April162012

owlectomy asked: Hi Melody, I love your blog! You seem like such a gorgeous, strong woman. I noticed you posted about trying a different diet to help with your RA...did it help you at all? My mom has RA and has tried all the meds out, with no luck. Now I'm trying to encourage her to try natural therapies. If changing your diet makes a difference I really think she'd go for it. Anything you can tell me about your experience with special diets would be very much apreciated :)

Hello, 
Sorry for the delay. I guess I may start checking these messages more often. Thanks for appreciating what I share and for the love. I have been eating a gluten free vegan diet for a short while now. Long enough to be mostly adjusted. Before, I was eating a generally pescatarian diet with some chicken every now and then, and soy products. I was advised to eliminate night shades first (white potatoes, onion, bell peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant). After about a month of being free from those, I slowly would reintroduce the foods to see if there was any change. I eat onion, peppers, and tomatoes sparingly as I’ve noticed they increase inflammation only slightly. White potatoes cause the most inflammation as half a cup of mashed potatoes one night (cooked with peppers and onions) caused an insane amount of inflammation the next day. Same with eggplant.

The turn towards vegan came with the attempt to lessen my migraines and tension headaches, increase energy, and boost the effectiveness of my digestive system. I used to eat eggs daily (as they were my main protein) but about a week after I stopped, the migraines were cut to less than half. Sticking to a nutrient dense diet (lots of dark greens, sweet potatoes, bananas, no sugar, oils sparingly (olive, safflower, corn oil if you must fry)) has helped the overall effectiveness of my medications as well, benefitted recovery from activity or methotrexate, and my energy level.

The reason for eliminating gluten products was because I noticed stomach pains after just about every meal, as well as the continued migraines, although better were not gone. I was also experiencing nausea in the morning and although I’d have an appetite, it was still hard to get stuff down. I have been gluten free for about a month and it has helped a lot as far as getting rid of the overall sick feeling, the stomach pains, and the migraines. I talked to my doctor about it and he keeps brushing it under the rug. As far as I’m concerned, I didn’t have a gluten intolerance before the medication so…I just want to know as much as I can about what’s happening to my insides. A couple weekends ago, I prepared a bunch of food for an event that my friend’s were hosting and the effects of the “gluten” I injested over the weekend took the better part of the week to recover from. I had learned before that the common treatments for RA (steroids, NSAIDS, oral MTX, others) can cause a lot of damage to the lining of our stomachs and intestines, leaving them more vulnerable to the corrosive climate of our blood. A more permeable tract can lead to the gluten intolerance or other sensitivities, also promoting conditions like Celiac disease or Crohn’s or UC if there’s already another autoimmune disorder.

I still have good days and bad, but I know without my medications or my routine, I’d be bedridden. The motivation to stay clear of certain triggers, control my appetite (despite what prednisone will do to it),  and stay rich in anti-inflammatory supplements comes easier the closer one gets to the balance. 

I wish the best of health to you and your mother. Sticking to my diet has been good as long as I’ve had people around to encourage and support the changes. Please continue to support your mother as that love becomes a serious healing agent.

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