A book I just read, The Hidden Plague: A Field Guide For Surviving and Overcoming Hidradenitis Suppurativa
by Tara Grant, is about overcoming her autoimmune issue: and by extension, all of them.
The cutting edge doctors she consulted for the work agree that such disorders are all the same disorder
. The reaction expresses different ways in different people. Which makes this book valuable to anyone
with autoimmune issues. She is also familiar with, and references, the work of Dr. Terry Wahls on multiple sclerosis.
She carefully does not say "cure" because she doesn't believe one can change their genetics. She is an advocate of "managed remission" which makes a lot of sense to me.
Her approach is that autoimmune diseases are from Leaky Gut. While she covers an impressive range of science that explains the most common trigger foods, and why
, she also does a good job of sharing her own experience, which resulted in a dairy test that showed this particular food does not affect her
symptoms, but that certainly doesn't mean someone else is not affected. She covers probiotics and is a big fan of how helpful they can be.
She outlines the AutoImmune Protocol of food elimination (cheap, easy, and reliable if testing is difficult to access) and how to construct a livable diet within one's own needs. Since her handle is PrimalGirl, she is very much an advocate of Mark Sisson (of MarksDailyApple
), who I also read and recommend.
She is Paleo in approach. Judging from her recipes, she shuns sugar but does use somewhat starchy vegetables and certain fruits. Since she is a young mother with twin toddler boys and works out, it is not surprising that she gets away with a higher carb level
I think anyone can benefit from her learned discussion of the science involved, how it affects a sensitive person, and dealing with trigger foods. Her recipes look wonderful. She has ways of working around nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, and sweet and hot peppers) which are probably the most common trigger food. Her recipes for Not-Ketchup and No-Tomato pasta sauce (she uses vegetable noodles) sound intriguing for those who would miss such items.
She sweetens her recipes with fruit instead of artificial sweeteners like sucralose, which she is VERY down on. (I use monkfruit sweetener, approved by Dr. (Wheatbelly) Davis, and very sparingly for lemonade.) She cooks for her husband and two children, so if anyone is dealing with a family not as committed or more fussy about what they will eat, these recipes can be an excellent way of adapting to these challenges.
It is a fun read and an eye-opening look at the incredible range of autoimmune conditions. They not only masquerade as different diseases, but also results in many people hiding that they have one. It is so misunderstood and there is very little help from the medical professionals. So they tend to suffer in silence, or get used as lab rats for attempts that end in them being worse off. I appreciated her discussion of the drugs doctors turn to which have terrible side effects while not being very good at suppressing symptoms.
I know what it's like to have a baffling chronic condition. Like her, I wound up forging my own path. I have gone back to Atkins Induction and have already seen improvement.
Currently testing nightshades. I've done other eliminations in the past with certain high-likelihood trigger foods. I went years
without dairy through what I think was a misdiagnosis, and when I started Atkins, I added in cheese, yogurt, and heavy cream without any issues. I went gluten-free back in 2010, and experienced immediate
improvement, and now, when accidentally "glutened," I know it pretty quick. (FYI, anyone with gluten issues should get a medical ID bracelet: it can actually affect your treatment in an emergency and afterward.)
The only food which might be suspect in my case, under my present plan, would be eggs. I might try eliminating them when the present two cartons are gone
I give this one an A+.