Strict Paleo diet for A/I issues?? - Talk About Marriage
Physical & Mental Health Issues Marriage and relationships are difficult by themselves, but coping with physical or mental health problems can make things even more difficult.

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post #1 of 183 (permalink) Old 12-31-2015, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Strict Paleo diet for A/I issues??

Has anyone given this a try?

Despite eating a very clean diet for years (no artificial ingredients, no preservatives, no processed food, mostly grass-fed meats, etc) I have recently been diagnosed with my THIRD autoimmune problem which is really causing me some physical grief . Years ago, I gave up gluten and wheat products and saw a tremendous improvement in mild problems such as eczema and rosacea.

After this most recent diagnosis I have been carefully tracking my food consumption vs. symptoms, and it looks like a major culprit for me is the entire nightshade family of plants -- tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, etc. as well as any spices made from those plants.

Within hours of eating these foods my symptoms are seriously exacerbated .

I'm feeling a bit down as these are all foods I enjoy and eat regularly. Starting January 2nd I'm kicking off a total Paleo elimination diet for 30+ days (cutting out all grains, all dairy, all legumes, all nightshades, all nuts & seeds, all fruit, all sugar and alcohol). The point is to eliminate all potential triggers and slowly start adding them back in one at a time. Obviously I won't be adding the nightshades back in, at least for a long while. I'm hoping I can add all those foods back in with little problem and that the nightshades will be the only no-nos.

Has anyone else done this/doing this? (I know @Zanne has done something similar.) If so, were you able to target the problem foods and alter your diet accordingly?

I would welcome any and all thoughts and comments.


"Love is chemicals masquerading as choices!"
~ Sandfly

Last edited by happy as a clam; 12-31-2015 at 12:43 PM.
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post #2 of 183 (permalink) Old 12-31-2015, 11:44 AM
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Re: Strict Paleo diet for A/I issues??

Diet aside, are you getting treated for your autoimmune problems, i.e., corticosteroid, IgG, or other combination treatments?

As for food allergies there are professional clinics that target certain food compounds. There used to be research group at Tufts University in Boston that dealt with Food and Epidemiology studies. They had an extension program where people could get tested for food compound allergies. I would recommend you contact them and find out if you could get work up done (if they still have that programs there - funding issues).


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post #3 of 183 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Strict Paleo diet for A/I issues??

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Diet aside, are you getting treated for your autoimmune problems, i.e., corticosteroid, IgG, or other combination treatments?
Thanks for your suggestions.

Yes, I do have a steroid cream for one of my issues (lichen sclerosus). Oral steroids have proved to be quite problematic for me. I have had IgG testing done in the past (10 years ago) when I gave up gluten; unfortunately the results weren't clear, there were a lot of conflicting results and medical opinions, and in the end the elimination diet seemed a much more reliable and conclusive way to figure out the triggers.

I will keep in mind the Tufts University info. For the moment, I am on my second full day of my Paleo diet and feeling quite good. I haven't had any specific cravings and am not missing any of the eliminated foods (yet) . I am eating super clean -- mostly fish, grass-fed beef, free range chicken, and loads and loads of vegetables along with plenty of olive oil, coconut oil and avocados.

I'm going to give this a whirl for 30 days and see where I end up. I'm pretty sure nightshades are the real problem, but I'm going to stick with the elimination diet for 30 days to give my gut a chance to heal. I'm also taking probiotics and appropriate vitamin supplements.

So we'll see. Keeping my fingers crossed!

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post #4 of 183 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Strict Paleo diet for A/I issues??

Day 11 of my extremely restrictive 30-day Paleo/autoimmune diet and I'm feeling.... GREAT!!!

Surprisingly, I have not felt deprived at all despite giving up practically every category of food, lol. I haven't had ANY cravings and I think this is because I have eliminated virtually all sugar so my blood sugar level is staying nice and steady.

All three of my A/I issues have already improved significantly (no new flare-ups), so I can only imagine it will just keep getting better and better.

And the best part is I'm finding it much easier to cook and have prepared food in the fridge. I bake an entire tray of fish, grill up several steaks at once, and broil 8-10 pieces of chicken at a time. There's a lot of chopping of vegetables (!), but basically everything gets sautéed quickly in olive oil or coconut oil so it only takes a few minutes to prepare a slew of veggies. I've also made several Paleo stews in the crockpot that are almost effortless.

I'm looking forward to the addition of nuts and eggs at the end of 30 days, but beyond that I'm not really missing anything I've cut out.

"Love is chemicals masquerading as choices!"
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post #5 of 183 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 08:52 AM
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Re: Strict Paleo diet for A/I issues??

Happy, I wish you luck. I gave up red meat about 35 years ago and have significantly reduced animal-related foods, so for me, giving up grains, nuts and legumes would never fly. Do you have access to organic/free-range meats and poultry?

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post #6 of 183 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Strict Paleo diet for A/I issues??

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Do you have access to organic/free-range meats and poultry?
Yes! We have a wonderful year-round indoor farmers' market with an awesome selection of organic, grass-fed and free-range meats. It's a bit pricier than the grocery store, but having cut out 100% of processed foods my grocery bill has actually gone down. My local grocery store also carries a small selection of these meats too.

I'm sure rice, beans and oatmeal will make their way back onto my menu eventually but I plan to stick to no-sugar and no-alcohol for the long haul. I honestly feel so much better that it's hard to describe!

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post #7 of 183 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 09:19 AM
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Re: Strict Paleo diet for A/I issues??

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Originally Posted by happy as a clam View Post
Yes! We have a wonderful year-round indoor farmers' market with an awesome selection of organic, grass-fed and free-range meats. It's a bit pricier than the grocery store, but having cut out 100% of processed foods my grocery bill has actually gone down. My local grocery store also carries a small selection of these meats too.

I'm sure rice, beans and oatmeal will make their way back onto my menu eventually but I plan to stick to no-sugar and no-alcohol for the long haul. I honestly feel so much better that it's hard to describe!
You will see your grocery bill continue to plummet as you move forward. The stricter you stick to the paleo diet, the less you need to eat. I went from three eggs and five slices of bacon to one or two eggs and two or three pieces of bacon. I also went from eating a 14 oz steak to eating an 8 oz steak, 2 chicken breasts to 1. The leaner you get and more efficient your metabolism becomes, the less you need to eat.

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post #8 of 183 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 09:22 AM
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Re: Strict Paleo diet for A/I issues??

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Originally Posted by happy as a clam View Post
Has anyone given this a try?

Despite eating a very clean diet for years (no artificial ingredients, no preservatives, no processed food, mostly grass-fed meats, etc) I have recently been diagnosed with my THIRD autoimmune problem which is really causing me some physical grief . Years ago, I gave up gluten and wheat products and saw a tremendous improvement in mild problems such as eczema and rosacea.

After this most recent diagnosis I have been carefully tracking my food consumption vs. symptoms, and it looks like a major culprit for me is the entire nightshade family of plants -- tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, etc. as well as any spices made from those plants.

Within hours of eating these foods my symptoms are seriously exacerbated .

I'm feeling a bit down as these are all foods I enjoy and eat regularly. Starting January 2nd I'm kicking off a total Paleo elimination diet for 30+ days (cutting out all grains, all dairy, all legumes, all nightshades, all nuts & seeds, all fruit, all sugar and alcohol). The point is to eliminate all potential triggers and slowly start adding them back in one at a time. Obviously I won't be adding the nightshades back in, at least for a long while. I'm hoping I can add all those foods back in with little problem and that the nightshades will be the only no-nos.

Has anyone else done this/doing this? (I know @Zanne has done something similar.) If so, were you able to target the problem foods and alter your diet accordingly?

I would welcome any and all thoughts and comments.
I haven't tried it, but am considering it since I too already was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and they suspect I may also have Sjogrens. Please share your favorite recipies when you feel like it. I do know I would probably do a lot of broth's with veggies. I don't like cold food, so salads would be a challenge for me.

Be encouraged.... I had a friend who had Celiacs. She ate super clean like that for six years and now can eat whatever she wants to. So maybe its just long enough for the gut lining to heal. Have you read the Gut and Psychology book?

The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to Blossom. - Anais Nin
Never underestimate the potential for things to improve in ways you cannot yet imagine. Karen Rohlf
Be soft as possible, but firm as necessary - Pat Parelli

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post #9 of 183 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Strict Paleo diet for A/I issues??

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Originally Posted by Blossom Leigh View Post
I haven't tried it, but am considering it since I too already was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and they suspect I may also have Sjogrens. Please share your favorite recipies when you feel like it. I do know I would probably do a lot of broth's with veggies. I don't like cold food, so salads would be a challenge for me.

Be encouraged.... I had a friend who had Celiacs. She ate super clean like that for six years and now can eat whatever she wants to. So maybe its just long enough for the gut lining to heal. Have you read the Gut and Psychology book?
Hi Blossom! Glad to see you back...

I am very familiar with the GAPS info. In fact, reading that was one of the things that kickstarted this whole process. And I agree with you -- I think after enough time away from the trigger foods, the gut heals itself and hopefully most things can be reintroduced and tolerated well. I will say though, I had avoided gluten like the plague for 7-8 years and once I started eating a little here, a little there again, is when I started this slippery slope into new A/I problems. So for me, I believe gluten is off the menu forever .

I love salads but not during the winter. I tend to gravitate towards soups and stews during the cold months. Here is an absolutely FABULOUS Paleo stew -- hands down, the best beef stew I have ever eaten. The butternut squash thickens it up beautifully as it cooks. It makes a huge batch with plenty of leftovers for fridge or freezer:

Paleo Beef Stew

Attachment 42217

1-1/2 to 2 lbs. beef cubes for stewing;
1 Tbsp olive or coconut oil
1 butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and diced;
1 medium onion, diced;
3 garlic cloves, minced;
4-6 carrots, sliced on the diagonal;
6 oz. mushrooms, sliced;
6 oz. fresh spinach;
1 cup chicken stock
*14 oz. diced tomatoes with green chilies ("Rotel" style -- I use Mild); (**See note below)
*1 tbsp. chili powder;
*1 tsp. paprika;
1 tsp. dried oregano;
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper;


Warm up a dutch oven over a medium-high heat.

Brown the beef cubes in the skillet in a small amount of olive or coconut oil until lightly browned. Drain off some of the fat, or leave it all in there for a richer broth.

Add all the remaining ingredients, except for the spinach and the mushrooms, to the pot.

Give everything a good stir, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a low simmer for 2 hours. Stir occasionally. (Can also be cooked in a crockpot on low for 6-8 hours but be sure to brown the meat first).

Add in the mushrooms 30 minutes before the stew is done.

Add the spinach immediately before serving.

**NOTE: If you are avoiding nightshades, omit the tomatoes, chili powder and paprika as these are all from the nightshade family. Otherwise, enjoy them as they add a lot of flavor!


I have never made this without the tomatoes and spices but am going to give it a whirl now that I am avoiding nightshades. Just have to come up with some flavorful alternative ingredients...

"Love is chemicals masquerading as choices!"
~ Sandfly

Last edited by happy as a clam; 03-28-2017 at 10:34 PM.
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post #10 of 183 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 09:53 AM
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Re: Strict Paleo diet for A/I issues??

.


Last edited by Zanne; 07-25-2016 at 02:11 PM.
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post #11 of 183 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 09:59 AM
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Re: Strict Paleo diet for A/I issues??

Good God, that looks good... Thanks for sharing!!

The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to Blossom. - Anais Nin
Never underestimate the potential for things to improve in ways you cannot yet imagine. Karen Rohlf
Be soft as possible, but firm as necessary - Pat Parelli

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post #12 of 183 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 10:02 AM
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Re: Strict Paleo diet for A/I issues??

Zanne, that's the autoimmune loop I'm in too... Fibro, Lupus, Sjogrens... they know Fibro for sure, ... not sure on the other two, but it is at least one of them. I just don't fully fit the cluster symptoms of either of them.

The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to Blossom. - Anais Nin
Never underestimate the potential for things to improve in ways you cannot yet imagine. Karen Rohlf
Be soft as possible, but firm as necessary - Pat Parelli

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post #13 of 183 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Strict Paleo diet for A/I issues??

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You are probably already figuring out that eliminating nightshades and other foods from your diet are helping you to feel better.
Yes! I really think the nightshades are a HUGE component of this. And here I thought I was eating so healthy... tomatoes, eggplants, peppers... lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanne View Post
Are you following the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP)? Some people confuse the "P" to mean Paleo, which is understandable because a Paleo diet is very similar. The key role of the AIP is to restore the gut and to correct nutrient deficiencies. A really awesome explanation can be found here: » The Autoimmune Protocol

You are probably aware of all of that, but I thought I would share just in case.
Yes, I am aware that they are two entirely different things, but thanks for clarifying to be sure. I am following the AIP for 30 days, then plan to reintroduce potential trigger foods one at a time very slowly. But I am feeling so much better eating this way that I have no plans to reintroduce sugar, alcohol, nightshades, gluten, or most grains. I have waaaay more energy, zero cravings, zero bloating and water retention, and I simply do not miss any of those foods. I do miss eggs and nuts so am looking forward to those. Hopefully, they are on the "good" list but I know egg whites can be problematic for many A/I issues.

Sorry to hear about your Sjogren's syndrome and possible lupus . My latest A/I diagnosis is "hidradenitis suppurativa" which is an absolutely horrid auto inflammatory skin condition. Not to gross you out, but if you look it up on Google images it is like looking at a freak show/horror movie .

Thankfully my doctor knew exactly what it was and I caught it early -- I am only in Stage 1 (out of 3 stages) so very minimal external skin involvement at this point -- mostly just hard lumps and "tunnels" deep beneath the surface of my skin. The lumps are extremely painful and the pain radiates all around the affected areas. I have seen tremendous improvement and not a single flare-up since starting this diet. I had been experiencing 2-3 new lumps per week previously, but not a single one in 2 weeks since starting the diet!

I am so thankful to have caught this early, and even more thankful that a remission through diet is possible. My heart goes out to those who are further along in disease progression than I am.

"Love is chemicals masquerading as choices!"
~ Sandfly

Last edited by happy as a clam; 01-14-2016 at 10:18 AM.
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post #14 of 183 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 10:34 AM
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Re: Strict Paleo diet for A/I issues??

Do either of you struggle with cysts?

The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to Blossom. - Anais Nin
Never underestimate the potential for things to improve in ways you cannot yet imagine. Karen Rohlf
Be soft as possible, but firm as necessary - Pat Parelli

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post #15 of 183 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Strict Paleo diet for A/I issues??

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Do either of you struggle with cysts?
Yes! Although, by "cysts" I'm not sure if we're talking about the same thing (?). HS (hidradenitis suppurativa) begins with hard, lumpy, PAINFUL "cysts" below the surface of the skin. Eventually they become more tunnel-like, long and ropy, snaking under the skin. As HS progresses, they start erupting at the surface, almost like boils. Antibiotics and surgery only relieve symptoms as it is an A/I disease and the problems originate internally.

If any of that rings a bell, I highly recommend doing a little research on HS. It's much more common than people realize but often gets misdiagnosed.

"Love is chemicals masquerading as choices!"
~ Sandfly
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