5

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Support (feed me!) for autoimmune diet

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 10, 2011 at 10:58 PM

I've been on the Paleo diet on/off for the past year to treat my spinal arthritis (ankylosing spondylitis). Recently, I went completely strict with the autoimmune protocol as described by Cordain (I was part of the research study). So, no grain, starch, nightshades, nuts, eggs, dairy (and low fruit). In conjunction, I started LDN (Low Dose Naltrexone), and I've been able to peel off Humira, Prednisone, and the anti-inflammatories (only on Sulfasalazine now, but hoping to ween off that as well).

The diet definitely works, but I'm getting too thin. Here's what I'm eating. I'd love any suggestions on what I could add that won't trigger arthritis.

2 Avocados daily Half a fresh coconut daily (water and milk blended)
Berries (strawberry, cherries, blueberries, blackberries) Half an apple (blended with smoothie) Meat (beef, turkey, pork, shrimp) Broth (beef only - may have chicken allergy) Cabbage, Kale, Radish, Lettuce, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels, Winter Squash (zucchini seems to cause stiffness for some reason?)

3 meals a day is a big bowl of meat combined with an assortment of veggies - good glug of olive oil over everything.

Any ideas for what I could add would be incredibly helpful. (Note: sweet potatoes may be causing some stiffness...avoiding for now.)

B1076248dde479773e75044818e1878c

(458)

on July 12, 2011
at 11:10 AM

Paleo IS about trusting my gut, and my gut falls apart when I eat sweet potatoes and winter squash. It's weird, but there's something to even low levels of starch/carb that causes incredible pain. I wish we understood why.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on July 12, 2011
at 11:03 AM

Please do some research before making absurd statements like that. The low starch AS diet is grounded in actual science, not dogmatic nonsense, and works for a lot of people. If you don't have ankylosing spondylitis, sure, eat starch. But if you do, then treat your specific problem - don't expect paleo magic to come and save you.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 11, 2011
at 06:01 PM

the diet is wrong, all this is just loose guidelines, paleo is all about trusting your gut, your gut wants more carbs

1ccc0b0b7a756cd42466cef8f450d0cb

(1801)

on July 11, 2011
at 05:06 PM

I have AS and am in a similar boat, Lindy. Anything you learn would be of interest to me too! I'm experimenting with a lot of homemade fermented foods (yogurt, sauerkraut, etc) but the jury is still out. The only thing that pops out at me in your food list is avocado - I think they are a bit starchy - might want to experiment with those. For more Paleo hacks: http://paleohacks.com/questions/50729/support-feed-me-for-autoimmune-diet#ixzz1Rojisg4i

1ccc0b0b7a756cd42466cef8f450d0cb

(1801)

on July 11, 2011
at 05:05 PM

I have AS am in pretty much the same boat as you, Lindy. Anything you learn would be of interest to me too! I'm experimenting with a lot of homemade fermented foods (yogurt, sauerkraut, etc) but the jury is still out. The only thing that pops out at me in your food list is avocado - I think they are a bit starchy.

B1076248dde479773e75044818e1878c

(458)

on July 11, 2011
at 02:00 PM

This sounds right to me. I wonder how many other people have gone this route and eventually were able to eat fairly normally after a year (and did it continue)? I guess we're still so new with this protocol that we don't have a lot of evidence yet. I'm hoping Cordain's book will be out at the end of the year and give some solid examples. Any ideas on how to rebuild the gut lining (supplements, foods, etc.) are also appreciated.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on July 11, 2011
at 01:05 PM

AS diets are typically low or no starch. So adding starch in isn't always possible.

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9 Answers

2
B1076248dde479773e75044818e1878c

(458)

on July 16, 2011
at 11:26 PM

Just wanted to report back on some good news. I took out both squash (winter/summer), sweet potato, AND fruit.

For the last 3 days, I've been able to get off all my medication except for LDN. No flaring...no need to use prednisone for the first time in 6 months.

It's highly restrictive, but I'm feeling good. Just thought other autoimmuners might need to know that these foods may still cause sensitivities with arthritis.

Hopefully after a couple months, my gut will heal enough (after all those anti-inflammatories) to allow some starch back.

2
4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on July 11, 2011
at 01:13 PM

You're in a tough spot with no really good answer. I was doing zero starch for a while for Crohn's, and I as able to add it back over time without any issues (yet). Before I did that, though, I was looking for help with the same problem: how do I maintain/gain weight without starch?

Obviously you have to eat more meat. Whatever amount you're eating now, it needs to be more.

However, you might try testing out other food groups. Have you tried to see how well you tolerate dairy? Lactaid (lactase fortified/low lactose) milk can be expensive, but if you tolerate it without symptoms it can add some low-starch calories to your diet for weight gain or maintenance.

The other thing to try is ridiculously strict adherence to the diet for a year or more. This may allow your gut to heal to the point where you can tolerate starches again. Again, this is n=1 and totally anecdotal, but I did a year on meat before I started adding starches back in. Maybe that strict year was what made it possible to add starch without troubles. Since you've only been strict for a little while, and it seems that you've been eating a fair amount of food which might have trouble starches (running into stiffness with zuchinni), maybe you just need to be more strict until your body heals.

1ccc0b0b7a756cd42466cef8f450d0cb

(1801)

on July 11, 2011
at 05:05 PM

I have AS am in pretty much the same boat as you, Lindy. Anything you learn would be of interest to me too! I'm experimenting with a lot of homemade fermented foods (yogurt, sauerkraut, etc) but the jury is still out. The only thing that pops out at me in your food list is avocado - I think they are a bit starchy.

B1076248dde479773e75044818e1878c

(458)

on July 11, 2011
at 02:00 PM

This sounds right to me. I wonder how many other people have gone this route and eventually were able to eat fairly normally after a year (and did it continue)? I guess we're still so new with this protocol that we don't have a lot of evidence yet. I'm hoping Cordain's book will be out at the end of the year and give some solid examples. Any ideas on how to rebuild the gut lining (supplements, foods, etc.) are also appreciated.

1ccc0b0b7a756cd42466cef8f450d0cb

(1801)

on July 11, 2011
at 05:06 PM

I have AS and am in a similar boat, Lindy. Anything you learn would be of interest to me too! I'm experimenting with a lot of homemade fermented foods (yogurt, sauerkraut, etc) but the jury is still out. The only thing that pops out at me in your food list is avocado - I think they are a bit starchy - might want to experiment with those. For more Paleo hacks: http://paleohacks.com/questions/50729/support-feed-me-for-autoimmune-diet#ixzz1Rojisg4i

1
B1076248dde479773e75044818e1878c

(458)

on July 21, 2012
at 04:40 AM

Here's my update (since this post was from last year).

I have now been off Humira, NSAIDs, Prednisone, and Methotrexate for an entire year. I'm currently only taking LDN (very low dose). I admit that I have at least 1-2 flares per month still, but it's mainly due to eating starchy foods to try to get my weight up. Though this isn't perfect, I still feel FAR better than I ever did on all the drugs.

I also attribute acupuncture (every 4-5 weeks) for allowing me to eat more foods...somehow it seems to help the over-sensitivity problem and nausea.

My current supplements: Fish oil (Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega), Thorne Research Moducare plant sterols, Thorne Research GI-caps, Curcumin (Pure Encapsulations), Vitamin D (Pure Encapsulations)

My diet is a strict paleo autoimmune protocol diet. I sometimes eat off the diet if my symptoms are under control, but lately I've been thinking about going extremely strict and just dropping the weight for a year (which I hate because believe it or not, I'm a trapeze artist on the side...I loathe looking so skinny to crowds). I'm already 115 at 5'11", but here's the diet that keeps me flare free:

egg yolks, grassfed or pastured meat (anything by salmon...which weirdly triggers), lots of seafood (mussels, clams, fish, crab, yum!), squash (I've begun to tolerate), carrots (I turn orange), celery, herbs (green leafies - parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, etc.), some mushrooms (sort of FODMAPs, so I can't go too crazy), kale (well cooked), lettuce, low glycemic fruit (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries), green tea, sometimes sweet potato (only once per week...low toleration).

On splurge days, I was eating fried yucca/plantains and gluten-free rice flour pizza. I may ditch the pizza entirely after a bad flare...hard because it puts the weight on so well (within a day!). Avoiding FODMAPs foods has also really helped...less gas filling my stomach keeps symptoms under control. Unfortunately, this knocked out high calorie foods such as avocado and coconut. :(

I did have SIBO testing a few weeks ago, and my results came back normal (no sign of high levels of either gas). Although the tests can be wrong, it's frustrating I had all the symptoms and no clear sign to go through the antibiotic protocol. Still, I guess those of us with ankylosing spondylitis more likely are suffering from Klebsiella in the ascending colon (according to Dr. Ebringer). The paleo autoimmune protocol diet is far more restrictive than his recommended Low Starch Diet, but fine-tuning it is what is keeping me off all the dangerous meds...which lost power for me after a year anyway!

Any other recommendations are welcome. I'm amazed it's been one year since I've been off all these powerful drugs, but I'm still struggling along. I'm just determined we're going to find relief and even a cure through this diet and lifestyle. Not giving up!!

1
B1076248dde479773e75044818e1878c

(458)

on July 11, 2011
at 11:56 AM

O.k., tried a good helping of winter squash last night, and now I'm realizing even slight starch is causing symptoms the following morning (stiff, stomach upset, etc.). Squash and sweet potatoes out for at least a month?

1
8caffe4dea631347b447e9f4e12fb2da

(589)

on July 10, 2011
at 11:33 PM

I agree with Mark, I would make sure to have dark green vegetables [ bok choy is great] and try to have a rainbow of color to your vegetables that's the best way to get all you need. It will also keep dishes more interesting. Also try coconut oil when cooking instead of olive oil it's great for your immune system. Best wishes.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 10, 2011
at 11:14 PM

Lack of carbs. So eat sweet potatoes, pumpkin, butternut squash, onions, other root vegetables. I think You'll have to turn to potatoes. I also tried going no starch, and nightshades and was good at first, but eventually was loosing weight and energy, and adding carbs helped.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on July 11, 2011
at 01:05 PM

AS diets are typically low or no starch. So adding starch in isn't always possible.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 11, 2011
at 06:01 PM

the diet is wrong, all this is just loose guidelines, paleo is all about trusting your gut, your gut wants more carbs

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on July 12, 2011
at 11:03 AM

Please do some research before making absurd statements like that. The low starch AS diet is grounded in actual science, not dogmatic nonsense, and works for a lot of people. If you don't have ankylosing spondylitis, sure, eat starch. But if you do, then treat your specific problem - don't expect paleo magic to come and save you.

B1076248dde479773e75044818e1878c

(458)

on July 12, 2011
at 11:10 AM

Paleo IS about trusting my gut, and my gut falls apart when I eat sweet potatoes and winter squash. It's weird, but there's something to even low levels of starch/carb that causes incredible pain. I wish we understood why.

0
C90c6c5154c1510d57239d570d947552

(163)

on July 21, 2012
at 10:45 AM

Hello Lindy. I too am on a highly restricted diet, I only realized how well it's working this morning as I drunk quite a bit of wine last night and this morning could barely get out of bed.

I've also been losing weight but what has helped these past few weeks is:

Targeting the Fat!

Protein fills you up, eat it last. Go for fatty pork chops with a 1 inch layer of fat. Buy pork crackling, make your own liver pate with lots of butter. Be an apex predator! Bone marrow is particularly good for anyone healing.

Remember: If you're eating low carb, you need to get energy from fat. It's easy to forget.

0
C0c839648b31512515daaffe8e4e9ad1

on July 21, 2012
at 10:12 AM

Eat a big meal right before you go to bed to not lose weight! It helped me! Don't go for the smaller dinner meals.

0
Ba7ea58ed1af230ad9ac976f974bfbe3

on July 21, 2012
at 02:15 AM

Hello Lindy,

Get the same shit for 10+ yrs. From 2006 I have tried A LOT water fasting, dry fasting, vegan, vegan with fatty fish raw too, jucing (a lot of green and carrot, beetroot), suppliments of all kinds, herbal medicin against parasites. Raw paleo, H2O2, DMCO, criotherapy...maybe something else. Resently after my usual (every three mnths) week of water fasting (which always works wonder) I switch to yr type of strict diet (the same: meat fatty, some fish, porc fat and a lot of VCO (coconut oil). Two weeks in this strict regiment so far so good. BUT! I have read all around from Dr. Cruse and made additional adjustment for my long (2 yrs) paleo diet. I dropped eggs, all milk products, the more important, I have switched to morning big breakfast, last meal at 17-18. I have started to use ice after gym and cold immersion (not cold yet just cool myself down). Before fasting I used COX-2 inhibitors and I am waiting for Humira. But right now I feel myself so good that I am not sure if I need "atomic" weapon for my condition. I plan to ask my doc to run one more blood test before first injection. I am a bit under weight but fit enough and do basic heavy lift training competing with myself young :) so far so good. I take vit C (3-4gr/d) Magnesium, Omega-3. Betain HCl(for meat), a lot of sun (I spend 2-3 morning hrs outside) during the work I will add D3 for compensation. The only problem that all these pills contain starch or another shit. And of course the changes will come slowly. The body needs about 6 mnths for adoptation. Stick with yr way and it may be big reward in some time. All the best

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