Category Archives: Testimonials

Paleo Diet Helps Another Type 1 Diabetic

Dietitian Kelly Schmidt published another interview with an adult-onset type 1 diabetic, Alexis. A quote on how low-carb “primal” eating altered her health:

Overall health has improved. I have much better mental clarity.  I feel less moody and irritable. I also notice a difference in my hair, skin and nails. I have tons of baby hair growing and I no longer have strange ridges in my nails. After being diagnosed I also discovered that I am definitely gluten intolerant and cannot eat legumes.  I used to think I had acne in high school but in retrospect it was these things manifesting themselves. My skin is perfectly clear after going paleo. Paleo has also helped me maintain my weight. I weighed 103 when diagnosed and looked very malnourished. I gained some weight back but have been able to maintain it by eating this way. I also have to add that my dental health has improved ten fold. After many years of terrible dental visits I haven’t had one cavity and in fact, the last time I went for a cleaning my dentist said my teeth were so clean he didn’t even need to clean them!

Read the rest.

T1 Shelby Hughes Is Thriving on the Paleo Diet

Dietitian Kelly Schmidt posted an interview with Shelby at her blog. Shelby seems to tolerate a fair amount of carbohydrate (fruit and starchy vegetables) although I don’t know how much insulin she’s taking to process them. Her case of diabetes is a little unusual since she wasn’t diagnosed until age 39. I wonder if she has some residual beta cell insulin production.

Another thing I like about this story is that it illustrates that a paleo diet doesn’t have to be based on meat.

Read the rest.

Type 1 Diabetic Notes Improvement On Paleo Diet

Type 1 PWD (person with diabetes) AllisonN wrote about her one-month paleo diet trial at DiabetesMine. The paleo diet version she followed was the Whole30 program, with which I’m not terribly familiar. Some quotes:

3. I have the best control in recent memory, but it’s not perfect. Like anything that involves tweaking and adjustments, the Paleo diet is hardly a cure. Now that I’m taking less insulin, there are fewer chances for me to go low, and more chances for me to go high. You can never expect anything — not a diet, not a medication, not an insulin pump — to run the show for you.

4. If you eat low-carb, you have to bolus for protein. This was the biggest shock for me. After querying my friends, I discovered that bolusing for approximately half the protein is what I need to do to prevent a post-meal spike. Gary Scheiner, author and CDE at Integrated Diabetes Services, explained, “Since your Central Nervous System needs glucose to function, if your diet is lacking in carbs, the liver will convert some dietary protein into glucose.  So it is usually necessary to bolus for some of your protein whenever you have a meal that is very low in carbs.” For me, a low-carb meal is anything under 30 grams of carbs.

***

One thing that I kept thinking about during my month-long Paleo experiment was how much of diabetes really is an experiment anyway. Think about how often we have to try out different things to see what works: Changing up bolus ratios and basal rates. Fiddling with different temp basals or snack choices before working out. Alternating what we eat for breakfast. While the Paleo diet may not be for everyone, I wholeheartedly believe that if what you’re doing currently isn’t giving you the results you want, maybe you should consider starting another experiment!

AllisonN wrote that the paleo diet hasn’t been studied scientifically in people. That’s not accurate. A handful of studies have been done, even involving people with diabetes. Search this site and you’ll find them. In addition, Lynda Frassetto’s study at University of California-San Francisco should be published later this year.

Read AllisonN’s post.

Dr. Georgie Ede Defends Meat-Based Diets

…in an interesting blog post on the health of traditional meat-eating cultures such as the Masai and Inuits.

Of the Canadian Eskimos of a century ago, Dr. Ede writes:

Their diets were therefore extremely low in fiber most of the time, and very high in animal protein and animal fat.  These traditional ways of eating would terrify the USDA, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, not to mention the Harvard School of Public Health, which remains a staunchly anti-meat, anti-saturated fat, anti-cholesterol institution.  How in the world did these uninformed fringe types manage to get all their vitamins and minerals without the heaping helpings of colorful fruits, vegetables, and whole grains without which we are told we shall surely perish?

Weren’t they cancer-riddled, heart-clenching, constipated, fat slobs who died young from scary deficiency diseases like rickets and scurvy?

[Apparently not.]

This post was not designed to provide an airtight argument for meat and health, but I do hope that it has at least prompted those of you who remain skeptical about meat to rethink what you’ve been led to believe. If you’ve got a hankerin’ for more information about meat and health, take a look at my meat page.

Check it out.

Found Another Paleo-Friendly Dietitian: Kelly O’Connell Schmidt, RD

And she has type 1 diabetes, too.  I look forward to some free time so I can peruse her site, Paleo Infused.  Kelly’s twitter handle is @kellyOC.

—Steve

Nephrologist and Type 1 Diabetic Keith Runyan Tried the Paleo Diet

Jimmy posted a recent interview with type 1 diabetic Dr. Keith R. Runyan, who is a nephrologist and internist.

Dr. Runyan is training for the Great Floridian Triathlon this coming October so he naturally has a great interest in high level athleticism as it intersects with diabetes.  He fuels his workouts with dietary fats and proteins rather than the standard carbohydrates.

Dr. Runyan’s current carb consumption level didn’t come up specifically in the interview, but his website indicates he’s on a ketogenic diet heavily influenced by Dr. Richard Bernstein.  I figure he’s eating under 50 grams of digestible carbohydrate daily.  He also tried Loren Cordain’s paleo diet; my sense is that it didn’t help much with his diabetes, but perhaps some.  My sense is that he incorporates at least a few paleo features into his current eating plan.

People with type 2 diabetes can probably tolerate a higher level of carbohydrates, compared to type 1’s, generally speaking.  This didn’t come up in the podcast interview.

Overall, the interview strongly supports carbohydrate-restricted eating for folks with diabetes.  Definitely worth a listen for anyone with diabetes who’s not sold on a very-low-carb diet.  If you’re sitting on the fence, at least check out Dr. Runyan’s “About Me” page.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Triathlon: run, swim, bike

Miss California USA Following Paleo-Style Diet

See details at the Sacramento Bee website.

-Steve

Famous People With Diabetes

dLife maintains a list of famous, prominent, or noteworthy folks who have or had diabetes.  I mention it here in case you have diabetes and sometimes feel like it’s got you by the throat and is ruining your life.  Be inspired.

Steve Parker, M.D.

B.B. King is No.3 on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Best Guitarists of All Time.  King has diabetes.

PS: Who has a list of infamous diabetics?

Washington Internist Sees Good Results in Diabetics Eating Paleo-Style

Dr. Stephan Guyenet recently interviewed Dr. C. Vicky Beer about her experience with the paleo diet in her patients, diabetic or not.  Dr. Beer commented about people with diabetes specifically:

Every patient I have ever had with diabetes who has adhered to the paleo diet for most of the time has experienced dramatic results.  Every one of them has been able to reduce their blood sugars and reduce their medications significantly, and in some instances, stop their medicine altogether.  This is not unlike other more known popular diets such as South Beach or Zone, which are actually quite similar to the Paleo diet in composition.

Just thought you might like to know.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: When I write “paleo diet,” you could substitute Old Stone Age, Stone Age, or caveman diet.

Who’s Ray Audette?

Ray Audette hunted with hawks

I ran across a 1995 well-researched online article about Ray Audette, author of NeanderThin and one of the modern paleo movement pioneers.  It’s in Dallas Observer News: http://www.dallasobserver.com/1995-07-06/news/neander-guy/

Audette apparently self-published his book in 1995.  (Publishing by a “vanity press” is probably more accurate for the mid-90s.)  The 2000 edition of the book from St. Martin’s Paperbacks has a foreword by Dr. Michael Eades, who is also quoted liberally in the aforementioned article.

Mr. Audette credited his diet for curing both his diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.  I wonder how he’s doing these days.

1995 was only17 years ago.  It seems like ancient history to me.

Steve Parker, M.D.