Fear

I’m 3 months into the autoimmune protocol diet. The knowledge of food allergies has helped me fine tune my eating even more. I added back two food groups and will be tweaking to determine if they’re inflammatory. My pain is coming back to levels I haven’t been having, and with the pain comes fear.

I’m afraid of how bad the pain gets. I’m afraid of the medications and their side effects. But more than that I’m afraid of losing my mobility.

I’ve been off the Kevzara for a month trying to rule out an allergic reaction. I’m trying to decide along with my rheumatologist if I will try it again or go on to the next step.

My prescription vitamin blend came in and I’ve been taking it for two weeks. I’m hopeful that they will be absorbed by my body and begin to help. We’ll do some blood tests in 3 months to see.

Healing my gut and my body will take time, patience, and persistence. I know that all the damage was not done overnight and will not go away overnight.

In the meantime I continue to move and strengthen my body and I am thankful that I can.

DNA, food allergies and vitamin deficiencies.

Before the end of the year I had a bunch of bloodwork done which included DNA testing, standard tests such as cholesterol; and hormone, vitamin, and allergy tests.

I got all the test results back last week. I believe all the information I now have will help me in the treatment of my disease.

The DNA results are interesting. I have information that can be given to my rheumatologist as well as other doctors to help make decisions about medications based on my genes.

I found that I have two food allergies. I am allergic to milk and egg whites. In the past month or so I eliminated both milk and eggs on the autoimmune protocol diet (AIP diet) so keeping them out of my diet permanently should be fairly easy.

I did some reading about milk and egg allergies and how they manifest, and there is some evidence that they can cause an autoimmune response. So hopefully keeping them out of my diet will settle my immune system down some.

My vitamin levels are out of balance as well which is not uncommon in RA patients. My vitamin D is very low, as is my vitamin A, and my vitamin C level was almost nonexistent. I couldn’t believe it because not only do I eat copious amounts of fresh vegetables and fruits, but am religious about taking my vitamins and supplements. Thanks RA for yet another fun aspect of the disease.

I’ll be starting a prescription vitamin blend based on my needs and genetic make up. So my levels will be brought to the best level for me not the broad government standards. It will also have a substance to help me absorb them since my body is not doing it well enough on its own.

Once my vitamin D, C, and A are brought up my hormones and other levels should become balanced and I should feel a lot better!

I’ve stayed on the AIP diet through the elimination phase and just added legumes/beans back to see how my body responds.

I also have a call into my rheumatologist because I believe I had a reaction to the last Kevzara injection I did on Tuesday. I’ve had similar site reactions like I did with Humira, and had a significant rash/hives within 24 hours of the last injection.

We’ll see if she wants me to continue treatment or hold off. I would be willing to take a break from meds and pursue the AIP diet knowing that the 2 food allergies could have been impacting me greatly.

I still believe remission is possible and that my body has the ability to heal and be well.

I’m definitely persistent enough to keep trying.

AIP meal prep

Staying on the AIP diet so the long process of gut healing can continue. Being on an extremely strict diet is tough but I’ve found it’s getting easier. But I have to be prepared.

Sunday is my meal prep day. Lunches and dinners are easy. Grass fed, grass finished beef and wild caught seafood with copious amounts of vegetables. I drink kombucha daily and snack on fruits. Breakfast has been the challenge with no grains, dairy or eggs involved. Thank God for Pinterest!

This week my meals are looking good.

I made a bunch of AIP compliant veggies in my wok and roasted some sweet potatoes in the oven. I have some grass fed, grass finished Kobe beef hot dogs for a few meals, and cooked a grass fed, grass finished porterhouse steak in a cast iron pan in the oven.

I eat some kind of seafood every day. This week is wild caught salmon and wild caught tuna to go with either spaghetti squash or sauteed spinach.

Lunches and dinners are packed full of vitamins. I buy organic veggies whenever possible too.

After getting all that finished I moved on to breakfasts. I tried two different recipes this week. I opted for Tostones (fried plantains) and pumpkin spice macaroons made with dates, pumpkin puree, and shredded coconut.

I can assure you these are both delicious!

So the journey to heal my gut and balance my immune system in hopes of remission continues. And the best part is that I’m not feeling deprived and I’m eating nutritionally sound food.

Don’t take your health for granted.

We need a cure

A day in the life of someone with uncontrolled RA….Another rest day from the gym today. Something is going wrong. I stumbled getting out of bed this morning because the pain in my feet was so excruciating I couldn’t stand.

I pulled myself together and made my hair appointment then did the grocery shopping, and grabbed a few other items for Christmas. I can’t close my right hand, more fingers are affected, and my wrist is very weak today. Picking up packages of meat and other items was difficult.

I got home and put groceries away. Too tired to meal prep. Took a nap. Need to get my meals done but have no energy and it is hurting to be on my feet.

I have my new meds in the refrigerator but haven’t been trained to administer my injection. It’s not an automatic injector this time but a syringe. I’m super emotional because I want the autoimmune protocol diet to help me get into remission but on the other hand I want relief from the pain. I’m terrified of the meds and fight taking them. But when there is pain and inflammation permanent joint damage is taking place.

All of this after three great workouts in the gym this week. I know exercise and lifting weights is good for me so it’s even more frustrating when I can’t and my body calls the shots.

All of this is not for pity but to raise awareness. Arthritis research is seriously underfunded.

From 2013–2015, an estimated 54.4 million US adults (22.7%) annually had ever been told by a doctor that they had some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia.
By 2040, an estimated 78 million (26%) US adults aged 18 years or older are projected to have doctor-diagnosed arthritis.

Arthritis and other rheumatic conditions are a leading cause of work disability among US adults.
In 2013, the national costs of arthritis were $304 billion overall.

  • Arthritis-attributable medical costs were $140 billion.
  • Arthritis-attributable lost wages were $164 billion.

Don’t ever take your health and ability to move for granted. Go do something every day and make it count!

#makeitcount #mic4d #rasucks #rheumatoidarthritis #curearthritis

Jumping in…AIP diet

Admitting that I’m not feeling great is a big deal for me. After putting it in writing I have decided to continue my research into gut health and autoimmune diseases. I still believe that my regimen was working before and that this is just a bump in the road.

I’m jumping in and starting the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet. I had researched it before and thought there’s no way I can follow something so strict. I have been a very disciplined eater for several years, but this takes it to a whole different level.

I’m going to focus on the things that I can have instead of the things I’ll be giving up.

I can have grass fed meats and wild caught fish. I can have tons of good vegetables and fruits. I can have kombucha and other fermented foods. And there’s a ton of recipes for sweet treats that only contain ingredients that are allowed.

Here’s where it gets a little scary. I’m be eliminating these things for at least 30 days, some forever:

  • All non-Paleo foods (grains, legumes, dairy, processed oils, non-nutritive sugars, and food additives)
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds (including cocoa, coffee, spices, and all other products derived from them)
  • Nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, tomatillos, eggplants, peppers of all kinds, goji berries, ashwagandha, and all other products derived from them)
  • Alcohol
  • Nutritive Sweeteners (except in extreme moderation, like for special occasions only)
  • NSAIDs (including aspirin and ibuprofen)
  • More than 20g of fructose per day (fruit is the highest source of fructose on the autoimmune protocol)
  • Yeast (those with gluten sensitivities may cross-react with it)

I’m in. It’s helped thousands of people put autoimmune diseases in remission. If it means healing I’ll do whatever it takes.

So meal prep was challenging today but I got it done. I’m thankful for my husband who helped me get all the groceries I needed last night to pull this off effectively. He took me right to the door of the store while he dealt with loading and unloading the Jeep in the cold, pouring rain that makes me hurt so bad.

I looked at my meals for the week and I’ll have adequate protein, good carbs (even without any grains), and healthy fats. And my calories will be up in a healthy range to allow for working out.

So here’s to the AIP diet and jumping in!