Last Monday, I cut sugar out of my diet. I’m going to go sugar-free for 30 days, and might go well beyond that. What I wanted to do today, and what I’ve wanted to tell all my readers for a while, is why. It’s also one of the reason why I haven’t been posting as much in the past year.
In January 2016, my body didn’t feel right. On one of the coldest days of the year (something like -40 windchill, insanity), my joints hurt. I had pain in my fingers, wrists, elbows, knees, and ankles. The cold made my pain worse. Over the past 9 months, my symptoms have morphed and changed. I went from having some good days to having bad days and worse days. Every day, I have some kind of pain in my body, either in my joints, muscles, or places I have a hard time describing to doctors. My pain can be burning, throbbing, stinging, stabbing, or aching, and it moves around my body. I’ve been to a number of doctors and specialists, received many blood tests and scans, and met with physical therapists, acupuncturists, a health coach, and talked with a lot of people.
Right now, there isn’t a general consensus about what I have. My primary care doctor and the rheumatologist I met with said I might have fibromyalgia, but both acknowledged that I don’t meet all the diagnostic criteria for the condition. Most of the time, my condition boils down to a type of myalgia/arthralgia on documentation. I worry that I might have some kind of autoimmune disorder, or degenerative disease like RA, but all of that is too soon to tell.
Right now, I have to sort of wait things out. Physical therapy, acupuncture, and rest (ha) tend to make things better for short periods of time in the right proportions. My doctor prescribed me Lyrica, and I’ll probably start taking it soon. I have a lot of weakness in my body, especially in my hands, but I’m fighting past it. I enrolled in a yoga class this fall. I’m trying to take control of my health in as many ways as possible.
Which brings me to why I’m cutting out sugar for at least 30 days. I met with a health coach (more on her in a later post) who believes that my pain could be coming from inflammation. Sugar can be an inflammatory substance. Patients with arthritis are told to remove it from their diets. Plus, nobody needs added sugar anyway. It’s not adding anything to your health. So, I’m trying it. I’ve gone one week without sugar, and I’ve got at least 3 more full weeks and a couple days to go.
I’m telling you this because my posts on Dairy-Free State in the future will probably reflect this change. I love baking and creating sweet, dairy-free treats. However, I won’t be able to eat them for a while until I sort out what’s going on with me. You’ll probably see more posts on here for food that has no added sugar, food that’s more whole, food that can fit many dietary needs. I’ll post updates about my health regularly, and if I find out anything more about what I have, you’ll read about it here.
So much of our health is determined by what we eat. I’m hoping that going sugar-free will change my health for the better.