His short-term memory was getting really bad, but now it was his mid-term memory as well, he couldn’t remember 90% of our travels. He was also losing his ability to focus on anything and to pay attention to his surroundings.
After many GP, specialist and psychologist visits he was diagnosed with Dementia.
I was told it would be beneficial to settle in one place instead of travelling and in early 2013 I purchased a house.
Eventually his licence was cancelled as his reflexes were really slow and he had lost his sense of distance and direction and backed into things and drove into ditches a couple of times. On occasions he couldn’t remember how to start the car.
He was put on antipsychotic drugs for his extremely violent outbursts. Anything different I wanted him to try seemed to aggravate him.
He couldn’t handle money anymore, and couldn’t add up simple numbers. He was suspicious of everything I did.
Hubby’s health had deteriorated to the extent that he would just sit in front of the TV (mostly with his eyes closed, he would get angry if I tried to get him to do anything else or if I turned the TV off.
He wouldn’t talk to anyone, he wouldn’t answer me if I asked him a question, he didn’t want to change his clothes or shave, wouldn’t acknowledge his children or grandchildren, had stopped reading and doing crossword puzzles, wouldn’t drink anything, and he wouldn’t leave the house, not even to sit outside. At times he couldn’t get himself out of his lounge chair.
My health was also deteriorating by this time and I decided I needed to take care of myself so I could look after him instead of putting him in an aged care facility. I was eating 80% Paleo then; however I was still cooking Hubby’s favourite foods for him at this time.
I started off by taking sugars and grains out of his diet, and increasing his good fats & I also slowly increasing his green leafy vegetables.
After 3 weeks the doctor and I decided to take him off his antipsychotic drug as he wasn’t getting aggressive anymore.
By 22nd June 2015 his GP had noticed positive changes in him and checked to see what he had changed medically – which he acknowledged was nothing.
I told the doctor I had changed his diet and that I had cut out all grains, sugars and dairy, and that he was eating grass fed meats and wild caught fish with lots of vegies and good fats like coconut oil and immediately he was concerned about his cholesterol (hubby is on Lipitor). He was also concerned about the amount of green leafy vegies he was eating as he is on Warfarin and the vitamin K affects the warfarin uptake, and he had to increase the dosage. I suggested he do a fasting cholesterol test to check his cholesterol.
On 17th July 2015 the doctor was amazed at the difference in him and again checked his files to see what he had changed and realized that his medication hadn’t changed at all. His blood test showed that his cholesterol was up very high. However the doctor couldn’t believe that his bad cholesterol was down the lowest it has been and his good cholesterol levels were up really high.
The doctor suggested that I keep him on the Paleo diet as that is the only thing he can see that it making him well.
By September 2015 his dementia had improved so much that he goes to the shop and remembers what he has has to get, can handle money again, has joined the library and reads at least 3 books a week, he can remember things about our travels around Australia which he hadn’t remembered before.
John plays with the grandchildren all the time and loves having them around, he holds normal in depth conversations with everyone, and doesn’t lose his train of thought. John is taking an interest in things he likes to do again, doesn’t get angry any more, and is more considerate.
17th March 2016 was our final Geriatrician visit. John’s testing for Dementia shows that he is now back to where he was on his first visit 6 years ago! She also acknowledged that it was an amazing journey and told him to keep eating paleo. Best news of all is that she doesn't need to see him again!!!!
First time in 6 years he has no scheduled doctors visits. YES!!!!!
I don’t know what it was in his diet that was destroying him. I won’t ever know. He is staying on the paleo way of eating and he is happy to do so. It has made too much difference to our lives to change our way of eating.
If ever I need a reminder of why we are always going to eat this way I just look at my husband laughing and joking with our children and playing with our grandchildren.
I have my John back again!"
The following is written by John himself, which in itself is amazing.
"I am a 73yr old Grandfather of 7 grandchildren. 3yrs ago I was diagnosed with Dementia. I was devastated. Lost my drivers licence & thought my life was maybe over. I pushed all the ones I loved away from me & started to withdraw. I am on medication for dementia.
Gwen decided to cook paleo for herself and she noticed her weight & her general wellbeing to improve so she introduced me to the Paleo Diet. After a while I also noticed an improvement in myself. I slowly came out of a fog.
I am now enjoying my children & grandchildren. I go for a walk everyday, I’ve joined the library & reading a lot. I don’t eat any processed food now all our food is prepared by Gwen, even coconut milk.
Is it the Paleo diet? I don’t know but my Dr said don’t change my diet because he has noticed a huge change in my demeanour & attitude to life in general.
I can only be grateful to Gwen for putting me on this diet. It’s been years since I’ve felt this way.
It can only get better, I know my dementia will not be cured but with proper diet I am sure I will live a long healthy productive life. Yours John Rudder"