20

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What changes took more than a year to see?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 22, 2012 at 8:31 PM

There are a ton of posts on this site in which people describe various health conditions disappearing before their eyes in the first month or two on a paleo diet. Everyone loves those stories because they seem to showcase everything good about ancestral eating.

However, I've become more interested lately by the problems that took a long time to heal on paleo -- like a year or more. To me, this is even more impressive because it suggests healing in more complex and subtle ways, beyond just the removal of neolithic toxins. Losing a few pounds is one thing, but realigning seriously deranged hormones or regaining lost pigment is amazing to think about. And the timescale for those sorts of conditions is much longer.

Did you have a health problem or condition that went away after a year or more?

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

After reading your answer I just realized my warts are gone! Paleo for a little over a year now. Not sure when they disappeared but my body is 100% wart free!

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on May 29, 2012
at 04:49 PM

Sara, I agree with you. 6 months gluten-free/8 Paleo and I'm finally noticing a significant improvement in my overall anxiety level and panic attacks. I believe it's a process where first the gut inflammation goes down, then your intestines begin to heal (at this point I also had to fix my almost zero stomach acid), then finally you start fixing the vitamin deficiencies when your body can process the food and supplements appropriately, and finally you begin to notice improvement. It's been a slow process but I'm so grateful because I had pretty much resigned myself to panic attacks forever.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on May 23, 2012
at 03:48 PM

You too? I'm 41 and I was told that for the first time at 33. Now I'm almost 10 mohths paleo and 6 compeltely gluten-free. I can certainly tell that things are happening, but I want to wait another 6 months to get tested again. Let us know how your bloodwork comes out.

2ea24c22690b54e938229b140dcf60f7

(158)

on May 23, 2012
at 05:59 AM

yes! I'm also nine months into the diet, and while the asthma relief was almost immediate (2 weeks) the eczema took a while to clear completely. It is now 90% gone, with one small patch remaining on the bottom of my foot, that has certainly gotten better but hasn't completely vanished. I'm hoping it will be gone soon!

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on May 23, 2012
at 03:31 AM

Nice work :) both in the life changes and in the research!

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on May 23, 2012
at 03:16 AM

+1 for a thoughtful question. I think one of the biggest things I've seen over a year of reading PH is the lack of understanding that healing with some issues will take time and careful, persistent adherence. PERSIST!

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8 Answers

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4
7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on May 23, 2012
at 02:46 PM

This is a great question: and I agree, we don't often realize just how long changes to the body take. There was an interesting article about this in NY Times recently. Mathematical modeling of weight loss showed that it takes the body a while to adjust to the weight loss.

I've found that when I exercise consistently for over a year, there are changes in my fitness level that I don't see in less time.

Another area I don't think we give ourselves enough time for is grief. The grief from losing my dad seemed to be the trigger for my celiac disease, and I'm just now, 2 and a half years later, feeling like I'm waking up from the fog of both. My mom, who didn't have a complicating health problem along with the grief, is also just now coming out of the fog and feeling up for doing things again. I think society expects us to take about 6 months to a year to grieve, but it seems 2 and a half years was about right for my mom and me. So that's definitely something that can take over a year to heal.

As for paleo, strict gluten-free eating, I'm at about 11 months. I'm waiting for my energy levels to go back up and my mental clarity to return. I feel like I'm just starting to see some improvement in those areas, but a lot of that I attribute to starting methylcobalamin (B-12) and folate (about a month in), as well as continued vitamin D supplementation (for about 3 months at this point). I wonder how things would have progressed had the standard of care for celiac diagnosis been to determine nutrient deficiencies and start supplementing right away. On the other hand, given the gut damage associated with celiac disease, maybe I wouldn't have been able to assimilate those vitamins yet, anyway.

It seems I took about 6 months of gluten-free eating (with the occasional glutening as I learned how to avoid it) to get my first normal bowel movement. I noticed more improvement in mood when I increased my carbs from about 30-70 grams per day to 100-150 grams per day. And then I noticed further improvement with the vitamin supplementation.

On the celiac message boards, people often say that the psychological symptoms can take a year or two. And some people find they are able to add back some non-gluten foods that used to irritate their guts after about 2 years.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on May 29, 2012
at 04:49 PM

Sara, I agree with you. 6 months gluten-free/8 Paleo and I'm finally noticing a significant improvement in my overall anxiety level and panic attacks. I believe it's a process where first the gut inflammation goes down, then your intestines begin to heal (at this point I also had to fix my almost zero stomach acid), then finally you start fixing the vitamin deficiencies when your body can process the food and supplements appropriately, and finally you begin to notice improvement. It's been a slow process but I'm so grateful because I had pretty much resigned myself to panic attacks forever.

7
Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on May 23, 2012
at 02:58 AM

http://paleohacks.com/questions/82422/should-i-see-a-gastroenterologist-or-a-functional-medicine-doctor-or/82450#82450

http://paleohacks.com/questions/90351/please-hack-interstitial-cystitis-ic/90380#90380

http://paleohacks.com/questions/45185/anyone-with-candidiasis-affected-positively-or-otherwise-by-paleo/45193#45193

http://paleohacks.com/questions/44610/has-anyone-had-success-with-controlling-or-eliminating-rosacea/44631#44631

For some of us, with some conditions, healing was NOT fast. It took patience and perseverance and in some cases, experimentation as well. I also lost 90lbs initially over the first three years as I was healing, maintained that loss for 8 years, and then lost 20 more lbs starting in 2010 and reaching goal in Sept 2011. Brief ulcerative colitis flare in Nov 11 on a 10 day attempt in an experiment to add daily starch back into my diet. NEVER AGAIN.

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on May 23, 2012
at 03:31 AM

Nice work :) both in the life changes and in the research!

4
4929a87e3f7438f18a0afbdde291ed5e

on May 23, 2012
at 02:24 AM

I'm only into month 9 of fairly strict Paleo (no dairy, no nightshades for me, either), and some of my health issues healed rapidly (1-2 weeks or within 2 months), but just in the last few weeks my occasional acne finally cleared up and my skin is much less oily. My hormones are seemingly taking their own sweet time coming back on line... I'm set to get a new series of blood panels in a few weeks with my naturopath (who is a devout Vegan but understands Paleo made me feel awesome!). Hopefully I no longer have the "hormones of a post-menopausal 60 year old" (I'm 43 as of last week). Wait... does this mean I'll go through menopause - never mind! :)

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on May 23, 2012
at 03:48 PM

You too? I'm 41 and I was told that for the first time at 33. Now I'm almost 10 mohths paleo and 6 compeltely gluten-free. I can certainly tell that things are happening, but I want to wait another 6 months to get tested again. Let us know how your bloodwork comes out.

3
7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on May 23, 2012
at 05:36 AM

The internal, mental changes--re-setting your brain to eat when really hungry.

2
3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on May 22, 2012
at 10:06 PM

I'm only 9 months into the diet so I can't comment about it myself, but on this web site I have read about cases of people who got issues fixed after 1 or even 3 years after starting Paleo. I've read about warts, asthma, eczema mostly.

2ea24c22690b54e938229b140dcf60f7

(158)

on May 23, 2012
at 05:59 AM

yes! I'm also nine months into the diet, and while the asthma relief was almost immediate (2 weeks) the eczema took a while to clear completely. It is now 90% gone, with one small patch remaining on the bottom of my foot, that has certainly gotten better but hasn't completely vanished. I'm hoping it will be gone soon!

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

After reading your answer I just realized my warts are gone! Paleo for a little over a year now. Not sure when they disappeared but my body is 100% wart free!

1
B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on May 23, 2012
at 02:23 AM

I'm hoping so, but I'll have to wait at least four more months to answer you! :->

0
B2379df17e386c4455996b186731db5e

(209)

on June 16, 2013
at 01:39 PM

I don't have any health problems, I'm just kinda fat - but I'm so glad that paleo has changed my mentality, and outlook, on food. It sounds cheesy, but it can take 9+ months for me to lose my stomach fat for all I care, because I'm enjoying the journey :P

Also, I think I've managed to (almost) convince my mother that it'll take time. Whereas before, if I didn't lose weight in two weeks she would exclaim "it's not working!" and feed me brown rice and low-fat yoghurt.

0
6cf657b6d99b1e56690e63fab0213b1a

on June 16, 2013
at 01:04 AM

I have interstitial cystitis and am really hoping to see some relief from this by following the paleo lifestyle. But i'm at the one month mark and while i see some changes in how i feel overall, not feeling any relief in the bladder pain. Sticking with it tho.

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