What is type 1 diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the own body's immune system attacks the cells of the pancreas that create the hormone insulin. Without the hormone insulin, bodily cells cannot take up the sugar in blood from food and results in high blood sugar. To correct the high blood sugars, type 1 diabetics inject insulin and count carbohydrates to adequately maintain normal blood sugar. Insulin therapy is not a cure nor does it treat the initial cause of the disease.
The initial cause of autoimmune type 1 diabetes is not fully understood, but it is believed to be influenced by genetics and the environment. Studies show early consumption of cow's milk and certain cereal grain have been linked to a greater likelihood of developing the disease, as well as certain viruses. Type 1 diabetes is mainly found in developed countries and is related to other autoimmune diseases such as Celiac disease (a wheat gluten intolerance) and hypothyroidism.
As a type 1 diabetic, why do I eat a grain-free, dairy-free, and legume-free diet (paleo diet)?
I choose the paleo diet because it is known for treating autoimmune diseases and because of the many studies that indicate that type 1 diabetes is caused by environmental triggers so I figured that certain dietary antigens could play a role, such as the case of Celiac disease. I stayed on the paleo diet because my insulin needs kept dropping and dropping and because my bloating and constant hunger went away.
The Paleo diet is based upon eating foods that humans evolved to eat from the Paleolithic era (2,500,000 years ago) up to the advent of agriculture (10,000 years ago). The diet includes:
- Lean meats