If you have read the past couple of entries I have talked about going gluten free to see if it helped with my psoriasis (an autoimmune disorder) And it has helped. My red patches that cover most of my torso, front and back, and my arms, are starting to break up and show normal skin spots. What I did not expect was to find that the amount of pain I am in is directly related to what I eat.
Before I confess my sins, I would like to point out that in the past month and a half I have lost 16lbs and am 2.2lbs from my lightest adult weight ever. I do from time to time slip up and give in to the binge monster.
Here is what I have found: Started going gluten free say 4 weeks or so ago. At the same time my arthritic hips seem to be less painful. Still in pain, but not the agony that had become normal for me. I did not make the connection, just thought I was having more good days than bad. Then, I had McDonalds. Not everything on the menu, just a cheeseburger and a chicken mayo (I’m cheap, what can I say?) Woke up the next day barely able to move. I put this down to walking a bit more as I have started going to college. Fine. Load up on codeine and paracetamol and relax for the day. The next day I started to feel better again. Once again, I did not make the connection.
Then I went to a bbq at my inlaws. I was good, mostly, but they had these gorgeous seeded rolls and I had one with my hamburger. Again. Next day was agony. Still I was clueless.
Then this weekend, I had a major, like out of this world craving for Krispy Kreme doughnuts. My accomplice/partner in crime hubzter also thought this sounded yummy. So at 11:30pm Friday night we were at Tescos getting over-priced, extra fattening, gluten filled heaven.
Yesterday was sheer agony. And…I finally made the connection. It is the only common factor to all of my episodes of chronic debilitating pain. This is both good and bad. The good is, I know that if I eat something I am going to be extra cripple the next day. The bad thing is, this is no longer a fun exercise in diet discipline. I have very real reactions to gluten. I guess it is kind of a mourning process. Do you know what my absolute favourite fast food is??? Subway. I could eat that every day of my life and never get sick of it. Do you know what comes in abundance with Subway? Gluten. Me and the hubz call it hootin gluten…cos we are dorky and weird like that, lol.
I did some googling and there IS a link between gluten and rheumatoid arthritis but I could not find much on osteoarthritis and gluten. I am not a scientist, nutritionist, or researcher, but I AM a person with severe osteoarthritis. And I can tell you 100% the gluten consumption makes my pain 100 fold of what it is when I am gluten free. I do not know the science behind it, but I do know 1 in 3 people has a sensitivity to gluten that is not like celiac. Being a celiac must be a serious pain in the ass as you have to worry, anally, about cross contamination. Whereas I am not THAT sensitive, but if I consume gluten I now recognise the consequence. For a celiac, ingesting any gluten can be a dangerous and deadly situation. Thankfully, I do not have to contend with that. For me it is purely a pain/inflammation situation that will not kill me, only make me wish I were dead.
Going Gluten Free is not easy. Gluten is not just in bread…it is in just about everything. Everything processed, pre-packaged and bad for you, probably has gluten. Also, what do you think soy sauce is made of? If you were like me you would think soy beans, which IS true, but it is also loaded with gluten! So thats chinese out then. I mean, sure you can have the fried rice, but it is gunna be DRY as a mofo is you can’t put soy sauce on it. I haven’t had chinese food in many months. Guess I won’t be having chinese takeaway any more.
Oh. I forgot another sin! Pizza. It was Monday, I think 2 weeks ago. I had put a pork roast in the crockpot but stupid me left it on warm…so 8 hours later, when I thought we were going to have an awesome tea, it was bacteria infested raw pork. So we binned it. I was so angry at myself for wasting £20 and 4 or 5 days worth of meals that I threw my hands up and voted for pizza. I only had 2 slices. And they weren’t mega slices either, but it was enough for me and sure enough, the next day was bed ridden agony! Which for 2 small bloody pieces of pizza is NOT worth it.
So in the course of 4 weeks I have cheated about 4 times. Each and every time I have been in agony the next day…and it was not dependent at all on the serving size. If I ate wheat, I was gunna be poppin lots of codeine the next day. Pretty conclusive to me. Sooo I had it right all along, that Primal Living is the best way for me. Lots of fruit and veg, including potatoes, and of course meat. mmmmmm.
I am lucky that this day and age you can pop to the shop and get gluten free bread and gluten free sausages so I do not feel like a total freak, but still. It really changes things to know you HAVE to do this or x will happen. But I am embracing it. It can’t all be bad if I have lost 16lbs in a month and a half, right? I mean, that is the rate I would be losing if I had a gastric bypass.
Life is good. Skin is clearing…though very slowly and pain is manageable with a strict gluten free diet. If you have arthritis, I would encourage you to try it for 1 month. If you do not notice a change, eat something gluteny and then see how your pain is the next day.
No dr, surgeon or specialist ever mentioned diet in relation to arthritis. They gave me the same ole same ole lose weight and you will feel better….but the pain gets worse the more weight I lose, so I am very happy about my findings. Even though it is a pain in the ass, I do have the know how on how to fix it.
So yeah, going gluten free isn’t just for celiacs or those with auto immune disorders, but also those with joint problems and inflammation.