Getting Better and Better

Haven't been on for a while...sorry...but thought I might take some time to update you on my progress.

I was going to post a huge blog on the supplements/nutrition plan I follow if people were interested, but I didn't get many requests. If, after reading my progress to date you would like more information, just let me know and I'll speak with you individually.

So...

Diagnosed with thyroid disease and PsA in 2010 at the age of 45...very severe onset to the point where I couldn't shift the car (standard) into reverse....had to drive forwards everywhere lol. Could only walk forwards about 25 yards before excruciating back pain set in. I would usually finish my trips to the mall walking backwards (less painful for some reason). Lots of funny looks.

And here we are in 2013. My TSH is currently at 1.56, and my T4 is at 19.8. Those are awesome thyroid numbers.

I've gone from 248 lbs to 215 lbs, following a diet that's high in protein, low in carbs and as gluten free as I can get it.

I also take 5,000 iu of vitamin D each day. Four very high doses of Omega 3, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B12 and HCL (stomach acid) supplements.

My plaque psoriasis is down to a small (and ever reducing) patch on each elbow.

I'm treating my arthritis with just 100 mg of Celebrex once each day.

Last week I started working at UPS, loading three delivery vehicles with parcels weighing up to 70 lbs. I'm two weeks into my 3 a.m. to 9 a.m. shifts and so far feel really good. In fact, I feel better now than I have in, oh, 20 years or more.

I'm convinced that my progress is down to a strict regimen of exercise (I also hit the gym five days a week), diet and nutritional supplementation. Not saying that following my plan will get you to this place, too, but it may help a little. And I remember only too well how ill I felt, so I know that every little benefit helps, right?

Stay strong...love to all of you who are fighting this awful disease.

I am so glad to hear these tributes to self determination on this site. I am still getting better- so well I cant believe it. I had a dentist appointment last week- after years of issues with gums bleeding and following all the current advice always had problems. Until I started following advice re Cooling inflammation blog - my dentist was stunned - he said just on the basis of my reversal of dental/gum issues alone i should write about the effects of following the protocol. My good friend Rory with severe MS phoned to say he has been doing it for six months and has arrested the disease and his physio and doctor are incredulous. He cant walk, but is standing and moving around with his frame and is doing the weights he could do 5 years ago. He is convinved that he feels better each day. Love to all struggling with this illness but take heart and do the research - you canmake some improvements . I have no pain - I walked 5 miles with a schoolgroup yesterday up and down hills on Dartmoor as easy as the fittest kids. No meds - just a very low carb diet and good fats xxx

I would like to know more about your diet and exercise! I have tried many specific dietary restrictions and been on supplements but nothing seems to help. I’ll feel better for a day or two, then bam! Its flaring. I feel like I don’t know what feeling good is!

It would be unwise to say it is simple but I would start with reading the advice on the blog Cooling Inflammation by Dr Art Ayers xxx

I would like to know in detail how you have acheived this. I keep trying to be hopeful.

Hi! If and when you have time to write about it, I would also like to know what you are doing/eating. Although I am not opposed to meds, I am currently - with my rheumy’s blessing - managing this with diet, Pilates to both maintain and monitor my spine, and regular monitoring by my doc. My diet is still evolving, and I would love to know what has helped others.

I spent all of last year researching my current lifestyle- and healing from a twenty two year period on strong medication - the last seven using weekly humira - anti tnf. I came across a great deal of opposition from the medical community although my Gp was supportive. When I last saw my rheumatologist he was speechless - but not disbelieving. I asked for his opinion and he could only say he was not qualified to offer health advice apart from giving anti tnf medication according to the protocol. I am now healthier than I have ever been in my adult life- save possibly when I was pregnant in 1992 and 1994. After witnessing this transformation my friend with MS - who still cannot walk - adopted similar protocol and would happily testify his dramatic improvement to the point his physio and gp are amazed. He said to me last week I now don't believe there is such a thing as MS - just damage done by diet and medication. I agree - I no longer believe that these symptoms are anything other than damage done by gut issues and immune response. I am still getting well - I can run , dance, and climb as well as drink a few glasses of wine without any pain. I don't believe that it is any different to anyone elses body- I have just given it a chance to respond to a life without the damage done to my immune system and gut by pain killers and immune suppressants and steroids. As i said , the Cooling Inflammation blog was an important resource for me- all the gut healing ideas and all the info on low carb high fat. It is not just gluten free - i occasionally eat gluten now and don't have a major reaction . all the stuff about biology by Dr jack Kruse- especially understanding insulin and its role in inflammation. it is no surprise to me that so many people with this set of symptoms have a diabetes issue too. It is not a simple prescription and it took a long time - although I did feel much better very soon.

I also do Pete Egoscue's exercises, but exercise with inflammation , which I did for a long time I don't believe is very clever from a biological boint of view. Now I am just fit - I can walk up and down big hills, not even my old knee hurts- my swollen joints have gone down, my hands look normal, my toes look normal - I can wear shoes with heels if I want . There is a lot to understand- but it would take you as long as me to pick up the whole picture. Start by studying the diet and science on Prof Ayers site and it will lead you in the right direction. But be warned - there are a lot of people with a vested interest in keeping you sick - from consultants, insurance companies, drug companies, your family who will have adapted etc. Mentally too you will have been affected by the inflammatory processes - it stops you thinking well as your body will be feeling so poisoned and vulnerable- no wonder there is so much despair . And no one is likely to say you can get much better. Like my friend Rory - he may never walk and run as the damage done neurologically to his myelin is not totally reparable but he can work, do the weights he did five years ago and feels so much better.

I think this disease probably manifests uniquely in each person, and the epigenetic (factors turning genes on or off) possibilities fascinate me, which is why I’m interested in what has worked for other people. I am very fortunate in my rheumy: she’s happy to keep my meds to a minimum as long as I’m not showing any deterioration, and she knows that I’m open to meds if and when lifestyle isn’t enough. Her philosophy is that the longer I can delay meds, the more information she’ll have to help me choose what is safest and most likely to work for me. Meanwhile, I continue to tweak and collect my own data on how things affect me. :slight_smile:

Definitely true about the factors which turn it on or off - but anecdotally serious fasting and antibiotics can reduce symptoms which makes me think that there is something happening gut related. I can easily switch it back on with carbohydrate - however my LCHF diet has had amazing overall health benefits- which makes me believe it is not just psoriatic arthritis symptoms which disappear. As I have said - I have been getting better for the past year by which I mean my experience of well being - physical and mental and effortless fitness is superior to managing it with add ons - beyond how else I have been in my life. It has been a hugely positive and energising experience and makes me question much of the current medical/biochemical dogma xxx

Just looked up the LCHF diet and that is similar to what I have been doing. I eat chicken, eggs and fish, berries, and lots of veggies.

However I still have my gluten free granola with almond mink in the morning. I am lactose intolerant and so milk products upset me, so I have been using replacement product.

Any good ideas on breakfast that use LCHF diet besides Eggs?

I do notice however that my stomach issues are a lot better specifically off gluten and dairy. Sugar is like a drug for me. Once I have it I crave it.

Any suggestions??

Why be conventional- no reason why not eat any meat/ green veg/ salad/ fish combo. I have found some good ideas in the Low Carb Gourmet - one of my bibles - although the recipes aren't dairy free. I would suggest being very aware of the carb content of all of the replacement products though- its difficult sometimes to calculate them . I aim for less than 100 g of carbs a day. I would also check out the advice of Robert Zu on using lemon juice/cider vinegar etc and being careful of the purine content of your diet - this can cause a build up of uric acid crystals causing gout symptoms . I would also do some research regarding the whole low carb thing as there are pitfalls if you mess about with the salts in your body without knowing it- and study the problems with PUFA - ie vegetable oils. There are some great resources out there- Volek and Phinney, Robb Wolf, Chris Masterjohn, Chris Kresser, the blogs of Hyperlipid, and Cooling Inflammation by Prof Art Ayers. Basically forewarned is forearmed xxxx

Thanks for all the good info! I will look into it.