I have been following the Autoimmune Protocol to the best of my ability since January with the hope of curing an autoimmune disease called lichen planus. I have the occasional bite of something with egg and/or nuts in it (for the good of the blog!) and seem okay with small amounts of chocolate and seed-based spices as long as they aren’t nightshades. I have enjoyed slow, gradual improvement in my lichen planus lesions, most noticeable since the end of April. I have also noticed an increased tolerance to those occasional small doses of eggs or nuts and even to starchy vegetables in the last month, which has given me the hope that I will eventually be able to reintroduce these foods. While I have no doubt that I would heal faster if I had the ability/motivation to stick with the Autoimmune Protocol100%, I’ve been pretty happy with how things have been going.
And then I did something that I regret. I decided to challenge tomatoes. Two weeks ago, I made a supper that included half a can of crushed tomatoes in the whole pot. There were leftovers so we ate this meal two nights in a row (this means I ate maybe the equivalent of a single tomato). Two days later, my lichen planus flared. I developed new lesions for the first time since starting the Autoimmune Protocol. And they itch like crazy! Oh, and that increased tolerance to nuts and eggs has disappeared. Grr!
The only other time I have eaten tomatoes in 2012 was once in February, where I certainly noticed a reaction. But this seems even more exaggerated (probably because I had healed so much since then). Tomatoes contain a saponin called α-tomatine, which has strong adjuvant activity in the body (more on this in a future post). This means that it exaggerates an immune response (adjuvants are added to vaccines to get your body to form more antibodies against whatever you are being inoculated against). This is the reason that many with autoimmune diseases are able to reintroduce some nightshades into their diet, but not tomatoes . I am starting to suspect that tomatoes will be permanently excluded from my diet. Which is too bad, because they are pretty tasty.