Juicing With PsA: Does It Help?
Last updated: September 2021
Scroll through any of your social media feeds, and you will surely see some form of diet or food craze promising to heal your chronic condition or pain. While we know there is no truth to these claims, we shouldn’t automatically turn from them. Instead, we should look into them and see if they provide something that our diets are missing.
Come along on my juicing journey
I know many psoriatic arthritis patients that swear by Low-FODMAP or paleo diet. Others experienced some improvement after eliminating gluten or dairy from their diet. Until recently, my most significant inflammatory relief came from removing artificial sweeteners, flavors, and coloring from my diet.
I am now also reaping the rewards of juicing. I promise this post is not to sell you on juicing, but instead to share how my journey into juicing has surprisingly helped reduce some of my psoriatic arthritis pain.
Assessing my diet
I began juicing because my diet severely lacked many nutrients and vitamins that vegetables and fruits provide. My body rejects oral supplements. Unlike magnesium, it’s impossible to find everything I needed in a topical lotion or oil.
Jaw pain and tooth decay from chronic illness and a decade of relieving pain with opioids make eating many veggies and fruits difficult. Juicing allows my body to get the nutrients from fruits and vegetables that I would not usually be able to eat.
Taking a look at inflammation
While not related to psoriatic arthritis, digesting most fruits and vegetables was like having a bowl of nails, shards of glass, and razors make their way through my intestines. Every meal inflamed my intestines, and I felt like someone was attempting to make balloon animals with them. But wait, it gets worse! That inflammation also triggers costochondritis flares which is a comorbidity of psoriatic arthritis.
Giving my body the vitamins it needs but doesn’t create or increase pain provides more energy. A full glass of fresh juice fills me up and curbs my sugar cravings. Juicing is aiding in my quest to lose the weight I gained while on bed rest for a year and a half. While weight is not the cause of my pain, weighing less will lessen the strain on my joints.
Just how expensive is it?
One reason I waited so long to hop on the juice train was fear of the expense. How much would I have to spend on a juicer and produce each week? Would I have the energy to cut the fruit and vegetables and clean the juicer?
I began juicing while experiencing a heavy fatigue flare. Instead of waiting until my stomach demanded lunch, I started prepping 30 minutes before I usually ate. I also enlisted the help of my daughter and husband when my hands fail me or I found myself unable to sit for long periods.
The cold press juicer I purchased was reasonably priced at around a hundred dollars. With how much I have fallen in love with juicing, I have my eye on a more expensive model that will allow me to make almond milk too! As for the cost of produce, my grocery bill has not changed. In fact, it is less because I am eating less, craving less junk food, and produce no longer sits and rots in my refrigerator. To my surprise, it is also easy to clean.
Can you pass the juice?
Juicing will not cure psoriatic arthritis or any other chronic illness. But the benefits I gain from juicing are why it is and will remain part of my chronic illness management plan.
Do you juice? What are some of your favorite juicing combinations?
Has PsA changed how you think about sex and intimacy?
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