Digestion, Diabetes, and Paleo

Some people thing I’m crazy for being as passionate as I am about food, constantly reading, researching, and trying to understand my body; and furthermore, becoming even more strict as of late. I’m sure I annoy plenty. Not that it matters what anybody thinks, but I thought I’d shed a little insight about what has fueled this passion in me. Indulge me.

Exhibit 1: here is a look at what happens to me, as I progress throughout each day. By the end of the day after dinner, my abdomen is so distended that I can barely breathe from the pressure underneath my lungs and diaphragm. Sometimes, it’s painful and other times it’s not, it’s completely random. I don’t know about you, but (a small) part of the reason I exercise regularly is to not look as though I’m pregnant.Belly

Exhibit 2: this is what’s happened the last two nights:Digestion Effects 1Digestion Effects 2

See those giant spikes? Not cool. Both nights, I had a super healthy dinner (as always). Each night I ate, did a few things around the house, and went to bed a few hours later. Not until the middle of the night, did my food finally show up and digest. Why? No idea.

From the digestion standpoint: why doesn’t my digestion work? Why am I sometimes miserable, other times not as much? Why is it painful sometimes, and not other times? Why does what I eat, sometimes just sit in my stomach and not do anything for hours, and other times motility is fine? How much of what I eat is actually even being digested? These and so many other unanswered questions have remained for the last 16 years, following every diagnostic test and procedure (and 1 unnecessary surgery) possible, many different “diets” plus trying every OTC, prescription and sometimes supplements ever created. Yet, here I sit, with no answers. So, where does that leave me? Food.

From the diabetes standpoint: the digestion issues listed above, complicate the hell out of it. I can rarely if ever rely on my digestion (or lack there of), which adds a whole other dimension to diabetes management. Fun times (sarcasm).

Hopefully this sheds some light into why I have gone Paleo (to heal my gut, NOT cure my diabetes as that won’t happen, ever), and why I’m venturing even deeper into food, because really, what other choice do I have? I’ve had chronic digestion issues for 16 years, and then was diagnosed with auto-immune type 1 diabetes (now 6 years. Are they related? Probably, after all, a large majority of a person’s immune system is in the GI tract-and mine has been completely bludgeoned for years). Sometimes, when you’re doing everything right, and then diabetes slaps you in the face, it’s a reminder that not only am I diligently trying to heal one thing, but I also have to manage another thing that happens to be greatly affected by the first. A very vicious cycle.

11 thoughts on “Digestion, Diabetes, and Paleo

  1. i think what you are doing is awesome and encouraging. it was your blog that motivated me to think about and look at what i eat. i never looked at ingredients on food labels the same way i do now, and a good portion has to do with your blog. so basically what i am saying is…thank you 🙂

  2. I have a friends mother who went Paleo and it cured her diabetes. Everything we eat is related to how we feel. Good luck! I have also had great success with eating Paleo.

  3. Thank you for all your ideas, recipes, experiences and wisdom. And mistakes. Those help too.

    You are a big part of why I went Paleo (80/20 or so) and knowing another t1 with a Paleo lifestyle has been a million times more valuable than any book I’ve paid for on paleo or anything else.

    Thank you for what you do and for being a leader in this area. You have helped pave the way for me.

  4. This blog made me sad but then I was reminded at what an amazing person you are that you work so hard to maintain good health. Good for you!

  5. Although it sounds like gastroparesis, the fact that it only happens sometimes isn’t congruent with that. I would suggest a food diary to track for common elements in the meals this occurs after. Some paleo gurus suggest not combining more than one protein or fat source in a single meal. Another possibility is to look at principles of food combining and be careful to not mix fruit with other foods. How frustrating! Seeing as you are paleo, I assume you are gluten free and dairy free so that rules out the obvious culprits.

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