Monday, 9 February 2015

AIP Update: 18 Months In

It's been a while since I wrote this post, when I was giddy with joy over how the autoimmune protocol and paleo lifestyle had changed my life, but more importantly, over the reduction of my psoriasis patches. 

It took a while - I didn't notice any SIGNIFICANT changes for about 8 months. But it was worth it. Here's why. 

Me, with almost no psoriasis left (yay!) (but still a tiny bit)


Where I'm at with reintroductions
Now I'm in month 18 and I felt I ought to explain myself. You might have started seeing me post pictures of runny poached eggs on Instagram, and more egg-based recipes cropping up on the blog. Well, I reintroduced eggs! (yay) - It was my third attempt. I'd tried it as my first reintroduction in early autumn 2013. No chance. Itchy, raised psoriasis within hours. So back onto strict AIP. I tried again Easter time, 2014. The itchy, red skin returned. And then finally I tried again Christmas time and found no effects at all. So: eggs back in. Fantastic news. 

After 18 months, I'm REALLY glad I've reintroduced eggs!


So basically, I follow the autoimmune protocol still, but with the following reintroductions now back in: 
  • eggs
  • seeds
  • 2 cups of black or green tea per day
  • black pepper
  • nightshade spices
  • (very rarely) cooked tomatoes
  • (sometimes) a small serving of plain boiled white rice
  • The very, very occasional spoonful of beans or lentils if it's in something - but hardly ever

I still experience problems with: 
  • nightshade veggies (including raw tomatoes, potatoes, aubergines, etc)
  • coffee (can be gluten cross-reactor)
  • sugar (apart from small amounts in fruit)
  • alcohol (cooked off in stews/pâté is ok)
  • dairy - very small amounts of dairy are fine (I'm talking literally nibbles) but generally I avoid it. 
An hour a day in the (cold) sunshine helps heal my psoriasis (and makes me feel better too)!
My health
Generally, my health is great. I'm (for the first time) in the 'healthy' band on the doctor's scale for my height and weight. Even my doctor asked what I'd been doing the last time I saw him because he noticed the difference. 

My psoriasis patches have more or less gone but I still have a small patch under my eyebrow on one eye. On the other eye it's cleared completely. And to be fair, where it exists it just sometimes looks like a bit of slightly dry skin. No redness. Never itchy. Brilliant. It's on it's way out.

There's a small patch on the nape of my neck which is itchy from time to time, and sometimes a very mild patch on the left side of my scalp that flares up if I get stressed but most of the time it's under control. It's COMPLETELY VANISHED from behind my ears, the rest of my scalp (it was all over), elbows, knees, stomach and nose. Fantastic after a year and a half, when I'd suffered with it for 25 years. 

I had my first migraine attack though last month (I was rushed to hospital as they suspected it was a stroke - scary stuff) but after a ride in the CT scanner and lots of prodding about, they told me that as my Mum gets them very severely, that it's probably genetic. The neurologist I saw was very happy with my diet so he said it was probably also triggered by me skipping meals and waking up and going to bed at weird times (guilty of both). I just have to look after myself from now on and at least I now know when one looks like it's coming on so I can spot the signs early and go lie down.  

Lifestyle
I'll be honest - I've been struggling with this over the past few months. My sleep patterns aren't as good as they were and I've not been doing yoga as regularly as I should. And I'm surprised at how this on its own can really upset the balance of AIP. I really can tell that a bit of stress totally interferes with my healing, even if I'm eating all the right things. A mental note to get on and sort that out, pretty quick. It's also winter here in the UK and although we're getting a bit more sunlight than we were, the cold weather and darkness by dinnertime doesn't help with my skin. But a daily walk at noon when the sun's at it's highest in the sky helps!

So that's it. Don't lose heart - if you don't see any changes to your symptoms straight away then it might take some time. Most of my psoriasis has gone after 18 months (95% of it or more) but I still have some stubborn patches that come and go. And hey - I got to reintroducing eggs after the third attempt :) Share your stories below - how are you getting on with the autoimmune protocol? 


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