How did Tuesday blow by this week without me even knowing it. Sheesh. I’m a day late and I apologize.
I did say I was going to chat more about the AIP this week didn’t I?
First, what does AIP stand for?
It is short for Autoimmune Protocol.
It is an eating protocol used to help promote healing in people that have autoimmune disease and it is essentially a Paleo diet with additional food restrictions.
We have talked about autoimmune before but just let me recap through some of the basics.
To have an autoimmune disease you have to have the following:
- Genetic propensity, meaning that your genetics will determine through a weak link what type of autoimmune you could ultimately end up with. Genetics on it’s own is not enough.
- Triggers – these can be many things. I will list a few of them below
- Stress – internal or external and this is a big hitter
- Metal or chemical toxicity
- Food sensitivities
- Chronic Infections – pathogens
- Intestinal Permeability (Leaky Gut)
- Leaky Gut (to find out more about leaky gut go here)
You might have noticed that Leaky Gut is not just a requirement, it is also a trigger.
Autoimmune can’t happen without it. And guess what, it is estimated that 85% of Western population struggle with Leaky Gut. Hmmmmm. I will let you draw your own conclusion, but it might lead you to believe that a huge percentage of the population is on its way to autoimmune. I do keep saying this is our next big epidemic. And the current medical model doesn’t know how to treat it, just sayin.
K, off that little rant to more about the AIP.
I had a client that is participating in one of my programs say to me “I started the AIP two weeks ago and you don’t need to sell me on it, I already feel so much better.” I love when I have that kind of feedback. The AIP can be amazing. Let me tell you why.
The body absolutely has the ability to heal when supported the right way.
It really is a little miracle that we live in. Amazing. Anyway, the key to healing is “When Supported the Right Way”. To promote healing in the body for someone that has autoimmune or other chronic illnesses is to reduce the level of inflammation in the body. Inflammation by itself isn’t bad but in the case of autoimmune and chronic illness it is on fire and has begun to contribute to the damage rather than supporting healing as it was meant to.
The AIP is what I use with all of my clients to begin the process of shutting down the inflammation in the body. The AIP removes all inflammatory foods like gluten, dairy, and sugar. It also removes immune boosting foods. That means all the nightshades are also eliminated. So tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, etc are gone. It removes triggering foods like beans, seeds, and nuts. And all grains are also gone because they can be triggering as well meaning they can engage the immune system because the body can recognize them as similar to other inflammatory foods. So, the AIP gets rid of all of them just to allow the body the best chance at healing. And Eggs are gone. Egg can carry bacteria across the blood-gut barrier and because the immune system is already on overdrive, there is no reason to give it more to fight.
The next step in the healing process is to test for and eliminate your food sensitivities as well. You have food sensitivities because food particles have made it through your leaky gut into your system in a way it wasn’t intended to. The body doesn’t recognize it as something good and the immune system attacks it as an invader. So now, you have an issue with food that should be good for you. And they add to the inflammation in your body. They have to be eliminated as well.
I know, you might be feeling what can you eat?
The restrictions are so significant. And yes, they are. But, for most people suffering autoimmune, their quality of life sucks. When I ask them what goal they have for their health, they just want their quality of life back. They are willing to do what I ask just to take that back, even if it means eating is changed so drastically. And guess what, if you are diligent to following the protocol for most people, the improvements are remarkable. Diet may not get you into remission, there may be some additional work to do but it is a huge contributor to healing, getting more nutrients into your cells for energy and improving the way you live with your illness.
And, it doesn’t have to be forever. After a period of healing, you can begin to add foods back slowly, to see, if your body can tolerate it. Most will be able to be added back. Some on occasion and some you might never be able to add back but it does get better.
AIP might feel like a lot but in the entire length and width of a lifetime it is a small blip of time and so worth it if it puts you on the right path to helping you take your life back and learning what it takes to life with autoimmune.
Before I go, I want to answer a question you might have. Maybe 2.
- How do you get started on the AIP? My favorite book is the Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott. You can find it on Amazon.com here.
- Where can you get Food Sensitivity testing done? The medical community doesn’t test for food sensitivities. They test for allergies. You would have to find yourself a functional Medicine Practitioner to run your test and cover the results with you. If you are interested, I can run the tests for you.
Have a great rest of your week. Same time next week. Ok, well maybe the right time next week. Thanks for your understanding.