Food And Arthritis

Add the RIGHT foods to your diet to REDUCE arthritic pain and inflammation.
Include the WRONG foods to your diet and INCREASE arthritic pain and inflammation.
My choice? A life-journey based on a low-oil whole-food plant based diet.
Whatever your current state of health, make yourself healthier - you deserve it. Start your plant based diet journey today.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Respecting my Doctor and my Rheumatologist

Throughout my entire blog, and indeed anywhere else I have posted I have hardly touched on the subject of my doctor.  That is unfair, so I will correct it with this post.  I would not be as healthy as I am without the full support of my doctor and my Rheumatologist.  A big fear for anyone who thinks about going down the road of changing their diet is that somehow they may be going against their doctor's advice. This is especially true when the first likely response when the subject of diet is raised is that "diet has no effect."

But if you remember that all your doctor wants is for you to be well and healthy.  And in my case my doctor had repeatedly said, "lose some weight."  Mind you don't most doctors say that to most people!  Anyway I insisted that I was going to begin to explore dietary options, that was my choice.  Whatever and very importantly I also accepted the doctor's advice in what they are good at - that of medication.  And so I started my course of methotrexate, something my doctor thought I would be taking for the rest of my life.
It wasn't just the methotrexate, it was codeine, naproxen, ibruprofen, diclofenac, 10% gel and more.  And when my doctor wanted to up the dosage on methotrexate, I accepted that, very reluctantly, but I accepted it.

However according to the program I follow, my diet changed, and as I have repeatedly posted that was towards one of a low-oil whole-food plant based diet (which for simplicities sake some times I call a vegan diet).  My 15 minute youtube video about my story shows clearly how having started down my dietary route that my CRP began to descend, and apart from stalling around August 2016 (at which point I reluctantly stopped anything I could with oils in it), and steadily dropped and dropped until in February this year it was deemed almost normal.

When I say "it was deemed", I really mean that my doctor accepted that was okay - and that's on my medical records.  What I had set out to achieve I had succeeded in, and my doctor was seeing that.

So in February I had a meeting with my doctor and we discussed how to taper, how to reduce and eventually come off my methotrexate.  Now, let me be clear, I was in the driving seat here.  My doctor was still cynical, and rightly so.  But I said I would never know if I actually needed the methotrexate if I simply stayed on it for the rest of my life.

I then cautiously started tapering at one less tablet every month.  Methotrexate comes in 2.5mg tablets and at the time I was on five tablets.  And so I tapered and now as I write I am almost on my last ever tablet.  There is an important point here.  Every month I get blood tests and every time my doctor marks his comments.  I specifically have waited for the comments on my blood tests to ensure everything this good.  If there was ever a negative comment I would have stopped tapering and perhaps increased my dosage.  That hasn't happened and the tapering has gone smoothly.

There are a couple of other point about this tapering period worth noting.  Firstly I added an extra dietary challenge during the period.  That of adding-back foods that I previously had had an intolerance, an RA reaction, to.  These are bread & gluten and the nightshade family.  All food reintroductions went smoothly.  Tomatoes was my big one, and I took a whole month adding tomatoes back into my diet.  I took a whole month over tomatoes because, previously tomatoes could put me in agony for a couple of weeks!

The second thing is that as I tapered, when I was down to I think 3 tablets I began to feel my body becoming healthier.  There is nothing I can prove of show on this.  It was an extraordinary feeling.  My guess is that, in reality drugs are really poisons, so besides halting serious health challenges such as RA they have side-effects on one's general health.

And so last Monday I met with my Doctor again to provide an update.  If I remember it right, I was amazed by a comment he made, "nutrition is the future."  So from being a sceptical doctor now he is at least open to thinking that it is possible that a good or even great diet can have beneficial effects on the human body.  This is based on him seeing first hand the significant benefits on my health.

Of course, my diet is neither good nor great.  My diet is superb.  It is tuned to support my body and in that it does exceedingly well.

Oh, and my rheumatologist?  Well I am due my next six monthly appointment soon, but at my last visit he said, "I wish all my patients were like you."

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