Just One Small Change Leads to Amazing Results

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!


I just celebrated my 29th birthday, and thanks to this lifestyle, I’m almost completely pain-free for the first time in over 10 years. I made the switch about 5 months ago, but unlike a lot of people who find the Primal Blueprint, I wasn’t looking for a change.

If you had asked me 6 months ago, I would have told you that I was in the best shape of my life and in the best shape I could be. I had daily gastro-intestinal problems, debilitating migraines almost weekly, chronic back and all-body muscle pain, and serious sleep disruptions – but I was sure that was as good as it could get for me.

At 28 years old, I had accepted that pain was just a part of my daily life and always would be. I felt tired and sick to some degree every day, but I had given up on anything more than minimizing the pain and finding ways to push through or ignore the sleep and stomach problems.

A little background: at least back to adolescence, if not before, I’ve had severe muscle pain (mostly in my back and legs) and headaches. At my worst in high school, I would get a migraine every single afternoon and couldn’t do anything for hours until it subsided. I also can’t remember ever sleeping completely through the night; I thought everyone tossed and turned and woke up 5-10 times every night like I did. I would sleep 12 or 13 hours and still feel tired. I could never understand how other people seemed so rested with just 7 or 8 hours of sleep.

Then, in late 2000 (during my senior year of high school) I found a grapefruit-sized tumor in my abdomen that required major surgery to remove. The surgery resulted in the loss of about 3 feet total from several sections of both my small and large intestine.

After the surgery, nothing gastro-intestinally ever worked right again for me. For 10 years I had daily problems, ranging from ulcer-like shooting pains to symptoms more akin to Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I tried to figure out what foods would cause the worst problems, but the patterns seemed random and not linked to any one food. Both the doctors and I wrote it all off as the unfortunate and permanent side effects of missing large parts of my intestine.

Then in college, I finally decided to talk to a doctor about the muscle pain, headaches, and sleep problems, and I was diagnosed with Myofascial Pain Sydrome (similar to Fibromyalgia). They gave me prescriptions for an antidepressant and a migraine medicine, which helped me sleep a little better and stop a migraine after it started, but nothing prevented the pain or headaches. The antidepressant also made it hard to wake up in the mornings, and I wasn’t totally comfortable taking a medication intended for a problem I didn’t have.

Fast forward through five more years of headaches, back pain, and stomach problems. I am 5’6” tall, and 6 months ago I weighed 135 lbs. I had been working out 3-5 times a week for several years, my blood pressure and cholesterol were good, and I ate what was considered a fairly healthy diet by conventional wisdom: lots of whole grains, limited fat and red meat, plenty of fruit, no soda, etc. I was doing everything right! And my doctors agreed: I was doing well for someone with my kinds of problems.

Then I met my boyfriend, who didn’t see my pain as normal or under control. He started telling me about the Primal Blueprint and the way he ate, and he told me it could really help me with my problems. The concept made sense to me, but when you have problems like I do, it seems that everyone you meet has some cure-all solution you’ve never thought of, so I was skeptical.

Doctors never talked to me about diet at all (after all, I wasn’t overweight!), so I couldn’t believe just eating differently would do anything when doctors had already done all they could. So, on a lark and mostly to prove this guy wrong, I decided to try it. Of course, I didn’t do any research or visit your website, even though he told me to check it out at least 10 times (sorry, but I can be stubborn!). I just decided to stop eating grains and to limit processed sugars for a month to see what would happen.

Around 11:00am on Day 1, after not having my bowl of cereal and glass of juice for breakfast as I had every day for most of my life, I realized I didn’t have my usual mid-morning blood sugar drop and sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

After a week, I realized my stomach had been feeling a lot better and fewer foods were upsetting it.

After two weeks, I took an overseas trip and did all the usual things that would have caused serious muscle pain and migraines – sleeping on planes, walking miles in bad shoes, carrying heavy bags – and yet I felt good every day and didn’t have much of my usual pain.

At that point, I was a convert. Two weeks of cutting out grain and most sugar but not changing anything else in my life, and I felt better than I had in 10 years! With that one change, I had achieved results doctors couldn’t give me with any advice or medication.

Since then, I’ve been reading a lot more about the Primal Blueprint and working to improve the rest of my diet and exercise habits, and I’ve seen amazing results. Five months later, I am off all of my prescriptions but am still sleeping much better with just some natural supplements. I lost 15 pounds I didn’t even realize I needed to lose, and have started to notice a lot more muscle gain from my workouts.

Everything gastro-intestinally is now better than it was even before the surgery, and foods that I used to think I couldn’t eat don’t cause me problems anymore. My muscle pain is completely gone most days, and is just a low-level annoyance on my few “bad” days. My migraines are also almost gone – I’ve had 1 or 2 in the last 5 months (down from 2-3 a month), and each time I could point to my own bad eating as the immediate cause.

Several people have told me that I also seem much happier lately, and I am – funny how not being in pain every day can do that for you! I hadn’t realized it, but all those problems also had a huge effect on my mood and general happiness. In fact, I just noticed the other day that I am no longer amazed every time I realize that nothing hurts. Thanks to this lifestyle, I have a new, pain-free “normal,” which is something I never imagined I’d have.

I wish I could send you a picture of my newly happy, healthy, and better-rested muscles, stomach, and intestines, but even if I could, I don’t think anyone would want to see that :). I don’t have any dramatic before or after pictures to show, either, so I’m just attaching some happy after-shots.

I hope my story can help other people like me see that this lifestyle can do more than help you lose weight. I never looked at my diet – and neither did my doctors – primarily because I wasn’t overweight. I am proof of what a huge impact diet and other lifestyle choices can have on severe and chronic pain, and in my case, even on problems caused by physical damage, like the after-effects of major surgery.

Thanks for all the great information and inspiration!


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98 thoughts on “Just One Small Change Leads to Amazing Results”

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  1. Wow, Lindsay, how wonderful! I think travelling is one of the greatest tests when we are not feeling well and one of the great ways to celebrate when we are. Congratulations on your new-found health!

      1. Alison, if you scroll over the photo a caption pops up saying “Lindsay – Wales”.

        1. No, it doesn’t. Maybe it’s some feature that only works when certain things are enabled – which means this page wasn’t designed for a wide range of people. That’s going to cut down viewing over time, as surfers give up on it.

        2. @P.M. Lawrence: It’s only the plain and simple ‘title’ attribute for the ‘img’ tag which means it was designed for the widest range of applications possible. It’s HTML 101, dude.

        3. Big Bob, that’s utterly irrelevant. You just described what is supposed to happen, with that tag. I know that full well.

          The thing is, I was describing what actually happened when I tried it. Since the tag wording did not come up then, it looked as though there was some other feature involved, i.e. that somebody had tried to be too clever and had not gone for the straightforward approach. (I was thinking, they might have done something that involved javascript, since I usually have that disabled.)

          The odd thing is, today the image is delivering the correct behaviour. Either someone changed the html since I first tried it and reported on it, or there is some weird kind of intermittent fault somewhere between there and here. Neither seems likely, but nevertheless my description was accurate, and no amount of telling me what is supposed to happen has anything to do with the results of my test.

        4. P.M. Lawrence: Sorry I was not clear w/my comment, but if you look at the page source it clearly shows that it is written in the manner that I described. So I can say that what I said was indeed relevant from my point of view and time of reference. In all fairness, I cannot tell if/when the markup was changed, so you may be absolutely correct from your point of view/time of reference. Not trying to be argumentative, was just pointing out what I saw in the page source. Thanks.

      2. Thanks, Alison! That picture was taken at Harlech Castle in Wales.

        1. Did you ever get a test for celiac? Do you think your surgery could have basically given you a form of gluten intolerance?

          Best wishes to you, Lindsey!

    1. I am celiac. Sounds like you might have a reaction to gluten. I just want to respond to the question. Surgery cant give you gluten intolerance. There is a gene for celiac and its something that is in your genes or I think because of gmos.. great story

  2. Nice job! When I was reading through your story I was thinking “This sounds a lot like me!” I’m hoping I will have the same dramatic results (as well as a ton of weight loss). It’s a learning journey the whole way and I can’t wait for pain free happiness! Thanks for sharing.

  3. I was so amazed by stories like this when I first became aware of paleo/primal eating last year. Now I’m just amazed that more people aren’t giving it a try to see if it can help them with medical issues. Why is wheat such a sacred cow?
    Congratulations, Lindsay!

    1. Funny you say that, my husband had swelling in his one leg after a skin infection. I finally have him convinced to give it up for a little any how and see how it works since he needs to loose weight and alot of it, and he called me over last night to show me his leg which no longer swells up. Now if I can keep him on it.

      1. Ah yes, the stubborn husband problem. With a wonderful story like Lindsay’s plus seeing a change of his own, I’m hoping along with you that he’ll keep going. Thanks, Lindsay, for sharing such wonderful results that can help so many people!

    2. Love that comment: Why is wheat such a sacred cow?

      I teach a nutrition class and all my newbies think I’m crazy when I tell them that as many as 80% of them probably have observable imflammation after ingesting wheat. They will often do ANYTHING to hang on to wheat!

  4. Very enjoyable statements, Lindsay!

    Setting aside whatever impact the tumor had on your GI health (and I admit that that’s a huge thing to just set aside), I totally agree that going Primal removes pains and discomforts that many of us just accept as an unavoidable part of life. Mark and others have discussed how Celiac’s Disease is probably more of a spectrum rather than a binary “You have it or you don’t” problem. I believe that irritable bowel syndrome is the same way. Many people might not be “diagnosed” with the abdominal pains and discomforts, but when the Primal plan eliminates them, they might realize they had it all along.

    1. The first change I noticed after going primal was also the vast improvement in gastrointestinal functions. I just assumed that as I got older, things didn’t work as well as they used to work, and that heartburn and gastrointestinal distress was simply a sign of aging.

      Now, any kind of GI distress at all is so rare, it is usually a sign that something is out of balance.

  5. I too, Love Fridays – I vote for adding 2 success stories a week!

      1. yes!!!!! i vote for many more success stories! it wouldnt even get old if there was a story daily!!!

    1. Agreed! My Mondays could sure use some inspiration for the week ahead 🙂

    2. Count me in for adding more success stories! Can’t have too much good news :-).

    3. I second it, especially since there is a new “success” photos section on the web site

  6. I love it!! I have had to be wheat free for 4 or so years now and that got rid of eczema, migraines and arthritis as well as IBS. I never lost weight though and I have been still searching for better health. I have found it here but still struggle a bit. Hopefully my public success story in the making will get me to build the habits I need now! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  7. This is a great story…I have a friend that has dealt with Crohns since she was 14. I’ve started talking to her about PB and how it very well may help her. Amazing that what we put into our body has such a profound effect on our health, our energy, etc.

    1. Brent,
      Keep encouraging your friend. I have Crohns and eating primal/Paleo has helped me tremendously. I get blood work done regularly and the inflammation levels in my body are now well under control.

  8. Congrats on your inspirational story Lindsay! Millions around the world have the same thoughts as you. They have pain in various areas but just think that’s what life is. People don’t think that you are supposed to feel amazing each and every day.

    Now you have that! Hopefully people will read this and start believing!

  9. Thanks for sharing your story. I liked your comment about doctors not discussing diet with you. My experience is that this is not unusual. What should be a very important discussion between patient and doctors is often overlooked.

    1. So true! I asked my doctors if there was anything I should do differently with my diet when I was diagnosed with MS, and they said no, just eat a balanced diet. It took me three years to discover that gluten, dairy, corn,and egg whites were HUGE factors in my MS. After 3 months on a paleo type diet (The MS Recovery Diet), I had my symptoms completely under control and was off all medications. I went back and told my doctors my story, and they didn’t believe me!!!!

  10. What have your doctors had to say about this diet making such a dramatic difference on your condition?

      1. I had just been to the doctor the month before starting the PB, so I’m due back in a few weeks. I have baseline tests that were run 4 or 5 years ago and plan to get them run again for comparisons. I’ll be sure to write in with the results and what the doctor says!

        1. Great! Will be watching for your posting. Before and after lab results can be (at least for me) as motivating as before and after photos. And, I will be interested to see how the doctor responds to your results – most especially to the reason you will be giving for those results.

        2. Ok, my lipid results are back (that’s the only test my doc wanted to re-run), and they were, in her words, “awesome”:

          My last lipid profile from Nov. 2008:
          Cholesterol – 184
          Triglycerides – 137
          HDL – 65
          LDL – 92

          Now (Feb. 2012):
          Cholesterol – 178
          Triglycerides – 51
          HDL – 80
          LDL – 88

          So, even though everything was good to begin with, it all improved significantly.

          My doctor was actually very receptive and interested in what I’ve been doing even before we had these results, and she wrote down MDA’s website so she could look into trying it herself.

          I do medical practice management and work with a variety of physicians, and I’ve had the same response from many of the doctors I work with, including a family physician with a bariatric practice. Doctors who I have spoken to have been very receptive and not overly surprised by my results, although I don’t think that any of them are advocating a primal/paleo lifestyle to their patients. The general response seems to be “I’m so glad you found something that works for you.”

  11. Congrats Lindsay!

    This is a great reminder that while many of us enjoy physical transformations from primal living, there are huge “internal” (and psychological benefits as well) – I share your experience that this approach generally makes me feel happier/more positive.

  12. Your story brought tears to my eyes. It is heart-breaking how many folks may be living with pain and misery because they are doing what CW tells them to do. Thanks for sharing your uplifting story, I plan on sending it to some friends who are struggling with similar issues.

    1. Dittos on this response. Lindsay, that is exactly what your story has done for me, too – and I plan to share it with my young adult daughter who is dealing with a similar albeit less severe set of physical issues.

  13. Awesome! Thank so much for sharing this. I really think we do doctors such a disservice by not teaching more about the role of diet in disease and other illnesses. I am glad that you took a chance and tried out this new way of eating and living. 🙂

    1. Let’s hope that Lindsay’s doctor is open to being educated on this topic. I have seen some pretty fancy footwork on the part of medical doctors who can’t/won’t accept what the patient is presenting.

  14. The weight-loss stories are of course inspirational but it’s these stories of people completely turning their lives around I find most compelling.

  15. My husband and I are slowly switching over to Primal (Feb 1st is our target date). I am going to point him to this story because he too suffers from chronic migraines.

    He is really worried about giving up caffeine because that is usually the only thing that takes care of them, but want him to see that just eating can make a big difference in some people. Thank you for sharing your story!

    1. Amber, he doesn’t have to give up caffeine to be primal. Mark drinks a cup of coffee each morning.
      Good luck with your transition!

      1. I’ve reduced my caffeine intake greatly since making the primal leap. Mainly because I did not feel so sluggish in the mornings which I attribute to eating correctly and sleeping sounder.

        Now a cup of coffee is a treat. I do not need a morning jolt to get me going. I get me going; a bootstrapper! But I loves me a black coffee. The aroma and flavor is tantalizing.

    2. He could always let caffeine be the last thing he let’s go of, give him a little buffer zone to allow the other changes to take effect first. 🙂 Good luck, you’ll love it!!!

    3. As Sabrina pointed out, giving up coffee/caffeine isn’t a requirement for going primal. My own supposition is that Paleo people probably discovered natural plant (and other) stimulants to use as needed – much like coca leaves are chewed by the indigenous people in the Andes.

      However, your husband may discover like I have that his desire and need for caffeine will naturally diminish on its own.

      Before starting the Primal lifestyle, I was only a moderate consumer – 12 ozs of coffee in the morning with only Stevia added – but I found the caffeine helpful with early morning headaches and sluggishness.

      Shortly after starting the transition, I found that if I didn’t reduce that already moderate amount of coffee that I had trouble sleeping. Was a total surprise to me how abrupt and clearly that change happened. At the same time, I started desiring various hot herbal teas. I still love a cup of coffee in the morning on occasion, I just make it a natural, organic decaf now still only with a bit of Stevia.

  16. Amazing! 😀 I too have been thrilled at health improvements, but your story sounds incredible (in the good way ;)). Thank you for sharing and inspiring others!

  17. Congratulations Lindsay!!! It’s so hard for people to understand the positive emotional side effects of going Primal/Paleo until they do it. Everyday I wake up feeling more refreshed and ready to conquer the world! People might not notice any physical “outside” changes but I know on the inside I feel so much better! So happy you are feeling better and have found your cure!

  18. I can totally relate for I was in the same boat as you.

    Congrats on your success!

    1. Congratulations to you, Lindsay, and to your boyfriend!!! Enjoy your health 🙂

  19. Awesome! This serves as a reminder that yeah–fat loss is what we tend to care about most with our diet changes, but there is a full host of other benefits. I’m happy about your positive change.

  20. “Doctors never talked to me about diet at all… so I couldn’t believe just eating differently would do anything when doctors had already done all they could.”

    I think a lot of us can relate to that.

  21. I love these stories. Also love the Warrior Dash picture. I did one last year in Minnesota, bad back and all. And I’m really hoping PB can help me continue doing them.

  22. I can SO relate to this story! Except the part about not needing to lose weight! I have fibromyalgia – and eating Primal has nearly eliminated my pain and fatigue! I’m exercising for the first time in 10 years! I’m walking 3 miles pain free, and lifting weights several times a week! I’m never going back to the old ways… I’m a she-Grok for life!

  23. Awesome story…many parts reminded me of what I experienced in college…i am glad to be rid of pain and feeling better then I ever thought I could!

    Glad to hear about your success!

  24. Amazing story Lindsay! I am SO happy for you that you are living relatively pain free now. What a story to tell others – thank you for sharing! It is important to have stories like yours that show the wide range of affects that our food and nutrition have on our bodies and overall well being. Especially when trying to share with people who don’t know anything about PB or are entrenched in their conventional wisdom. Thank you again for sharing. 🙂 Best Wishes!

  25. You are probably fortunate that the doctors never tried to instruct you in changing your diet. They would have told you to avoid meat and eat plenty of whole grains, fruits and veggies. You were probably already doing that, and see how well that turned out???

    Congratulations–it’s amazing and you have a wonderful life ahead of you!

  26. Wow, congrats on your lifestyle change and making healthier eating habits. Great photos too by the way!

  27. Amazing story. Thank you for sharing Lindsay.

    I am truly inspired with every transformation story. Love love love it!

  28. I too healed my fibromyalgia, joint pain, depression, and chronic fatigue etc from eating paleo. I was born with ehlers danlos and thought I had to live with a lifetime of pain and meds. Now I’m lifting weights and pain free.
    Thank you for sharing your story.

  29. Lindsay
    I had goosebumps reading your story, what pain you have suffered and how FANTASTIC to be pain free now!!! So very thrilled for you and continuing to be amazed the more I read about primal.

  30. What a story, Lindsay!

    Like you, I have always been quite fit (former swimmer) and ate what I thought was the best diet going: low-fat, lots of whole grains, very little processed foods and piles of fruits and vegetables. But at the age of 30, I was diagnosed as suffering from arthrites. No dietary advice given by the doctors – just one of those things that happen as you age.

    For 10 years I suffered from excruciating lower-back pain, sciatica, joint, and muscle and whole body pains. But I was slim, muscular and fit. My blood works were fine until 2 years ago when my cholesterol began to rise. At the age of 47, I started to develop the so called “love handles” – but I could not complain, after all I still looked bloody god for my age. What people could not see was the constant pain, the painkillers just to get through the day and the constant bingeing on chocolate and cereal bars.

    One of my daughter’s best comments ever made (she’s a gymnast and 10 years old) was that I was getting fat round the belly! Bless her!! That hurt like hell, especially me being a former athlete, and I decided to Google the best way to get rid of my mid-section without starving. Dr Lauren Cordain (the Paleo Diet) has been part of my life for the past2 years and 6 months ago I added Mark’s fantastic Primal way of living.

    The pains and aches have improved by 95% ages ago (the other 5% still lingering due to my impossible addiction to all things sweets!!). I am now trimmer just like I was in my 20’s. My chronic zits and spots on my face and arms completely disappeared; I am bursting with energy despite the fact that I work full-time, have 2 very active children and run a home with military precision, if there’s such a thing! (Lol)

    I have over the years faced tough criticism from people who do not look/fee anywhere half as good I do. They seem very frightened of natural, preservative-free, grass-fed, organic natural foods. They can’t understand why I changed my eating habits when I was already so fit and slim. What I never told them was that the pains and aches – and all the painkillers – were a common feature of the lie I was living.

    My brother and a few friends have now converted to Paleo/Primal and can not thank me enough. So I just want to pass my thanks to Dr Cordain, Mark and all the Paleo/Primal community out there who have made this transition OK for me.

    A big thanks, boys and girls!!

  31. AMAZING! I love this success story! I’ve been noticing a lot of changes in addition to weight loss with this lifestyle and it feels fantastic.

  32. I didn’t read the article because it is too long, but I did do a search through the text for “ass” and “butt” and “badonkadonk” and found that Lindsay forgot to mention that this diet has made her ass totally pop. It should be called the bacon and ass diet or something, cause you eat bacon and get a sweet ass. I been trying to get some of dat ass for a long time, but I think this diet upgraded her to out of my league.. Damn you Mark!

  33. This is so cool!
    I know people with daily migraines, and I have told them about Primal but it’s usually too extreme for them to even consider. I’m going to send this to them.

  34. Not only do you deserve kudos but your boyfriend as well. Excellent!

  35. Preach it – contrary to what people believe it’s NOT ok and NOT normal to live in constant pain or discomfort!!

  36. I love stories that involve more than dramatic weight loss. Not that those aren’t amazing, but I think these highlight the complete package that eating primal foods delivers.

  37. This was a fabulous read! Doctors really aren’t educated in nutrition, and even dietitians can give unhelpful advice. I would know as I’ve been to loads of them for all my gut issues. After suffering from an eating disorder for several years, my guts became very upset with pretty much anything I ate. In my mind I knew that all the carbs I was eating was causing this problem….but the doctors and dietitians kept pushing them on me. It wasn’t helping me gain weight, and most days I just felt unwell. So I took my health into my own hands and decided to cut down drastically on grain foods. I’ve eliminated gluten, and have been symptom free since. I eat lots of plants, and animals, some fruit, and have noticed such a difference. Hopefully I’ll be able to put on more weight and muscle now that my guts are starting to heal. Hearing these stories every week is still an inspiration to me!

  38. A very inspiring story, I’m so pleased for Lindsay.

    I wholeheartedly agree to more success stories, especially when it has turned around chronic debilitating conditions.

    When I was diagnosed with one I looked it up on the internet to find out what I could do – there were so many horror stories of people 10years + suffering and getting worse that I was depressed and frightened by what was happening to my life.

    What changed my mindset was finding a book devoted to telling peoples’ success stories on getting better – it led me in a roundabout way to PB and changing my diet has proved to be the biggest factor in changing my life around for the better.

  39. You suffered so much, Lindsay! I hope that this lifestyle pays you back with years and years of comfort and deeply joyful health.

  40. Congrats Lindsay – that’s an inspiring tale. But congrats more to the muddy boyfriend who showed considerable primal perseverance in the face of CW stubborn resistance!

  41. This is great timing: I’ve been pointing a mock parental finger at myself and clucking disparagingly. Woke up with ‘arthritis-like’ pain and stiffness, my carpal tunnel was roaring, and I’m feeling a bit “stupid” (groggy, slow, uncoordinated).

    “See?” says I to myself, “you KNEW better than to eat those pieces of (commercial) flatbread last night — you had already decided to give the rest to the squirrels… so why did you decide to keep eating some, after also deciding it tasted worse than cardboard?!”

    (Maybe I needed the reinforcement? Maybe I was just bein’ careless? Whatever — it’s a good reminder that the gut does NOT give you a ‘break’ just ’cause it’s only a little bit.)

    But now I’m off to the Y for my “Body By Science” weightlifting, and that will help me feel better!

    Thanks, Mark, for the great and motivating success stories!

  42. Dr. Fred Bisci always said it’s what you “leave out” of your diet that makes all the difference!

  43. That is such an encouraging post! So excited for you! We’ve been doing paleo/primal for a few weeks now and I’ve been experiencing a LOT less hip pain, I’m still wondering when it’s going to come back…I have a long way to go, I’ve got at least 70 lbs to lose but I’m 20 weeks pregnant so it’s going to take awhile 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story, I’m hoping to be able to have a similar story in a few months/year. Thanks!

  44. Very interesting. I know people that have muscle pain, headaches and such and never thought about diet as a approach. I’ll have to dig more into this.

  45. Wow I am impressed by your story. My family and I have been primal for 4 weeks now. YAY! I have lost 10 pounds already. My daughter has some very similar problems. She had chronic appendicitis (yes there is such a thing) no one believed me. The docs kept insisting is was a stomach bug every time. Finally I had to go crazy mom on them one night because they said it was a bacterial loss from her colon and they wanted to do cultures. I said she will be dead by the time they come back from the lab in 72hrs. They hadn’t even looked at her yet…so I said I will not leave here until you give her a cat scan. This doc was so annoyed but took a look at her and hit her on her right heel (test they do for appendicitis) and she screamed and just about flew off the table. So the cat scan came back that her appendix ruptured and was so swollen for so long it swelled up her right kidney and ureter. She had emergency surgery and was in the hospital for a week because the infection was so bad. After the surgery she started with the screaming bouts of stomach pain that I could not control. After being told by my pediatrician she was faking I decided to go to a pediatric gastro. One of the test comes back positive for celiac everytime but his says that one can give false positive. Anyway she was eventually diagnosed with abdominal migraines with cyclical vomiting. I have never ever seen something so violently painful. Liquid lortab couldn’t control the pain. They said when she hit puberty they might go away in the stomach and move to her head. Well unfortunately she has it both places now 🙁 She takes elavil which in an anti depressant and has helped her to live a normal life again. What kid wants to be on the couch three days a week screaming in pain and then just to wiped out from pain to do anything for days. I am hoping this diet will make a difference for her as it did you. She also complains about all over body pain as well. I would love nothing more than to get her off the medication. I will take her off this summer to see as I don’t want her to miss anymore school. I have let her be a little more lax with the diet than us but I am rethinking that now. I am going to have her read your story so she can see for herself that this new way of eating could make changes she wasn’t even expecting. Thanks for giving me some hope that my baby can get rid this and the medication. Congrats on your new pain free life!

  46. Great story, Lindsay! I too am a person who has had no weight problems, no major medical issues (i.e. high cholesterol, etc.), and I maintain a fairly active lifestyle and “healthy” diet; however, since going Primal I no longer wake up with a stuffy nose! Allergies (to dogs, dust, pollen, air conditioning, whatever!) have always been a major problem, until I cut grains from my diet. I’ve made additional efforts to increase my veggie intake and as a result my energy is through the roof – in a good way… and for the first time in 5 or 6 years… I “get” to eat butter. Oh, and my abs look SICK.

  47. Thank you for sharing this Lindsay. I am in tears after reading this. My husband, 48 years old, had his entire colon removed 7 years ago. It has been a nightmare. He is always in pain, due to surgical scars and food. His level of health is not near what it should be. We are just starting the PB and your story has so encouraged me. Thank you. I can’t wait to share our story here in the near future. Love this website.

  48. Thank you for sharing your story Lindsay, its only day one for me on PB. After suffering for over 10 years with Crohns, and having tried every diet and medication known to man (well it certainly feels like it!) I arrive at the PB door and I’m stoked to be on a journey that so many others have found tremendously helpful. Stories like yours give folk like me the extra encouragement needed to attack this new way of living with gusto. Thanks again, Kel :0)

  49. Hey Hey! Lindsay, thanks so much for sharing your story with us. I recently read a blog about making small diet changes – it totally changed my life! It’s been a month and I’ve already lost about 5 lbs. I really feel like this is something I can stick with. Here is the blog I read:

  50. these stories are so inspiring for me. i have had migraines my whole life – however they became daily four years ago. i havent had a pain free day in four years. i also carry more weight than i should and cannot seem to shift it any way i try! i read the blueprint book yesterday and today I have started to eat primally. hopefully it works well for me too. i too am skeptical about easy cures because 15,000 dollars worth of cures my migraines are as bad as ever. fingers crossed

  51. Lindsay, Thanks for sharing your story!
    I have been dabbling with the primal diet for over a year, but have not made it a complete lifestyle. Without going into a ton of detail… I word searched the site for “chronic pain” and your story came up. I have struggled with serious chronic pain for most of my life. The weird thing is that I am the same age, height, weight, that you described yourself and I had a tumor removed from my spine 9 years ago. Some crazy similarities! I have always been athletic and active, ate a conventionally healthy diet, and still have major pain issues. I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and really struggle to get any restful sleep. Anyway, I am also a nurse and really health conscious, but I haven’t been making some good choices for myself. I am reading through the Primal Blueprint now and really trying to make some sustaining choices and feel the positive results. Your story hit close to home and reminds me that I do not have to accept my pain as permanent! blessings to you

  52. Lindsay, I was inspired by your story. I have a 12 year old son who suffers almost daily from headaches. Some are migraines, some just bad headaches. He’s had the gamut of tests and we just started on the anti-depressant migraine meds you mentioned. I agree, doesn’t seem right but we’re desperate to stop the headaches. I wrote a note to my son’s gym teacher regarding some side effects (careful of overheating on these meds) and he directed me to this website. I saw your story and am so hopeful. The whole family could benefit from the dietary change but I believe my son would get the most benefit. wish me luck, I’m starting tomorrow!! I’ll check in and let you know how it is working. 🙂