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Autoimmune Protocol | Egg Yolk Reintroduction

I am a Type 1 diabetic, managing my blood glucose levels through the Autoimmune Protocol and healthy lifestyle habits. I began my second round of the Autoimmune Protocol on February 19, 2018 to bring my blood sugar back into range after being exposed to dairy over the holidays of 2017. With 43 days of the elimination phase under my belt and an A1c of 5.8, I am ready to start my first reintroduction: egg yolk!


I’ve read many sources on the reintroduction phase, and there seems to be universal agreement that egg yolks should be accepted by just about any gut, even an autoimmune impaired one. Egg yolks are the most universally accepted item in the Stage 1 reintroductions. For reference, here are the reintroduction stages and foods to try in each stage:

Autoimmune protocol reintroduction phaseOn day 43, April 2, 2018, I made 2 egg yolks to go with my breakfast that morning. I really had no idea how to cook them, so I scrambled them. Do you know how much 2 scrambled egg yolks is? About a tablespoon. Ha! It was pathetic looking on my plate! Good thing I was not relying on the egg yolks to fill me up!

Family was in town that day so I had a normal busy morning playing and wrangling kids then we all headed out to eat for lunch before everyone headed home from the Easter weekend.

I thankfully remembered my glucometer and tested before lunch: 146.

Cue deflation and depression.

For reference, a normal non-diabetic’s blood glucose is around 100, and my normal for pre-lunch from the 2 weeks prior to this introduction was 105.

146 is high for me.

Rats.

For dinner that day, my blood glucose was 147 and at bedtime 146. What? So high! I’m seriously kicking myself now. Two little egg yolks just messed everything up.

The next morning confirmed it. I woke up at 163.

For the next 14 days, I was out of range for my blood glucose goals. Fourteen days! I’ve had mornings as high as 197 and pre-bed as high as 207. I’ve had nights where I was high and had no explanation, nothing to eat since dinner and dinner was not high in carbohydrates. And yet, my blood sugar was high come bedtime. There was even a day I test in the 170’s all day. All. Day.

My interpretation of this is my gut is re-inflamed.

I looked back in my food journal to when I had the duck egg at the beginning of Week 3 of the elimination period. Would you like to take a guess as to how long it took me to see normal results again? Fourteen days. At the time, I blamed our sickness and my sleep schedule being all messed up, but I’m thinking the more likely culprit was the egg.

The last two weeks have been very taxing on me emotionally. While I have felt just fine physically, each high reading gets me really down. Even knowing I would probably see improvement in two weeks did not really help to lift my spirits.

Let’s walk through my methods for this reintroduction, what I did well, what I did wrong, and where I plan to go from here. Learn from my mistakes so you don’t mess up your gut during reintroductions!

egg yolk reintroduction

What I did Well

Reintroduce only the egg yolk at first, avoid the egg white. The egg white can permeate the gut wall causing the autoimmune response to worsen. Surprisingly, I actually did this part correctly! I had two egg yolks scrambled for my reintroduction. 

Unfortunately, this is the only part I did right!

What I did Wrong

Steps to Reintroduction

  1. Take a small bite then monitor for a reaction for 10-15 minutes
  2. Take a normal-sized bite then monitor for a reaction for 2-3 hours
  3. Eat a normal serving then monitor the results for 3-7 days

I didn’t do any of that! I just cooked two egg yolks and gulped them down. The only monitoring I did was checking my blood sugar 4 hours later at lunch, and as you know, that was high.

Blood sugar doesn’t react as rapidly as an allergic reaction, but I wonder what my blood sugar would have done if I’d followed the steps above? At the very least, I may have discovered the elevated levels before I ate 2 egg yolks. Maybe I could have lessened the damage to my gut.

Pasture-Raise, Soy-Free, Wheat-Free Eggs

I had read that quality of the egg mattered, but I didn’t really believe it. The eggs I ate were the cage-free, organic ones from Costco. Obviously, that wasn’t high enough quality! They are not pasture-raised, likely not soy-free, and I have no idea about wheat-free.

Where to Go from Here?

As you might be able to tell from this post, I’m not exactly posting in real time. I’m giving myself a couple weeks to analyze results and share with you. Currently, I am on Day 58 of the Autoimmune Protocol, and I can absolutely see why people are on this diet for a year or more before they feel healed and know what they can eat. Reintroducing foods is hard!

I’m going to give myself another week or so to stabilize my blood sugar. Once I am confident that I’ve returned to my normal, then I’ll reintroduce the next food.

Eggs are not on my list for next reintroduction. 🙂 It’s hard on me emotionally to fail. I hate seeing high reading after high reading for 2 weeks following an introduction. So I’m going to seek out a win before I go back to eggs (Also I need to find a source for pasture-raised, soy & wheat-free eggs!).

Next, I am thinking of trying sesame oil. I like to cook Korean food, and when I leave out the sesame oil, the flavor is really lacking! Sesame oil would be a big win for me in the cooking-tasty-meals department.

Finally, I plan to actually follow the steps for reintroducing foods and document this process better. Here is my plan for reintroducing foods on the Autoimmune Protocol, as a Type 1 Diabetic:

  1. Test blood sugar for a baseline.
  2. Take 1 small bite of the new food. Wait 15 minutes then test blood sugar again. If the result is reasonably close to the baseline (which I think it will be, not sure how quickly blood sugar can react.), go on to step 2.
  3. Take 1 normal bite of the new food. Wait 2 hours then test blood sugar again. If the result is higher than 150, consider the food a fail. If less than 150, go on to step 4.
  4. Eat a normal serving of the food. Continue on normal blood sugar testing routine (fasting, pre-lunch, pre-dinner, and pre-bed) and monitor the results.

Egg yolks were a failed reintroduction on the Autoimmune Protocol. Ingesting two scrambled egg yolks resulted in higher than normal blood sugar levels for 14 days. Since I did not follow the reintroduction steps exactly, I will try to reintroduce egg yolks again, but I will be waiting a few weeks or months to let my blood sugar stabilize and gut heal.


How do you handle let-downs in your life? Don’t give up! Keep pressing on, the results might not be visible right away!

AIP Reintroduction Egg Yolk

Autoimmune Protocol Food Journal
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Autoimmune Protocol | Reintroduction Phase

If you’re new here, my journey through the Autoimmune Protocol began on February 19, 2018. The elimination period of the Autoimmune Protocol lasts 30 days or until symptoms subside. My autoimmune disease is Type 1 Diabetes. I have never heard of a diabetic using the Autoimmune Protocol to manage Type 1 Diabetes. Since I’m forging my own trial (as far as I know!), I am documenting my results and journey here to help other Type 1 Diabetics who might be looking for alternative blood sugar management solutions. (Check out the first 5 weeks here (1, 2, 3, 4, and 5).) Today I will outline my plan for the Reintroduction Phase, and my 3 keys for a success!


The elimination period was not smooth sailing for me as weeks 3 and 4 were filled with sickness and a diet-busting meal at the beginning of week 3. Due to my sleep and routine being so thrown off, in addition to the sickness, I really couldn’t flesh out what was causing my higher blood sugar those weeks. At the time, I blamed my routine and sleep being thrown off, but now I am thinking the dinner out was as much the culprit. It could have been any one of those factor or all of them combined.

Thankfully, my blood sugar returned to normal range in weeks 5 and 6. Since I was past the 30 day mark, and I thought my blood sugar was leveled out. I decided to start the reintroduction phase.

Reintroduction Phase

Autoimmune protocol reintroduction phase

Once the symptoms of the autoimmune disease have stopped, you can reintroduce some of the foods that were eliminated during the elimination phase. There is a best way to do this, and I wish I’d known this back when I first did an elimination diet in October 2017. Foods need to be introduced one at a time and symptoms monitored for 3 days to a week after eating before introducing another food. In my first attempt, I introduced the foods I missed the most first and only waited 2-3 days between introductions. I definitely rushed things.

Choosing which food to introduce first matters too. In the graphic above, the Reintroduction Phase is broken up into four stages. The food in stage 1 is the most likely to be accepted by an autoimmune impaired body, and stage 4 is the least likely to be accepted. Within each stage, it does not matter which food you try first, just pick one and keep the results as clean as possible.

How to Reintroduce a Food

I gathered most of my information on reintroducing foods from Dr. Sarah Ballantyne’s book The Paleo Approach. I highly recommend that book if you are looking for answers to an autoimmune disease!

After selecting a food to reintroduce, eat only a small bite at first and wait 15 minutes for a severe reaction. At this point, you are checking for severe allergic reactions. If you’ve gone gluten-free before, you know your body can change its mind as to what foods it likes or doesn’t like!

If the first bite goes fine, then have a normal-sized bite then monitor symptoms for 2-3 hours. Again, this step is looking for severe adverse reactions. As long as those two bites go well, have a full serving of the food then monitor symptoms for 3 days to a week.

Keys to Success

Reintroducing foods and monitoring symptoms can add up to a lot of data/details, so carefully documentation and maintenance of diet and lifestyle are key. Here are 3 key tips to successfully reintroducing foods as a Type 1 Diabetic on the Autoimmune Protocol.

Food Journal

Autoimmune Protocol Food Journal

First of all, a food journal is essential. You will be documenting SO many things. It is impossible to keep each day straight let alone look for patterns over days, weeks, or months.
A food journal does not have to be anything fancy. Mine is a $.25 spiral bound notebook that goes on sale just before school starts each year. Dedicate an entire notebook to the journal; it will get filled up quicker than you think! Don’t rely on scrap pieces of paper, use full size paper so you have plenty of room to write everything out!

The food journal is the main reason I’ve been able to stick with the diet for so long and to figure out which foods are not agreeing with me. I tend to over-exaggerate my blood sugar levels over days/weeks. If things are not going well, I tend to negatively think I’ve been off for a week or more, when in reality it has only been a few days. It has been so important to have a written record so I can go back and see a clear picture of what really happened.
Make note of anything of consequence along with the major measures for your autoimmune disease. You won’t regret more detail when you go back to review the results. I have Type 1 Diabetes, so I monitor the following things:

  1. Fasting Blood Glucose
  2. Sleep notes
  3. Supplements taken
  4. Breakfast Food
  5. Snack
  6. Pre-Lunch Blood Glucose
  7. Lunch Food
  8. Snack
  9. Pre-Dinner Blood Glucose
  10. Dinner Food
  11. Supplements
  12. Snack
  13. Pre-Bed Blood Glucose

Jotting down these things throughout each day was a game changer! There are SO many moving parts in one’s diet, and many lifestyle routines, habits, and choices make a difference in blood sugar level too. I’m so glad I went through the effort to keep this journal. It is helping me tremendously analyze my results.

Healthy Habits

Healthy habits like consistent sleep (8-9 hours), consistent bed and wake time, and exercise are vital for a healthy body. Keep these routines consistent throughout the reintroduction phase. You want as few variables as possible when trying new foods, so don’t let your lifestyle habits prevent a clear reading on how the food is affecting you.

As a Type 1 Diabetic, these are the healthy lifestyle habits I stick to every day:

  1. Wake up at 5:45am every day – even on the weekends!
  2. Time in God’s Word and prayer – beyond communicating with my Lord and keeping that relationship growing, I need His peace as I go through each day. This diet stresses me sometimes.
  3. Exercise – I do a Fitness Blender workout Monday through Saturday.
  4. Consistent mealtime – Breakfast at 8am, Lunch at 12:30pm, and Dinner at 5:30
  5. Bed time at 10:00pm every day – even on the weekends!

Blood Glucose Monitoring

Since I am a Type 1 Diabetic, blood glucose or blood sugar is my primary indicator if a food is agreeing with my body or not. I test four times a day: fasting or first thing in the morning, before lunch, before dinner, and before bed. My goals for each of those times are as follows:

  • Fasting – less than 130
  • Pre-lunch – less than 130
  • Pre-dinner – less than 130
  • Bed time – between 100 and 150

For my non-diabetic readers, a non-diabetic’s blood sugar level is around 100.

Measurement of Results

The plan for the near future is to reintroduce one item from phase 1 then watch my blood sugar for 3-7 days and make note of any spikes. My criteria for a successful reintroduction as a Type 1 Diabetic:

  • Fasting Blood Glucose less than 150 – This is the biggest indicator that a food has irritated my gut. If I wake up in the morning with a blood sugar higher than 150, that’s when I know my body is off track. I wish I was consistently under 130, but it doesn’t look like that will happen (dawn phenomenon? Not sure…).
  • Pre-Lunch Blood Glucose less than 120 – My normal pre-lunch blood glucose is usually around 100-120, so if it is above that (even if still less than the accepted 130) I know my body is not tolerating that food well.
  • Body tremors – I have doubts that any food besides gluten will do this, but if I’ve ingested gluten, I get the shakes three days later. It feels like the organs inside my rib cage are shaking. I do not do anything to treat this symptom. Although it feels bad, it goes away in a day, and it has happened enough times that I know it is only a sign of gluten exposure.

Autoimmune protocol reintroduction phase

My plan for the Reintroduction Phase of the Autoimmune Protocol is to choose one food at a time, wait 3-7 days between new foods, document my results in my food journal, and keep my health lifestyle going every day. I am hopeful with careful analysis and cooking to be able to reintroduce foods that I’ve been without these past weeks! Egg yolks is first up on my list, I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes!


Autoimmune protocol reintroduction phase