The adoption of the Paleo Diet has been beneficial to my own health and fitness. I originally came across the Paleo Diet while trying to figure out the best foods to help with a severe tendon injury – all the things you need for collagen production – protein, vitamin C and copper-peptides – in other words meat/fish and vegetables! No wonder people on the Paleo Diet have good skin!
That was four years ago, and I have stayed on the Paleo Diet ever since. What came as a surprise was the effect the Paleo Diet had on my hearing. For pretty much all of my adult life I have suffered with excess ear wax that would reduce the quality of my hearing, sometimes to the point of becoming almost completely deaf in one ear (or at its worst both). Traveling by airplane was difficult as the take off and landings would put the wax in my ears under so much pressure I’d become virtually deaf for about an hour after. The only course of treatment available was regular syringing – which of course has the accompanying risk of ear drum damage – and nowadays local GPs and nurses are reluctant to offer this service (here in the UK) – so it usually means a trip to the hospital.
Thankfully, however, that is all behind me. Within two weeks of going Paleo my hearing had improved dramatically! My ears literally seemed to fix themselves – the wax in them becoming soft and sticky and drawing to the surface and eventually forming a small ball that just fell out of my ear. It didn’t take me long to figure out that anything with a high glycemic index would trigger the production of ear wax – and it would happen very, very quickly after eating. As soon as I stopped my ears would fix themselves once more. The severity of the reaction is different with different foods and is also affected by the condition of my body when I consume them (it has less effect if I’ve just had a workout). As a result it has made me extremely hardcore about carb avoidance – even sweet potatoes are off my dietary list – as these cause a severe reaction (much worse than regular potato).
Is this some bizarre autoimmune response? One specific to my genetic make up? Or perhaps it is in someway related to dairy? I have been dairy free for over twenty years.
All the best,
David Valentine is a UK based writer and filmmaker who enjoys exercising and eating in a way that incorporates our contemporary understanding of human evolutionary biology.