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Paleolithic Diet and Diabetes

Answered on February 09, 2015
Created February 28, 2010 at 4:06 AM

Are there any diabetics amongst us on PaleoHacks.com? I'd love to know what worked or didn't work for you.

Barry Groves of Trick And Treat - how 'healthy eating' is making us ill argues that eating Paleo (although I do not think he calls it Paleo) can cure Type II diabetes.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on March 06, 2010
at 06:53 AM

Thanks Kurt, excellent as always.

23814fb403606c0424bf90770dd5c0f5

(477)

on March 03, 2010
at 09:39 AM

Hey Scott, we seem to be coming to the same destination from different sides. As a T2 diabetic, depending upon insulin for my survival, I will not be or ever get "cured". However, in the terminology that is prevelant in many diabetes forums...YMMV (your mileage may vary)

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on March 02, 2010
at 07:21 PM

Type 1, which used to be called juvenile diabetes, is where the beta cells of the Isles of Langerhans in the pancreas are destroyed. I don't believe that these beta cells are destroyed in Type 2 diabetes. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diabetes) I don't know if resolving the insulin resistance problem of type 2 diabetes is considered a "cure" as referred to in the book in the original post.

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on March 02, 2010
at 07:20 PM

Type 1, which used to be called juvenile diabetes, is where the beta cells of the Isles of Langerhans in the pancreas are destroyed. I don't believe that these beta cells are destroyed in Type 2 diabetes. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diabetes) I don't know if resolving the insulin resistance problem of type 2 diabetes is considered a "cure".

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on March 02, 2010
at 05:55 PM

Hi Guys, I referred to Barry Groves and his book. But I changed the wording of the question.

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on March 02, 2010
at 05:31 AM

Patrik referred to "curing" diabetes, though, and Type I - in my understanding - is incurable.

23814fb403606c0424bf90770dd5c0f5

(477)

on March 01, 2010
at 10:34 AM

I believe that you will find that Paleo type low carb diets will equally benefit both classifications of Diabetes. Dr. Bernstein is a T1 diabetic and promotes low carb as a way of controlling blood glucose. As a T2 diabetic, I follow Bernstein and PaNu and have succeeded in achieving both excellent blood glucose control and have decreased my insulin usage. Just to let you know that I have a 14% body fat count so I'm not obese and slovenly as stereotypically T2s are portrayed.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 28, 2010
at 02:11 PM

Agreed re: low carb version of Paleo. My husband is diabetic and if he goes low carb as per Dr. Bernstein's recommendations his blood sugar level is controlled well. The problem is, he still loves carby foods like bread and potatoes and he prefers margerine to butter so it is a battle to keep him eating well.

6b73f0c4b971e2dde7147920e329fe7f

(2041)

on February 28, 2010
at 06:41 AM

Type 1 or 2 diabetes?

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on February 28, 2010
at 04:20 AM

Awesome. Barry Groves wrote Trick And Treat - how 'healthy eating' is making us illpaleolithic-diet-and-diabetes and argues that some diabetes can be cured.

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8 Answers

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10
A49ad052f6f7cb7dfe39e9285e2263fb

on March 06, 2010
at 06:28 AM

Technically, diabetes mellitus is just hyperglycemia that spills into the urine if not treated - that was how it was originally diagnosed. Type I and II are actually completely different diseases that just both have the end result of hyperglycemia

Type I diabetes and LADA or type 1.5 have autoimmune destructon of islet islet b cells. Insulin sensitivity is usually normal.

Type II diabetes is a late consequence of the metabolic syndrome where the primary defect is in the liver - likely due to the neolithic agents fructose and n-6 PUFA injuring the liver and causing both liver and systemic inflammation. Impaired insulin sensitivity in the liver means the pancreas must secrete more insulin to communicate with the liver (control blood sugar, etc) - peripheral insulin resistance follows, likely as a defensive response to hyperinsulinemia and hyperglycemia (that the pancreas has trouble controlling despite increased insulin secretion) Ulimately, the hyperinsulinemia cannot keep up with the hyperglycemia, and when serum BG gets high enough, you get diabetes. The beta cells that make insulin fail, and in fact one of the things that damages them is hyperglycemia itself which is toxic to the beta cell. So you get B cell damage/death in type II eventually as well.

In my opinion, Type II diabetes theoretically be cured if it is caught and treated before there is too much beta cell destruction or burn-out. If one fixes the diet and allows enough time for the primary defect in liver sensitivity (and liver inflammation, NAFLD, etc) to heal, this metabolic defect should be reversible.

I am aware of at least one person who had type I diagnosed, and eating a paleo diet, the autoimmune reaction was arrested and they now no longer have diabetes. Usually type I is not diagnosed early enough for this to happen, but it could (and in the one case I am aware of did) reverse if caught right away and treated with a paleo diet.

So - Type I low insulin - high sBG - normal insulin sensitivity - can't be cured usually. VLC paleo is the treatment of choice as it allows more stable BG with less exogenous insulin

Type II - late effect of metabolic syndrome - can often be essentially cured. If caught early enough, you are cured, if later and the metabolism remains broken or pancreas is irreversibly burnt out, then VLC PaNu (Bernstein level of carbs) is the treatment of choice.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on March 06, 2010
at 06:53 AM

Thanks Kurt, excellent as always.

6
Ce0b5fd94b1034e96cf710b6f138c29d

on February 28, 2010
at 04:15 AM

I am diabetic. Been on the Paleo diet a month as of Feb. 28. My glucose went from the 12-15 mmol/L range into the normal range inside of three weeks, and I got a 4.8 reading today. Suffice to say that if I stick to the Paleo diet I expect to become an ex-diabetic very shortly.

6b73f0c4b971e2dde7147920e329fe7f

(2041)

on February 28, 2010
at 06:41 AM

Type 1 or 2 diabetes?

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on February 28, 2010
at 04:20 AM

Awesome. Barry Groves wrote Trick And Treat - how 'healthy eating' is making us illpaleolithic-diet-and-diabetes and argues that some diabetes can be cured.

3
23814fb403606c0424bf90770dd5c0f5

on March 02, 2010
at 10:49 AM

Scott, There is a common misconception due to unjustified bias in society. Type 2 diabetes is not "curable" no matter what is said. Whenever your beta cells in your pancreas are destroyed, they are destroyed. They don't come back, you then have a problem in that your body doesn't make enough insulin for you to operate effectively. It can not process the glucose that is produced and the blood glucose goes up with devastating effects. IF, and that's a big, big, IF, you can catch insulin resistance or "prediabetes" early enough, you may be able to salvage your remaining beta cells and function properly although less effectively than "normal". Type 2 is also believed to be an autoimmune issue (http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/db07-0299v1), but not widely published. I believe that is due to it being too easy to continue to portray it as a "lifestyle" disease that is curable if only the fat people lose weight and eat "healthy". It's not and never will be, paleo or not.

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on March 02, 2010
at 07:21 PM

Type 1, which used to be called juvenile diabetes, is where the beta cells of the Isles of Langerhans in the pancreas are destroyed. I don't believe that these beta cells are destroyed in Type 2 diabetes. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diabetes) I don't know if resolving the insulin resistance problem of type 2 diabetes is considered a "cure" as referred to in the book in the original post.

23814fb403606c0424bf90770dd5c0f5

(477)

on March 03, 2010
at 09:39 AM

Hey Scott, we seem to be coming to the same destination from different sides. As a T2 diabetic, depending upon insulin for my survival, I will not be or ever get "cured". However, in the terminology that is prevelant in many diabetes forums...YMMV (your mileage may vary)

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on March 02, 2010
at 07:20 PM

Type 1, which used to be called juvenile diabetes, is where the beta cells of the Isles of Langerhans in the pancreas are destroyed. I don't believe that these beta cells are destroyed in Type 2 diabetes. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diabetes) I don't know if resolving the insulin resistance problem of type 2 diabetes is considered a "cure".

3
5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on March 01, 2010
at 04:04 AM

I would like people to use more precise wording in their questions. In this case, I assume, Patrik, that you're referring to type II diabetes and the question should reflect that. Type I and type II diabetes are very different diseases.

23814fb403606c0424bf90770dd5c0f5

(477)

on March 01, 2010
at 10:34 AM

I believe that you will find that Paleo type low carb diets will equally benefit both classifications of Diabetes. Dr. Bernstein is a T1 diabetic and promotes low carb as a way of controlling blood glucose. As a T2 diabetic, I follow Bernstein and PaNu and have succeeded in achieving both excellent blood glucose control and have decreased my insulin usage. Just to let you know that I have a 14% body fat count so I'm not obese and slovenly as stereotypically T2s are portrayed.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on March 02, 2010
at 05:55 PM

Hi Guys, I referred to Barry Groves and his book. But I changed the wording of the question.

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on March 02, 2010
at 05:31 AM

Patrik referred to "curing" diabetes, though, and Type I - in my understanding - is incurable.

2
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on February 28, 2010
at 08:20 AM

Stephan has written about the Lindeberg's trials of the paleo diet on diabetes, here and here. He found respectively that the paleo diet cured the 'moderate' diabetics of their glucose intolerance within three months and improved (but not so radically) the long term diabetics. Stephan hypothesises that although paleo diet can produce radical changes in moderate diabetics, once there's been substantial damage to the pancreas then mere change in diet wouldn't be sufficient.

What is especially striking though is how bad this 'paleo' diet is (for diabetics at least). There's no restriction on calories or carb, the results seem basically to come from switching wheat for fruit, honey and the odd potato, canola oil/mayonnaise was also the fat of choice. I don't think any-one here would be surprised that unlimited fructose and moderate starch wouldn't sit well with severe diabetic; as we know low carb does seem to work for diabetes, so low-carb paleo would seem far preferable.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 28, 2010
at 02:11 PM

Agreed re: low carb version of Paleo. My husband is diabetic and if he goes low carb as per Dr. Bernstein's recommendations his blood sugar level is controlled well. The problem is, he still loves carby foods like bread and potatoes and he prefers margerine to butter so it is a battle to keep him eating well.

1
5ebeec76e20738d0a17cd724d64b1e0f

on March 02, 2010
at 12:55 AM

I'm T2 and have had very good luck with Paleo. I've been on it about a year now (since Mar 2009).

I found that my fasting blood glucose has gone up a little since first starting, but I think that's typical for most people on LC / VLC diets (see Peter's posts about this at Hyperlipid). I'm also more sensitive to small amounts of carbs in my diet; again, not unexpected.

One note for T2s who may be asked to repeat a glucose tolerance test: you may want to consider increasing your carb intake to 150 grams or so for the two to three days before the test (work up slowly). Otherwise, your system won't be carb-adapted, and the results of the GTT will be much higher than they would be otherwise.

0
9431be991a2b2588b08292fbb39b2e1a

on February 09, 2015
at 05:36 PM

 

I have just finished about five weeks paleo.   I have been type 2 for about 5 years, 50 years old, active and I am not overweight (165 lbs now).  I am on meds for my blood sugar (met), but it was creeping up on me and I most likely was going to need more.  My morning blood sugar was 150-160 and now is running 120-130.   During the day it is also not spiking as much as it used too, even if I stray a little.   I have also lost 7lbs without limiting the amount of food I eat.   It took a couple of weeks before my morning fasting blood sugars dropped.

 

I had cut out sugar years ago, but I believe removing the grains helped me.  I eat essentially no grains except an occasional small amount.  Mostly sampling when cooking for the wife or kids.  No sugars other than what is in the fruit (4 or 5) servings a day.  I was able to control my blood sugar until recently with the met and exercise.  I like to watch movies on the elliptical and do 45 minutes 3-5 times a week and am active otherwise.

 

I believe following this diet will lead my having no symptoms (high A1C).  And would like to get to a point where I can reduce or eliminate the met.  But I believe that I will need to follow the diet and watch my blood sugars for the rest of my life. I would phase it as controlling T2 and not curing it.

 

0
149af6e19a06675614dfbb6838a7d7c0

on December 30, 2010
at 05:42 AM

Andre here. I have been everything. Pre Diabetic, Type 2 then eventually burning out my Betas to become Type 1, although Dr. Ron Rosedale says I am Type 3. Either way, I have to take insulin or die. I have tried every herb and supplement there is. Paleo with added fat, for me up to 80% keeps me in the normal range. The big debate for diabetics and paleo is the protein/fat debate. Dr. Rosedale, Dr. Harris, Nora Gedgaudes favor higher fat over protein. Dr. Bernstein, Art DeVany seems to be in the protein over fat camp. My web is www.tribaldiabetics.com where I focus on Paleo and diabeties. I welcome the discussion. I come down on the High fat, moderate protein, low carb side. Paleo is my people.

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