Plant Strong, Poison Free

October 11, 2014

Sometime in early August my parents started telling me about this crazy sounding diet they were following, which had them basically eating a vegan diet but with no oils or sugar. My initial reaction was that I could never do that!

After a particularly rough methotrexate week, I began researching medications other than MTX that could control the disease. My options seemed to range from bad to worse, so in desperation I simply began searching for anything and everyhing on relapsing polychondritis. There isn’t a lot out there because it is such a rare disease, but I happened across a post about a woman who, through diet, cured her Polychondritis. She was following Dr. McDougall’s program. I have always know that certain foods can trigger inflammation in the body and I have tried to eliminate many of them, but this program seemed extreme. As I read more about it, I realized it was the same diet my parents are following, just with a different name. In fact, they had heard of Dr. McDougall because he endorses Forks Over Knives, the diet they are using.

Since I go for blood work every 2 months, it didn’t seem like I had anything to lose by trying the diet and cutting back on the MTX slowly. I went plant strong on August 31st and had blood work done on October 3rd. After only 5 weeks of changed habits I was not expecting huge results, but what a surprise I got! My CRP, C-Reactive Protein, (an indicator of inflammation), had begun to slowly increase over the previous 2 blood tests, but now it is at 1. I am anticipating it will drop to 0 eventually! Unfortunately, my sedimentation rate, which has been elevated for at least a year, was not run in this round of blood work, an error on the lab’s part. However, I did notice that for the first time in nearly 30 years I am neither borderline, nor full-blown anemic. My hematocrit jumped from the low 30’s to 41. Did I mention that I eat no animal products!?! I am so excited about my numbers that I want to shout from the rooftops!

I don’t have cravings for the things I removed from my diet and I am eating all the time. As a nice side effect, I have lost 10 pounds in the last 5 weeks. I am excited to see where my new, better choices take me!

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