My Autoimmune Protocol Experiment

Alright here we go. After a short (but sweet) two week long Christmas break between my Fall semester studying abroad in Bangor, Wales and my Winter quarter (quarter= trimester) in Denver, Colorado I’m ready to start blogging again. I really meant to over break – I had a bunch of different blogs brainstormed but my break was so short & during such a busy time of year that I never got around to putting together a solid post. But now that I’m back in Denver and pretty much settled into my new house I am ready to begin my new blog on this website.

First & foremost however I’d like to re-post my last blog post on my former site, http://paleocollegestudent.tumblr.com/ on this one, because well, it’s relevant. Read it & you’ll understand why.

Blog “My Lastest Experiment” reposted:

So I have recently developed some guttate psoriasis. And by some I mean that my entire body is covered head to toe with these little (and sometimes not so little) red circles. A few of the circles have joined together forming little clumps or patches, some of which I’ve grown fond of strangely enough. Buuut not quite fond enough to allow them to stick around. (Sorry little patches, you’re cute and all but you’ve got to go.)

The rash first presented itself in the form of a few small red bumps on my stomach so I wasn’t too eager to go see the doctor but after the rash started to escalate & I started worrying that I had contracted some type of disease while traveling I decided to make an appointment. The doctor quickly diagnosed the condition & told me that the rash usually proceeds strep throat or some form of streptococcal throat infection. So that was what that sore throat I had for a couple days prior to Edinburgh was. Ok so that makes sense but now what? She said that the rash more often than not goes away on its own within several weeks but prescribed me some ultra-moisturizing lotion to apply 2+ times a day and a steroid gel to apply once a day to speed up the healing process.

So I was reluctant to go to the doctor in the first place, you think I’m going to just apply a steroid cream happily? Not so much. But finally after a few days of the rash getting progressively more red & spreading I decided to try to the steroid cream on a little patch on my arm. Sure enough, it seemed to work. Damn you, modern medicine.

I decided to start using the steroid each night as well as supplementing with some Vitamin D3 soft gel tablets because after a few quick google searches I learned that low Vitamin D levels are linked with psoriasis & figured my Vitamin D levels probably weren’t up to par considering the less than ideal sun exposure I’d been receiving in the UK.

While a week or so of using the steroid cream & seriously OD’ing on the Vitamin D tablets (let’s just say the contents of the bottle are no longer with us) did help the rash to lighten up & get less bumpy, it still wasn’t fully going away & knowing I didn’t want to use the steroid cream for more than two weeks I began a more serious google search.

After a few google searches..

‘Guttate psoriasis and paleo”

“Paleo healing psoriasis”

“Bye bye bye psoriasis, hello paleo”

…I was ironically led to one of my favorite paleo website idols, the Paleo Mom. About a year or so ago when I was experiencing stomach issues I read a few of Paleo Mom’s articles on FODMOP sensitivity and after self-experimentation & trial & error I was able to fix my stomach problems & have pretty much figured out which FODMOP foods I can & cannot tolerate. Anyway, Paleo Mom to the rescue once again. After reading this long article explaining psoriasis & the paleo diet and this article explaining the paleo diet autoimmune protocol I have decided that I am going to dive in head first and start another experiment, this time saying goodbye to some of my dearest friends – eggs, nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, etc.), and nuts. It’s going to be difficult considering I eat at least one of the three foods every day (and some days all three) & tomatoes & peppers are among some of my favorite veggies (sigh) BUT if I am able to get rid of this rash through this method without anymore steroid ointments then I will consider myself a winner. While it’s not ideal that I have to eliminate some of my favorite foods for awhile I am weirdly excited about the experiment. Ever since the autoimmune protocol has been on my raider I’ve been curious to test whether or not I am in fact sensitive to eggs or nuts or nightshades (or all three!) but have never had the motivation to see for myself. So I guess in a way this rash is a blessing in disguise (although red spots isn’t exactly the disguise I’d personally choose..).

However unfortunately when I made the conscious decision to try this autoimmune protocol I had just been the grocery store & purchased two types of peppers, some cherry tomatoes, & a carton of eggs. So of course, never wanting to waste food I decided to give myself a few more days of these delights & make myself a few temporary goodbye meals:

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Of course right when I decide to give them up, I have to discover the coolest way to cook eggs ever – a fried egg omelet! Delicious.

Once I consumed the last of these foods I was nearing my last few days in Wales so I decided to try my best to avoid eating the no-no foods (couldn’t think of what else to call them, sorry.) but didn’t sweat it if there was some tomato sauce on something I ordered out, or if I happened to eat a cute little snack pack sized bag of walnuts I discovered in my backpack while on my journey home (just now 😉 )

BUT yesterday started Day One of my AutoImmune Protocol Elimination Experiment! With the exception of Christmas Day (do I really need to explain my reasoning for this?) I am going to completely eliminate eggs, nightshades, nuts/seeds (as well as seed derived spices), & dairy from my diet & see if I am able to get my psoriasis to go away.

I’m also going to continue supplementing with cod liver oil & having a scoop of gelatin dissolved in water at least once a day (usually first thing in the AM and/or post-workout), because I have felt really good both recovery & energy-wise since adding these to my diet.

I also think that once I’m back in Denver in early January the constant sunshine will help restore my possibly low Vitamin D levels.

Anyway, I’m excited to track my experiment through this blog. Not only will this give me a chance to test my sensitivity to these food groups but it will also give me an opportunity to express some creativity & experiment with new vegetables & things in my diet. Here’s to branching out!

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5 Responses to My Autoimmune Protocol Experiment

  1. Pingback: Healing the Gut, Paleo Style | Life of a Paleo College Student

  2. Pingback: Healing the Gut, Paleo Style | Paleo to the Rescue

  3. Pingback: Reflections on the Start of my Auto-Immune Protocol | Paleo to the Rescue

  4. liamconverse says:

    Hey there, I have psoriasis too, mainly on my scalp. I tried doing the same paleo autoimmune protocol as you this January but I did end up eating some hot sauce and some white potatoes along the way. I didn’t noticed a huge benefit, but since I stopped that my psoriasis has definitely gotten worse. Maybe I should give the total elimination protocol a try again.

    • skeating93 says:

      Hey Liam! Yes I definitely recommend giving the program a solid effort. It can seem pretty restrictive at first (especially when you want to eat out at restaurants) but if you just get rid of all the “no” foods around your house such as tomato-based sauces/hot sauces, nuts/seeds, eggs, etc. that’ll make it a lot easier. Also once you find substitutions for your former favorites then you’ll be good to go. For example some good substitutions for white potatoes would be sweet potatoes, plantains (the greener the less sweet), parsnips, and yucca. Try slicing up & frying yucca in some coconut oil or animal fat for a french fry substitution. It’ll change your world.
      ALSO I found supplements like fish oil/ fermented cod liver oil, coconut oil and/or MCT oil, probiotics, and Vitamin D3 to be helpful as well.

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