In my mind, my autoimmune disease, lupus, has so much to do with inflammation. My joints were inflamed and my bones and body hurt. Some nights, I couldn’t grab the covers to pull over me because my fingers were so swollen. My hands just didn’t work. There were times when I couldn’t walk because my knees were so inflamed—swollen and painful. The worst inflammation was during a flare that hospitalized me. I was very sick (vomiting, diarrhea, pain at a 10), and my abdomen swelled to bursting point. Thankfully, I recovered, but I knew something beyond the medication (with its awful side effects) had to be done. I started talking to people, and I started researching online. Because if I couldn’t control the fact that I already had this disease, I could control how much inflammation I was contributing to my body’s system via food choice. Once I learned how different foods affect the body and how some foods are more inflammatory than others, I was able to make better choices for myself.
Every person can take an active role in lessening the inflammation in his/her body. One major way to do this is through choosing the right food and drink for our system. Everyone learns and absorbs knowledge in different ways, so I thought I would provide a list of different types of resources. This post provides information on books that can help you begin the process.
- The Paleo Approach by Sarah Ballentyne, Ph. D
- Dr. Ballentyne a.k.a The Paleo Mom is one of the pioneers of the paleo movement. She backs up her findings to support a nutrient-dense real food approach with science. She is a strong proponent that going paleo is not a diet or a fad, it is an approach or lifestyle designed to benefit us from the inside out.
- The Wahls Protocol by Terry Wahls, M.D.
- Dr. Wahls has an amazing healing story. She used the paleo diet methodology to heal her symptoms from MS to a point where within a year she moved from being confined to a wheelchair to riding a bike several miles on a regular basis. One really cool aspect to her research and writing is that she created a Wahls protocol not only for omnivores but she also created a protocol for vegetarians.
- The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook by Angie Alt
- Ms. Alt provides a down to earth and humorous approach to starting the paleo autoimmune protocol. If you are going to try out something new, might as well have fun with it. She helps you with all of the stages of the protocol. And her book is filled with beautiful food photography.
- The Blood Sugar Solution 10-day Detox by Mark Hyman, MD
- Dr. Hyman is a fave in the autoimmune disease community. If you feel like you need to jump start your journey towards healing, his 10-day detox guide may be your best choice.
- Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo
- Ms. Sanfilippo’s book is packed with information on starting a whole-foods lifestyle. She has customized a number of 30-day guides based on specific autoimmune diseases. She also has a plan just for folks who would like to start on a “clean” paleo diet. And get this, she covers all basis and even has a section that discusses understanding your digestion, elimination and all! Her book is thorough.
I encourage you to check out each book—read their summaries and reviews. All of these books provide guidelines that will help bring down the body’s inflammation and in turn help you towards creating a healthier body. There is no cure for autoimmune diseases, but we can feed our bodies the best customized fuel for our system to give it what it needs to keep the disease as quiet as possible. The paleo approach has helped me to feel better and lower my medication dosage. I hope that it can help you.
Let us know how you do putting the advice into practice. Which ones are your favorites and why? What features in the books helped you the most? What additional books would you add to the list?