The Difference Between Reversing Autoimmune Disease and a Cure

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rainbow over a mountain range under a cloudy sky

“Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there’s got to be a way through it.”
~ Michael J. Fox

My 2 Year Healing Diet Anniversary

On June 15, 2012, I started the GAPS diet. I was living a life of excruciating pain and disability. I didn’t know how I could survive each day, never mind a lifetime with rheumatoid arthritis. The GAPS diet was magic for me, not because it brought overnight healing (it didn’t), but because it started me on the path to healing. Within a week, my symptoms stopped getting worse, and very slowly, started to get better. That’s what reversing autoimmune disease is all about. It’s life-changing.

Here’s the truth, though: my goal wasn’t reversal; it was cure. I chose GAPS because it is advertised as a temporary diet, one that heals most people within six months to two years. Obviously I was hoping for 6 months, but I was sure I could do it within 2 years. Interestingly, the word “cure” is never used in the book, but it’s certainly implied. I held tight to that promise as I dove into the biggest challenge of my life.

When I plateaued in my healing at 6 months and transitioned to the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol, I stopped seeing the diet as temporary. I understood that paleo is a life change, not a short detour that would return me to my old life. I let go of my wish for a cure (or at least I thought I did), and on my one-year healing diet anniversary, I simply felt grateful for how much healing I had achieved.

This year, as my two-year healing diet anniversary approached, something surprising happened. Instead of feeling grateful, I would find myself crying for no reason, carrying a sadness I didn’t understand. It took me a while to realize it was a deep grief over not being cured. Intellectually, I had accepted that there was no cure, but my body still held onto that wish. Approaching the magic GAPS “2 year” mark brought it to the surface. In spite of my healing, in spite of my progress, I can’t shed RA like a snake sheds its skin. It’s part of me now, and that’s hard to accept. I remember that excruciating pain very well, and when you know your body can do that, I don’t think you ever get over the fear of it happening again.  I’m 95% better, which is an impressive statistic. RA used to be a scream inside my body, and now it’s only a whisper. I AM grateful for that, but it’s a scary whisper.

The Internet Sometimes Lies

I know – shocking, right? One of the reasons I believed GAPS could cure me is that the internet tends to exaggerate. So, if you’re looking for false promises, they’re easy to find. All you have to do is google “terry wahls cured” and you’ll find countless articles that make this claim, even though she herself will tell you otherwise. Has she made major progress? Absolutely. She went from a wheelchair to a bicycle, which is no small feat. Reversing autoimmune disease is transformative, but that’s not the same as cure. Terry Wahls still has MS.

People have done the same to me, using the past tense about my journey, as if I’ve reached the finish line and I’m done. I think sometimes it’s simply a lack of understanding. The blogger doesn’t have autoimmune disease themselves; they don’t understand how it works. They see a success story and think someone is cured, even if that person never claimed to be. Then there’s the business motivation: “cured” makes a better headline and generates more interest. News is often about ratings and soundbites. But autoimmune healing is more complex than that.

These lies hurt, because they set up false expectations for people just starting this journey. They make people feel like a failure if they don’t reach a symptom-free state. And they disrespect the work we do day-in and day-out to keep our autoimmune disease in check and stay healthy. It’s why I’m so detailed in my success story interviews on this blog. I want to share the amazing progress people have made, but I refuse to hide the struggles that remain. This is a “real life” blog. I have autoimmune disease and so do my readers; sugarcoated stories don’t help us.

What About Remission?

Remission’s a tricky word, with lots of definitions:

  • The state of absence of disease activity in patients known to have a chronic illness that cannot be cured. (Wikipedia)
  • A diminution of the seriousness or intensity of disease or pain; a temporary recovery. (Oxford Dictionary)
  • A disappearance of a disease as a result of treatment. Complete remission means that all disease is gone. Partial remission means that the disease is significantly improved by treatment, but residual traces of the disease are still present. (Free Medical Dictionary)
  • Natural or spontaneous remission of rheumatoid arthritis is rare. Clinical remission is used to refer to when signs and symptoms have lessened due to medications.

According to some definitions, I am in remission. My symptoms have dramatically lessened. Complete remission is my holy grail, but even if I achieve that, it’s not the same as a cure. Mickey from Autoimmune Wellness doesn’t like to use the word remission, because she thinks it implies a freedom that’s doesn’t reflect reality. The minute we eat foods we shouldn’t, or let stress get out of control, symptoms return. When it comes to autoimmune disease, healing is a lifestyle, not a “fix.” Whitney from Nutrisclerosis talks about the flipside of this truth: as long as we live a healing lifestyle, remission doesn’t need to be temporary at all – it can last a lifetime.

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What About the Law of Attraction?

I have a love/hate relationship with the law of attraction. I think a positive mindset is important; you can’t heal without it. But there’s a fine line between positive thinking and denial. The people I’ve met who refuse to accept the truth of their disease usually refuse to take responsibility for doing what’s necessary to heal. You can’t think your way out of autoimmunity. Owning RA doesn’t give it power over me; it gives ME the power.

If A Cure Isn’t Possible, What’s the Point?

The point is that you can get better. With autoimmune disease, the path is typically a downward spiral. Even with medication, your health deteriorates, you lose abilities, and your life can eventually feel like something impossible to survive. Reversing autoimmune disease is about reversing that process. Your health improves, you regain abilities, and your life can become full and beautiful again. It may not be perfect, but it’s certainly worthwhile.

What Does Autoimmune Reversal Look Like?

  • Two years ago, I lived with constant pain. I flared every night so severely I was gasping and crying and wearing splints and slings to immobilize my joints. I couldn’t work. I couldn’t open a jar or lift my arms over my head. Pain woke me throughout the night. It was even hard to be comforted, because hugs hurt. Now, I work full-time, live a pain-free life, exercise every day, am fully functional in daily life, and I haven’t flared in well over a year. I have my healing diet and lifestyle to thank for this change.  I can still feel low-grade inflammation in my body, but it no longer disables me.
  • When Mickey Trescott was at her worst, she experienced anxiety, insomnia, depression, exhaustion, hair loss, joint pain, dizziness, brain fog, neuropathy, and anemia, along with severe hormone, blood sugar and blood pressure imbalances that sometimes looked like seizures. She lost her ability to work, spent her days on the couch, and lost faith she would ever get well. Celiac and Hashimoto’s were behind these symptoms. Today, after two years of dietary healing, she works full-time as a cookbook author and nutritional consultant, and is in the process of building a house and starting a sustainable farmstead with her husband. She has to watch her thyroid levels to stay healthy, and she has to pace herself physically, but she loves her life again.
  • Whitney Ross Gray has multiple sclerosis. She endured a long list of symptoms, including vision trouble, neuropathy, bladder urgency, leg weakness, muscle spasms, sexual dysfunction, brain fog, fatigue and weight gain. She turned to the paleo autoimmune protocol four years ago, when most people had never heard of it. Within a year, she was mostly symptom free, and she’s maintained that status ever since. If she strays from her healing diet, her body quickly reminds her what MS feels like, so she sticks to the paleo lifestyle to maintain her remission.
  • These are just three examples. There are many more on the Success Story section of my website: for lupus, epilepsy, Crohn’s, Takayasu’s arteritis, ankylosing spondylitis, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, and more. And that’s just my blog. You’ll find other stories of autoimmune reversal all over the internet. The detailed stories are the ones you can trust, and it is possible to feel better!

Pursuing Perfection

I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and that’s a good and bad thing. I work every day on healing myself. It’s why I’ve made so much progress; I haven’t strayed from this path even once in two years. But it also means I put a lot of pressure on myself, and the longer I do this, the more I realize I need to lighten up once in a while. That doesn’t mean I start sabotaging myself. I’m not going to do anything that causes me to flare. But it does mean I can take a few months off from any new troubleshooting efforts. If I don’t feel like meditating some nights, my health will still be fine. I can drive or walk in silence, instead of listening to the latest paleo podcast. I can put away my research and pick up a fluff mystery instead.

My parents raised two of their grandchildren, and in the beginning they thought it was temporary. There was an intensity and an exhaustion to the first year, because they thought there was a finish line. They were over 60 years old and raising toddlers again. When it became clear it was permanent, they actually relaxed. They needed to pace themselves and embrace reality. So do I. I accept that there is no cure, that RA is a thread that is now in the fabric of my life. Thankfully, I get to choose how that tapestry looks. I believe in my body’s potential to heal, and it’s not done yet. Complete remission is still my goal. But in the meantime, I have a life to live. And here’s another truth: if I never get better than this, my life is still amazing.

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100 comments on “The Difference Between Reversing Autoimmune Disease and a Cure”

  1. Lisa, that is so beautifully and deeply expressed. Thanks for taking the time to write. I can relate to those feelings so well. I recorded a podcast on Grief and Autoimmune Disease, which I recommend if you’re up for listening. It honors all of those feelings and also guides us through them, so they become part of our life, but not necessarily a constant dogged force. Even with RA, there’s room for joy, but it’s a process.

  2. Gosh what are the odds of stumbling across this post that says exactly what I’ve been thinking/feeling/saying about my journey with RA whilst searching for something completely different? That fear, that grief of which you speak? Oh yeah!!!! I was just telling my integrative doc today it’s like a little dark cloud always there just above my head: “Please dear God don’t let me ever go back to the way it was then…” that pain, the immobility, the absolute and sudden injustice of it all! It’s a fear that never leaves me and permeates my every moment, every thought, every decision. What if? I grieve every day for a life I know I will never have again; one where the what if’s just weren’t.
    Thank you for putting into words what I can never get across to the non-RA folks who can’t understand why I get so depressed…

  3. Thank you, Eileen, for everything you do for the autoimmune community. You have such a gentle approach and genuine concern for people that I can feel in everything you put out. I think this article especially should be read by anyone whose treatment of their disease includes diet and lifestyle. The wondering when will I be “normal” again certainly lasts for a long time. And then even once we think we’ve accepted our new life it’ll creep back up. You put it all into words here. Thank you.

    1. Laura, thank you so much for commenting. You made my day! You are so right that those thoughts can be cyclical. I think acceptance is a process with many levels. It’s easier when we’re feeling great, and more challenging during a flare. I’m now 5 years into my healing journey, and learning to be compassionate with myself has been key. It’s the counterpart to gratitude for me. Wishing you vitality and peace.

  4. Oh how I needed to read this – I want to print it out and read it every day. 7 years with RA and I am only just getting this concept. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your HONESTY. It is so very much appreciated.

  5. This make me cry. I was diagnosed with autoimmune in 6 months ago or so, and I never realise that I’m still deny it and so angry about it. But this post has open my eyes. This post feels like made for me. Thank you so much to post this. I think I will keep reading this all over again this day. This is a sour but sweet reality for me. But at the same time doesn’t scare me of not being cure. Once again, thank you so much.

  6. suryabhan singh

    thanks for this son now 7 years old and 25 months already on AIP diet and when i started it was difficult that what he will eat,but good tips from your blog.he have hasimotos,and he have symptoms like constipation,easily bruise,and some other.and when i started AIP he inproves his antitpo from 650 now 32,
    we check in november/2016 it was 36
    and march /2017 it was 32 antitpo.
    we are planning to next in july/2017

    that means he is on remisson

  7. HI,

    I actually wanted a diagnosis for a long time. I don’t like how I never got one yet felt weak and sick all the time. Here is my story:

    I have severe reactions to food and constantly feel unwell. I wondered if I had some sort of autoimmune disease cuz I feel so fatigued. For a long time I had fluctuating thyroid but I have finally been diagnosed with Thyroiditis autoimmune. I have arthritic aches and pains, pinching, itching, and vibrating all over my body all the time but when it flares up which happens from most foods but extremely from sugar and wheat.

    I am interested in finding a support group that either meets for arthritis (I already found one though and I do attend one now), Thyroiditis, Lupus, IBS, or food sensitivities. But I do not want any medical professionals there as I am very sensitive to anyone who wants to try to cure me as I am not interested in any type of medication or vitamins because they have not healed me in the past.

    Also I feel depressed/dissapointed about my hormone disruption which includes fatigue, thyroiditis, low estrogen (my doctor even suggested I get a shot every month when she found out the levels were low!), my period was irregular for more than 2 years and now has changed completely. My IBS symptoms it seems kick in right before my period, making me feel bloated and have increased stomach pains, similar but more intense to what I usually have from IBS. Also i have been through a lot of trauma recently because the psychiatric drugs I was taking were too strong for me, so when I withdrew I felt like I lost my brain: I had auditory and olfactory hallucinations, labeling thoughts: like they want to kill me/take my soul/god is guiding me…I became hyper religious but still felt quite lost internally. I also had severe memory loss, as I could not remember any good memories for a long time.

    Can you please locate a support group for me that only includes sufferers and those who care for them? I want a group somewhere around Seattle since that’s where I live. I have spent a year looking for a support group for any autoimmune disease or IBS or leaky gut or food sensitivities but have only found one for arthritis which only has members. I want to meet as many people as I can with my symptoms so we can relate to each other and offer our stories. Can you please help me?



  8. Hi,
    I love your “real” blog. You offer such a fabulous selection of intelligent and informative information.

    I have Ulcerative Colitis which prevents me from eating nuts, seeds, spicy foods, raw fruits, raw vegetables, and other items that are fibrous (basically, anything that may further harm the ulcer on my lower colon and act as a sandpaper of any sorts) –which further narrows my diet. I also have numerous allergies both to foods and non-foods. Perhaps those are more of a sensitivity or an intolerance. For example, I know when I eat, there is usually a high possibility that I get very congested, sometimes get a headache, and have stomach issues. The stomach issues then cause upset with my UC; as I will have to rush to the bathroom at different times of the day; or embarrassing as it is to say here, sometimes I don’t make it there. 🙁

    I started with reading MDA (Marks Daily Apple) and have implemented many Paleo recipes. My husband and I believe with my unknown allergies and with my Autoimmune Irritable Bowl Disease, that it will be much better and perhaps even imperative for me to begin a full-out AIP.

    I finally have an appointment with a doctor to be tested for allergies. I realize this is not a full-proof thing to do and that an elimination diet will be better; however, there seems to be so many things that bother me in one way or another that I believe this will be a great initial stepping stone.

    My husband and I want to begin the AIP way of eating asap. Our two current dilemmas are that we have read that I should not eliminate foods I am possibly allergic to before I am tested as it could give a false response. My appointment isn’t until the end of November. Do you happen to know anything about this?

    Also, we are so close to Thanksgiving and Christmas where we will be eating meals with extended family. We are not sure we have the will power built up as just yet and wonder whether we should try to do our best; or to wait for January. We’ve read that this needs to be an all-in way of eating in order to be able to hopefully, eventually reintroduce certain foods as well as reap the best benefits. What is your advise regarding our timing?

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Jenifer. Welcome to the paleo community! It is hard to decide when to start the AIP. I have known people who started during the holiday season, but you are right that’s a time of year filled with extra temptatations. Personally, I went paleo in the summertime and stayed paleo through the holidays, but waited to do full AIP until January 1st. There is no right or wrong answer, though Choose the timing that’s best for you. If you decide to wait until January, I recommend you take some time in December to prepare, so you can hit the ground running on January 1st. If you don’t already have my book, I recommend it. It will tell you everything you need to know to get started: A Simple Guide to the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol. And here’s an article and a podcast on surviving the holiday season as healthfully as possible. Regarding your question on food intolerance testing, honestly I would cancel that appointment and save your money. They are notoriously inaccurate, and people end up restricting their diets more than they need to. Here’s an article with details: Why Food Intolerance Testing Doesn’t Work. Wishing you wellness in every way, Jenifer!

      1. Thank you so much for your quick response! The timing was incredible. I honestly pressed the “Submit Order” button on Amazon for your book and your response above registered on my email literally half a second later. I will study your response asap.

  9. Another great article thank you!
    I have been AIP for 4 months. I tried reintroducing food after purchasing your e book and have been diligent about it and all seemed to be going well, then all of a sudden I had severe acid reflux, something I’ve not had before! So I looked over my reintroductions over the last two months and have realised I might be able to handle a decaf coffee on its own, but maybe I can’t have a decaf AND some cacao nibs in the same week. Over the last two weeks I had had 4 decaf coffees, cacao nibs, a glass of wine (which I was introducing that week) and then had to resort to painkillers for a chronic migraine. I wonder if all together over that period of time tipped me over the edge? I hadn’t had painkillers for 7 weeks, I was just white knuckling the headaches so it was difficult to take them. Anyways, it has been a dodgy few days trying to eat anything other than a bit of fermented food and has made me wary of any more intros. It’s so comforting to have people like you who are willing to share and advise so thank you.

      1. Thanks for the article, you are very well informed. MDA was the first blog I read when deciding to change my diet 5 years ago and drank wine because Mark did. Since going AIP I had also realised that wine inhibits iron absorption which is something I have to monitor.

  10. Hi Eileen, I have severe rheumatoid arthritis for 20+years and been on every drug imaginable. Then I started the auto immune protocol 3 years ago and was in complete remission for over a year, no more drugs! Then about a year ago and it all came back severe pain. I’m back on enbrel which is not working, now dr wants to put me back on methotrexate and prednisone . I’m seeing a natural pathic now and he put me on LDN and that’s not working! Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions what I can do? Where to go from here I’m tired of being in pain and I’m still sticking to AIP .

    1. Marcia, I’m so sorry you’ve had this setback. RA can be so cruel. There’s a rheumatologist in California that works with the AIP + holistic methods as well as medications. My understanding is that she’s an excellent troubleshooter. I don’t know if you have the ability to travel, but here’s her website just in case. She was recommended by another blog reader. Dr. Melissa McNamara – ARC East Bay.

  11. Thank you for this article, as hard as it is to accept, and thank you for your website. I’m newly diagnosed with hashimotos and yes was looking for a cure, but this article really spoke to me and made me realize I’m not going to “fix it” and go back to my old life. I have the power to reduce symptoms, but it will always be with me. Hard road ahead, but thank you for being out there with truth.

    1. You’re welcome, Theresa. And don’t lose hope. Being able to improve symptoms is still a powerful thing.

  12. Thank you for your article. I have suffered with Restless Legs Syndrome for 13 years progressing significantly the last 3 years and failing med’s. Then after failing last round of Rx’s I had to stop one of the medications due to concern about side effects, increased risk of severe depression. Unfortunately, the depression had already taken a toll and I’ve been battling severe major depression for almost 18 months now due to being untreated because anti-depressants exacerbate RLS. Then the on December 29th I started experiencing difficulty swallowing, then dry mouth, then dry eyes, etc… Referred to a Rheumatologist by GI for sicca symptoms. I have all the symptoms of Sjogrens, with the exception of red or inflamed joints (just mild osteoarthritis) and blood and urine tests do not show auto immune disease. However, I continue to experience increased sicca symptoms. I’ve just reacently, 3 weeks now tried gluten free. Although I have purchased some frozen gluten free meals, but mostly broccoli, carrots, squash, green beans salad, bell pepper, occasionally lima beans, chicken and lean pork. I’ve also added Fish Oil, Vitamin E, Evening Primrose Oil, Tumeric, Alpha Lipoic Acid, B-Complex, Probiotics, Ginger and Vitamin D and C. Unfortunately, I am on 3 Rx’s, a RLS friendly anti-depressant, RLS Rx and bio-identical low dose HRT compounded just for me. Anyhow, I too, have fell prey to the claims of anti-inflammatory gluten free diet books that purport to heal auto-immune diseases, Dr. Blum and read about the WAHL’s diet story and MS. I cannot say I really feel much better yet, still have the sicca symptoms and leg pain in thighs, as well as, RLS flares too. But I am hoping I can figure out this diet thing. I hope I can stick with it. I really felt weak first few days, but it’s some better. I also lost 3 pounds in 4 days and I’ve already lost a lot of weight the last 1.5 years dealing with untreated severe depression, nausea, insomnia and complete hopelessness. You said a mouthful, grieving the loss of our health. That’s exactly what I am doing. I do not want to accept I have an incurable, progressive illness. Acceptance I may have an auto immune disease denotes defeat. I think that will be the last shred of hope I have left. I’ve always thought I had a strong faith, but the past 18 months my circumstances have taken a toll on it. To me, chronic illness, in some ways seems worse than a terminal illness. With terminal you know there is an end. Chronic illness never goes away and when it is not treated/managed successfully their is not only no quality of life but no idea of when it will end.

    1. PJ, I can tell you’re feeling overwhelmed, and we’ve all been there. Keep in mind that you’re new to the idea of healing through diet. 3 weeks isn’t very long, and if you read the article above, many of us have seen vast improvements through dietary healing. It may not be a cure, but it’s a huge potential improvement in quality of life. That said, gluten-free isn’t enough for a lot of people. When you’re ready, you might want to try Paleo to really give your health a jumpstart. Wishing you wellness on every level, and gentle hugs to you in the meantime.

      1. Yes overwhelmed and discouraged as a “newbie”. I may consider the Paleo later, right now dairy and gluten free is tough enough. I don’t really have an appetite and if I do happen to crave something, naturally it’s pasta or cheese, something I lived on for most of my life, and the bad kinds, processed cheap packages. Probably really just wanting it because I cannot have it on this diet. I hope all the fish oil, supplements, etc… I’m taking isn’t too much. Conflicting information on the internet. Hopefully if my body doesn’t need the oils, it will just discard it.

        1. This is probably hard to believe, but if you stay away from those foods, the cravings do eventually go away. Hang in there, PJ. Just do the best you can.

        2. Hi PJ,
          Eileen is sooo right when she advises to hang in there and the food cravings will go away. Or at least they’ll get a LOT better! This is a huge shift to make from the SAD to food that will nourish and heal your body. I do know, as I dealt with one huge bout of leaky gut three years ago (with all the attendant AI symptoms but never any diagnosis) and then gradually healed my body. We always have to listen to what our bodies need, though, and don’t return to the SAD. I had to take a bunch of NSAIDs for pain and infections last fall and then boom. Leaky gut again. So believe me, I understand the frustration! But we have to listen and be kind and loving to our bodies. That’s been a big lesson for me in all of this. Learning to love myself and treat myself well. And as Eileen also suggests, you’ll probably want to do the full Paleo/AIP eating plan, as I continued to get worse by trying only gluten and dairy free. The distinct advantage this time around is that there is now a LOT of great support and wonderful recipes out there. Be well, be healthy. 🙂

  13. Hello,
    our 14 year daughter was diagnosis with auto immune disease/poly chondrites, One of ear sparing the bottom 2/3 of ear was red and inflamed and warm. it happened three times in January, what do we do ? she is very young no previous health concern, what can be done to remission ?

  14. Great post! I feel like there is a group of people out there that understand me. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s about 1-1/2 months ago. I immediately did research and found that the AIP diet was the way to go. I am not on any meds yet. Still waiting to see a Dr. about that. I was wondering, however, if anyone suffering from the symptoms of Hashimoto’s have found any quick relief from following the AIP diet? I feel marginally better -but, a lot of the bigger things have not faded with the diet. Maybe I just need to give it more time. I don’t have any misconceptions about going back to my previous way of eating. It is definitely nice to have to ear that this is now ‘our’ way of life. Thanks for writing this article.

    1. Hi Marta. Mickey’s the author of the blog, Autoimmune Paleo, and she has celiac and Hashi’s. It took a few months before she started noticing small improvements and almost a few year before she noticed dramatic ones. So, yes, sometimes healing takes longer. It could also be that you need the thyroid medication; I’m surprised your doctor is making you wait. I’m sure you know that Hashi’s permanently damages the thyroid, and while the AIP can prevent further damage, it can’t regenerate tissue that has been killed off. I don’t say this to discourage you, but to encourage you to get the help you need. There’s no shame at all in taking thyroid support if you have Hashi’s. 99% of people with Hashi’s do, and combining medication with the AIP is the most effective treatment of all. Gentle hugs to you.

  15. Dear Eileen,
    Thanks a lot for running this website.I got bone fracture 8 months ago, and now the bone has almost healed but I got RA symptoms. I started AIP today, hoping it could improve my situation. What’s quite difficult about this diet therapy is that I can’t take any wheat and grains. As a Asian who take grains as staple food,it’s really quite a high demand. Could u give me some suggestion about what kind of food I could take as staple food?
    Thanks again for all these good suggestions and sharing,hoping that I can inform you about remission some times later.

    1. Hi Sarah. You’ll want to replace grains with vegetables, especially some safe starches like sweet potatoes, winter squash, etc. There are also two blogs that are authored by Asian women who are following the AIP. Some of their recipes are creative adaptations of Asian food: Provincial Paleo and Heal Me In The Kitchen.

  16. Dear Eileen,
    Thank you for your constant vigilance in posting your weekly blog of inspiration and great recipes I joined your community about a year ago. I too, have RA. Almost 2 years ago I hit my “rock bottom” of health and took control away from my doctors and back into my hands. I demanded allergy testing and put myself on a gluten free diet. My pain lessened but not enough. I went on the “Vashon Island Diet” more success. Then, I went paleo but It wasn’t until I went AIP paleo that a host of my issues went away: Seasonal allergies, RA flares, brain fog, depression etc.. The When I am completely following the autoimmune protocol, I feel great. Now I follow it about 75 percent because I have lost too much weight. Losing weight was never my intention, I am a small person and now I’ve lost stamina and muscle. I am having a hard time reintroducing items for testing. I’ve also but back coffee and some alcohol, both of which I need to quit again because neither are good for me, just my occasional vices. The good news: I am off all my RA medications, my inflammation markers are down, and I could not have done this without your help so thank you. Bad news: I need more food or carbs something to gain weight and more stamina. What do you suggest? Thank you, Caroline

    1. Hi Caroline. Thanks so much for introducing yourself, and congratulations on all the ways you have improved your health. You are inspiring! As for your question about weight loss, that’s a common concern. I have some tips in my AIP FAQ article (scroll down the page – it’s the 3rd paragraph from the bottom). May your health continue to get better and better.

  17. This is such a powerful post — thank you for sharing it! I have Hashi’s, so my “remission” from going off the Paleo AIP diet is mostly uncomfortable rather than debilitating… but I, too, think of it as a “scary whisper,” because discomfort often leads to those debilitating symptoms. Keep fighting the good fight!

  18. Thank you so much for writing this. I wish all authors would take this approach. I knew I had autoimmune diseases and that they were permanent before I started reading those books and blogs with the lofty promises, and yet I wanted to badly to believe. I never fully believed I could be cured, but I started to believe full remission was possible, and that’s a dangerous thing to hope for with these diseases. Now I’m just aiming for partial remission. I have seen a lot of improvement but I also have a long way to go. I hope one day to work again, to date again, to socialize more. For now, I’m just grateful to not be bed-ridden, to socialize occasionally, and to have less frequent flares. And I’m glad to have hope for improvement!

  19. Hey Eileen,
    Thank you so much for this post. Just crossed the 6 months border. Having Crohns, I also searched for the cure… But just realized, there is none and you showed me how to see the improvements. Went from depressive state with painful flares to a life with fitness, gym, bouldering, dating – simple – living. Even though there will be some minor issues – it is 95% better than before. I will accept it now – hopefully also deep inside. And have a peaceful look at my life. Hope you are doing fine. Lots of hugs to you!

    1. It’s almost funny that we weren’t satisfied with 95% improvement. I love how you described your full life. Here’s to simple living, and thanks for the hugs!

  20. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto Disease last year. Very suddenly, my life was turned upside down. I went from a very active, heathy, thin woman of 37 to a tired, brain fogged, hair losing, cold, over weight old lady I didn’t recognize in a matter of 2 months. Apparently, this underlying auto immune condition was sparked by a horrible allergy and now my life is different forever. I tried AIP and saw promising results but failed horribly at the reintroducing of foods. I was so excited to feel better I added foods too quickly and did not allow enough time for a reaction to begin. Needless-to-say, it was all for not. I plan on starting from the begining again. I’m back at my worst with massive hair loss. What is the major differernce between GAPS and AIP and where should one begin? I really would love some hope that there is a light at the end of this crazy dark tunnel!

    1. Hi Kim. GAPS is a low-starch version of paleo. I don’t recommend it for people with Hashi’s, because generally speaking, we need starch for energy, and going low-starch can increase your fatigue. I believe the AIP is the best diet for you, especially since you saw promising results before. I wrote an e-book to help guide people through the reintroductions, so I recommend buying that when you’re ready. It’s very common to do them too quickly; you’ll get it right next time!

        1. I second this, Kim! I have Hashi’s and AIP has changed my life. It is so, so hard (as evidenced in times like now when I’m eating a lot of high-fat dairy and sugar), but I get major symptoms whenever I eat gluten or grains.

  21. I greatly appreciate your blog, I wish I had the information I have now too many years ago when I finally had to quit working, I was in the hospital with respiratory problems than I was at work, and things went down from there with years of continuous prednisone, but recently I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, besides arthritis and reactive airway disease, and was told to avoid nightshade vegetables, some of the severe pain issues subsided some, but my bad stomach problems continued to exist so my doc told me to try a gluten free diet, well with this it started me looking at health blogs I may have not read before, I have not been able to incorporate everything that I like due to physical, and financial constraints and the fact that I’m mom to 3 of my grandchildren. But I’m beginning to see some progress since I’ve incorporated essential oils, kombucha and yogurt (I’m going to try kefir soon and fermenting veggies soon, more non-processed foods, fruits and veggies (there not organic, but their better than none)(hopefully next year I’ll be up to doing a garden, right now the heat is just to much), and I’ve just incorporated coconut milk(it seems to help fight the fatigue) I even made my own today, so I not only have the milk, but the cream/butter/oil, and will make flour also, I want to try this with almonds and other nuts to but they’re more expensive. And I just broke down and bought some gelatin even though it was more than I really had, to see if it helps my joints. I am starting to see improvements and I know as I can make more changes that will help even more.

    But thanks for the reminder that this is a permanent, total and complete lifestyle change, cause many times we start feeling better and want to go back to old habits, although I’ve tried to eat and feed my children good food I did not have much information, and less money and many times things that I thought or was told was good come to find out were not.


    1. One step at a time gets you there, and I’m so glad you’re already seeing improvement from the steps you’ve taken. Thanks for sharing your story, and your advice Lori. I’m sending a smile your way.

  22. Thank so much for your honesty! I am 25 and was diagnosed with RA 6 months ago and have been obsessed with finding a cure ever since. I truly believed with enough work and research I could make RA go away. My symptoms kept getting worse despite all of efforts to “fix” my broken body. It wasn’t until a month ago that I realized the only thing I could really “fix” was my mindset. So for a month now, with lots of prayer and encouragement from loved ones, I have been working to love my body with RA instead of trying to “fix”. The change of mindset of feeding my body to function not fix has been very positive. I apologize for the tangent, but again thank you for your honesty because it makes me feel less alone. The resources that you have provided are wonderful and have made the lifestyle less intimidating. The process of accepting this lifestyle as a life long one is very difficult but this post and your blog helps. Again, thank you!

    1. It’s not a tangent at all. I think the mental shift you describe is beautiful and powerful. I wrote an article called My Body is NOT My Enemy, because I think self-love is so important to healing (not curing – but finding peace and working towards feeling better). Gentle hugs to you, Emily.

  23. “a thread that is now in the fabric of my life. Thankfully, I get to choose how that tapestry looks ”
    So beautifully put! Thank you!

  24. When I first realized how ill I was, I was determined to figure out how to cure myself. Now, several years later, I’m not cured. I’m functional. Sometimes I’m downright healthy. Most people don’t even know there’s anything wrong with me. But I know it and I feel it. The past month or so, I’ve been tired of following all my careful routines and special diet. I haven’t been strict. And I’ve paid the price in a slow and minor return of some symptoms. It has made me depressed that management, not cure, is all I can achieve. I’ve been feeling very sorry for myself – it isn’t fair that eating in a restaurant or staying up late causes such trouble for me. But yesterday, as I briskly walked ten minutes down the street, I remembered making that same walk for the first time a year and a half ago. At that time, I was so excited that I was finally feeling well enough to sit up, to stand up, to walk. Then, the walk took me closer to an hour, I had to rest partway there, and I realized I had taken on too much, walked too far and would have a really difficult time getting home again. I had to spend some time in bed after that overexertion. Yesterday’s reflection kind of shocked me into being grateful for the amazing progress I have made. And it has made me re-focus on why I eat the way I do and why I live the lifestyle I do. I don’t want to go back to being the woman who is excited she can walk 3/4 miles in an hour followed by a week in bed, and the work I have to do to achieve that state is worth it.

  25. Hi Eileen,
    Once again I have to feature your article. This one brought tears to my eyes because you have articulated so well the disappointment and letdown so many experience when they don’t find themselves “cured”. The internet does lie. The correct dietary change is not a “cure” but a fantastic way to manage an otherwise impossible situation. Thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom.

  26. Thank you so much for your posts, Eileen! I can SO relate to this one – all emotions I’ve gone through with 24 years of severe Crohn’s disease. I started AIP in January of this year, and after many failed attempts at SCD the last few years (NOT wanting to do it!) I would really love to be able to have my cheese, nuts, nut flour treats, and occasional SCD legal alcoholic drink! SCD worked perfectly for me in 2002 and I stayed on it for 2 years. I now know only avoiding the offenders did nothing to heal me without including all the nutrient dense foods I needed. Now my gut is much worse and I’m thankful for AIP, as much as I didn’t want to do it. I thought 3 months would be long enough, but now I know I’m probably looking at 2 years. I found you through the Autoimmune Connection on Youtube – love it!

    1. Thanks for sharing your story, Erin, and you are so right about the power of nutrient density. My personalized version of the AIP I’m doing longterm, but I have been through the reintroduction process, and you don’t need to wait two years to do that. I wrote a guide on how to do that process well – it lets you expand your diet safely, and everyone is unique in what foods they need to keep avoiding, and which ones they can enjoy again. I was able to reintroduce eggs and chocolate, and I’m very grateful for that! I can eat nuts/seeds on rare occasions, and I enjoy a glass of wine once or twice a month with no negative effects. While dairy and nightshades are probably off my menu for good, I learned very clearly what they do to my body, so they no longer tempt me. I wrote a guide to the reintroduction process, if you want to learn more. P.S. I love that you found me through Youtube. We really enjoy doing those videos! For anyone reading this thread who hasn’t seen them yet, here’s a link.

      1. Thanks, Eileen! I have a question, not sure where to turn to ask. I’m at the end of my 2nd 2.2# tub of L-Glutamine and wondering if I should order another. I make bone broth, too, but it’s easier to be consistent with this. Not even sure if I’m getting the ‘right’ kind, it’s Vitacost Aro Black Series Glutamine Raw (1 scoop is 5 grams). I take 2 scoops 2-3x/day, more if I can get it in. I also put about 3 tsp of collagen in my tea 2x/day. Do you think I should continue with the gut healing supplements for an extended period? Last week I felt I was getting close to the reintroduction period but not so this week. (long story!) So maybe I should continue until I’m consistent with not having the bad bowel symptoms?

        1. Since I’m not a nutritionist, I can’t advise on supplements – it’s not my area of expertise, and everyone’s needs are unique in that area. Personally, I prefer to get everything I can through whole foods, because there’s less chance of throwing my body out of balance and taking too much of something. For example, bone broth contains collagen and l-glutamine, but also many more amino acids and minerals, all of which are meant to be consumed together. I consider it to be a safer choice, especially longterm. However, if you know you have a deficiency, and your healthcare provider has prescribed this, check with them for advice on duration.

          1. Gotcha! I’m kind of doing this on my own – of course my regular GI is no help, and I’ve been to so many alternative practitioners that may have given me snippets of good advice/treatment here and there, no one has been able to ‘pull it all together’. (I’ve driven up to 3 hours to various doctors). I have learned that diet is KEY so maybe I’ll just keep focusing on that! Love your organ meat info – that’s my next hurdle to tackle (finding it AND preparing it! and then EATING it! :)) I figured if I need a doctor again I’ll find a functional medicine one (so much has changed over the last 20 years) but right now also learning about essential oils and with everything else don’t need to fit more into my schedule/budget!

  27. So appreciate you sharing your vulnerable authentic self. Not always easy to do. It was so inspiring for me to read this and thank you so much for what you are doing. I have been learning a lot from you and the community you are attracting. So, this leads me to share my latest challenge and I am curious how you and your community would advise handle going out to eat in a few scenarios. I had to have a client lunch last week at a gourmet taco restaurant where literally, there was nothing for me to eat. I checked the menu on line in advance. It was not appropriate for me to ask for an alternative location for various reasons. So, “sniff sniff” I bravely watched my colleagues devour what I used to truly love to eat. Happily and smartly, I planned ahead and simply brought my own food, but of course, I had to explain why to everyone. Slightly awkward as I am not fond of sharing how “special” I am due to UC. In fact, I don’t share what it is, I just say major food allergies. Do you have to handle this sort of situation often and when going out to dinner or a friend’s home, how do you communicate your special needs? I sent a note to a friend who invited my husband and I to their home for dinner last week asking elegantly and apologizing for my limited diet and offered to bring my own food for myself – and described my limitations as no egg, dairy, gluten or nightshades. She thought I meant a lampshade! As in, we cannot drink so much that we put them on our heads…:) Pretty funny. It’s apparently not a popular term I am learning. Anyway, all this is certainly generating a lot of laughs. Any advice on communication some approaches for personal and business situations would be welcome.

    1. Genevieve, here’s an article with some great advice: . Although it sounds to me like you’re already acting with wisdom and grace. I think it feels less and less awkward to be in these situations, the longer you’re on a healing diet. The more comfortable you are, the more comfortable others are in response. Angie from Alt-Ternative Autoimmune recently went to a wedding, and here’s how she handled it: “It is totally possible to socialize AND do AIP. Tonight I went to the wedding of some wonderful friends. I prepared a Honey-Thyme Pork Chop, Lemony Brussels Sprouts, & another side. We arrived just a few mins early, I popped into the kitchen & found the head of catering. I explained who I was, that I have Celiac & needed my dish heated, plated & brought out w/ the other main dishes. (It helps that my very kind friend, the bride, gave them a heads up that I would be coming.) It all went off perfectly. I was safe & nobody had to fuss over anything.”

  28. I had to work hard to keep myself from clicking on this post at work yesterday and wait until I got home so I could soak it in 🙂 This is so well written and well thought out, as are all of your posts. It comes at a really fitting time as I’ve been exploring my “fantasy” of what my healing would look like and am meeting “reality,” which is sometimes a lot harder than I expected at the beginning. I will likely come back to this post often.

    1. It’s a fine line we walk: continuing to work on healing, being grateful for how far we’ve come, and accepting where we are today.

  29. One of the things that I’m giving thanks for this evening is your blog, Eileen. Have recently felt so discouraged, and your thoughts and feelings about your situation have really helped me feel less alone with my struggles. I found comfort from you in similar circumstances early in the year, and you responded to my comments with such kindness and thoughtfulness that it made a huge difference and gave me new courage.
    Thank you for responding so often and so kindly to the comments here.

  30. Hi Eileen. Great blog once again. I use your blog to show my patients how autoimmune disease can be healed. However I never tell them it’s a cure. It all depends on the goals one set for oneself. If the goal is to be symptom free and recovering disability and dysfunction then it’s possible. If the goal is to be able to go back to one’s old lifestyle of eating junk and processed food, then, no it’s not possible. Besides it’s the old lifestyle that lead to the disease in the first place (for most people). Also such lifestyle has its price. If it’s not autoimmune disease, then it’s one of the myriad of chronic diseases or cancer. BTW there’s some recent research that 72 hr water fasting done every 2 wks for 6 months has the potential of deleting your damaged white cells that causes your autoimmune disease. It’s worth a try as it’s free with minimal side effects. It was done on cancer patients prior to chemo. If they could do it then most people should be able to. Anyway, keep doing the great job that you’re doing!

    1. Your patients are lucky to have you, because you obviously care so much. I would caution about making symptom-free promises, though. That can set up false expectations as well. While I believe everyone has the ability to reverse their disease and improve their condition, not everyone reaches a symptom-free state. Even Terry Wahls hasn’t achieved that. This article is about celebrating the improvements, whatever they may be, without setting a perfect standard for success. As for fasting, I have known people who found it very beneficial. I have also known others where it set their health backward, by releasing too many toxins too fast for the body to clear. Most people with autoimmune disease have compromised detox pathways, which can make water fasts risky. Personally, I do very poorly with fasting and find the natural detox that happens with an autoimmune paleo diet the safest way for my body to cleanse. I support that with gentle detox measures.

      1. Hi Eileen. Thank you for your reply. I never make any promises to my patients as I know everyone is different and respond differently. However, what I do tell them though is that immune-suppressants increase cancer and overall mortality risks. Hopefully with AIP, they may be able to reduce their meds gradually and hopefully be off them. I think most people will be happy with even that, as conventional meds, as you know, never take away the symptoms completely too. The reason I mention prolonged cyclical water fasts (72hrs) is that not only will it delete the damaged white cells responsible for your autoimmune disease, but it also signals to the body’s stem cells to create fresh new white cells that wont attack your body. Its what some people are paying thousands for, to have stem cell treatment, but they can have it for free if they can fast 72hrs. I suppose one can look at how to detox the body first before doing such fasts, eg. simple things like making sure one drinks at least 2L water a day, coffee enemas is a good detox by helping the liver to flush out toxins that it accumulates in order to metabolise more toxins from the body. I don’t know whether you have tried coffee enemas – worth a go.

    2. Taufiq, I was wondering if you could tell us where the research backing up the 72-hour fasts is located? I’d be interested in reading the actual studies, before trying it myself. Thanks!

  31. Wow, you never strayed even once? I so admire that. My vicious circle with my own RA is that I’ve been paleo for more than 3 years now and mostly AIP for a year. But sometimes I’ll be following everything to a t, and I’ll still be having pain (more troubleshooting needs to be done: is it sweet potatoes? Who knows!) and I will think, the heck with it, if I hurt this much following the diet, why don’t I just eat some of the foods I miss? And next thing I know I’m eating popcorn. I know it’s going against my own self-interests, but I fall into that trap again and again.

    1. I know – it makes me sound hard-core, right? But really I just feel like a rat in one of those shock experiments, who gets zapped anytime she eats the wrong thing. It’s been an effective training tool. Terry Wahls talks about this a bit: she gets excruciating pain if she strays, and it’s much easier not to stray when the consequence is so intense. If it’s a more subtle and cumulative consequence, it takes discipline to stay the course. That said, I’m thinking of interviewing someone from the following website about this:, because I know there’s more nuance than that.

  32. I’ve been following the Aip program for 2 months. The results so far have been incredible. I had no use of my hands because of RA and my feet were swollen as well as a huge flare I had in my knee. It’s all “gone” away….pain is gone but the damage is done. I can’t bend wrists well anymore and feet are sensitive but yes I’m a million times better. I guess in some form of remission. It’s still very hard though. I’m not out of the woods. Accepting that I have this and I will never be “normal” and me again is very hard to accept. It’s an enormous lifestyle change that I have to accept. I am so limited with what I can eat….I feel a burden and out of place at times. It’s now a struggle to learn how to maintain this because I will never forget the pain and I never want to go back to it. It’s not over, will never be…..
    I’ve had a very hard time the last few days, feeling like I’m in a place nobody else around me is in. I feel misunderstood, just because my pain is gone , doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of emotional pain going on as well…of learning to accept my new life.
    So glad I found this today.

    1. I had trouble after a flare with my left wrist. I could only bend it 10 degrees. Find a good physical therapist. I have full functionality again and I am working on my strength. I was freaked out when my wrist was so stiff, but there is hope. 🙂

  33. Eileen, I too appreciate you sharing your journey and fab recipes. I was misled into thinking that my Hashimotos could be cured. I did EVERYTHING I possibly could, but even on AIP, LDN & Armour my health continues to decline. I “think” it’s menopause causing a horrific hormone imbalance, but only because I’ve ruled everything else out, (to the best of my knowledge). I’ve been at this for 4.5 years and still I want my life back, I was treated for breast cancer 2 years ago and now I wonder why I treated it. 🙁
    Recently I heard this “Hashimoto’s is incurable. Its an ongoing battle. Figure out what is triggering it and work on lifestyle to have more good days, than bad days. Autoimmune is a complex web, it is NOT a single hormone or supplement deficiency”. That’s the hard pill to swallow, not only from a perfectionists viewpoint, but as a frame of reference…my childhood was hijacked by severe asthma, but once I became a teenager I was “on” all the time, full of energy and activity. I actually resented having to “slow down” to eat & sleep for about 3 decades. Now taking a shower wipes me out and people who tell me I look “good”, are making me start to question my own sanity. I cannot find a doctor who is even somewhat helpful so it’s no surprise that my peer group sees me and thinks I’m well and so blessed to have survived breast cancer. There is no physical evidence that I constantly feel like a steam roller has sucked the life out of me. I am forced to work because I have no one to help me, so the little bit of energy I do have is put to sheer survival. I have no social life, no hobbies and can’t even clean my own apartment. I barely work then lay around to do it again. Even “rest” is not restful.

    1. I’m so sorry for what you are going through! I have Hashimoto’s too (24 years now), and I know the bone-crushing weariness.

    2. You sound overwhelmed, and with good reason. If you don’t have support at home, definitely seek it out online. Hashimotos 411 is a great group on Facebook and if you’re not on Facebook, they have a regular website as well. In terms of finding a better doctor, here’s a list of Hashimoto’s experts, and if they aren’t local to you, many of them consult long-distance. I would also recommend you consult with a health coach at this point. When we’re at our wit’s end, it helps to have a fresh perspective. Both Mickey Trescott and Angie Alt work through The Paleo Mom Consulting. Having autoimmune disease themselves, they have an empathy and knowledge that make them excellent troubleshooters. Even if a cure isn’t possible, you deserve to feel better than you feel right now. Gentle hugs coming your way, and thank you so much for sharing your experience.

      1. As Eileen mentioned, some of those doctors and practitioners will work with you long-distance. Mark Ryan (acupuncturist at is one of them, and he’s in California (he has Hashimoto’s). Stephen Reisman, MD is in Nashville. Alan Christianson, MD is in Phoenix. (They both specialize in autoimmune disorders and Hashimoto’s). You can also google “Holistic MD, {name of your city} and see what comes up. Some Hashimoto’s experts weren’t trained by Dr. Kharrazian (a chiropractor), but are just as knowledgeable and helpful. And they don’t have to be an MD. Many are chiropractors, and some are acupuncturists and other holistic practitioners, but they specialize in autoimmune disorders. They know a lot more than most MDs. Chiropractors have to have more medical training than MDs, believe it or not.

  34. Wow, thank you. This is so timely. I was knocked off my feet on Thursday after pushing too much for too many days. I immediately began to feel depressed and deeply discouraged by this flare. I slept for many days, only functioning when I had no other option but remaining committed to the healthy lifestyle I have embraced as much as I could. This morning, my symptoms are lessening and I feel relief. I know I allowed stress and physical exertion to put me in this place and I need to better pace myself. I remind myself daily that this is a process and there is no quick fix or cure. I am happy that I know how to keep healing and I am determined, because for me! that is the definition of reversed! Thank you for sharing this and becoming part of my healing process.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing! Yes, it’s up to us, for sure. I’m glad you were able to rest and rejuvenate and are feeling that healing energy flow through you again.

  35. Hi Eileen, Thank you for sharing your lifestyle story! I have MS, am 59 and was diagnosed at 28. It only bothered me when I was exposed to printer ink, though I didn’t know it at the time. When I did I stayed away from it and remain symtom free. Then menopause came and went taking away my hormomal ‘protection’, allowing secondary progressive to start, albeit very slowly. Would you or anyone recommend using bio-available hormones – natural HRT? Many thanks in advance for your reply!

    1. Hi Judy. In her book (The Wahls Protocol) Terry Wahls recommends dietary and lifestyle intervention first, since those often lead to hormone balance naturally. If after 6 months, you’re still having trouble, she recommends working with a functional medicine practitioner who specializes in hormone balance, to get the right tests and corrective measures.

  36. Great thoughts. As dr wahls said she is not cured. The damage was done to
    Her body. But she can walk. She can work and ride her bike and
    Do research. I just started the diet because of arthritis in my feet. I feel
    So much better. I know I am healthier. I will keep getting better. I need
    To be patient and not a perfectionist. Keep up what you’re doing:)

      1. too funny… that way of thinking can make more problems for sure.. I am just thrilled to have found the diet and your blog!!!

  37. Eileen, I really appreciate you sharing your story so clearly. You have a wonderful way with words. It really helps me in my own journey to read about your own experiences, and the emotional aspects of our struggles and even our successes.

    After 2 years, I’ve so far plateaued at about 50% improvement, but hope to improve more with the help of a functional medicine doctor. I remember being in excruciating pain every single day for over two years, and I would wince just watching other people do normal daily activities. I couldn’t even finish eating a meal, because it hurt too much to hold silverware that long.

    I’m so thankful for the progress I’ve made, but I’m also really frustrated with my remaining pain and limitations. I no longer wince watching other people do normal activities, but I’m still not capable of working full time or going hiking.

    It’s kind of weird being in this half-way state. It’s been challenging for me to explain to my friends, family, and even my doctors what I’ve been doing, and what to “call” my improvement. One of my doctors called it “remission”, which just didn’t feel right, as I still have major issues and – as you said – it takes a daily commitment to our new lifestyle to help control our diseases.

    Another doctor told me I should go back on my major immunosuppressants because I’m still dealing with pain and limitations – even though I’ve made so much progress, and even though those medications didn’t help me much and caused so many side effects for me.

    Thank you for providing this website. You give me hope!

    1. Hi Debra. Remembering that kind of pain is hard, but it does remind us of how far we’ve come. I’m glad you’re working with a functional medicine specialist and hope it takes you to the next level of healing. You have a way with words, too. Thanks so much for sharing.

  38. I was just diagnosed last week with my third autoimmune disease. Hashimoto’s (at 25 years old), endomitriosis (34), and now Crohn’s (49). When I was diagnosed with Hashi’s in my 20’s, they told me I could expect to be diagnosed with another autoimmune disease each decade of my life, and that is exactly how it’s been. It seems it gets harder as I get older. I’ve always been very active, volunteering and being involved in my community, but the Crohn’s has completely shut my life down for 3 months now. I’ve barely left my house. I just found your blog, and I can’t tell you what an encouragement it has been to me. I don’t hope for a “cure”, but I feel so incredibly thankful that I now have a proactive plan for preventing future autoimmune diseases and putting the three I have into remission. The past decades, I’ve been holding my breath waiting for the next autoimmune disease to hit. I feel like I’m finally breathing again. I started the Autoimmune Protocol Diet two weeks ago and am not in nearly as much pain. A work in progress. Thanks for the dose of hope.

      1. Christine Harrison

        Hello Eileen, I’m so glad I found this site. I heard about wahls protocol on my FB support group. I have uveitis and have been getting treatmentsfor 2 yrs. I am not in complete remission and have had many flares over the past 2 yrs. There is no cure but all the meds I’ve taken had left me with other complications which can only be fixed with surgery. I plan to try this diet and hope for the best.

        1. Hi Christine. I definitely believe in the power of diet. Good luck, and let me know if you have any questions along the way.

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