Wednesday, January 20, 2016

RA is in the Spotlight but Not For a Great Reason

The passing of Glen Frey has put Rheumatoid Disease front and center. For rheumatics like me, it is terrifying to hear someone died from complications of their medication. I am glad that finally people may become educated about this disease. I've even had a doctor tell me, "at least it's not lupus." He may not have been a rheumatologist but come on. RA is no walk in the park.

From one rheumatic to another I cannot urge you enough to look into the natural remedies to help. Not that they can replace your medication. I am a believer that our current food system is partly to blame for our bodies reacting the way they do. However, here are some of the things I try to do:

1. Eat more natural, raw, lots of fruits and vegetables. I even use Olive Oil and lemon juice for dressing.

2. Try to keep your liver clean by taking milk thistle and reducing alcohol.

3. MOVE. I cannot stress it enough. I know when the pain takes over all else. Try a pool. Try foot pedals. Try something. I had a ecocardiogram (just checking as I developed edema from Humira. I was told if you don't move on this drug it will attack your heart. I haven't tried swimming when the pain was bad but I am betting it would feel great.

4. Boswellia and Tumeric. That combination works so well for me. I realize it may be a "for now" situation. I've taken one without the other. I need to take them together.

5. Nutriblast. Unless you want to eat all day long it is almost impossible to get all that produce in. I find drinking it for breakfast starts my day right. If you have osteoarthritis the combination of cinnamon and honey is supposed to be wonderful as well. Plus I can hide all the vegies and fruits I don't like in it and not taste them so much.

6. Tart Cherry Juice. I can only go a few days without it and I am feeling it. It is highly effective. Athletes are now drinking it to recover quicker. Fights inflammation, helps relieve pain, and helps you sleep.

7. Research, Research, Research. Read and read more. I never stop looking for answer for when I have to change things up to control my RA. I actually keep a list on my laptop of the natural herbs proven to help RA. When I need it, I will switch.

8. Go Gluten Free!! I cannot stress this enough. I don't mean for two weeks or two months. I mean just do it. It helps. Yes I know it is hard to give up bread (I still smell). I will tell you that eventually you will get used to it. The first year is the hardest. And yes you can live without pizza. Or you can find a great place called Jules in NJ that has the best gluten free pizza ever.

9. Find which food are your trigger. When I was diagnosed I was told to stay away from the nightshades. The nightshades are potatoes, tomatoes, green peppers, goji, and eggplant. I did in the beginning but then I noticed a couple of these don't bother me. I can eat peppers and potatoes which no side effects. Tomatoes are in moderation for me and I will know quickly if I've overindulged. Eggplant is a treat reserved every few months because I react immediately. Point is, find what works for you and what doesn't.

10. If you don't know what is in your food, please don't eat it. I am 100% convinced that our food is part of the problem. The USA allows so many foods that are banned in other countries. It is so frustrating.

11. BEWARE. So many people will approach you with the answer to your disease. Just take these shakes, take these pills, try this oil. I bit when I was first diagnosed. I spent a fortune on Juice Plus because I was told people had gone into remission just by taking these vitamins everyday. I ended up poorer and still on methotrexate and eventually Humira. Then I was told I need additional pills. I ended up cancelling and realizing these pills aren't going to cure me. Not that they are bad because they aren't, they just weren't the answer. I recently heard that it's the oils! I needed an oil to cure my disease. No. I wish it was that simple. If it was we would all be cured and on oil. I'm not saying not to try, I just saying try with caution.

12. Find a Great Rheumatologist. No they are not all made the same. I hear of many bad ones. Makes sure he/she wants to see you well.

I know without a doubt a room full of 200 rheumatics will have 200 different stories. Our disease is unique as it can affect everyone so differently. I am not saying what works for me will work for you too. I am stressing you finding what works for you. It is so easy to be discouraged, we've all been there. Chances are we will be back there. Use a support group. It's a wonderful resource for information. I learn many things in my support group that I have never read in a article or book.

And lastly, fight, and keep fighting.