The first time I did a Whole30, I expected to discover that I had a problem with dairy. The last thing I expected was to have any issues with gluten. As it happened, I had a HUGE problem with gluten, which became obvious when I tried to reintroduce it. I won’t ever forget those 3 days of absolute misery! Reintroducing dairy was actually no problem at the time, and it wasn’t until over a year later and after cutting out dairy for a much longer time period that I realized I really did have problems with it—much more subtle problems than my gluten intolerance.
That being said, I am usually pretty in tune with my body. I tend to notice symptoms when they are a mere whisper (which doesn’t necessarily mean I am always prudent and act to prevent them from getting more intense), and I’ve found that I can give doctors a lot of helpful detail when trying to put together a picture of what might be going on in my body. I also believe that my intuition is fairly reliable. I knew I had Multiple Sclerosis before any doctor did—the evening before I went to the hospital, I told my husband I thought I had MS. This was before I had had any specific symptoms, had had any specific testing done, or had even looked into the disease. I don’t know how I knew, but I did. And I can’t have been an obvious case, because the doctors wanted to send me home the next day; it was the advanced medical testing that proved my gut feeling right.
Anyway, I have some theories about the AIP and what I think I will discover. Of course there’s an argument to be made for not making predictions since they could end up clouding my judgment, but I think I can maintain an open mind in spite of them. I see it as more of a game than a set of outcomes I’m hoping to achieve. And I may be way off base—like I was in my first Whole30—or my intuition might be working like it was when I received my diagnosis. Either way, I think it’ll be interesting to see if my predictions are borne out.
- I will learn that I have a huge problem with sugar and a significant, but less severe, problem with carbs. I suspect that a lot of the headaches I still experience (cutting out gluten eliminated 80% of my migraines) are related to an excess of sugar and carbs. I experience hypoglycemia regularly, and I wouldn’t rule out that what I experience is sometimes hyperglycemia—blood sugar that’s too high—too.
- I will learn that alcohol, no matter how much I want the occasional glass of wine to be OK, does me absolutely no favors. I will only be able to drink it at the direct expense of my health and well-being.
- Apart from dairy and gluten, I will not have any other food intolerances. Maybe that’s a stretch, but it’s my hunch.
- While I will discover that I can reintroduce eggs, nuts, seeds and some other things into my diet, these things will have a tendency to displace more nutrient- and protein-dense foods, and this will mean that I will have to moderate them.
- I will need to stay grain-free, not because of an intolerance, but because they are simply too high in carbs.
- I may end up needing to follow more or less AIP even after the reintroductions, simply because it will prove very hard for me to moderate things like eggs, nuts and seeds in favor of more nutrient-dense options.
- In addition to the blood sugar effects, I will discover that sugar affects my pain levels, especially in tendons, ligaments and muscles.
So those are my predictions. I hope to be able to start reintroductions in 2-3 months, though I’m open to staying on the full elimination phase longer. But whenever I am able to start the process, it will reveal whether my predictions are anywhere close to my actual experience!
Are you doing the Autoimmune Protocol right now? Are you making any predictions or would you prefer not to, to help you keep a more open mind?