Specific Autoimmune Diseases

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Yes, I believe it can be helped by the AIP diet. Although, for people coming from a standard Western diet, I think it often makes sense to try a standard paleo diet first and see how far that gets you before tackling more restrictions.

Not sure what exactly you mean by the standard Western diet, but we are small scale farmers growing much of our own food with beyond organic methods. We are very food and health conscious, staying away from GMO’s altogether. We do, on occasion, drop our food standards when we go out to eat, etc. We started eating standard Paleo last weekend and switched to AIP 3 days later, once we got home. My wife has alopecia and our daughter has eczema. So, we are trying it as a family. But, it is hard cutting out everything at once for sure. One of the main things we farm are high quality eggs from chickens fed a certified organic, soy free diet. We really miss them, as well as the night shades! But, we want to get healthy and are wondering if jumping to the AIP is necessary? If it is, we are fine with that. We just don’t want to restrict our kids from things that they could be eating. Thanks so much!

Not sure if you saw the previous message or not. Please know that we are doing strict AIP right now with NO cheating. Just not sure if it is necessary or not. Is Lyme disease considered an autoimmune disease in the Paleo world? Pretty sure alopecia is. Thanks.

I have a few autoimmune diseases (alopecia areata, ulcerative colitis) and recently have experienced a few episodes of urticaria (hives) and angioedema. The episodes last 7-8 days even with prednisone and the symptoms are miserable to say the least. I have noticed that some of the episodes have occurred after eating significant amounts of bell peppers or jalepenos. I have eaten these all my life and never had a problem until now. I have been to an allergist and basically diagnosed with idiopathic acute urticaria/angioedema. Should I avoid these foods completely (which will be difficult as I am Mexican and many of the dishes I make include them)?

Yes, I think completely avoiding foods that cause you to have hives that last a week even with prednisone is a good idea. I would actually suggest avoiding the entire nightshade family for anyone with autoimmune disease.

Hi . I’m suffering from alopecia areata since 20 year s.after a long struggle new I have thought to try the paleo diet.. Can u pls tell me the diet specifically for alopecia..

Thank you SO much!
I found your site through my nutritionist, and it has been unbelievably helpful for me!

I have a very (very) rare autoimmune disorder called Autoimmune Progesterone Dermatitis/Anaphylaxis. I am basically allergic to my own (and any introduced) progesterone! It got so out of control that I began having reactions to my own estrogen as well – and then escalated to severe reactions to both that involved days of vomiting, severe stomach pain, hives, etc. Horrible. I dropped down to 84 pounds. I have some medications to manage it, but by FAR the biggest thing has been eating a (basically) AIP diet. Any time I cheat and have gluten or dairy, I get terrible menstrual cramps, spotting, hives, etc. Crazyness! Anyway, your recipes have been amaaaaaazing. I don’t feel deprived at all (which is good because I am crazy underweight!).
You rock!

I just came across your blog tonight because I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. I have been struggling with weight loss and my Dr’s , although I love them, can’t find anything wrong. I do take several supplements and want to go as all natural as possible, but not sure if I can ever go off my synthroid. My question to you is do you recommend supplements if on the strict AIP lifestyle? I take CoQ10, D3, Omega3-4 fish oil, L-Tyrosene, E, C, B12, Astaxanthin, probiotics, and green tea extract. Do you se anything missing in my list, or something that I should not be taking? I am going to start the AIP tomorrow and I can’t wait for the health results to start, as I have recently started having some gut issues.

The AIP is designed to be nutrient-dense so that you don’t need supplements in most cases (probiotics or fermented foods are still a good idea and digestive support supplements may be helpful for many people). I’m not familiar with all of your supplements, but green tea extract is an immune stimulator so that’s not one I would typically recommend. You may never be able to go off thyroid hormone replacement, depending on how damaged your thyroid is, but it’s worth getting levels checked more frequently while to adjust dose. Having weight issues is usually a sign that your thyroid hormone replacement dose/brand needs to be adjusted.

Synthroid contains gluten! You definitely can’t have gluten if you have Hashimoto’s. Also, you won’t lose weight, not likely anyway, without T3. I recommend you find a new doctor who is willing to run a full thyroid panel and who will prescribe a dessicated thyroid medication. I have had great success with Westhroid, as it only contains three ingredients: MCT, inulin fiber, and thyroid hormones.

I didn’t know synthriod contained gluten. Is it listed another name? I’ve taken synthriod for 25 years! I am also celiac.

That’s What I’ve found When I’ve researched Different Medications. I’ve Had To Different Doctors Also Confirm This.

Hello. My husband and I are both 25, and my husband has Crohn’s disease. He had an ileocecectomy in January, and as much as we wanted to avoid surgery, it has somewhat proven itself to be a good thing – my husband is in remission and feels almost 100%. We recently (as in 2 days ago) began a total gluten-free lifestyle, but through a friend, I started reading your blog about AIP. It’s all very overwhelming, and we also live in a small town with more fast food restaurants than health food establishments. We also have a not so big income…I’m just overwhelmed, but I know that we need to do this while we are young. I guess my question is how do we go about all of this??? I don’t have any autoimmune diseases (that I know of), but I do struggle with anxiety, and we want to have children soon.

I suggest tackling it in bits and pieces. Gluten-free is a great start. The next step is to think about the fats you’re eating. As you get more familiar with new foods, cooking, what you can source inexpensively, it all gets easier. You don’t have to buy all grass-fed meat and organic produce, if that’s not in your budget, so you just do the best you can. You might find some good ideas in this post: http://www.thepaleomom.com/2012/03/i-want-to-eat-paleo-but-i-dont-know.html

Thank you for responding. According to my Dr, my thyroid medicine and levels are right where they need to be. I keep it monitored though. What is the benefit of fermented foods?


They are 20 and a bit stubborn to say the least and will not go on the diet, I’ve managed to at least get them to not eat processed foods or drink soda. I think eventually they will see Mom is always right 😉

Hi – My Name is Toni. Just found your site. Have several autoimmune issues. CFS (my primary-diagnosed 1999 but started after the Shingles in 1992), then Fibro, RA (take Enbrel injections weekly), SS, Lupus, Gerds, 3 herniated disc in the neck & lower back w/sciatica, TMJ, tinnitus, Hypothyroidism, sleep issues-sleep apnea & alpha intrusion, Choscochronditis…you get the picture. I’ve been drinking Bullet Proof Coffee for several months and it has definitely helped w/my energy levels plus MCT Oil has helped greatly w/my chronic constipation. Been trying to not eat sugar, dairy (still have cottage cheese & eggs), grass fed meats, organic when available. Doing better but still not where I would like/need to be. What are your suggestions please? It is greatly appreciated!

Thank you so much for your quick response! I do wish your book was available now but christmas is around the corner :) Unfortunately, no longer able to work since 2006 but perhaps getting stricter I can realize a much better quality of life. Keep up your excellent work!

This is great information. I have Hashimotos, geographic tongue and a blood clotting disorder called Factor V Leiden. SO many things cause holes and cuts in my tongue when I eat them, it is hard to tell what they all are. I try to eat gluten free, but we eat out a lot and I am by no means a chef and do not cook much and do not like or make veggies The only thing I eat are plain salads which cause digestive distress and bloating. Most everything I eat causes GI issues, digestion issues. I cannot even tolerate supplements and have to take gummy vitamins since others cause GI distress. My thyroid meds are compounded with cocoa butter so I can dissolve them under my tongue even. I had issues with Synthroid, levoxyl and Armour, Naturethroid, etc. I am super smell sensitive and hearing sensitive and my daughter has started with the same issues and has become highly allergic to things causing severe breathing compromise and at 10 yo has already hit puberty. She also has the blood clotting disorder and had an intracranial hemorrhage at 2-1/2 yo. My son also has renal insufficiency. I am worried that our diet is slowly but surely compromising our health, but it seems overwhelming to change for myself let along my children as well, but I know we need to do something for the sake of our health and soon, just not sure where or how to begin…..

It’s fine to tackle this in babysteps… work on getting completely gluten free first, then grain free. Changing the fats you eat will make a huge difference, as will focusing on getting more super nutrient-dense foods in your diet (organ meat, seafood, vegetables). It’s always fastest if you can jump in with both feed, but that doesn’t work for everybody and it’s totally okay to take your time making one change at a time.

I think the biggest overwhelming part is we eat the typical American diet, but more recently have tried to eliminate fried and tried to cut back to less processed, but still eat that. We are still addicted to sugar and very, very picky about what we will eat or try….like veggies, anything green, meats, some fruits, anything different or does not smell good makes us cringe really…so this makes it even more challenging :( Not sure if there is hope for us!

Thank you for your guidance. We are going to try small steps. Your site is so helpful and informative and your recipes look amazing, so we will be trying them as well. Looking forward to your book coming out soon for guidance!Thank you!

Hello there. i have just ordered your new book for my dad.We’re looking forward to it. I think I have convinced my dad that addressing what he puts into his body will help. He has recently been diagnosed with PolyMyositis but he is not responding to Prednisone. So, they may be looking at IBM. Waiting for an MRI to look further into this. there has been a lot of waiting for answers, but food is something that my dad can control. Because Myositis is so rare I worry that he won;t get the best advice out there. On top of the Paleo diet would you recommend any supplements – magnesium? vitamin D ? thank you! Kate, UK

Magnesium can be tough to get in the food supply, so it’s a good supplement for most people to take (plus chronic stress depletes it). I recommend magnesium glycinate. I would only recommend vitamin D if your dad has his levels checked and is deficient.

Dear Kate, I have just been diagnosed with polymyositis too, I am a month into the AIP in an attempt to avoid prednisone, I just wondered how your dad was getting on and if you’ve seen any changes since altering his diet? Would be good to talk to someone who also has this condition, Vic

Have you seen results yet because of AIP?
I am following this diet for last four months. I am polymyositis patient. My CPK level has dropped down from 4000 to 1000. This is only change I am observing for now. Which I guess is also a lot. I am hoping to see result in my physical condition too… Please share your experience.

Dear Sachin, I’ve been following AIP for nearly 6 months now, my CKP has dropped from 5500 – 1500. I am still steroid free at the moment, my rheumatologist has agreed a wait and watch approach if I can get my levels to 1000. I really hope I can :) physically the changes have been slow but the aching has improved and so has my physical ability (distance I can walk, fatigue improved etc) I still have some ongoing digestive issues which I feel are holding my back, but I’m trying to work these out and hope things will improve further. I’d love to hear your story, or connect and share experiences – my email is vickidot

Definitely I will also definitely like to share and connect with you. Your email id is not complete so I could not sent you email. Please write me to sac_ssn at yahoo dot com. I am also starting a blog to share experience of my Polymyositis and Paleo AIP diet. Please join me and you can also share your experiences there. I will forward people to this great site which is helping us. Waiting for your reply or contact details.

Dear Sachin, thanks for your email contact, I’ve just emailed you so hopefully you should have that soon and we can catch up and share experiences of our AIP so far, best wishes Vic

I did reply to you on same day. My email might have gone in junk as it was yours in my mailbox. Please check junk if you did not find it in your inbox.

I ran into your website by randomly searching the web to learn more about AIP. I have been reading a lot about hashimoto disease having a positive effect with this lifestyle, my concern is I have Graves’ disease, also an autoimmune disease, and was wondering if you have any information if this lifestyle works for Graves’ disease?

Vic, Kate, I am a polymysitis patient for last 12 years. I recently came to know about SCD and Paleo diet. I am on SCD for 3 months and started reading about paleo. Can you be please in touch with me to share your results. Email: sac_ssn at yahoo dot com.


Is the Autoimmune Paleo diet recommended for people with alopecia areata or alopecia universalis. I’ve seen little information about treating this particular autoimmune condition through diet. Connections between alopecia and rheumatoid arthritis have been made–for example, a new drug approved for rheumatoid arthritis has been shown to reverse alopecia (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/278544.php). Do you have an idea about whether the diet could reverse alopecia? Could you recommend any practitioners who have treated alopecia specifically?

Thanks very much.

I, too, am searching for research that supports AIP diet helping Alopecia. It’s such a strict diet to commit to that I would like to hear positive feedback before committing. Have you come across anything? Thanks!

I have Alopecia Areata and Hashimoto’s. I have been following the AIP for 7 months, with the past 3 months being strict (when I was on vacation, I had to relax it because we ate out every meal). Just 2 weeks ago I noticed my hair is growing back! I’ve got baby fine hairs starting in places that have been bare for 2 years. I have the ophiasis pattern on the lower two-thirds of my head (almost no hair), and a rather thick patch of hair on top. Looks weird. The bare patches in the hair on top have filled in. I’ve got probably 85% coverage, although most is a bit sparse. I still have to wear a wig.
As for my Hashimoto’s, my TPO (thyroid peroxidase auto-antibodies) came down from 281 to 213, and I’ll get them checked again in about 2 months.
I’m still very much a work-in-progress, but I am FINALLY seeing results. I will never eat gluten again, probably never eat grains again, and I won’t reintroduce any foods until I’ve got a full head of hair. This autoimmune protocol is the only thing that has ever worked for my hair.
Sarah’s book is amazing, daunting, and full of reasons why this protocol works. Her recipes taste really good, too.

Hi Tracey,
I have Alopecia Areata and Hashimoto as well and doubting about starting AIP diet. Thanks for your encouraging message! Do you already have all of your hair back?

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