Would Dietary Changes Really Help Manage My Psoriatic Arthritis? Part 1

Last updated: June 2018

I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve never been a big believer in the whole “You are what you eat” theory. Sure, I’ve always known the obvious; fruits and vegetables are better than fries and soda, don’t eat too much fast food, and too much sugar is never a good thing. But really, I felt that all things in moderation was a pretty safe way to go.

Check any PsA forum or Facebook group and you will see many people touting the benefits of making dietary changes to help fight the inflammation associated with psoriatic arthritis. But as a self-proclaimed Midwest Girl, it always seemed a bit too “crunchy” or “hippie” for me. However, like many people I’ve yet to find a medicine to adequately manage my PsA and was literally willing to try anything to get some relief, even follow “some hippy diet” (as my darling hubby so eloquently stated).

My “Well, duh!” moment

I’m sure you are familiar with the classic, Oprah coined, “Aha! Moment.” Well, when I realize something a little more obvious, I call it more of a "Well, duh!" moment. So, early December I sat on the couch a 6 a.m. desperately sipping my cup of coffee waiting for it to kick in so I could actually start my day. Then it hit me. If my body can have such an awesome reaction to coffee, so much so that I NEED it to start my day, why would other foods and drinks not have an equally important impact on my body?

Let’s think about this logically

Sure, we could go into the whole science of coffee, caffeine, and it’s addictive qualities. But really, the reality for me is found in that moment. It became glaringly obvious that what we drink and what we eat is about more than how things taste, it is about how they work in the climate of our bodies. Do they get along with our organs and tissues or do they cause an uproar and rebellion? If my body is already prone to inflammation, aren’t I just making things worse by adding foods that are scientifically proven to cause further inflammation? Well, duh (major facepalm moment).

Can I really do this?

Now that I’ve convinced myself that this just might help, I had to wonder if this was something I could really do. If it helped, I would literally have to eat this way for the rest of my life. No going back to my favorite sugar-filled sweet treats, preservative-filled convenience foods, or my nemesis, french fries.

What finally convinced me to give it a try?

I was looking back over some of my past writings, thinking about times when I felt my worst, at my lowest, and remembering the impact it had on my life and how it affected the lives of those I love the most. What was more important, my french fries or having fun with my kids? What matters more, donuts or romantic evenings with my husband? How about processed flour-filled breads or the energy to pursue my own hobbies and interests? For me, all of these answers are a no-brainer. My question, “Can I really try this?” was replaced with, “How can I NOT?”

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