They could be your neighbor, a parent from your kids' school, a friend, your coach, a teacher, a business owner you're doing business with... They experimented the AIP (Autoimmune Paleo) Protocol to manage their symptoms and they accepted to share their experience with y'all.
For our third episode of this series of AIP success stories, Mohita is our guest.
My name is Mohita! I'm a R.N. turned Functional Medicine Coach, originally from England but now live in the Cary area with my husband, three young kids and our 4 year old goldendoodle. I'm passionate about the power of natural solutions and the ability of our bodies to heal when given what it needs to thrive!
What autoimmune disease(s) (AID) are you managing? What symptoms did you have?
I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis 7 years ago and had some other un-diagnosed symptoms. I went very quickly from diagnosis to completely debilitating symptoms that left me unable to get out of bed and even carry out basic day to day self-care functions. This went on for some time and I experienced many flares leading to complete joint immobility all over my body. I was exhausted, had terrible brain fog and a lot of persistent GI issues.
How long have you been using AIP to manage your AID? Why did you start it? What/who advised you to start it? What are the results on your symptoms from switching to AIP?
After deciding that I wanted nothing to do with any conventional medicine treatments offered, I went on my own path of exploration and finding more holistic approaches to my care. I began the AIP about a year after my diagnosis because for the first time after reading Sarah Ballantyne's book I felt like there was a clear direction for my health. So I jumped right in. It was a long process of trial and error but I continued to use AIP because things started to improve immediately while I also did other healing protocols. As hard as it was I stayed motivated because it was all worth it and better than the alternative path. Within two years of being fully AIP I had reversed all my symptoms and labs no longer indicated my RA was active.
Did you try to reintroduce some food? Which ones succeeded/failed and how did it go?
I did once I was in remission start reintroducing many foods. Turns out once my gut and dysbiosis were healed I could return to eating many foods on the AIP No list. However I still cannot do certain nightshades (tomato and eggplant), and I chose to not even trial Gluten, dairy and soy because I felt they were not foods I needed to add back in for various reasons.
What were your biggest challenges when you started AIP? What about now?
My biggest challenges when starting AIP were probably the fact that I was too sick to take care of myself, let alone cook. It was important that I accepted help from friends and family so I could nourish my body with what it needed. So I ate well out of sheer necessity. once i began feeling much better, the hardest part was just finding adequate time in a busy day to dedicate to cooking and eating and healing. It takes a lot of commitment and effort if you want to do it right. Once I began to feel more confident in it we began to travel a lot more (which we love to do), and that obviously added another layer of challenges. But we have learned to plan ahead and make things work without having to slip up and fall off the wagon. Now that I've reintroduced so many basic foods it is much easier to travel and socialize and not give up my non negotiable restrictions.
How AIP impacted your personal and professional life?
I can't tell you how thankful I am that I learned about AIP and used it as part of my wellness protocols. To go from bedridden to living and thriving like a young women and mom should be able to is of huge impact. It gave me my life back. Not only did it affect me personally and the lives of all those I love around me, but it set me off on the path of finding something that I am truly passionate about as a career. I adore what I do because of how much I can make a difference in someone's life. How blessed am I?
What is your current occupation? If you have your own business, what is your website or social media to know more about it?
I am a RN, but through my own journey dealing with an autoimmune diagnosis, I spiraled into a path of self learning and discovery and stumbled upon the Functional Medicine model of wellness and it all just made sense. Inspired and passionate about what I was going through, I began studying Functional Medicine for several years and now use what I know to help guide and help people navigate their own journey with chronic illness or those that wish to steer well clear and continue to live a vibrant, happy and healthy life. It is so important to really dig deep and uncover and address underlying root causes rather than simply covering up symptoms. I now have a Functional Medicine Coaching Practice and do both 1:1 coaching, group programs, corporate wellness and other public education events. I can be found at www.mohitapatel.com and https://www.facebook.com/mohitapatelcreateyourwellness/
What would you say to someone considering doing AIP but who is afraid to start?
I would encourage anyone considering AIP to give it a go. Yes, I know it's not an easy journey but I'm living proof that its 100% worth it! Just give it a go because you've got nothing to lose and everything to gain! It will be the beginning of learning to respect and really listen to what your body is telling you, and you might just come out with a whole new appreciation and love for your body and what it's truly capable of when you nourish it and allow it to do what it knows best!