It’s been several months since I have written. Life has been really crazy as it has for most. I was hoping that by now my naturopath doctor and I would have had me back on track and in remission.

Sadly things have only gotten worse. Between the stresses of the pandemic, its effects on the gym/my job, and personal stress, I’ve been fighting an uphill battle.

There’s a few things that have entered the equation that I feel are of great importance and my naturopath agrees. She’s been taking an intensive course on autoimmune diseases and we’re working through some steps to get more answers.

I began feeling symptoms of menopause (fun stuff) and a hormone test confirmed I’m definitely going through it now. I had been researching menopause and rheumatoid arthritis and it can have a profound effect causing disease activity to accelerate and become more aggressive.

We’re not talking hormone replacement therapy just yet. I also just had a bunch of lab work done to verify if there is gut permeability and to check for 29 pathogens that can cause inflammatory responses. Waiting on those results.

In the meantime we’re going back at the diet. I had switched to a plant based diet in the spring. Since I don’t eat any dairy or eggs, plant based or being vegan wasn’t too much of a stretch. And it’s widely recommended for helping keep inflammation down in people with RA. But just like anything else it also depends on the individual.

I do believe that the immense stress I’ve been under is a major factor but at this point foods could be making it worse.

I’m in so much pain constantly and can’t even workout like used to. It’s effecting me mentally and physically and I’m completely drained more often than not.

So because of the severity and length of this flare we’re doing something rather drastic. I had been researching this before my doctor mentioned it. It’s called an Elemental Diet.

It’s physician formulated and some small studies indicate that it could help get me out of this flare.

For 14 days I will drink a powder mixed with water throughout the day. No food, and only water, and I believe tea, to drink. No sweeteners or anything like that. It’s fairly high calorie. The proteins are broken down into amino acids, and the fats and carbohydrates are in a pre-digested form. The idea is to afford me digestive rest and help heal gut permeability.

After 14 days I’ll reintroduce foods very slowly and see how I do.

Working with my naturopath doctor helps me feel not so helpless. I’m hopeful.

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