Paleo + CrossFit: It might save your life.
Check out the email I received from Hans:
I have had loads of clients lives changed from Paleo eating and CrossFit. Much of it do to your site and work. I have been stoked to get to see lives changed for real. As for me personally, when I adopted paleo (Oct 2008 after your cert at GSX) in place of decent success from the zone, and I too was pleased. Much leaner, much stronger, performance took huge leaps after being flat lined for some time. I noticed sleep quality increased and common allergies went away. This was cool no doubt.
However in April of this year I contracted the very rare Group A Streptococcus blood infection leading to streptococcal toxic shock syndrome. This is the same shiz Oprah did her big “Super Bugs” episode on. (this actually aired while I was in the hospital leading to a near breakdown by my wife and family) The first double hand transplant recipient lost both hands from this nasty stuff.
Long story short I was moments from being placed on a ventilator due to my lungs shutting down from the infection. My liver was nearly non-functioning and my kidney’s were enlarging. I was under the care of numerous specialists who collectively told my wife I most likely wouldn’t pull through. She was preparing to tell my 8 and 6 year old boys daddy isn’t going to be around anymore when I made a turn for the positive. After 3 day’s in ICU and a week in the hospital I was released to go home. My infectious disease specialist visited me before I left. He asked my about the foods I ate. I explained the paleo deal and asked him “why do you ask?” He said, “because I have no doubt this saved your life. I have seen very fit, healthy people die from this stuff (10,000 people a year get this bugger and over a 1/3 die) and you are the first patient that didn’t need insulin during your stay in the hospital. (I’m unsure of the significance of this, but he explained when under serious infections most people are given insulin…) Then he said while I was in a delirious state in ICU I must of heard him talking about administering insulin to which I argued “I don’t need insulin! I eat in a way to control insulin sensitivity. It’s why I don’t eat any freaking grains” My wife was shaking her head thinking “even while he’s dieing he’s telling people to cut the grains. he is crazy!” What can I say, I believe it!
My pulmonary specialist was the next to visit. He asked if I exercised. I then told him about CrossFit and my recent love with oly lifting. He said, “it’s a miracle you don’t have any permanent damage to your lungs. The capacity and strength of them is quite impressive and your fitness is the reason you survived this.” He said once you recover get back to it! He actually may drop in our box and try CrossFit out for himself…
So I entered the ER at 203#’s and 8% body fat. No weighing or measuring. The few weeks before had PR’d C&J, Fran, Mile time trial, and max height box jumps. I left at 178#’s a non functioning right shoulder (still rehabbing and getting functionality back) and a bit of pneumonia. Now I am not complaining about the shoulder, since I have ALL my limbs and digits still!
From all my medical folks, I was lucky to be alive.
From myself and my wife and kids THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU ARE DOING!
One of the most interesting things about this is the profoundly improved insulin/blood glucose control Hans displayed while sick. LPS (lipopolysachride) is shed by bacteria and it seriously arouses the immune system. Sometimes to such a degree that the subsequent cascades of cytokines end of killing the individual. All of this represents a form of inflammation that has gone wildly out of control. If we have attenuated our basal inflammation by controlling insulin levels, reducing gut irritation, and keeping our n-3/n-6 fats in balance we are not only protecting ourselves from chronic disease but also acute illness such as bacterial infection and I’d wager things like the H1N1 flu strains. Rip appears to be spot on:
“Strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and more useful in general”.