Beat it


A month, not even a month. My next doctors appointment is on June 15th and I am anxious. I want to know, if I am on the right track. I feel that I am and hope the results then will back me up. See, my doctors don’t know that I took myself of the medications, I decided not to tell them. I won’t tell them right away either, when I will sit in their office in June. I want to see what they have to say first. I want to see the results of the tests and blood work first. I want to know, if I made progress or if things got worse. If they got worse, well. then I screwed up….big time. But I don’t think so. 

I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis last year in June, just a few months after I quit smoking. It started in my fingers and wrists, they were swollen and awful stiff in the mornings. It lasted all day long. Soon it spread further, to my legs, my hips and my neck. I woke up in pain and felt like a real old woman when I got up…couldn’t even go down the stairs without hanging on to the railing. One step at a time. Gosh I hated it. Finally I saw a doctor and “boom” there it was. The words “auto immune disorder” and “chronic disease” were crushing down on me. Where was that coming from?

So, my immune system is out of whack and decided to attack my joints, instead of doing its job. I have this theory about my immune system. I kept it busy for 35 years with all the chemicals I inhaled on a daily base. Then, after I quit my immune stystem got bored and looked for something to do. 🙂

Lots of females, especially longtime smokers, have to deal with autoimmune disorder when they get older. I was crushed, but although not ready to just give in. I mean think about it, they give you medications “chemical bombs”, but tell you in the same sentence that there is no cure. Where is it coming from? What triggers it? They know somehow smoking is related to autoimmune disorders, especially to Celiac disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis, but don’t really know how. Smokers get lots of warnings about cancer, and COPD, signs and advertisement everywhere, but there is no warning about autoimmune disorders. Nowhere and millions suffer from it…hard to believe isn’t it? I think that’s one of the reasons that I decided to start a blog and shed some light on some things, that are still hidden in the dark.

I decided to research Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) a little bit, looked all over the world for answers. I wrote to different Universities in Europe and Asia and got answers, lots of answers and some of them just floored me.

So many people have it, I was not the only one, I was not alone. And like me, a lot of them decided against medications and looked for an alternative way to live a pain free life and they are successful.  I talked with so many people, in so many countries, it made my head spin. Talk about an overload of information. 🙂

A lady mentioned a little movie called “fat, sick and nearly dying”. What an appealing title? I am neither fat, nor dying…but she talked about it a lot and made me watch it. I streamed it, played it and my eyes popped wide open. A guy in Australia found his own way to deal with an auto immune disorder and it made sense to me. I watched another movie called “fork over knife” and my jaw dropped, I must have sat there with my mouth wide open.

My husband came home and I turned it on again, we watched it together, talked about it. “Reboot your system” it did make sense, lots of things made sense…even though I didn’t like it. Next day I went and bought a juicer.

I started juicing for 10 days. The first 3 days were hell, I was hungry all the time, my stomach was growling and even the dog food looked appealing. I started to feel better on day 4, my stomach was empty and the pain was gone. I didn’t feel hungry anymore and was full of energy. No stiffness in the morning, no swollen fingers. I could run up and down the stairs with ease, went for long walks with our dogs. I dropped 10 pounds in no time.

“I be damned”…they are right.” Rheumatoid Arthritis and food are related. I can control it with what I eat and with the food-choices I make. Talk about good news and bad news in one sentence.

I am a foodie, love to cook, love to prepare meals and love to eat. I don’t eat too much, but I eat everything, try everything and have fun doing so.

I made a decision New Years evening and started to experiment with food. I wrote a food journal, wrote down what cost pain and what didn’t, wrote down how I felt. Left the medications they gave me unopened.

I juiced for a few days after a bad day and felt instantly better afterwards. I reacted badly to dairy, sweets and gluten. The pain was the worst the day after I ate fried food. Cheap oils are a killer, they cost pain in many ways. I didn’t even know what gluten was, had to look it up. Not being able to eat dairy products hurt the most, I love cheese, yogurts and milk.

I looked at the Paleo diet. “Eat like a caveman”, it  made sense, since it cuts out all processed foods. Then there was the Gasp diet -never heard of that before- and looked into it as well. It’s a two year commitment (Bummer). Homemade broths, probiotics like kefir and sauerkraut…that was easy. I loved it all and gave it a try and I felt instantly better.

It’s already May and I haven’t popped a pill. I eat a healthy diet, pretty much a combination of all. Lots of homemade broth, lots of vegetables and lean meat, once a day a smoothie or a homemade juice.

I am not a Saint, I have “cheating days” and enjoy them. That’s when I eat whatever I want, but I don’t overdo it. The price to pay is too high and I know it.

This year is going good so far. No complaints on this end.

Is it an achievement? Not sure about that. It’s a step in the right direction that’s for sure.



State of Your Year

How is this year shaping up so far? Write a post about your biggest challenges and achievements thus far.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “State of Your Year.”

21 thoughts on “Beat it

  1. I know many people suffering from RA , and may tell you that each of them have recovered (no symptoms at least),both with diet changes and under medication…
    I strongly believe that our health mostly depends on what we eat , so I think it wise to face the problem from that point of you!
    I would like to know your test results , of course….
    I’m near you , wishing for the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wouldn’t go as far to say I have rheumatoid arthritis, altough I have a swollen finger on my lefthand for a year or so and the thumb does not do what it should without a twinge now and again. The doc diagnosed arthritis, but I do not take medications. I had a hip x-ray showing the beginnings of arthritis. I have good days and bad days. I stopped smoking more than 20 years ago. I found that taking a country walk does help. I have diabetes, so am supposed to be careful what I eat, which I am mostly. good luck to you with this problem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is a difference between Rheumatoid arthritis (immune system) and arthritis…but both is painful. Walking it off…I hear you. Look online for Arthritis gloves, they make all the difference in the world. No more swollen fingers. I use the gray ones.


  3. When I gave up moking I did not get any side-effects, just felt better and food tasted more like food ought to.
    There are deseases that do not have symptoms. Helvi was diagnosed with chronic leukemia at the beginning of this year but has no symptoms except good health. Apart from colesterol lowering tablets and ‘beta blockers’ she takes no medication. We had a good friend diagnosed withe same. She lived till 84 and smoked till the end.
    The smoking till the end isn’t meant to be taken as a form of health or medication…She might have lived till 94 if she had not smoked. We will all be lucky to get out alive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • First of all, I am happy that Helvi has no symptoms and all and hope it stays like that for a very long time. The most of us get an age related gift in the form of a disease and I suppose that’s the way its suppose to be or we all would just die healthy :-).


  4. Wow- so wonderful and so interesting. I became gluten intolerant in my 40’s- (never smoked) but was told it has become more common for women to develop it then. Have you still cut out all dairy? I love my yogurt, and do have osteoporosis so do not want to give it up. Diet does play a major role in our health and you have proven it! Let us know what the Dr says!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I cut out all the dairy, found wonderful replacements for heavy cream, sour cream and other things. Can mix my own beloved dairyfree ranch dressing (go figure). I eat yogurts with probioctics (the real Greek yogurt) and drink kefir. The rest I really let go. I will let you know what the doctors will say. Thank you for your concern 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wishing you only good news when you visit your doctor and get the test results. I can imagine getting the diagnosis was very difficult. Good for you to find a way to take some control back.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Bridget, I think what you’re saying here makes a lot of sense. My brother was diagnosed with MS eleven years ago. He started on all the neurological drugs immediately and they made him so very sick. He did a lot of research (he’s literally a rocket scientist) and decided to take himself off the meds several years ago. His disease has not progressed and he’s feeling a lot better now. I hope you get news at your next appointment. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

      • No. He continued to eat and drink as usual. He eats a healthy diet – very little processed foods, etc. He was able to read the on-line medical statistics for scientific results and see that there was very little direct proof that the meds he was on would really help. When questioned, his neurologist agreed. Your situation is different. I’ve heard time and again that RA can be affected by diet.


  7. I was diagnosed with RA when I was 27, long before I started smoking. Except in the very beginning when I had my initial, onset episode (which you describe very well), I have never taken anything for it. The most effective thing remains plain old aspirin — in mega doses. But if you take enough aspirin to feel better, you won’t have a stomach. I do not believe RA has anything to do with smoking. Most of the people I know who have RA never smoked.

    After initial onset, when every joint was swollen, RA remained a background disorder that tends to make an appearance only when I’m sick with something else and my immune system is down. Otherwise (unlike some friends of mine), it has been low on my list of things that bother me. The osteo arthritis in my spine is much more painful and keeps getting worse. I got a pass on this one (at least).

    I have so many other serious chronic conditions, I don’t have time for this. Did I mention that now I’m pre-diabetic? Apparently it’s a side effect of heart surgery.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are many studies that do proof that smoking and autoimmune disorders are indeed related. RA can be extremely severe, can leave people crippled, it depends on the RA factor as well as on the age you get it. There is even juvenile RA, what I find especially cruel, that puts children in a wheel chair. I get an instant flare when I eat wrong, especially sugar or fried oil and I am not the only one. I am so sorry you are pre-diabetic, do you have to be on medication or just watch your blood sugar. I have to say I don’t know too much about diabetes, always thought it was an inherited disease? Celiac disease (an autoimmune disorder when peope react badly to gluten) is to 100 % related to smoking. Not everyone gets it, but lots of longtime smokers have to deal with it after they quit. I didn’t want to believe it either.


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