Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Does the elimination diet work for RA?

It's been one week since I started my experimentation with the nightshade diet plus minimizing the intake of acidic foods. I wanted to find out if it would make a difference in the level of inflammation and pain, with my RAD.

I eliminated all food with potato, tomato and paprika in it. I also stopped eating sugar (and anything that had lots of sugar in it), chocolate & red meat. I didn't drink any alcohol (I don't drink it much as it is, but for documentation purposes), milk or coffee (not even decaf). I didn't eat anything artificial either. To be honest, it would be easier to tell you what I ate, instead of what I eliminated ;-) I continued taking my Chinese herbs, which caused me to question the validity of my experimentation. They are herbs after all, and I'm not sure if some of them belong to the nightshade family of plants. But 1 week of experimentation is finished, and I gave it my best, considering circumstances.

How my body reacted

The first 2-3 days were rough. My willpower was strong and I knew I could get through it, but my body was responding like a body of an addict. By no means was I what anyone would consider an addict to any of the foods/drinks I eliminated. However, I did have a head ache until just a few days ago & the first days I was pretty sour with my mood. I also had some severe brain fog. Snappy & irritable. Tired with low energy. Scouring the kitchen for something to eat. Seeing all the foods I couldn't eat. I told my friend about my struggles and he said something thought provoking: "If your body is responding this strongly to the withdrawal of these foods, maybe there's your clue, you shouldn't eat them..." And then I turned a corner, my body started adjusting. I still desire coffee & chocolate, and all my other faves, but at least I don't have the physical withdrawal symptoms!

Long story short, I can't say I feel significantly any less pain/inflammation. If anything, I feel more stiff! Has this been a wonderful beginning to a healthier life? YES, YES, YES!

On a side note, if I had stayed on this elimination diet for a month, would the results have been different? I am allergic & sensitive to lots of foods, so excluding so many that I can eat, may not be something that's ultimately healthy for me. On top of that, I have some sensory issues with textures (complicated much? ;)) So my diet was very limited before my experimentation, and while on it, it was amazing I found anything to eat :D

Onwards & upwards, friends!