Reintroducing foods is on my mind currently, not least because I have now been on my stricter version of the AIP (autoimmune protocol) diet for over a year (22nd Jan, eek!) and recently did my first reintroduction trial.
I chose a difficult one to start with just I think to see how I was getting on and to get a benchmark on how much healing I’ve managed to do in that year (diet only, no supplements). So, I chose a glass of wine. And not even a TGF wine at that! I’ve not had alcohol for almost 11 months and then before that was only the SoLo natural red wine for about 2 years, so a glass of Shiraz, my fave, in a lovely pub one afternoon with P and the papers, was sheer bliss.
Normally, I would react almost immediately with something or other, especially an upset gut, but most certainly with a migraine within 2 hours. Three hours later, four hours later, five hours later…I was feeling a bit heady, which was no surprise as it has been so long without alcohol, but I was fine! I was cock-a hoop :). Just as I was beginning to count my chickens, they came home to roost, though, and 9 hours later in the middle of the night, I started a migraine. Even then, 9 hours later!!! And it scored about a 4 on the Richter scale so not too bad either. Still no sign of digestive upset either. Progress! It shows my gut barrier is stronger, I hope, and that neurologically I am stronger in that I can hold off a neurological reaction for much longer now and have a milder symptom than before. Does that mean presumably my blood-brain barrier is stronger? Maybe. I’ll have to re-test with Cyrex 20 and see if the antibodies have come down.
The migraine was far from pleasant but I welcomed the change in pattern and it went after it’s usual 48 hours after ingestion so was actually 9 hours shorter in the end.
That was the good news.
Sadly, just as the migraine went, my mouth flared up. And did it. Oh. My. Word. It was an up-all-night-pacing job again. Agony and very frightening. I’ve discovered, now I can see the wood for the trees a bit as the symptoms are not happening all at the same time so you can’t tell what’s going on, that the pain is not bone or neurological; it is the result of splits or wounds, if you like, opening up in my mucosal tissues. It was very clear this time as I had skin splits in several places, including my lips, gums and, er, nether regions, shall we say. All along the digestive tract, or certainly at both ends of it which makes me wonder if it is happening inside too, although I don’t get any gut symptoms or pain internally. When I eat or drink something, it is like pouring acid onto the raw wounds and hence the agony. I am wondering about Crohn’s Disease, as I know you can get that in the mouth and rectum only in some cases. Whatever, and I’m not sure a label would help anyway, that’s what’s happening. Far from a pleasant experience – for one glass of wine!
Taking the positives from it, the agony pain did stop after a few hours to allow me to get some sleep – last time I had to stop it with a morphine type drug after almost 24 hours. It came back the next day as soon as I ate – have learned that one now! – but went down in 3 days. It is still messing about and I think the amount of painkillers I took in a really short space of time have really upset my gut, but last time it took 10 days to come down so I am hoping that is at least a good sign of some progress!
Anyway, today I listened to a podcast all about Reintroducing Foods on AIP from Eileen at Phoenix Helix where she and a couple of other AIP bloggers discuss their experiences of reintroduction. It was fascinating and really helped me as I am at that stage. I note that some people reintroduce after 3 months but one of them was after 18 months so I’m not that unusual :). I also learnt we are all different and manage to reintroduce different things although, hearteningly, they all managed to get chocolate back in, so that gives me hope 🙂
So, if this is you, or you simply want to learn a bit more about reintroduction for when you get there, it might be a good listen for you too. Do bear in mind, you need to do reintros carefully so follow proper guidelines. I have written mine down for you in the Elimination & Challenge Factsheet so you can see how I do it.
Meantime, do have a listen if you feel it would help you and thank you to the braver bloggers than I for chattering about their experiences for us to learn.