Again the Paleo Diet succeeds where modern medicine fails!
I had always considered myself to be pretty healthy, and had no major health issues prior to that. The stroke occurred as a result of a lesion (most likely a blood clot) in the right side of my pons. I lost fine motor function on my left side, which was not very fun considering that I’m left handed. Besides having to learn how to walk again, I had to re-learn how to write, play guitar, hold a fork, etc. Luckily, my young brain quickly recovered, and after a couple months of physical therapy I was pretty much back to normal. I had to walk with a cool cane for a while. A lot of excellent doctors treated me, but no one ever figured out what caused the stroke.A little over a year later I noticed that I was having a hard time exercising. I kept thinking I was just way out of shape. It got so bad that I was out of breath even from walking, so I went to the doctor. I then spent the next month or so living in a hospital, being tested for a wide range of possibilities – long story short is they settled on a narrowing of my pulmonary arteries most likely caused by inflammation. I was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease Takayasu’s Arteritis, which is characterized by the narrowing of arteries due to inflammation. The cause of this disease, like most autoimmune diseases, is not known. So then I spent a year on heavy immunosuppressant therapy; we tried a wide range of steroids and other scary drugs, and they worked for the most part. I would still get winded upon exertion, but I could at least function.
Flash forward to 2010. My continuous steroid and immunosuppressant medication therapy was starting to take its toll, even though I was trying to slowly taper off the steroids. I felt lousy almost all of the time, and worse still was the fact that I couldn’t foresee it getting any better. I then happened across an article that mentioned this crazy diet modeled after cavemen that eliminated grains, and it could reverse autoimmune symptoms. Within a week I had devoured The Paleo Solution and just about every Paleo resource I could find, and switched my diet. My inflammation markers decreased significantly within a month.Since then things have been much better. I’m not cured – there’s no mistaking that I still have a serious autoimmune condition – but the Paleo diet has absolutely helped. I started exercising for the first time since 2006. I was able to get off of steroid therapy, which was causing all sorts of side effects (weight gain, brittle bones, memory issues, kidney stones, shingles, and so on). When I was on steroids, I would get sick at least monthly; since switching over my diet I rarely get sick. Lastly, my wife and son have joined me on this crazy journey, which gives me comfort that we’ll all three live long, healthy lives.