The Rise of Lazarus

Does a Primal lifestyle help with type 1 diabetes? Today it is my pleasure to share with you the sixteen year journey of Dr. Lazarus.

If you have your own Primal Blueprint success story and you’d like to share it with me and the MDA community please feel free to contact me here. Have a wonderful Friday, everyone, and thanks for reading!


My name is Ryan Lazarus and I have an incredible story. Sixteen years ago, at the age of eighteen, I crushed two of my organs in a serious sports accident. I had emergency surgery to remove my spleen and 60% of my pancreas. After a prolonged stay in the hospital, my athletic 160 pound frame was transformed into a feeble 120 pound skeleton who struggled just to get out of bed. After I was released, I participated in 3 months of intensive physical rehabilitation to regain my weight and treat the 8 inch incision scar in my abdomen. My life had been transformed in the blink of an eye.

I returned to my medical doctor and surgeon for advice on how to regain my health. I was quite optimistic for proper guidance regarding my diet and lifestyle due to my rare circumstances. I was told that everything should be fine so just keep eating what you’ve been eating. They also mentioned I might get sick a bit more so make sure I’m vaccinated regularly. So, having faith in the expertise of these medical professionals – I did just that.

I lived like the majority of Americans following the conventional wisdom of being healthy. I was eating the standard American diet rich in grains and processed refined carbohydrates. I avoided the “unhealthy fats” and minimized my meat consumption to protect my heart. I made sure I was getting my intense cardio in 4-5 times per week to train my heart and maintain my figure. I became an impressive “sugar burning machine” and appeared to be in decent shape.

Unfortunately, I was wreaking havoc on my insides and was slowly eating away at the 40% remainder of my pancreas. All the refined grains and hidden sugars – the ones recommended as the “Staff of Life” of the American diet – eventually caused my downfall. I became a Type I (insulin dependent) diabetic and was required to begin injecting insulin to maintain my blood sugar levels. My psyche had hit an all-time low as I was transformed from a vibrant young boy to an unhealthy, insulin injecting, pill popping young man who struggled with finding energy for my everyday tasks. Nearly every day I suffered with high and low blood sugar, fatigue, muscle aches, nausea, GI distress, abdominal discomfort, GERD, jittery symptoms and heart palpitations.

I had hit rock bottom when I finally decided to take my health into my own hands. Over the past 10 years I have been on a journey to improve my health without all the drugs and injections. I spent countless hours reading and researching ways to restore my health naturally. My passion and hunger for the truth of achieving optimal health was relentless. I received my degree in kinesiology and furthered my training as a Chiropractic Doctor specializing in Nutrition. I was introduced to The Primal Blueprint by a friend and picked it up that evening. I could not put it down and completed the book the next day. It was an accurate, well-designed summary of the facts and myths regarding the history of man and his well being.

The Primal principals outlined in your book made a “life-changing” impact on my health. I cut all the grains and the sugar. I now consume countless amounts of healthy fats and quality protein. I move slowly with frequent, moderate sustained efforts and lift heavy things. My current exercise emphasizes functional movements like Grok once used. I now live a lifestyle that will enhance my genetic destiny and will remove the burden off my remaining pancreas.

Having experienced this dramatic change, I proposed the idea to my Doctor’s to eliminate all meds and injections to assess my pancreas’ ability to function under these Primal conditions. I received heavy skepticism from my medical doctors claiming it was unrealistic and that type of lifestyle is nearly impossible to maintain.

My Doctors were wrong. This lifestyle modification was immediate and dramatic. I am hopping out of bed well rested and excited for the day. I can work and play for 16 hours straight without any physical or mental fatigue. My workouts are highly productive and do not struggle to maintain optimal blood sugar levels. My suppressed immune system is stronger than ever and I have altered my body composition and currently stand proud with 6% body fat. I’m healthy, vibrant and best of all… controlling my diabetes naturally which has previously hindered my life.

After persistent persuasion, I finally convinced the Doctors to allow me to apply the Primal fundamentals with the objective of removing all dependence of insulin injections and medications. After 6 months, the results were nothing short of spectacular. At 9 months, they were so significant that an observational case study was conducted under the supervision of my Endocrinologist and under the observation of a pancreas surgeon. Without going into too much detail, the results were as follows. My fasting glucose dropped from 152 mg/dL to 80 mg/dL and my HbA1c from 6.9% to 6.1%! For the non-diabetics reading this, this is evidence of healing a pancreas using the Primal fundamentals.

The Primal Blueprint was the most powerful book for me because it summarized perfectly the comprehensive approach to health and wellness. It resonated with all the research I had done over the years and was written with a clear and entertaining elegance. I now recommend The Primal Blueprint to all my patients, family and friends and have generated great interest in “going Primal” in the Napa Valley. I currently speak to the Napa community regarding my dramatic results and promote the Primal philosophy. I encourage everybody to embrace Mark Sisson’s Primal movement and implement it as a lifestyle – a lifestyle that facilitates vitality, optimal health and disease prevention.

-Dr. Ryan Lazarus

(Dr. Lazarus getting his mud bath on.)

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  1. This is an amazing story. The primal blueprint is amazing in itself. Big Thanks to Mark, we owe you our gratitude.

  2. This is another stunning story. Reading these success stories every Friday simply confirms that living a Primal lifestyle gives you results. It changes you in a way that no other way of living can change you.

    We are in the early years of the movement but we lived this way for tens of thousands of years. Its a lifestyle that EVERYONE can implement in some way, shape or form.

    Live primal. Change yourself. Inspire millions.

    1. Can everyone do this? I agree that ANYONE can do it but I sometimes wonder what would happen if EVERYONE actually did it. I guess I have assumed that the reason CW exists is because it promotes most the only food we can produce enough of to sustain this level of population. That’s just a hunch. Anyone else have an opinion on this?

      1. You are 100% correct. When there is enough food for apopulation, the population grows. Every year, since the dawn of agriculture 10,000 years ago, we have been growing more food. Look at poplutaion records for a million years. Where are the spikes? It’s just recently. You can learn about this in any Bio 101 class.

        Unfortunately, all of the world’s problems can be solved with a decreased population.

        For a really good book about this, read Ishmael. It’s amazing.

        (I realize people are going to hate me for this, but I’m not suggesting anything, I’m stating fact.)

        1. Yes, that book is amazing! Or maybe enlightening is the right word…

        2. Two of the best things that have happened in my life: reading Ishmael and finding Mark Sisson!

          Congrats Ryan – it’s always wonderful to read another success story!

        3. There’s nothing wrong with decreased population. It is already shrinking naturally due to changing lifestyles.

        4. Claiming Earth-wide overpopulation assumes that the level of human economic productivity is fixed and that human technological development in areas such as agricultural and food distribution has reached its peak and that the demand for human labor is fixed as well. All of these assumptions must be true or productivity, labor market, and technological expansion would thwart Earth-wide overpopulation. Unfortunately for overpopulation advocates, these essential claims of their overpop argument are not supportable with strong evidence or logic without proving that technological advancement, and its effects on productivity and agricultural advancement, will never occur again.

      2. I think we can all be primal, but we have to get used to different foods! Here in the U.S. when we think of MEAT, we think of cows. Pasture-raising cows in large enough quantities can certainly be done if we converted all the mono-culture crop land we currently use to feed them back to grasslands. BUT, how likely is that? And could it feed as many people as much meat as they want?

        If we would experiment with other meats, though, I think a sustainable solution could be had. (I’m thinking rabbits, sheep, goat, and other less popular meats.)

        1. When I was a kid in the 50s here in Indiana fenced pasture was everywhere. Now the fences & livestock are gone. Due government subsidies it’s more profitable plant corn & soybeans

      3. You can raise animals anywhere–on arable land, on land that doesn’t support crops, whatever. You can also hunt–you don’t have to raise animals. If we quit destroying habitat for the sake of agriculture or animal husbandry you’d be amazed how much food there would be.

        That’s the other bit of it–food isn’t just the stuff you cultivate. Just in my yard alone there are a good dozen edible plants three seasons out of the year. Dandelions, wild violets, wild strawberries, mulberries, etc. And that’s just in my yard. I’m in a city that’s chock-full of food none of which is on grocery store shelves or in food pantries. And that’s just the stuff that doesn’t run away. We get deer and rabbits in town too.

  3. That is one awesome success story, and an awesome body.

    Ryan, are you following the 5-essential-movement routine or did you develop a kind of your own routine?

  4. This is an awesome and inspiring story, and his results cleary speak for themselves. Those, and his well defined muddy muscles. 🙂 Would anyone else feel more confident reading this though, if he were not a chiropractor?

      1. Neither of you would feel that way if you knew Ryan. He is far more than simply a chiropractor and is truly interested in the well being of his patients. I am pleased to call my chiropractor, Ryan Lazarus, my friend.

    1. I wouldn’t. I have no problem with the concept of chiropractic. Long as he doesn’t get into ear-stapling, we’re good… and why do I get the notion that one of these days someone will discover some actual scientific benefit for even that?

    2. My Chiropractor has done more for me than any convntional MD. He actually was the one that turned me off Statin drugs and on to Paleo, which lead, eventually to my discovery of Primal.

      I feel it necessary to add that I have not spurned conventional medicine altogether. I work in the medical field myself as an occupational therapist. I just happen to know that if I am experiencing musculoskeletal pain, I’m better off with some ART or an adjustment than I am with a liver-killing NSAID.

      Yeah, there’s some downright goofy stuff associated with Chiro (muscle testing, homeopathy) but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Chiro is legit.

      Besides, what sense does it make to allow Ryan’s career to throw you off track?–look at the results for yourself! His labs are better and the man looks comic book hero cut!

      Way to go Ryan. Your story is truly inspiring!

    3. The only way it would be more awe inspiring is if he had been a drug pushing medical doctor that had to completely unlearn everything he was taught in medical school.
      The fact that chiropractic uses natural methods of healing as apposed to drugs… well it’s a no brainer that he was smart enough to figure things out instead of relying on the “medical” community.
      Honestly you are reading a website that promotes never eating grains of any type ever again. What makes you think that judging natural healing practices is any different? This is just the tip of the iceberg in your learning curve.

  5. As a type 1 diabetic new to this website, I was initially quite excited when I saw what this posting was about, but then I was sorely disappointed.

    Please do not market this as the healing of a Type 1 diabetic. The confusion between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes is a persistent problem for those of us who are in fact Type 1. From this description of Lazarus’ condition, it sounds to me like, if anything, he had Type 2 diabetes, if he ever had either kind of diabetes at all.

    Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition. After a year or two of type 1 diabetes, the immune system will have killed off all the beta cells (insulin-producing cells) in the pancreas (and there will not be 40% remaining, as was the case here). Type 1 usually strikes during childhood, though it can strike at anytime. Type 1 diabetics have to take insulin for the rest of their lives, unless a pancreas transplant changes that, and those are rare.

    This article implies that if you take insulin, it must be type 1, and that is not correct. The defining characteristics of Type 1 diabetes include not only high blood sugar and insulin-dependence, but also autoimmune antibodies in the blood.

    Type 2 diabetes is characterized by insulin-resistance, and is associated with an unhealthy body weight and eating habits, though not always. Its only similarity to type 1 is high blood sugar.

    Please note that IN NO WAY is type 1 caused by eating too much sugar or carbs. IN NO WAY is type 1 caused by the eating habits or exercise habits of the patient, and I am offended by that statement in this article, which was purportedly written by a “doctor.”

    This story of a wonderful success does not resemble the story of either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Instead, it’s the story of a trauma to a bodily organ, and the patient’s discovery that his 40% pancreas can serve well enough as long as he does not eat significant carbs. My 0% pancreas cannot heal itself (my immune system would just attack it again) and cannot keep me alive without insulin, no matter how low my carbs go.

    This was written by someone who calls himself a doctor, but who clearly knows little about diabetes or endocrinology. Mark, if you want a real success story of a type 1 diabetic, check back with me in 6 months.

    1. Ryan’s situation is unique, and while he doesn’t have the traditional form of type 1 diabetes that most people have, his condition does match type 1 diabetes in that his pancreas does not produce enough insulin (rather than type 2 diabetes, in which his body would be insulin resistant). I apologize if there is any confusion, and I did not mean to imply nor do I believe that myself or Ryan said that living Primal “cures” type 1 diabetes or that type 1 diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar. But for Ryan, going Primal did make his life much more manageable. And Bryn, I can’t wait for your story as I would love to hear from someone with 0% pancreatic function. While there’s currently no cure for type 1 diabetes, I know there are plenty of readers out there who want to hear from more type 1 diabetics; who want to know if going Primal can improve their quality of life.

      1. Thanks for the acknowledgment, Mark. I still strongly disagree with the idea that Ryan’s situation had anything to do with Type 1 diabetes – needing additional insulin does not mean it was type 1 diabetes. Many type 2 diabetics need insulin, as do women with gestational diabetes.

        Based on my experience thus far, eliminating grains is really helping my blood sugar control. My blood sugars are more predictable (though not 100% predictable, of course). My only concern is a diabetic’s need for glycogen stores in the liver to help in case of low blood sugar. But I’ll continue this experiment and will report back on what I learn.

        1. You only need insulin if tests reveal that you are not making enough. An early type 2 with active beta cells never needs insulin. If you are not controlling your blood sugar, you need to be eating less of the stuff that produces sugar in the first place. Anyone who says they “can’t control their sugar” better be ready to produce a food diary because frequently it’s more like “won’t control.”

          It seems like half my family is type 2 diabetic anymore and I see this stuff all the time. Let’s put it this way: if you are still fat, you’re probably still producing insulin. I would be very surprised if you weren’t. People without any insulin have constantly high blood sugar and they waste away. No wasting away? Quit eating the carbs.

      2. Yeh, I agree with Bryn, that’s not type 1, however I remember when I was diagnosed over 30 years ago of another child with partial production that returned to normal, but the mail difference is, T1D’s produce 0 insulin, and T2s are resistant- re the carb reduction though, today I went cycling with my wife and my blood glucose took a massive hit, I required 45g of rapid acting insulin to curb a hypo, is that counted towards my (below 100g) target, or since no additional insulin was dosed can I merrily disregard those curious carbs (that tasted amazing at the time) ?

    2. Yeah, I hate to take away from anything Ryan accomplished, but you don’t really heal type 1. With 40% of his pancreas left he was still just a type 2.

      Speaking as a type 2 though (and one who used to control it only through diet), that is still an accomplishment. I’m currently trying to re-focus and return to the same thing. My last A1C was a 6.9, trying to get back to the 5.3 I had when I was actually good at sticking to my diet.

      I’m taking insulin now to get me back there in hopes that I can stop all shots and pills again when I do. A true type 1 will never be able to stop.

    3. Thank you for this. My son is a 15 year old Type 1 diabetic and while I appreciate the remarkable transformation of Ryan, there is no way that a Type 1 could live without taking any insulin at all ever. This story reads like Ryan had 40 percent of his pancreas left and it functioned. My son’s pancreas does not function. It produces zero insulin, so even a 15 carb serving of dark chocolate, as advocated in the Primal Blueprint would still require an injection of insulin. My son’s fasting blood sugar isn’t 152 (that’s a good BS for him) — at diagnosis it was 747. That’s a type 1 diabetic. BTW – I’m a faithful PB follower – love this site – and have gotten excellent information from it – but I am constantly amazed at the confusion between type 1 and type 2. This should be clarified at the beginning of this post because it is woefully inaccurate.

      1. Michelle,

        I have a ten year old son with type one diabetes and we’ve been eating primal for more than 8 months now. I agree that the post above was a little misleading. Just because someone has a condition that mimics type one doesn’t mean that condition should be called type one. For the same reason that a guy with shrapnel damage in his gut that causes IBS shouldn’t be labeled as having Crohn’s disease.

        Primal has most definitely not removed our son’s need for insulin (as it wouldn’t unless it were to miraculously reprogram his immune system, not that I don’t wish it). What it has done though is dropped his need for insulin to about half of what it used to be (he was up to 60-80 units a day and we rarely go over 35 these days). I’ve also noticed he’s leaning out just like I am. I do wish it could be a cure but I’m happy with lower use of insulin and more stable blood sugars, plus he’s growing like a weed.

    4. Great story – but you’re right. SCIENCE. Also, he’s not a doctor. He’s a chiropractor.

      1. I think you are splitting hairs here. He is a doctor, a doctor of chiropractic medicine. You seem to be falling for the CW that the term “MD” bestows some type of wisdom unobtainable by the rest of us.

        1. Very good for Ryan. No matter what type of diabetic you may be, the “Primal” way of eating will benefit your health. Suzy Cohen has written a book that explains why diabetes has become a fixture in our society. No doctor has ever explained why I became a diabetic, and what I should do to take steps to treat the underlying reason. We need more doctors who understand functional medicine, rather than those who just treat the symptoms.

          BTW…my chiropractic doctor has done more for me in half a year than any of the doctors I have seen for my diabetes.

      2. Until I stop running across quacks with MDs after their names, let’s not be precious about qualifications.

        1. Real doctors have PHD’s. MD is still only an honary title just as DC is.

    5. Well said, he is clearly not a type 1 and lowering your HbA1c is not proof your healing your pancreas. It simply means your controlling your blood sugar through diet and exercise and good for you!

      My new Dr just put me on insulin and my HbA1c is 5.1, she puts all her patients on it. She thinks is a safer than the meds that force the pancreas into over production of insulin.

      1. What!!!! Your A1C is 5.1 and your doc put you on insulin because “she puts all of her patients on it”?????

        Again WHAT?

        I’d Find a new doctor.

        1. I actually agreed with her logic, the other medicine I was on (glimerpirde)(sp) was more dangerous than a shot of insulin a day, at first my blood sugar went up, but cutting more carbs and more walking brought it back down to my normal range.

          I have older siblings who didn’t deal with it and became insulin dependent after they burned out their pancreas by relying on those pills.

          She told me I’m doing fantastic and I only have to go every 6 months now.

      2. Great story Ryan – Thanks!

        I apologize for adding to this diversion, but what the poster wrote about an A1C of 5.1 and being placed on insulin is shockingly bad medical “care”.

        I have to strongly disagree with how your new physician is managing you, unless you have misquoted the HgbA1C.

        Anyone with an A1C of 5.1 DOES NOT NEED INSULIN or any oral hypoglycemics, and any physician seeing a patient for diabetes, especially a patient on insulin, only every 6 months is also neglecting what ought to be closer follow up.

        It is not just a question of whether insulin is better or safer for you than another medicine; it is a question whether you have diabetes at all, or even need any medicine, much less insulin.

        An A1C of 5.1, if accurate, precludes a diagnosis of diabetes in the first place.

        Seriously, get a second opinion outside that physician’s group. If your description is accurate you are being harmed.

        1. Joe,

          Thank you for your comments. Again, this was intended to motivate anyone struggling with managing blood sugar issues by adhering to the primal fundamantals.

          To clarify, my A1c has been as high as 7.4 and was at 5.9 on 15 units of lantus. After adhering to the primal fundamentals for 6 months, I began tapering all injections to the point where I did not need lantus. My remaining pancreas was able to sustain my sugar levels and my A1c dropped to 5.1 with therapeutical lifestyle intervention.

          This is a case of utilizing all Beta cell function remaining in my pancreas. This again is an rare type of insulin dependent diabetes that was rectified naturally.

          I’d love for you to look over the details and I’d be happy to provide it to you (or anyone that is interested). Please email me at [email protected] and I’ll send you the file.

          Ryan Lazarus

        2. Hi Ryan,

          Actually my comments were directed at Bill’s post, not yours. Read his comment above, about being placed on insulin with an A1C of 5.1

          Your further clarification supports what I want Bill to know- if through your own lifestyle you can generate an A1C of 5.1 you don’t need insulin (Lantus or any other). And you are living proof of that Ryan.

          I am worried for Bill that he is getting very bad medical advice.


        3. Hi Joe, one thing to remember is that an HbA1c of 7 doesn’t mean you at 7 mostly, it means your prob at 10 or 11 mostly with hypos additionally calculated in, so 5 may not be as low as it seems to us, I personally would have a party – on a space station if mine were 5, but well, not for a while.

    6. My aunt, a type 1 diabetic, has learned from her doctors that there is now belief in the med community that some portion of type 1’s have very low functioning pancreases, that there is some productivity above 0% (a squirt here or there). They also suspect that is why her (and others’) blood sugar is more unpredictable, despite the insulin and regular habits, than other type 1s.

      Your point is taken, but just an FYI.

    7. Back before the discovery of insulin, people *were* kept alive by keeping carbs out of the diet. The reason the disease kills you anyway–not immediately, but in the long run–is that you can’t shunt amino acids into your muscles with no insulin present. So people were literally wasting away.

      I don’t know where this meme is coming from that type 1 and type 2 are completely different diseases, as if type 2s have some kind of cooties or something, but the fact is that both groups benefit from carbohydrate reduction. There’s a fancy word for type 1s who think they can eat all the carbs they want because they’re shooting up on insulin: “idiot.”

      (You probably aren’t doing that, but my little girl’s dad has a horror story about an ex of his who did. Injected insulin is not a Get Out Of Jail Free card.)

      1. The two conditions have different causes and treatments. That makes them sound pretty different to me. Type 1 diabetics are only 5-10% of the diabetic population out there. Because there are fewer of us and so many people don’t understand the distinction, we get less attention, less funding, and the constant references to “treating and curing diabetes” in the media through diet, pills, and exercise gets pretty tiresome.

        You are absolutely right that any responsible diabetic needs to eat carefully and exercise regularly.

        1. I have a friend who’s son is Type 1 diabetic. They let him eat WHATEVER he wants!! He’ll have a stack of pancakes 5 high with syrup!! Huge scoops of mashed potates. Chips Etc… You get the point. They were told he could eat whatever he wanted as long as they kept track of his carb count and entered it into his pump. The boy has NO control over his blood suger and is constantly getting high keytones!! It’s sad and scary. 🙁

        2. A lot of parents or type 1 kids allow them to run high because that is a lot less scary than a low. It is not good, but managing a child with type 1 would be harder than I could even imagine.

  6. Ryan, you look spectacular but even more important is that you have regained your heath.

    From the 120 lb weakling to your present state is amazing. I hope the medical community will take note.

    Mark, your heart must swell when you get these stories. I know mine does and I don’t even have anything to do with it.

  7. I found it interesting that the doctors told him to just keep eating what he’d been eating after his surgery, as I had about half of my pancreas removed due to a large benign cyst a few months ago. Basically, my surgeon just told me to “sty reasonably thing”, so that I don’t wear out my half-pancreas before its time. I found this a little ridiculous, as I had been eating primally for about four months before the surgery, and the idea that the doctor didn’t even mention anything about diet was very weird to me. Luckily, I’m taking care of this myself and I’m pretty confident that my pancreas will hold up as long as the rest of me does.

  8. Absolutely amazing! Well…really not so much! Congrats, Ryan and thank-you for your testimonial.

  9. It is false to call Ryan a “type 1 diabetic”. Injecting insulin does not make a person a type 1 diabetic. Type 1 is an auto-immune disease where the body attacks itself killing all of the islet cells that produce insulin. Type 1 diabetics have absolutely no insulin in their body without replacing it. Since the cells always need some energy and are always working, even if one does not eat a thing – some insulin is needed.

    Many type 2 diabetics wind up on insulin, but this does not suddenly make them type 1. Ryan lost half his pancreas which was why the wisdom was to replace the insulin. He likely still produces some insulin which makes his lifestyle change ideal. Incidentally, this is now generally recommended for Type 2 diabetics with great success to those able to follow it.

    Sounds like his doctor’s should have done far better for Ryan, and it is so encouraging hearing that he took control.

    Good for him – but hardly sound advice for a type-1 diabetic.

    1. Some of your cells need glucose for energy–the ones with little to no mitochondria. Everything else can live off ketones or fatty acids, and they don’t need insulin to get those.

      Insulin’s important in a type 1 because of that miniscule glucose need and because they need to be able to use the amino acids they eat. No insulin = no aminos going into your muscles = wasting away to nothing.

      I’m suspecting based on what I’ve read that there is no absolute division between the diabetes types. It’s possible to be halfway in between type 1 and type 2, or to have some other form of diabetes entirely. If you read the literature about the disease from other English-speaking nations you will see what I mean.

      Researchers are even arguing that Alzheimer’s is another type of diabetes. Interesting idea.

      1. Please read this to assist in clarifying our understanding.

        Although ketones are awesome for non type 1’s, they do tend to kill us.

        If my ketones ever reached 2, I would me in hospital hooked up to all kinds of massive toys.

        I’m not sure how that will pan out, the ketone thing, but from what I have read, mere insulin production should regulate it, and we hopefully won’t rise to above 0.2 ketones.

        Time will tell.

    2. Thank you for all your comments… positive and negative. My intention of making my story public was to provide motivation and enthusiasm of living a primal lifestyle. After reading some specific comments, I feel clarification is necessary regarding my specific classification of diabetes. Many of you are correct – Type I diabetes is most often an autoimmune condition in which one’s immune system mistakes their own insulin producing Beta Cells (islets of Langerhans) as being foreign and attacks itself leaving no functioning Beta cells. This occurs most often as a young child – hence the term insulin-dependent juvenile diabetes. There are also cases of an autoimmune Type I diabetes as an adult as a result of other factors such as a viral/bacterial infection.

      In my unique case, the 40% of my remaining pancreas was damaged even further with numerous bouts of pancreatitis and I was diagnosed with injury onset IDDM (Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus). This was also confirmed using a C-peptide test of 0.4 ng/mL. A C-peptide is a marker for insulin secretion and is an important test to determine the amount of insulin producing cells in one’s pancreas. It is lowered with type I diabetics who struggle to secrete any insulin and generally elevated in Type II diabetics because their pancreas produces normal or too much insulin. Type II diabetics have dysfunction with the receptor sites whom receive insulin into the cell, not the ability to make insulin.

      Again, the purpose of sharing my story was to give all diabetics hope that they can “control” their blood sugar levels by eliminating harmful foods and exercising intelligently. Regardless of the type of diabetes, all diabetics can improve their health by adhering to the primal fundamentals.

  10. First of all, I want to weigh in on the whole “doctor” versus “chiropractor” issue. The average med student spends more time on pharmacology than learning the “ins and outs” of nutrition. Granted this subjects understanding of what his diagnosis was I still would trust his insight about the steps he took to heal his own body. The diabetes “industry” still focuses on the management of the SAD and not the changing of lifestyle that is required to effectively manage the whole disease of diabetes. Just by changing my eating plan, I have effectively lowered my blood sugar by more than 200 points and my blood glucose reading last night after a trip to Outback and eating a 12 oz prime rib, baked sweet potato, bread and dessert was 73 and this morning it was 112. I rejoice in those numbers, but no doctor gave me the eating plan. I asked and was told you have to manage your diet. It took research and finding folks (a chiropractor in this case) who know nutrition and suggested the Primal Blueprint.

    Ryan, I salute you. Keep it up and spread the message of PB…you will do more good than most MD’s out there.

  11. While I agree about the confusions between Type I and Type 2 diabetes already listed here. To my mind the larger message is that Ryan took control of his health and improved his quality of life considerably. This should be celebrated! And really, isn’t this what all of us are trying to accomplish? May we all be as successful as Ryan. Thanks for an inspiring story.

    1. I agree that we should celebrate his success. But the smaller message about his “type 1” being “cured” is offensive to me. What I took issue with is the insinuation that Type 1 is caused by eating too much sugar and carbs, and the insinuation that it can be cured by following the Primal Blueprint. That simply is not true and does a disservice to those of us who do have Type 1, which is already so misunderstood. That said, since eliminating grains from my diet, my blood sugar control is much better, more predictable, and I feel healthier. I do think PB can be helpful for Type 1 diabetes, but it will not cure it. An accurate story about PB and Type 1 will do more for the Type 1 community than this story will. Again, I do applaud Ryan for doing the research and finding what would work for him.

  12. you should be a case study written up for a medical journal. It would be good for Primal stuff to start being in medical literature.

  13. Awesome! It is so encouraging to hear that living primally doesn’t just make you feel good, it actual can heal underlying issues. It encourages me to press on to find the answers to my health questions. Yay Ryan!

  14. Lazarus’s experiences with the skeptical doctors is similar to mine which is why I no longer refer to “doctors” but use “medicine men” or “witch doctors.”

    1. But…but…but….”medicine men” and “witch doctors” would recognize Primal eating, would practice it themselves and would be gobsmacked that anybody would consider eating any other way. They also use herbs and other natural substances to heal disease. Granted, some of them do some pretty disagreeable stuff, but those may not be the best terms to use to describe the many shortcomings of allopathic physicians.

    2. We call ’em ‘quacks’ over here – not the foggiest idea why…

      Unless it’s some obscure reference to the adage ‘if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…’

      But why the term is only used for rogue doctors and not, for example, charlatan lawyers, I’ve really no idea…

  15. Absolutely incredible, I knew eating this way was powerful but I had no idea that it could effectively eliminate the need for insulin injections for a type 1 diabetic. Unbelievable

      1. Get off it already… the guy knows what he’s talking about. Jeez.

    1. It would reduce the insulin dosage but a type 1 can never stop using it entirely.

  16. I desperately need to heal myself and because I’m a protein type I really want to do it the primal way, mixed in with cues from other holistic approaches to healing…it’s just a shame that you can’t find enough information out there that focusses on healing through animal based food…

    …as someone who is at risk of developing diabetes type 2 I’m starting to get very anxious about finding the right healing program for myself, but the success stories that are posted here do help and I’m going to have a look through the archives…

    Love, Jules

  17. Whoa, now! The Type 1 diabetics have to chill out! (The same reaction is seen with the celiacs vs. the merely gluten intolerant) Yes, indeed, Type 1 diabetes CAN be caused by abdominal trauma which causes pancreas asportation and that is what Dr. Lazarus experienced. Yes, different mechanism from the classic viral-induced Type 1, but Type 1 nontheless. Type 2 diabetes is not an insulin insufficency at all. Rather, it is an overproduction of insulin and inflammation and miscommunication at the cell wall which leads to poor signaling and glucose transport in the cell. Basically, the cell ignores the insulin and the pancreas makes more and more trying to make the cell respond. This is caused by poor lifestyle, etc.

    Dr. Lazarus (and he is indeed a doctor!) has a wonderful personal story of how the right food can overcome a great obstacle. Thankfully, he found the Primal lifestyle. Once again, thank you, Mark!

    1. Actually, no, Type 1 is not caused by abdominal trauma. It is an autoimmune condition which destroys the beta cells in the pancreas. If the beta cells are destroyed by some other mechanism, it is not Type 1 diabetes.

      1. Sparkle said it CAN be caused by abdominal trauma. Type 1 is when you produce insufficient insulin or none at all. Type 2, in fact, can transition to type 1 later in the disease. Just because MOST people with type 1 started out with an autoimmune incident does NOT mean that’s how they ALL get it.

        1. Yes, that is exactly what it means. If it wasn’t autoimmune, it’s not Type 1 diabetes. It’s something else. And no, Type 2 does not transition into Type 1. Please.

        2. Actually, Bryn, Dana is right–a type 2 diabetic’s pancreas can eventually shut down from over-production of insulin. When the pancreas no longer produces enough insulin, it is considered, by definition, type 1, regardless of the eitiology.

          Yes, in MOST cases, type 1 is the result of an auto-immune response. But by definition, Type 1 is insufficient production of insulin; Type 2 is insufficient sensitivity to insulin.

          Perhaps the real issue is that we are splitting hairs over semantics when the real issue is that the medical community has failed to come up with adequate terminology to classify all the types of diabetes that occur (such as Ryan’s–which is TECHNICALLY type 1 but should probably be given a label such as “type 1, trauma induced.”)

    2. Thank you so much for setting the record straight here. 🙂 With only a couple of semesters of nutrition coursework, even I know that Type 1 is not only an autoimmune disease. Type 1 can be caused by hereditary factors, viruses, an auto-immune response OR anything that destroys the pancreas!!

      1. The hereditary factors and viruses you speak of are part of the autoimmune cause. Your nutrition coursework is not telling you everything. As I stated before, Type 1 is characterized by autoimmune antibodies in the blood, and not bodily trauma. Ryan’s condition and Type 1 diabetes are totally different.

    3. actually, type 2 is not EXCLUSIVELY due to ‘poor lifestyle’, and as a type 2, I am somewhat dismayed by the type 1 folks who seem hell-bent to distance themselves from the type 2 people. in my own instance, yes, it is due to obesity. HOWEVER, I have type 2 diabetes running on both sides of my family going back 6 generations that we know of… and only in the last two generations maternally has there been any issue with diets / weight… everyone else that got it, got it in their late 50s / early 60s, and they were all tall and thin…

      please stop implying that type 2 is the exclusive purview of poor dietary habits. that is also simply inaccurate.

      1. Seriously. I’m tired of people with chronic disease being treated like garbage in the health community, period. Why in the world would anyone want to do anything for their health when every time they go look at a website or a blog they are insulted by someone? The fact that anyone overlooks the insults and decides to do the hard work anyway is a testament to the human spirit which, it would appear, is not limited to the young, the beautiful, the fit, or the perfect victims.

        You know, if I were type 1 and people were saying I could be cured, I’d be flattered that they *wanted* me to be cured, not insulted that I was lumped in with the fatties. But maybe I’m just crazy, I don’t know.

        1. Hi Dana, just wanted to say that i have enjoyed reading your knowledgeable and level-headed comments.

  18. Chiropractor, doctor, type1, type 2…whatever, how hot is he!

    Good for you, Ryan : )

  19. Interesting parallel story that I have illustrating that–thankfully– some vets DO know what they are talking about (unlike some human doctors):

    My cat was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer 8 years ago. He underwent a major surgery to remove as much of the cancerous tumor as possible (you can imagine how hard that is when you see the way the pancreas looks outside of the patient). He was left with about 10% of his pancreas (and some of the cancer) and the vet warned me he would likely become diabetic.

    Due to her recommendation we managed his condition in two ways–adding enzymes to his food, and restricting his diet to canned food that had no grains/plant material–things all too common in most commercial cat foods. So, unlike Lazarus’ doctors, this vet did address dietary needs for an individual with a fraction of a functioning pancreas.

    I assume her advice helped as kitty never did need insulin and he lived another two years to the age of 16.

    1. What brand of cat food do you use? I’ve looked at the labels on pretty much all of them and every single one has had some pretty nasty stuff mixed in there.

      1. Taste of the Wild is a no grain catfood. Most privately owned feed stores that have the canine version will order you the feline version. My cats tell me it is very palatable.

        1. Read the label. I use that brand of kibble and it’s 50 percent carbohydrate. Be very careful. I don’t know if they have a canned version or what its carb content is, but stay away from the dry food.

      2. Wellness has a no grain canned food for cats. I would also recommend feeding raw – see – it is as natural for them as going Primal is for us.

        1. My mum’s late puss, Samson, was VERY particular in what real food he would – and wouldn’t – touch.

          When he came home from the vet’s, following an emergency op to seal a hole in his stomach (he was a bit of a bruiser was our Sam – rather fancied himself as the hard man – sorry cat – of the neighbourhood and was out every night making damned sure every other cat within a 5-mile radius knew it!)

          Anyway, I thought that, as he’d just had surgery, I’d feed him his ‘proper’ diet, rather than the crud in the pouches Mother fed him (min. 4% meat, meat derivatives, ash – can’t recall the full ingredients list…).

          So, I went to the butchers, and bought a half-pound of lambs’ liver, diced it up, and put it in his dish. Took one sniff and skulked off. Thought he’d eat it when he was really hungry – but it was still there the next morning, untouched!

          So, I cooked a couple of pieces, chopped them up – they were gone in about 30 seconds and he was purring round my legs wanting seconds!

          He was always like that – he would NOT eat raw ANYTHING – chicken, pork, beef, turkey, lamb, offal – it HAD to be cooked before he’d touch it. The only exception was tinned tuna.

          We don’t seem to have any choice in carb-free/crud free cat-chow over here; it’s all high carb, low meat. The ‘vet recommended’ or ‘vet designed’ ones are worst. Britain is a nation of malnourished moggies…

          My sister’s big, fat ginger tom, OTOH, will half-inch your steak dinner away before you’ve had chance to cook it! He is SO not fussy that cat!

      3. If you want a dry food, Orijen is at least grain free. Not zero carb but a lot lower than most kibble. They claim to use ethical meats too. My cats like it.

  20. That is nothing short of a miracle. It is fantasteak to see living and thriving proof of Primal’s benefit to a Type 1. I knew it. Share this story with *everyone* because they need to hear it. This is the proof right here. Freaking awesome!!

  21. Congratulations Dr. you look great. to those that said he’s JUST a chiropractor…I’m amazed to read that here! That is the only doctor I go to. Good living can’t adjust my spine but it can eliminate the need for me to subject myself to an MD that is looking for something to medicate. Thank you Mark, you continue to bring stories that inspire.

    1. I’m surprised to read that here too! I’m a DC (Doctor of Chiropractic) student myself and very much offended by the attitudes from what I thought were like-minded people. I run a club on campus where myself and fellow students workout primally and educate ourselves how we can use nutrition to help our patients. I don’t know what sort of experiences you people had with Chiropractors to make you so jaded, but you really need to educate yourselves before you alienate valuable allies in the paleo community.

  22. Just to weigh in…I have a ton of Type 1’s in my family, including our 17 year old. He does his best to eat withing the Primal guidelines (though being a teenager often undermines compliance!)

    We have seen an improvement in his health and his body composition by following it to some degree. He has said without a doubt that he feels better. It is not that we don’t have hope about a cure, but we are realistic and knowledgeable enough to understand that the best we can do is have really good control to minimize the long term consequences.

    My brother who has been diabetic for 30 of his 41 years has been on a Tibetan diet for the last 2 years. No wheat, alcohol, and certain fruits etc. He does eat rice and rice products. The reduction in his AIC is amazing, so there is much to be learned from adjusting your diet, not just matching insulin needs.

    It is still amazing how often we are approached with well-meaning, albeit slightly ignorant people, telling us about the “cure” they have heard about for Diabetes.
    And for what it’s worth, I have had useful and asinine information imparted to us from both MD’s and Chiropractors… Wasting too much time judging and arguing about generalities takes time away from managing the disease for improved health and longevity.

  23. This is why Mark Sisson is the absolute greatest fitness expert in the entire world. This man is saving countless lives and getting next to no recognition for it. Can we please get Mark a spot on the Oprah show because everyone listens to her? Maybe a show on her network?

    Ryan, your story is very moving. You look amazing and I know you feel amazing.

    Mark…there’s not alot I can say to you or about you without tears coming to my eyes (I am a woman, after all 🙂 )…Thank YOU.

    1. It would be great if Mark got a guest spot on Oprah. The fear commented on earlier in this post of an increase of people eating PB placing a greater strain on food production is bunk.
      If some the great tracks of industrial farming land used for HFCS production and the like were taken over by smaller family run farming interests. Variety of food choice would increase, free range animals, greater stewardship of the land and let’s not forget employment.
      As far Oprah goes, the producers would want Mark to wear a bear skin, say ogga bogga and carry a club.

      1. I agree–obviously there would be a significant adjustment period, and certain areas of the country (the grain belt in particular) would feel some pains from the cost incured from changing the use of land from garbage to fresh produce and meat. And the average person’s food bill would go up some. Of course some of that could be offset by a shift in food subsidies and the decline in use of Medicare dollars to treat type 2 diabetes, heart disease, some types of cancer, arthrits (joint replacements are remarkably expensive), etc.

        All in all though, I don’t think it would be that difficult. And Primal food production would certainly be more sustainable in the long term.

        I think eventually (likely not in my lifetime, unfortunately) this is the direction we as a species will have to go. We are so out of touch with our bodies, our humanity and the earth. In a little over 100 years we have gone from people farming to produce food for their family to farms in which the farmers would literally starve to death if they had to depend soley on the crops they grow for food.

        1. After a recent succession of natural disasters down the East Coast of Australia, infrastructure damage and food shortages, demonstrated to me just how precariously poised our industrialised grain centric food production model of existence is.

  24. Could you imagine if everyone lived the Primal Blueprint & was Dave Ramsey debt free?! If only…

    1. Hey cool, someone else who is into both. I “found” Dave Ramsey @ 10 years ago and I’ve been completely debt free for 5years. I’ve been easing into primal for a much shorter time

      1. Awesomeness! I’m another working toward physical and fiscal health with the help of Mark and Dave!

  25. Very nice. I’ll have to show this to my sister when she becomes diabetic.

  26. Sounds like some people need a square of chocolate or a time out!! Congrats to Mark for promoting a great lifestyle & to Ryan for being proactive in is health. I worked in healthcare for 30yrs and it is a medicate/cut mentality. They can’t help it…that’s all their taught. Chiro’s & DO’s are more likely to try natural & alternative healing methods. and one last note.. your name appropriate!

  27. Can improvements be achieved by even a Type 1 diabetic with ZERO pancreatic function?

    I watch & pray in silent horror as my sister-in-law, a Type 1 diabetic declines in health due to the constant onslaught of sugar on her tissues. Over the past 5 years, she has lost most of her eyesight, battled a foot ulcer that nearly required amputation, and had abcesses in both sides of her jaw requiring bone grafts. The antibiotics used to fight various infections have decreased her kidney function to 28%. Currently, she is dealing with a “celulitis” bacterial infection of the skin (fever, vomiting, swollen red leg), yet another complication of diabetes and poor kidney function. In order to prevent sepsis, they will administer powerful antibiotics… again… which could damage her kidneys… again…

    I realize that my sis-in-law will always require injected insulin to stay alive. With reduced kidney function requiring a low protein & low potassium diet, is there any hope that some modified version of the primal lifestyle could help her?

    Thank you for any insights or suggestions for further research that you may have!

    Primal in Barbados

  28. Ryan, your story is an absolute inspiration – thankyou for sharing it and the work that you’ve been doing to spread the primal message.

    More importantly though … thanks for sharing the photo. Very nice!!

  29. So, even if Type 1 diabetes IS an immune-mediated disease, who’s to say it can’t be ‘cured’. Immune diseases are reversed on a regular basis by correct diet/lifestyle, spontaneously, miracle – whatever you want to call it! If people with cancer & leukemia can become well, why not a diabetic? Why are people getting so defensive about labels? The people who read the information on this website are surely smart enough (and open-minded enough) to do their own research & make their own minds up about what’s best for them.
    Great job Ryan, you look amazing & obviously feel amazing too!

  30. Where is this observational study going to be published? I’d be very interested to read about this in more detail.

  31. I really like reading most of the information on this website but some of the posts and comments are so opinionated and negative! The zeal with which many of you promote your opinions (and they are mostly opinions) reminds me of religious fanatics or political extremists.

    Reading the comments on this website is so disappointing. Why do you all feel as though you have to knock down anyone who’s opinion is different from yours? Can’t you phrase things in a positive way rather than a negative way? Many people seem to believe that Primal living has changed their lives for the better, why not be a positive voice rather than a negative one?

  32. Wow! A fabulous story! Ryan, you had the courage to step away from conventional wisdom while being surrounded by countless doctors who probably advocated against your primal efforts. Not only is your story motivating and inspiring, but your devotion to helping others be the healthiest they can be is truly honourable. Thanks so much for doing what you’re doing!

  33. Thank you for all your comments… positive and negative. My intention of making my story public was to provide motivation and enthusiasm of living a primal lifestyle. After reading some specific comments, I feel clarification is necessary regarding my specific classification of diabetes. Many of you are correct – Type I diabetes is most often an autoimmune condition in which one’s immune system mistakes their own insulin producing Beta Cells (islets of Langerhans) as being foreign and attacks itself leaving no functioning Beta cells. This occurs most often as a young child – hence the term insulin-dependent juvenile diabetes. There are also cases of an autoimmune Type I diabetes as an adult as a result of other factors such as a viral/bacterial infection.

    In my unique case, the 40% of my remaining pancreas was damaged even further with numerous bouts of pancreatitis and I was diagnosed with injury onset IDDM (Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus). This was also confirmed using a C-peptide test of 0.4 ng/mL. A C-peptide is a marker for insulin secretion and is an important test to determine the amount of insulin producing cells in one’s pancreas. It is lowered with type I diabetics who struggle to secrete any insulin and generally elevated in Type II diabetics because their pancreas produces normal or too much insulin. Type II diabetics have dysfunction with the receptor sites whom receive insulin into the cell, not the ability to make insulin.

    Again, the purpose of sharing my story was to give all diabetics hope that they can “control” their blood sugar levels by eliminating harmful foods and exercising intelligently. Regardless of the type of diabetes, all diabetics can improve their health by adhering to the primal fundamentals.

    Ryan Lazarus

    1. Wow, I just stumbled upon this story and to my amazement, there is my doctor!! I am a proud to say I’m patient of Dr. Lazarus. He’s an amazing doctor, that I have learned so much from. He is absoluting motivating, an inspiration and living proof that one CAN take control and have life changing results. He recommended the PB book to me, and it’s has changed the way I think and live my life! Thank you for all that you’ve taught me – and Kudos to you for telling your story and making a difference.

  34. So impressed! I’m so motivated by this story. It’s amazing that turned such a tough situation into such an amazing one. That mud bath picture is nothing less than inspiring. Keep it up and keep spreading the Primal word! Smiling right now. I posted a link to this story on my (running/food/fitness/primal) blog along with some words echoing my incredulity at your feat, which you can check here:

    Best wishes,
    Zack Gober

  35. Diabetics…Type 1, 1.5, 2, and 3…and anyone who cares about their health. Read Suzy Cohen’s Diabetes without Drugs. It explains this epidemic well, and gives great suggestions for living a healthier lifestyle. Stay away from processed foods!

  36. What a beautiful and inspiring story! I read this and can’t help but think that there must be something really powerful to this paleo diet … to the way people all over the world are healing themselves from illnesses and diseases with diet alone.

    Thank you, thank you for this … it inspires me to keep going and to maintain the same determined attitude!


  37. Just read through some of the comments. That was quite the debate. I suppose I don’t see why it matters so much. The point is that he HEALED himself through diet, and with such odds stacked up against him.

    Science seems to think it knows everything, but the human body & spirit are truly magical and powerful … and Ryan is proof of that.

    Let’s be grateful for stories like this.

  38. “The Rise of a Friend”…….To all who doubt, whether you are opinion is partial to Diabetes Type 1 or 2, MD or Chiropractor, right or wrong, this or that, the fact of the matter is, don’t confuse your own point of view with what and how Dr. Lazarus is trying to offer here. This is a true testimony that I have witnessed first hand….not so much recently, but seeing where Dr. Lazarus began in this journey when I first met him……..being called in the middle of the night because he was hunched over on the street in front of his dorm room because he had to be rushed to the hospital, due to an extreme pancreatitis attack……and where he is now…….a very healthy, thriving man, an established father, husband, Doctor, business person and individual that made the decision at that point in his life, to take charge of his situation and live and not to die. I must say Dr. Ryan, when Joy and I saw this post earlier today, it made me especially, quite proud and I think its incredible and worthy that you are willing to offer your experience and information to all. Since our entire family has been “Primal” (a year now), Joy’s blood sugar and anxiety are complete under control and the kids are thriving, especially the younger, showing huge gains from her diagnosed special needs. Its not coincidence. As you responded to me when we saw that we both “like” Mark’s Daily Apple on Facebook………and I quote Dr. Lazarus, “Mark Sisson is right on point!” ……..and that, he is!

    We love you Ryan. LB

  39. Here’s my story and that really is all I intend it to be.

    I’ve had adult onset Type 1 Diabetes for 28 years (I’m 58). I’ve enjoyed Primal Living for the past month.

    I have experienced all sorts of mental and physical benefits – I’m 15 pounds lighter – and my blood sugar control is remarkable.

    I’ve reduced my basal insulin dose by 20% (I use a pump) and eating a Primal meal I don’t have to cover the carbs with any additional insulin. Once or twice a week I need to cover an elevated blood sugar but I can always trace it to a high GI fruit.

    For example: I had No-atmeal with blueberries 1 1/2 hours ago and my current blood sugar is 115 mg/dl. previously, at 40 carbs this would have required 4 units of insulin or raised my blood sugar to 200 mg/dl.

    I just had my quarterly blood work done so I can’t give you A1c numbers (average blood sugar)but my daily testing (7-9 times a day) has averaged 105 mg/dl over the last 7 days; 107 mg/dl over the last 14 days; 102 over the last 30 days. 100 mg/dl is considered normal. And for those of you who test, I always test post meals.

    I still have 35 lbs. to loose to get to my goal of 10% body fat. But even if I didn’t, and baring any definitive proof, I’m Primal for the rest of my days.

    BTW – my MD is very happy with my blood sugar averages and interested in watching my progress.

    One final piece. I enjoy long distance bicycling (60 -120 miles per ride). I use a 4/1 carb to pro sports drink to hydrate and provide a steady intake of carbs. I also enjoy Primal snacks.

  40. I’ve read all of the comments, and while I can follow all of them, the truth is I am no expert, so my understanding is limited. And maybe that’s a good thing, because I think some of us are missing the point. I don’t think anyone was saying (or inferring for that matter) that Ryan has cured his Type 1 diabetes. There is nothing “wrong” with his being diabetic anyway (just like there’s nothing “wrong” about having Type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, AIDS, etc…) On behalf of the rest of the world, I apologize for those jerks out there who treat anyone with a disease/ailment/medical issue as lesser humans, that’s just horrible. However, I would propose that we not be so sensitive. I think what is being said in this story is that living the Primal lifestyle can help in our treatment of health issues. For example, if I told you that I’ve healed myself from menopause we all know that you could take my hormone levels and they of course, would not have changed (I would still be going through menopause). But it is possible that I could claim I am no longer experiencing menopausal symptoms due to following the Primal Blueprint. Isn’t that what Ryan is saying here? It reminds me of the argument about diet and autism (something I do know more about). For those who have been successful at treating autism with diet, it pleases them to tell the world about their success in an effort to help others. In turn, there are a lot of people who simply call it hogwash and are offended that something so serious could be treated with a special diet, as if it makes any difference how the person got better. What matters in this case is that some, if not most, of the symptoms of Ryan’s health issues are treated successfully with his lifestyle. So congratulations, Ryan and thank you Mark for all that you do.

  41. Mark, thank you for all your sacrifices and your successes. Without your book I would have never had the amazing Doctor I have today, Dr. Lazarus. I have (as well as family, friends and clients) been able to live a life without pain and a new found hope for a better quality of life. I struggled daily with a severe pain in my stomach every time I ate for 15 years. I went to some medical doctors for help and they made me believe I was the problem. Being told “you’re the problem” was not only physically but emotionally debilitating. I went to Doctor Lazarus because he was highly recomended by my sister. He convinced me to read your book and live the lifestyle. I implemented the lifestyle that Mark and Ryan suggested and I was immediately relieved of the daily stomach aches and I managed to lose a significant amount of “insulation” around my belly. Long story short, thank you Mark and thank you Ryan for giving me the life I always hoped to have.

  42. How wonderful, after facing what you thought an uncertain future, that you sought, achieved, and exude vitality.

  43. Wow, that is an amazing story!
    I have a friend who is a type 1 diabetic and competitive powerlifter. He does not eat carbs, for the most part, and therefore hardly ever needs to inject insulin.
    He is also strong as hell and lean as a race horse.

  44. This story was amazing and I am so glad I seemed to have stumbled across PB. I have been told that my pancreas is starting to develop ‘over-use’ issues and I was beginning to get very fearful of the possibility of becoming diabetic (like the rest of my family), but I take so much comfort in just knowing that this way of life does actually work for serious health issues. It’s the proof I needed before fully embarking on a journey I had no idea where it would lead me. At least now I have hope that things can definately not just get better, but improve 10 fold. Thank you so much for sharing your story, you are a true inspiration 🙂

  45. Super inspiring story!! I realize that I honestly don’t know that much about Diabetes, but just reading this story, for me, seals the deal that Primal Living can help maintain and balance any bodily malfunction one can possibly have. It just makes sense too. Great stuff!!

  46. This is my first day on this web blog. I found this story uplifting and amazing. More often than not, the folks I know only follow Doctors advise.They become more and more ill. My own doctor admitted to me that he had two weeks of nutrition in college. He welcomes any research I have found. I am always emailing him articles. He supports my recent decision to eat a Paleo diet. I have in the last year cured myself of a 12 year old auto immune disease called RSD. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy.I had to do research and work hard at over coming this.(I could not walk, was in constant extreme pain, and was in danger of losing my right leg)Because of this I was able to run a mile last fall, hike a volcano in Hawaii in December, and walk all over St Croix in March. No pain…not even a thought about it. conventional medicine said…”there is no cure” “we don’t know what causes this” “you will probably lose your right leg”
    I want to applaud you Ryan for your ability to take the bull by the horns and find your answers. Thank you for this encouraging post. You put yourself out there and showed us that we can all have a hand in making our lives better.The sky is the limit!
    Love to you.

  47. What an inspiration you are Ryan!!

    My chiropractor is awesome too, BTW. 🙂

  48. I’d just like to say to all the Type 1 people going crazy… that the article never claimed to “CURE” or “GET RID” of diabetes.

    Mark used the word “help” and Ryan used the word “control.” Before you all go crazy next time over something you consider to be an assault on your person, why don’t you read the article a little more closely.

    1. Thanks, for that insightful response, and before you respond to this, We or I probably didn’t read it as an assault or insult, but the article did imply that through following the primal diet, you can reverse type 1, which you cannot, and if I were newly diagnosed, this article would provide a lot of false hope (unintentionally I understand, but it would) that and there is a large difference between type 1 and 2 to the people that are forever more attached to a device that provides them with the hormone that we are trying to reduce the creation of by following this very plan, so we are interested, and people who tell us not to freak out are the same people who generally say crap like ‘well, I don’t see why we pay taxed for your medical bills, if you didn’t eat all that crap you wouldn’t be diabetic’ – that’s probably why – because we don’t eat crap, and we can’t just cut carbs out, we try to reduce them, if my sugar drops, my choices are ‘eat candy or go to an ER – for some candy, intravenously’


      1. Ev,

        As the author, let me clarify. The article never claimed to reverse type I diabetes. I simply stated, that I healed my pancreas using a primal lifestyle. I am an insulin dependent diabetic due to the removal of the majority of my pancreas from trauma. I lack sufficient beta cells to produce enough insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels and glucose homeostasis.

        The intent of the article was to share my story and inform the reader that even IDDM patients can improve their health with a primal lifestyle. This includes avoidance of specific foods while emphasizing nutrient-dense foods, moving in a strategic manner to facilitate optimal mitochondrial function leading to improved metabolic flexibility. MDA provides numerous tips and strategies to achieve this and adopting a primal lifestyle will benefit a Type I diabetic.


  49. Amazing comments. I needed to read again because I’m having a discussion with a T1 about bolus and carb intake, etc. She called me out on my less than stellar knowledge of T1 vs. T2 (which I have been for nearly a decade). However, before finding Primal I was in that transition period where my insulin output was normal again because I’d worn the beta cells out to that point, and as I understand it – if I’d continued to kill my beta cells through lifestyle, etc – I’d have eventually had no function and been deemed a Type 1. If you have no beta cells functioning, does it really matter that much how it happened? What’s the test that determines that? I do not know to what extent I have pancreatic function currently, so honestly, I don’t know where I stand on the ‘spectrum’ of Diabetes. What I do know is that Primal is amazing for my control. I can eat more carbs, keep my blood sugars at non-diabetic levels, by avoiding grains, beans, etc. My last A1C was 5.2, but it’s been quite a few months since I’ve retested. I would be very interested in knowing exactly what tests I could request that would tell me what % of function I retain, and if that changes for the bad or good, etc. Regardless of type, or spot on the spectrum one is with regards to Diabetes, can’t we all agree that Primal helps? 🙂

  50. This article gives me so much hope. I’m 18 and have had T1 Diabetes since May of 2006 (when I was 15). Thank you so much