Category Archives: Testimonials

You’re Reading a Top 100 Diabetes Blog


A company named Feedspot has judged this blog to be one of the top 100 on diabetes.

How I ranked higher than The Low Carb Diabetic I’ll never understand.

It’s good to get validation now and then!

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: I don’t know Feedspot. If you detect anything scammy or spammy about them, let me know. I’m alway suspicious of Internet awards.

Family Physician Robert Oh Attacked His Prediabetes With Low-Carb Paleo Diet

Robb Wolf’s version of the paleo diet plus stopping his statin drug was just the ticket for Robert Oh, M.D., to cure his prediabetes, or at least put it into remission. Dr. Oh couldn’t blame genetics, physical inactivity, or obesity for his prediabetes. He was very active with CrossFit and had a healthy BMI of 23 at the time of his diagnosis. everydayHEALTH has the story. A quote by Dr. Oh:

Since I was already doing everything in terms of fitness, I began to experiment with my nutrition. Being a CrossFit fanatic, I heard about the low-carb Paleo diet, which is popular in the CrossFit community. Based on gut instinct alone, I took the 30-day challenge described in Robb Wolf’s book The Paleo Solution. Even though I started at 150 lbs. on my 5’7” frame, at the end of 30 days, I had lost eight pounds of body fat and felt great. Most importantly, my hemoglobin A1C, a marker of glucose control, dropped back to normal.

We’ve known for a few years that statin drugs are linked to type 2 diabetes in some way. Is it possible that Dr. Oh’s prediabetes cure stems simply from his discontinuation of the statin? Yes. I’ve not seen any studies to tell us whether statin-associated diabetes is reversible, nor how quickly.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Another Paleo Diet Success Story For a Type 1 Diabetic

The Joslin Diabetes Blog has details. Lindsay Swanson was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 25. Her initial interest was spurred by years of undiagnosed gastrointestinal issues. She eased into the Paleolithic diet by sequentially eliminating certain food classes, starting with grains, then soy, then legumes. As she did, she felt increasingly better. Lindsay eats few refined carbohydrates. My sense is she doesn’t require much insulin. A quote:

Much to my surprise, my blood sugars completely leveled out, so much so that I rarely need to treat a low blood sugar, and spikes are few and far between….Probably 75 percent of my diet consists of vegetables and plant based food, some with more carbohydrates depending on my activity level. I eat a lot of fat/protein regularly, examples: avocados, coconut oil (in tea and cooking), grassfed meats, bacon (and the reserved fat), oils, nuts, etc.


Physician With Type 1 Diabetes Thriving on Low-Carb Paleo-Style Diet

"Put down the bread and no one will get hurt!"

Could you give up bread for life?

ABC Radio provides the audio and transcript of an interview with Dr. Troy Stapleton, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 41. He lives in Queensland, Australia. At the time of his diagnosis, he says…

I was advised to eat seven serves of bread and cereals, two to three serves dairy, fruit, starchy vegetables, and to balance that intake with insulin. If you add up all those serves, they were recommending a diet of up to about 240 grams of carbohydrates a day, and to balance it with insulin. I was going to be the best patient, and there has been some important trials that show that if you do control your blood glucose well then you can reduce your incidence of the complications.

Dr. Stapleton believes we evolved on a very low carbohydrate diet; the Agricultural Revolution led to our current high carb consumption. He was concerned about the risk of hypoglycemia with standard diabetic diets.

There was a different approach where essentially you went on a very low carbohydrate diet, this made a little bit of sense to me. Why would I eat carbohydrates and then have to balance it with insulin?

Here’s what the diabetes educators told him:

What they say is you need to estimate the amount of carbohydrate you’re going to eat, and then you need to match that carbohydrate dose essentially with an insulin dose. So you sort of look at your food and you go, okay, I’m having 30 grams of carbohydrate and I need one unit of insulin per 15 grams of carbohydrate, so two units. It sounds really quite straightforward, except that it’s very, very difficult to estimate accurately the amount of carbohydrate you’re eating. The information on the packets can be out by 20%. Most people say that your error rate can be around 50%.

And then of course it changes with what you’ve eaten. So if you eat carbohydrates with fat and then you get delayed absorption, then that glucose load will come in, and then the type of carbohydrates will alter how quickly it comes in to your bloodstream. And then of course your insulin dose will vary, your absorption rate will vary by about 30%. Once you think through all the variables, it’s just not possible. You will be able to bring your blood glucose under control, but a lot of the time what happens is you get a spike in your glucose level immediately after a meal, and that does damage to the endothelium of your blood vessels…

Norman Swan: The lining.

Troy Stapleton: That’s correct, it causes an oxidative stress to your endothelium, and that is the damage that diabetes does, that’s why you get accelerated atherosclerosis.

Here’s what happened after he started eating very low carb:

It’s been amazing, it’s been the most remarkable turnaround for me and I just cut out carbohydrates essentially completely, although I do get some in green leafy vegetables and those sorts of things. My blood sugar average on the meter has gone from 8.4 [151 mg/dl] down to 5.3 [95 mg/dl]. My HbA1c is now 5.3, which is in the normal range. My blood pressure has always been good but it dropped down to 115 over 75. My triglycerides improved, my HDL improved, so my blood lipid profile improved. And I would now have a hypoglycaemic episode probably about once a month after exercise. [He was having hypoglycemia weekly on his prior high carb diet with carb counting insulin adjustments.]

He was able to reduce his insulin from about 27 units a day down to 6 units at night only (long-acting insulin)! He admits his low insulin dose may just reflect the “honeymoon period” some type 1s get early on after diagnosis.

Norman Swan: So when you talk to your diabetes educator now, what does he or she say?

Troy Stapleton: Look, they’re interested, but they’ll tell me things and I’ll say, well, that’s actually not true. I’m quite a difficult patient, Norman.

He says he’s eating an Atkins-style diet. Combining the transcript and his notes in the comments section:  1) he doesn’t eat potatoes or other starchy vegetables or bread, 2) he eats meat, eggs, lots of non-starchy vegetables, some berries and tree nuts, olives, and cheese, 3) an occasional wine or low-carb beer, 4) coffee, and 5) he eats under 50 g/day of carbohydrate, probably  under 30 g. This is a low-carb paleo diet except for the cheese, alcohol, and coffee.  Cheese, alcohol and coffee are (or can be) low-carb, but they’re not pure paleo.

He notes that…

There is an adaption period to a very low carbohydrate diet which takes 4–6 weeks (ketoadaption). During this time symptoms include mild headaches, lethargy, cramps, carb cravings and occasional light headedness. These symptoms all pass.

Read or listen to the whole thing. Don’t forget the comments section. All the blood sugars you see there are in mmol/l; convert them to mg/dl (American!) by multiplying by 18.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Amanda Torres Turns Her Life Around With Paleo/Primal Lifestyle

This is the old Amanda:

In December 2009, I was 25 years old and weighed 210 lbs. I was obese for my 5’5″ frame, never felt well, and was popping handfuls of pills every day just to get by. I was taking 2 anti-depressants, anxiolytics, prescription sleeping pills, courses of Prilosec once or twice a month, acid-blocking pills or antacid tablets 1-3 times a day, anti-diarrhea pills several days a week, and I was constantly catching respiratory infections and frequently took courses of antibiotics. In fact, I was put on chronic antibiotics by a dermatologist to treat rosacea, acne, and a truly horrible condition known as hidradenitis suppurativa (acne inversa). I would take them for several weeks at a time, until everything calmed down, but inevitably within a few weeks more I would end up with another debilitatingly painful HS boil and would need to start up the antibiotics again. I also got either a yeast infection or a urinary tract infection almost once a month. In the summer of 2008 I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic with metabolic syndrome and hypertension, so by the end of 2009 I was quite probably a full-fledged type II diabetic, I just never got an official diagnosis. I was falling apart mentally and physically, and scared to death of a miserable future full of multiple chronic illness and scary prescription medications, so I decided to make some drastic changes in my lifestyle. I resolved to do  my research over the holidays, and begin in 2010 with my new way of life.

She ran across Mark Sisson’s website and the rest is history.

Read about her transformation.


h/t Julianne Taylor

Celebs Eating Paleo-Style

I don’t look to celebrities for nutrition advice, but if I did, I’d read this article. Megan Fox, Eva La Rue, Jessica Biel, Matthew McConaughy, others.

T1 Diabetic In Pacific Northwest Adopts Paleo Lifestyle

Check out Intrepid Pioneer, an anonymous T1 diabetic who was diagnosed in his 30s. He has a strong interest in fishing, hunting, foraging, and other outdoorsy stuff.

He blogged about his Whole30 challenge.

Is the Paleo Diet a Reliable Treatment for Ulcerative Colitis?

It’s not generally recognized as such, but it seemed to put a New Zealand nutritionist’s case into remission. Julianne Taylor provides the details in a guest post by Jess Fisk.

A search of the Internet will reveal many cases of apparent cure or remission of ulcerative colitis after a great variety of non-obvious interventions. I’m happy for all those folks, whether the intervention was responsible or the disease coincidentally went into “spontaneous” remission when the intervention began.

One of my go-to sources for current disease information is Most of the articles there are written by medical school professors. A quick scan of ulcerative colitis treatments reveals an overwhelming focus on surgery and drugs. Little in terms of diet except for this tidbit on elimination diets:

An elimination diet involves removing a food from the diet for a period of time and seeing whether symptoms resolve during that time. In patients receiving enteral nutrition, it involves introducing one new food at a time to identify foods that precipitate [inflammatory bowel disease] symptoms. Many patients can identify foods that they believe may precipitate or worsen their disease and it is reasonable for them to avoid such foods. Using an elimination diet to identify at-risk foods may decrease the possibility of a “flare” of [inflammatory bowel disease].

(Inflammatory bowel disease refers to both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.)

Foods that precipitate symptoms commonly included cereals, lactose, and yeast products.

Studies were contradictory or inconsistent regarding the benefits of other dietary interventions such as low carbohydrate diets, fiber, fish oil supplements, and antioxidants.

In case you’ve heard of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, the UpToDate authors say that randomized trials are required before it can be recommended for ulcerative colitis.

I didn’t see anything about the FODMAPs diet.

With regards to dietary causes of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), I found this at UpToDate:

Food antigens are thought to trigger an immunologic response resulting in the development of IBD. However, specific pathogenic antigens have not been identified. While studies attempting to associate specific diets with the development of IBD have had inconsistent results, the data suggest that a “Western” style diet (processed, fried, and sugary foods) is associated with an increased risk of developing Crohn’s disease, and possibly ulcerative colitis.

The next paragraph talks about implicated dietary risk factors, including hypersensitivity to cow milk protein in infancy, refined sugar, decreased vegetable and fiber intake. Also, “increased dietary intake of total fat, animal fat, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and milk protein has been correlated with an increased incidence of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease and relapse in patients with ulcerative colitis. In addition, a higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids and a lower intake of omega-6 fatty acids have been associated with a lower risk of developing Crohn’s disease.”

Since the paleo diet eliminates several major food groups, it’s entirely possible it could put ulcerative colitis into remission or even cure it.

Academically oriented paleo diet gurus should get together and decide what the paleo diet is, so clinicians can start testing it scientifically.  They’re the guys who can snag the funding for studies.

Steve Parker, M.D.


First Nation Aborigines Improve Diabetes By Return to Ancestral Diet

…along with improvement in high blood pressure, weight, and heartburn. Dr. Jay Wortman worked with aborigines on the west coast of Canada, convincing some of them to return to their ancestral diet, which happened to be low in carbohydrate. Dr. Wortman shared his experience in a video with DietDoctor Andreas Eenfeldt. Or check out the hour-long documentary, “My Big Fat Diet,” which may be available on YouTube.

Dr. Wortman seems to have cured his own case of type 2 diabetes with an Atkins-style diet.


“Rich the Diabetic” Is Sold On the Paleo Lifestyle

Click for his testimonial from 2012. Rich is a type 1 diabetic (he uses “diabetic” rather than “person with diabetes”). Rich was influenced by Tom Naughton, Robb Wolf, and Mark Sisson. He dropped his hemoglobin A1c by 2.5 over his first six months of paleo eating. This snippet explains some of his lifestyle changes:

The only thing I changed back in March, was starting to live paleo.  I’ve always worked out regularly, so I’m not really accounting my exercise in this improvement.  I’m probably about 70% paleo overall, but at home I’m 100% paleo.  My home no longer has any processed foods that come in a box, can, or sack.  I buy whole foods (fruits and lots of veggies), a little frozen veggies for convenience and storage time, lots of meat, no dairy, and lots of olive and coconut oil.  I cook a lot now, which means I do a lot more dishes than I want to, but it’s been worth it.

Read the rest.