Sunday, December 4, 2016

An Honest Look at Autoimmune Disease on World Arthritis Day

Today seems an appropriate day for me to add a blog post.  It is World Arthritis Day and I have Rheumatoid Arthritis which is an autoimmune disease.
 
An autoimmune disorder occurs when the immune system begins attacking cells and destroying healthy tissue.  There are more than 80 types of autoimmune diseases.  Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, and Osteo-Arthritis are well known autoimmune diseases.  Chronic inflammation plays a large role in these types of arthritis and may lead to irreversible damage if not controlled. 
 
Not all inflammation is bad.  Bodies need some inflammation to fight viruses, infections and help repair itself.  The problem comes when there is too much inflammation leading to pain, swelling, and damage.  It is imperative to get the inflammation under control right away to prevent future damage to joints and organs.   In the past I have been able to control many of these symptoms with an anti-inflammatory diet.  Not so much anymore. 
 
 
I have looked back at this blog noticing the changes in my body and life because of my disease. What started out as an anti-inflammatory eating blog that would control my RA is now changing.  Of course, isn't that the way of life?  Always changing. 
 
In the beginning I could eat whole grain pasta, bread and cereal.                    Now I cannot. In the beginning I could enjoy cheese, sour cream, and yogurt.                    Now I cannot. In the beginning I could bake and enjoy the sugary delicious treats.                   Now I cannot. Most things that I eat cause pain and swelling to the point that I am unable to function.  
 
Once upon a time I believed the way I ate could help heal all who suffered an auto-immune disease.  I wanted to share it with the world.  Time and pain are such great teachers.  
 
I am not sure what caused these changes and I'm not happy about it.  Two weeks ago I made the decision to start Enbrel Injections.  My decision has been frowned upon by many (not all) of my natural and holistic friends.  I understand their concern.  I have the same concern.  The choice I faced was to watch and feel my body crippling before my eyes or start the injections and pray they would work, with minimal side effects.  I've missed out on so many moments because of pain and am ready to get back to the business of life.  
 
 
So, on this World Arthritis Day, if you or someone you knows suffers with chronic pain, stiffness, or sickness, think seriously about it.  Now may be the time to see a doctor and get some relief.  Please don't wait until your symptoms cripple you.  Go now.    

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