We started our long-term Autoimmune Protocol one year ago today.
One year ago, Matthew was almost debilitated by a constellation of chronic health issues. Despite all the conventional, alternative and downright weird things we'd tried in our attempts to reverse his autoimmune conditions over the previous five years.
12 months later, we're elated and discouraged about the progress he's made.
There's no question Matthew is reversing his autoimmune condition on the AIP. Reversing, slowly. Not curing.
All the experts say the once a body is in autoimmune response, it'll always be inclined that way.
You can't cure autoimmune.
But you can reverse it's effects. Slowly. Through the nutritional & lifestyle hacks known collectively as the Autoimmune Protocol.
Here's a brief summary of Matthew's progress after 12-months on the AIP:
I've been on the AIP for 12 months, too. Most of that time a ketogenic version. As a person without an autoimmune condition, I'm loving the results, which I've documented in the posts biohacking for peak experience and biohacking for career leverage.
A false start & a rough beginning
We've tried a bunch of nutritional protocols in our attempts to heal. From the specific carbohydrate diet to raw veganism, they all left Matthew somewhere on the continuum between worse & unchanged.
Our first Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) was for 30 days in the summer of 2013.
We thought 30 days might do it!
When it didn't, Matthew was pretty dispirited. And fairly hostile about the AIP. I'd been paleo for a couple of years and had experienced the alleviation of all of my symptoms, so I continued to be paleo after our first AIP experiment.
But Matthew insisted that regular paleo made him worse, so he reverted to all his SAD-old ways.
Turns out he was right. A regular paleo diet is insufficient and inflammatory for many people with autoimmune conditions.
A few months after our first AIP, we noticed that Matthew's psoriasis symptoms had improved. We traced the remission back to our 30-day AIP.
At the same time, his pain symptoms were getting steadily worse, along with his dependence on narcotic painkillers, which interfered with his ability to function & interact with people.
Then, in October of 2013, he developed inexplicable, debilitating nausea.
After further research, we decided to try a long-term AIP. Or, in truth, I did the research and I decided.
Matthew grudgingly agreed. He was severely compromised at that time & would never have been able to do the protocol, or the research required to find out about it, on his own.
Now he can.
Though this was only a year and a bit ago, it was before Dr Sarah Ballantyne's book The Paleo Approach was published.
At that time the primary sources of information on the AIP came from the experimental blogs of AIP pioneers who were treating their own autoimmune diseases through nutrition & lifestyle. This movement is still being led by people who are taking their health into their own hands, and taking the time to blog about it.
low-FODMAP & ketogenic variations
It was only a couple of weeks into our long-term AIP, during which time I continued to research obsessively, that Matthew decided to try a low-FODMAP variation. He's experimented with going off of it during the last year & always ends up back on it. He does better.
Last Spring I decided to experiment with an AIP-compliant version of the Wahls Paleo Plus, the ketogenic version of the Wahls Protocol. I liked it so much I decided to stick with a ketogenic AIP and have continued to experiment with different levels of carbohydrates.
A long time ago we resolved that we're just going to keep trying.
Most of the things we've tried haven't worked. Some have made Matthew worse. Occasionally, we have a breakthrough.
The AIP is a breakthrough.
We're going to stick with it & keep trying new nutritional & lifestyle hacks in our quest for health and well-being.
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