Two years ago, a few of my patients with diabetes asked me whether the paleo diet would help with management of their diabetes. After much deliberation, I can definitely say, “Yeah, maybe.”
We still don’t have much scientific data to back it up, but I’ve seen enough to convince me it would be adequately safe to try a paleo-style diet under medical supervision. The greatest immediate risk is hypoglycemia in those taking certain drugs.
Regardless of diet, diabetics are at risk for hypoglycemia if they use any of the following drug classes. Also listed are a few of the individual drugs in some classes:
- sulfonylureas: glipizide, glyburide, glimiperide, chlorpropamide, acetohexamide, tolbutamide
- meglitinides: repaglinide, nateglinide
- pramlintide plus insulin
- exenatide plus sulfonylurea
- possibly thiazolidinediones: pioglitazone, rosiglitazone
- possibly bromocriptine
I’ve just finished a handout for my patients interested in a paleo diabetic diet. If interested, click for details.
Steve Parker, M.D.
PS: The paleo diet is also referred to as the Paleolithic, Stone Age, Old Stone Age, cavemen, ancestral, and hunter-gatherer diet.