Pondering AIP (Autoimmune Paleo) Protocol

I felt so good last week, I really thought I’d turned a corner and the rest of the taper would be easy. Yeah- not so much. Dropped to 2 mg on Sunday, so today is day 3. I have a huge lesion on my tongue and several smaller ones throughout my mouth. Plus 3 medium sized ones on my lips. Lots of thrush, but thankfully, my tongue is not as swollen as it would usually be with a lesion this size. Since it doesn’t restrict my chewing too much, I have been able to get in a little bit of solid food each day. Yesterday, I drank a big mug of chicken bone broth, several smoothies (with spinach, bananas, strawberries, and Garden of Life meal replacements), and a small bowl of leftover meatloaf and mashed cauliflower. Kind of have a constant empty feeling in my stomach, but I know I’m staying hydrated and getting decent nutrition. I’ve had several stubborn headaches lately, too. And I’m out of my Young Living PanAway essential oil, so I’ve been subbing with a cheaper brand of wintergreen, helichrysum, and peppermint. And drinking lots of water. And taking long, hot Epsom salt baths. So far, I’ve made it through without caving and taking ibuprofen. But it has not been comfortable.

My husband stayed home from work this week to take care of our daughter (and me) since I’ve rarely left the couch in the past 2 days. Watching lots of Netflix and keeping myself distracted from the pain. As long as I’m not talking, eating, drinking, or swallowing, I can almost forget what’s going on in my mouth. But I’m also extremely tired, dozing off while watching TV and sleeping a lot of the day. I am achy and feel slightly feverish. My skin is super-sensitive, so little things hurt more than they should. And if I go a long time without opening my mouth, it gets stuck together. Especially when I wake up from sleeping, but it can happen when I just haven’t opened my mouth for a while. Isn’t that disgusting? I have to wet my lips with water from the sink and slowly pry them open. I watched a zombie movie the other day (World War Z-great movie), and it dawned on me that my mouth is totally zombified when I’m flaring, chunks of rotting flesh and all. So gross.

There are a few things in my diet that I think could still be causing systemic inflammation. For one, since I eliminated grains, I started eating a lot more nuts- mostly cashews and almonds. And I usually don’t soak them first. Nuts and seeds have something in them that makes them indigestible (anti-nutrients? or phytic acid?). When you soak them, it helps neutralize some of that… whatever… that makes them indigestible. Click here for an article that explains it way better than I just did. At any rate, if you have a leaky gut (which I most likely do, since I have an autoimmune disease) those indigestible particles can get through the gut lining and into the bloodstream, where they are recognized as foreign and attacked by immune cells- causing further confusion and malfunction of an already spastic immune system. So, I think I am going to need to eliminate nuts and seeds for a while. At least to let my gut heal a bit and then re-introduce them to see how I react.

Another food category I’m considering eliminating is nightshades (tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and potatoes). All this time, I thought nightshade elimination was really only for people with autoimmune arthritis. But the more I read about the effects they have on digestion, the smarter I think it would be to at least do a test elimination.

The only major category left that would keep me from the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol (AIP) would be eggs. I’ve eliminated and reintroduced them before, but if I was eating other inflammatory foods at the time, I may not have noticed a reaction.

So, that’s my plan… to implement AIP in the near future. It’ll be the most restrictive I’ve been with my diet thus far, but there will be little chance of weight loss because I’ll still be getting lots of animal fats and proteins.

This e-cookbook will be my guide. It’s the Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott. I’ve been following her blog for a while, and have found her and the Paleo Mom to be two of the best sources of information on the autoimmune protocol.

Autoimmune-Paleo-Cookbook

The plan is not to have to follow this diet forever. It may take a few months, or a few years. I don’t know. But the idea is to heal my gut so that when I do eat foods that formerly caused inflammation, my body will know what to do with them and they will not cause symptoms. Not that I will ever consume conventional dairy again, but I am really looking forward to the day I can have some organic coffee with grassfed raw cream and a piece of sprouted grain bread with raw cheese.

But even if that’s not a possibility for the rest of my life, I’ll be happy with whatever I CAN eat. And I’ll eat whatever will heal me. Cause health tastes way better than the best coffee, bread, and cheese.

7 thoughts on “Pondering AIP (Autoimmune Paleo) Protocol

  1. Down to two mg. Prednisone. You’ve come so far! Please consider going down to 1 mg. then even 1 mg every other day, then every third then twice and once a wk…. just am scared for you to cut off at two then break out and wonder what if….but you have to trust your gut. Give victor a ” thanks for your service hug” from me. And you, my dear, get a Purple Heart! Xoxo

    1. I will do that. I just had to refill my 1 mg prescription, so I’ve got plenty to work with. I can even break them in half and take it slow that way. Definitely not going to rush this last phase- especially given what I’m dealing with now. This is almost as bad as what happened at 10 mg- and I was stuck there for 3 weeks. Thanks for the suggestion. I hadn’t thought about taking 1 every few days at the end. Good idea.

      And thanks so much for the encouragement! :)))

      Sent from my iPhone

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  2. T—Would it help at all to rub a little Vaseline (or even Olive Oil) on your mouth?? I’m hoping that will keep help. I heard years ago that girls in pageants will use Vaseline on their teeth to keep their lips from sticking to them during a performance! You are a very brave and noble warrior and I love you and I’m praying for success!

    1. I started using coconut oil after reading your suggestion, and yes, it has helped quite a bit with the sticking issue. I still get “sealed shut” overnight, but the coconut oil works during the day. Thank goodness I’m not congested right now! Lol. I’d suffocate in my sleep!

      Love you, too! Thanks for the prayers!

  3. Great advice, Diann! “Amen” to what you said in your last paragraph, Tamara, but I hope you will be able to heal enough for your diet to become less restrictive. You are almost there and I know it has taken lots of perseverance to get where you are today. God bless you.

  4. Your advice also sounds like it could work, too, Sue. I would never have thought of that. It might be worth a try. So many are praying for your success. Please tell your sweet husband that, hopefully, he won’t have to miss work anymore after this flare subsides from this taper—but I am so glad he is there for you.

    1. I’m thinking it may still take a while after the taper is done to heal. But being off of prednisone will allow my hormones and adrenals to start functioning naturally and normally, so that my efforts might be more effective. I’m not expecting a miracle after I’m done with prednisone, but it is a HUGE step in the right direction. And maybe any flares I do have will be less severe. We are really lucky that his work is as flexible as it is. We lose out on $ when he stays home, but at least there’s no risk of him losing his job over poor attendance. And actually he used vacation days for this week, so he still got paid. So grateful that he can do that and be here when I need him!

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