Monday, November 3, 2014
I've been keeping a secret.
I mentioned last week that I started the Autoimmune Protocol diet. Referred to as AIP, the "rules" of the eating plan can be found all over the internet, but I love this simple description from AIP Lifestyle. Before I began my journey, I thoroughly scoured the resources of The Paleo Mom, Autoimmune Paleo, and A Clean Plate. I've gotten ahead of myself. Why in the world did I even think I should start this diet? Even D reminded me that after my last go at Whole30 I said, "I'm never going to do this again."
Insert my secret. Since I was a teenager, I have struggled with an embarrassing problem. I have cysts or boils that pop up on my body. They typically appear in well hidden but increasingly embarrassing spots such as my buttocks and thighs. I delayed speaking to a doctor about my problem until I was in college. The dermatologist sent me home with a special soap and no formal diagnosis. After that embarrassing and unhelpful experience, I never bothered with consulting another doctor. In the past few years, the problem has gotten worse. More "spots" (which I call them and admittedly sounds better than boils) continued to appear, and they would take forever to heal. About a year ago after having a painful spot appear in my groin area, I decided to do some research and again consult a doctor. My doctor suggested a warm compress for the groin spot and asked no additional questions. I continued to research on my own, and my internet research led me to believe that I suffer from Hidradenitis Supprativa. Primal Girl is the online "expert" on the disease and provides a thorough description on her blog. I understand that self-diagnosing myself is silly, but I truly feel that my symptoms are exactly what she describes. I refuse to be on antibiotics or medications for extended periods of time, but I understand if this altering of my diet does not alleviate my condition I will likely need consult doctors. I believe that I have Stage 1-2 of Hidradenitis Supprativa (HS) which I consider lucky. There are many who suffer from the affliction to the point that it hurts to sit, stand, walk, etc. I have only spoken to maybe three people ever about my affliction (and two of those were within the last year), but I believe in spreading awareness. I know I am not the only one to be ashamed.
I finally hit the point of having enough. I'm tired of being embarrassed when changing at the gym. I no longer want to feel forced to wear running capris instead of shorts. I want to feel comfortable walking around naked! I'm proud of the body I have worked so hard for, and I don't want to have to hide parts of myself. I knew it was time to make a change, but the decision didn't come lightly. It was time to take control of my health and well-being. Many suspect that Hidradenitis Supprativa is an autoimmune disease and can be treated with the proper diet. I'll be posting more on my AIP journey later this week.
Do you have an Autoimmune Disease?
Have you ever tried the AIP?