06 Mar Adios Pain in the Joints
2 years ago I made some drastic changes in my life…well my diet. I was finally tired of pushing through the pain and waking up in the middle of the night with my joints (ankles and knees) throbbing. I have (and probably will always be) been extremely active. Grew up playing sports with the boys, skateboarding, BMX bikes, hour long hikes, surfing, snowboarding, basketball, and D1 collegiate soccer. I’ve had my fair share of ankle tweaks, knee discomfort and swelling, plantar fasciitis, heal spurs, and the list can go on….
I started training for the STP (Seattle to Portland) bike ride…204 miles. It was on my Bucket List and something I wanted to do as I’ve transitioned more towards biking than soccer. My body was taking way too long to recover after coed and open division women’s soccer games. As I trained, everything was great except my joints. I lost about 8 lbs and was hovering around my ideal body weight. I did some weight training to build muscle strength. I even started foam rolling and icing regularly (which I’ve always hated). Finally 2 weeks before the STP, I started doing research online on joint pains. Lots of information regarding treatment, but I didn’t find much on prevention or cause that I didn’t already know…until a few friends of mine mentioned seeing a Naturopath and taking a food allergy test. This sparked my interest, as I was pretty much desperate to end this joint pain. As it was keeping me up at night and . I did some more research on Natural cures, and found out that food allergies or food intolerance can cause inflammation in your joints. The light bulb went off and I immediately started searching for a Naturopath in my insurance network. To my surprise not many showed up.
My friends got their results back, and my jaw nearly hit the floor. They basically had an intolerance to all the foods I loved. This made me nervous! Just like the time I got hives in college and the Doctor at the Student Med Center said I might be allergic to berries – Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, etc. This freaked me out because I love them!!! (which ended up not being true…I got hives over stress – but that’s a whole different story)
I found a Naturopath in my network that belonged to a Wellness Center. This was my introduction to real life “Private Practice” (remember the show, a spin off of Grey’s Anatomy). With an open mind, I made my appointment 4 days before the STP. For some reason I thought I would get some miracle diagnoses and be all set by race day. Yeah right! I immediately was hooked on this Doctor. She was so informative, asked me a million questions, and we chatted for almost an hour. At the end, I agreed on taking an allergy blood test to test for food allergies. I was super bummed that the results would take 2 weeks, but also really excited and hopeful for answers.
Fast forward 2 weeks (yes, I did survive my 1st STP. I did it in 2 days. Day 1: 116 miles, Day 2: whatever was left). So my results came back. Even the Doctor was shocked. She had never seen someone with so many results in the “red” area. ALL Dairy I knew I was lactose intolerant my entire life), eggs – ARE YOU KIDDING ME!, chicken, beef, pork, tuna (I almost died – hello, spicy tuna sushi), crab (wow, just in time for crabbing season! Terrific!) yeast (no more beer or bread), oats (there goes breakfast), cranberries, and kidney beans. My immediate sarcastic response was, I guess I’ll be eating celery and washing it down with water?? What was I going to eat for breakfast? I started most of my days eating yogurt with granola and eggs on the weekends. Food was my life…I lived to eat. The reason I stay active, is to eat! My Naturopath could sense my anxiety, so she tried to be nice and suggest I start slow.
Obviously, she didn’t know me! Slow? Not me! I went 99.9% cold turkey for an entire year. Unless I unknowingly ate something I was intolerant to, I stayed away from everything on my list. It took me about 4 months to notice that my joints were no longer achy. Even when it rained or the weather took a drastic change! And my seasonal allergies reduced drastically.
I decided to continue until it was time to take the test again (1 year later). I trained for the STP again. This time 204 miles in 1 Day…Yes, I made it in 15 hours (including rest stops) and before the sun went down! This time my recovery time was much quicker and no joint pain.
2 weeks after the 1 Day STP, I returned to my Naturopath to retake the test. When the results came back, the change was drastic. The only things that remained were Dairy and Yeast. This was AWESOME news! It’s almost been 2 years and I’m feeling great. I eat eggs on special occasions and in homemade baked goods. I’ve substituted my love for ice cream or frozen yogurt for coconut ice cream or almond milk ice cream. I don’t crave cheese or loafs of bread. And I’ve learned to find substitutes.
Adios Pain in the Joints!