If you read my blog Prednisone Chronicles you would know that in 1999 I was diagnosed with the rare autoimmune disease Polymyositis, an inflammatory condition that affects the muscles and leaves you exhausted and weak with severe muscle pain. Essentially the immune system attacks the muscle cells and kills them and at the same time leaks high levels of protein into the blood. The disease is diagnosed through blood tests and a muscle biopsy. At that time I was put on a huge cocktail of medications including a high dose of Prednisone.
Over the years I struggled as much with the disease as I did from the side effects of the medications. My Prednisone dose would go from between 40mg to around 20mg. The other medications left me feeling tired, sick and dizzy. But I continued to approach it from the Western medical approach.
A couple of years ago I got fed up and started looking for better alternatives, acupuncture, Chinese herbs and diet. I went to an integrative nutritionist who put me on a gluten free diet. Initially I was pretty slack at following directions but did my best. I went back to my doctor with some blood test results and was pleasantly surprised to find that my CPK (an inflammation marker in the blood) had dropped from over 900 (70-130 is normal), to around 400.
Feeling excited by the results I then committed further to a dietary intervention, I cut all dairy products from my diet…No easy feat, I’m a die-hard yogurt, cheese and milk fan. Within the first three weeks my bloating, gas and indigestion disappeared. My skin stopped breaking out (love this!!!) and I stopped having a perpetual runny nose and clearing my throat. I stopped dairy for 6 weeks and had decided that if I didn’t see a change in my inflammation levels I would go back to eating it…you would think that the lack of acne, gas and endless snot would be enough, but no, I was missing my yogurt and my cream in my coffee!
I went back to the doctor to get my test results and low and behold my CPK levels were 160!!!! Holy McRoly! I couldn’t believe it, I knew I was feeling better, that when I got out of bed in the morning I was no longer in agony but this amazed me! Feeling encouraged I added in a high dose of Omega 3’s and found that my eyes were no longer dry and my hair was getting thick again, NICE!
I had always been skeptical of fad diets and the gluten free craze actually annoys me, but having seen such incredible results I’m now a convert!