Pain is a great motivator! For months I have been dealing with pretty significant hip pain. Physical therapy hardly touches it. I was presuming my hip problem was related to other problems I'm having connected to my Myasthenia Gravis, but the neurologist recommended an x-ray and I have arthritis in that hip. Hmm...I recall a fall off a horse and a fall off a skate board that both involved my right side. Guess I shouldn't be surprised.
I decided to do a little research on natural treatments for arthritis. I'm in no hurry to have a hip replacement. Diet affects everything so I googled "diet remedy for arthritis." Now, I doubt diet can undo arthritis damage, but I'm convinced that everything can be helped by making healthy food choices.
There are millions of sites on the web that want to get you to buy something. They suck you in with their endless videos outlining the problem, guaranteeing a cure...if you only buy their supplement or their book, or their educational video. The first few sites I visited were like that. No thanks.
I did find a site that talked about the five worst foods for arthritis. Two of the biggies were gluten and sugar. Well, that isn't too hard to manage. I cut them out. I already wasn't drinking alcohol because it's Lent.
Within three days, my pain was greatly reduced. Before, it was keeping me up at night because I couldn't find a comfortable position for sleep. I tend to be a side-sleeper and that was almost impossible, but even on my back I was uncomfortable. Last night I was able to sleep on my side with only minimal discomfort. At present, I still have pain, but it isn't keeping me up. The past two nights I slept better than I have in months.
My neurologist recommended I see an orthopedist and I plan to follow through. But in the meantime, I'm still doing research for my own education. I have no intention of going on drugs without doing everything else. One of the best sites I found for a broad spectrum of data is the Arthritis Foundation website. The Health Ranger has an interesting video, but I have no intention of giving up cream in my coffee, cheese, and beef. In fact, a friend recommended beef broth as a treatment! I do take MSM and I try to keep active.
I'm no doctor and I'm not giving medical advice, but here's my personal strategy:
1) Minimal foods containing gluten (When I look at a doughnut and think of how I'll pay for it afterwards, it's a lot less appealing. Bread and pasta will be a little more difficult.)As you can see, I'm not an all or nothing kind of gal. I will still eat an occasional dessert (my birthday is next weekend -- chocolate cake?) and drink a glass of wine. I'll eat my fruit with cream and honey sometimes. I'll try to practice moderation even with an arthritic diet. And I will offer up any pain I still experience in union with Christ on the cross for love of Him, the conversion of sinners, and in atonement for sins against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
2) Minimal sugar (except honey - no way am I giving up the product of my gals in the bee yard!)
3) Minimal alcohol (Not a big sacrifice. I don't drink that much already.)
4) Minimal processed foods
5) Plenty of water,
6) Keep moving, especially what I call IF, incidental fitness. If you practice IF you'll be healthier. That means parking far away from the door at the grocery store. Making extra trips up and down stairs to put away laundry, make beds, etc. Don't sit at the computer more than 45 minutes without getting up and taking a survey of the house or walking to the mailbox, etc.
7) Take MSM for joint health.
Finally, if you have arthritis like I do, I recommend praying for the intercession of St. James, the brother of St. John, and St. Alphonsus Liguori, patron saints of arthritics. A little prayer improves everything.
St. James and St. Alphonsus, please intercede for all people today suffering pain from arthritis.