The 30-day Paleo challenge is almost over, and on Friday I encouraged you all to get blood work done so you can see what eating Paleo has done for your health. Even if you’ve been on the diet for a while and took no part in the 30-day challenge, it’s something you can consider. That is, if you have something to compare it to. If you’ve done blood work in the last year (or better yet, in the last 6 months), that’s good enough. You’ll want to see what’s changing with your glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, liver enzymes, and thyroid, at the very least. I’ll be doing a post in the near future about the significance of all those, but for now I’ll just say that just those numbers can tell you a lot about your diet and your health.
My Health Pre-Paleo
Today, I want to share with you what eating Paleo has done for me. Before I went Paleo, I had blood work done and found out the following:
- My LDL cholesterol was normal and my HDL cholesterol was too high (102 mg/dL), which is a sign of inflammation (yes, your HDL can be too high).
- My iron was low (28 ug/dL) (anemia) and my liver enzymes were either too high or too low, which is a sign of inflammation in various organs.
- My glucose was too low, at 66 mg/dl, which means I was about to pass out at the lab when I had my blood taken. Hypoglycemia was something I battled for years until recently.
- Lastly, my thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) was high (3.4 uIU/mL), which by Functional Medicine’s standards meant I was hypothyroid.
As a nutritionist, I cried when I got these results.
Over the last few years, I’ve tweaked my diet and gotten blood work done at least once per year and sometimes every 6 months in the hopes of improving things. I ordered my most recent Complete Wellness Profile, which measures about 60 health markers, this month. I was pretty happy with the results.
My Health Now
- My iron is WAY higher now – on the high side of normal at (137 ug/dL) – which means I’m not only eating enough iron (meat), but I’m also absorbing it because my digestive system is in much better shape.
- My HDL went back down to normal (69 mg/dL) and my liver enzymes are totally normal, meaning I’m not as inflamed.
- And my glucose was normal (87 mg/dL), which means I have way better energy stability. – Lastly, my thyroid was totally normal (TSH at 1.96 uIU/dL)! I changed my thyroid stimulating hormone and some other thyroid markers just through diet alone! I can’t tell you how excited I am by this! I haven’t been taking any thyroid supplements and certainly no pharmaceuticals, although I was tempted to in the beginning of my thyroid endeavor.
More than all of this, though, I can feel the differences. I am happier now, I’m leaner and stronger now, I have more motivation and energy, and I don’t feel like passing out throughout every day because my blood sugar gets so low. I can maintain my weight and eat as much as I want, and my hair doesn’t fall out like it used to. My digestion is better, my skin doesn’t itch like it once did, and my skin is clearer than it used to be. And I made another change to my diet about 2 months ago: I don’t eat any nuts or seeds anymore, and I don’t know if it’s from that or what, but I don’t have heinous premenstrual symptoms like I did even two months ago. THANK YOU, Paleo.
Overall, going Paleo wasn’t a bad choice for me, to say the least. I hope you find the same satisfaction (and shock the hell out of your doctor, too) on this diet. I look forward to seeing some of your blood work in a week for the final contest. Stay tuned for more details on Wednesday!