There are so many different diets and healthy tips for people with hidradenitis suppurativa, it can be hard to know where to start. There isn’t too much scientific research in diet and Hidradenitis Suppurativa. But it is definitely something worth considering because some people say they have had great results and reduced their flare ups by changing their diet.
Why is diet important for managing Hidradenitis Suppurativa?
- Inflammation – certain foods like high sugar and fatty food are known to cause inflammation in the body. So, if we avoid these foods, we can reduce inflammation.
- Some carbohydrates are absorbed very quickly into the blood, which can cause a spike in blood sugar. This can wreak havoc with our hormones, in particular insulin, and cause type 2 diabetes.
- Research has shown that fat cells can contribute to inflammation in the body, so in theory, reducing body fat should reduce inflammation too.
- We all know living with HS can be really difficult at times and can affect our mental health. There are certain foods that are proven to improve mood. Foods rich in omega 3, Zinc and B vitamins can have a positive effect on your mood.
- Some foods like protein rich foods can even help you to sleep better! And sleep is so important for the body to recover and heal. Sleep deprivation also increases inflammation, so it is a vicious circle, and getting proper is just as important as your hidradenitis suppurativa diet.
- Some protein rich foods, like turkey, can improve your sleep, and we all know that it can be difficult to sleep when you’re having a HS flare up.
Popular diets for hidradenitis suppurativa
- The anti -inflammatory diet has been researched for HS and had good outcomes. It focuses on eliminating processed, fatty and sugary foods, and including fresh fruit and vegetables, and lean meat or fish.
- Auto Immune Protocol Diet – is a very restrictive diet that eliminates a lot of foods that might be causing inflammation. Foods are gradually reintroduced and if you have no reaction to them, then you know they are “safe” foods for you to eat.
- Plant Based diet – consists of a variety of healthy vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and wholegrains.
- Yeast elimination diet – has been researched and the results showed that completely eliminating brewers yeast from the diet can improve HS.
- The paleo diet is eating foods similar to what our ancient ancestors are. It avoids any processed foods, and focuses on fresh vegetables, fruit and lean meat.
- The Mediterranean Diet – is similar to the anti-inflammatory diet but is based on foods found in countries like Greece, Italy and Spain. It includes healthy fats, whole grains and fresh fruit and vegetables.
What do these 6 diets have in common?
There are so many options when you are choosing the right diet for you. Some diets require a complete overhaul and lots of planning and preparations, and others can be developed gradually with small changes introduced over time. These diets have a lot of things in common, so if you are not ready to completely overhaul your diet, you might try incorporating some of these into your day to day.
- Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Choose whole grain products like rice, pasta and bread.
- Reduce how much meat you eat, even a little bit, and if you do eat meat, make it fresh and not processed meat.
- Reduce the amount of dairy products you eat, like milk and cheese.
- Mix things up and don’t eat the same foods every day. Variety is the spice of life.
- Avoid sugary drinks, and high sugar foods like cakes, candy and ice cream.
- Reduce or remove convenience food from your diet.
Suspected Trigger Foods:
There are certain foods that are believed to trigger HS flares because they cause your immune system to overreact. If you notice a big flare after certain foods, they might be a trigger food for you, and it might be worthwhile eliminating it and seeing if that helps.
The most common trigger foods are:
- Dairy products like milk and cheese.
- High sugar foods like white sugar, high fructose corn syrup and soda.
- Brewer’s yeast is found in beer, breads, cakes and lots of other processed foods.
- Nightshade vegetables like peppers, tomatoes and potatoes.
A healthy diet is important for our overall health and wellbeing and might even help to reduce or prevent hidradenitis suppurativa flare-ups. When you feel out of control and that HS is taking over, remember that you control what food you eat and that you can choose foods that are good for you, improve sleep, reduce inflammation and boost your mood. You have the power within to make healthy decisions for yourself. Why not make a few changes… your body will thank you for it!