My experience with becoming vegan is most probably different than most. I had been vegetarian for quite some time (18 years!) because I refused to support the factory farming practices that are all too prevalent in modern day society. However, it wasn't until I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, four years ago, that I was given another reason when I began researching food intolerances and their effects on autoimmune diseases. Through my research I have discovered that most of the animal products (eggs, dairy, red-meat, etc...) we consume promote inflammation in our bodies. It's actually rather simple and anti-climactic, but in the 4+ years I've spent researching, it can pretty much be boiled down into one sentence.
Three years ago I made the change to a [mostly] vegan (with the occasional exception of fish every now and then, a trip to Tokoyo created a sushi monster...I'm like Jekyll and Hyde when it comes to a good caterpillar role) as well as gluten free diet. As a result, my pain has practically disappeared, and I am able to do almost everything I could do before the diagnosis WITHOUT the use of prescription or over-the-counter drugs.
One of the best parts about all of this was watching the look on my doctor's face and his interest in my progress. My last visit he practically brought the entire medical facility in to talk with me about what I have done to essentially heal myself simply through diet and exercise. The support of my family and friends has been amazing and my husband, who was "Mr Meat and Potatoes" is a believer as well. It's great to see a forum of this nature that offers support to those who are looking to make a change in their life. If there is anything I can do to help any of you with those changes, please do not hesitate to ask! All my best, ~j
I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis about a year ago and Im only 31 years old. Im not overweight and Im acive. I was concerned when i would wake up with my fingers swelled up and I couldnt even moved them. It wasnt until the pain was so bad that I couldnt even walk. I went a got a routine test and the inflammation in my body was too high. After being tested for everything including lupus. I was diagnosed with reumatoid arthritis. I started taking humira and six methotraxate and the pain went away. I didnt want to be on medication for the rest of my life since there is no cure, I started doing my research and just gave up meat and dairy products but after reading alicia's book which I saw on a magazine. I Got strict and started the microbiotics, very little sugar and to my amazed after only 2 weeks of being on it I feel great.I only take 2 methotraxate and eventually I will not be on humira. its amazing how you are what you eat. I used to eat so much processed food, meat and junk that im thankful to god that you can heal yourself from anything just be changing your diet. keep up to good work you are not alone and yes there is hope and we can reverse this for good.
Jenni, I am so pleased that you have had such great results through changing your diet! I was very interested in what you said about diet and inflammation. I was recently diagnosed with Interstitial cystitis (inflammation of the bladder lining). This diagnosis came afer months of struggling with rosacea (inflammation related as well). I am a longtime veggie who has recently gone vegan. In your reading and research, have you found anything that would suggest dietary changes helping my type of inflammation issues? Just curious. Again, I am so glad that you have seen big improvement s in your own health. Keep up the good work!
Yami, It is SO great to read that you have found relief as well! When I was diagnosed I was not overweight either. Actually, six months prior to my "official diagnosis" I was running 8-10 miles a day! I was never put on methotrexate, although my rheumatologist (now-ex rheumatologist) strongly pushed it (I'm VERY stubborn). The only drug I was on was Sulfasalazine, but I'm proud to say that I've been off of it for four years as well. I keep an eye on the sugar too and use agave nectar as a substitute. I also do quite a bit of raw foods preparation with my dehydrator and vitamix, since foods in their raw form are much more rich in nutrients than cooked foods. You just have to find a healthy balance, which comes with everything in life, no? Congratulations on your progress! If you ever have any questions, or need some "moral support" please, don't hesitate to ask, I know what you're going through because I've been there. ~j
I went to a healing yourself with food workshop that was two days. The speaker talked about all the major diseases and for rheumatoid arthritis he said to stay way from the nightshade vegetables even though they are good they cause inflammation tomatoes, white potatoe, green peppers, white onion, celery, squash you can have zuchinni and sweet potatoe thank god. no dairy, no soy , no meat of any kind very little sugar, no coffee no alcohol no smoking and easy on nuts. here are the things the help inflammation eat pine apples in moderation papaya, turneric spice, cumming, eat very green leafy vegetables, they suck at first but then you will get used to them. Im so happy I feel great and no pain. Do The macobiotic Diet from alicia's book, eat se vegetables , they alkalize the blood, stay awsy from processed food anything in a box. I hope this helps and i forgot anything acidic like oranges
Hippiechick, Although I am not a doctor, I believe that the inflammation that is caused with an imflammatory diet can extend to other instances as well. Example: I have (or had) endometriosis. I was on birth control for years to help regulate it and after going vegan I quit the birth control and haven't had issues with it since. I also know that inflammation can affect each individual differently. Heart disease is a well-known form of inflammation and has been linked to diets high in cholesterol (a.k.a.animal products). Whenever I get a question from someone of this nature I always suggest that you keep a food journal, write down what you eat and how you feel on a daily basis, that way you can look back and find the food-related pattern. Also, keep in mind that as we age we loose the enzymes necessary to digest dairy. A very large portion of our immune system (I want to say 75%) is in our digestive tract, and research has shown that when we can't digest something it triggers our immune system and that's when things can get funky (for lack of a better word), and that can cause inflammation in the body. Make sense? I think by taking the steps to go dairy free you're at least pointing yourself in the right direction. Good luck with everything and good health in the future! ~j
Thank you for your support.I know people say its hard to go vegan but when you are in alot of apin not being able to move it pushes you to do things you wouldnt ever dreamed of doing. Im greatful though because if i didnt get this, I wouldnt have never became vegan. I also change my whole perspective on life, I recycle and I care more about the enviroment. I have more energy and I feel more connected to everyone and nature.
Yami, Thank you! Your advice is greatly appreciated! I'm aware of everything that you mentioned and have tried it all (tomatoes are my downfall!!), with four years of experience (and experiments) I think I finally have it down. And you said it, processed food is definitely a BIG no-no! Here's a suggestion on getting your daily dose of greens; Put them in a smoothie. I use spinach, collard and/or beet greens and blend them in with my morning smoothie with fruits such as pineapple, mangos, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, etc...It's actually easier for your stomach to digest them that way, and they can be difficult to digest for some. But beware, when you walk into a room with a glass full of bright green people tend to look at you weird. ;) ~j
"I have more energy and I feel more connected to everyone and nature." Yami, I couldn't have said it better myself. I also feel more "at peace." You know? My support is always here. Keep up the good work! ~j