When I went on the Paleolithic Diet 4 months ago I was amazed at the reduction in my insulin requirements. I found myself using less and less insulin, and even after allowing for some complex carbohydrates like quinoa and sweet potatoes, the drop was unbelievable.
I also found myself having fewer highs and lows and except for the troubles I’ve been having during my runs — drops in BS levels – I had a feeling that I had found a new way of life that would help me manage my diabetes.
During the first year after being diagnosed with diabetes, I enjoyed a nice honeymoon period, using very small amounts of insulin, while keeping to a low carb diet. I also enjoyed very good care as part of a trial for a diabetes vaccine that was supposed to stop my immune system from destroying my beta cells. Needless to say, the vaccine did not work (I found out I got the drug and not placebo), but I did enjoy frequent testing and guidance from top doctors for an entire year. During this year my HbA1c levels were great – between 5.4 and 6 (at diagnosis, it was 15.7).
My honeymoon period didn’t last and I found myself needing more and more insulin. I also found myself eating more carbohydrates thinking that since I was using insulin anyway it didn’t make difference (my doctors seemed to encourage this line of thought). Since then my HbA1c levels have been around 7 (from 6.8 – 7.2) and I suffer many highs and many lows. I accepted this to be the way things are, and I was told by a few doctors that a HbA1c level of 7 was good for a type 1 diabetic and that the only way to get this down was to go on the pump.
Like many people with type 1 diabetes, I get a blood test every 3 months. A month after going on the Paleo Diet I did a blood test which showed my cholesterol levels were normal (I take a statin) and my HbA1c was 6.4. I was extremely pleased with this result, but was not sure it had anything to do with the new diet.
Yesterday I got the results for my latest blood tests and my HbA1c is 6! No doubt about it, the caveman diet works – even with the addition of a minimal amount of complex carbs. I’m still not through adjusting my insulin levels to the diet but I’m sure that my blood sugar levels will improve once I figure it out.
My cholesterol levels were also better than before although I haven’t been very strict about taking my medication. In fact, I’ve decided to stop the statins and see what happens next time.
The Paleo Diet may not be for everyone (especially not for my wife) but it seems to be working for me.