It’s been just over a month since I’ve been diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. It’s also been just over a month that I’ve been following the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) to help my disease. This protocol isn’t forever – it’s only temporary and depending on each person can last anywhere from 30 days to 3 years. During this period you eliminate foods that cause inflammation and irritations to your gut: nightshades (tomatoes, eggplants, cocoa, coffee beans, all peppers, spices such as cumin, chili powder (anything derived from peppers)), nuts and seeds (including cocoa and coffee beans – GULP!), eggs, or alcohol. This is in addition of course to the paleo restrictions of no dairy, legumes, grains. To begin with I did have the overwhelming feeling of: Well, what CAN I eat?! The answer is actually really simple.. I can eat everything except the above listed foods. I’m talking lots of vegetables and good quality meats. In the beginning it was pretty difficult, I won’t lie. However after only about two weeks everything started to fall into place and became “business as usual.”
After the first week or so I was still experiencing a fair bit of abdominal cramping, but no where near as much. By week 3 I was feeling much better – no cramping at all! What was even better – no bleeding. No bleeding at all. For the past year of my life every time I went to the bathroom I experienced blood (and usually a fair bit of it) – but no longer. The bleeding is very rare and I’m very hopeful that sooner rather than later it will be completely gone – and same with the abdominal cramping.
It hasn’t been easy staying away from coffee or chocolate. You may find it surprising that I miss eggs and nuts more than coffee and chocolate though. Eggs were a staple to me – I had them EVERY day for breakfast — and hey, perhaps that’s why I was feeling SO bad. Same with nuts. I’ve actually thought back on the months leading up to finally getting diagnosed (the worst 3 months I experienced) and the foods I ate actually make me laugh. Eggs, nuts, lots of raw vegetables especially tomatoes and red peppers – basically all of the foods that cause inflammation.. I was eating in abundance. I’m not saying these aren’t healthy foods – they are – it’s the simple fact that I (for now at least) can’t tolerate them.
At times I do still feel disheartened, discouraged, and sometimes just plain sad. However, I have some friends and family (and one amazing boyfriend) who support me and show me love. If you’ve been diagnosed with an IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), an IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), an autoimmune disease, I strongly recommend you trying the Autoimmune Protocol for a minimum of 30 days.