Saturday, December 05, 2009

Detox Diva

One of the reasons I've been so quiet on the blog front lately is that I've been doing a lot of private research. It started with just a little research into the link between arthritis and post-viral syndrome and, in the way that these things sometimes go, it's become a rather serious obsession. I've become completely fascinated by things like Leaky Gut Syndrome, Gut and Psychology Syndrome and Lectins. I've got this crazy idea that my arthritis is probably due to some metabolic problems, perhaps caused by longterm use of analgesics for my back pain followed up with a nice solid attack of the Epstein Barr Virus. Apparently, the first thing to do is get my insides healthy.

From what I've been reading, a good first step is to give the inside achitecture (my guts) a bit of a rest by embarking on an elimination diet and so I did just that. For six days I followed this elimination diet. I started the mission with a big dose of 'well, there's nothing to lose (sigh)' and under a heavy cloud of scepticism. For a start I certainly didn't think I'd be suffering any sort of detox discomfort, seeing as I pretty much stick to a wholefood diet anyway. Of course there was the small issue of impending caffeine withdrawl, but my consumption hasn't been outrageous lately and I thought it'd be a doddle.

Here commences my detox diary, readers digest version:

Day 1: Feeling just less than average. I fell off the wagon and ate one cacao bean and one cup of green tea when I felt my blood caffeine hit rock bottom. I'm only supposed to drink water. Ooops.

Day 2: Today I ate a lot, it was all legal foods, but I just felt super hungry all day. It's fortunate that pears and courgettes are in season right now. I woke up achey. My joints are aching, especially my arthritic hip. At the end of the day I'm not only achey in the joints but have an achey band across my back, in the kidney area. I hope I'm not getting a kidney infection or coming down with the flu. Had a green tea today. Oops x 2

Day 3: O.M.G. Hardly slept. I feel like all my organs are aching and I've got sciatica really badly. At 5.30am I got up and took two panadol just so I could get some sleep. I hope I'm not dying. On the plus, my neck which is usually stiff in the morning, feels quite good.

Later in the day: the pain has eased in my back and stomach but my calves are aching something wicked. More panadol, which I'm not sure is allowed. I'm thinking this must be some sort of food sensitivity reaction, but to what? Perhaps I'm allergic to everything. The book says that it would be something I eat regularly. It might be eggs, I usually eat heaps of them.

Day 4: This morning my joints felt really loose, a lot better than usual, though my legs are still achey. Am making a real effort to eat slowly and chew properly. Realise that it's time to finally change my relationship with food. Am not missing sugar, grains or dairy but would probably kill for an espresso.

Day 5: Much less aching today, still some remnants of day 3's sciatica but stretching helped. Did a workout.

Day 6: Last day! Got on the scales to find I've lost 2kg, which is really odd because I have not been eating low carb OR low calorie. I've dropped water, yet another sign that I've had some sort of food related inflammation going on. Hip feels much improved. I'd say the best it's been in a year.

Conclusion:

It was not the miracle cure I was hoping for as regards the arthritis, BUT I can't deny that there has been a dramatic improvement. More importantly, I feel ready to start testing foods into my diet in a controlled manner and I'm not missing chocolate even though I was in a near panic at the thought of giving it up for a WHOLE SIX DAYS. In fact I'm now two days post elimination diet and haven't needed to go on a chocolate hunt. I have nil food cravings. I also haven't touched coffee or alcohol. My plan is to ease back into a more vaired wholefood diet, based around everything I'm learning about healing my battered gut. Eventually I'll be able to indulge myself again with my favourite naughty foods, but certainly less often than before and ideally, without doing myself any damage! It looks like it's time to get some new thrills. Chocolate croissants are fun but, in retrospect, not really worth the pain.

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