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Autoimmune Diseases & AIP

Skin Autoimmune Diseases & AIP

This article discusses skin autoimmune diseases, these diseases can effect our skin as well as other organ systems. The immune system functions as a protection mechanism for the body and in autoimmune diseases the issue is that your cells which are “self” are detected instead of “non – self”. Thus, normal cells are the subject of attack by mistake, in other words the immune system is not functioning correctly.

Common Skin Autoimmune Diseases

You have probably heard of many of these, but did you know they are due to malfunctions within our bodies?

Dermatomyositis – inflammatory disease that results in a skin rash (face, eyelids, upper shoulders, upper chest, back and around knuckles).

Viltilago – a disease where the body destroys the cells that are producing melanin (melanocytes).

Psoriasis – over active production of skin cells.

Lupus – where the immune system is attacking organs and tissues.

Type I Diabetes – where destruction of insulin producing cells occurs in the pancreas, resulting in skin prone to dryness, itching and infection from fungus and bacteria.

Alopecia areata – the immune system is attacking hair follicles.

Pernicious anaemia – pale skin is observed, due to the immune system attacking the stomach, thus preventing absorption of vitamin B12 which is an essential requirement for producing healthy red blood cells.

Hypothyroidism – due to the immune system attacking the thyroid gland, dry skin occurs.

Chronic Uticaria – often known as hives. Usually triggered by a food allergy but some individuals will suffer frequent reoccurrence, this type of hives is related to the immune system functioning.

Rare Skin Autoimmune Diseases

Pemphigus – blisters and sores occur, due to the body’s defence mechanism attacking its own tissues.

Bullous pemphigoid – large fluid filled blisters, normally occurring on skin areas that flex, such as armpits, upper thighs and abdomen.

Scleroderma – either localised or systemic, an autoimmune disease of the connective tissue. Skin appears thicker due to increased levels of collagen. Issues can occur with blood vessels and internal organs when systemic.

Lichen planus – can effect skin / mucous membranes, nails and hair. Skin occurrence usually results in itchy red rash of small bumps that develop over weeks.

There are many other autoimmune diseases that effect the skin, which we have not spoken about above.

Treatment of Skin Autoimmune Diseases

Treatment of autoimmune skin conditions can vary depending on the severity of the condition and correct diagnosis is essential by a healthcare professionals. You can help remedy mild skin conditions with skin care and at Clear Medical, we advise 100% natural skin care, so that no other mechanism triggering occurs, resulting in negative side effects. A natural method is also through the autoimmune protocol diet (AIP). However, many individuals visit the doctor for mild and essentially for more severe conditions – which may involve prescriptive medication. Carrying out natural skin care regimes, treatments and diet regulation are possible, alongside medication to ease symptoms and accelerate healing of effected skin tissues.

AIP – The Autoimmune Protocol Diet

The autoimmune protocol diet resembles the Paleo diet. Observation of some individuals, shows a reduction in inflammation and the disease gets to a state of remission. The diet works by reducing inflammation in the intestines, by removing immune triggers from the individuals diet. Thus achieving a healthier gut flora and drastic reduction of associated symptoms.

6-8 Weeks NOT ALLOWED6-8 Weeks ALLOWED
Anything nut relatedVegetables (except nightshades)
Fruits (15-20 grams fructose per day)
Beans / legumesCoconut products
GrainsFats (olive oil, lard, bacon fat, coconut oil, avocados, cultured ghee)
Alternative sweetenersFermented foods (coconut yoghurt, kombucha, water and coconut kefir, fermented vegetables)
Dried fruit or too much fructose (1-2 pieces of fruit per day)Bone broth
Dairy productsGrass fed meats, poultry and seafood
All processed foodsNon seed herbal teas
AlcoholGreen tea
ChocolateVinegars without added sugar
EggsSweeteners: sparse use of honey and maple syrup
Gums (guar gum, tara gum, gellan gum, gum arabic)Herbs: all fresh and non seed herbs
Nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant, paprika, mustard seeds, all chilies and spices)Binders: grass fed gelatin and arrowroot starch
No vegetable oils (allowed: olive oil, lard, palm oil, coconut oil and cultured grass fed ghee)
Herbs from seeds (mustard, cumin, coriander, fennel, cardamom, fenugreek, caraway, nutmeg, dill seed)

The diet includes the limitation of foods from your diet over a period of 6 – 8 weeks (see above table). Foods from the “not allowed column” is reintroduced one by one, if after 72 hours the food is eaten and there is no change in mood, lethargy, bloating, gas, constipation, aches or rash – the food can be considered safe to go back in your diet. Testing of your next food is done in the same manner, for introduction to your normal diet (72 hour rule).  Please note that if you are considering trying the AIP protocol diet, we advise that you consult a specialist nutritionist or your doctor to ensure that this is healthy for you.

AIP – What Works For You?

The AIP protocol diet may benefit people by reducing the disease or keeping it under control. However, the success is on an individual basis, as other factors may be contributing to the disease, such as lifestyle habits or inherent susceptibilities. Scientists have not concluded the exact triggers for individuals, in other words, depending on the condition and your findings, do what works for you.

Thanks for taking the time to read this article, we hope that it has been informative. If you require any further information about anything discussed within this article, please do not hesitate to contact us.