Now before i begin telling you my thoughts on the Auto Immune Protocol or AIP for short i think its important that anyone reading this needs to realize that you are the best judge on what works and what doesn't for you, certainly take on board all the info you can but also back your own judgement in when you need to. The experts don't always know best. You know more than you think. Now for those that don't know what the AIP is all about in layman's terms you par back your diet to basic non reactive foods, stabilize your condition/s then re-introduce foods one at a time, if those foods cause no reaction they can usually be safely returned to the edible list. Basically the experts say our condition/s are caused by a leaky gut, by eating the right foods your gut can heal, and so can you, or least that's the spiel.
I was on the diet for 9 months.
Now if you measured the success of a diet on how well they put your Auto immune disease/diseases into remission then you'd say the AIP is a success. I've had Ankylosing Spondylitis for 31 years and i've had the symptoms for MS for around 20 years give or take, it took me 2 weeks to put my Ankylosing Spondylitis into remission and another 3 months to get my MS symptoms under control. But keep in mind you are only one bad food choice away from those diseases reactivating again. So control is a fleeting word. Now that's the good news. The bad news comes in a few forms, here are my pro's and con's
AIP diet pro's
It can put your immune disease/s into remission, this was a massive light bulb moment for me and proof that diet does work. Whether it keeps working long term i don't know. I was on it for 9 months.
If followed properly the AIP is actually a good way to figure out what foods work and what doesn't. It also a good education tool for learning about ingredient lists etc. That second last item on an ingredient list can be the difference between a reaction or not.
I never felt better in the gut, felt light, no bloating, gut felt great.
The feeling of hope knowing that you can control your disease is a massive thing.
AIP diet con's
Trying to stick to it. Lets face it in it's early days its restrictive, wow let's be honest its restrictive even after you start re-introducing foods. Add to that going out to dinner with friends, going out in general, basically you are planning ahead all the time because you know take away food isn't always going to match where you are at with the diet.
It's expensive, at least in Australia anyway.
The transition period where you are coming off your old diet and onto this one is brutal. If i had the chance i would have taken 3 months off work to make it easier.
The basic diet that gets your immune disease/s under control is very basic, boring and really hard to stick too. You find a way but it was tough.
I lacked energy the whole 9 months i was on the diet and that was one of the reasons i went off it and started the Overcoming MS diet. If anyone has any tips here i'm all ears.
For the most part i never felt good on the diet. Well i felt good early days because i had my immune disease/s under control so i was in that glowing stage but once that euphoria wears off you don't feel good if that makes sense. You feel drained and tired. Keep in mind i do physical work 6 days a week, you may feel different if your job is less physically demanding, but i have heard other people complain about feeling drained and tired. I tried extra safe starches and all the tips on the paleo sites but i just couldn't get the diet right for my energy needs. Any tips here most welcome.
It's a slow and steady wins the race type diet. To make sure i was doing it right i'd only introduce one new food every 3 to 4 days. This is time consuming and if you break the diet and get a reaction you need to let your body settle for a fews days before a food gets re-introduced again. Time consuming stuff and really almost a full time job. Sometimes the re-introduction of a new food might coincide with a stressful event in your life which then makes you unsure whether the food was to blame or whether the stress was the cause.
Breakfast was a pain. Ever tried eating a grass fed steak for breakfast......yeah.......nah......not for me.
Those that know better than me say red meat is bad for our health and should be consumed in moderation if at all, this isn't the case with this diet. You definitely eat more red meat on this diet than you would otherwise. Grass fed meat, game meat, never did organ meat because i just can't stomach it are all a part of this diet. I never got an immediate ms reaction to red meat, maybe it's a long term thing i don't know. Manufactured meat doesn't work for me, it causes an immune reaction.
Coconut only works for me in small doses. Its a food that's recommended on the AIP but for me it will cause a reaction if i have to much.
I made the mistake early on listening to the so called experts and started re-introducing foods that they said would be alright but i quickly found out they weren't. When i went back to doing the AIP one food at a time it worked much better.
I lost too much weight. I dropped 17kg in 2 weeks, i really didn't have much weight to lose in the first place if i'm being honest. I stabilized my weight as the diet went on but i never did put the weight back on, i looked skinny, i looked sick. People kept asking me if i was ok.
I will add more items if i remember them. Any questions feel free to ask i may not be qualified to answer them but i'll give it my best shot.
Why did i go off the diet when it put my two auto immune diseases into remission? Well for me it was the lack of energy and the inability to put on any weight. I lost strength, i didn't feel right. I'm trying the Overcoming ms diet at the moment. The Ankylosing Spondylitis will probably come back as starches are an issue with that disease but maybe i'll get away with whole grains, we'll soon see.