrition. Although, the check-in nurse mentions the weight loss when weighing her and comments by saying “good job, how are you doing it”? Cardia only says, “With Kimkins, a low carb diet”, but nothing else is said about the diet. The patient is told they may be reacting to an allergen from their new home, because she has had a runny nose and has had a history of seasonal allergies. She is told to increase her fluids, her antihistamine is changed and a nasal spray is added to her medications. After a couple of days of rest, the kk member is still feeling weak, but decides it is the allergies still bringing her down. She is determined to push through this and not let a little setback throw her off track. She will not give into her body just wanting her to go back to her bad habits, and that is probably why she even got sick, she thinks to herself, now remembering her weakness and giving in to the temptation of food that weekend. She becomes upset and reminds herself, that she just has to succeed this time. They are having that big house warming party in a month and she is going to fit into that little black dress!

She is determined to stick it out! She has changed her WOE and doesn’t want to go back to her old eating habits. Kimkins is helping her lose weight and she decides she is in control now. She will not stop kimkins if she has anything to do with it…..but the problem is she is right or at least partly right. She also gets to wear that black dress, it isn’t to the house warming party as she had planned, but everyone commented on how wonderful she looked as they bid their final farewell.

The above was a hypothetical situation but it doesn’t change the risks involved with the kimkins diet. Laurla, I hope you will take the time to read the concerns that others have for you and research the cardio risks involved with a vLCD. I do understand that you are under doctor’s care, but if you are truly following Kimkins, then I must urge you to take in an exact menu of what you eat, so an evaluation on your actual diet can be made. I do wish you the best in your journey.

-kimkins graphic courtesy of squeakie from LCF
Kimkins Diet
HoneyBee’s Blog

I Am Not Ready To Make Nice with Kimkins

Advertisements

12 Responses

  1. Wow, HB, you reall do your homework. I put a link to this on my blog.
    OYB
    My blog: Kimorexia

  2. Excellent information but we believe the current Laurala is not the former/actual Laurala, but rather Heidi in Laurala’s clothing. So to speak.

  3. OYB- Thank you for the link and for stopping by to comment. I can only hope that the cautionary warning doesn’t fall on deaf ears.

  4. Yucky,
    Whatcha got….I mean in reference to it being Heidi? Spill it. I would love for it to be Heidi in this case, because the Russia I am feeling here is Russian Roulette.

  5. And I thought one main purpose for doing this is for health…now knowing that their diet is putting the members’ health in risk is just unacceptable. Something ought to be done about these result-based and disregarding participants’ lives entities…….

  6. […] WordPress weblog Thu 21 Feb Getting At The Heart Of The Matter- Kimkins Cardio Risks. HoneyBee wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptIt appears that the rate of weight […]

  7. THANKS FOR BLOGGING ABOUT THIS hb.

    hopefully some Kimkins.com members will venture outside the kimpire or have friends who do and will learn about this before they become a stat in that study.

  8. 2big- I do hope that the remaining members will take the risks as very serious! The statistics from the article from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition should be shocking to those following Kimkins
    The patients in the study had been on a very low calorie diet for a median time of 5 months and the diet was mostly protein. That is the Kimkins
    diet- very low calories with the majority of the calories coming from protein.
    I know you have done a blog post that shows the details of the various kimkins plans. I think it is a
    great post on the kimkins diet
    breakdown nutritionally. Also, your comments section has a lot of information too, showing the diet can be as much as 60+percent protein and under 800 calories!
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  9. A.Ho..[sez]- And I thought one main purpose for doing this is for health…now knowing that their diet is putting the members’ health in risk is just unacceptable. Something ought to be done about these result-based and disregarding participants’ lives entities…

    Thank you for you commenting. The founder of the Kimkins diet and the webite is aware that the diet is dangerous. She also has a pending class action lawsuit against her committing fraud to sell her memberships. The wheels of justice are turning, but just not as fast as many had hoped.
    Here is a site that has some of the court documents and are watching the pending case-
    Case watch

  10. Wow, eye opening info!
    Great posts!

  11. when i cook at home, i always make sure that i only cook healthy recipes because i don’t want to get fat :~.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: