People living with Hidradenitis suppurativa have to take control and pro-actively look for the latest information about the terrible, chronic condition with no medical cure to date. Since the medical industry fails to deliver a foolproof solution to this condition, it is every patient’s personal quest to, first of all, get the correct diagnosis (this may take up to 7 years on average), tailor the best treatment planaccording to personal history, design a lifestyle formula and a hidradenitis diet that would allow him to stay in control, have a normal, functioning life, keep a job and be active on the social scene.
It is mostly a process of trial and error, and in the following paragraphs I’ve tried to sum up some of the conclusions reported by HS sufferers from personal experience: what foods may triggers hidradenitis outbursts, which hidradenitis diet helps send it into remission, and which herbal supplements may aid along the way.
Hidradenitis is an auto-immune condition associated often with other diseases: Crohn’s disease, Type II Diabetes, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Allergies, Adult Acne, Acid Reflux Disease, weakened immune system, Yeast Infection, with the majority of patients being overweight.
Some foods or chemichals used in the food industry were identified to act as trigger for the formation of hidradenitis boils and cysts as soon as the next day after consumption, among which:
- Dairy: milk, cheese, yogurt
- Wheat: even in gluten free foods that came into contact with flower as it often happens in restaurants, where pans or frying oils are used for multiple dishes
- Sugars: refined on not refined, honey, and even fructose above certain limits
- Chemicals in sugar substitutes, preservatives, processed and smoked meats
- Nightshades: green and red peppers, hot peppers, tomatoes, eggplants and potatoes
- Condiments and spices: paprika, chili powder
Finding what triggers the hidradenitis activation in your case may be a lengthy process. And you have to embark on this mission with full support from your family and friends.
1. First adopt a health anti-inflammatory diet meant to strengthen the immune system, eliminate all toxins, preservatives, allergens and trigger fat loss. The most spectacular results are reported on Rob Wolf’s Auto-immune Paleo hidradenitis diet which was adopted successfully by thousands of hidradenitis patients.
A typical hidradenitis diet menu looks like this and can be eaten 2-4 times a day :
• 4-8 oz of organic, grass fed meat such as chicken, lean beef or pork plus fish and seafood. A small number of hidradenitis patients reported red meat as trigger so watch out and try to eliminate it from hidradenitis diet if you think that’s the case for you.
• Liberal amount of vegetables best eaten raw or steamed. Stay away from vegetables in the nightshades category: peppers, tomatoes, eggplants and potatoes.
• Healthy omega 3 oils and fats, olive oil, un-salted almonds, peanuts, macadamias. If you are intolerant to nuts than skip those.
• One serving of fruits, preferably low in fructose content like berries: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or melons.
Stay away from caffeine and tobacco. Follow this strict hidradenitis diet protocol for 30-60 days, make sure you clean your pantries before starting so you do not deviate. Ideally you should notice a visible improvement within a couple of weeks: your hidradenitis sent into remission, better skin and some weight loss.
2. If this works for you, you may keep this diet for as long as you like, however if you want, you may start re-introducing some of the foods you excluded, one at a time for a week, and observe the change in your health. Keep a strict food diary during this period and once you identify which food triggers your health problem try to avoid them all together in the future.
Stock on this healthy food options and order to add some variation to your hidradenitis diet:
• Fresh or frozen tuna, salmon, tilapia, dorada, sea bass, sea bream, mussels, shrimps. Beef, turkey, duck, lamb or lean pork.
• Fresh or frozen spinach, peas, green beans, corn, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, green salad, onions, garlic, herbs: rosemary, thyme, dill, basil
3. Supplement your diet with Tumeric and Zinc for an extra boost.
•Tumeric (Cucurmin active ingredient) is an oriental spice, in the ginger family, used in the Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is taken orally as capsules or powder: one table spoon mixed with lemon juice and water.
•Zinc gluconate taken orally has been shown to induce remission. Recommended dose is at least 30 mg taken 3 times daily.