2

votes

How long does it take to undo the damage of the SAD?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 13, 2011 at 2:33 PM

I realize there's probably no quick/standard answer to this question, so I suppose I'm looking for anecdotal answers.

I have been paleo for about 4 months and never plan to go back to the SAD which I adhered to for the first 27.5 years of my life. I already see so many improvements - but my question is, for those in their twenties and thirties who adopted the paleo lifetstyle, how long did it take for you to really consider yourself in good health? I know this depends on health/weight/disease before going paleo..but tell me about your experiences. If I'm a normal weight (have 10lbs to lose), and generally healthy, by American standards (not necessarily paleo standards), should I expect to be in a good place a year down the road, 2 years? How long did it take you to undo/reverse the damage of the SAD?

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on October 17, 2011
at 02:13 AM

Legally, at 18. But for this type of healing, the younger the better. It's not a hard cut age, it depends on the person, but as I said, the younger the better. For example, myself at 38 I have no luck with complete healing.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on October 16, 2011
at 08:41 PM

Variable based upon case history. But It can be done. It took me about 2.5 years to fix the big problems. Now I am in finishing mode.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 16, 2011
at 04:51 PM

When do you become an adult????

D3f3b91d1dd9ce60865654faeb2ec809

on October 14, 2011
at 03:38 AM

Assuming strictly paleo parents, and perfectly transmitted eating habits. And that's just for a single bloodline. Don't even get started on the global scale...

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on October 13, 2011
at 09:16 PM

Ah, an optimist I see.

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on October 13, 2011
at 07:42 PM

That's been my experience, too, Eugenia. I'm great ON a primal nutrition and fitness program... but even little 'cheats' leave me feeling like someone took a baseball bat to me - and some of the discomfort starts as quickly as 15-20 minutes after eating said noxious substance... and can last as long as 2-3 days after (with things like joint aches, headaches, skin flares, peripheral neural pain, etc.)

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2011
at 07:30 PM

very inspiring results!

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on October 13, 2011
at 05:03 PM

Add another to the list of Paleos regretful about their dark, Dorito-cheez dusted past. I try not to dwell on it, but if only there was some way of somehow going back in time and telling a younger, dumber version of myself what I know now.

0a2dd50f2d3951bf3fb83fc4638c9512

(1960)

on October 13, 2011
at 04:11 PM

That is simply fantastic to hear! You should be proud of yourself for committing to the change, and for sticking to it. Wish the media would start picking up more of these personal testimonials, b/c lord knows the gen-pop isn't likely to do much window-shopping here. ;)

0a2dd50f2d3951bf3fb83fc4638c9512

(1960)

on October 13, 2011
at 04:09 PM

Same here. Dwelling on it would only keep me frustrated and even angry about some things -- which isn't productive. I'm just happy to feel like I've finally found a "true" path to health. I'm sticking to it, and with the help from others like you and the PH community, I'm doing my best to try to spread this understanding to others, hoping that at least my family and friends will hear the message and give it a try.

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8 Answers

5
Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on October 13, 2011
at 03:37 PM

Jack is right, in a way -- but what we CAN improve, at least in my own experience, is a LOT more than we may give ourselves credit for. It took about 7 months for me to actually NOTICE just how much things had changed for me -- and then, it took someone ELSE pointing it out for me to see it... after that I was a lot more aware. Also, I think, over time, I got better at hearing what my body was telling me -- but that took at least a year.

I'm 49 years old, and have maintained a primal nutritional plan for about 2 years (which means 47 years of SAD... so you corrected your diet a third+ earlier than I corrected mine). During the worst of my SAD years, and up until I started this journey, I was up around 450 lbs. I'm still no skinny-minnie, 2 years after starting this, but I can tell you that I am a LOT better off than I was.

  1. I have MS. Since I started a primal nutrition plan, I've only had 2 significant flares -- and neither of them were enough to completely incapacitate me -- which is a first in probably 10 years.

  2. I've dropped 175 lbs, and can walk more than 15 feet (again, for the first time in around 15 years)

  3. I'm back to being able to do MOST of the things that I enjoy and that impassion me... including my writing (I'm an author), plus my day job, plus my activities with the local foods movement -- without feeling exhausted and battered.

  4. I've had only one illness in 2 years, compared to 3-4 a year NOT related to my autoimmune/CNS issues.

That's just a bit of the bennies, and for some folks, they may not be quite as dramatic as this -- but the big thing I think I'm trying to say is that whether it's a big change or a small change, no matter how much change happens, the improvement to our overall health leaves us, I think, much better off than we would have been had we not made the changes.

0a2dd50f2d3951bf3fb83fc4638c9512

(1960)

on October 13, 2011
at 04:11 PM

That is simply fantastic to hear! You should be proud of yourself for committing to the change, and for sticking to it. Wish the media would start picking up more of these personal testimonials, b/c lord knows the gen-pop isn't likely to do much window-shopping here. ;)

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 13, 2011
at 07:30 PM

very inspiring results!

1
3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on October 13, 2011
at 06:54 PM

Dr Haas, the first doctor who treated gut issues with a very Paleo-like diet (which later became the SCD diet), said that kids younger than 12 years old CAN reverse the effects of leaky gut, bacteria overgrowth etc within a few years. In his experience, the average was 2 years, and the longer it took a kid was 6 years.

However, for adults, he said that the actual complete healing was very rare -- it was usually a partial healing. Adults could stay asymptomatic as long as they kept the diet going. Return to older eating habits would have these adults getting sick again -- depending on the patient -- from immediately, to within 6 months.

So, to recap, according to him, adults only partially recover, they mostly just stay asymptomatic, and even then, it will take a few years to do the partial recovering. Kids are easier to close holes in their bodies since their bodies are re-generating faster.

This info is from his book btw. About him on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidney_V._Haas

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on October 13, 2011
at 07:42 PM

That's been my experience, too, Eugenia. I'm great ON a primal nutrition and fitness program... but even little 'cheats' leave me feeling like someone took a baseball bat to me - and some of the discomfort starts as quickly as 15-20 minutes after eating said noxious substance... and can last as long as 2-3 days after (with things like joint aches, headaches, skin flares, peripheral neural pain, etc.)

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on October 17, 2011
at 02:13 AM

Legally, at 18. But for this type of healing, the younger the better. It's not a hard cut age, it depends on the person, but as I said, the younger the better. For example, myself at 38 I have no luck with complete healing.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 16, 2011
at 04:51 PM

When do you become an adult????

1
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on October 13, 2011
at 06:32 PM

As a formerly obese person, I don't think I can ever undo all the damage I caused in my body. There are mechanisms that appear to be permanently damaged. I have improved a lot of things and I am much, much healthier, but I have stopped thinking I will every be truly "fixed".

1
4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on October 13, 2011
at 06:27 PM

I would guess the epigenetic damage can be undone in a few generations... :)

D3f3b91d1dd9ce60865654faeb2ec809

on October 14, 2011
at 03:38 AM

Assuming strictly paleo parents, and perfectly transmitted eating habits. And that's just for a single bloodline. Don't even get started on the global scale...

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on October 13, 2011
at 09:16 PM

Ah, an optimist I see.

1
Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on October 13, 2011
at 02:49 PM

Unfortunately we'll never really know if we can undo ALL the damage of eating the SAD.

My childhood years haunt me now.

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on October 13, 2011
at 05:03 PM

Add another to the list of Paleos regretful about their dark, Dorito-cheez dusted past. I try not to dwell on it, but if only there was some way of somehow going back in time and telling a younger, dumber version of myself what I know now.

0a2dd50f2d3951bf3fb83fc4638c9512

(1960)

on October 13, 2011
at 04:09 PM

Same here. Dwelling on it would only keep me frustrated and even angry about some things -- which isn't productive. I'm just happy to feel like I've finally found a "true" path to health. I'm sticking to it, and with the help from others like you and the PH community, I'm doing my best to try to spread this understanding to others, hoping that at least my family and friends will hear the message and give it a try.

0
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on October 16, 2011
at 08:38 PM

Interesting answers!

I suspect it will be very individual. I'm 48 and have never felt better. I needed to do some tweaking--but I think that's true of everyone.

In 1 year of Primal (lacto-Paleo) eating & supplementing Vitamin D, Krill oil, Mag & Zinc to sufficiency

I've lost the 15 lbs I needed to lose.

No more asthma!

No more painful joints

Quick workout recovery

Eczema gone- skin is super soft without lotion

Perfect digestion

Reversed all perimenopausal symptoms

More physical endurance

Great sleep!

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 16, 2011
at 08:10 PM

It took about a week of low carb to get my high blood sugar down.

It took 6 months to get my weight down from obese to normal.

After a year my A1C was normal, and my doctor said I no longer had symptoms of Type 2 diabetes.

If I went back to overeating, the old diet, and being inactive, I have no doubt that I would regain the lost weight and make myself just as sick again.

-1
2b2c2e4aa87e9aa4c99cae48e980f70d

(1059)

on October 16, 2011
at 04:44 PM

Maybe The Quilt can chime in here on how fast he sees labs improve in younger patients.

Those of us in our 40s and above will probably carry some CW baggage for life.

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