I think so.
Since my wisdom tooth surgery, I have been being nicer to my body and getting more protein. Part of that involved paying more attention to my metabolism – which right now is kind of crazy slow. Lame. But I digress. In paying more attention to that, I noticed that certain things make me feel horrible – not just sick to my stomach horrible, but I noticed that my RA starts to flare up more after certain foods. I thought maybe it was junk food. So then I cut back on that again and felt a little better. But the healthier I eat, the more I notice other issues.
When I eat things with a lot of wheat, or really any bread, my asthma picks up. And then about 20-45 minutes later, I feel crazy sick to my stomach. So I stopped eating bread. And then I noticed eating cereal did the same thing. I love cheese, and noticed the same thing while eating some.
And it occurred to me that what I’ve heard from people for years about dairy and wheat agitating RA could be right. So I stopped eating those things as much and have noticed that my arthritis is calming down.
Gluten intolerance symptoms are here. I’m amazed at how many I experience, and even more amazed that listed on there is juvenile idiopathic arthritis. It’s just crazy. Lactose intolerance symptoms are here. I’ve always had rumbly tummy noises (to quote Pooh Bear), but never really knew why. Now it makes sense.
Supposedly, along with gluten intolerance comes an intolerance to fructose and sorbitol. Sorbitol I don’t really encounter, because it is mostly in gums and diet foods and such that I can’t have because of my allergy to phenylalanine. But frutctose I encounter a lot… because my worst vice is soda. I’ve always used caffeine to help control my pain, and I know that I shouldn’t for many reasons, but I do. Oops. I also noticed recently that soda tends to increase the pain that I feel in my hands. So that’s fun. I’m down to one soda a day (mostly) but have also noticed that I’m drinking alcohol more… which supposedly also helps RA be less intense. And I’m not an alcoholic looking for an excuse – there are studies! I promise!
So in the past few weeks, the boyfriend and I have begun eating at home more, incorporating more healthy grains and vegetables into our diet. We still eat out one or two days a week, but we save it for the weekends (or special occasions) and it’s only one meal a day. We are spending more money at the grocery store, but less money elsewhere, and that is also helpful. It’s not always easy to find foods without dairy or gluten, but I’m finding out the best places to look, and that’s a start. Whole Foods has a lot, but so does Woodmans, a local grocery store.
It’s fun to eat healthier, and I feel so much better lately. The only thing that will make it better is my upcoming job change. Standing on my feet for 8+ hours, the stress, and all the things I end up doing extra are not worth the pain that I then experience… especially since it seems as though my current employers could really care less about the accommodations that I need… which is really sad, but oh well I guess. I could be mean, and take it further, but since I’m leaving I won’t. I’ll just get excited about this being my last real week, save two more shifts the weekend after next.