**Update on diet changes & RA

*Update* I am having huge successes in alleviating my symptoms from changing my diet!! Please if you are visiting and have RA...try this. Or contact me... I am not only a mission to fix myself but to help others!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Old news & some new!

Hi All!

Hope all my fellow RA'ers are doing well.  I'd be interested to know if any of you out there have modified your diet and are feeling well??

I have been meaning to write a little "year in review" for some new stumblers.  I get a lot of questions asked and I realize that a year's worth of posts are a lot to go through! (and it doesn't help that all posts are listed from most recent to oldest)

Here's a basic summary:
Mid July 2010:  Received news from Rheumatologist that I needed to go on Remicade (IV infusion drug) on top of my other meds as my disease was progressing.  Other meds were: Naproxyn, Plaquenil, Humira injections & Prednisone.  Came home upset and desperate for a gentler approach.  Found these web sites containing cool info on healing RA through diet :  http://www.frot.co.nz/dietnet/reviews/mcferran01.htm  and
http://jhackett_ra.tripod.com/story.html  I decided to give it a shot!  Had my family read and got their approval/ support.

Aug 1/2010:  Started my elimination diet.  Tough few days but miraculously by day 4, I could make a tight closed fist upon waking.  I hadn't done that in years (and while on meds I should add). 

Next 6-8 mths:  Highs & Lows... adding foods too fast and winding up in major flare ups, and with no meds.  Always felt in control and was able to get myself back under control.  Had some amazing weeks where I felt the best I had in years.  Was able to open cans, and pick up dumbells first thing in the morning.  Got some devestating news that my mom had Lung cancer.  I didn't write much about this, but I'm so happy to report that she's doing well and is going to make it :)

Last 4 mths:  Have not been as strict as I was in the first 12 months and have paid the price.  I've made the mistake of adding back some healthy foods assuming that they wouldn't hurt me.  Just because a food is healthy, doesn't mean it's actually good for me and my RA.

A typical good day for me (that doesn't cause flares)
- small black coffee w stevia
- clean chocolate protein shake w unsweetened almond milk
- apple or berries for snack
- spinach salad: avocado, cucumber, walnuts, goat feta w olive oil & little bit vinegar
- nuts or veggies for snack
- bbq chicken or steak with veggies

Things that cause me to flare:
** It should be noted that I love these foods.  I sometimes dream about these foods.  And if I indulge in item # 1, it often leads to the consumption of all of these foods :(

Where I am today....  I am back to eating very clean and am feeling pretty well.  Not as good though as when I first started this journey.  I am basically eating "paleo"  (like our caveman ancestors ate- meat, fruits & veg)  I have added certain foods that I never tested (coconut milk, coconut oil)  So I went to see my Naturopath and he did a food sensitivity test (some say it's a waste of $$, I was willing to give it a try..the more assistance that I can get, the better!)  Flare ups hurt a lot and I am not afraid to admit when I've screwed up and need a hand.  Anyhow, results come in about 2 more weeks.. so we'll go from there.  I saw my rheumatologist last week for the first time in a year and he told me he'd like me to try another biologic injection...no thank you.

Wow, what a long post.  I realized too, my blog is a little boring, no snazzy pics but what really would I take pics of, my creepy hands or golf ball heels?  No thanks!  Instead here's a pic of me and my main man ;)  Although he's got his mouth full :(


" The idea on the medical horizon is that chronic inflammation is a root cause of degenerative disease.  It is time for medical schools to improve nutrition education.  If physicians are trained to use "food as medicine" they may not need to rely on drugs and their distressing side effects to treat the inflammatory process"

-Dr. Andrew Weil

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Plan & IgG test

Thanks for all the nice posts.  It really helps me along and helps keep me motivated!!  Keep em coming :)

I emailed my Naturopath Doctor (he's awesome) and filled him in on my status and desire to try this IgG blood test and he's arranged for me to go in tomorrow for it so that's great that I don't have to wait long.

I'm getting a lot of people inquiring what exactly I eat and what I've done over the past year.  It's a lot of posts to read so when I have a few minutes (no 2 yr. old hanging off me!)  I am going to post my year in review - some ups, downs, struggles and victories! 

Stay tuned!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Appt. & Update

I had my appointment with my rheumatologist.  He came in smiling and opened up with "Wow, I haven't seen you in a year and you look great."  I proceeded to tell him that I was great and very pleased with my RA for the most part.  I had decided not to go into all of the detail of what I have done, I just told him I made some nutrition changes and food eliminations and have been managing very well with no medications. 

Now, to give some background- these last few months I've been about 50/50 flare up to normal.  I have had a harder time keeping my RA under control with the added stress in my life and a struggle to stick to a very strict food plan.  I have realized that for me, I have to be 100% on with my food in order to feel good.  If I stray, even just a little bit, I flare very easily.  I know I can do it, I just need to go back to the drawing board to know exactly what is and isn't allowed.

My doc did a joint evaluation and told me I have 15 effused joints.  Last July I had 16.  He told me that even though I am not feeling as much pain as I used to, that while there is inflammation, there is damage occuring.  He's sending me for hand and feet x rays, blood work and will see me again in 4 mths.  He also sent me home with info on a drug called Simponi.  I don't intend on trying it.

So, what to do.... well, as mentioned- I have no intentions of going back to any big bad drugs (with the exception of the odd tylenol or naproxyn if I'm really bad)  My plan is:

- go see my Naturopathic Dr. and get a blood test (IgG test) to help identify major & obvious food sensitivities
- continue to eat only clean and whole foods (ie. no processed foods, packaged foods, chemicals, etc)
- continue to take my probiotics, good quality vitamins & supplements
- go back to my earlier days of being on my elimination diet and not guessing that a particular food must be ok (even if healthy- still may be a problem) * I have read so much lately on how healthy coconut is (milk and oil) and I went ahead and added it without properly testing it.

Anyone else out there experiencing this?  What do you recommend- starting over?  Detoxing and adding foods back in 1 at a time??

I'm coming up on a whole year of eating super clean !  I haven't fallen off the wagon and gone on a crazy binge on my fave foods (large cheese pizza, DQ Peanut butter cup blizzard, fresh warm bread to name a few)  It's been hard but I'm still on this mission and I know I will get there but it will take lots of perseverance and time. 

Any advice or thoughts are always welcomed fellow bloggers!  Thanks.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Motivated & Coconut milk

Hi All,

I'm doing well, have my eating under strict control!  I changed a few things since my last post- one being removing all grains totally (no more rice crackers or rice cakes) and no more cheese at all (my beloved goat feta).  Oh and I also stopped the V8.  I have added fresh vegetable juice made by either my juicer or booster juice.  It contains only beets, carrots, apple and ginger.  It's pretty tasty.  Oh and I have discovered coconut milk.  I blend it in my magic bullet until it gets whipped like whipped cream and pour it over berries.  It's so yummy and seems to be a popular treat amongst health food bloggers so I thought I would give it a shot to keep things interesting.  It's very natural and I don't add any sugar or anything to it.  It tastes amazing!!!

I got a call from my Rheumatologist to remind me of my appt this Thursday.  I knew it was coming but didn't know so soon... so that is driving me to get these hands and feet in top notch shape so I can show them off!  I'm anxious to see what he will say when I explain that I am still not taking any medications....  My only worry is these large bumps on the back of my heels.  They are painful and don't seem to go away even when my feet and hands are well under control.

Wish me luck and I'll follow up later this week after my appt!