If you suffer from an autoimmune disease, become a sleuth—daily track your flare-ups and remissions. That its intensity waxes and wanes is a key to help you take control of your health. In your daily log include your diet and any other variables that might relate to your condition.
Each entry on the log becomes a piece of a puzzle that, once assembled, can reveal what sets off or exaggerates symptoms. Its profoundly liberating to see what triggers your suffering–and to make a healthier choice.
Food sensitivities or allergies are typical culprits. Other activators may include stress, seasonal changes, lack of sleep, exercise, bowel irregularities, hormone fluctuations and environmental toxins. You don’t have to face a lifetime of dietary restrictions—as your digestion and overall health improves, your food options typically expand.
Keep tracking your progress on your log and fine tune your diet and lifestyle accordingly. When faced with an unavoidable activator such as seasonal change, be extraordinarily gentle and nurturing with yourself and schedule ample rest.
And yes, eating a whole foods diet is crucial. Favor a wide variety of whole, organic, freshly prepared foods. These foods afford maximum flavor, nutrition, energy and healing potential. The same foods, if processed, refined, leftover, stale, denatured or microwaved are harder to assimilate and therefore less energizing.
The foods most important to eliminate are refined vegetable oils, including margarine and hydrogenated oils (see Fat & Oil Guide). And it’s critical to supplement your diet with omega-3 fatty acids from a reliable source such as quality fish oil.
Favor easy-to-digest foods and enjoy them in a relaxed setting. When convalescing, pamper your digestive system with soup, porridge and soft foods. Consider bone stock as comparable to mother’s milk in its healing properties. This frees your limited energy for important repair work. Inhaling a burger in rush hour traffic as you race to your next appointment will not serve you.
I do not recommend a vegetarian diet for people with autoimmune disease. Especially when convalescing, it’s critical to obtain ample protein, and people with compromised digestion often have trouble assimilating eggs, beans, nuts and/or seeds.
May you be well nourished,