We all know the successes that many heart disease, type II diabetes, and obesity patients have had with adopting a Paleo diet and lifestyle. You may be surprised to see some other conditions that a paleo diet (in all its variations – low carb/gluten free/celiac/hunter-gatherer) seems to help
Perhaps one of the most surprising reversals has been that of autism in children.
Dr. Emily Deans, a psychiatrist in Massachusetts has taken an evolutionary science based approach to searching for links between nutrition and mental health problems of the 21st century – particularly their correlation to a compromised gut health and food tolerances due to a grain based, low fat diet. Here is a link to her blog posts on nutrition and autism.
Here is another story on how a paleo diet helped heal Charlotte, a 2 year old, from Sensory Processing Disorder and Autism.
2. Multiple Sclerosis:
An inspiring video of Dr. Terry Wahls on how she successfully reversed her Multiple Sclerosis by switching to a paleo diet, focusing on raw foods and specific nutrients needed for the function of myelin (the sheath lining the nervous system) and mitochondria (the energy producing units in every cell).
Now even featured in mainstream media, Alzheimer’s disease is being thought of as a nutritional disorder, sort of like “diabetes of the brain”. Low insulin sensitivity has been linked to higher risks for Alzheimer’s.
Here is a truly amazing story of how Nita Scoggan, helped reverse her husband’s advanced Alzheimer’s symptoms by making changes to his diet – namely eliminating grains and other sugary foods and introducing some vitamin supplements.
4. Autoimmune Thyroid/ Hashimoto’s:
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease where your body is attacking your thyroid gland. This autoimmune reaction is triggered by environmental factors,one of the primary triggers being gluten and its related products. Here is an excellent overview by a paleo blogger who has Hashimoto’s and is symptomless.
Here is another success story of how Janelle, diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and told she would need to wait 10 years before she could be put on any medication due to her condition. Needless to say that led to her depression. After being introduced to paleo nutrition she was able to reverse it and get her life back!
The subfix “-itis” means inflammatio. That’s why it makes sense that minimizing inflammation within the body would help prevent or relieve an inflammatory health condition.
Marks Daily Apple has this great article that explains how the greatest predictor of osteoarthritis is nutrition, not wear and tear of joints. There are some very informative links within this article discussing the relation between gluten intolerance and arthritis.
Did you know that Depression is one of the leading causes of disability, affecting more than 120 million people worldwide? In the US, antidepressants are now the most popular class of drugs.
Here is a testimonial on Robb Wolf’s website about Laura, who had struggled with depression for most of her life, but signing up for a Paleo Challenge at the gym changed her life.
While most of us are under the notion that depression is a result of imbalances in some of the brain chemicals such as serotonin, increasing evidence suggests that antidepressants do not help “cure” depression, but on the contrary have extremely adverse side effects and risks associated with their use. Here is a series of articles by Chris Kresser discussing the potential causes of depression and also more lifestyle and natural oriented ways to address it.
Another one of the most prevalent modern day diseases, often attributed to aging, is the result of low bone density.
Professor and scientist Dr. Art Ayers, at Cooling Inflammation has several articles discussing the cause of this low bone density due to an imbalance between bone production and bone loss. Here is the article suggesting the treatment of osteoporosis through a low inflammation diet- particularly by avoiding the use of omega-6 rich vegetable oils, and supplementing with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids (fish oils).
8. Huntington’s Disease:
Here is a great overview by Loren Cordain explaining how Huntington’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder that is genetic, is triggered by environmental factors, particularly wheat.
9. Crohns Disease:
This is an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the lining of the small intestine.
Here is an interesting thread in a Crohn’s Disease forum of people discussing their experiences in managing symptoms or going into remission with a gluten/grain free paleo diet.
Crohn’s Disease is often thought of as an advanced (or eventual) form of a leaky gut.
10. Irritable Bowel Syndrome:
Affecting one in five Americans, this is possibly one of the most frustrating disorders that is least explained by conventional western medicine.
However, there is the FODMAP approach that has become increasingly popular in managing IBS and other inflammatory gut disorders. FODMAPs are classes of sugars that people with IBS are unable to completely absorb, leading to their fermentation within the intestinal tract and causing the various IBS symptoms.
Here is an article discussing what FODMAPs are, who may be susceptible and how it can be addressed.