In recent years, the Paleo Diet has received considerable attention as a means for improving overall health. The anecdotal evidence for patient improvement on a Paleo, or the more restrictive Autoimmune Paleo (AIP) diet, is abundant. What you hear less frequently is that some people experience negative effects, or a worsening of symptoms with a Paleo or AIP diet. It seems counterintuitive that eating a healthy diet high in cruciferous greens such as kale, cabbage, and broccoli, in combination with high quality proteins and fats, can make you feel worse. Why is that the case?
In today’s functional medicine practice, practitioners like myself are confronted with a myriad of chronic inflammatory conditions and autoimmune diseases. Functional medicine is often referred to as "systems medicine" as it understands the importance of assessing and treating all systems individually, while also keeping the interconnectedness of these systems in mind. When dealing with autoimmunity however, one system in particular, the gastrointestinal system, appears to have more and more clinical relevance with autoimmunity, especially with a condition called leaky gut.