RA vs. Food

*before you read, please know that for some RA patients, diet change won't get rid of pain or change anything in your system. Each person & body is different so we all take to certain things differently. Fortunately for me, diet change has helped my symptoms.*

I've always had a weird relationship with food growing up. I love food and I can eat anything and everything and put a lot of food away.

My diet throughout my life ranges from:

Healthy and nutritious foods…to

Fast food overload…to

Coffee, cigarettes and cotton balls…to

Vegetarianism…to now

A balance gluten-free and paleo diet.

I believe by doing all these outrageous diets, I really ruined my gut and in turn have gotten me really sick with this autoimmune disease.

Researchers have stated that there is no exact cause for Rheumatoid Arthritis; it has been said that it is a combination of genetics and environmental triggers for the immune system to start attacking a person’s joints. And apparently, diet plays an important role in the condition of your rheumatoid arthritis and many other autoimmune diseases.

Leaky Gut Syndrome tends to be the source to these autoimmune diseases; leaky gut syndrome “…means the intestinal lining has became more porous, with more holes developing that are larger in size and the screening out process is no longer functioning properly.  The fallout results in larger, undigested food molecules and other “bad stuff” (yeast, toxins, and all other forms of waste) that your body normally doesn’t allow through, to flow freely into your bloodstream.” (1Jordan Reasoner, health engineer).And all that “bad stuff”-yeast, processed foods, sugar, etc. contributes to the demise of your good health. Those things shouldn’t be in your bloodstream and unfortunately with a leaky gut, these things contribute to the autoimmune disease.

There is a debate in whether food can help relieve autoimmune disease and if it can reverse RA (and other autoimmune diseases) through food. I believe it can. By taking away all the stuff that irritates a leaky gut, my symptoms have dramatically been reduced. I have been on a gluten free and paleo diet that eliminates yeast, wheat, most grains, refined sugars, diary, caffeine and processed foods.

I’m not going to lie and say it was an easy change for me, because it wasn’t. I love chili cheese fries and pizza like any normal person; but I really have to think about my health with every meal.

“Are these fries worth the pain I will feel later? Is this soda worth the migraine I will be fighting later? Is this cupcake worth the uncomfortable inflammated pain I will feel in my joints later?”

I’ve been really good lately in saying no to temptation and I can honestly say that I feel great; no fatigue, minimum joint pain and no headaches. Just like the saying goes, “You are what you eat; so don’t be fast, cheap, easy or fake.”

I know that a gluten free and paleo diet can be a little costly; however, you don’t need to buy everything that is labeled “Gluten-FREE” or “Paleo”. Just buy fruits, veggies and lean meats; make sure to only shop the outline of the market (don’t scan through the aisles); and when you buy certain items, make sure that the list of ingredients are short and they are things that are familiar to you and you can read all of them.

This should help you better your health and hopefully reduce some symptoms.

There are plenty of other diets that I’ve heard people go on to reduce their rheumatoid arthritis symptoms such as; the Mediterranean diet, vegan diet, avoiding night shade foods, gluten free diet, etc. All seem to work for certain people and for others the diets seem to fail.

I have provided links below to different diet plans to see what works for you. I hope you all continue to fight the good fight and always remember:

YOU ARE STRONGER THAN RA!!!

1 http://scdlifestyle.com/2010/03/the-scd-diet-and-leaky-gut-syndrome/

Aimee Espinoza