Autoimmune diseases are characterized by widespread inflammation, though specific symptoms vary from one condition to the next. Fever, fatigue, swelling, pain, and skin changes may also occur. In these diseases, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. Many patients turn to the autoimmune protocol (AIP) diet in an attempt to find relief for their symptoms.

The AIP diet utilizes elimination, with participants removing food from their diet and monitoring whether it impacts their condition. According to experts, it’s similar to the paleo diet in that it prioritizes lean protein, fruit and vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Sugar and other additives which could trigger an autoimmune response are avoided.

Ideally, the diet should be followed for several weeks. Over time, foods can be slowly reintroduced one by one to see if there are any reactions. If a negative reaction does occur, that food should be avoided moving forward to help keep symptoms under control.

While recommendations aren’t based on specific autoimmune conditions, the AIP diet has been studied on individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and has shown that dietary modifications can improve symptoms. If you’re considering the AIP diet to help control symptoms of an autoimmune disease, here are foods to avoid:

  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Dairy
  • Coffee
  • Eggs
  • Alcohol
  • Nightshade vegetables, including tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplants
  • Food additives, including added sugars

During the elimination period, you can eat:

  • Vegetables, with the exception of nightshades
  • Seafood
  • Lean meat
  • Fermented foods
  • Small portions of fruit
  • Certain oils, including olive, coconut, and avocado

While research surrounding the effectiveness of the AIP diet has been limited, individuals with autoimmune conditions looking for natural methods for controlling symptoms may find it a worthwhile option to pursue.

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This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions. Click here to learn more.