The Paleo Diet And Narcolepsy: What You Need To Know


steak and vegetables on a plate

The Paleo Diet—which has the hunter-gatherer food aesthetic of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins—has gotten a whole spectrum of attention.

We’re talking everything from obsessed proponents to frantic debunkers, and all the casual snackers in-between.

Pretty much everyone has an opinion on it. Heck, even I have needlessly strong ideas on the matter.

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But this post isn’t about me adding more commentary to the already nauseating amount of Google pages out there on the Paleo Diet.

It’s about giving you information you need, from people who’d know better than me.

In this case, that person is doctoral candidate Christina Graves, a self-proclaimed “Paleo Narco” and an active patient advocate.

Like many people, Graves was diagnosed with narcolepsy as a college student. At 20 years-old, she said goodbye to unexplained symptoms, and said hello to treatments, life-long symptom management, and the upsetting reality that her newly-named condition is still very ill-understood.

And that last one really rankled the scientist in Graves. So she dug deep into the narcolepsy literature and started looking at herself under a scientific lens.

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What she found proved interesting: a consistent correlation between what she ate and how she felt.

Since then, Graves has not only adopted a gluten-free diet, but when her narcolepsy symptoms resurfaced, she added “Paleo principles” to her dietary roster.

Of course, Graves cautions, she does all of this in combination with medication. But she does believe that her diet—along with treatment, regular exercise, and a well-established eating schedule—are the reasons she’s living with such reduced symptoms.

And I doubt she’s wrong. From diabetes to heart disease, diet has always had a proven effect on people’s health.

So what’s noteworthy isn’t that Graves changed her diet; it’s not even how she changed her diet—what’s important is will this work for you?

That’s something a whole spectrum of Google pages can’t answer for you. You’ll have to find your inner scientist and experiment.

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If you want to start your journey to scientific self-discovery with Graves’ plan, you can find all the detail in her article “Paleo Narco: Applying Paleo Principles to Narcolepsy” and hear her go more in-depth in her talk for the Narcolepsy Network Patient Conference.


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