Autoimmune diseases are caused by the body attacking itself. This can lead to various symptoms, like fatigue, joint pain, skin rashes, or itchy eyes.
Fortunately, there is a protocol that can help manage, and sometimes, even prevent this. In this article, I will share all you have to know about the AIP protocol: What is it? How does it work? What are the benefits? And what foods are allowed while on the AIP protocol?
But, more importantly, I’m going to teach you how the AIP diet and lifestyle can help people who suffer from autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and more.
What’s more, you’ll be able to identify your autoimmune triggers using this diet and lifestyle to help calm the immune system and help your system heal. So, if you want to learn more about the AIP protocol for autoimmune diseases, keep reading.
What is the AIP Protocol?
The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP for short) is a diet that can help manage autoimmune disorders. This diet is meant to be a way for your body to heal and reduce inflammation, which is the main cause of autoimmune disorders’ symptoms.
The AIP is very similar to the paleo diet, but it cuts out some foods commonly linked to autoimmune disorders. This includes veggies like nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant), animal proteins such as eggs and milk, allergy-causing foods like nuts and seeds, legumes like beans, gluten, grains like corn, and dairy products.
Although it sounds very restrictive, I can assure you there are plenty of AIP-friendly recipes out there. The diet is so great for people with all types of psoriasis, including plaque psoriasis, guttate psoriasis, inverse psoriasis; or eczema, and even atopic dermatitis. That means you suffer from it. You may not even think twice before going on the AIP diet.
Who is the AIP Protocol for?
The AIP Protocol is for people with inflammatory conditions, autoimmune diseases, and chronic pain. If you’re suffering from any of these ailments, the AIP diet may be able to help you. People who try the AIP protocol have reported a wide variety of improvements, including reduced inflammation in joints, reduced pain, better mood, mental clarity, better sleep, and even remission of symptoms.
And while the AIP protocol is not a cure-all, it does seem to address many of the underlying causes of these conditions. That explains why the AIP protocol is so popular among those dealing with chronic illnesses such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or celiac disease. It can reduce symptoms related to these conditions by eliminating foods that are known triggers for autoimmune responses, like gluten or casein.
How does the AIP Protocol help Autoimmune diseases?
The AIP Protocol is a diet that helps to reduce inflammation and autoimmune antibodies. This means that when you follow this particular diet, you can easily manage symptoms and reduce inflammation, which is one of the main culprits behind many of the symptoms that people who have an autoimmune disease experience.
Similarly, the AIP protocol has been shown in clinical studies to reduce the number of inflammatory cells in the body during the first month following it, making it an effective treatment for autoimmune diseases.
How to use the AIP Protocol as a guide
The AIP protocol is not a typical diet but rather a guide. It’s designed to help you discover what foods work for your body and which ones don’t. Therefore, the AIP protocol has been successfully used in clinical settings. Also, commonly called “the elimination diet,” the AIP protocol is not meant to be followed indefinitely.
It’s designed to help you learn which foods are causing inflammation in your body, and once you have identified them, you can slowly reintroduce them one at a time to see how they affect you.
The AIP Protocol can be used as an effective tool for healing your gut and reversing symptoms associated with autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, Celiac Disease, and Gluten Sensitivity, as well as – of course– all forms of psoriasis and eczema.
The AIP diet consists of three phases:
AIP is broken up into three phases: elimination, reintroduction, and maintenance. Let’s see them one by one!
- Phase 1: The elimination phase focuses on nutrient-dense foods to help your body heal, as well as removing foods known to be potential triggers. This first phase usually lasts about 21-30 days, and the whole idea behind it is to remove inflammatory foods from your diet. A few examples are nightshades, nuts, seeds, diary, and gluten.
- Phase 2: The Reintroduction phase is when you slowly add back some items from phase 1 until you are eating all approved foods again. However, the reintroduction phase occurs once your symptoms have been eliminated or substantially calmed down. This is your opportunity to try foods one at a time, very methodically, and see if they can be reintroduced or if it triggers any of your symptoms.
During this phase, you need to gather as much relevant information about yourself as possible because there are four stages to reintroductions to help you ease into this process and have the best success. Here you will be able to figure out which foods your body tolerates best, and which foods are causing you the most trouble.
- Phase 3: The maintenance phase occurs after reintroducing all allowed foods into your diet. As you’d guess, maintenance is the best part, as you now know what works best for your body, have accomplished healing, and have figured out the diet and lifestyle that works for your best health. And if you found that certain foods may not be as optimal for you, but you can still tolerate them, they mustn’t become an everyday occurrence since they could cause issues if overconsumed! So, I recommend keeping these items as treats rather than staples.
What foods do you eat and avoid during the AIP protocol?
If you’re new to AIP, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out what foods you can and cannot eat. To make things as easy as possible, here is a list of foods that are high in histamines, sugars, and carbs:
- Histamine-rich foods: Alcohol (especially red wine), aged cheeses, fermented foods such as kimchi, and kombucha.
- High-sugar foods: Dried fruit, honey, maple syrup, molasses, agave nectar, and of course, candy.
- Carbohydrates: Corn starch or wheat flour products such as bread or tortillas etc., dried beans and legumes including soybeans and soy-based products.
But don’t worry. I have an entire free guide at the end of this blog post that provides you with a complete list of foods you can’t and can eat, recipes, and everything you need to know when starting your AIP protocol journey!
And if you are still experiencing severe symptoms when following the AIP diet, then it may be best to speak to your doctor.
The AIP protocol can help you discover the root causes behind your autoimmune disease
The AIP protocol is a great way to find out what foods aggravate your body and which ones support it. It helps you determine which foods are best for you, especially at the beginning of your journey.
However, AIP is not just about ditching all food groups but also learning how specific foods affect you individually—a process that can take time depending on your condition or symptoms and how long they have been affecting your life…
AIP is a great addition to your wellness journey, but it can be a bit daunting at the beginning.
If you are considering the AIP protocol to help you overcome autoimmune disease, then it’s important to learn more about how it’s done; that’s why I’ve created a FREE e-book titled “How to Live an Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle to Reduce Pain and Inflammation” to help get you started.
Click here to get my free E-Book: How to Live an Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle to Reduce Pain and Inflammation and let the healing begin!
The Bottom Line
As you can see, the Autoimmune Protocol is a great way to discover what your body needs and wants and provide some stress relief. It’s also a great way to improve your health, especially if you have psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, or any other autoimmune disease.
In the end, it’s all about listening to your body and learning how to communicate with it to feel good.
And finally, if you still need some help in managing your psoriasis symptoms, you can always reach out to me, and I’ll help you find the right treatment.
In the meantime, I hope this article has been helpful! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out. I’m always one click away!