Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A new plan: the autoimmunity route

Since my last post, it's been more of the same. With a few breaks, I've continued the use of cortisone, which is just keeping my eczema at bay (sometimes barely). Based on this lack of positive progress, I've been debating my next move with the help of these two books:

1. Is Food Making You Sick? - The Strictly Low Histamine Diet by James L. Gibb

2. The Paleo Approach - Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body by Sarah Ballantyne, PhD ( aka The Paleo Mom)

The approaches in these two books are quite different, though I'm finding both to be helpful in my quest. The biggest difference is probably that the Gibb book would have me cut out meat altogether - something I'm just not completely comfortable with. On the flip side, grass-fed, organic, high quality meat - red meat in particular - is a cornerstone of The Paleo Approach (with an emphasis on organ meat). I may do a more thorough book review of each soon, we'll see. FYI - The Paleo Approach includes info and modifications specially for those with histamine intolerance, which is what drew me to it in the first place.

So here's the new plan:

The Paleo Approach won over in the end, however, I am incorporating some elements (i.e. restrictions) found in the Gibb book, which are not specified in The Paleo Approach. I'm now on day two of my customized autoimmune protocol (AIP) diet, which includes:

(List modified from The Paleo Mom)
  • Vegetables (Emphasis on green, but from a variety of colours; excludes known histamine offenders such as spinach. My go-tos include broccoli, bok choy, asparagus, cauliflower, sweet potato.)
  • Quality meats (Grass-fed, pasture-raised, wild as much as possible; poultry in moderation due to high omega-6 content.)
  • Organ meat and offal (The Paleo Mom suggests aiming for 5+ times per week, which I find  ambitious. I was delighted to find this great idea for consuming liver by Primally Inspired, which I've since incorporated. I bet I can do this with other stuff too. I'm also making plans for the beef heart in my freezer...)
  • Quality fats (pasture-raised/grass-fed animal fats, olive oil, coconut oil)
  • Limited fruit (apples, melons, figs, mangoes)

Notable exclusions include (beyond grains, dairy, legumes):

  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Nightshades

For later reference, this is what my hand looks like today, two days in and still on cortisone:

Looks pretty good, but this is the cortisone talking.
Also of note, I had blood taken today. The results should be ready in about a week or so. We'll see if that has anything to say.

In closing, I should add that I was inspired by one of my readers here to look at the autoimmune protocol. I'm interested if there are others out there who have had good experience with such an approach. Let me know in the comments.

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