Though later, after I began to do more research looking for a magical cure, I began to suspect that diet and arthritis were related. Now there are studies that prove this is the case, though it is not mainstream news. Healing does not make money, so drug companies would rather keep the suffering suffering so more medications can be sold promising cures and relief from pain.
I have been on Atkins, which is a ketogenic diet. Ketogenic diets are great for many types of illness because they burn fat as a fuel source, not carbohydrates. I also have been on the Paleo diet, which is similar, though allows low glycemic carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes and plantain. Recently, after trying Paleo for a while, I went back to Atkins, which allows dairy products. Paleo does not. I did notice a difference in the swelling and pain after consuming commercial dairy. It had worsened.
Very recently I cooked a birthday dinner for a friend including a potato leek soup with heavy cream, home made butter buns, creamed mushroom sauce, and a heavily sugared cake. I have not been consuming sugar at all for some time. A little steevia is permitted on Atkins and not on Paleo, but sugar is not. After the dinner several things happened. I was hurt by the bunting of the bull calf which threw my head backwards and activated previous whiplash injuries. But the worst of all was the body pain. Everything hurt. I noticed when I walked there was looseness in the ankle joint which caused a sharp pain as if it was out of place a moment. My shoulders, arms, and hands were in excruciating pain at all times and my back, which is problematic due to a compressing scoliosis, was intolerable, especially the neck, from the whiplash. I should not have hurt that much. With some thought though, I realized it was the dinner.
Sugar, white flour, white potatoes, cream and wine were not my usual foods and for good reason. They cause an instant auto immune reaction in my body. Research indicates that those affected by these foods likely have a leaky gut which allows large protein molecules undigested to enter the blood stream and then the body recognizes them as foreign and the body attacks itself producing inflammation. With those predisposed to arthititc conditions (there is now a test for a different gene that predisposes one to this) it manifests itself with pain and swelling and great discomfort of the entire body. I believe that commercial dairy products affect my health. The heavy cream aslo has carageenan in it, which is known autoimmune trigger.
So, for me, the Paleo diet is necessary if I want to live a relatively pain free life. It is not an easy diet to adhere to though, not for one who loves fresh home made cinnamon buns still warm from the oven or who loves whipped cream and heavy cream for sauces and coffee. There are ways to adjust. I make plantain pancakes and have made a white bean cake with honey. Honey does not affect me, though it does for some others. Coconut cream is a good sutbstitute for whipped cream and is much better for me. Butter is a hard one to give up. I do like coconut oil, but there is nothing like butter. It is a matter of trialing foods and finding out which triggers are for an individual. Some might not tolerate nightshade vegetables, that is potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and such, not even chili powder spice, while those vegetables are fine for others. Also, during the healing of the leaky gut phase, which can last for several years, some foods may be off limits, yet be able to be reintroduced once the gut has healed.
This last episode of pain ocurred within hours of the birthday dinner and has continued since then, though is lessening day by day. I did take a muscle relaxant to help me sleep a bit the worst two nights, but medication is also a trigger for leaky gut and must be avoided. There are other components to the healing process: stress, sleep, exercise and mental outlook. One must reduce or eliminate stress, sleep enough, exercise the body to oxygenate the blood and allow the nutrients to be used by the cells and have a good positive outlook on life so the body can harmonize with the surroundings and the food it is given. By food, I also mean beverages. I did drink an organic beer and have two glasses of wine. Beer has gluten in it, even organic beer and the wine has sulphates. Until I am better, these will be forbidden and then seldom ever consumed again.
I realize this has little to do with farming and more to do with the farmer. I just feel as though an epiphany has been revealed and wanted to share it with you. I am 60. It has taken many years of research, trial and error to learn how to feed my own body without harming it. Not everyone has a predisposition to arthritis or auto immune conditions, but I do believe that food affects everyone. We are what we eat (and drink) and that adage is so true. Please be careful how you treat your body, your temple and stay healthy. I am grateful for the revelation of all I have learned. Now, the hard part is to act upon it and remain on a diet that I KNOW is healing and not harmful. That is not easy, but I shall try. The thing is, there is no trying, there is only doing, because falling off the diet is harmful so I sabbotage myself instantly. Can I be strong enough?