Several of us, behind the scenes, are working on a project that may help our community. It is designed for the mainstream patient to begin to open their mind and begin a national conversation of the primal/paleo lifestyle to improve over all healthcare for all people. We would appreciate you listing the top 15 in order of importance to you or the community at large. If you would like to comment on why you think it is important too we would be interested in this as well. Thank you for helping us with this Hack.
Thank you for the awesome question and the intention behind it. It's a true community service. I've been working on attempts to help friends and family for a while, but my resources as an individual are limited and I can immediately see the value in the project you propose.
Of course, this list is informed by my personal experience and that of my close friends and family- I’m pretty protective of them and would love to have better resources to help hack their health.
Many of my family and friends are suffering through these conditions with only a bit of symptom alleviation and management, and no true prevention or cure available... it's scary to see them go through this and just as scary to contemplate what might be in store for me (hopefully prevented by a Paleo diet.)
Thanks-I hope you get a lot of useful answers!
In no particular order:
It's hard to list 15 because I think certain groups of disease have the same root cause, so I'll list the diseases I think need the most attention in terms of root cause:
1.Developmental disorders- in my future practice I hope to focus a lot on things that negatively impact development. I think this is the #1 aspect of health that is being hurt by modern society in terms of lack of education. Toxic chemicals from canned food, plastic toys, water bottles, hospital equipment, etc are having a huge effect on the development of our kids. I think many people who have had mysterious illnesses all their lives or had one that was triggered once they reached a certain age could have them explained by something that hurt them during their development either directly or by the lack of something. For example, now about 1 in every 3 women have a C section birth, and a CDC report found that only about 1 in 3 women were breastfeeding after 3 months. The implications of these numbers are huge. It means that all the babies born by C section and who aren't breastfed aren't getting the good bacteria they need to populate their gut and thus protect them from infections in the future, allow their immune system to recognize the difference between good bacteria and everything else and tolerate the good bacteria, and even allow their brain to develop properly in many cases. So I think if a baby has a mom who ate healthy, had low stress while pregnant, and avoided all these things, it's much more likely he or she won't have many of the other diseases I list below (of course it depends on the environment they grow up in and the diet/lifestyle they have as well).
2.Digestive disorders (leaky gut, dysbiosis, crohn's, UC, etc)- the root cause of most diseases imo is either located in the gut or started out there and spread to other areas. If you have a properly functioning gut with the proper balance of good and bad bacteria it's hard to have a chronic illness of any kind.
3.autoimmune disorders (food allergies, thyroid, MS, etc)
4.neurological disorders (depression, anxiety, ocd, adhd, autism, insomnia, etc)
5.metabolic disorders (obesity, diabetes, etc)
6.imbalanced hormones (thyroid, chronically elevated cortisol, estrogen dominance, etc)
There is overlap in much of these.
In no particular order:
1) Allergies - nasal, food, eye, asthma, eczema, etc.
2) Brain issues - ADHD, bipolar, depression, Alzheimers, Parkinsons', dementia, senility, schizophrenia, MS, eating disorders, etc.
3) Metabolic issues - diabetes, PCOS, obesity etc.
4) Eye Diseases - Cataracts, Age Related Macular Degeneration
5) Thyroid issues - autoimmune, hypo, etc.
6) Heart Disease - atherosclerosis, arteriosclerosis, stroke, heart attacks, hypertension, etc.
7) Infertility, Reproduction, and Pregnancy complications, ED, menstrual cycle issues, sex hormone issues, etc.
8) GI issues - constipation, bloating, gas, GERD, diarrhea, IBS, celiac, Crohns, colitis, antibiotics, etc.
9) Autoimmunity, gut permeability, psoriasis, lupus
10) Cancer and tumors
11) Hormonal Imbalances - melatonin, sleep, circadian rhythms, cortisol, etc.
12) Hearing loss and smell loss
14) Physical Trauma - burns, cuts
15) Aging and nutritional deficiencies - which probably includes all of the above!
Items 1-7: Autism
Items 8-15: ADD/ADHD
I think autism is important because there is certainly an indication that it is preventable, or is at least made more or less probable thru diet and other choices. It would be amazing to cut down on something that's so devastating to those who suffer from it.
I think ADD is important because it is SO quickly medicated, without any look to potential dietary changes. The blog posts I've seen parents write as to the immediate behavioral changes in their paleo kids when they have SAD foods is incredible.
Since I haven't seen it mentioned, and for personal reasons, Gout. Paleo is counterintuitive to a lot you're told about treating Gout, but it's been an amazing turnaround for me in the last year or so. I'm hoping to be completely off the Allopurinol one day, but now, I still do need it to keep my UA levels down. Basically went from a vegetarian suffering from horrific attacks to a heavy meat eater who hasn't suffered one attack since making the switch to Paleo.
Osteoarthritis; Hypothyroid; Seasonal allergies
I'm listing these because I suffer from them, and I've found relief through paleo, so I know that a Paleo diet can actually address them.
Also, a LOT of people have these conditions, they are considered by mainstream healthcare to be conditions that can't be cured, and the medications used to help manage them truly suck!
I think in general that Paleo has promise dealing with any of the autoimmune diseases. Also, I'm guessing, cancers.