Paleo and Autoimmune: What Works for You is What Matters

*Note from Sarah: Here’s another post from Lisa who has been sharing her paleo journey with us.  You can read her previous posts here and here.  

Paleo and Autoimmune

What Works for you is what matters

I have been trying to figure out Paleo for a while now, figuring out what works for me and my health. Over the past few weeks this journey has been anything but smooth. I am not a one day wonder or two week success story and will not pretend to be. I will write this journey as it goes, the good, the bad, the truthful and ugly side of it all.

One of the things that drew me to Paleo was that there were no gimmicks, set rules or unrealistic promises, no counting points, or pre-boxed meals, just clean healthy foods to be eaten however YOU choose. Right from the beginning it just all made sense. For the first time ever, I wanted this food journey to work for a life time, not to just look good for an event or because summer was quickly approaching.

However; for some of us even starting the Paleo diet with the best intentions is not so cut and dry and it can throw us off. In an earlier post I touched on how emotional eating can derail us, today it is about autoimmune issues.  If you are like me and start out a little behind the eight ball, Paleo can be a little less straight forward.

I have been blessed with (2) autoimmune issues (I don’t like the word disease, it sounds so final).  I have what I like to think of as a beautiful dancing butterfly in my thyroid called Hashimotos and a little thing called celiac, that reminds me to stay on the straight and narrow every day.

Believe me, I am in no way trying to minimize either of these issues by giving them pretty visuals or calling them “little things” I have been deathly ill from both, suffered years of not knowing what was wrong, been from Dr to Dr and had every blood test possible until I finally got my answers, and I also have 2 children with celiac, so I know firsthand the struggles, but I do try to look at them and find some sort of peace and joy in living with them.

On my goods days, when I feel strong and well, I feel bless to have both. They say something good always comes from something bad. One I inherited from my father who has passed on, so every time it flairs, I find a little smile on my face somewhere beneath my abdominal pains, cause I know he is looking down on me holding my hand and gets it. I also found Sarah, the Paleo world, the wonderful community on Everyday Paleo, EPLifefit and the deep inner strength that autoimmune issues gives you to never give up, even on those day you really want to.

So in this situation one would think Paleo would be perfect, no grains, no gluten, no intestinal pain, no thyroid inflammation, right?….wrong! sometimes we can do everything we think is right and still innocently slip up or put trust in the wrong hands. I had not been feeling very well as of late, I knew the signs (swollen thyroid, IBS, fatigue so bad I could barely walk, nausea morning noon and night, loss of appetite, bloating, the list goes on). But could not figure out where they were coming from, and why after hearing all these great success stories on paleo was I still  not becoming one of them. I was eating clean whole foods, following the Paleo rules but actually feeling worse than before. What was going on??

Don’t get me wrong I was not an A+ student in the healthy eating department before Paleo, just a gluten free, vegan version of bad. Gobbling up lots of carbs and gluten free processed foods, hey there are really good vegan, gluten free cookies, cakes and muffins etc. out there and I found them all!!. But I had taught myself how to keep the lion in me tamed this way and it was working, it was keeping my autoimmune symptoms away, I still felt like crap, just in a different way.

Situation one which I had not dealt with while being vegan, where eggs and meats (there seems to be some controversy over this comment but here it goes) It seems that depending on your level of sensitivity to gluten, eating meat and eggs that have been grain feed as opposed to grass feed can set you off. For me this seems to be true. I was eating what Paleo told me, but was feeling my autoimmune symptoms come on worse than before; how could this be? I had eliminated all grains and was definitely not eating gluten; or was I? It seems for me the grains in the meats and eggs were enough to irritate my symptoms!  As soon as I switched to grass feed meat and took out the eggs, things seemed to improve for me.

Second setback came from a restaurant chain that has a gluten free menu, (again not something I dealt with being Vegan, I usually would have ordered salad with oil and vinegar on the side) this time I ordered a nice gluten free paleo dinner and within a few hours was so violently ill I could not move for days.  Mistake number two …cross contamination!! It may have been a gluten free menu, but certainly was not a gluten free meal… :)

So does Paleo still make sense, Yes.  Is this journey still amazing, yes, even with its ups and down. But in my opinion it is only amazing once you make it your journey and have figure out what is best for you and your situations. And there we are, back to the reason I loved the Paleo Plan in the first place, it is NOT a one size first all…..

Until next time, much peace and health

Lisa

Comments

  1. says

    Thank you for this!! Both my girls (ages 6 & 5) have celiac and my youngest has a yet-to-be-determined autoimmune disease that we are actually seeing a doctor in Boston for this weekend. My oldest thrives on a paleo diet, as do my husband and I (neither of which has any autoimmune disease). My youngest is pretty sick with this other thing (we know we have her celiac under control), and unfortunately the only way I can keep weight on her is by giving her whatever calories I can (gluten free of course). I have friends who have autoimmune disease in various forms as well and only feel well when following paleo. There is clearly something to it!!
    Thank you for your blog, I enjoy it immensely!

    • Lisa says

      Michelle thank you too for sharing. I will be thinking of you this weekend hoping you get some answers. Have you had her thyroid antibodies ck? A common connection to celaic is Hashimoto and it is often missed due to inproper testing.

  2. Linda marcy says

    I have the same immune issues( luv it). This makes such good sense! The cleaner I eat the more sensitive I have become. I recently went through a battery of tests..because my insides felt bad..sometimes hurt. I assumed something dire; liver disease, gall bladder or stones, cancer etc Thank goodness nothing was found. So I decided got to work hard on my food, clean it up even more. Like you wrote it is working. Thank you for this sharing makes me feel allot less lonely out in the wilderness of vague health issues.

    • Lisa says

      Never feel alone, we are here. That was one of the reasons I wanted to get this subject out there, and I really barely touched on it…lol I could talk about it forever. Autoimmune issues seem to be brushed under the rug. I think people are embaressed to talk about them, because we feel the pain and discomfort internally, but no one can see them. So we just look crazy!!! lol

    • says

      I feel your pain (literally) in the realm of vague health issues! I get all sorts of random pains and symptoms when my eating is not clean and balanced. Autoimmune issues seem to run in my family, so I am at high risk. I’ve had many tests done but no definitive conclusions yet, and it’s frustrating to not know the answer. The good news is that I *know* that I feel better when I eat this way, so I will stick with what works. I am glad that there are others out there in the same boat.

  3. Dana Post says

    Hi Lisa,
    I am thoroughly enjoying reading your articles. You are so real and have such a loving, genuine voice, so thank you for taking the time to share with “the world.” I’m a mom, with no autoimmune issues, and with healthy kids, yet your chronicles here still contain great reminders that help my family, so again… Thanks! You are appreciated

    • Lisa says

      Dana what kind words, thank you. Please know your words and posts of encouragement help me too, infact this one brought tears to my eyes. Wishing you much joy and happiness.

  4. Kristi says

    Hey Lisa,
    Thanks for sharing with us. Doesn’t autoimmune just suck!! I have Hasimoto’s, Sjogrens and Lupus, what a wonderful combination to deal with on a daily basis. My medicine cabinet makes me look 80 and I am only 31. I, like you have my good days and bad days. Our good days are probably most peoples bad days, and our bad days are so unbelievably crappy! There are days my hands are so stiff I can barely grab the tabs on my kids diaper. But life goes on and as moms we do what we have to do just to make it to the end of the day. Paleo eating has benefited me a lot but it definitely takes some tweaking. Keep up the good work!

    • Lisa says

      Kristi, Thank you so much for sharing your story. There are so many of us out there, we need to get our stories out…
      You are hit pretty hard with your three. Hang in there and know I am always here to listen and help in any way I can.

  5. Katherine says

    Hi, thanks for sharing this. I have some similar issues (celiac, and either there is something else possibly autoimmune, or maybe celiac despite me thinking I’m gluten free).

    I recently discovered the 90% cocoa choc I was having a bit of every day is cc with barley malt, and taking that out has helped. But I do wonder about this meat issue. We’ve recently had to switch to regular meat due to budgetary considerations, we just can’t afford to feed our family of 6 on grass fed meat unfortunately. And I have noticed a worsening of my symptoms at this time. I think Glutenology say something similar as well.

    Did you take eggs out at the same time as switching the meat? Because eggs can trigger autoimmune problems and the paleo autoimmune protocol says no eggs. Are you sure the meat was an issue as well? Maybe I am clutching at straws lol. Taking out eggs didn’t help me when I tried it though.

    I’ve been at this for 18mo now and am getting increasingly frustrated. Emotional eating issues as well, and not feeling well even when I eat strict paleo doesn’t help with the motivation on that front!

    • Lisa says

      Hi Katherine, I am so glad you posted. Eggs, yes I took them out first for about a week, saw some improvement in my thryoid inflamation but not enough. So did more reaserch on the grass fed meat and gave it a try. It seemed to make a difference. I completely understand the expense factor though it did up my grocery bill for sure. On still not feeling well, my thoughts would be that you are being glutened in other areas (I know I was) that are probably bothering your celiac more than the grain fed beef. Try pulling out (don’t kick me) all gluten free processed foods…I know, I know it is hard. I still struggle with this every day. I wrote a past blog about emotional eatting, if you have not had a chance, give it a read, something in it might help. Also if you are not already doing so, try to eat single ingredience foods. I know this is hard and it sucks, but unfortunitly we have to be cleaner and stronger than the other guys, because we already have something against us. You also mentioned thougths of another immune issue. Hashimotos is very common with celiac. Have you been tested? if not ask your Dr to test your thyroid antibodies, if you need the exact tests name let me know.

      • Katherine says

        Hi,

        I don’t eat processed foods, I have been following the Primal Blueprint for the last 18 months. Well I think I have had a couple of jars of gluten free, veg oil free pasta sauce in that time lol. Not that I have adhered to it perfectly all that time, but I would disregard any time I have eaten sugar since that gives me symptoms as well, it is when I am adhering to it (which is periods of 2 weeks to 6 months, that I am taking my observations from).

        I eat meat, fish, seafood, veg, blueberries, animal fats and olive oil, butter, macadamia nuts and sometimes cheese and cream and maybe a little milk in tea. Plus a couple of glasses of dry wine a week (and the dark choc which I have now stopped).

        If I am getting glutened I would suspect cc from my own house unfortunately, and I’m not sure what I can do about that. But of course it would be good news if I don’t have another autoimmune issue. I have been tested for TPO, had to pay privately for that one, it came back normal, along with ESR, CRP, ANA, full blood count and so on.

        • Lisa says

          Katherine, What symptoms are you getting that is making you think you are being glutened? You also mentioned something that caught my eye.You mentioned nuts, they can be a huge problem for celiacs, they are very hard to digest. I know I have to stay away from them, and I loooooove them.

          • Katherine says

            Joint pain, fatigue, heartburn etc, big long list. It may not be gluten, I am also being investigated for various autoimmune diseases etc, but I thought it worth considering that gluten could be the issue since the symptoms are the same.

            Taking nuts out doesn’t help either.

          • Lisa says

            Uggh, I am sorry I cant be of more help, It must be so frustrating for you. I hope you find some answers. Please keep me posted.

          • Katherine says

            Hi,
            Just wanted to update as I saw a musculoskeletal doctor yesterday and after 16 yrs (well a lifetime actually now I know all my quirks and problems from babyhood were down to the same thing) I finally have a diagnosis- joint hypermobility syndrome. I’ll post a link in case it is helpful to anyone else who passes through http://www.cfids.org/pdf/joint-hypermobility-guide.pdf.

            Explains why paleo and autoimmune paleo haven’t been a miracle cure for me- I don’t have an autoimmune disease lol. I will still be sticking with the gluten free as it definately helps, and I will be getting physio and making some lifestyle adjustments and hopefully things will get better, though I have to admit that I am disappointed that it is something that diet can’t really help with!

        • valerie says

          Katherine.. I just wanted to say that I have been doing Paleo for about 6 months. I have adrenal issues but no diagnosed auto immune. Have you researched leaky gut? If you have gut damage proteins can get in there as toxins and make you ill. I say this because the Primal Blueprint book says that cream in little doses is ok. Casein has much of the same protein make-up as gluten and will hurt your stomach. If you have leaky-gut it will cross the blood brain barrier in your body and exacerbate auto immune issues. I found that when I really cleaned up my diet eating Paleo, if I had just a little dairy, I would get nauseated.. I’m wondering if this is true for you as well. I know it’s hard to hear that you need to stop eating one more thing! I’ve been through it. Both my kids need to eat gluten free / casein free due to celiac and autism and I’m strictly Paleo.. I think trying to go dairy free for about six weeks on top of what you’re already doing would give you a good indication if it’s a problem for you. I’m not a doctor but I had to do tons of research a decade ago when my daughter was deathly ill and no doctors could help me back when they were of the mind frame that gluten “wasn’t a problem”. I just know what’s worked for our family. God Bless!

          • Katherine says

            Thanks, hi yes I have done lots for gut healing including L-glutamine, probiotics, ferments, SCD intro etc. Hopefully it did me some good even though it turns out my main issue is something else.

            I am better off without dairy, although it doesn’t affect the joint pain. But it’s soooo yummy lol.

  6. says

    For several years I had chronic inflammation of both the outer (hives) and inner (angioedema) layers of skin. I also experienced occasional deep tissue inflammation in my GI tract and esophogas. I have no known food allergies. Before going paleo, the only connection I had was that NSAIDs made the symptoms worse. But since I could still get symptoms without taking NSAIDs, I knew they were not the cause. I still don’t know what the cause was/is. I’d say going paleo has reduced my outbreaks 95%, as well as a host of other problems that I had no idea were related to diet. But sometimes I’ll get hives/swelling for a few days out of the blue when I’m supposedly doing everything right. Sometimes I can trace my steps back and find something that might have been suspicious, but even when I do, I can recount many times where I ate the same thing and didn’t have an outbreak. I’m sticking with the paleo, becuase life is better on than off, and I’ve never had better BMI than I do now, but I agree that there are no majic bullets — just good common sense practices.

    • Lindsay says

      I was having almost this same experience with the hives and swelling, plus my hands would get really itchy, and it seemed to worsen with intense exercise. I thought it was from Advil, but I would still get it without having any NSAIDS. This is actually what led me to paleo. I finally was able to trace it to yellow dye, by happenstance…it’s the only thing the brand of pickles I ate from time to time and lemon-lime gatorade (used to use it to fuel my running and recover from a hangover…you know, along with Advil) had in common. Not sure if Advil has yellow dye in it, or if was just the gatorade…I haven’t risked trying it. I’ve managed to avoid having the hives and swelling for close to a year now by avoiding yellow dye. It’s pretty consistent, the couple times I’ve started with the itchy hands, I realize I’d eaten something with yellow dye at a restaurant without thinking…pickle, those italian pickled peppers.

      • Lisa says

        Hang in there. Food dye can cause a lot of troubles…I know it is not always easy, but try to eat as clean as you can, that will eliminate a lot of the food dye.

    • Lisa says

      Hi Jason, Just a thought. If you are still eatting eggs or dairy these two foods are known to cause hive like reactions and eczema type spots in some people.

    • Lisa says

      Hi Jason, Sorry first reply I sent you went in the wrong box…Just a thought. If you are still eatting eggs or dairy these two foods are known to cause hive like reactions and eczema type spots in some people.

  7. rachel says

    my mom has autoimmune issues and gets really sick if she doesn’t eat vegetarian fed eggs that are also organic….so, there could be something there–although i’m sure those chickens are eating grains! good luck, can’t be easy!

  8. virginia says

    Hi Lisa,
    I’ve the same issues as you too,and started my paleo journey 3 wks ago, previously been GF for a year following the autoimmune protocol and noticed coconut products do not agree with me! I’m repairing my leaky gut at this moment and my doctor is helping me balance my immune system since he’s concerned about my immune system attacking the left side of my brain :S
    Over all I feel better and trying to stick with grass fed meats I started doing module 1 and hoping I can progress to lift some decent weights like I did when I was younger,it’s hard to picture that since “we” autoimmune people have a hard time with joint and muscle pain, but def. will try my best.

    • Lisa says

      Totally Virginia, trying is all we can do. It is said, failure is not in failing itself, failure is only if you never try.
      Funny coconut can bother me too. I seem to be ok with the fresh young coconut water, but thats it. I agree that once we heal our leaky guts via Paleo, we will find less foods bother us. But it is going to have to be one clean eatting road to get us there….Ugggh :)

  9. says

    I love this post. I have been eating gluten/dairy free for eight years and paleo for over a year. Still, RA is a part of my life. (luckily, not as strong as it has been in the past.) Food definitely plays a huge part, but so do so many other things.

    I like your message that this is not a one size fits all diet/lifestyle. I have often read success stories of paleo eaters with autoimmune and felt like a failure. However, I have started looking at my RA as a relationship. With relationships you often have to change things up a bit to make them successful. I like that this community is constantly researching and sharing their ideas so I can incorporate them into my relationship with RA.

    • Lisa says

      Hi Cathy, as quoted by you…”I have often read success stories of paleo eaters with autoimmune and felt like a failure”. That was one of the reasons I felt this blog was important to share. Funny, I hesitated about having Sarah post it for that exact reason, it was not a quick success story, but the struggles try to be one. But then I thought, I cant be the only one. I also like your comment about it is a relationship. So true it is part of us. We can silence it for sure, but it can chosse when to rear its ugly little head…

      • Katherine says

        I agree and am very glad you decided to share it. It’s hard reading endless “I went paleo and never looked back” stories and it is easy to get discouraged if that’s all we hear.

  10. Ambo says

    I have both of these autoimmune problems as well. I don’t seem to be as sensitive but every once in a while something will set me off and I have no idea where it came from.

    I spoke with someone recently who said they ate very clean but still was having classic gluten reactions. She discovered that the hydrolyzed wheat protein in her shampoo was doing it. Once she switched shampoos she was fine.

    • Lisa says

      Ambo, love the picture….lol
      Totally true, “they” say topical products should not bother us but I hear more and more stories about people reacting and not fully healing due to cosmetics and shampoos. I personally need to us gluten free shampoo and have recently just found a gluten free make up line that does not give me eye infections or cold sores…TMI right!!! lol

      • Lori says

        Don’t mean to hijack your conversation but I have the some of the same issues and would love to know what makeup line you found that is gluten free!

        • Lisa says

          Hi Lori,
          So glad you jumped in on the conversation….
          Burts bees’ has a few different types of gf lip gloss and lip balms and if i recall correctly it says gluten free right on the lip gloss tube. Also A company called lavera has a whole gf line not a huge selection but nice products. They can be hard to find. I believe you can order on
          line from their site. But I have also had success finding them at target.

  11. says

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I also have Hashimoto’s thyroid and celiac. I’ve been eating a primal diet for nearly a year and, though I feel much better and empowered, I’ve not experienced the incredible turn-around that others have. But, I keep moving forward, continuously striving for improvement rather than miraculous cure. It may take us longer to get there, but we’ll appreciate it all the more!

  12. Jess says

    I try very hard not to get increasingly frustrated as I eat cleaner and cleaner and become more and more sensitive. Finding out what my body actually wants put in it gets complicated! The benefit is that I keep feeling incrementally better – I just hope that someday there is actually a moment when I am NOT reacting to anything and can just enjoy the skin I’m in! :)

    • Lisa says

      Hey Jess, I totally get that. You think you are doing everything right then bam! it gets you. :) and yes I do beleive that one day when our leak guts are healed and wel,l we WILL feel fabulous!!!

  13. Jeanette says

    Like many of you, I’ve got a few autoimmune notches in my belt, type 1 diabetes, celiac, hashimotos…and have given myself back my youth by eating paleo over the last seven months. Happily, I’m a grass fed beef producer, and see more value than ever in keeping my freezer full of beef! I am grateful and empowered to have the “tool” of paleo to not only feel well, but to prevent future autoimmune diseases from manifesting. I currently eat eggs, and nightshades, but no dairy. I feel well, but would like to know what you refer to when you say that eggs, and other foods cause autoimmune “issues”. Is this strictly in reference to celiac/digestive terms, or am I missing something? Thank you all, eat well, be well!

    • Lisa says

      Hey Jeanette, WOW your own grass fed beef that is awesome..
      A lot of people with all different auto immune issues, find eggs, potato, tomato, eggplant and a few other nightshade foods cause them some muscle and joint pain. For me, eggs seem to irritate my thyroid. But if you are having no troubles then I would say continue to enjoy. I miss eggs and look forward to the day I can add them back in.

  14. Sarah Johnson says

    Funny! I’ve never seen anyone else say that about grass fed beef. I have Celiac, hypothyroidism, and fibromyalgia and going Paleo has been the best thing for me by far. I actually was one of those 2 week success stories (I was on Rob Wolf’s blog)…at least I was for awhile! had the longest stretch of feeling “good” since I was a kid after I went Paleo, and after a few months wrote the testimony for the blog. However I did get some flare ups with my fibro afterwards, which really bummed me out at the time. However, I’m still a believer in Paleo, as the flare ups have still been less common and less intense (and have often been after eating sugar/non-gluten grains). Also, I feel healthier and stronger in general, which is awesome. Along with my issues, I was also diagnosed years ago with food allergies, among them eggs and beef. And I really did have reactions. However, I’ve noticed since going Paleo I’ve been able to tolerate them in moderation. When say that, though, I mean that I’ve been able to tolerate eggs fresh from a farm nearby and grass fed beef. I have tried a grain-fed steak and got the same stomachaches I used to get. Same with regular store bought eggs. Weird!! I thought maybe it was in my head that the grass fed/free range part made a difference but maybe not idk. I guess it makes some sense. Even if it’s not the grain molecules, maybe with the additional omega 3′s in grass fed/free range I can tolerate them better. Because I have continued to have negative gluten antibody tests, so it’s not activating my Celiac…at least not to detectable levels. No idea. All I know is I have to limit my intake of eggs and beef and choose wisely what kinds I get. Cheers to eating healthy to heal our messed up bodies!

  15. Brooke says

    Thanks for this post! I’ve been struggling to find a balanced Paleo that works for me. My husband can do it no problem but I have RA as well as Migraines that are actually trigged by meat. We’ve tried everything but the truth is 100 percent paleo wasn’t working for me. We were stumped b/c my blood panels were crazy off and bad, and isn’t paleo supposed to change and make that all better? I found that if I follow a Paleo Template like Chris Kresser suggested in one of his article has started working in my benefit (especially now that I’m pregnant and all my symptoms are actually worse!). I know gluten is a big no no but if I start my day off with Quinoa or some kind of whole wheat in a smaller version plus a few bites of dairy here and there I have really great days! I limit it to only one per day and I find that my migraines have subsided (which is fantastic b/c I have hemiplegic migraines) and my RA symptoms are better than they’ve ever been. I think Paleo is a fantastic tool or template to refer but everyone is an individual with specific needs… find what works for you!

    • Lisa says

      That’s it Brooke. You have to find your personal sweet spot. Never give up an yourself, we are totally worth it, and congratulations on the wonderful baby news.

  16. Szara says

    Lisa – thanks for sharing. It is personally reassuring to hear that things are working for you, but that you are still sensitive & have set backs. Like many others who have commented, I too have a couple AI issues and have had to restrict certain paleo foods because my body reacts to them. Like you I have found that eggs really cause things to flare up and that it is best to limit grain fed meats. It has taken a lot of time and effort to identify food triggers. I’m certain that my friends and family think I’m a bit crazy. I guess it is just nice to hear a success story where the success was hard won. I’m always a little disappointed with my body when I read stories where “generic paleo for two weeks” was the solution to someone else’s AI issue. I’m certainly happy for them but a little sad that my solution is not that simple. I hope someday that my gut will heal and that everything else will fall into place. :)

    Wishing you the best in your journey towards better health.

    • Lisa says

      Thank you for sharing your story, it really warmed my heart. I can feel your frustration and get it, and totally get the family and friends thing…I think because usually (not always) with AI issues we look fine on the outside and most of struggles and pain are internal, people can begin to think we are hypochondriacs.

      I have no doubt you will be a “success story!!” In my eyes that fact that you never give up on yourself already makes you one….

  17. Jenn A says

    so holy wow. paleo & autoimmune diseases?!?

    i sorta stumbled on this whole paleo thing as thats pretty much how we eat being GF already. but i hadn’t quite gotten to the point of hearing that this too can help healing. Any quick thoughts on how it compares to the GAPS protocol?

    and eggs…good. sweet. lovely eggs. I can’t give them up! sigh…..

  18. Lisa says

    Hi Jenn,
    From what I remember from the book I read, I believe GAPS allows some types of dairy, beans and legumes like peanuts etc. As for the eggs, don’t fret :) they only bother some, so that becomes a personal choice, thats another reason I love Paleo, you make it your own. What works for you is what you do.

  19. Susan says

    My autoimmune issues have gotten much worse since eliminating wheat/grains.  I know this can be typical to get worse before better, and think I probably need to try the addl autoimmune protocol eliminations (dairy, eggs, nuts, nightshades).  However, I’m struggling for recipes when eliminating all of that.  Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. 

    • Lisa says

      Hi Susan, So glad you posted, we will get this figured out for you.
      I am personally not a huge believer on feeling worse before better, I think if we are still feeling worse something else is still off. At least that has been my experience. May I ask what autoimmune issue you are dealing with, my recommendations will depend on that.
      From there I will be happy to help you adjust your recipes or suggest some new ones.

  20. Dawn says

    I have been watching for your postings since I too have Hashimotos, fibromyalgia and I had been eating Paleo for 6 months. I explained to my new rheumatologist how much better I feel with this diet and she immediately wanted me to have a gluten challenge and get a biopsey for celieac. I am 10 days into reintroducing wheat into my diet and I see a gastro dr tomorrow for a consult. I really don’t think I can keep up eating wheat for a month but will give it a try for diagnosis sake, it would be nice to know if I am celiac or just sensitive. I feel horrible, I know I won’t eat grain again no matter the outcome of the tests. I too struggled with keeping Paleo but I think after this it will be so much easier because I know it isn’t in my head that the diet makes me feel better, sometimes you forget how horrible you felt before when you aren’t “normal” just a better bad…

    • Lisa says

      Hi Dawn, WOW I feel your pain. I gave your post a lot of thougtht. I know how frustrating it can be living with the uncertainty of, do I have celiac or don’t I. In the long run, you need to do whatever will give you peace with in yourself.
      However, I want you to be aware that since you have been gluten free for 6 months now, for an accurate biopsy (which by the way has a high false negate rate) you will need to consume gluten in the amount that is equivalent to 4 slices of bread a day for minimum 6-8 weeks (as told to me by my GI Dr).
      Please keep me posted, you are in my thougths.

      • Dawn says

        Lisa,

        Thanks for your insite. Interesting my gastro dr told me if a person was really celiac that even one cheat, a month ago would test positive? I already read the 4 slices of bread, so that is basically what I have been doing and am scheduled 6 weeks from my starting to eat this way for my biopsey. I plan on being negative, as that is usually what every test I have is. Most people would be happy with that news but years of tests with no answers is more frustrating than a diagnosis of an illness! I guess it is important to me to know one way or another. It will determine how strict of a grain free diet that I will have for the rest of my life. Good luck on your journey! Dawn

  21. Kim G says

    Thanks for sharing this – my husband and I have made the decision to make a lifestyle change and go Paleo. I am also lucky enough to have 2 autoimmune “issues”, Sjogrens and Lupus, which I was diagnosed with only six weeks after giving birth to our 1st child. There have been bad days, good days and just down right nasty days.

    After almost 2 years of toxic reactions to medications, changing medications and getting the dosages perfect – my good days are outnumbering my bad but there was still something missing and I knew it had to be in my diet. I always ate what I felt like because I spent so much time with little to no appetite that I would grab whatever I could find when I was actually hungry because the rest if the time the nausea was so bad.

    Changing to Paleo has worked wonders for me – I can’t guarantee it would be the same for everyone because everyone’s autoimmune “issue” is a little different, but my fatigue and nausea has been cut in half – and those were the 2 issues that my Dr and I were having the most issues tacking!

    Thank you again!

  22. says

    Does anyone in the Northern California area have a place they recommend to get eggs from chickens who are NOT fed a corn feed/vegetarian diet? Chickens are primarily carnivores, yet all the free-range/local eggs I can find in Redding are fed a corn + flaxseed diet. Any help/direction here is much appreciated!

  23. Lisa Kammersgard says

    I’ve got Hashimoto’s (had a thyroidectomy), Sjogrens, Lupus, RA, PCOS…

    I’ve been researching the paleo diet for autoimmune disorders diligently over multiple sources and am finding conflicting information…
    Are Chia Seeds recommended or to be avoided?

    Also, mustard, eggs, pickled vegetables, bananas, citrus fruits, coffee, butter, wine, corn… Some say they’re good, some say to eliminate. I’m guessing many of these items are common allergy foods and may be introduced back into the diet one by one?

    I’m allergic to all fish and fish products and cannot have soy… (just fyi)

    Thank you!!!

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  26. says

    Thank you so much for your post.
    I have been doing paleo for some time. I started to help my RA.
    I started doing super strict Paleo AIP now and am so frustrated that I am just not feeling better. My hands are always so swollen so it makes everything so difficult. I am also taking probiotics and am working with an ND to get everything in my body balanced and heal a (maybe) leaky gut.
    It is so strange that paleo used to help me feel better, but now being super strict I am just not feeling any benefits. It is so hard .

  27. says

    Thank you for this post. I have ulcerative colitis and after being diagnosed I went gluten free hoping that would be enough, it helped but I needed more so I went paleo. I felt great for a while and I was sure I had found the answer, until my symptoms came back worse than ever, I finally found the autoimmune protocol and was able to get things truly under control, but it took a long time and is still a never ending process. there is no one size fits all answer!

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