The ketogenic diet is literally everywhere we look these days. Originally this diet was designed to treat epilepsy, but has recently become popular among the weight loss community. It’s on the cover of most of “those” magazines at the checkout stand, claiming to be the “magic pill” diet, if you will, saying that there will be weight just melting off by restricting carbohydrate intake, and increasing fat intake, while maintaining moderate protein. There is no doubt that this diet has worked wonders for people as far as weight loss, as there have been many anecdotal stories regarding it. But is this diet for everyone?
One of the most common chief complaints in primary care, urgent care, and emergency room settings is that of low back pain. It is, in fact, according to a presentation by Roger Chou, MD, per Providers Clinical Support System, the 5th most common reason for office visits in the United States. That equates to about 5% of primary care office visits. The prevalence of this chief complaint is rising, which is resulting in more prescriptions of opioids for treatment of this pain. Opioids are, in fact, the most commonly prescribed medication for low back pain. However, given that we are in the midst of an opioid crisis, the last thing we, as providers, want to do is to contribute to this problem, if at all possible. So, what exactly can we do to treat our patients effectively, while minimizing harm to the patient, and potentially to others?