Psoriasis Update After One Month of Paleo AIP

Three days ago marks exactly one month* since I’ve been following the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol to try to get rid of put my psoriasis into remission (since I’ve learned that’s about the best you can do with autoimmune conditions such as psoriasis).

My mom has psoriasis vulgaris (which is the most common type) & I recently developed guttate psoriasis (the second most common type, characterized by small drop-like lesions) while abroad in Wales a few months ago. This type of psoriasis is normally triggered by an infection such as strep throat & while in many cases it goes away on its own with the help of treatments such as topical steroids or light exposure, there is also a chance of it developing into plaque psoriasis.

Baaasically, the psoriasis started as a few little spots on my stomach, no big deal. But then within a several days these few spots began to grow in size (uh oh) & then after a few weeks they had grown & spread throughout my entire body. I was covered in red spots – my stomach, back, arms, leg, scalp – every section of my body had spots. Luckily my chest/neck had no spots & there were only a couple less noticeable ones on my face so it being winter I was able to go day-to-day without anyone really noticing or questioning me about them. But I still knew they were there & while I was hoping that over break they would start to go away, it seemed like everyday I re-examined myself new spots would appear!

Since I was uncomfortable with the idea of using steroids (topical or not) I began to do quite a bit of online research on “healing” psoriasis through diet (specifically the paleo diet). I had been able to heal other gut issues in the past through a paleo-based diet and was convinced that this type of diet based on whole, unprocessed nutrient-dense foods could cure anything. I was also eager to heal the psoriasis my own way & wanted to prove others wrong who told me that treatments such as the steroid creams/ointments were the only answer. I was immediately intrigued after learning about the correlation with gut health/leaky gut & autoimmune conditions such as psoriasis. I discovered the Paleo Mom & through her website found stories of many people who had been able to get their conditions to go into remission through a paleo/ autoimmune protocol (AIP) approach & was inspired to try out the AIP version of the paleo diet for myself. While the paleo diet focuses on excluding all foods that can create inflammation in the body and can be harmful to gut lining, the AIP version of paleo goes further to remove the remaining possible gut irritants (eggs, nuts, seeds, nightshades, alcohol, NSAIDS, caffeine..) so that your gut can heal and your body can combat the autoimmune condition present.

So while yes, it is pretty strict and can seem overwhelming at first, I was finally moving into a house for the first time & since I would be purchasing & cooking my own food I knew that it would be manageable. I also decided to view it as a fun experiment & a way to get to know my body better. I think it’s incredibly cool when someone knows exactly which types of foods their body can & cannot tolerate. I wanted to be one of those people who knows which specific foods or types of food make me feel wonderful & which make me want to curl up on my bathroom floor & die. I wanted to be able to say things like: “Of course I’ll have a bite of your delicious looking almond-flour based cookie – unfortunately I can’t buy my own because I’ve found that I tend to break out after eating too many nuts but if you want to buy one I’m more than happy to have a little taste. Or two, maybe two really little tastes” (Cause two really little tastes equals one little taste right?) or “Yea, bring on the fish tacos, but I’ll have mine with extra guac instead of salsa. Too many tomatoes will send me running..” I could continue, but, I think you get the point.

Anyway, now that you’ve gotten a little bit of an introduction to why I’ve chosen to follow such a strict version of paleo, I’d like to share some pictures of the progress I’ve seen after only a little over a month following this type of diet.

First, the before…

IMG_3796

This picture was taken sometime in mid-December. It got even worse afterwards (the spots grew in width & a few more popped up) but this is the only picture I’ve got of my stomach so I wanted to include it. My pants were apparently quite high that day..

photo 1

This was taken sometime at the end of December. This is the arm that really freaked people out. But what can I say, I’m a big fan of rolling up my sleeves.

IMG_3894 IMG_3895

Both of these were taken just before leaving for Denver (Probably around the end of December/beginning of January)

And now, the after…

photo 2 photo 3 photo 5 photo (10) photo 4

You can see the dates each picture was taken thanks to my handy dandy watch. I tried to take one every week or so since starting the paleo AIP & the progress from week to week is evident!

And lastly I just want to wrap up the post with some of things I’ve found to have helped the most in clearing up my psoriasis:

  • Bone Broth – every week I use chicken bones (from roasting a whole chicken), miscellaneous bones from cooking meats throughout the week, and/or “beef soup bones” purchased from my local grocery store to make a batch of bone broth. Each morning I mix up about half a cup or so with some hot water & sea salt & sip it as I make my breakfast. I started this routine about two weeks into the paleo AIP. The progress was starting to delay & immediately after including bone broth into my routine I saw amazing results – almost overnight my psoriasis began to vanish.
  • Gelatin  I purchased the Great Lakes brand (both the green and red containers) & add some of the non-gelling green kind to my water before bed or after workouts a couple times a week. Have also made paleo gummies with the red kind (recipe to come!) occasionally as well. 
  • Coconut Oil – I cook with coconut oil each day (pretty much just use that & bacon fat for cooking right now) & also use it as hand/full body lotion. I keep some in a jar up in my room & put it in the bottom of the shower during my shower so it melts then I mix it with a mild lotion (I think it’s Lubriderm) & put it all over my body before bed. I also constantly put it on my hands/arms throughout the day during/after cooking with it.
  • Fermented Cod Liver Oil – I purchased this brand while abroad in Wales after reading Diane Sanfilippo’s post about it on her blog. I’ve gone through an entire container of the tablets & have recently graduated to the liquid form (cinnamon tingle flavor) which I highly recommend. I take 2-3 mL every night before bed & swear by it.

So there are some other I’m sure but I’m very late for a Mindy Project date with my roommates & those are the things that stick out in my mind that I think have been most helpful (aside from avoiding all the gut irritants/inflammatory foods mentioned in the paleo AIP & eating lots of good quality meats/healthy fats/veggies with every meal) with my progress thus far. 🙂

* When I started writing this post, this had been true, however it took me awhile to actually finish it up & post it so now it’s been about a month + one week (or so) since I began my Paleo AIP

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20 Responses to Psoriasis Update After One Month of Paleo AIP

  1. jcrohnie715 says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your pictures and what works for you! I have spots like that on my legs like the ones you have on your arms and legs! I am going to start AIP once I get through reading the Paleo Approach! It’s promising to know that maybe they will go away with change in diet! I thought my bumps might be erreythema nodules but some look more like prosiasis in your pictures.Thanks again for sharing! 🙂

  2. nksymons says:

    check out my page for helpful advice and support for psoriasis, I suffer from it and have found great ways of dealing- would love to share them 🙂

  3. Hanna says:

    Thanks for sharing! Has your mom tried the AIP diet? I have vulgaris psoriasis and I just started the AIP diet about a week and a half ago. I havent seen any changes yet so Im starting to question my food choices, maybe Im eating too much fruit. Typically, I have a fruit smoothie in the morning for breakfast and will eat a banana before my workouts for some energy then after dinner ill eat a few dates for dessert. Also, I havent incorporated bone broth to my diet, maybe thats also an issue… Ill make a batch tonight, seeing that you saw such amazing changes.

    Couple more questions: Did you eat fruit when you first started? After you healed? I’d love to hear more from your journey. You are the first person I can actually relate to and I hope one day Ill find my cure.

    Thanks a million for your post. Hope to hear from you soon.

    Best,
    Hanna

  4. skeating93 says:

    Hey Hanna!
    I’m so glad you’ve found my blog and that you are trying out the AIP diet! Just curious, is it a paleo-AIP diet that you’re following or just a regular AIP diet? My mom actually hasn’t tried any sort of AIP diet (I’m hoping one day she’ll open up to the idea though!)
    As far as fruit goes, I personally didn’t include a lot of fruit in my diet when I first started and I still don’t because I’ve found in the past that my body can’t handle a lot of fruit or certain types of fruit (those higher in fructose tend to make me gassy/bloated) and also because I think you can all your necessary nutrients from meat and veggies alone. Although I think berries and other types of fruit can be a great dessert on occasion and a banana is definitely a great pre and/or post exercise snack! I’m sorry as of right now I can only really give you advice from my personal experience but this post may: http://www.thepaleomom.com/2013/02/aip-faq-i-am-confused-about-fruit-on-the-paleo-autoimmune-protocol-could-you-explain.html
    Also if you’re concerned that you’re eating too much fruit I would suggest replacing your fruit smoothie with a breakfast that focuses more on protein and fat (maybe some sausage & avocado with a little fruit on the side or a breakfast salad with chicken, olive oil, & grapefruit?). You could also try replacing the banana with a veggie starch such as sweet potatoes or yams. Just some suggestions!
    And definitely add the bone broth in! I make a big batch every week and drink it warm as I’m getting ready or stretching in the morning before I eat my breakfast or sometimes will sip a warm cup at night while studying or hanging out.
    Also if after a few more weeks you think you’ve got your diet all figured out and you still aren’t seeing results, stress can be a huge factor. If you’re under a lot of stress emotionally or putting your body through a lot of stress in your daily workouts this can definitely affect whether or not your body is able to heal itself. So that could be something to look into in the future – maybe add in some stress reducing techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or relaxation techniques, or try replacing one of your workouts with a long walk or yoga session.

    I hope you’ve found my advice to be somewhat helpful, please let me know if any other questions pop up or if you want to talk further via e-mail or something!

    Keep positive,
    Shannon

  5. Hanna says:

    Hi Shannon! Thanks for your detailed response! Embarrassingly, I don’t know the difference between the two, Autoimmune Paleo or the Autoimmune Protocol Diet. I thought they were the same. These are the things I’ve eliminated from my diet: Gluten, Nuts, Seeds, Legumes, Grains, Dairy, Alcohol, Chocolate, Eggs and Nightshades. Most of my recipes come from Mickey Trescott’s, The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook. SO Im not sure what type of AIP diet Im on. I’d love some feedback 🙂

    Ive been a busy bee since I last wrote you! I made some bone broth in the crockpot the other day and I cut back A LOT on the fruit. Plus I cut out my circuit training workouts and started walking more often. I figured Id gradually incorporate other forms of strength training next week. I know its only been a few days but I can already tell that the inflammation has calmed down a bit… I must be on the right track, Yayy!

    I plan on sticking to this AIP diet for a few months then gradually incorporating eggs, nuts and seeds separately later on. As for the other ingredients, I think Ill stick to the Paleo way of life. Funny how good you feel when you eliminate all those additives and processed foods.

    Oh! Quick question. If my bone broth didn’t come out gelatin like after being placed in the fridge, did I do something wrong? I used a mixture of beef bones, lamb bones and the all the bones from a rotisserie chicken. Got the recipe from Mickey Trescott’s book.

    I’d love to correspond through email! Please feel free to contact me at the address attached.

    Thanks again for everything!

    Best,
    Hanna

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

  7. Sonja says:

    Hi Shannon! Thanks for sharing your experience! Did you drink coffee during the AIP?

  8. Morgan Mullins says:

    I’m about to start AIP and have been reading the book. I have similar Psoriasis as you do. One question is how do you make your bone broth exactly? I just wanna make sure I do that right. And she also says to not do too much poultry unless you eat a lot of fish. I do eat a lot of fish but also a lot of grass fed free range turkey and chicken.. Also did you eat organ meats like liver? she seems big on those. Thanks! Hope to hear from you 🙂

    • skeating93 says:

      Hi Morgan!!!
      So making bone broth is very simple. To start off you just need bone bones, a crockpot, and some apple cider vinegar or white vinegar. For beef broth I use about 2-3 lb. of beef bones (which I either purchase from my local farmer’s market in the spring/summer, or at a natural foods store such as whole foods or sprouts during the winter months – or there are websites such as uswellnessmeats.com that you can order them from as well!) or alternatively for chicken broth I use 1-2 chicken carcasses (and bones) leftover from cooking a whole chicken that week. Once you have the bones you put them in the crockpot. You can roast them for ~15 minutes beforehand (which I’ve heard helps with mineral release) or just put them in raw but make sure they are fully thawed and not frozen before putting them in the crockpot. Then cover completely with filtered water (I honestly usually use tap water because that’s what I drink but I’ve heard filtered is better if you have access to it!). Splash in some apple cider vinegar or white vinegar (about 1-2 tablespoons total) on top and then set the crockpot on low for 12-24 hours. I tend to leave it going on the longer end (24+ hours) for beef but on the shorter end (12-24 hours) for chicken. If I’m going to be around for a bit after I start the broth I will usually set it on high for ~45 minutes to get the water simmering and then switch it to low for the remainder of the time. But sometimes I just set it to low from the beginning if I’m running out the door or if I think I will forget to set it back to low.. which has definitely happened before 😉

      Anyway that was pretty lengthy but to sum it up all you do it put some bones into a crockpot, cover them with water, add some vinegar to help release the minerals from the bones, and then set it on low for 12-24 hours.

      Regarding your meat question, I don’t tend to avoid any type of meat – my philosophy is to just try to eat a wide variety of all the types of meat, as high quality as possible, in order to get a full spectrum of amino acids and nutrients (since different meats have different assortments – red meat vs. white meat etc.) And I am a huge proponent of organ meats! I actually have a beef liver de-thawing in my fridge right now 🙂 I try to make some sort of organ meat dish every 2-3 weeks. I love marinating the liver in an olive oil, vinegar & spices combination such as balsamic vinegar + olive oil + rosemary + garlic overnight and then slicing and sauteeing it on the stove in the morning. I’ve also hidden liver into things such as meatloaf and burgers which works nicely if you don’t like the taste!

      Let me know if you have any other questions and please check out my newer blog (paleototherescue.com) and my instagram (paleototherescue) which I update more frequently!

      • Morgan Mullins says:

        I have a slow cooker but it only goes up up 10 hours. If you don’t mind could you give me a recommendation of a crock pot that cooks up to 24 hours and big enough for the beef bones? I wanna make sure I have that part set.. Also do you eat any fish in your diet? And by roast before hand do you mean put in the oven at a certain temp? .. BTW I’m gonna try your bone broth 2.0 🙂 I’m really hoping this will help my Psoriasis. Is yours basically in full remission now?

      • skeating93 says:

        Oh interesting! I have this one – http://www.amazon.com/Crock-Pot-SCV700SS-7-Quart-Manual-Stainless/dp/B003OAJGJO/ref=sr_1_6?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1422985590&sr=1-6&keywords=crockpot – it’s a very basic one, I think I bought it for around $30 at a home goods store. It’s not the nicest one but it does the job! I’ve heard good things about the Hamilton Beach crockpots as well though so you could check out that brand! Just look on Amazon & make sure it holds at least 7-8 quarts & that will be plenty big enough for beef bones 🙂
        I do eat fish – mainly canned sardines and oysters because I live in CO where it’s hard to get fresh fish especially for a decent price. So I go for the high-quality/sustainable canned stuff & stock up when it’s on sale.
        But YES try Bone Broth 2.0 – it’s AMAZING. I think I need to update the directions for the recipe though because I switched from adding hot water to just making it on the stove & it’s a lot simply, more concentrated, and delicious that way!
        And yup my psoriasis is completely in remission – I haven’t had any flares pop up since I got it to go away after going all in on the AIP over a year ago.

  9. tasha says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for all your useful tips. Just wanted to know whether you eliminated all dairy products (such as cows or goat milk, kefir, cheese etc) and if so how do you get your calcium each day as nuts and nut milks are not permitted on the diet.

    Thanks

  10. Ayesha Ali says:

    Hi, I was just done with applying steroids and facing their side effects. I’m 17 but my body looks like that of a 70 year old. Hate steroids!
    Which is exactly why I wanted to follow the Aip protocol but I just couldn’t get myself to start it.

    I’m allergic to any other meat other than fish and chicken. So is a chicken bone broth okay? Also, please could you post detailed meal plans or recipes that are psoriasis friendly so I as a beginner could take help

    Thanks a lot! Xx

  11. Ash says:

    Hi.

    Thanks for sharing and it’s great you’ve beaten psoriasis. I wanted to ask, did you eliminate white rice and wholegrain rice?

    Thanks.

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