We found out about this lady who improved her rheumatoid arthritis on a gluten-free diet.
Her name is Dylan and she was diagnosed when she was… 17 years old!
She was felling very bad when she found out about her condition because she felt different and she kept it as a secret.
“What is rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that involves joint inflammation. It is caused by a faulty immune response which leads to pain, swelling, stiffness and redness in the affected parts of the body.
When she went to the doctor and found out her condition, she was prescribed handfuls of medicines that helped relieve part of the pain. But soon the benefits were less than the side effects (Weight gain, dizziness, fatigue, lossing the ability to focus with eyes, and the risk of acquiring lymphoma and infertility).
Then she did something that changed everything. In her own words:
“I grew sick of the life I was living and the person I had become. The idea that turned my disease around, my saving grace, was a suggestion from my father’s coworker and ophthalmologist: go gluten free. Fed up with feeling powerless and willing to try anything, I went gluten free.
Within the first week, I noticed less swelling and my pain had decreased significantly. I was amazed that something as simple as food had such a profound effect on my pain.
I had found a way to control my arthritis.
My Diet: No gluten, dairy or refined sugars
I’ll admit — I almost cried when I first started. However, gluten and sugar have inflammatory properties. By cutting them out of my diet, my hands don’t hurt as much and they’ve almost all shrunk back to their normal size. This diet also helps me avoid taking more medication.
As for my attitude, (I’m not gonna sugar coat it) sometimes it’s easy to be angry and bitter about my situation, even after a year and a half since my diagnosis. However, it’s the little things that make me happier and content about my situation. Things like daily pictures of my golden retriever puppy from my family, late night food runs with my friends or jam sessions with my roommates make me happier than I’ve ever been and allow me to forget about my limitations.
I can say with 100% certainty that I’ve never been happier, and I understand that I’ll be on this journey for the rest of my life. But with my support system, I know I’ll never have to face it alone. I sometimes think about how my life would be different if I didn’t have rheumatoid arthritis, but I don’t think that I would change anything because the experience has made me who I am. My RA is a part of me — a part that no longer inhibits, but motivates me.
Ultimately, I can summarize living with an autoimmune disease in a Ted Mosby quote: “Sometimes things have to fall apart to make way for better things.” ”
Original post by Dylan Lim for Spoon University – UC Berkeley.