Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Has the RAW diet helped my RA?

It's official! I have been raw (well high raw) for three months now.  I posted this over at my other blog RawSierra but thought I would start this thread on the RA Wild blog. Just my thoughts on the Raw diet and RA.

So my thoughts on this RAW diet thang– has it helped my Rheumatoid Arthritis?

I went through some NASTY detox symptoms (at least I think they were detox symptoms). Within one week of the raw diet (and I was 100% raw from the get-go) my knees were super stiff and hurt all day long. My RA got much worse everywhere. Basically I started a major flare and I think it was detox symptoms. Maybe us RA people detox in a weird, joint-associated way. I took more prednisone during this time period than the last 13 years of my RA disease.

Still injecting Enbrel into my thighs 2x/week. In fact, it does not work as good as it used to since I went raw – go figure!

Has my RA improved overall in the last three months?

Well, let me see – in a word – NO.  How sucky is that? I am still worse than when I started. I think it might take longer to detox for people with auto-immune disorders. But I am no expert. I can only tell you what I have experienced.

Have I seen any health symptoms improve?

YES and can I get a YES. I know this a tabu subject but can we talk constipation? I am the queen of it. No the King of it. No the Galactic Ruler of it! I have struggled for my entire life with the number 2 thing. I lived on Senekot. I am sure I kept that company in business. I have tried it all, Benefiber, Metamucil, you name it I have tried it. Now I have always consumed massive quantities of water so that was never an issue. Before I went raw, I ate a ton of steamed green beans which seemed to help but then I would digress to my old sluggish ways. RAW has seemed to cure me of this awful problem. So was it meat, dairy, crap processed food? Do I lack enzymes that help me digest stuff? I have no idea, all I know is that the RAW diet has CURED my constipation.

How about weight loss on the RAW diet?

Yeah whatever (She says with arms folded and back turned!) – Seriously, damn it. I lost seven pounds when I first began this diet, but since then I have lost NOTHING. ZIP. NADA. In fact, I have put on two pounds. Now, to be fair, when I started RAW I had just had a hysterectomy so I basically laid around for three months due to a horrid recovery. So I am sure I lost some muscle mass. In the last month I have really stepped it up and I am lifting weights again and walking alot with the hubby. Yes, it does hurt to lift light weights and exercise when you have RA. At times I find myself cursing my own body parts (damn these wrists, damn you to hell!) but we RA people have got to keep moving no matter what, right? So maybe the two pounds is muscle? At least I can tell myself that! But after three months of being RAW (two months 100% raw, and this last month high-raw), I expected to be down 10 pounds! What the heck is going on? I will have to cut off an arm to lose that last five pounds.

What about your hair and skin?

Is my hair fuller and thicker? NO. But keep in mind I have RA, and the meds make you go bald (seriously, I used to have 100 times more hair). Has my skin improved? Do I have that glow everyone talks about? NO! In fact I still have adult acne at times. I always battle clear skin. I was hoping going RAW might really help that but so far I have not seen any difference in my skin.


Besides the obvious benefits of helping stave off animal cruelty and environmental impact issues, the jury is still out for me as far as my health is concerned. I really had high hopes for going RAW. I really thought I might be able to get off all my meds one day. So far, this seems to be unattainable for me. RA drugs have really nasty side effects, but the disease is so debilitating that most choose to take the meds (including me) or I will cease to function. Now I realize my inside health has probably improved since I am not eating animal fat. I do realize all the benefits, but my main goal was to overcome this dang, crappy RA thing.

Do you have RA and have you altered your diet to see if it might ease the progression of your disease or give you relief? Have you added any supplements or natural therapies to your diet and noticed an improvement in your RA?


Pony said...

Thanks for sharing this! I'm always trying to eat better. Even if it doesn't directly impact my RA, it will make me healthier in general which certainly has an impact on my RA. Although I must admit, as a woman of Inuit descent, I feel a pretty strong connection to animal fat! Wild meat, of course :)

RawSierra said...

hey pony! How are you feeling? I agree that our diet must have some type of impact on our RA, be it direct or indirect. But dang, I wish it just had MORE of an effect! Cuz I do miss non vegan good stuff!

Pony said...

Hey Judy, I'm doing pretty good :) I just got back from a work trip where I also got to see my best friend and her baby, really sweet :) I go to this city every few months and usually have a massive flare due to the crazy wind and rain they get. BUT, this time, I did really good :) I think I'm on an upswing and I really need it.

Maybe it just takes a loooonnnnggg time to feel good effects witht he diet? I really hope so, for you. Maybe it's like those nasty meds where it can take up to 6 months to feel the full benefits? I guess it can take a long time for our bodies to heal.

Seriously, Judy, every time I come to either this blog, or your raw one, I just wanna go hiking and camping :) You're inspirational!

Vegan Valerie said...

Oh and doesn't ShabbyBlogs.com just make the cutest, most darling blog backgrounds ever?! I like your choice! But I'm kind of a sparkly, heartsy, sort-of person myself! :D


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