Before I get into the details of AIP, let’s discuss inflammation!
Inflammation is your body's response to stress—whether from your diet, lifestyle or environment.
Specific inflammatory triggers include:
1. Chronic low-grade food allergies or food sensitivities (that may cause few symptoms). Example: Do you ever feel bloated, constipated, get diarrhea or headaches post certain foods? You could likely have food sensitivities!
2. An imbalance of bacteria and fungi in your GI. Since seeing my naturopathic doctor, I have discovered TWO imbalances within my gut. One being a pretty serious bacteria, and the other being a yeast. This causes your immune system to overreact and can often be without notable symptoms.
3. Stress. Consistent psychological, emotional or physical stress raises the level of cortisol… creating inflammation.
4. Environmental toxicity from our air, water, food pollutants and toxic metals like mercury and lead all contribute to inflammation. These things add up over time!
5. Diet and lifestyle: excess sugar in your diet, refined foods, constant dehydration, excess caffeine, inactivity, and lack of sleep can all increase inflammation in your body.
Here is a great visual showing the triggers, cycle, and outcome of inflammation within your body. SOURCE: Dr. AXE
Now that you know what inflammation is and it’s possible triggers I welcome you:
Autoimmune Paleo Protocol.
While there are many steps towards decreasing inflammation within your body, starting with your diet is a great first step. It's a huge commitment, but it's one that is so worth it.
In a gist, autoimmune paleo is pretty much paleo, just more strict:
“The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) removes foods considered to be gut irritants. The AIP is a stricter version of the Paleo diet, which involves the elimination of grains, legumes, dairy, and processed foods.” It focuses on a nutrient-dense foods and eliminates inflammatory/allergenic foods to support the body in cooling down the immune system.
If you have Type 1 Diabetes, your body is already in a stressed state 24/7.
The reason why you have this disease is because of stress on the body, and while we don’t have the specifics, research studies have shown that poor gut health (increased intestinal permeability) is indeed linked to autoimmune disease(s)!
While there isn’t anything you can do to reverse your diagnosis, you CAN:
1. Heal your gut.
2. Cool inflammation.
3. Decrease your chance for developing further health issues and disease.
4. Strengthen your mind & body.
Do you want to start COOLING the inflammation?
Step #1. Start removing foods and factors that damage the gut:
Grains - wheat, rice, corn, and others; and pseudograins (millet, amaranth, teff, etc.)
Legumes – all beans including peanuts, black beans, pinto beans, hummus, etc.
Dairy – all sources of dairy, even raw or fermented
Nuts and seeds - all nuts and seeds including cashews, almonds, quinoa, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, seed-based spices, chocolate, coffee, etc.
Eggs - especially the white part of the egg, which contains inflammatory proteins.
Nightshades - tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, tomatillos, eggplants, goji berries and several spices.
Industrial seed oils - pretty much all liquid oils, except for olive and avocado oils
Processed foods - basically anything that comes out of a package.
Alcohol - alcohol effects a leaky gut.
NSAIDs - Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen, which cause holes to form in the gut and stomach linings.
Sugar, starches, fruits, yeasts, FODMAPs - Sweet, starchy, and yeast-containing foods can contribute to imbalances in the gut by feeding unfavorable bacteria in the gut. They are best limited or restricted especially at first on the AIP.
#2. Repair with specific supplements: Nutrients like fish oil, vitamin C, vitamin D, and probiotics can help calm your immune response naturally.
#3. REBALANCE with probiotics. This helps replenish good bacteria and crowds out bad bacteria. Introducing your gut with beneficial bacteria will help keep bad bacteria at bay. This is CRUCIAL! My go-to is: HERE.
I have done AIP for a few months now and have noticed a HUGE difference in my gut and reactivity to certain foods (not to mention I feel lighter, less bloated, and have minimized cravings).
Your body will start to crave cleaner, fresher foods--I promise! It just takes time and commitment to starve the sugar build up & bad bacteria within your body.
The purpose isn’t to rid of these foods forever, it’s to reset and get a closer look at foods that could be adding stress to your body (and mind) without you even knowing it. The occasional treat is A-OKAY!
One personal example for me is eggs.
I used to have eggs for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner some days. I was totally a “put an egg on it” gal—they are quick, filling, and so tasty!
Reseting my body from them revealed that I do have a slight reactivity to them. I know, TRAGIC! But now, I never start my day with eggs anymore and have seen a vast different in how I feel/my stomach's state throughout my day.
What are your thoughts? Are you willing to give AIP a try?
Sources: http://www.saragottfriedmd.com/is-the-autoimmune-protocol-necessary/; http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/021313p38.shtml; https://draxe.com/4-steps-to-heal-leaky-gut-and-autoimmune-disease/;