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.
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.