Paleo vs. Type 1 Diabetes

70 Comments

I received the following email today, pretty cool stuff:

Robb,
I emailed you about a month or so ago.  I just want to give you an update on my situation:  I’ve lost about 15-20lbs.  I’ve taken no insulin for 5 weeks and I’m type 1 Diabetic!.  Because of my strict paleo diet(gluten and dairy free) my a1c is not going to be much higher than when I was taking crap load of insulin.  My glucose has really stabilized in the low 100s (100-125) and I haven’t had a low at all during this time nor have I had extreme highs like when I was taking so much insulin.  My blood pressure has dropped tremendously and my Internist thinks that my pancreas has jumped started again, because even when I have had a cheat meal my blood is responding in a completely different manner.  We are going to do a c-peptide test again.  I’ve also started to incorporate better sleeping patterns (trying to get 9-10 hours) and my fasting glucose is even better (lower) than before.
All that to say, I really appreciate your help and your blog.  It’s been incredibly resourceful and much more helpful than even my endocrinologist.  Best of luck in the future!  I’ll try to keep you posted when the end results come.

It is well understood that Type 1 Diabetes is a failure of the beta cells of the pancreas to produce insulin. This is generally acknowledged to be the result of an autoimmune response, usually attributed to a viral infection or some kind of trauma. What is less known is the role of grain lectins in this process. Many people benefit not only from reducing the recommended American Diabetes Association 60% carb diet (higher even than the diet that causes most of the type 2 diabetes we see) because of a more fat fueled metabolism but also, occasionally, we  see a return of normal pancreatic function with the removal of the neo-lithic foods. The inflammation and immune response that has been beating down the beta cells cease, some repair occurs and things come back to normal. This is not the norm unfortunately, but it does happen. Even without the full return of pancreatic function, the reduced carb, higher fat paleo diet greatly mitigates the accelerated aging and systemic inflammation inherent in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

That this is not the standard of care baffles me. As much as I hate spurious litigation the AMA should face a class action suit for it’s role in obscuring the facts in this situation.
This example is also why I’m a hard-ass on the whole paleo thing. For many people the Zone simply does not cut it. Precise ratios are fantastic but potentially worthless if the food being consumed is in some way toxic to the individual.
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  1. peter haas
    September 17, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    Rob

    Thanks for this post. My fiance is Type I and I have been trying to help her make better food choices (it helps when I’m the chef).

    Just to ask, but is your advice for Type I individuals to do paleo the same as someone w/o diabetes? Are there any out of the ordinary things you have run into concerning Type I and paleo? thanks.

    Peter-
    I’d check out dr. bernstein’s book. It recommends a nearly ketogenic diet for a type 1 diabetic. If I were type 1 this si the way i’d go. You have to work at finding the right dosage of insulin while the individual transitions to a fat based metabolism.

  2. Shannon
    September 17, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    The person who wrote the message above is my husband and I would just like to say , “thank you.” It broke my heart when he was diagnosed type 1 and I didn’t know what to do to help except, be there for him. In hind sight, I still think that’s the best answer as a spouse. There is nothing harder for some one going through that transition than to watch other people enjoy all of the tasty cupcakes, ice cream, and mashed potatoes that you’ve indulged your entire life and have to stand in the corner and check you blood levels all by yourself. It feels so shameful and so many people know so little about diabetes that they want to give you all kinds of solutions that usually come accross as something that you’ve brought on yourself, whilst they go on muching their cheetos. However, there is nothing more wonderful than to watch your spouse find an answer to both your prayers and theirs. I am truly grateful for the friendly help that you have given us. I have been passing this information along to any and everyone that I think it might benefit!

    Shannon-
    I’m stunned. I wanted to go into medicine to help people and I realized that for me at least, that was not a good fit. I really feel like I’m able to help folks affect some positive change via this blog, the nutrition certs, CrossFit Journal and when finally done, my book. Thanks to both you and your husband for sharing this experience and just giving this approach a shot. I often feel like the “crazy guy in the warehouse”…it’s nice to know the work I do matters.

  3. Scott Jones
    September 17, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    Hey Rob,

    First post here, thanks so much for what you do. Truly inspiring.

    You’ve really got me thinking about food quality with regard to weight-loss.

    I subsribed to http://www.formulazone.com, which makes it incredibly easy for a family with really young kiddos to create zone-meals quickly.

    HOWEVER, if you take a moment to look around there, you will be amazed at how the people submitting highly zone-specific meals (technically) work so hard to create zone foods that taste just like they used to eat.

    IOW, sure, they’re balanced, but there are all sorts of grains all through this site. This led to several weeks of eating supposedly zone meals with no change in body-comp. Very frustrating.

    So, for now we’ve scrapped the weigh/measure method for a more loosely defined paleo diet. As a result we’ve started seeing progress again.

    (Question: can you make 3 book suggestions for an aspiring (read: weak) crossfitter who rarely gets enough sleep b/c of toddlers? I need to continue to make better food choices, but also need my diet to not consume whatever daylight remains after work!)

    Thanks!
    Scott

    Scott-
    thanks for the validation on this…the composition DOES matter. Many put forward this notion that beer, peanuts and jerky will sub-in for blocks the same as salmon, broccoli and olive oil. As much as I love beer and jerky, it just ain’t so! Many people never stay with the program unless they remove most of the grains, and in the case of this very blog post, there are a host of medical conditions that WILL NOT improve without the removal of grains, particularly the gluten containing varieties, from the line-up.

  4. DocMo
    September 17, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    Robb,

    Unfortunately one would have to tackle more than the AMA..try adding the ADA, AHA and the millions of ‘outdated’ physicians who promulgate unproven dietary recommendations.

    As a physician who promotes dietary ‘cleanliness’ ala paleo/Zone principals, I receive frequent sideways stares from colleagues, despite the fact that my post-surgical diabetics are enjoying much improved glucose control at least while under my direct dietary control.

    DocMo

    Doc!
    Good to know we have at least 1 doctor on the paleo/zone band-wagon!

  5. Patrik
    September 18, 2008 at 12:20 am

    I am going paleo/hyperlipid as well and have cut out all dairy except for some high-fat choice such as brie, goat cheese and heavy cream for my coffee.

    Do you think I should cut out ALL dairy?

    Patrick-
    All you can do is tinker. Your choices sound pretty solid to me however but it’s never a bad thing to switch things up.

  6. Chris Hardy
    September 18, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    Rob,
    I am a military physician, crossfit trainer, and regular reader of your blog. I have all of my patients (the one’s who will listen) on paleo/zone with fantastic results. Like DocMo above, there are a couple of us out there who think outside the medical party line on nutrition and exercise. Just wanted to echo those above and thank you for making a difference. You certainly have with me, and through me, my patients.
    Chris

    thanks Cris! Just need to get that FAQ done and I think that will both help people and streamline my efforts.

  7. Miguel Carrera
    September 19, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Hi Robb, This is very interesting, so I’ve asked Bastos about it and here’s his answer:

    In rats, type 1 diabetes progresses more rapidly when gluten is incorporated into their diet, early in life. (1,2)

    Also, and quoting Schmid and colleagues: “Diabetes onset was delayed and diabetes incidence was significantly reduced in female mice that received the wheat and barley protein-free diet throughout life”. (3)

    In humans, exposure to gluten before 3 months of age increases the risk for Type 1 Diabetes. (4)

    And a gluten-free diet in subjects with high risk for type 1 diabetes led to significant improvements in their insulin response during a glucose tolerance test. (5)

    Moreover, there is a very interesting report in the medical literature, where an adolescent, who had abnormal blood glucose and insulin levels and was tested positive for islet cell auto-antibodies and celiac disease (diagnosed through small bowel biopsy), after following a gluten-free diet for 6 months, became islet cell autoantibody negative and presented normal glycemia and insulinemia. (6)

    Finally, multiple studies also implicate bovine milk in Type 1 Diabetes (7) and a higher intake of Omega 3 fatty acids (and also vitamin D) (8,9)may reduce the risk for this terrible disease.

    To sum up, my first line approach for Type 1 Diabetes would be a very low glycemic load Paleo type diet along with regular exercise (including Weight Training, which is sometimes sadly neglected)

    References:

    1) Hoorfar J, Buschard K, Dagnaes-Hansen F. Prophylactic nutritional modification of the incidence of diabetes in autoimmune non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice. Br J Nutr. 1993 Mar;69(2):597-607.

    2) Scott FW. Food-induced type 1 diabetes in the BB rat. Diabetes Metab Rev 1996;12:341–59.

    3) Schmid S, Koczwara K, Schwinghammer S, Lampasona V, Ziegler AG, Bonifacio E. Delayed exposure to wheat and barley proteins reduces diabetes incidence in non-obese diabetic mice. Clin Immunol. 2004 Apr;111(1):108-18.~

    4) Ziegler A-G, Schmid S, Huber D, Hummel M, Bonifacio E. Early infant feeding and risk of developing type 1 diabetes-associated autoantibodies. JAMA 2003;290:1721–8.

    5) Pastore M-R, Bazzigaluppi E, Belloni C, Arcovio C, Bonifacio E, Bosi E. Six months of gluten-free diet do not influence antibody titers, but improve insulin secretion in subjects at high risk for type 1 diabetes. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2003;88:162–5.

    6) Banin P, Perretta R, Ravaioli E, De Sanctis V. Regression of autoimmunity and abnormal glucose homeostasis in an adolescent boy with silent coeliac disease. Acta Paediatr 2002;91:1141–3.

    7) Knip M, Veijola R, Virtanen SM, Hyöty H, Vaarala O, Akerblom HK. Environmental triggers and determinants of type 1 diabetes. Diabetes. 2005 Dec;54 Suppl 2:S125-36.

    8) Norris JM, Yin X, Lamb MM, Barriga K, Seifert J, Hoffman M, Orton HD, Barón AE, Clare-Salzler M, Chase HP, Szabo NJ, Erlich H, Eisenbarth GS, Rewers M. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake and islet autoimmunity in children at increased risk for type 1 diabetes. JAMA. 2007 Sep 26;298(12):1420-8.

    9) Hyppönen E, Läärä E, Reunanen A, Järvelin MR, Virtanen SM. Intake of vitamin D and risk of type 1 diabetes: a birth-cohort study. Lancet. 2001 Nov 3;358(9292):1500-3.

    Miguel-
    Thanks for the awesome info and the refrences…I need to get to Portugal so I can meet Pedro in person!

  8. John Velandra
    September 19, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Shannon – CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND!!!

    Robb, as always – spot on.

    Get that FAQ done! Hang in there!!

  9. peter haas
    September 23, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Great post Miguel. Thank you so much for those references.

  10. Sam
    October 7, 2008 at 2:37 am

    I’m type 1 diabetic.. going low carb has been vital for my blood sugar control, but taking no insulin at all is incredible. That must take a lot of hard work.

    For most type 1 diabetics, enough of the pancreas has been destroyed so that they must take insulin regardless of diet and exercise, and of course this can’t be reversed. At the very minimum, people usually require 2 or 3 units of insulin a day; I take 6.

    The American Diabetes Association won’t even admit that low carbing can help blood sugar control.

    Sam-
    What we are seeing in these folks is recovery of otherwise damaged pancreatic tissue. Unfortunately it does not work this way for everyone, nut there is no doubt it helps with blood sugar maintenance. The American Diabetic Association is absolutely criminal. They recommend both a diet and a medication protocol that worsens an already tough situation.

  11. Anne Berryhill
    October 21, 2008 at 3:25 am

    Robb-

    How about for the teens with Type1? I have started to adopt Zone and Paleo guidelines in my eating. But how do you adequately feed a 15 year old O-Line guard who is a carbo-holic? I have had great results with my body comp by using the principles, but this kid is already super lean, but needs to gain weight.

    The thing that is so frustrating is how screwed up all of the nutritional resources are for diabetics. It is as if they are conspiring to keep the disease going. Could money be the motivation (duh, no need to guess there!).

    I would like to start to integrate what I can so that when my boy is older and on his own, I have at least instilled these correct principles into his brain.

    Advice?

    Anne-
    Fish oil is critical for normalizing insulin sensitivity (10-15g/day). Carbs post WO is likely a smart idea. I think I will do an e-book or small specialty book on this once the main book is done as there is obviously a need here. What are his post exercise numbers? are they sky high? Low? Important stuff to know before we make a plan.

  12. Erika
    February 19, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    I have a trick one; my daughter is a newly diagnosed Type 1, I have Crohn’s and my mother just died in horrible health with long term SJogren’s and RA. My daugter has celiac too and is currently due to intestinal inflammation of unknown origin which has been diagnosed as Eosinophilic Esophagitis, is on a diet restricted from Soy, dairy, eggs, nuts and fish and shellfish. She is back on soy, having some abdominal symptoms, but she always seems to. I wonder if you could suggest alternate good fat foods than nuts right now? I’m thinking avocadoes and coconuts, we do a lot of coconut for dairy replacement. Any suggestions? This has been a devastating year for her health, and now we are high on carbs, rice and corn, but I’m considering going paleo very soon. She is starting to have trouble concentrating in school which was not the case before, and b. glucose levels are out of control. I just finished Bernstein and think with my own Crohn’s issues, that there may be something to the diet issue. My dad will fight me on the ketosis versus DKA issue, but I’m willing to try it.

    Do YOU< as a type 1, have any advice to offer. Should we put the eggs and nuts back in (she is severely allergic to peanuts and I suspect that allergy may make her intolerant to soy as well, as a legume)…?

    Erika, Tucson (daugther aged 10, diagnosed Type 1 last year)

    Erika-
    What I’d do.
    1-I’d go straight paleo. Remove the soy, rice etc. Minimal to no fruit…if she is celiac she will have a hell of a time with fructose. Carbs are from well cooked yams, sweet potatoes and squash. Well cooked being easily mashed with a fork, baking or pressure cooking works great for this. Keep eggs, nuts and common allergens out for a while (month or longer). Use grassfed meat if you can get it. Coconut is great if it’s well tolerated.

    2-Supplement with fish oil (this is a time for some kind of ultra pure variety like Nordic Naturals…they have some flavored versions she will likely handle well. 4-8g/day, again as tolerated.

    3-Supplement with ox bile. Try to get 1-2 caps with each meal, make each meal have some coconut oil and fish oil if possible. Her GI tract will not absorb fats efficiently for while and this will help.

    4-Make sure sleep is as good as it can be.

    I’m going to drop this in on the front page so folks can see this more prominently. If you give this ashot please do keep in touch and let me know how it goes.

  13. anthony
    August 12, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    hey funny think is i stopped taking insulin 6 weeks ago , have not lost any weight and feel much better and my doc just keeps saying i have type 1 diabetes , maybe you can give me your docs name ??? my email is amg66645@yahoo.com

  14. Blake
    November 17, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    I am a 22 year old collegiate rower with type 1 diabetes, I have been a diabetic for about 7 years now and was just shown this article and several others by my teammate who is using cross fit. I have been to serveral doctors and endrocronologists( excuse the spelling) and this is the first time I have heard of such information. usually when informed about bringing my A1c down my doctors would recomend changing my insulin to carb ratio rather than a severe reduction in carbohydrates. The information presented in this article and others like it is truely revolutionary and needs to be made more readily availiable to performance atheletes and children alike. Thank you for this information and please continue to publish more.

    • Robb Wolf
      November 18, 2009 at 7:48 am

      Blake-
      Keep us up to date on your training and progress. Read all the other posts on type 1, there is some good info in there.

  15. Brooke
    November 17, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    Robb–
    Thank you for the research you have done into this topic. It gives hope to those of us who are plagued with autoimmune diseases that consume our lives. However, I think it is irresponsible of you to mislead people into thinking that through a strict diet it is possible to reverse the damages that have been done through type 1 diabetes. I am not a doctor, but I know that it is impossible through diet for the beta cells in my pancreas to begin producing insulin again. Perhaps there is more to the story above that should be mentioned. It is possible to prolong the damage to beta cells when you are newly diagnosed and still have some function of the pancreas. Also, readers, please do not be misled into thinking that if you adapt a gluten-free and dairy-free diet that you can abandon your insulin. Do not forget about the glucose your liver produces at fasting blood sugar levels. Type 1′s, do not forget your glucose tabs on long runs and strenuous workouts. Even with this diet, there will be times your blood sugar drops and Dr Robb’s plan will not pull you out of an emergency.

    I know the importance of diet and exercise to maintain normal blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of complications. I am glad to see my fellow diabetics leading healthy lifestyles. But please do not foster false hope that you have the magic cure to diabetes. Please consider our feelings before you make such claims.

    • Robb Wolf
      November 18, 2009 at 7:38 am

      Brooke-
      You need to read all 5 of the posts on this topic, use the search function. About 20 people HAVE REVERSED their Type 1 because they still had some functioning beta-cells. You are familiar with the “honeymoon” phase common in children in which they alternately get then lose function? This is a time when they could recover pancreatic function. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people will not see this effect.

      Also, the people who have adopted this way of eating UNIVERSALLY report vastly improved blood sugar control. Not trying to be mean, but please take some time to fully educate yourself about this site and what resources are here.

  16. aimee
    December 27, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog. And I am so excited.
    I’ve been type 1 diabetic on insulin injections for 38 years looking for a natural healing, for many years. I did the zone in 1994-94. Then switched to Dr Bernstein’s low carb, high protein in 1996, did that for 7 years. My health improved but still taking 24 units for insulin. Started raw foods in 2003 and got insulin down to 6 units but in the last year or two insulin requirements gradually increased to 14-16 units. I’ve been looking for a more truly healing diet, looking into local meat, maybe raw meat. But the idea of raw meat —I just couldn’t get it to my lips. I haven’t touched grains or high carbs in 14 years. On a very low carb, raw diet.
    I’ve been reading your blog and realize that all type 1′s may not be able to discontinue their injections but I am willing to try and the CrossFit intrigues me as well. Where is the best place to start, I want to get going right away!
    Please answer, thank you so much for your work!
    It is so exciting that some diabetics are getting off insulin. I have known for a long time that the AMA and the ADA are wrong, wrong, wrong!
    Aimee

    • Robb Wolf
      December 31, 2009 at 10:19 am

      Aimee-
      Read all the comments from the folks in the type 1 threads. You need to ease into things and keep good notes on what is doing what.

      I think I need to do a book specifically on this topic.

      • Michelle
        March 11, 2013 at 7:47 am

        Robb, yes! Please do write a book on Paleo and Type 1 Diabetes. It would be incredibly helpful. If you do, please use lots of examples from people who actually have type 1, and tell us what they did to implement. e.g.
        * did they follow the autoimmune protocol?
        * how did they deal with carbs/insulin before Paleo, and what changes did they notice after?
        * what kind of exercise did they do, and when did they do it?
        * what were the insulin/carb ratios before and after Paleo?

        Most of your writing on Paleo and carbs and insulin makes a ton of sense to me–and I’m going to give it a shot (hehe!)–but it would be helpful to have some guidance on implementation when I get into the details.

        Also, it would be great to have some tips on how to find an endocrinologist, or CDE, or nutritionist, or some medical expert who is familiar with the needs of both type 1 diabetes and the Paleo lifestyle.

        It might be beyond the scope of the book, but some tips on dealing with the emotional aspect of it all (I’ve struggled with feelings of deprivation and guilt for a lot of my life) would be great as well!

  17. Stephanie
    January 7, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    My daughter is 4 years old. She was diagnosed 6 months ago with type 1. We instantly took her off of dairy. We then took her off of grain a month later. We now took her off of legumes. We have been on a roller coaster. She gets down to 1/2 unit of lantus, then she spikes for a few days. We start all over. We are very frustrated and EXHAUSTED. We started this knowing it may not reverse her diabetes, but we knew it would make us all healthier. Any suggestions?

    • Robb Wolf
      January 8, 2010 at 9:46 am

      Stephanie-
      We just had another client whose son went Type 1. We are guessing that this “honeymoon” phase offers an opportunity to halt the autoimmune progression. AT this point it is nothing more than that, but it IS a more effective way to manage the problem even if we do not see a recovery of pancreatic function. We are looking at starting a support group out of NorCal, perhaps we can do this as a webinar so folks can listen in on this? I am pretty sure I will also do a specific book on diabetes (both type 1 & 2) once this primary book is finished. I think the recipe is still the same:
      1-Gluten free, dairy free paleo diet.
      2-Keep carbs on the LOW side ala-Benrsteins Diabetes solution (but better food quality).
      3-Map blood sugar responses to activity, sleep and food.

      This works, but it takes effort and time

  18. Christine Cronau
    July 11, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    What do you recommend type 1 diabetic people do if they do become hypo (instead of eating sugar)?

    Thanks

    • Robb Wolf
      July 12, 2011 at 7:20 am

      If you get into a legitimate hypo situation obviously you need to use some starch or sugar to get things back to normal, but i’d try to use how you feel as much as a BG monitor in this. As your body get’s better at running on fats you will NEED less carbs. So you could look “low” relative to previous levels but be operating just fine. Be careful, keep lots of notes and I’d love a blog post on your experience.

  19. Nathalie
    July 29, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Hey Robb, I just started a blog about going paleo with type 1 diabetes. It’s not much, since I just started, but if you’re going to write a book targeting diabetes, I’d love to be your guinea pig!
    I went from being vegetarian/vegan to full on meat eating. I’ve been having trouble with my blood sugars for years, and recently developed some spots in my eyes. I fixed up my sugars as best I could and went back. Luckily I had reversed the spots (tiny clots), but that gave me a scare. I recently read about the paleo diet and my husband got me your book for my birthday.
    I’ve lived with type 1 diabetes for 22 years now and so far, I’ve been doing paleo for almost 3 weeks. I’ve lost 5lbs, I feel more energetic than I have in a long time. I love what the paleo diet has done for me so far, and taking care of my 3 kids sure takes a lot of energy!
    Anyway, all that to say that so far things are getting better, my blood sugars are doing better and I feel better.
    I’ll be updating my blog more frequently in the coming weeks because I can’t believe how awesome the paleo diet is.

    Thanks!

    • Michelle
      March 11, 2013 at 7:51 am

      Nathalie, what is your blog address? I’d love to read what you’ve written. I have type 1, and I’m preparing myself to try 30 days of Paleo.

  20. Juan Pablo Bentin
    August 8, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Hi Robb!!
    In what measure is type 1 diabetes linked to genetic causes? Do you think it is 100% attributed to an auto-immune response to a bad diet?
    Your knowledge has been very useful for me and my family… even though people keep seeing us as freaks of humanity because of our “unhealthy” diet!!
    Best regards and hoping to see your book soon published here in Peru!!!

    • Robb Wolf
      August 8, 2011 at 2:33 pm

      No clue on the genetic vs environmental portion…fasano’s work looks at some of this. If I recall it’s perhaps 25% genetic…but really reaching on that.

      • Michele
        April 25, 2013 at 6:25 am

        You can’t have diabetes (either Type) without having the genes for it. Something in the environment (virus, chemicals, etc.) turns on the genes.

        How can you say you have “no clue” about this very basic information? I hope you do a lot more research before you try publishing a book on the topic.

  21. Gayle Weed
    September 12, 2011 at 12:12 am

    Awesome, awesome, awesome comments and articles! This has been SO very encouraging and exciting for me to see that there really ARE other type 1 diabetics out there that have some of the issues that I have and have actually found hope in the Paleo Diet! I’ve been a diabetic for 25 years and it has been a total nightmare from the get-go! I have NEVER been able to get any control at all. A constant roller coaster with extreme high’s and lows with no explanation. Seems like no matter how hard I try, it’s still wrong. I have even tried eating the exact same foods and amounts every day for a week and get a total different reading every time….like night and day. I can’t wait to get started! You have all inspired me! I just ordered my book and cookbook today. I am full of hope for the first time in 25 years that I can look forward to better control and better days. 5 eye surgeries is BAD and I pray for some healing thru good foods that God created, the way he created them….naturally. Traditional “diabetic diet” does NOT work for me, but this makes so much sense. Thank-you! :)

  22. Trenton Hazelhurst
    October 19, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Great goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely

  23. Deb
    May 14, 2012 at 11:34 am

    I want to throw up and cry and buy half a cow immediately. This information is….why am i just now finding it??? My 7 y.o. son was diagnosed a year ago with type 1. We are slowly going gluten free and I see better management in that, but I really want to know if a child can thrive on a paleo diet? I can’t back it up but I feel like he needs cereal or oatmeal or pasta or bread (gluten free of course). He is having bloodwork done tomorrow in fact including a c-peptide to see if he is still producing insulin…if we go grain and dairy free there’s a chance of…what exactly? Where can I get more information? I did just order you book. And the Bernstein book. And some Nordic naturals fish oil for kids.

    • Amy Kubal
      May 14, 2012 at 1:20 pm

      Deb!

      Paleo can definitely work for kids and is ideal for type 1 diabetes!! Your son does not ‘need’ refined carbohydrates or grains to thrive – in fact it is likely they are doing more harm than good! For some examples of families that are thriving on paleo checkout http://www.growinguppaleo.com/, http://everydaypaleo.com/, and http://paleoparents.com/. As far as what to expect when you change your son’s diet – there is a chance that if his pancreas is still producing insulin that he may be able to control his diabetes with diet alone at some point. This is not a guarantee but is definitely worth a shot! Also, even if his pancreas is no longer making insulin a paleo lifestyle will help him to avoid many of the complications associated with diabetes and will minimize the amount of insulin he needs to take to keep sugar levels in check. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you get started!! http://robbwolf.com/about/team/amy-kubal/

  24. Kira
    June 25, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Hey Robb,
    I’ve just started the Paleo Solution and it’s working great. But I was wondering how you feel about body detoxes and cleanses…
    Thanks,
    Kira

    • Amy Kubal
      June 26, 2012 at 4:37 am

      Kira!

      Detox by just sticking with the paleo plan. No funky stuff, no junk and you’re set!

  25. Sally Roman
    September 28, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Thank you for this insightful article. I am the mother of two Type 1 Diabetic sons. They were diagnosed over 4 years ago within a 4 month period. Under the strict supervision of two doctors and after extensive research we formulated a treatment plan which included diet, supplements and lifestyle changes. We have had remarkable results. They both are insulin-free and have average A1cs of around 5. I was a Registered Nurse, so when the pediatric endocrinologist told me that food didn’t matter for a T1D, it just didn’t make sense to me. My husband and I now spend our efforts into full-time research for Type 1 Diabetes. We are looking for a natural cure for Type 1 Diabetes that does not just treat the disease, but truly get to the root causes and hopefully eliminate or minimize them. We work with Type 1 Diabetic families, doctors and researchers all over the world. You can read our story on our website: healthesolutions.com We have a free newsletter that contains the latest Type 1 Diabetic research, healthy tips/recipes and encouragement. We agree with you that food really does matter. Very sincerely, Sally Roman

    • Michael
      September 22, 2013 at 9:05 pm

      For God’s sake! I do not believe your claim! I was diagnosed with type one diabetes when I was 2 years old in 1967. If I do not take the insulin then I would be in a coma quickly, then I would die! I have an excellent health without any complications (knock on wood) as well as I exercise to jog/walk/bike/power yoga/sprint/circuits almost daily. Also, I eat the foods (low carb/middle carb)very carefully as well as I take my blood sugar test three to six times a day.

      • Robb Wolf
        September 23, 2013 at 9:37 am

        Michael-
        Some people STILL have pancreatic function. By dropping carbs, they shift to ketones and may be able to dramatically reduce insulin needs. Dr. Bernstein wrote a book about this years ago. Un-bind your panties and do some reading, ok?

  26. basia
    January 10, 2013 at 12:54 am

    I am type 1 who has been experimenting for 31 years with natural solutions herbs homeopathy hypnosis and dietary changes . Am wondering if I can do the paleo with nephropathy and low protein diet as I am leaking protein into my urine Sob Sob! I am also on low potassium and low phosphorus diet low sodium in order to protect the kidneys . I am on Ramapril for high blood pressure as it is caused by kidney damage. I have tried fasting and juice fasts low carb or no carb.20 years ago but had to get off fdue to work related complications and inability to prepare meals in ways that would support my work load. In those days raw diets and sprouts were not as available as they are now especially abroad . or gluten free diet but al of this created a roller coaster which s pikes my sugar up and down form day one of the disease. I teach yoga so that helps Im active but now with spinal stenosys and bulging disks im realy dealing with a lot 61 years old and still believing its all curable so everyone thinks Im crazy. HOw will paleo affect my kidney function . GFR is 75 and creatinine 71 range . I am 61 years old going on 30. Most docs dont want to deal with me as I experiment too much and they just dont get it . Any suggestions? I now have also anemia of chronic diseases .Red meat is contraindicated due to kidney malfunction and Stage 2 CKD. Chronic kdney disease.

  27. Kate
    March 12, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Hmm. I would be curious to see if you’ve been tested for MODY-monogenic diabetes. It’s a rare-ish genetic disorder that causes issues with insulin secretion, and many people are often diagnosed T1 or T2 incorrectly. My brother has MODY, and this sounds like what happened to him- he was able to go off insulin despite an initial t1 diagnosis.

    • Angela
      January 11, 2014 at 4:33 pm

      I agree 100% with the idea of MODY and not type 1. I have been a type 1 diabetic for almost 30 yrs- I have no insulin production and NEVER went through a honeymoon phase. MODY is def not a common form of diabetes, but it often gets the type one diagnosis by mistake- often, people with MODY can produce insulin for quite some time- to me, this persons situation and results of getting off insulin would completely line up with a MODY diagnosis and not type 1…….remember that MANY with MODY are told they have type 1- type 1, type 2, and MODY are really three different diseases even if they share the name “diabetes.”

  28. Melissa
    May 15, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Hi all while i to am type 1 diabetic and i was also following a low carb paleo eating plan i got down to using only half units to no insulin lost the excess weight i had put on and then got really sick and was in ICU for four days why? Because without enough insulin your body cant get rid of the ketones your body becomes a toxic waste dump ! My heart was struggling . Please keep an eye on your ketones people its the reason i eat gf carbs once or twice a week

    • Michael
      September 22, 2013 at 8:53 pm

      Do not listen what people with type one diabetes said about stop taking insulin. Without taking insulin, they will go into coma then they will die! That is the reason why you went to the hospital.

  29. Christine
    October 27, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Hi I sent you a message a few days ago about my daughter having type 1 diabetes for three years. Please send me your info again because it accidentally was deleted from my computer. (I share this computer with others so who knows what happened). I am very interested in the gluten free diet and talking with a nutritionist you said you knew. I do not know a thing about this diet – but if it helps my daughter I am all for it. This disease has been miserable on her and I. The worry is too much for me. Our lives are not the same. Nothing is the same since she got this. If a gluten free diet will help – I need to try it on her. I am afraid of what will happen if she take her shot and then eats gluten free will she drop low from the insulin shot? I have a few questions about this situation. Please send me any info you have so I know where to start. The doctors will not and have not helped us. They say everyone is different and you need to experiment and figure it out. They left me as a doctor/nurse and it was horrible. Each day if different (due to exercise and eating different foods). We never know what to expect. At night I don’t sleep through the night because of the worry of her having a low at night. She does not feel her lows at night she keeps on sleeping. Like I said it is miserable. I hope nobody else gets this disease.

    Thank you for everything! Thanks so much!

    Christine

    • polly
      December 18, 2013 at 10:49 pm

      Hi Christine, my husband is type 1 and I use to worry about him being low in the night but he recently got a Dexcom, constant blood glucose monitor and it has changed our lives. It beeps BEFORE his blood sugar goes low. He just eats a couple of dates and goes back to sleep. He never “crashes” anymore. And it beeps when his levels are going up. You may already know about it but I just wanted to make sure as it has been a HUGE blessing! I believe type 1 is reversible and it is my life mission to see him free of this disease. We are in the beginning stages of research and experiment but we are praying and believing and we are going to give it our best shot! The medical industry is going to tell us it is impossible to cure. Do you think the billions of dollars the disease brings in (insulin, strips, needles, doc visits etc..) have anything to do with that claim? I’m not buying it. Here is the most helpful and exciting site I have found so far. We are also going to be embarking on paleo. Best of luck to you and your daughter! http://www.cancertutor.com/Diabetes/Diabetes_Type_I.htm

  30. Terry
    January 25, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    I find this interesting! I was at first a type 2 diabetic, who is now considered a type 2. I developed type two when I suffered my first major infection related to HIV, which was in 1992. I developed full blown AIDS, and have recovered (that is a miracle in itself b/c I became infected in 1983 when it was called grid. Then I had a heart attack in 2009. You can imagine the meds I take. I changed my diet after the heart attack but still included grains until early in 2012 moving toward a raw food diet in hopes to getting off as many medicines as as possible, fighting mds all the time. I know I may never get rid of all, but would love to get rid of my insulin pump as well another metabolic disorders perhaps initiated by the interactions of medicines. Is it possible this diet would help me? Thanks

  31. basia
    April 5, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Hi again after a year and 4 mo. I discovered your website again. I have not been tested for MOBY as you suggested to me. Ive had very bad endocrinologists who dont take me seriously as I take supplements and can not keep my sugars under control. Im considered non compliant patient so there is no discussion.
    Because of CKD {chronic kidney disease} already in progression to stage 3 im on low protein diet and low phosphorus and low potassium diet so I can not eat any foods like nuts seeds or greens or many vegetables .My diet is really restricted plus I have now Hashimotos which has thyroid antybodies attacking my thyroid This of course eliminaates goiterogenic foods . . I am now gluten free for 5 months and dont see much difference. Took out milk but make my own kefir and eat lactose free cheese.Hard to eat raw foods as Im very cold in m y damp climaate by the ocean in Victoria. What do you suggest for protein on low red meat diet and low meat diet with few vegetables the ocean in Victoria Fish is also high in phosphorus . I do eat gluten free grains like quinoa and amaranth etc. Coconut oil and Ghee some vegetables and coconut milk and herbal and other supplements . I feel so isolated in this trap of a dietary restrictions .IF anyone has suggestions my email is narayani11@hotmail.com. I also have now anemia of chronic diseases and need EPO which I can not afford and which is not covered by medicare. My iron levels are good but hemoglobin is 86 not 120 which is the normal level Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeelp please !

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