We started our Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) on December 23rd.
And today is also our 30th day on a low-FODMAP variation of the AIP.
It’s early AIP days yet, and I am hesitant to be hopeful because we have been disappointed about what we thought were in improvements in Matthew’s health so often in the past.
Also, Matthew left work on a disability leave at approximately the same time that we started the AIP, and a reduction of 40+ hours of stress per week has got to be considered when attributing any improvements.
Nevertheless, at this point the following seems to be true:
- Matthew has reduced the number of painkillers he is taking daily from 4-8 to 1-4. These are heavy-duty medications (Tramadol & Dilaudid) that affect his ability to think clearly & relate to other people. Despite this decrease, he is still in a lot of pain. He isn’t sure if his ability to manage pain has increased or if his pain has decreased, but this reduction in pain meds is notable, especially given that winter & spring is usually the worst time for him;
- He had the first ‘good day’ in over 5 months on Friday. It was followed by a bad day on Saturday (yesterday), but a complete absence of good days has been incredibly demoralizing. Back in the beginning, we used to think good days meant he was getting better, but once we learned that they were just part of living with a chronic illness, we learned to enjoy them when they came. I hadn’t realize how much we relied on them to recharge our relationship until they stopped;
- His psoriasis is a little worse than it was 2 months ago, but still much better than it usually is at this time of year. It is usually minimal in late summer when he’s had maximum sun exposure & gradually worsens throughout the year until the next summer. So it’s following the pattern, but is less severe than it usually is in late February. Our 30-day AIP in July last year marked the beginning of a significant reduction in psoriasis symptoms which has been sustained. So even though it’s worse, it’s still better;
- There seems to be a new working hypothesis about the severe nausea & dizziness that Matthew started experiencing last October. Those symptoms are what necessitated his disability leave from work. Through ongoing internet searches, Matthew learned about Multiple Autoimmune Syndrome and its connection to dermatological conditions. This led to a review of autoimmune conditions and the possibility that he has Ménière’s disease, especially given that existing autoimmune conditions have been linked to Ménière’s. I think there may still be something else going on, because there are symptoms that are not adequately explained by any current theories, and if what he is dealing with is Multiple Autoimmune Syndrome, then there could conceivably be a 4th condition still lurking. The good news is that if the AIP is going to work for Matthew, then it could potentially address all autoimmune-related symptoms, whether they are attached to a diagnosis or not;
- We’ve started having (tentative) conversations about the future. Which we haven’t done for a long time;
- Matthew is going to continue to avoid the high-FODMAP foods that he believes don’t agree with him (cauliflower & mushrooms, for two), but may reintroduce some others to test them;
- I am going to happily reintroduce some high-FODMAP foods;
What I’ve learned during this 30-day low-FODMAP experiment is that carbohydrates can be divided into categories according to how full they make me feel:
- Low-FODMAPs that are lower-carb and not particularly filling (like spinach, chard and cucumber);
- Low-FODMAPs that are more filling and higher in carbohydrates (carrots, parsnips, green plantains and fruit); and
- Higher-FODMAPs that are more filling and lower in carbohydrates (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage).
What I’ve really, really missed is these lower carb, more filling vegetables.
I’ve eaten more fruit and therefore more sugar over the past 30 days than I had been accustomed to in my regular paleo life, and I have also relied more on higher-carb vegetables (parsnips & carrots) to fill me up.
As a result, the weight I gained during a recent low-carb AIP experiment has been dropping pretty slowly, even though my energy levels are back up.
This AIP experiment remains fascinating!
85 Amazing AIP Breakfasts
Breakfast is often the toughest meal to re-create when we’re used to eating grains, dairy and eggs for breakfast. 85 Amazing AIP Breakfasts makes the transition to the Autoimmune Protocol (or any other Paleo Healing Protocol) easy, with 85 delicious ways to start your day.
Nutrient-density at breakfast: the secret to a successful healing protocol and the reason 85 Amazing AIP Breakfasts was created.