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October 26, 2012

Type 1 Diabetes No Match for Primal Lifestyle!

By Guest
246 Comments

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

My name is Shawn and I am 28 years old. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes about a year ago. I haven’t seen many stories or articles related to diabetes on the MDA website so I thought I would share how going Primal has helped me take back control over my health and wellbeing.

First of all, I have actually been very healthy most of my life (or so I thought). In college I lifted weights, ran, and did pushups and sit-ups in my dorm room on a regular basis. I despised salad and fresh veggies, and loaded up on Hamburger Helper, cereal, and PB&J because it was convenient and I “worked it all off” during my workouts. I am 6’ tall and my weight maxed out at about 205 lbs (92 kgs) during my last year of college (2007)…perfectly healthy I thought.

Fast forward several years (during which I managed to drop about 10 lbs thanks to army basic training) to September of 2011. I started losing weight…lots of weight…about 25 lbs in 3 weeks to be exact, I drank water by the gallons, and I could no longer exercise without getting severe cramping in my legs. Something was obviously wrong, so I made an appointment with my doctor who I hadn’t seen in about 10 years. I had a fasting blood sugar level of 350 (normal is 70-99 mg/dL). The last several months of 2011 were very challenging. There was no explanation why I got this disease (no family history) and trying to come to terms with the fact that I would have to deal with this every day for the rest of my life was a bit overwhelming. I started working with diabetes educators and nutritionists at the local hospital and was told that I should take in about 320 CARBS/DAY(!!) based on my activity level. And they call themselves nutritionists?? Even my endocrinologist said I could eat whatever I wanted because the disease “sucks enough the way it is” and I just needed to shoot up with enough insulin to cover the food I was eating. At this point I still did not know any better so I bought into their conventional wisdom.

Needless to say, my blood sugar control was not good. I would go up to 250 right after meals, but since I dropped down to normal again after a few hours my doctor was fine with it. Being all too aware of the side effects of uncontrolled blood sugar, I decided to educate myself and become my own “nutritionist/doctor.”

Around January of this year a friend exposed me to the paleo diet. I checked it out and was intrigued. I started doing extensive reading and research (during which I came across this website) and decided to give it a try. I slowly started purging out the sugars/carbs/processed foods that were poisoning my body (especially cereal which was a staple of my diet at the time), and whaddya know…my blood sugars and overall health improved drastically, and my insulin requirements dropped like a rock!!!

Fast forward another 8 months to today and life has never been better! Through my faith, support of my wonderful wife and family, and a little help from the Primal Blueprint, I have been able to cope with my diabetes to the point that it is a mere afterthought in my everyday life. My diet includes massive amounts of meat/eggs/veggies/salad/nuts to fuel my active lifestyle, ~120 carbs worth/day with virtually no SAD food (if I do slip up, my blood sugar pays the price!). I do still indulge in some diabetic friendly, Primally questionable foods (quite a bit of cheese, a few peanuts, and the occasional artificially sweetened drink). I guess there is always room for improvement? I still work out quite often, but in Primal fashion: biking in to work as often as possible (~16 miles, 50 minutes each way), sprint sessions when I can’t get on the bike, and circuit-type training with pushups/pullups/core exercises/any other bodyweight exercise I can think up 4-5 days/week . The results: My weight has stabilized at 187 lbs (slightly less than pre-diabetes weight) while also managing to drop a couple pants sizes. I have tons of energy, especially compared to some of my type 2 diabetic relatives who always feel run-down due to their poor diets. (I’m trying to convert them, but no luck as of yet). And of course, combined with the omnipod insulin pump that I am now on (which I would strongly recommend to all insulin-dependent diabetics) I find it quite easy to tightly control my blood sugars (i.e. less than 100 AT ALL TIMES with very few hypoglycemic episodes, i.e. low blood sugar). And possibly the best part, my family/friends/coworkers are noticing these changes and starting to question their own diets and lifestyle habits…it’s like a contagious disease (the good kind)!

A few stats for the diabetics out there (or non-diabetics) who may be interested:

  • A1C – September 2011=13.0 (newly diagnosed), January 2012=5.7 (pre-Primal), May 2012=5.4 (partially Primal), November 2012=?? (should be under 5).
  • Average total insulin use per day (bolus+basal)=13-14 units (doctor thinks I’m still in the honeymoon phase after 1 year. Possibly, but I think it’s more a result of my diet and fitness level.)
  • Cholesterol levels at diagnosis: HDL=35, LDL=90, Tri=sky high because of high BS. Next test in November, the real indicator of the effectiveness of my new lifestyle!

I look forward to a long and healthy life (in spite of the diabetes) as my Primal lifestyle continues to evolve, and hopefully I can get more people on board! Thanks for reading and I hope this can provide some motivation for the diabetics out there who may need a little extra motivation once in a while!

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246 Comments on "Type 1 Diabetes No Match for Primal Lifestyle!"

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Nick
Nick
3 years 11 months ago

Dude. You’re beast. OWNED the diabetes! So cool 🙂

Erin
Erin
3 years 11 months ago

Lookin’ good! Those abs! :-O

Great to hear you’re helping friends/family question their own SAD. Keep up the good work!

André Angelantoni
3 years 11 months ago

Some people are ready to hear new information others need to see the changes in our bodies for the light bulb to go off (“Hmm…maybe there’s something to this paleo stuff.”). Every time people say, “Hey, you’ve lost weight, haven’t you?” I respond with, “Yep, I went paleo in January of this year and lost the troublesome last 8 lbs I wanted to.”

Keep up the great work!

Wayne
3 years 11 months ago

I find that very, very few people are open to hearing new information when it calls for drastic action like paleo/primal. They want a quick easy solution that won’t require to much modification to their currnet life. I have had a few friends try paleo get great results for 3 weeks and just stop cause they don’t care enough to put in the work.

S.T. Scrivener
S.T. Scrivener
3 years 11 months ago

That’s almost as infuriating as my friends, who say, “I’m like, addicted to carbs! I could never stop!”

Yeah, because you’re a unique snowflake.

Oly
Oly
3 years 11 months ago
After they threaten to cut me I explain, “both sugar and wheat have been found to bind to opiate receptors…so that defensive reaction is due to feeling like I just threatened to take your crack. People did not eat wonder bread 8,000 years ago, they ate a meal of whatever was available smooshed into a pancake or loaf. If it means that much to you, you could source ancient wheat and other grains but I think it’s easier to just eat more greens and fat to make up the difference.” Then just leave it at that. You’ve planted the seed… Read more »
Animanarchy
Animanarchy
3 years 10 months ago

…and another typical thing some people say, “I smoke, do you think I’m worried about what I eat or my cellphone?”
boom headshot

Danielle
Danielle
1 year 10 months ago

I love this statement. I may start referring to people as a unique snowflake from now on when the situation warrants. 🙂

Saret
Saret
3 years 11 months ago
I am experiencing the same. Friends tell me I look great and ask me how I manage to stay thin while entering the mid-life phase. I always share my “secret” of paleo/primal lifestyle, but see none of my friends making even the slightest modifications in their diets. Even though I went cold turkey on carbs and sugars, I encourage them with baby steps, being patient with themselves, etc, but it is as if the effort is just too much. I do not understand how the effort can be too much to improve quality of life so drastically. I forward the… Read more »
Angel
3 years 11 months ago

It’s the zombie apocalypse, people, I tell ya … it’s happening NOW.

http://www.divinemind.biz/blog/2012/10/22/the-zombie-apocalypse-is-happening-now/

Christina
Christina
3 years 5 months ago

I know!! I go through this with my family members and it drives me crazy…they come to me with their health problems, digestive issues, and wanting to feel better…and I tell them what has worked for me – and they’re smart people – and they just ignore me. I love them but sometimes I feel tired of being asked if no one is going to listen. PHEW! Guess I had to get that off my chest 🙂

But excellent success story, thank you for sharing. These personal stories are excellent motivation.

Patrice
2 years 7 months ago

Well said! I’ve had the exact same experience.

Joe Carbup
Joe Carbup
3 years 10 months ago
We all live in comfort zones. Some our comfort zones involve taking control of our health, while the comfort zones of others involve less healthy behaviors. Even if they see their health going down, they might take comfort in the fact that they’re just doing what “everyone else” does and recommends. Diving into what, to them, is a drastic change in lifestyle takes them out of their zone. For these people I would recommend smaller, incremental changes. They should see smaller, incremental improvements which might help them take comfort in the control they’ve taken in their health, which might inspire… Read more »
Animanarchy
Animanarchy
3 years 10 months ago

I engage in intermittent self-torture to feel like I’ve earned my comfort time. For example cold water plunges, resting/lazing only when necessary (mostly..), eating small amounts of raw meat once in a while, going for a barefoot hike in the rain through mud while not dressed warm.
I’m sick of the shelter I’m staying in and a lot of the people in it so this week I’ll be leaving with a sleeping bag and probably a tarp or two to be subject to the whims of the ecosystem.

Tina
Tina
3 years 7 months ago

I agree. For me, what has been interesting was making all of these big changes and then realizing, “it’s really not that big of a deal.” I think we are more attached to our comfort zones than the content of said comfort zones. Though, that said, we also don’t realize how messed up our insulin/leptin/ghrelin sytems are and how much they affect our ultimate behavior.

Siobhan
Siobhan
3 years 11 months ago

Great story, thanks for sharing it! I look forward to hearing the results of your November check-up.

emily
emily
3 years 11 months ago

Very nice! I have just started eliminating all processed foods, dairy, grains, etc from my diet. My daughter and I both had a borderline a1c test (5.7), so we are taking the advice from my primary care physician to lower it. It appears that you have done a great job with it and this inspires me to continue, thank you!

Wayne
3 years 11 months ago

Glad to hear you are taking your health seriously. Keep up the good work.

John
John
3 years 11 months ago

Shawn – way to overcome! Insirational story.

Missy
Missy
3 years 11 months ago

Great work Shawn! Curious to know if you’ve considered or tried the autoimmune protocol (no nuts, eggs, nightshades). Thanks for sharing your story, and best wishes for the future.

Susan
Susan
3 years 11 months ago

I’m curious to know this too. I’m a type 1 with great control since starting paleo, but can’t lose a pound even with lower insulin levels. I’m starting to wonder if its because I don’t follow the autoimmune protocol.

Shawn Reimes
Shawn Reimes
3 years 11 months ago

i havent really considered it, mostly because i eat alot of eggs and snack regularly on nuts between meals and i feel better than i ever have. If my blood sugar was out of control or if i was gaining wgt or getting upset stomach, i would definitely try it. although i should say ive never actually heard of the autoimmune protocol. Susan, maybe you are at your optimum body composition right now and you dont need to lose anymore weight?

KTJane
KTJane
2 years 7 months ago

Shawn, I’m also Type 1 diabetic, since age 2, and have celiac disease. I’m under good control but I’m interested in trying the Primal diet/lifestyle. I was curious what you do when/if your blood sugar gets low? What do you eat to bring it up quickly? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!

Shawn
Shawn
2 years 7 months ago

Hi ktjane, I always have glucose tablets or sweetarts available for when I go low, especially if im active. I find these to be the fastest acting and have the least amount of additives, basically just plain sugar. Milk or other high carb liquids will raise it even faster, but I typically drink these things. Its easy with liquids to drink too much and then rebound and go high!

Shawn
Shawn
2 years 7 months ago

typically >don’t< drink those things…

marcsfl
3 years 11 months ago

Good work!You might want to get a copy of Dr Bernstein’s book to help you tune in. Also, think like a pancreas has great info for pump users.

I had discussed getting a pump a year ago, but the reservoir was too small for my needs. By the time I got off the wheat and grains, my insulin doses were too low to bother with a pump. I now am 98% insulin free. Except for some Thai food that raised my bg, I haven’ needed a shot in 2 months.

schmotza
schmotza
3 years 11 months ago

My sister in law is type 1, she is on a sad diet and it seems like she barely eats. her portion sizes are sooooo small. when i watch her eat, i feel like i am starving to death. i know she is on that pump, however I do not know the specifics. I just wish that she would see what the rest of us sees and get healthy!

Jamie Schull
3 years 10 months ago

@marcsfl are you Type 1? How do you manage your need for basal insulin if you are Type 1? My 8 year old son has had type 1 for 6 1/2 years now and I am very curious about this.

Nancy
Nancy
2 years 4 months ago

Are you a type 1? If so, did you start as a type 2. I’m a type 1. I take very little insulin because I don’t eat much, but I still have to take a shot after I eat. I loved Shawn’s inspirational story. We are all looking for support and the cure for this life altering disease. I’ve had it for 13 years. I am trying the paleo diet, but my only vice is diet coke. I don’t ever crave sweets, just diet coke. Someone tell me how to get over this one.

Lisa
Lisa
2 years 4 months ago

How about trying plain mineral water or soda water with ice and some lemon or lime juice. I find it is really the bubbly water that I like. We have a Soda Stream, so I make my own carbonated water.

My child is type 1 on paleo, and it really controls his blood glucose levels easily. I recommend it for all diabetics (and non diabetics too!)

Rose
Rose
1 year 5 months ago

Wow, so are you T1D or T2D?

Anna
Anna
3 years 11 months ago

Thank you! It wasn’t till I became diabetic (T2) that I learned how appallingly, criminally deficient and dysfunctional the current medical guidelines for diabetes treatment are. It boggles the mind. So much so that intrepid ones among us have decided to fend for ourselves. Looking forward to your update!

Christina
Christina
3 years 11 months ago

Anna, I totally agree. So “SAD” that we have to fend for ourselves. Why doctors aren’t required to learn about nutrition is criminal. It’s not a healthcare system, it’s sickcare.

Doug D
Doug D
3 years 11 months ago

Exactly, Christina! We need holistic lifestyle approaches, not “Here, take this pill …” Clearly, that approach isn’t working. Our society is sicker than it’s ever been.

Ina Steckenreuter
Ina Steckenreuter
3 years 11 months ago

I’m a general practicioner in Germany and I learnt about nutrition – 100 hours of extra-lessons.
I was taught the low fat and whole grain story. That was 5 or 6 years ago and there hasn’t been a basic shift since.
The problem is twice:
1. Patients are mostly addicted to carbs (I myself was)
2. Money makes the world go round- I think the “Carbs-Lobby” is very strong
I’m sure, the American doctors want to help and not harm their patients – they don’t know better!

flunkyA
flunkyA
3 years 11 months ago
I’m a current medical student and a primal eater (lost 40ish pounds because of it). We are learning the basic calories=calories out/willpower paradigm for weight loss…even though on the same token we are also learning about how fats and proteins cause satiety on a hormonal level and how de novo lipogenesis and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is on the rise (which is caused by an increase in CARB CONSUMPTION!). My professors end all of their lectures with a list of “cool” new drugs that obese people/diabetics may be able to take one day to improve their poor/hopeless situations….it almost feels… Read more »
Kevin
Kevin
3 years 11 months ago
Great article and I would love to hear more testimonies of diabetics going primal. I’ve had high blood sugar for years but I was in denial. About 5 years ago, my a1c was about 6. I should have done something about it back then but I chose to ignore it. I had it checked a month ago and it was 13!! So, that was my wake up call and I’ve been primal for 4 weeks. My blood sugar is coming down daily with only a few setbacks. I noticed that the ravenous hunger pains stopped in less than a week.… Read more »
Kevin
Kevin
3 years 11 months ago

PS – I previously drank almost 100 oz of soft drinks per day. I know, that’s really horrible.

But, the good news is that with the primal diet, I’ve had very few sugar craving since day one of eating primal. A few bites of fruit here and there but not one sip of a soft drink in 4 weeks and I don’t miss it at all – amazing!!

Ariel
Ariel
3 years 10 months ago

You should try kombucha! It’s full of many different B-vitamins, and lots of probiotics. Plus, it tastes like fizzy rainbows mixed with joy.

Alyssa
Alyssa
3 years 10 months ago

+1

lockard
lockard
3 years 11 months ago

@Kevin
the less carb you eat = less insulin which means you can drop wt.
check out TheEatingAcademy.com Dr. Attia talks a lot about insulin and the effect it has on wt. loss

Pete
Pete
3 years 11 months ago
Sean, One thing to check if your Triglycerides are “sky high” is Alcohol. I got diagnosed as being “Allergic” to alcohol about 12 years ago. My tri’s were 650 or so, and they determined that Alcohol was the cause. My Tri’s dropped to Normal (100-150) even though I was severely obese at the time. Since Alcohol is a sugar, and it is the kind that can’t be stored, it causes the body to want to store all other types of food as fat (hence the term “Beer Belly”) and causes the triglycerides to go up as a result. In cases… Read more »
Anna
Anna
3 years 11 months ago

Just wanted to point out one thing: alcohol is not a sugar, it’s not even a carbohydrate.

That said, it’s true that the body tries do get rid of alcohol by burning it off as quickly as possible and also by turning it into fatty acids (causing fatty liver in the unlucky).

Jackie
Jackie
3 years 10 months ago
What do you think alcohol is made of? He is obviously talking about produced alcohol, such as beer and wine – not the OH-group attached to a molecule of some kind which contains oxygen and hydrogen. Just a few examples of the alcohols we drink: Beer (4,5%) per 100ml: Carbs 4,1g (2g glukos, 2g maltos) Ethanol 3,5g Protein 0,4g Fat 0g Gives 43 kalorier, 39% from carbs. Wine (8-15%), per 100ml: Carbs 0,5g Ethanol 9g Protein 0,3g Fat 0g Gives 68 kalorier, 3% from carbs. The more “pure” the alohol you drink is, the less carbs does it contain. But… Read more »
Meagan
3 years 11 months ago

Wow I’ve never seen one of those insulin pods! Is it connected to you inside??

lockard
lockard
3 years 11 months ago

it has a small tube like IV’s and it just goes into your skin/fat you have to change them every so often (i have a minimed pump and i change mine every 72 hours)

Shawn Reimes
Shawn Reimes
3 years 11 months ago

Its different from pretty much all other pumps in that it is tube free and run by remote control. I tried both types of pumps when i first got it, and there was no comparison for me…so nice not to have to deal with all the tubing and everything.

Sarah
Sarah
3 years 11 months ago

That pump looks awesome! I am a t1 and I just changed to a pump this year… no comparison to MDI of course… but now I want that pump!! Mine has tubing and I don’t yet have a remote… Maybe when I’m rich… 😛

Mike
Mike
3 years 7 months ago

I just switched the omnipod from Minimed (after 14 years with minimed) last week. I LOVE IT! It is the best solution for me!

lockard
lockard
3 years 11 months ago

wow dude jealous! T1D since 15 (now 27) and primal since june (just finished a marathon so now primal fitness as well)my A1c has never been good 7.4 was the last one in July (one month as primal dropped it from 9) next one in 2 wks- we will see…congrats though keep it up

Kelly O'Connell Schmidt
3 years 10 months ago

Keep up the good work. The more you test, the more you know and the more you care and choose primal foods, you will get there. I have been T1 for 20 years (28yo female) and practice as a private RD advocating this diet to other T1’s.

Claire C
Claire C
3 years 8 months ago

Hi. I’ve been T1 for 36 yrs, on a pump for 15 yrs and now also have overactive thyroid – waiting for date to have thyroid removed. Last A1c was 8.6 due to the thyroid complication. Can this diet help with the thyroid problem too? I know omitting refined carbs has massive impact on control but have fallen off the wagon due to other health issues. Needing some inspiration here!

Cassiusmom
Cassiusmom
3 years 11 months ago

Love your story.
And I love your Omnipod.
My little boy is 5 and just started on the pod in July!
Since going primal, his insulin needs have greatly decreased.

Alison Golden
3 years 11 months ago

Wow, Shawn, you look great! Coming from a family that has been severely traumatized by the effects of T1 and T2 diabetes, this is very inspiring although *facepalm* over the advice and reaction of your doctor. So glad you were able to see through it and listen to your friend. Congratulations!

alexandra
3 years 11 months ago

Congratulations! Another great success history 🙂

Patrícia
3 years 11 months ago

God, this is absolutely fantastic.

The proof not only that food is the medicine, but also that non-food is the poison.

Congratulations to you, great warrior!

Carol
Carol
3 years 11 months ago

I LOVE Friday’s!!! Shawn, your story is just another testimonial as to why this way of life is so great! You look awesome and more than that, you’ve taken control of your health – in spite of the advice/instructions/directions given to you by doctors and nutritionist with their CW. When will they open their eyes and see that CW doesn’t work?? Thank you for sharing your story!!!!

Gayle
Gayle
3 years 11 months ago

Absolutely FABULOUS body!WoW 🙂

Mission Possible
Mission Possible
3 years 11 months ago

That is a great story….congrats.

PS. great looking family too!

Luke DePron
Luke DePron
3 years 11 months ago

Congrats. Very inspiring story. Looking good keep it up! Love to hear the next update.

Christina
Christina
3 years 11 months ago

I love stories like this. I love how it shows that we each need to take control of our own health. The medical community is so incredibly deficient in nutritional knowledge it’s pathetic. Great job, Shawn. You are an inspiration.

mars
mars
3 years 11 months ago

Congratulations! You look fabulous and what an adorable family you have 🙂

ponymama
ponymama
3 years 11 months ago

WOW! Wish more of my family would get the hint by this and just tre it.

Julie
Julie
3 years 11 months ago

Great testimony, Shawn and thank you for sharing it. My brother was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a young adult also. We have heard that viruses can trigger a response causing the the body to turn on itself, in this case the pancreas. Our family has been very concerned about our brother’s well being as it seems that he feels crummy most the time. Your story is the first account from someone with type 1 that I have heard about. It gives us hope.

Roy
Roy
3 years 11 months ago

Good on ya Shawn, I was exactly the same only type 2, I could not believe what they were telling me and did the same as you. Now my BG is normal, HBA1C 5.3mmol, I have lost 3.5 st in 6 months and feel better than I ever have, I go gym 3 times a week, go swimming with my boy’s, and feel fantastic and I’m 52. Keep it up and good health.

Violet
Violet
3 years 11 months ago

3.5 stone is about 50 pounds! Well done.

Sara
Sara
3 years 11 months ago

Congrats Shawn! I also have type 1 diabetes, and I have seen many of the same results as you with the Primal diet. Is that a RoadID I see on your arm? It’s my favorite accessory, which doubles as medical alert in case of an emergency. I hope you will update as time goes on 🙂

Shawn Reimes
Shawn Reimes
3 years 11 months ago

it is a med ID bracelet, got it on ebay from a company in the UK. its rubber and not real flashy so something i thought i could wear during exercise or for going out, work, etc. After 10 months its been great, no wear showing yet..

Caroline
Caroline
3 years 11 months ago
Shawn, this is a very timely story for me. My five year old daughter was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes around 6 months ago, and it has been a difficult transition, more for me than for her, I think due to her age. I was wondering if you could point me in the direction of more resources to check out besides the books that’s been mentioned. We were also told that it’s no problem for your blood sugar to go up as long as it comes down again. I’d like to know more about what happens in our bodies when… Read more »
Chuck
Chuck
3 years 11 months ago
Caroline – a good site to visit is the Blog of Dr. Michael Eades. Look for the articles ‘Metabolisn and Ketosis’ and ‘Getting started…’ His url is http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/ I found it very helpful in my understanding of what happens when I eat. I am a t2d and was diagnosed almost 20 years ago. At the time I weighed 225 – 230 lbs. My advice was the typical eat carbs and lose weight. Never worked! Over the years pills and a bit of eating self control kept my sugars under control. On July 4th I started PB at 220 lbs. I… Read more »
Buck
Buck
3 years 11 months ago
Blood sugar spikes are bad. What happens is the body’s cells – especially the nerves – get soaked in more glucose than they can tolerate, and each time it happens, they get damaged a little tiny bit. Once or twice – maybe even hundreds of times – and the nerves work fine. But there comes a point after repeated dunkings that the nerves no longer work as well as they used to. After thousands of incidents, the nerves begin to fail outright. The best scenario is where the BG doesn’t rise at all. The next best is that it rises… Read more »
gibson girl
gibson girl
3 years 11 months ago

+1 Caroline, this is very good advice.

Dr. Richard K. Bernstein’s Diabetes Book is the best I know of, plus he has a great forum full of very helpful people on his website. He is T1 himself.

Shawn, you have a great story. I totally agree about mainstream medical advice being insufficient for diabetic health. My own doctor thinks it’s criminal. You’re so lucky you found low carb paleo early! Keeping blood sugar low at all times will greatly diminish neuropathy.

Love your family photo, too!

Shawn Reimes
Shawn Reimes
3 years 11 months ago

this is exactly right…ive even read that extreme blood sugar spikes can be worse than consistently high blood sugar for reasons stated above.
Dr bernsteins book is probably the best resource..its what really initially woke me up to the side effects of uncontrolled blood sugar when i first started becoming ‘educated’. He is very strict and somewhat intense with his suggestions but it makes a world of difference even if you can just follow a few of his guidelines.

Dom
Dom
3 years 6 months ago
Shawn, I’m an highly active T1D on a pump and I’m trying to go primal, but I’m not seeing the results I expected. I’m 26 and I’ve had T1D for 4.5 years. I’ve tried to cut out all carbohydrates for the past week, but I’m wondering if I need to bolus for vegetables and protein or just adjust my basal rates and eat relatively similar meals at consistent increments. Can you tell me what and when you eat on a typical day? Also, do you bolus for vegetables, protein, or fat? My numbers are crazy, which is dangerous in my… Read more »
Melanie
Melanie
3 years 11 months ago
Good luck to your daughter, Caroline! There are lots of great Type 1 mom bloggers out there that you could use as resources. I found “Think Like a Pancreas” by Gary Scheiner to be great for learning the history of diabetes and some of the basics for figuring out basal/bolus rates. I, too, am on the Omnipod pump and love it. For your daughter, considering her as gluten intolerant would help in some ways. However, tons of gluten free products are on the market and aren’t necessarily low carb. They’re probably made of rice flour or bean flour or potato… Read more »
Anne
Anne
3 years 11 months ago

About 8-10% of those with T1 will test positive for celiac disease but tests are far from perfect. Also there are many more people who test negative for celiac disease but are still very gluten intolerant. Grains are eliminated in the paleo diet and in the diet Dr. Bernstein recommends. Dr. Bernstein says that grains quickly raise blood sugar in most.

Kelly O'Connell Schmidt
3 years 10 months ago

Caroline, hoping I can provide some advice. I am a T1, have been for 20 yrs and now practice as a private RD in Chicago. The best thing you can consider is removing all gluten from your daughter’s diet. I went to a conference in 2010 with many holistic practitioners and hands down they were baffled I was T1 and eating wheat, etc. Today, I feel much better and have made the transition to full paleo. I am sorry you have been getting controversial advice, and if you need anything from a RD, please feel free to contact me.

Jamie Schull
3 years 10 months ago
@Caroline Believe me the blood sugar spikes definitely cause harm, for many years I have seen the effect of highs and lows in my 8 year old son (diagnosed type 1 at 21 months), dramatic mood swings, headaches, leg cramps, stomach aches, bad grades when he normally gets straight A’s. It affects him in school now as well. He has been on the omni pod for three years now and with semi-paleo (Grandma’s just do not understand) we are starting to really get some better numbers. I have found that cutting dairy from his diet keeps him much more consistent.… Read more »
alexa smith
alexa smith
3 years 10 months ago

read “the diabetes solution” by dr. richard bernstein. i have been a T1 for over 30 years and this book answered every (almost) question i’ve had yet could never get answered from my “doctors”. this book also paved the way for me to start the primal diet. good luck and best wishes to you and your daughter.

Nick
Nick
3 years 11 months ago

Whoa I think the real test of the effectiveness of your diet and lifestyle would be a mirror, holy crap you look great.

Jenny
Jenny
3 years 11 months ago

Hi, Shawn, it’s great to read your story! I’m guessing I’m pre-diabetic based on testing my own blood sugar periodically, and have not seen a doctor for it. I’m curious as to what good blood sugar numbers are to shoot for, in your experience. Based on reading, I’ve been thinking if I stay below 120 or 140, that’s good, but in your story, you mention that you keep your blood sugar below 100 at all times. How did you come up with that goal?

Pamsc
3 years 11 months ago

A great source of lots of information on goals is: http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/ The quick answer is under 140 one hour after eating, under 120 two hours after eating. Fasting should be lower than that.

Shawn Reimes
Shawn Reimes
3 years 11 months ago

A ‘normal’ blood sugar reading is in the low 80s, which is what most people are at 90% of the day. i try to aim for that as much as possible, with a slight increase for an hr or so after meals. CW says that 120 or under is ‘normal’, but that would equal an A1C of almost 6.0 which is far from normal or healthy.
Its really not hard to stay under 100 if you dont eat SAD food.

Jenny
Jenny
3 years 11 months ago

Thanks for your reply–that helps to know!

Frank
Frank
3 years 11 months ago

Keep up the good work Shawn! Keep away from the artificial sweeteners they are carcinogens…!

Primalmontana
Primalmontana
3 years 11 months ago

Awesome success story!! Love it!

I have a friend with gestational diabetes. Her Dr. Told her to choose 45-60g carbs/meal (5 meals/day!) wow…really! I told her that’s twice as much as I get (I am also pregnant w/no gestational diabetes.) she just looked at me and shrugged and said her Dr. Knows best…

Scott UK
Scott UK
3 years 11 months ago

Dude, give yourself some credit. “Faith” is just another word for resolve, determination and commitment. You did this! Not some higher power (where was he when you were getting into this mess)?

Phocion Timon
Phocion Timon
3 years 11 months ago

Shawn, I gotta ask: other than claiming you are “still in the honeymoon phase,” what else has your Medicine Man said about our diet that flies in the face of conventional wisdom?

Shawn Reimes
Shawn Reimes
3 years 11 months ago

Other than the whole 300+ carbs/day fiasco….
when i first was seeing the diabetes educators, they absolutely freaked out whenever my blood sugar levels were below 140 an hr after meals, or if i was below 90 before meals. They said 150 after meals is ‘not too high'(and didnt say much about going up to 250 after meals either). maybe not too high if you dont care about getting limbs amputated, going blind, or having strokes later in life….

Dave, RN
Dave, RN
3 years 11 months ago

Food for thought…

Excersize is good for lowering blood sugar, we all know that, but increasing testosterone also increases insulin sensitivity and lowering blood sugar.

Makes me wonder if it’s a two pronged attack. Burn glucose excersizing, and keep the insulin needs low over time by increasing testosterone… by excersizing (lifting heavy weights). And eating primal of course.

I’ve ben primal for 6+ years. It’s how I fixed my blood sugar problem. Everyone knows that I eat primal, but nobody else is interested. So I gave up on “converting” anyone.

Eric
Eric
3 years 11 months ago

Fantastic Story!

Dennis Blair
3 years 11 months ago

You know, as a personal trainer I was highly skeptical of the whole primal/paleo diet mentality. However, that was due to my ignorance of the program. But there was something in my gut telling me that our current paradigm of what constitutes healthy eating was off kilter. So I checked out “The Paleo Diet” by Loren Cordain from my local library. After getting halfway through this book, it just intuitively makes sense. But I needed more proof. These testimonials that you have on your website are quickly changing my mind. Thank you for sharing Shawn’s story.

Cathy Johnson (Kate)
3 years 11 months ago

Bravo! Taking control HAS to feel good!

Kitty =^..^=
Kitty =^..^=
3 years 11 months ago

You are an inspiration!

Heather
Heather
3 years 11 months ago
Good for you although I agree you may technically be in the honeymoon phase you still will be able to control your BS with the diet and exercise. An A1C of less than 6 is considered not “diabetic”. I have T1 and was an RN Diabetes Educator and they didn’t even teach us to talk about glycemic index with T1’s. Craziness. I am following the autoimmune paleo diet and have lost over 30 lbs in 3 months and have cut my TTD of insulin by over 50%. As a side note I have a (non blood related) aunt with T1… Read more »
Susan
Susan
3 years 11 months ago

Hey there! I’m a type 1 diabetic and I’ve been doing paleo for quite some time and my a1c has stayed under a 6 ever since. I LOVE this way of life, BUT I can’t seem to lose a pound. Do you think it’s because I don’t do the autoimmune version? It’s so great to communicate with other type 1’s out there who are having success with Paleo/primal. Would love your feedback!

Alyssa
Alyssa
3 years 11 months ago

facepalm x 100 at your doctors. So glad you didn’t take their advice for long! Congrats, and you look fantastic!

Andi
Andi
3 years 11 months ago

Your example is desperately needed with diabetes/metabolic syndrome basically being the new plague. Grok on!!!!!

Donna
Donna
3 years 11 months ago

If I weren’t in a stable, happy marriage I would be so soliciting a connection…You are a gorgeous specimen of primal potential!…Good on you to have done the research an found the healthy primal lifestyle so fitting with your needs. There is a history of diabetes …Types 1 and 2 in our family…and your attention to what is needed for feeling good truly inspire…Thank you for sharing your incredible story.

Katie
Katie
3 years 11 months ago

Thanks for sharing your story – so inspirational for so many. And, in particular, for those with diabetes. There is so much ‘mis-information’ aimed at diabetics it beggars belief sometimes!! Well done :o)

WildGrok
WildGrok
3 years 11 months ago

Thanks for posting this, very inspirational. I am forwarding this to my diabetic friends!

Elaine
Elaine
3 years 11 months ago

Wow. Just, wow. Well done. Outstanding result

Jason
Jason
3 years 11 months ago

Shawn, great story, I too was diagnosed with type 1 a little over a year ago (age 38). The Paleo diet is excellent at controlling my diabetes and I have been able to keep my A1c’s below 6 each time. Thanks for the inspirational story. Keep it up.

Jason

Judy
Judy
3 years 11 months ago

Wowza-you look GREAT.
Congrats, big time.

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Ask Curtis
Ask Curtis
3 years 11 months ago

Shawn,

Great job.

The most interesting (and frankly, bluntly – sad) part of your story is your doctor and mainstream medicines response to your diabetes.

Unlike you, I was caught at the pre-diabetes stage and figured things out before I got put on meds or insulin despite an extremely strong genetic component in the family.

It’s certainly not always advisable to go against a medical professionals advice, but when it comes to nutrition and controlling a chronic disease like diabetes naturally – you’re kind of on an island.

Congrats again.

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