AIP and the Devilishly Delicious Doughnut

I mentioned in my last post about the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet that I’m following – before I talk more about my experience so far, I think I should state that this has not been recommended to me by any medical professional, I have done some research and decided it was a route I wanted to try. I’m neither recommending nor discounting it at this point.

Having experienced some frustration and delay with starting new medication I wanted to do everything that I could to help myself, so I began looking at how diet may impact autoimmune diseases. I found quite a lot of information stating that no one knows exactly what causes autoimmune diseases and that there isn’t anything dietary, other than normal healthy eating, that will assist. However, I also came across a lot of information on the AIP diet, and how it’s believed that autoimmune diseases begin in the gut; basically bad bacteria is leaking through the gut lining and essentially poisoning the body. The purpose of the diet is to exclude a lot of foods, which could be reactionary or causing inflammation, for a set period of time and then gradually start to reintroduce food groups and see if you can identify anything which increases symptoms. It’s basically an extreme version of the Paleo diet and it essentially consists of meat, vegetables, and lots and lots of coconut based foods. When I first looked at the list of foods that are not allowed I was horrified! I have a Mediterranean background, and like all good Mediterraneans my family and I like our carbs, not to mention the fact that pizza is my absolute favourite food, how the hell would I survive!? Well, I’d say for around the first four days I was a complete food zombie, it was literally all I could think about, and I’m pretty sure it’s all I spoke about (Carys has since confirmed that it was indeed all I spoke about). Walking around the supermarket my senses were far more intune to the smell of things like fresh bread, it would literally make me salivate, I liken it to how a vampire must feel when they’re bloodthirsty. Still it made a change from constantly thinking about pain. Another issue I encountered during the first week was a headache around the back of my head whenever I moved suddenly, it would pound for a few seconds then ease. I think this may have been the coffee withdrawal, I’ve moved over to green and herbal teas but I don’t think the caffeine in the green tea is akin to the caffeine that was in the ridiculous amounts of coffee I would drink in a day.

After about four days my body and my mind started to get used to the new food and drink situation and I actually settled into it quite easily. I was definitely in a better place mentally as I felt I had a semblance of control. My main concern was how to make sure that I was taking on enough carbs, especially as when I’m able I like to workout and was starting to run again after a long time off. After some research I found that foods like Plantain, Cassava Root and sweet potatoes (normal potatoes aren’t allowed as they’re in the nightshade family) are high In carbohydrates. I adore sweet potatoes and Carys makes me the best sweet potato roasties, I could literally eat them everyday. So these have now become a staple dietary necessity in our household. We have an interesting green Okra sitting in the kitchen waiting to be prepared, at present neither Carys or I have a clue what to do with it but exploring new foods and dishes is definitely a benefit. So, after the initial hunger had passed and I got used to it all was going well, that is until a colleague and friend of mine presented me with an absolutely huge vegan doughnut. Now you have to understand, it would have been rude for me to refuse this, as it was bought as a thank you and I know that these doughnuts are not exactly cheap, not to mention I was salivating more than my husky drools when presented with a meaty sausage. So I unapologetically but very gratefully devoured it in a matter of seconds, it was delicious, alas it was not AIP compliant but I think totally worth it, after all we all deserve a little treat now and then. As it happened my stomach wasn’t too bad I just felt very full for a good few hours after eating the offending doughnut but not overly bloated, so no real harm done.

I’ve been doing AIP now for over three weeks, to be honest it’s hard to tell at the minute if it’s having a positive effect or not. Unfortunately this last week I’ve not been great at all; a lot of pain, headaches, some vomiting and general exhaustion has forced me to take some time off from work and right now it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. My iron tablets have been upped, which are very harsh on my stomach anyway, and my doctor believes my symptoms are a combination of being very anaemic, reacting to the Hydroxichloroquine, and general autoimmune issues. This is frustrating, particularly as I really felt I was getting back on track and had begun running again after a long break. As it stands I’m having to take some time out from everything again, but I need to get used to letting my body properly rest, no good pushing through and making myself worse. On a positive note I’m hopeful that this is just an interim and that once my iron levels increase and my body gets used to the meds, I’ll properly turn that corner and, with any luck, the Hydroxichloroquine will work well and I’ll be much more like myself in no time. In terms of AIP I feel that it is doing me good, I’m not really missing the alcohol at all, I think if I’m completely honest whenever I had a rest day the following day I felt like I needed to have a drink, and although at the time it does help dull the pain the next day it would only be increased. That’s not to say I won’t drink again; when we meet friends and family in December I will allow myself a drink or two if I feel like it, but will be glad to break the habit of having a drink just because I’m not working the next day. I also won’t be quite so strict with the diet through December as it would make it impossible to eat out, and besides the idea of all of this is to improve my quality of life so there’s no point being too restrictive all of the time, life is for living after-all.


7 thoughts on “AIP and the Devilishly Delicious Doughnut

  1. Hey Lou, fab second post. It was a real insight into what autoimmune disease is as i had heard of it but didn’t know much about it. The diet i hope will help you and the symptoms you are getting to hopefully settle soon aswell. It would totally be rude to not partake in a few alcoholic beverages at Christmas πŸ™‚ keep it up girl xxx


  2. If you continue to feel sick on the hydroxy ask your doctor to specify zentiva brand only on your prescription. Its the cleanest brand and has a coating that protects the stomach.. i am fine with any brand personally but a lotnof the girls at my group need the zentiva.


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