Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A push to get healthy and drop the "bad" stuff

Spring break is finally here. I worked my butt off on Monday to finish some writing assignments. I looked for jobs for a few hours yesterday. I have plans to work on my thesis at some point, but I plan on enjoying the next couple of days. My younger cousins are visiting their dad in Tulsa, so I'm going to pick them up today and see what we can get into. Tomorrow, my mom, brother and sis are coming to visit and I'm super excited!


For quite awhile, I've had this weird back pain that only happens when I press on the lower part of my back. For the longest time, I stuck with the "well, if it hurts, don't do it!" mentality. One night, I decided to google my symptoms (MISTAKE) and freaked out. I made a doctor's appointment for the next day.

The doctor seemed perplexed, because I have full mobility and can bend, stretch, turn, whatever. But, when he pressed on my lower back, it hurt. X-rays didn't show anything, so he ordered some blood work. Initial testing showed that I had antinuclear antibodies in my blood, which basically means that something in my body is causing it to attack itself, leading to inflammation.

After a second round of blood work, he told me there's a possibility I have ankylosing spondylitis (spelling may be wrong!) and referred me to a rheumatologist. I looked up the condition and freaked out. In extreme cases, bones can fuse together and it can cause people to hunch over. Needless to say, I'm scared and need to make an appointment, even though I would rather just ignore it and not see a doctor. (Because that will totally solve the issue!)

AS is an autoimmune disease. The funny part is, is that I've always known I felt better on a low starch, gluten free diet, but I continued to eat those foods for the most part. I've done so much reading about nutrition and know that people with autoimmune conditions (and inflammation) are advised to steer clear of gluten and high glycemic carbs. I read stuff online about people with AS that have been able to lessen their symptoms or even reverse AS with a good diet.

Sooo...bye, bye carbs and sugar. I'd rather completely change my diet than have to take medication or shots. It's just so weird to me because I feel fine and I'm not hurting at all. I'm not going to say I have it until I speak to a specialist, but for now, no sugar or starchy carbs.

One of my favorite quotes from "It Starts with Food," a book by the Whole30 program creators, is that the food you eat can either make you more healthy or less healthy. (not verbatim)

I'm nervous, but I am going to completely shift my diet and try to give my body what it needs, and stay away from the things that are going to harm it. Although I usually try to eat a paleo-ish diet, I have way too many things with gluten and sugar. Meat, eggs, veggies, fruits, nuts, minimal dairy...I mean, I'm kind of excited because now it's no longer "oh, I really want that, but I can't eat it!" Now, I'm genuinely scared of fake processed crap. Regardless of my diagnosis, the diet change will be good for me.

Let food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be food. — Hippocrates