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Food and Drink, RA and Belly Fat

I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis almost two years and 15 pounds ago. When I was diagnosed I had already gained a few pounds and I attribute that to the lethargy. Upon my diagnosis I started with steroids (prednisone) and then a whole host of other pills that have you gaining weight. The Prednisone was the worst as far as weight gain but the best as it offered relief quickly.

When I went off the prednisone I lost ten pounds pretty quickly but another ten sort of stuck with me. Also I love to eat. I wake up in the morning, lay in bed and plan my meals. I really LOVE to eat. When I went from being a long distance runner to a woman who couldn’t walk up the stairs in her own house almost overnight I didn’t stop eating the way I had in the past.

That caught up with me. I need to lose weight.

I don’t need to lose weight to look good in my clothes. I look fine and I know how to dress around my “flaws”. I don’t need to lose weight to look good in a bikini, I’ve found that everyone on the beach who is remotely close to my age is so worried about their own looks that they can’t be bothered with anyone else’s. I just enjoy myself.

I need to lose weight because every extra pound stresses my joints. My ankles and toes don’t do well in the mornings. If I can knock off a decent percentage of weight I should have that much less pain.

Also, I’m told that some foods are really reactive if you have inflammation issues. Someone told me to give up tomatoes… after I got done sobbing at the loss of a beloved fruit I gave them up and lost my chronic indigestion. My friend Carley told me she’d been wrongly diagnosed with RA and that after changing her diet all of her symptoms disappeared. Another friend Tracey told me of her 30 pound weight loss after giving up foods she was sensitive to. They both took a blood test to determine food sensitivities. Neither one of them feels like they are on a diet, they’re just eating healthfully.

I’m going to go ahead and schedule that test. I’m not looking to be cured of RA but I’d like to see if I could get just a little more comfortable.

7 thoughts on “Food and Drink, RA and Belly Fat”

  1. Food can be very powerful but if you legitimately have RA I don’t know that it will go away. Be driven in to remission, sure but you’ll have to always be vigilant. Steroids also require a low sugar diet to avoid complications such as permanent insulin resistant (i.e. prediabetes).

    I’m an asthmatic whose health has been ruined by long term steroid use. So do the diet to fight the steroids.

    I also am sensitive to tomatoes right now, waiting to see if it’s a true allergy or reaction to the alternative medicine I’ve been doing. It’s really hard to go out to eat, tomatoes are in everything! You could also try digestive enzymes to see if that stops the indigestion and allows tomato consumption. You’re in CA compared to my MidWest US location, you have access to great resources and medical care, use them!


  2. what a battle and a royal pain in the ass for you. for a normally active person to have their energy drained to levels that impair their ability to be active, can be close to torture.

    thanks for sharing, and good luck with the food inquiry.

    P.S. i’m sure people recommend products to you right and left, but my Mom and other friends with chronic joint pain have had incredible success with some particular brand of food enzymes…I’d be happy to hunt down the name if you want to give it a shot. i am in no way affiliated…just gal to gal.

  3. Are you having the ALCAT blood test, Jessica? I found that it helped me determine what foods were giving me terrible stomach pain. I haven’t lost weight but I feel a lot better and my energy has improved.

  4. Oi, Jessica, this post couldn’t come at a more timely moment for me. I was just diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease two weeks ago and have been on Prednisone for about a week (definitely feeling the speedy, hunger-inducing effects of the drug. Wheee!). I’m already finding myself bombarded by information about different treatments (which are incredibly similar to RA). One of these days, I’ll have to ask you more about your specific experience of RA. And coincidentally, I’m an endurance-athlete/runner, so your point about the weight gain and alterations to exercise definitely struck a chord. Keep on keeping on. :)


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