Can changing your diet really help to reduce inflammation? Yes it can, but be aware of other problems that can occur. Maybe not for everyone, but when removing one thing from the body it can react and cause other problems as we have found out.
My husband had suffered from terrible inflammation and joint pain and over the years we have tried many things including:
- Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)
- Supplements from the Naturopath
- Supplements after a blood analysis
- And many other creams and herbs etc.
This has been ongoing for 15 plus years and I really can’t remember all the treatments we have tried. Natural and other, but two years ago a friend of our suggested trying the gluten free diet. Why not? What do we have to lose, at this point we had given up on everything.
We eat a pretty healthy diet and have in the last 10 years or so got rid of foods we considered harmful.
The things we changed in the last 10 years that I believe had helped somewhat were:
- Sugar replace with Honey (this also helped my allergies) – another topic for later
- Margarine was replaced with Butter, Coconut Oil and Olive Oil
- No Fast Food
- No Processed Meat
- Chicken from local organic farmers
- Beef from local organic farmers
- Grow our own vegetables
There are probably more things but it’s hard to remember them all, certainly we have been more aware of what has been going into our bodies.
So the gluten free made sense so we started by removing from our diet
Not only did we remove these things, but I started learning how to make bread and bake with Coconut Flour, Almond Flour and others.
So everything was going well and the inflammation was visibly reduced, but a few months after starting this diet my husband developed ulcerated colitis.
How is this possible and what caused this condition? Well apparently it doesn’t have a cause, but I have my own theory on that.
So here we are sitting in the specialist office listening to him say things like:
- There is no cure
- We don’t really know what causes it
- You risk for colon cancer is high
- You will need to see a doctor regularly
- We will put you on steroids and other pills
- Come back and see me in three month
- Another colonoscopy in 12 months
- Some foods should be avoided
- Some foods can help
We were pretty sad when we saw the list of foods that would help because since going gluten free the inflammation in his hands has been reduced drastically…so here we were
These are the foods you should be eating:
- White bread
- White pasta
- White rice
- Cereal made with refined white flour
- Vegetables without skins
- Vegetable soup
- Peanut and nut butters
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
Some of these are okay…but all the white bread, pasta, noodles, macaroni, white rice, crackers, and cereal. What the heck is he going to eat?
Well the problem with the ulcerated colitis was far worse than the inflammation so we had to go back to all the gluten that was taken out of his diet.
It took a good 6 months to get this man back to normal and it was a very scary time. In the beginning he was losing so much blood that he was tired all the time, sleeping more than usual and was unable to work for months.
I believe that taking all that gluten out of his diet may have helped with the inflammation, but it also caused the ulcerated colitis. This of course is just my opinion, but we have since gone back to a balanced diet that does include gluten.
We continue to grow as much of our own vegetables as we can, we continue to get organic meats from local farmers, continue to use honey rather than sugar, and olive and coconut oil for cooking.
Other foods that we have found to help with the inflammations are:
- Wild fish
- Lots of green vegetables
- Kiwi fruits
Herbs such as Turmeric, Cayenne, Cinnamon and Ginger are good for inflammation but we have limited these to Turmeric alone.
I make a cream that contains essential oils to help with the inflammation it contains Rosemary, Peppermint, Lavender, and Eucalyptus. This helps very well for the muscle aches and pains.
The only supplements that he uses now are Vitamin B, Magnesium and try to get as much natural fish oil in his body by eating fresh fish as much as possible.
For sweeteners we use raw honey. Stevia is another good alternative. Coconut sugar and maples syrup are good as well although they are mildly inflammatory.
Yoga and swimming are two good exercises to help get the blood flowing and easy on the joints.
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