I’m not a doctor, but I was suffering from osteoarthritis pain for years. I was officially diagnosed in the fall of 2008 when I had just lost my job and was taking a typing test online to try and get a temp job. My hands ached – a lot.
The doctor put me on some anti-inflammatory NSAIDs – had to drop them because they were affecting my kidneys. I figured I could live with the pain – can’t live without my kidneys.
Then a friend recommended a book, “Inflammation Nation” – it’s a little techie and the diet’s based on the glycemic index which doesn’t really help. However, it did make me realize that what I was eating was affecting the inflammation in my joints.
I’d be sitting still and a sharp, shooting pain would go through my ankle. My hands would ache after working on the computer all day. I would dread having to even go up or down 3 steps to enter a building. And I missed the spring hiking season here in Phoenix, because the pain was just too much.
So I did a search on Pinterest for “anti-inflammatory diet” and up came lots of charts and food pyramids of what you should eat and not eat. Actually, TMI – too much information. And conflicting information. Some said, drop soy. I need soy for its estrogen. Then some said soy’s OK as long as it’s non- GMO (genetically modified).
I tried dropping many things from my diet. The first was refined sugars and flours and I felt a difference, but still had some pain. Then a friend who’s daughter has celiac disease told me that gluten is the culprit. Those with celiac’s can’t digest gluten at all. Gluten is the protein found in wheat, barley and rye.
So I dropped it. I also read that dairy – anything from a cow – milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream may also cause inflammation. Dropped that. Cut peanuts, too.
Clean Cuisine – An 8-Week Anti-Inflammatory Diet that Will Change the Way You Age, Look & Feel
Then I found this book, “Clean Cuisine”, that explains it so well and tells in detail what to eat and not to eat.
It’s written by two doctors, Ivy and Andrew Larson, M.D.s, who candidly tell their stories in the introduction. Ivy was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and is now in remission.
If you suffer from arthritis (any “itis” – something that’s inflamed), MS, lupus, fibromyalgia, asthma, allergies, sinus headaches, migraines – you need to go on this diet. Medications have side-effects that are sometimes worse than the cure. Many of them are “synthetic” — which makes you stop and wonder what the heck it’s made of.
The diet is simple – whole foods – prepared simply – like God intended for us to eat. This pyramid details the anti-inflammatory foods.
Clean Cuisine Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid
They also have great recipes and tell about other foods that help reduce inflammation like cinnamon, turmeric (found in mustard and Indian cuisine), parsley, oregano, cumin, wow! Amazing! Who knew?
The one caveat is watch out for the “gluten-free” products out there. Many of them are made from rice and potato flour which are starch. Our bodies turn starch into sugar, so watch the starch intake. It took about a week for me to start feeling a significant difference. After a month, my pain level went from an 8 to a 3. I’m down to a 1 now.
After being gluten-free & dairy-free for a while, I thought I’d test it. I had some ordinary pizza for dinner and the next day the pain was back. That’s it! I now look at anything with gluten or dairy as poison. I’m allergic. I eat it and I feel pain the next day. Done. I feel bad for some of my friends who offer me cookies and cakes and I have to say, “Thanks, but I’m gluten-free and dairy-free.”
The restaurants are starting to get it. I was at a Paradise Bakery for lunch and walked up to the salads and told they guy, “I’m gluten-free and dairy-free – no cheese or croutons.” Rice noodles are OK. The manager was there and checked their “allergen sheet” and said the dressing for the Thai salad had gluten (gluten is also used as a binding element in many foods, like salad dressings – read the labels!), the Asian dressing didn’t so I had that and a few extra almonds to give it crunch – perfect.
Gluten free beer made from sorghum in an American supermarket; to be used to illustrate articles about gluten-free beer, celiac disease and related topics (not as an advertisement for this specific brand) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Chex cereals just came out all gluten-free. And the gluten-free products are coming down in price. Wal-Mart and most supermarkets have several gluten-free products. My new favorite place is Sprouts. As a kid, if you would have told me that I’d be eating spinach twice a day and loving it, I would have told you were crazy. Oh, and I found gluten-free beer made with sorghum. At first I wasn’t sure if I liked it, but it grew on me. And you can have red wine, too!
There’s no reason why you shouldn’t try this. All you have to lose is the pain!
“Clean Cuisine” has an 8-week plan for you to test it. If you follow it, you’ll feel better after the first week. I can’t wait till the weather cools here in Phoenix to enjoy hiking again! I have more energy. Joint stiffness went away. It really, really works!
God Healed Me
I’ve been praying, “Lord, heal me!” for months now. I would watch the 700 Club and pray when they were praying for someone with arthritis, and yell, “I claim that!” and nothing happened. God did heal me. It may not have been a miracle healing where I was in pain one minute and then I was not, but God lead me to a way to alleviate the pain. There may not be a “cure” for osteoarthritis and many of those other inflammatory diseases, but God heals through doctors like Ivy and Andrew.
Eat healthy, live healthy.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Award-Winning Christian Author