Today is exactly one year since I took control of my health and started eating healthy, cutting out all processed foods and replacing them with nutrient dense foods. I began with the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Diet which is like the Paleo Diet but it also eliminates nuts, seeds, legumes, night shades, dairy, and eggs.
I never cheated on the diet except 3 times by having a tortilla while eating out with friends and family. Other than that I do all my cooking at home using only organic produce and grass-fed/wild-caught/free range meats. Nine months ago I started going to the Functional Medicine Department at the Cleveland Clinic and with the guidance of a doctor and nutritionist I have reintroduced eggs, nuts, seeds and legumes into my diet.
My auto immune diseases (Dermatomyositis, Arthritis Lupus, Sjogren’s & Graves’ Disease) are not all in complete remission but they are under control enough to get me off the 9 prescription I was taking including IVIG infusions at the hospital. The only prescription I take now is 3 mg of prednisone. I was taking 12-20 mg of prednisone for 23 years, and several times a year my rheumatologist would bump me up to 60mg taper. I have now lost all of that prednisone bloat and am down 50 pounds to what I weighed in my early 20’s.
Last year I was bedridden with no hope for recovery. The medications I had been taking not only stopped working, but their side effects were making me even sicker than the illness itself. Long term steroid use was giving me rosacea worse than the lupus rash. I could not get my sugar under 300 even though my family doctor kept increasing the Metformin dose. I am off the Metformin and no longer need my blood pressure, cholesterol and beta blocker prescriptions. No more immunosuppressant, anti-inflammatories, or analgesics either.
I recently tried reintroducing grains (i.e. arrowroot and rice) night shades, and legumes, but due to an autoimmune skin flare I’ve temporarily stopped all to see if one of them is the culprit. I still have a glucose sensitivity so I’ve cut back on all fruits except for berries, kiwi & pomegranate.
Learning yoga, getting regular cardio & strength training, reducing stress, avoiding toxins, and getting nine hours of sleep a night has significantly helped too. It’s a lifestyle change but well worth it to get my life back from hopelessness one year ago to realizing my dream of opening my own gallery downtown. So Happy Anniversary to me!
If anyone is suffering with autoimmunity and has any questions I would be glad to share what I’ve learned this past year with you. Everyone’s recovery plan is as individual as they are but I have gained a lot of knowledge from research and personal experience and some things are universal.