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Is it Ever Too Late to Go Primal?

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  • Is it Ever Too Late to Go Primal?

    I'm asking because my parents are intrigued, but I don't want to steer them wrong, and I know for sure their Doctors won't agree to this.

    Some history:

    My Dad is 77. He has COPD, Congestive Heart Failure and Type II Diabetes. He's had an angioplasty, stents and also has a pacemaker. He recently spent over 2 months in a hospital and we almost lost him. He went in with pneumonia, received very strong antibiotics and ended up with a C-Diff infection that killed all the flora in his colon. A regimen of pro-biotics saved his life (why he wasn't given them along with the antibiotics in the first place, I'll never understand). Since he has been home a nurse comes to the house once or twice a week, and she took his oxygen levels, which turned out to be very low, so he spent the weekend in the hospital as the fear was that he had pnemonia again. Turns out it was the COPD and he will now be on oxygen all the time at home.

    The other side affect of the antibiotics they used to treat the pneumonia put his sugar off the charts (425 range) and they started giving him insulin in the hospital (he's never had to take insulin before or since). Also I was appalled at what they fed him--it was a typical SAD diet and they would even give him a slice of white bread with dinner, orange juice with breakfast, a sandwich for lunch. That's a diabetes diet?!

    My Mom is 75 and has high blood pressure, arthritis and Type II diabetes. So far she has not had any heart problems, but has always been very overweight.

    Both of them take a staggering amount of prescription medications.

    They are very pleased with my new lifestyle because they want me to avoid the poor health that they have had recently.

    Mom has recently shown an interest in this new way of eating and living. Obviously, most of the exercise would be out of the question, but I have some questions before I recommend it to them?

    1) Given all the medications they take (typical for their conditions), could it be dangerous for them?

    2) If not dangerous, what could reasonably be expected to improve for them. Off the top of my head, I think perhaps the Diabetes would probably become much more manageable, or ideally become nonexistent. I'm not sure how it would affect COPD, Congestive Heart failure, etc.

    Any thoughts or knowledge on this?

  • #2
    If it is more pain-free and vital life that they want then it is not too late. I say go for it, there is nothing about primal that is harmful for people with those diseases, in fact the opposite. I am confident that they could have big improvements in everything and live better with good nutrition and lifestyle (might want to go easy on the extreme fitness though!)
    Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

    Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

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    • #3
      It grieves me terribly when elderly friends resist even vitamin D supplementation. One source I read says that there is no naturally occurring congestive heart failure absent vitamin D deficiency. It is never too late to try, in my book.

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      • #4
        Thanks, Stabby, that makes perfect sense.

        Of course, I don't expect to see them doing a 5K or anything, but it would be nice to be able to buy them a few good quality years. I realize that they have already lived the average American lifespan, but you know, when it's your parents, you want to keep them around for a while

        Dad is very depressed about this recent turn of events, he's never been the sickly type despite his ailments, and he is not happy at all about having to be on oxygen.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by slacker View Post
          It grieves me terribly when elderly friends resist even vitamin D supplementation. One source I read says that there is no naturally occurring congestive heart failure absent vitamin D deficiency. It is never too late to try, in my book.
          Thanks, I have no doubt I will be able to convince them to supplement with Vitamin D, if nothing else.

          Comment


          • #6
            I am 68. Mild congestive heart failure. Angioplasty and stent. Had Type II. Doing great on primal.

            Exercise? Almost everyone can walk, even if slowly. Everyone can lift something. Even bedridden people benefit from lifting light weights.

            I don't have COPD. In fact I had to Google it. But D has let me get off allergy meds and breath easily.

            I say have them Grok on!
            Ancestral Health Info

            I design websites and blogs for a living. If you would like a blog or website designed by someone who understands Primal, see my web page.

            Primal Blueprint Explorer My blog for people who are not into the Grok thing. Since starting the blog, I have moved close to being Archevore instead of Primal. But Mark's Daily Apple is still the best source of information about living an ancestral lifestyle.

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            • #7
              A word of caution. Many drugs counteract the effects of a poor diet, especially an inflammatory one. Correcting diet without adjusting the drugs can mean overtreatment, which has its own risks.

              Best example I can give is that when I took the prescribed anti-platelet regime (clopidogrel and aspirin) after a MI and stents then got onto an anti-inflammatory diet with fish oil, turmeric and cocoa, my blood got too thin. I bruised easily, had constant knee pain and got exertion headaches. Figured I was a stroke candidate so cut out the drugs and fish oil. cutting out the clopidogrel got rid of the knee pain, cutting aspirin got rid of the bruising and cutting fish oil got rid of the exertion headaches.

              Your parents may not be up for this kind of trial and error and their physicians will most likely prefer drugs over unproven dietary treatments
              Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

              Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

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              • #8
                I have to shake my head in disbelief when allowing the body to use its intrinsic anti-inflammatory mechanisms is "unproven". And yet there it is!
                Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

                Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm new here, but have been wanting to ask this same question. My mom's 61 and along with a host of other health problems and life-long obesity is currently suffering from migraines that are inducing mini-stroke-like symptoms (akin to TIAs if you are familiar). She's not allowed to work or drive so life is getting pretty crappy all around for her and I have been toying with the idea of suggesting PB with VLC. My only concern is that she's under about 15 different doctor's care right now with who knows what kinds of drugs and whatnot going on. So, without at least her primary care phys on board, could this just be complicating matters? Her meds are all dosed to her current diet, weight and lifestyle so a major adjustment to any of those could have unforeseen consequences, right?

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                  • #10
                    I am a hospice RN.
                    Never too late. And all of those diseases shorten life. Why would you not want to reverse most of those sx and reduce the rest?

                    I don't think it is completely necessary for the doc to be on board, although w PB it is recommended to eat plenty of vegies which would make it seem more appealing. BUT it is important to inform the doc of your plan so VS, BG, etc can be monitored and meds adjusted accordingly.

                    Also home monitoring of BP, BG, etc will be important.

                    When discussing w the doc, be prepared!! And it is important to let the doc know that since quality of life is diminishing w current woe....well hey, why not try something else.
                    Last edited by jem51; 04-18-2011, 10:22 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jem51 View Post
                      I am a hospice RN.
                      Never too late. And all of those diseases shorten life. Why would you not want to reverse most of those sx and reduce the rest?
                      I agree - although I think that close medical supervision is also a good idea. It sounds like they are both (especially dad) under a lot of medical monitoring anyways.
                      Karin

                      A joyful heart is good medicine

                      He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliot

                      Mmmmm. Real food is good.

                      My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread29685.html

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                      • #12
                        I think going gluten-free plus supping Vit D would go a long way toward improving their health without major upheaval. They don't have to change everything at once.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          No one ever asks if it is ok to eat junk food (SAD diet) when they are sick. It is amazing to me that we even need to have this conversation. If you have them stop eating grains and PUFA's and have them eat more animal fats and veggies with real butter or olive oil they will feel better.
                          Yes they should be monitored (as I am sure they are already) but if you wait for a Doctors permission to eat primal you will die first. They will not give permission to eat Primal because it is not common practice for their field and they will be worried that something might happen that they could be held accountable for.

                          My doctor kept suggesting I take Statins for my cholesterol (and she is pretty open minded). I always refused the statins and one day said " I will never take those things so stop asking" She said she was obligated to ask and to record my response for liability purposes.
                          Heck, I was even worried the first 30 days I tried primal because I did not know what to expect with all the brainwashing I have had over the years. I am sooo much healtier now with no aches and pains and all the other stuff everyone has already mentioned.
                          Last edited by Classic; 04-18-2011, 12:01 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Some good discussion here--I think I will encourage my parents as much as I can. Dad is depressed now because he has to be on oxygen at home now too. I can't see them making a huge radical change but I will suggest Vitamin D (what dosage?) and letting go of the bread and grain. Mom already loves using Olive Oil, and I can tell her about Coconut Oil and she will probably not have a problem getting rid of any other oils she is using.

                            They love all kinds of meats and vegetables--nothing much they don't like. However, they do love their bread and cereal too. Some lifelong habits are hard to break. One thing motivating me to stick with this is that perhaps that as they see changes in me, and adjust their diets. They HAVE shown interest.

                            I made cultured butter for them and they raved about that. They had already switched from margarine to real butter, they're in the right direction there, but I'm betting they are still buying lowfat milk.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Classic View Post
                              No one ever asks if it is ok to eat junk food (SAD diet) when they are sick. It is amazing to me that we even need to have this conversation. If you have them stop eating grains and PUFA's and have them eat more animal fats and veggies with real butter or olive oil they will feel better.
                              Yes they should be monitored (as I am sure they are already) but if you wait for a Doctors permission to eat primal you will die first. They will not give permission to eat Primal because it is not common practice for their field and they will be worried that something might happen that they could be held accountable for.
                              Those are very good points!

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