Posted by: amandaleigh1231 | March 17, 2013

Anti-inflammation diet

One thing that people are surprised to learn about me is that I have a chronic illness.  At various points over the years I have received a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, palindromic rheumatoid arthritis,  and chronic inflammatory arthritis, depending upon how my blood tests were looking at that particular point in time (From what I understand, changing diagnoses is very common with autoimmune disorders).  There was one thing that was common to each of the doctor’s that I visited – they all asked if I had celiac disease (and tested me for it) or any other intestinal problem.  My tests always came back negative, but I could understand their reasoning.  In addition to the joint pain and swelling typical of arthritis, I also have  chronic malnutrition – iron, vitamin D, an calcium deficiencies that don’t respond to supplements, difficulty maintaining weight, and possible decreased nerve function in my extremities.  Since my response to anti-rheumatic drugs is minimal, I recently began to research alternative treatments, including diet treatments.  This is one of the resources that I found (image from http://www.amazon.com):

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The author talks about how inflammation is caused and how proper diet can help in treating it.  Towards the middle of the book she details what foods should be eaten and which should be avoided.  The diet focuses on eating lots of low glycemic vegetables, whole grains (excluding wheat), fruits, and organic, grass fed meats and poultry.  There really is a lot available.  To me the biggest obstacle is that the few foods that in the “don’t eat” category are my favorites.  These include tomatoes, potatoes, wheat, and coffee.

This actually makes sense to me.  In the months leading up to my wedding, my husband adopted the most strict phase of the South Beach Diet.  To help him avoid temptation, I kept my carb choices to those that he would not eat.  I ate tons of fruits and veggies and the occasional side of brown rice or organic puffed rice cereal.  I may have occasionally had a mixed grain pita, too.  The point is that I felt great!  I actually gained some weight, especially muscle, and was the most physically active that I had been in years.  I even managed to climb the Duns River waterfall on our honeymoon – without pain!

Despite the benefits, it scares me to turn away from my favorite money saving staples.  No more pasta or quick baked goods. No sandwiches!  I will end up trying this once I make my next grocery trip, but it will be a challenge to keep to my budget.  I will keep you posted

If you would like to learn more about the anti-inflammation diet, the book is available here.

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