Unfortunately, most of what I learned in health class in high school was how to put a condom on a banana and, truthfully, I’m not even confident in that ability. Where was the education about food for health? To be honest, I might have cut that class. But I digress…
In a time when healthcare is such a big issue, I am stunned by the goofy looks I get when I tell people that I plan to cure my disease through nutrition. We can all agree that eating unhealthy foods will make you, well, unhealthy. So why am I the nutbar for thinking I can get well this way?
We are all, of course, different which is why RSD is so freaking hard to treat. But I am constantly learning to give my body different things based on the symptoms I am having and not just feeding it pain meds. When my motor function is lacking or I have muscle or joint pain, I soak in an epsom salt bath for the magnesium. When I am feeling very inflamed or even very cold, I might turn to ginger. I will also avoid foods like cucumber or mint tea if i am cold as those are cooling. If my circulation is lacking, I will add cayenne to my food. You get the point.
Kale is my current staple as I attempt to get as much vitamin K as possible. Why would I want that? Turns out that there are studies showing that Neurontin (which most of us are put on immediately when symptoms begin) causes severe vitamin K deficiency. What does severe K deficiency cause? Autonomic dysfunction. You know, your body’s autonomic functions like blood flow/heating and cooling…makes you want to go grab some kale, doesn’t it?
The only downside with eating to treat (and hopefully cure) your ailments: chocolate chip cookies don’t do a damn thing for RSD. Dark chocolate, however, is good for pain! And has magnesium. Ok, the other downside: you might eventually fall out of love with some of these foods but I am hoping that, like fashion, certain things will come around again. For a while, for my nerves, I was eating an avocado every day. Now i see them at the grocery store and I cringe. For now, these are my mainstays:
Lemons: for inflammation, immunity, & to help clean my liver. Lemons are really one of those miracle foods. And i love that when i have finished squeezing the lemon into my water, I can then clean my sink with it. Or my Brita pitcher.
Turmeric: for pain, inflammation & to help clean my liver. For a while I added this to foods but then went for the gusto and I take it in capsule form. I go through stages where I stop taking it so I give my body a break. But I do notice when I don’t take it. And it’s good for many things beyond your common RSD symptoms.
Kale: to help cure me! Kale is amazing for brain health. Have you seen the TED Talk from the woman who cured her MS? You need to. Her name is Dr. Terry Wahls and her story is amazing. She pushes a lot of Omega 3s, 6, 9s but is such a big proponent of leafy greens. Vitamin K is KEY for brain health and also for the myelin sheath – the coating on your nerves which, by the way, neurontin apparently depletes. I knew a few days after I was put on Neurontin that there was something going on with me when my hair turned strawlike. I have had doctors tell me there is no connection between Neurontin and vitamin depletion. Um ok. These are the people prescribing the very drugs that end up the subject of lawsuits and banned by the FDA. Credibility….not high. Kale is so packed full of nutrients but I do not love the taste and so I have made it part of my morning smoothie.
Good Belly Big Shot: I have had immunity issues and I imagine it has something to do with the disturbance in my nervous system. Most of your immunity lies in your gut and I have had a hard time getting enough nutrition to help myself in that regard and so I have turned to Good Belly Big Shot which you can purchase at Whole Foods. It tastes pretty gnarly. I buy the Chamommile one. It really works amazingly well and is also good for your lady parts.
Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked: Because I’m human. This also does not help with my temperature issues but sometimes, when my pain is super high, I go for it. You can’t live so structured that you go without the good stuff. I still eat things that are pleasing to me but try to consume things based on how i am feeling. So, if i am in a ton of pain and i am about to crawl into bed for the day or night, why not bring Ben and Jerry. Screw it.
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