An Attempt to Heal Through Food
Autoimmune Paleo Protocol - The AIP Diet
Interstitial Cystitis -an autoimmune xxperience, I flare, pelvic floor tension, low back and hip pain - all engulf my body much more frequently than I’d like. Some days I am able to manage symptoms, but at other times they are terribly unbearable. Sensations to the effect of what can only be described as, “torturous elves trying to escape my urethra by using tiny, sharp knives; or the need to make my bathroom my new throne from where I shall conduct all manners of business. There’s awkward and uncomfortable swelling, throbbing, sharp stepping, aching hell when I flair. The most recent being a 5 week episode including all of the aforementioned fun, along with a terrible cough and cold I contracted, only making things even more unbearable and tense.
For the past year, I’ve been focused on a low oxalate, low acid, IC friendly diet including gluten free and sugar minimal foods. I try not to eat processed foods, I almost never eat out, and I do my best to make everything and anything that touches my lips, because my body’s on high alert ALL THE TIME. I believe that it believes most things are the enemy. However much fun this has been, I’m still experiencing symptoms at even a tiny sleep. I must be vigilant.
There’s times when it’s an unbearable itchy rash around my midsection, other times it’s pelvic specific pain, spasms and very real discomfort. Sometimes I worry I’m also suffering from IBS, on occasion though, I feel like my old self. In some moments it’s whole body tension and others I actually can say I’m okay. Some days I feel like I am on the verge of dying, it’s excruciating and a week later I can feel like taking on the world. It’s been inconsistent and I know my emotional state, my mental state, my physical state are all linked and require systematic healing to get to where I want to be.
In working off and on with a functional nutritionist from Zen Functional Wellness, I’ve asked that we try something new with food to help heal my gut with minimal supplementation. She is recommending a 6 week Autoimmune Paleo diet with the intention to start healing my gut, remove possible irritants and reduce symptoms of my IC, hopefully eradicating them completely, but I know healing takes time and patience.
The idea behind this plan is to reduce inflammation and allow a gut that’s distended, inflamed, permeable to heal naturally with foods. Supplementation and testing can be
expensive. With this regiment, the idea is it will remove inflammatory causing foods so the body can naturally heal itself with all organic sustenance.
It’s difficult not to want to throw a fit. It’s frustrating to have things further altered and reduced. When I first started learning about oxalates in trying to switch to a low oxalate diet I had similar feelings, more meltdowns and a ton of resentment build regarding food and health. As of now I’m desperate, exhausted and ready to find true healing. I’m willing to put forth any effort to find balance for my body. After years of ignoring it I still feel guilty for its present state. However, with the idea that life gives us what we need, not necessarily what we want, I know that my body is asking this of me. The universe has given me a challenge, to pursue truth in health and healing. I will never know what works or doesn’t if I remain obstinate and stuck in my ways. This self experiment is scary but what fun is life if you’re not up against obstacles you’re desperate to overcome? If you don’t push yourself you never grow. I’d rather suffer along the way while seeking solutions than roll over, accept my lot and wallow.
It’ll take me a couple of weeks to cut out what I need to follow the AIP protocol. I’ll be limited further by the foods that aren’t IC friendly and those high in oxalates, but I’m optimistic as always that this is another step towards real healing.
My grocery list for the next six weeks includes:
Meats - All natural, grass fed, no additives
Fruit - Avocado, bananas, pears, and apples
Veggies - Artichoke, celery, kale, broccoli, carrots, rutabaga, and sweet potatoes
Flours - none - I'll take out even alternatives as I believe I'm still reacting.
Healthy Fats - olive oil, avocado oil
What I’ll be removing includes: nightshades - (cayenne specifically), all grain alternatives, any diary alternatives, eggs, rice, honey, flax seed and sunflower seed.
My home routine will fill up with making my own foods further until it becomes habit. As I believe I react to anything prepackaged I'll limit those foods as much as possible.
Bone broths and juicing will be staples for me to continue to receive nutrients.
Fermented foods like making my own Kombocha (see post here: https://webadapples.com/2018/05/22/what-is-kombucha/ ), or water kefirs by trusted brands I’ll continue like Kevita. I might try sauerkraut, kimchi, and raw pickles. I might try Raw apple cider vinegar (I was doing this for a while and stopped after my last flare.)
I’ll start my mornings with Raw Lemon Juice, using half a lemon.
I will also take a break from supplements for awhile during implementation of this diet, then I'll be working through a supplementation protocol with Crystal from Zen Functional Wellness to restore gut balance. The goal is to work slowly and have to protocol complete within one year. I may be adding Desert Harvest Aloe Vera, but only if I flare.
I’m trying to drink 100 oz of water in a day, filtered by Aquasana filters which is a lot for a 135 pound female, but I do have an active job.
It’ll be an experiment to see how I feel. I’m working on my mental health along the way to ensure that I can change the negative self talk trying to convince me I’m of little worth, to conviction in my basic human worth. I will continue to pursue a career path that makes me happy as a Rossiter Coach, because helping other people reduce their pain in a natural way is the rawest truth I’ve found.
If this finds you when you're on your own healing journey, I encourage you to try whatever your intuition is telling you; listen to your gut and good luck!