Living with Autoimmune Disease: How to Make Your Diet Work for You

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Living with Autoimmune Disease: How to Make Your Diet Work for You

Living with an autoimmune disease is never easy, and you never get used to it. Whether its rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorders, or lupus, people often have to suffer in silence and drown under medication. What the pharmaceutical industry won’t tell you, however, is that many of the symptoms caused by these diseases can either be mitigated or even eliminated if you follow some sound dietary practices. In this article, we are going to show how you could adopt a diet that will allow you to live with an autoimmune disease.

Adopt the Autoimmune Protocol Diet

The autoimmune protocol is an offshoot of the paleo diet. The paleo diet is rooted in the idea of eating the way our paleolithic ancestors lived, which was a diet consisting mainly of fats, meats, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. The diet completely forbids any form of refined sugars or grains, which are said to trigger many symptoms, such as inflammation.

And this is the principle the AIP diet stands on, reducing inflammation in the body. While it is akin to the paleo diet, the AIP diet is more restrictive and restricts you to only certain types of meats and vegetables. Processed foods are also to be avoided as well as dairy products, refined sugars, grains, and industrial seed oils among others. You should also avoid nightshade vegetables. This diet takes time to adapt to, so we advise you to do everything you can to learn as much about the AIP diet before you start.

Stock up on Fatty Fish

The AIP and many other diets praise the benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids, and there is plenty of research that demonstrates its effect on the treatment of autoimmune diseases. As a matter of fact, one study found that Omega3s can help modulate the immune system and reduce inflammation, two things that can alleviate some of the symptoms of various chronic diseases.

Fish like halibut and salmon are both very high in Omega 3’s. Halibut is also one of the highest sources of vitamin D you’ll find and is another beneficial vitamin for people dealing with autoimmune conditions. Other great vitamin D sources include mackerel, sardines, tuna, and whitefish. If you’re vegetarian, egg yolks are a great source. Vegans can try supplementation, but mushrooms that have been grown under UV or sunlight can also be a great source.

Eat Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut, the naturally fermented kind, is great for the immune system and promotes gut health. The same can be said about other naturally fermented foods like brined pickles and kimchi. These foods are very high in probiotics, which promote gut health and the production of good bacteria and strengthens the intestine’s barrier, which is essential when combating autoimmune conditions. Other examples of fermented foods you could add to your diet include kefir, pickled ginger, or foods fortified with probiotics.

Add Some Turmeric to your Diet

Turmeric has been used in ayurvedic medicine for centuries for its anti-inflammatory properties, and it’s many benefits are well known and recognized now. As a matter of fact, it has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of things like inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and even multiple sclerosis. However, note that the active component in it, curcumin, is not the easiest for the body to absorb, so use it with black pepper and heat it for greater effects.


What you eat can have a direct effect on the frequency and severity of your symptoms. Make sure that you consider making major changes to your eating habits and incorporate some of these foods into your daily diet.

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Stacey Chillemi

I am on a mission to transform the health of millions worldwide. Check out my website at I am a popular and recognizable health and lifestyle reporter and expert, columnist and health host. Author of The Complete Guide to Natural Healing and Natural Remedies for Common Conditions, along with 20 other published books. I am the founder of The Complete Herbal Guide and a recognized health and natural remedies expert, with over 20 years in practice as a Health Coach. I write for the Huffington Post, Huff Post, Thrive Global and Medium (Owned by Arianna Huffington). I have been a guest on the Dr. Oz Show, local news, and numerous radio shows. My focus is on natural healing, herbal remedies, alternative methods, self-motivation, food for medicine, nutrition, fitness, natural beauty remedies and the power of positive thinking.