When you’re juggling multiple autoimmune conditions naturally, nutrition becomes a focal point of your days. Over the years as I’ve collected new diagnoses each doctor has touched on dietary changes that will help me feel better.
So, I thought today I’d share my experiences. This might help you start a conversation with your own physician as you work to find a treatment plan that works for you. Food truly is medicine.
Years ago my rheumatologist told me to consider a vegan diet to reduce inflammation in my body. That means not consuming any animal products at all including meat, fish, eggs or traditional dairy products such as cheese, milk, yogurt or cottage cheese.
I’m halfway there. I’ve been a full-time vegetarian since 1998 and have vegan meals and snacks often. The moment I find a great non-dairy cheese to make pizza, I think I could become a full-time vegan.
I have less RA-related joint pain and brain fog on days that I stick with a plant-based diet rich in fresh vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts, seeds and minimally processed foods.
I’ve written about celiac disease many, many times both here and for my marketing clients, including Tom’s of Maine. Bottom line: The only way to manage this autoimmune health condition is by adopting a gluten-free diet and for some, a gluten-free lifestyle beyond the dinner plate.
I cut out all glutinous grains back in 2010, which resolved the bulk of my celiac side effects. In the spring of 2018 I had an endoscopy to learn how my body is healing after eliminating gluten, and it’s doing great!
Being diligent about managing this health condition that attacks the digestive system means the difference between good health and dangerous malnutrition. If your doctor says you have celiac, please take it seriously and follow the protocol.
Surprisingly, my dermatology team doesn’t discuss nutrition. They feel my forms of eczema (atopic dermatitis, rosacea and contact dermatitis) were brought on my by 2008 brush with Steven Johnson Syndrome. My skin will never be the same, they tell me.
Although they don’t say nutrition plays much of a role in managing my skin issues, I can tell that I have less pain, inflammation, rashes and sensitivity when I avoid refined table sugar and cow-based dairy products. Also, I follow a strict skin care regimen that makes a huge difference in the health of my skin.
Have you discovered that what you eat affects your health? Are you using nutrition to manage a chronic health condition, recover from an illness or simply to control your weight? I’d love to hear how food plays an intentional role in your life!
Until next time,
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