autoimmune protocol

How It All Began

Happy New Year, Friends! In honor of the new year, I’m dipping into my time capsule and going back to the beginning of my AIP journey. If you’re new here, this whole journey started in 2015, when I was finally diagnosed with two autoimmune diseases, Celiac and Hashimoto’s, but the story starts much earlier than that. I started my original blog on the day I started the Paleo AIP (Autoimmune Protocol).

On June 23, 2015 I was finally diagnosed with Celiac’s disease and Hashimoto’s thyroid disease. Approximately 6 years prior to this, I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis (IC) and Endometriosis after having chronic UTI’s (urinary tract infections) for 5 years (I’m talking once a month here). I was placed on a low dose antibiotic for 18 months to help with the UTI’s. My urologist told me that my body was just in a cycle and it was used to getting the UTI’s that I needed to break the cycle by taking antibiotics every night for 1 year or more to break the cycle. Unfortunately, I had no idea how to properly take antibiotics or how they would effect the rest of my body’s already-depleted stores of healthy bacteria and energy.

A very quick synopsis of my medical history: From as far back as I can remember, I was never as energetic as the other kids. At age 10, after 3-4 trips per week to the nurse’s office, I was finally diagnosed with hypoglycemia. Whenever my blood sugar would crash, I would reach for some candy or drink something sweet in order to function at school for the day. I became known as the girl who always had a bag of candy in her backpack. As long as I had a sugar high, I felt okay.

Around age 15, I had a terrible bout of food poisoning that took me out of school for 2 weeks. I could not stand up straight because it felt like my intestines were being ripped in half. After that, the digestion problems started. By 16, I was already taking reflux medication (no one looked at my diet at this time even though I was 5’10”, 120 pounds, and ate a carton of ice cream every day). I was also suffering from stress fractures (I was a runner) and insomnia.  By age 18, the UTIs started as well as IBS, Depression, Panic Disorder, Vertigo and Acid Reflux.

Doctors repeatedly told me that I was totally fine. At 18 years old, I was on Anti-Depressants, Anti-Anxiety medication, high doses of Ibuprofen for the swelling that caused pain in my chest after my monthly (sometimes weekly panic attacks), and Zantac for the heartburn and to protect my stomach lining from the high doses of Ibuprofen. I refused any IBS medication. At 22 years old, I added the low dose antibiotic for the UTIs and Valium for my insomnia and vertigo. At 24, I finally sought out a naturopath who explained to me that after almost 5 years of being on antibiotics, I had completely destroyed the lining of my organs. The pain I was experiencing in my bladder was now constant and could not be relieved from antibiotics or pain killers. The doctors told me that I would now have to be on a pain management program and take medication for the urgency.

The naturopath helped me clear infections from parasites, change my diet, adjust my hormones, and heal the linings (I was still getting the UTIs, just less frequently). Within 4 months, I was feeling better than I had in my whole life and BOOM, I got pregnant with my first baby. I was sick while pregnant but nothing I couldn’t handle. The endometriosis pain was gone, I didn’t have bladder infections, and I could eat whatever I wanted. I nursed her till the day her sister was born exactly 2 years later. I nursed my second baby until January 2015, and by March 2015, I could barely stay upright more than 2 hours at a time. I couldn’t eat many foods without experiencing problems and the bladder infections returned, this time with no mercy and they were completely antibiotic resistant.

That was way more than I thought I had to share. Sorry for the long-winded recount. On June 23rd, 2015, I cleaned out my house and pantry. I got rid of all my food that could potentially cause me pain but my children still have bagels and bread (we have a “gluten zone” in my kitchen that I do not go near). I quickly felt the symptoms of detox, which have lasted thus far. I have only had 2 bladder infections since June but they faded quickly with use of supplements. I lost 35 lbs. I still have pain from the IC and endometriosis and I still have problems with my thyroid symptoms and malabsorption. I have been on a strict grain-free and dairy-free Paleo diet for 3 months. I cut out all nightshades and I am finally ready to embark on my Autoimmune Protocol journey.

I have been too tired and too sick for too long. I am ready to take the steps necessary to help myself. The biggest piece missing in my Paleo journey is the lifestyle component.

Hard to believe that was THREE YEARS AGO! That day, I made three promises to myself:

  • Make sleep a priority
  • Take 10-20 minutes a day for self-care
  • Make my bedroom a stress-free zone

What promises are you making to yourself in your health journey? I’d love to know! Stay tuned for part 2 of my journey back into time on my AIP journey.

PS So many of you have asked what products I recommend for the healing journey, so I decided to create a shop page! Check it out HERE.

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autoimmune protocol

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