An experiment with the Autoimmune protocol (AIP)

About 9 years ago I contracted Giardia, a gut parasite, from drinking water of questionable quality from a spot in the NT called Croc Hole (read ‘full of croc shit’). Being none the wiser about the importance of gut microflora back then I promptly (after being hospitalised in Mt Isa through consequent diahorrea induced dehydration) destroyed the Giardia using some very strong antibiotics. Unknowingly I also likely destroyed my entire gut microbiome. Prior to this episode I was regular as can be, morning and night, solid. The subsequent 9 years have not been pretty.

Being duely educated on the subject over the last year by my wife and other resources like the Ben Greenfield podcast I decided enough was enough…….

The Protocol requires the simplification of diet by removing any foods that may cause irritation/inflammation and allows the natural gut flora to reestablish itself.

Food stuffs I cut out 

  • All wheat/gluten/cereals
  • Rice
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Night shades (tomatoes/peppers etc)
  • Alcohol
  • Nuts and seeds

Think about that a sec, doesn’t leave much does it! Meat and veg.

Thankfully my wife was living a Paleo diet anyway (through which she has reversed Hashimotos disease by the way!) so her support and discipline helped me through.

It has been said that results can appear within 4 weeks or take 4 years depending on the severity of damage. I hoped for the former. My aim was 4 weeks then slowly reintroduce one food stuff per week thereafter.

Reintroduction of food groups does not mean gorging oneself on that which you have denied yourself. It’s more a gentle reintroduction to see how the gut reacts.

Given I am what could be classified a “functional alcoholic” the first thing I reintroduced was the odd glass of wine with dinner…….after only two weeks

It should be noted that by 2 weeks in I was getting pretty grumpy with the whole exercise. And without my eagle eyed wife I would have surely buckled to the pressure 

The next thing I reintroduced was eggs….at the three week mark, why, we stayed with friends down in Victoria and they provided fresh eggs from the chicken coop. No way way I resisting that!

Then came the change, literally overnight, fixed, cured. My bowels were youthful again! In the following weeks I waited for a relapse, it never came….I reintroduced rice, soon after night shades, nuts and seeds, and finally dairy.

I stayed off gluten however.

When I did eventually reintroduce gluten I did it in a big way. In Germany, with copious quantities of pastries and daily consumption of excellent beers. 3 months work undone.

But I knew it worked and I could be fixed. I also isolated gluten and/or yeast as my major irritant.

The forward plan is to see how my gut fairs during upcoming Marathon (Mt Mee – Apr 9th) and then subsequently train for a 50km Ultra in gluten free mode and see if there is an appreciable difference… this space.


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