Written by: Sean Bowley
I wanted to write in and let you know how much the Paleo Solution has changed my life. I apologize up front for the long testimonial…
I was diagnosed with a severe case of type 2 diabetes about a year ago. On my initial visit to my doctor, he advised me I had about 10 years to live based on my current condition. He requested that I remove my shoes to check for possible amputee of toes/feet on the spot. He told me that my pancreas was completely shot and wanted to inject me with insulin right there in the office. He put me on an EKG as well (all on my initial visit). I laid there waiting for the EKG results thinking I can’t take any more bad news.
He was a bit mystified by the fact that I was even “able to get out of bed” and function. I told him he was crazy, but with the lab work in my hands and all the positive subjective symptoms, I had no doubt that he was correct in his diagnosis. In addition, to type 2 diabetes, I also had high blood pressure and really low testosterone. So, I was immediately put on Metformin, Onglyza, Lisinopril, and Androgel. (Of course, my insurance company denied the Onglyza. My doctor called and spoke to their medical director and advised them that he was going to note my chart and when I die, the wrongful death lawsuit was heading their way. After faxing my chart to my insurance company, I was approved until the year 2099 and had 9,999 refills!)
With the better than normal EKG results, he decided to give me 30 days to turn things around with diet and exercise. He gave me the standard diabetic diet…lots of whole grains and low fat. I spent the 2 ½ hours in the grocery store the first day and my cart was empty, because every label I read, turns out was no good. I was so frustrated I threw the paperwork in the trash and went to my KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) method. Eat anything with no labels… Veggies, fruit, nuts, dairy and meat.
Now, this worked wonders for me. Within 60 days, I dropped 40lbs and dropped my blood sugars and blood pressure to within normal levels. Even my doctor had no answers how this was possible. He even sat down in his office and apologized for possibly “misdiagnosing me” and actually took out a pad and wrote down everything I ate and supplements I took. I assured him that I did not feel it was a misdiagnosis. This was my first insight into what diet can do.
As good as I was doing, I have always struggled with “dawn phenomenon” where my blood sugar was the highest first thing in the morning. This put my body in a struggle the whole day to lower it, but I did it day in and day out, but some days it took quite a toll on me. My doctor had no real answer for this cause, in fact, he didn’t even know about the condition and I was told to just test later in the morning.
I stuck with this for the next 8 months, was a fit 195lbs, but never solved the dawn phenomenon problem and never quite “felt right” on the inside. Energy up and down, still had mood swings, etc…
After a hectic fall/winter work schedule, I fell off the wagon earlier this year for a few months and stopped testing and eating right and gained about 20lbs back.
I decided in the beginning of June that I was going to tackle this hard again. I was talking to a friend in Starbucks about my condition and my KISS method. By pure chance, a guy named Jeff was sitting next to me and politely interrupted and asked if I have ever heard of Paleo? I said no, I know nothing about it. He told it was a hard thing to do for some people, but it was amazing. I told him I’m stubborn and always do things the hard way and tell me more. He said I was basically doing it with my KISS method, but needed a few tweaks. He directed me to your website and a few others and I could not get enough.
I didn’t order your book right away (anyone reading this…order the book first!), but I went out and shopped for the right foods, prepped my meals beforehand and went for it.
11 days in, my wife asked me how much weight I have lost. I told her I have no idea. I told her this is not a “get rich quick” plan were it’s all about weight loss. I told her it’s about changing your whole life…inside and out (She jokes that I sound like some kind of Paleo cult member… I told her it’s called a tribe!), but because my jeans were falling off me and to satisfy her curiosity, I weighed myself. Lost 13lbs in 11 days.
I continued to test my blood sugars through-out the 30 days and they were up and down…more down than up. Dawn phenomenon kept kicking my butt and in the 3rd week I had finally ordered and received your book.
For the first time, I found out why dawn phenomenon was occurring and why what to do about it (Read page 124 starting at “Cortisol”). My new friend Jeff, kept on giving me advice and encouragement along the way.
On the 27th day, my blood sugar tested 214 in the morning. Completely deflated, but I did not lose hope. I accepted the fact that my body has been under assault for years and it was going to take some time to undo all the abuse.
However, overall, I felt incredible… I lost the 20lbs I gained and even more important, gained solid lean muscle. Muscle I have not seen on me for over 20 years! I starting noticing little things, like for some reason, my skin was really soft (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the guy who has a much of a beauty/grooming routine), my focus and awareness was way up, not being sore for days after a workout, and for you older guys out there like me… my “drive” is in overdrive!( I forgot to mention that I went off the testosterone way before I even went on the Paleo Solution.)
Then on the 31st day something amazing happened. I tested myself at 6:21am… 117. I cried for about 5 minutes quietly to myself. Not only within an acceptable range, but stayed right there all day… 119 in the afternoon and 101 before dinner. On day 32… 115 down to 99 before dinner. Day 33… 124 down to 102 and so on.
I’m on day 41 of the rest of my life! There are other things (pills, diets, exercise programs, etc.) out there you can try… most will change your exterior (for a short time), but only this will change your body from the inside/out…for life.
Robb…I thank you and my family thanks you… especially when a year ago, my doctor said I would not live to see my daughter graduate high school.
PS: I have an appointment scheduled with my doctor for the week of my 60th day into your ”30 day challenge” for a check-up and follow up labs, but honestly… the appointment is more to really blow his mind. That look on his face alone will be worth the $25 copay!
Your testimonial blew me away! I actually only stalk testimonials (which I adore), but am compelled to give you my high five, so my first comment, in your honor! Hats off to your “new friend Jeff” also. Wonderful inspiration. I wish all diabetics could hear your story. Take good care! Sincerely, Kim
I fully expect my comment to be deleted, but if it manages to stay up, here’s the deal.
The writer is flat out lying. Let me give an example
” Of course, my insurance company denied the Onglyza. My doctor called and spoke to their medical director and advised them that he was going to note my chart and when I die, the wrongful death lawsuit was heading their way. After faxing my chart to my insurance company, I was approved until the year 2099 and had 9,999 refills!”
Really? FEDERAL law comes into play here. There isn’t an insurance company in the country which would pre-approve such a ridiculous prescription, nor is there a pharmacy willing to actually fill it. Why? IT WOULD BE ILLEGAL to do so.
Next? No reputable physician would ever issue threats of that nature. Why? For one, it would never be a wrongful death suit. Clearly the author doesn’t understand what does and does not constitute a med-mal or wrongful death action.
Then there’s the patient charts themselves. Sorry, but once again…. no. Yet again, that’s not how it works.
Finally (for now) the amputation claim is just laughable.
I came across this site because I’m not just a diabetic, I’m a researcher. I’ve worked both “for” and “against” the drug companies and the FDA. Unfortunately your entire site has lost credibility.
It’s also assuming that your readers will believe what they’re told without further exploration.
Robb Wolf says
If you want some vetting on this, let’s do it. What would you like to to ask this person to produce?
Please, save the “this whole site is now suspect” rhetoric. If this is post full of specious claims, let’s get down to that. But how about giving me the benefit of looking into it?
While I admire your provoking blog. I have to agree with Tess. The Dr. you speak of could not legally have given you a prescription for that amount of time. They have to see you yearly for an exam in order to continue prescribing medicines.
I would have found more respect for your fight against this horrible disease if you had not sensationalized it so much.
Bottom line is we that are diabetic have 2 choices to either take care of ourselves or not.
I question why we don’t take the time to work together instead of trying to be the one that has all the answers.
Good luck with your book.
Carey Huyser says
Wow. I am starting to hear stories like this everywhere and it’s so inspiring. Thank you for being such positive forces in this movement.
thank you so much for Sharing, very very inspirational! 🙂
Mike Karmire says
Great story! Report back to us with the results of your doctor’s appt. I have no issues myself (due to Paleo), but love to hear stories about how people can blow the minds of their doctor’s, who are so misinformed about how much of a roll that diet plays in the the treatment and prevention of disease.
Hey Robb. This may be off-topic, but I wanted to get your take on it. Any idea why so many in the Paleosphere are going silent on resistant starch? From what I understand it’s something of a game-changer. And while Richard Nikoley may not have ‘discovered’ it, per se, he’s certainly one of the bravest proponents of late. Anyway, I know your buddy Jimmy Moore has refused to comment on it publicly, but I just wanted to get your opinion on the matter. THANKS for all you do, bro!
Check out the upcoming podcast with Chris Kresser that comes out on the 31st, they actually talk about resistant starch in it and share their experiences with it.
Charles Jimenez says
That is inspiring news and I’m glad to hear other people with similar results. I was also diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes a few years ago where I had just went over the number from pre-diabetic to diabetic. I also had high triglyceride levels and high blood pressure due to putting crap in my body like heavy amounts of beer, donuts, rice, Grande Mochas, Dr. Peppers and other carbohydrate poisons. With a drastic change in lifestyle and switching to the Paleo way to include a good amount of healthy exercise, my numbers are normal. Keep up the good work and keep us updated.
Breaking Red says
DAMN YOU!! You made me get teary-eyed at work! What an amazing beginning to the rest of your life!
Javier Lozano Jr says
This is simply an amazing testimonial. I’m a huge fan of the paleolithic lifestyle, and know all the benefits that I’ve read from Robb Wolf, but to read this testimonial from an individual that has been struggling and see how they are improving is simply amazing! I’m very interested to see what the reports say in 3 to 6 months. Thanks for the inspiration as a trainer to continue to encourage my clients to follow the paleo diet.
I love your KISS method… It’s something I can apply as well without getting lost in the supermarket!
Doctors, dieticians and diabetes educators know very little about the relationship between diet and diabetes. Unbelievable, I know. I am the mother of a type 1 diabetic child and had to do my own research about diet. The dietician who visited us in hospital said “there is no such thing as a diabetic diet now days, and diabetics can eat anything, even McDonalds”!!
We eat very tiny amounts of carbohydrate, moderate protein and plenty of healthy fats. My son’s HbA1c is 5.5%, and his blood lipid profile is better than a non diabetics. Every test he has had since commencing the low carb diet has been normal. And this is in a child who produces no insulin at all. That’s right – eating high healthy fat (and low carb) does not lead to high cholesterol or triglycerides – it is caused by excessive carbohydrate consumption, because insulin is a fat storage hormone.
My son’s blood glucose levels are in normal range if he sticks to my cooking. He rarely has hypos, and the only time he has them is of he eats something high in carbohydrate (such as on a special occasion, eg birthday party) Eating high carb foods when you are diabetic makes it almost impossible to keep normal blood sugars. Mainstream advice tells us to just inject more insulin or take more medication to “cover” the carbohydrate eaten, but I can assure you it does not work that easily.
The paleo diet is the best way to control diabetes in my opinion, and it is also beneficial for the autoimmune problems in type 1 diabetes.
Type1 new to paleo says
Lisa, how much insulin is your son taking?? I am type 1 and 2 weeks in to paleo, I am hoping to reduce drastically!!!
Sean Bowley says
I just found out my testimonial was posted since December and I was pretty excited… then I read all the comments. Wow… thanks to all the supportive tribe members here!
It’ 5 in the morning and getting ready to go surfing, but I wanted to respond to everyone.
I have been real busy with work and coaching my daughters volleyball team, but have stayed Paleo all the way. I have been paleo well over 10 months now…
Along the way, I have had several family and friends convert to Paleo… even a life long vegan (Robb would be proud!). He, being a total scholar, did his research. We did the protein debate. I got a text from him: “Amazing how we have been so lied to. Paleo is the way”
So the update: Jeff has since become a close family friend. I still dont think he fully grasps the impact he has made on my life. I broke it down for him this way… Before Paleo, I was trying to fill my kids memories of as many good times as I could, because I didn’t think I would be around for very long… then a stranger out of no where bring me Paleo. And how rapid and drastic a positive change it has become. Now life is precious, my kids and wife are precious… your time here is fragile and precious.
Saw my doctor about 90 days in. Went in a pair of surf trunks and a tank top and the nurse and doctor said: “Whoa! what have you been doing?” I smile… “Paleo”.
After going over numbers (In August, 2 fasting blood sugar levels in the low 80’s, interval testing from the low 100’s to the 110’s) No Onglyza, no testosterone, no blood pressure meds… My doctor got his pen and pad out… we talked Paleo for a while… lectins, hormones, disease process, mechanism of action in the body… I explained the cause and reasons for dawn phenomenon and how to reverse it (Thanks Robb, but I had to take the credit, I was on a roll!)We spoke of supplements and of hyper insulin anemia being the gateway to all metabolic diseases. Trust me, when he cal;l;ed in his partner in the practice they were impressed with the knowledge.
In the end, He looked dismayed. He looked at me with a sad face and said: I think I misdiagnosed you. I said no doc… you misdiagnosed the power of sleep, diet, and a bit of exercise. You pulled me out of the fire and then my friend Jeff’s advice that day, Robb’s and Cordain’s years of research and this thing Paleo saved my life.
He was going to drop the diagnosis. I told him lets drop it to pre-diabeties for now. When I feel all the subjective symptoms have resolved and with labs to back it up, we’ll call it cured/reversed/remission or whatever you have to call it.
He gave me a hug and said he was going to share this info with all his diabetic patients. I smiled and said lets keep following up and look up the Paleo Physicians Network.
Abby Lewis says
I am proud of you for taking your life in your own hands and doing the necessary things to be healthy and strong. God may have brought the right people at the right time to encourage you and wake you up but you my friend did the hard work and disciplined yourself. Good for you.
Carl Iverson says
Sean: I’m a type 2 diabetic. I have had good luck with low carbs and am now going on the Whole30 per Dr’s orders. Can you tell us more about how you improved results to the dawn effect? This is the part I’m really struggling with and would like to hear more about what you did and the results you see.
Sean Bowley says
I want your thoughts… I’m sure you guys the “is this or that Paleo”? I found myself saying a simple yes and no to these questions and I had total revelation.
I have been following this revelation as well for months now and I think it really works… here it is:
Just because a particular food is Paleo, it doesn’t mean you should eat it EVERY day… meaning if I’m a modern human but think like our ancestors, then just because I shop in the grocery store and not hunt for my food, should I not “hunt” for my food in the store too?
So now I rotate my veggies, meat and eat fruit that is in season locally only. Honey is a treat that carried a big risk for our ancestors so I treat it the same.
What do you guys think of rotating our food sources like our ancestors would have to do?
Abby Lewis says
I believe life is all about balance…even the way we eat.
What happened to your blood pressure?? – I’m wheat and corn free for 22 years now. My BP is regularly around 90/60 – my wife is the opposite she has high BP up to 160 to 170 at times and is on lisiniprol.
I’ve dabbled with paleo but do my regime for my arthritis that has massively reduced with diet changes – it is more for my wife and her BP.
These stories from others really help to encourage people to try!
Sean Bowley says
Sean P… My initial BP was between 140-150/110. Strict Paleo per Robb’s solution dropped it down to 128/100 in about 30 days no real excersise… just walks in the morning.
After 45 days it went down to about 120/90 with Paleo and added interval training in my garage, volleyball workouts and regular surfing on the weekends. Nothing really hard and heavy. Before the 30 day challenge, my joints hurt so bad I could barely do push ups.
After 60 days… it hovers around 110-120/80. I’m sure it’s the added sleep, paleo diet and regular excersise… right from the book.
I would say getting really good sleep and paleo diet will start adjusting everthing and adding good solid interval training will keep it down at the normal levels.
Just been diagnosed with diabetics type 2. Been doing Paleo for 8 weeks now and intermittent fasting for 2. Have not lost any weight but need to loose between 5 and 8kgs. Not working out a lot but riding my bike for an hour twice a week and doing Gyrotonic and Feldenkrais weekly. Help! I need a plan to loose this weight
Eva- I don’t know if you have looked back here since August, but I would not recommend the fasting you are doing as a diabetic. You want to regulate your body, not shock it. I am not familiar with the (German?) exercise you mentioned, but I found lifting weights to be effective as well as walking everywhere I could. Women’s body’s sometimes react differently from men’s (that’s why they can switch to something like Paleo and it seems like their weight just melts away, but women can have a harder time). And everyone’s body and ability to digest and use nutrients is different. If you can lose the weight (no matter the diet- for the most part) you should see significant change. “They” say if you lose 10% of your body weight it makes a huge difference. It did for me. I lost 30 pounds 5 years ago through lifestyle change (though I shouldn’t admit it here- it was a switch to vegetariansim and eventually veganism for a few years- then to ovo-vegetarianism- and good portion control- and getting to know my local gym). Got my A1c back into pre-diabetic range and my lipids almost to borderline (they eventually fell below borderline). Over time I stayed there and kept the weight off, but I have been slacking on the gym for a while now and had some other non-defined health issues, so I finally have been transitioning to Paleo to see if that can help (and I have the gym scheduled for later today).
I’m only in day 6 and I have been following Whole30 strictly. The bad thing I do is eat too much high fat meat, and still just eat too much of the allowable foods. I’m also bad in that I do check weight and have lost about 8 pounds.
But the real story is blood sugar. My type 2 diabetes A1C has been 8-9, with morning sugar from 200 to 275. I was happy if anytime during the day I was under 200. However, on Whole 30 I have watched my numbers drop and drop, even after cutting back on pre-meal insulin. Pre dinner tonight was 117, and two hours after 130. That’s a serious and welcome change.
My only concern now will be adding in some foods post Whole30, but I will try to be scientific and go slow adding new foods. I really miss my oatmeal or bulgar for breakfast and will start there.
Deirdre Myers says
Very inspiring! I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 3 years ago next month. I was on Metformin which made me feel horrible. I’ve recently been eating only foods that are rated low on the glycemic index so more fish, fruits, chicken, nuts and vegetables. I haven’t seen a lot of weight loss yet but my blood sugar levels have steadily gotten lower and lower each day, I’m beginning week 3 since making these changes. The length and quality of sleep I have each night is much improved, I haven’t had a migraine since I started, my energy levels are much improved. It’s been a challenge at times but the proof is in the pudding. I applaud what you accomplished, it let’s me know my efforts and these changes can make a huge impact.
Christine Lehmann says
I just wanted to echo other comments here in support of the testimony’s claim that the Paleo diet can and does reverse prediabetes and type 2 diabetes in combination with reasonable exercise and stress management. It’s the most effective natural solution out there for people who don’t want to go on medication.
Christine Lehmann says
It’s great that the Paleo diet moved his blood sugar #s into the normal range. The “dawn phenomenon” he referred to occurs between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m., when the body increases the production of certain hormones including cortisol and glucagon. They suppress the activity of insulin, a hormone that transports glucose into cells to use for energy and reduces blood sugar levels. These hormones trigger the liver to release enough glucose to give the body the energy to wake up. However, people with diabetes either fail to produce insulin
or properly use the insulin that is available and their glucose continues to rise
to abnormally high levels (hyperglycemia).
Julia Pace says
Sean Bowley – Appreciated hearing about your struggle with high blood sugar and dawn phenomena. Since Rob Wolf has written more than one book, the cortisol information is on page 124 of which one of his books? I am trying not to become a type 2 diabetic.
Was it the 30 day Paleo Transformation?
LA Rita says
Thankyou. For. Your. Encouraging. Story. What. A. Difference. Healthy. Lifestyle. Makes. I am. Going. To. Begin. Again myself. I have. Diabetes. 2. And. After. Some. Health. Concerns. I. Did. Some. Research. Read. Testimonies. Of. The. Benefits. From. The. Vegetarian. Diabetic. Program. Stuck. With. It. For. 8. Months. Faithfully. Lost. 35. Pounds my. Energy. Level. Skyrocketed. Seriously. All from. Feeding. My. Body. Health. I. Backslid. Into. The. Old. Eating. Habits. And. Gained. 25. Pounds. Back. Tired. No energy. Exhausted. All. Because. Of. Sugar. Meat. White. Processed. Foods. Fast. Foods. Starting. Now. On the. Road. To recovery. Ohyea. Better. To. Start. Young. Discipline. Yourself. But. When. Your. Old. You. Have. No choice. If. You. Want. To. Really. Enjoy. Life. Live. The. Good. Life. Thanks. Godbless
new type 2 diabetic, very upsetting, need help .
Linda Brown says
Just found your website. I am struggling with my type 2 diabetes, and need very much to end this vicious cycle for multiple reasons. It’s time to find a kick butt buddy to hold my feet to the flames. So, I’m all in!
It’s just me and my three kids. It doesn’t make sense that I change and they don’t. So my love for cooking real food from scratch needs an overhaul! Help!
Christi Calvert says
Dear Sean, so I’m actually crying as I write this because of how much empathy I feel for you. I’ve been type 2 for 13 years now and my sugars became out of control. I got all the bad news…you may be blind soon, develop heart disease, lose your feet, etc. I’ve been to every doctor imaginable and they’ve all just thrown medicine at me and diagnosed this as ‘chronic fatigue syndrome’ on top of type 2. No one can help me or believe me when I say how horrible I feel: no energy, mood swings, exhausted, out of control sugars, always hungry. The list goes on and on.
Christi Calvert says
When I read about your dawn phenomenon, it brought me to tears. I started experiencing this the past year and no one can figure out why this dawn phenomenon is happening. Just the possibility that I can get to that point someday gives me so much emotion. Diabetes can feel like a demoralizing death sentence. For the first time in a decade, I feel hopeful. Your story really moved and motivated me. Thank you for sharing.