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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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