You may have already heard of the Paleo diet, which is one of the latest developments in the world of nutrition, and dismissed it as yet another fad that will soon disappear again. However, if you have been diagnosed with hidradenitis suppurativa, or think that you may have this condition, then the Paleo diet is something that you may want to look into a little more.
If you have not yet been given a definitive diagnosis for your condition, then you should see a doctor and have your suspicions confirmed before you make any changes.
The Paleo diet is based on the research of scientists studying the prehistoric era and the civilisations of the time – the foods that are recommended for inclusion in the eating plan are those that would have been available at that time. The Paleo diet consists primarily of vegetables, but it would be best to avoid those from the nightshade category, such as aubergines (sometimes called eggplants), peppers and tomatoes – these can aggravate your symptoms. Starchy foods such as potatoes can be eaten in small amounts, but they should not become a staple of the diet.
Meat can be eaten as part of this diet, and as long as it has not been processed, there are no restrictions on the type. However, some hidradenitis suppurativa patients find that red meats, such as beef, can lead to an increase in your symptoms. For this reason, you may wish to avoid these. Fish should be included, particularly oily fish, as these are an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids. If you don’t eat oily fish, then these important substances can also be obtained from nuts and seeds.
The Paleo diet requires you to cut out any foods that would not have been available to the prehistoric society, which means that you will not be able to eat bread, rice, pasta or any processed foods. These are often the source of much of the energy that your body uses most readily, so you may expect to be tired for the first few days. However, your body will soon adjust to this, and it is important that you stick to the diet in order to obtain the benefits. The fatigue will be reduced much more quickly if you also cut out caffeine, which has more of an impact on your body than you might expect. You will be able to sleep better as a result of eliminating caffeine, which is a stimulant, from your diet.
The Paleo diet (a slightly misleading name, since its purpose here is not primarily weight loss) will also help to relieve your hidradenitis suppurativa symptoms by encouraging the abscesses and cysts to heal. The vegetables contain high levels of antioxidants and vitamins, all of which are essential for the body to function properly and to be able to heal. This means that it is important for you to eat as wide a range of fruits and vegetables as possible.
If you are intending to follow this diet, then you will need to cut out wheat and grain-based products, which are thought to contribute to a wide variety of health conditions that are becoming more prevalent at the moment. By going back to the kinds of food that were around before the advent of the agricultural industry, we are returning to eating a diet that the human body is better adapted for, and it can help with a wide variety of medical conditions. Some of these are thought to be autoimmune disorders, with the body recognising substances such as wheat as foreign, and reacting strongly to them. Read more…