Monday, May 17, 2010

I will no longer be feeling my Wheaties

I think I was given a whole new reason to believe that I may indeed be gluten intolerant or sensitive - arthritis.

Let me explain. Arthritis is one of many ways the bodies immune system can go crazy. What arthritis basically is ,is the body attacking itself because it sees it's own cells as an invaider. The way the body protects cells from invadiers is to isolate the problem, attack it and then dispose of it ( "allright youse- da boys is gonna take ya out back, rough ya up and then send yas ta swim wit da fishes!") In a normal immune system this happens only with bacteria, viruses, splinters and so forth. When the immune system becomes overloaded because of a constant bombardment from a substance that does not agree with that individual body chemetry, it clicks into overdrive and basically panic ensues. At one point it becomes classified as an allergic response , a sensitivity or an intolerance. The immune sytem produces an inflammetory response, which is the way that it isolates things like bacteria. It surrounds the substance with fluids to isolate it and protect the body. The body in turn becomes inflamed ( this is a really basic explanation of what happens ). Arthritis is an inflammetory response to an invader gone wrong. PCOS is another, and there are many others. Atherosclerosis is another at a most basic level. I have had arthritis since I was 19, brought on from an injury. Or so I thought.

Yesterday afternoon we had the opportunity to get out and do some wild plant hunting. I am in search of nettles, and they can often be found in waste sort of places that are close to water. They can be picked with care and once dried or cooked they lose their sting and you are left with a very nutritious thing. I was feeling stiff in the morning , but thought nothing about it and made plans to go in the afternoon. We went, dry and sunny day ( which should be a pain free day with arthritis), but I was finding it not only painful to walk but HARD to walk. My knee was so affected that it was not bending right. As we got out into the open spaces, it was getting worse. My friend water hemlock is still in full bloom, and I am having a hard time adjusting to him this year. Walking was painful, I could not find any young nettles, so we went back home. The pain was getting really bad in my knees, and by the time we got back in out apartment and I went to take off my shoes, I fell. Putting pressure on the bad knee with the swelling was just too much for it. I only injured my pride , but it jolted something loose in my brain.

One of the articles I was reading mentioned that a gluten insensitivity can also cause an arthritic response. In the past 2 days I ate wheat at 3 meals. Perhaps this is the reason why I was having such a bad flare this day. The gluten intolerance may be responsible for my arthritis getting worse instead of better with movement, bringing about the sensitivity to the water hemlock that I have never had before as well as the PCOS. Thinking back on different life events and remembering different foods and responses, it makes sense. Gluten intolerance could have been responsible for my nonstop ear infections, tonsil problems, respiratory problems , PCOS and so much more. It just encourages me to give gluten free a try.

Still stiff this morning. I think with flares based on gluten it takes my body a day to begin showing the reaction and three days to rid it. All I can do is try tis way and see if it works. And just for the heck of it I stepped on the scale this morning to see what that had to say. Down 0.8 from Saturday. I am optimistic


spunkysuzi said...

I've had arthritis since i was 22!! I do notice that when i'm consuming sugar, white flour, high fats it is definitely worse. When i stick to clean foods it's a lot better.

Marisa (Loser for Life) said...

Hmmm...that is really interesting. I have some arthritis, too. I'm going to pay more attention to how I am feeling after I eat wheat.

Jeremy Logsdon said...

Hopefully this will be a miracle cure for you. And if not, maybe it'll at least help some. Arthritis runs in my family, too. I'm curious to know if this helps.

I always learn something about food and health from your blog; I love it. :)

Lindsay said...

Interesting! You are full of great advice and knowledge .

Diane Fit to the Finish said...

It certainly makes sense. It would be wonderful if going gluten free makes a noticeable difference in your pain. I'm sorry you are dealing with this.

Kim said...

I'm so sorry you're in such pain. Often I've wondered if I have a gluten allergy too. I'm almost afraid to find out though...urgh. Let me know what results you come to with this knowledge. I'd love to take a peek in your sound so homey. :) I'm a bit the same...but I think you've got me beat. I'm too lazy to chop meat. lol! Take care and hope you feel better friend.