In recent years, scientists and medical researchers have learned more about autoimmune diseases. Among their discoveries: How nutrition can help to manage symptoms. And for Dr. Terry Wahls, the same Paleo plan used for weight loss has provided life-changing help in controlling her own autoimmune disease of multiple sclerosis, which she discussed in an Aug. 26 podcast.
A clinical professor of medicine at the University of Iowa and a staff physician at the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Hospital, Dr. Wahls now teaches medical students and resident physicians how to use diet therapy. In addition, she is conducted clinical research to discover how various autoimmune disorders can be helped or even reversed with diet. She is the author of "The Wahls Protocol: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine."
The Wahls Protocol, which she created, combines a Paleo diet with a low carb high fat (LCHF) ketogenic diet. It enabled Dr. Wahls to improve so much that, after living life in a wheelchair, she now rides her bike five miles to work every day.
Podcast host Jimmy Moore also discussed his own use of a Paleo-style ketogenic diet for weight loss. Jimmy struggled with his weight for years and tried various approaches. He regularly tests himself to stay in nutritional ketosis. He is the author of "Keto Clarity: Your Definitive Guide to the Benefits of a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet."
Sarah Ballantyne agrees with the benefits of a Paleo low carb diet for both autoimmune diseases and weight loss. With a doctorate degree in medical biophysics, she explained in an exclusive interview how she used the approach herself to lose 120 pounds. She is the author of "The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body” and “The Paleo Approach Cookbook: A Detailed Guide to Heal Your Body and Nourish Your Soul."
In addition to weight loss, Sarah discovered that the Paleo diet helped her autoimmune skin condition called lichen planus. She emphasizes the multiple benefits of caveman cuisine.
"It’s a nutrient-dense diet (providing balanced and complete nutrition) that is anti-inflammatory, supports gut health, and naturally regulates important hormones (like insulin, leptin and ghrelin)," said Sarah. She also emphasizes that it can be family-friendly, teaching children good eating habits at an early age.
Several studies have shown that Paleo-style LCHF diets are the most effective approach for weight loss. Researchers compared different diets and concluded that low carb diets trumped approaches such as low-fat plans, reported the International Business Times on Aug. 26.
Several different factors make the low carb diet so effective. The high levels of fat and protein curb cravings while helping dieters stay full. In addition, researchers have found that dieters on low carb diets burn 300 calories more per day.
In addition, researchers have discovered that low carb diets can help with type 2 diabetes. In some cases, patients can even stop using their medication. But although type 2 diabetes has become an epidemic, those with the condition sometimes cope with their symptoms for years before getting diagnosed, reported ABC News on Aug. 27.
If it is not treated, diabetes can inflect deadly damage. But people don't always link their symptoms to the disease. They may lose weight, experience fatigue, feel very thirsty or have urinate frequently.
Dr. David Fleming, MD, president of the American College of Physicians and a professor of medicine at the University of Missouri, expressed concern about the fact that many people do not receive a diagnosis until the disease has progressed.
"There are a lot of people out there with elevated blood sugar levels who aren't getting to the doctor regularly, so they aren't getting checked for it. They won't realize it until it gets severe enough that they start developing side effects, like problems with their vision or numbness in their feet or hands," he said.