Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A change in Diet

When you say the word diet, a lot of people think of it as in 'dieting'. I've had to correct this with some people. That your diet, is what you eat regularly.  I'm also going to say here, that I am not a doctor, I am just sharing this because it has been working for me.

When I was pregnant with my son, I had a strange swelling occur in my left hand. It lasted a week and was almost unbearable. A month or so later, it happened in my left shoulder, then my left hip and so on. I had gone to see a doctor, but they didn't see a reason for it to be happening. So I just added it to my list of things that my body does that makes no sense to me or anyone else. After I had it, I had it happen in my right knee and elbow to the point that I was terrified I was going to drop him just trying to carry him to change his diaper. It ended with me calling my husband to come home before I did drop him.

Skip forward a year. My son is now 18 months old. I was in for a regular physical and remembered to mention these weird physical occurrences that come and go. My doctor sent me for some blood work and there it was. A tiny little blip, as they call it, a trace. Lupus. I had no idea what Lupus was. None. I was referred to a Rheumatologist and we sat and talked. I found out that all the things I had piled into that list of "Weird things my body does that makes no sense" was all caused by this tiny little blip. Thinning hair, sensitive skin, redness on the face, easy weight gain, swelling joints, and trouble with certain foods. They were all symptoms. Armed with this new information, I went out and did some research of my own and discovered more. Not so much about the disease, but how to treat it. Some of the options that my doctor had suggested, included me going on medication that I would have to get off of if I were to want to become pregnant. I had to be off of it for 6 months previous to me getting pregnant.

I didn't like that, not at all. I barely liked the medication I was given when the swelling happened. It caused a strange sensation. The swelling disappeared, yes, but it was like I could feel the damage happening in my joints when I moved them. I preferred to deal with the pain and swelling.

Then one day I was at a health food store and there was this HUGE book sitting open. I flipped through it and decided to buy a copy.  The Prescription for Nutritional Healing turned out to be my new best friend.  It went into detail about things my doctor didn't really mention about Lupus. Then it lists vitamins, herbs, foods, behaviors, etc that I should include or exclude from my daily diet. The idea that I could control this with my diet was exciting. No meds? No side effects? No having to wait 6 months before trying to get pregnant? I'm IN!

The one thing I was prepared for was the amount of will power it was going to take. I have already tried sticking to it once before and it all went downhill after I had my daughter. Now I am determined to stick to it and make it habit, so that any future pregnancies won't sway me into damaging eating.

The first thing I did was buy the vitamins that were listed as "Essential". They alone made a huge difference. The swelling and pain disappeared within a few months. Moving along to the food part, this is where the will power comes in. I cannot eat any dairy, refined sugars, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, red meats, white potatoes, citrus fruits, paprika, caffeine, and alfalfa sprouts.

You are probably wondering what the heck I'm eating. The dairy wasn't too hard to give up. I've been suffering my whole life from what I thought was lactose intolerance, so that I'm used to giving up for dairy free alternatives. The hardest one the first week was sugar. Oh man, was I a major b***h that week. Headaches, nausea, exhaustion, you name it I had it. My body was SCREAMING for sugar in any form. I am able to have honey, agave, and Stevie. But those were not quenching my fire burning for sugar.  The second week, after the headaches were gone, it became the rest of the foods. If I'm making pasta, I have to say no to the red sauce and say hello to pesto. I also learned that not all pesto's are made alike. Some are evil and have cheese in them or sugars. Made that mistake the second week.

Now for the trade off. Since I've been following this diet, I've not only lost weight, I feel fantastic. I don't wake up in the morning groggy and stumbling. I am able to just wake up and be awake within a short period of time. My joints feel better and my mind feels clearer, I'm able to think better. Not as forgetful or stumbling. Granted this whole change has made eating out tricky. Almost everything out there is coated in butter. Literally. We went out for seafood and I was almost sick by the time we got home from what my dish had been soaking in. I also experience food lethargy, really for the first time. Food Coma, where you just want to go to sleep and you can't think straight.
I would never of believed this and haven't from what I've read or heard others say. Now I do.

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