The Benefits of the Paleo Diet in Post Operative Care

Guest post written by: Dr. Levi Harrison
Orthopedic Surgeon


As an orthopedic surgeon, I have been a strong advocate of the Paleo Diet for my patients. I highly recommend this type of lifestyle eating strategy for patients before and after surgery. I discuss this nutritional plan with them and they present it to their other health care providers (such as their General Practitioner, Family Practice Doctor or Internist) before implementing. Usually the entire team is in agreement with these dietary changes. This team approach is most effective for optimizing great patient care.


It has been astoundingly clear that the patients who follow the Paleo Diet suggestions, do better post-operatively then the conventional eating patients whose diets are filled with sugar, salt, and highly processed, refined foods that do not have substantial nutritional value and minimal EPA and DHA. After observing the correlation between the use of the Paleo Diet and efficient recovery times in operative patients, it has become clear that the Paleo Diet yields excellent postoperative healing benefits. More high-powered double-blind studies may provide further illumination of this apparent truth about the life-enhancing virtue of the Paleo Diet.


The Paleo Diet, which is superior in nutritional value to many restrictive standard diets, provides a patient with appropriate vitamin, mineral, Omega-3 and antioxidant profiles. This is critical for healing due to the post-operative decrease in gut motility, potential increases in leaky gut syndrome, insomnia (poor sleep patterns) and stress from any surgical procedure. The body needs proper and abundant antioxidants and phytonutrients to support expeditious healing post-operatively and to assist with returning to appropriate circadian rhythms and hormonal balance.


The Paleo Diet has a profound effect on minimizing metabolic derangement, which can be fairly common after many surgical procedures. The body is forever in a battle to decrease inflammation globally when we are well. This battle intensifies post-operatively with the body trying to regain a homeostatic balance nutritionally. It is clear that the Paleo Diet can have a profound effect on minimizing the war between elevated levels of insulin, cortisol, glucagon, thyroxin and human growth hormone. The Paleo Diet allows the body to have and equitable balance without the deleterious effects of high and low hormonal crescendos, which can affect post-operative healing, appetite, sleep patterns, intestinal motility and gastric permeability.


I am a true advocate of the Paleo Diet for my personal health and it is apparent that my orthopedic patient population also receive significant benefits from eating like “the hunters and gathers” of our ancestry.


Keep exercising! Exercise is life!


Peace & Health,

D. Levi Harrison, MD

Dr. Harrison














Paleo Diet Benefits for Post-Operative Care©2014 by D. Levi Harrison, MD


Categories: Anti inflammatory diet, General, Healthcare


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  1. LaNell says

    I wish more doctors would at least just look at the program let alone be an advocate of what the diet/lifestyle has to offer. Thank you for showing me that their are some in the medical field who see beyond their books and old training! I have hope!

  2. says

    Its great to hear more support for paleo coming from a medical professional, especially when so many people and doctors a like seem to dismiss paleo out of hand without really examining it.

    I wish more emphasis was placed on solid nutrition post-operation. I have witnessed multiple peoples’ diets get significantly worse post-surgery, because they feel bad and they want to eat comfort foods. Then they feel its okay to neglect proper nutrition due to a “calories are all that matter mindset”.

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