I’m Laurie D., 48 years old.
I started noticing painful, swelling symptoms in my late twenties, but was not diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis until age 31. Medications have included prednisone and plaquenil in the past, but now I am on Celebrex and Enbrel and have been in medical remission for several years.
Ongoing symptoms included chronic pain, chronic fatigue, and swelling and/or pain in several joints including my wrists, fingers, knees, ankles, feet, and hips. With medication, I’ve been able to lead an active life and, at the encouragement of my rheumatologist, take up sports. I started with swimming, and now I cross-country ski, scuba dive, and hike, and actively compete in triathlon.
In October of 2011, I decided to try a gluten-free and dairy-free diet (GFCF), based on information in a book called “Clean” by Alejandro Junger (cleanprogram.com). Some of my friends with various health issues have had success with a GFCF diet, and Dr. Scott Fuller, DC recommended it as well.
In November of 2011, I noticed immediate improvements. I continued through three full weeks but felt so good that I went longer. For the most part, I am sticking to the elimination foods but not drinking as many liquid meals as I did during the cleanse. I really feel terrific and my energy is back. Other improvements included eliminating GI issues, reducing my fatigue level, lessening the occurrence of edema in my feet and ankles, enhancing my focus and visual acuity, and eliminating asthma medication.
In April of 2012 Scott Fuller, DC checked in with me. I wrote back:
I feel terrific! I have been more-or-less dairy free since November (I think I may have consumed small amounts of butter in restaurant food despite my requests). I have also been relatively (but not completely) gluten/wheat free. After several months of no gluten/wheat, I have found that I can consume it infrequently in small amounts without any noticeable effects. My new primary care doctor says that I may have what some people call “leaky gut” and that I “healed” myself so that now I don’t have the same issues. Regardless, I still avoid it but am not completely free of it.
In general, I have stuck with the elimination/cleanse diet and feel pretty good. I very rarely eat any of the foods not on the list but occasionally consume some of the ones that I don’t seem to have problems with – like bananas, strawberries, and non GMO organic tofu. I stay away from nightshades. I surprised myself by not missing coffee at all, but I will have a cup once every few weeks just to enjoy it. Probably the only “bad” thing I allow myself is alcohol, but not too frequently.
I feel stronger, more radiant, less tired, less cranky, and just so much healthier. Thanks for asking!