Man oh man. This is step one for me- the first day of attempting to control my hidradenitis suppurativa with diet. I’m going to try the paleo autoimmune protocol, and handsome hubby has suggested that I blog about what happens on this journey. I’m going to follow his advice, but I’m writing this more as a record for me, not for anyone else. If someone else reads it, great. If someone else is helped by it, even better. But this is mainly for me.
BUT- just in case there is someone reading this, a bit of background about me:
I was diagnosed with hidradenitis suppurativa in 1999, when I was 19. If you’re not sure what HS is, you can go here for the Wiki article- it’s pretty good, actually. It’s an autoimmune disease, and those bad boys tend to run rampant in my family. I’ve been kicking around at a stage two (of three possible stages) since I was diagnosed. Stage two covers quite a bit of territory- obviously, I’m doing worse now than I was fifteen years ago when I was diagnosed, but I’m still stage two. I’m edging my way towards stage three, and that terrifies me. My disease is progressing. I’m overweight, I have constant headaches, wrist and hand problems have been diagnosed as carpal tunnel, and my HS is a hot mess. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long, but I’m ready to try to control the progression of my disease with diet (and, obviously, those other things, too).
Insert the paleo autoimmune protocol here. This is a very restrictive diet that’s an elimination diet- that is, I cut a whole bunch of really-tasty-but-known-for-irritating-autoimmune-diseases foods out of my diet and hope this kickstarts remission. I’ve been in remission before- I was living in New England (a much cooler climate than here in Houston) and was taking a birth control pill to help calm the breakouts. I can’t take the BC pills anymore because of my blood pressure, and Houston is a sauna (and everyone who deals with HS knows that sweat ain’t nobody’s friend). Remission is glorious. Remission is paradise. Remission is so far away from me right now that I’m feeling discouraged, and I’m only on day one. So the theory goes that if I follow a diet that’s known for helping relieve symptoms of autoimmune diseases, my HS will go into remission.
There’s a problem. This diet is severe. I’m talking no dairy. No grains. No nuts. No seeds. No nightshades (any kind of pepper, potatoes, tomatoes, and most spices). NO EGGS. No alcohol. No NSAID painkillers (think Advil and Excedrin). How will I survive without ketchup? I dunno, but you, possible dear reader, are along for the ride. For a full list of everything tasty that I can no longer eat, go here.
So here we go. I start today at stage 2.8. I’ve had a headache since Wednesday (today is Sunday). I’m tired all the time.
I had three pieces of bacon, two handfuls of spinach, and a chopped Granny Smith apple cooked in coconut oil for breakfast. It was tasty, albeit a bit oily. I also had a cup of bone broth instead of my normal tea (what good is tea without sweeteners? GAH!). Here, here’s a nice photo of breakfast:
(Maybe it’s not so nice. It’s a little blurry because I took the pic to text to my dad- he’s got autoimmune diseases, too. We all support one another.) Breakfast was filling. It wasn’t what I was craving. Also, bone broth has gotta be an acquired taste. Blech. It’s bland and boring, and it’s a bit disconcerting to be drinking it out of a coffee mug.
So there you have it. This is the beginning of my journey. I’ll post when I can. I’m trying to heal my body with food, because I’ve clearly ravaged it with food until this point. Got some tips or encouragement? Comments, y’all!