AIP (autoimmune protocol)

AIP or autoimmune protocol is an elimination diet to find possible intolerance to foods as well as adding nutrient dense foods to your diet.   You remove foods for a certain amount of time, heal your gut and very gradually add back foods into your diet to determine any reactions.  Reactions can be mild to severe, so some may tolerate foods once or twice a week, or they find that they need to be removed for good. You can read a more detailed information about AIP by The Paleo Mom aka Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, PhD.

I started AIP in June 2016 shortly after being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. The OBGYN who discovered my condition said she suspects the food we consume contribute to auto-immune triggers.  Dr. Amy Myers  talks about how gluten sensitivity causes leaky gut, inflammation, and molecular mimicry, which can trigger auto-immune conditions.

I bought two informational/cookbooks on AIP to help us get started, but that is not even needed.   Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott and The Healing Kitchen by Alaena Haber MS OTR and Sarah Ballantyne PhD.  Honestly,  you can find all the information online with loads of recipes and support, I just found it easier to have all my references on hand in one place to begin with.  We had already been eating whole foods for some time and limited eating out, so it helped us make the conversion.

It is completely up to you when you begin the reintroduction phase of AIP.  About six months after I started AIP, I became very ill in November with something stomach related and could not keep anything down for over 24 hours.  Although, the ER believed it to be viral related, it was mostly like Hashi related.  Anyways, none of my regular foods even remotely sounded appealing, and knowing I would never touch gluten again, toast and crackers were off the table. Rice was my next option and thankfully, I tolerated it just fine and keep it in my diet to this day.  Rice is one grain many successfully reintroduce. I have reintroduced a large amount of foods, most fruit and veggies including nightshades with no problems, but I have found that I need to limit corn and cheese.

I can’t explain well enough to tell you how much a difference it has made in the way I feel.  It’s not a quick fix.  Well, it wasn’t for me anyways.  It took a good six months before I felt good again.  I don’t have the debilitating fatigue that I once did.  The major anxiety I once had is gone.  My thyroid numbers have been stable for over six months, and stay in optimum range.  The inflammation has dramatically decreased as I lost 30 pounds, and I no longer have plantar fasciitis, numbness in my legs and my carpal tunnel has improved.

Also, to help my healing process, I removed several stressors from my life as much as possible.  I meditate and do yoga.  Before I was diagnosed I was weight lifting, and while I felt good at the time, it became very apparent that it was over stressing my adrenals. For some people with thyroid problems, heavy workouts are too harsh.

I also take Levothyroxine, and so far it works for me. Some do better on a desiccated thyroid medication, but I hesitate to switch since Levo is working for me for now.

I will do another post on Hashimoto’s, but wanted to get this out there for people who are looking to try something new to help heal their bodies.    Always speak with your doctor before making any changes. ❤

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