My Blood Work On A Paleo Diet

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!


  1. I love seeing results like this. I dont really call myself paleo, but we are all on the same page. Eat real food, stay away from processed food or processed shit as I like to call it, and it is amazing the results that come.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this! Any chance you can elaborate on how having a higher HDL can indicate inflammation?

    My Pre-paleo lipids were great, HDL at 69 mg/dl, as well as the other numbers. After a month of Paleo HDL was at 82, and ironically my LDL went up, 99 mg/dl (from 83) . Overall, my blood results on paleo were good; triglycerides went down, and cholesterol ratio at 2.3, but I can’t help wonder how my LDL went up, and if I have more inflammation now than before.

  3. I already shocked the hell out of my doctor–she wanted to know how I got my stubborn LDL to plummet like a rock. Instead of referring to the Paleo diet by name, I simply told her I no longer eat starches or dairy, including grains.

    “But how do you live without a sandwich?”

    “I eat salad instead.”

    “I love my Mexican food–how do you eat tacos without the tortilla?”

    “Put the filling in a bowl, or wrap it in a collard leaf.”

    “What about baking?”

    “Almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour, flax meal…”

    “You got this all figured out, don’t you?”

    “No–Loren Cordain figured it out for me with the Paleo Diet.”

    I swear it’s like she never even heard of low-carb eating! I can verify she didn’t know what kale was until I told her I was growing it in my garden, and had to show her a magazine picture of it–my doctor admitted to eating processed foods herself.

    I’m in the process of looking for a new doctor–one who at least knows what kale is! :)

  4. Thanks for sharing your blood work results, it’s very inspiring. I have been eating Paleo for about 3 weeks now and, although I haven’t had any blood work done yet, I am already in lovin it. I relate to food much differently now. I don’t crave processed, sugar laden foods, I don’t do emotional eating anymore, I eat as much as I want when I’m hungry, I don’t feel sick and moody when I am hungry and I am really enjoying cooking new Paleo Recipes every week. To check out my Paleo Diet journey you can check me out at

  5. I’ve been doing Paleo for 8 weeks, I also stopped my cholesterol med (zetia) at the same time. I just got my annual labs done and I was disappointed, my LDL climbed from100 to 150, our high normal is 130, my HDL dropped to mid 60’s, triglycerides were normal though. My risk ratio was still in the low range, which was good. I have always done well on low carb type diets and in all this reading I’ve done about Paleolithic, it just makes sense. I do feel better, my osteoarthtitis symptoms have greatly improved doing without glutens and dairy. I don’t want to give up but how much longer should I give the diet to hopefully correct my blood work? Any suggestions greatly appreciated. Thanks

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