The AIP protocol is diet and lifestyle intended for reduce the intensity of symptoms caused by autoimmune diseases.
Although studies on this protocol are still limited, many people who have followed this dietary pattern have observed a marked improvement in their general condition as well as a reduction in their symptoms.
An autoimmune disease occurs when the body’s natural protection system is no longer able to differentiate its own cells from foreign cells. As a result, the body begins to attack its own cells. We count more than 80 types of autoimmune diseases, disrupting the functioning of different parts of the body.
Autoimmune diseases form a group in which we find diseases as different as type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis or Crohn’s disease. They all correspond to chronic diseases triggered by the body’s loss of immunological tolerance to its own constituents.
Discovering the AIP protocol
Being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease can be very difficult to accept. That is why it is encouraging to know thatan elimination diet like AIP, can participate in reducing the manifestations of various autoimmune diseases while improving the quality of life of patients.
Although it is called the AIP protocol (protocol for autoimmune diseases), this diet is not exclusively for people with autoimmune diseases.
This protocol can be a bit intimidating at first. Even so, once you get the basics down, all you need to do is customize it to suit your needs. Because of this, you will be able to get good results based on your own symptoms.
What is the role of diet in the management of autoimmune diseases
Excessive inflammation can lead to many autoimmune diseases. At this moment, a change in diet may be beneficial. Indeed, if you choose to remove from your daily diet all foods that are potentially inflammatory and therefore likely to exacerbate your symptoms, you can achieve some relief from the manifestations of your autoimmune disease. This is why the AIP protocol emphasizes the fact ofidentify foods that trigger an inflammatory response.
Another concept, called “molecular mimicry”, seems to justify the impact of certain foods on autoimmune diseases.
For example, high levels of cow’s milk protein-bound immune cells have been observed in patients with type 1 diabetes. In fact, this theory suggests that these proteins are similar to proteins found in the pancreas. This therefore leads to a response from the immune system, which begins to attack the milk proteins, but also the healthy cells of its own pancreas.
A diet very high in sodium may also play a role in the aggravation of autoimmune diseases. Just like excessive consumption of pro-inflammatory foods such as processed vegetable oils, meat, dairy products…)
How does the AIP protocol work?
The AIP protocol has similarities to the paleo diet. Nevertheless, this two-phase elimination diet is stricter than its predecessor. We will focus today on the first phase:
The elimination phase
During this first phase, it is about remove all foods that may cause inflammation, imbalance or immune response in the gut.
In addition, foods belonging to the family cereals, oilseeds, solanaceae, eggs and dairy products are completely excluded from the diet.
Refined sugar, alcohol, tobacco, coffee, food additives and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are also eliminated.
On the other hand, it is requested to focus on lifestyle improvement (sleep, stress management and increase in gentle physical activity) as well as on the consumption of certain foods rich in vitamins and minerals:
- colorful seasonal fruits and vegetables
- fermented foods
- bone broth
- quality meats
The duration of this elimination phase varies depending on the person. Indeed, some people see a better after a few weeks only while others will need to extend this restriction period on about three months. The important thing is to be able to observe a significant reduction in symptoms.
The reintroduction phase
When you will feel a marked improvement in your symptoms, you can get started in the reintroduction phase. Gradually reintroduce previously avoided foods into your diet, one at a time, depending on your tolerance.
The purpose of this phase is to be able to identify the foods that trigger or aggravate your symptoms. In fact, you can keep reintroducing foods that aren’t causing the problem while avoiding your own triggers. All this makes it possible to set up a 100% individualized and above all effective food program.
During this phase, you will reintroduce foods one at a time, about once a week.