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Meghan Crute, MD is a board-certified Dermatologist living and practicing in Northeast Ohio. Dermatology became her passion following a rotation in that field during medical school, as she realized the skin provided a unique “window” into the overall well-being of her patients. When she is not busy striving to provide the best care to her patients, Dr. Crute enjoys spending time with her family, shopping, cooking, wine tasting, and home improvement projects.

Dr. Crute has had a life-long struggle with her weight despite numerous attempts to reverse the issue. Despite prior success with weight loss efforts throughout her life, the weight always creeped back up and eventually ballooned even higher. She knew something different had to be done and even contemplated weight loss surgery. Following an interaction with a cousin who had significant weight loss success following a low-carb, high-fat diet, she decided to give it a try.

Dr. Crute initially started following Dr. Atkins’ guidelines in August 2016. Following great success of 75 pounds of weight loss over 1 year, she began to stall despite still having a more weight to lose. She was diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis in October of 2017 and was not pleased with the treatment recommendation of taking oral steroids indefinitely as it could jeopardize her weight loss. She researched dietary management of the condition and, through an elimination diet, determined she had allergies to gluten, dairy, and soy. The complete elimination of these foods from her diet was the first step to get her health back on track.
An additional turning point for Dr. Crute occurred in early 2018 after she read “The Obesity Code” by Dr. Jason Fung. She felt that everything she learned in medical school regarding nutrition was incorrect. She completed a month of Whole 30 in March 2018 and then transitioned to a dairy-free ketogenic lifestyle and began implementing various fasting protocols. She has now lost over 125 pounds total and reversed her eosinophilic esophagitis symptoms as well as PCOS, arthritis, headaches, and even some allergy symptoms. Through her own experiences with her weight loss and health journey, Dr. Crute feels that similar concepts could be very useful in treating various dermatologic conditions as most have deeper roots in systemic inflammation and the skin is only one manifestation of the issue. She hopes to continue her own education regarding nutritional ketosis and implement those concepts into her current approach to her own lifestyle and to her patient care.

Transcript:

Hey, it’s Carole Freeman here. I am here with Megan and actually doctor, how do you say your last name?

Crute.

Dr Crute, dermatologist. That’s an amazing Keto success story. And so thank you so much for sharing your story.

Thank you for asking me.

So tell me how did you, how did you find the Keto Diet and what has it done for you?

I’ll try to keep it to the briefer story. I’ve been big my whole life and been through numerous other diets and had some success but it never was lasting and decided around the time when we lost some family members, very young to different complications of diabetes and cancer and everything that I really needed to get my act together. And I’d had some previous success doing low carb diets, not particularly Keto, but decided to go back to that and again had some good success with that, lost about 70 pounds over a year, but then kind of got stuck.

I subsequently was diagnosed with a few other food allergies that I didn’t know I had, which eliminated some of the things that I was still eating, and by process of eliminating those and doing my own research into the ketogenic way of living, it rolled into that and really it’s snowballed, and as of now I’ve lost about 125 pounds.

What, that’s amazing.

Yeah.

Congratulations.

Thank you. Thanks.

So, you were … I met you last night too …

Yes.

And you were sharing about how this is like the smallest you’ve been pretty much your entire life.

Yeah. My memories from grade school when I was going to see a nutritionist with all these check boxes of all the little things that I had to eat every day, the smallest I ever got at that point was about 180 pounds and I’m a little under 160 now, and I was 14 years old at that point, so.

Congratulations.

Yeah. Thank you.

And so we were talking last night about how you see this impacting dermatological work that you do.

Right.

What kind of things do you see that this is good for?

So, in dermatology we see anything and everything, but there’s definitely a few things that I feel could be helped by this way of living. Notably acne, which is, it affects every teenager, even if they claim it doesn’t. It does.

Yeah. My son has had an amazing transformation with his own following keto too.

Right. So not only just the general hormones, but we see a lot of women who come in with PCOS, which worsens their acne and it makes it difficult for us to treat sometime, but also a lot of our inflammatory rashes, psoriasis, Eczema, Eczema tends to be linked to food allergies and food sensitivities anyway. And these people may not realize it, but they could be eating things that are exacerbating it, and just in general, people who have overall inflammation. A lot of these rashes aren’t just skin deep, they have internal manifestations as well, leading to higher risks for heart disease, other autoimmune conditions and things so that if there’s any way we can reduce the inflammation, the hope is not only will their skin get better, but their overall health will be good as well.

Yeah. And I personally worked with a lady, a client of mine that had Hailey Hailey’s, which I’d never heard of before but …

It’s a more rare genetic condition, but it’s, it’s horrendous for people who do have it.

Yeah. And this, this lady, she was 65 years old when she started working on keto with me and she was not even able to work anymore because of how severe this impacted her life after, I don’t remember, maybe six months of following it, she quit with me because she was feeling so well that she ended up, she wanted to go back to work. Like she had freedom first time in her life and it was an amazing transformation. So I’ve seen a couple of success stories myself without even focusing on dermatology, so I can’t even imagine what’s possible.

And it’s just the beginnings. I don’t necessarily discuss keto with every patient that comes in the office, but more and more frequently we have patients or parents bringing their children in, asking what we can do on a more natural approach as opposed to taking pills and putting creams on. And that’s when it kind of opens the door to discussing that possibility. And some of them are very open to it and some of them gave you that deer in headlights look like, what do you want me to do?

Yeah. So if you’re having a skin condition, start asking your doctor about nutritional therapies, they may not know about anything …

They may not.

… But, when we start asking those questions, then they’re going to start looking for those answers.

Right.

I mean, where do you practice?

I practice in a private practice up in a suburb of Cleveland called Medina Ohio.

Okay. So if you have to fly out to see her and …

Yeah, we’re happy to see anyone. And I’m actually part of a group practice that does focus more on holistic aspects of things compared to other places I’ve worked. A lot of our own workers there follow the ketogenic way of living and we have a whole subset of our practice that is on its own, just holistic medicine as well. So …

That’s great.

Yeah.

Let’s see, let’s talk about a couple of the myths about this Keto Diet. Okay?

Okay.

It’s not healthy, it’s not natural.

I don’t understand how anyone can look at what people actually eat on the diet and think that that’s not what we should be eating. It is normal food. Like that’s what I tell people. People focus on what you can’t have, but really focus on getting real food, learning how to cook if you’re interested in that and not grabbing boxes and processed foods and I just don’t see how any of that could be seen as unhealthy.

Yeah. Like you were saying last night, it’s like meat, vegetables and healthy normal fats.

Right, exactly.

Like that’s what we eat and when people actually see plates of food that we eat, it’s like, oh yeah, that just looks like a healthy meal.

Exactly. It’s a plate that you get out at a restaurant when you went to a steakhouse or something. And you know, so I fully disagree with any of those myths.

Another common one that people object and even doctors are telling people is that, well, it’s not sustainable. What do you think about that?

It takes effort to sustain anything, but I try to look at this as a lifestyle and not a diet. I feel the best I’ve ever felt in my life and I really don’t plan on going back from that. I personally have some accountability just because of my food allergies and I know the consequences of eating things with those in them so it helps with that, but I love what I eat. I get very creative with it, I feed multiple members of my family multiple times a week. No one has ever complained about it and everyone is benefiting from it and I don’t see any issue with being able to continue this long term. And I don’t see why down the road at any given point in time, it would go from being a healthy diet to an unhealthy one.

Wonderful. Anything else you want to add or you want to share with the viewers?

No. Just if you haven’t tried this, go ahead and give it a try. It gets easier the more you do it, it just becomes natural. You don’t really want the stuff that you shouldn’t be having any way and if and when you do go see your doctors, keep in mind they may not know about it. We don’t get that much education if any in medical school, so feel free to have a conversation with them about your interest in trying this diet and hopefully they’ll be on board to allow it or at least try to educate themselves as to what, what it involves.

Well, thank you so much Dr. Crute for your time.

Thank you so much for having me.

Thanks for sharing your story and congratulations again on your success and health.

Thank you so much. I appreciate it, thank you.

Okay. That’s all for now. We’ll see you later. Bye.

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