Rheumatoid Arthritis and Wheat Intolerance

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A friend pointed out to me that she has Rheumatoid Arthritis (which I’ve written about recently), and that under the care of her doctor, she has eliminated wheat from her diet to control her RA symptoms – because they’re triggered by a wheat intolerance. So I’ve been doing a lot of searches on the subject, which will be showing up in my regular links lists tonight.

I really need to talk to my doctor about wheat intolerance and the link to RA, because there’s a lot of information there about symptoms that sounds strikingly familiar. But from everything I’m reading, simply cutting wheat out of my diet without getting tested for wheat intolerance first wouldn’t be a good thing at all, because I would need to carefully supplement my nutrition at the same time, or I’d have other problems, so it’s not something I should just jump in and do.

But this gives me some hope that maybe if this is the source of the inflammation and is aggravating my joints and lungs, I could manage my health issues without long-term medication and maintenance, which would be awesome. Not that going on a wheat-free diet sounds easy if that’s the ultimate solution, but the medication route certainly has it’s bad points.

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The Whole Story

So apparently, sometime recently the furnace in my old house went out, and the pipes froze and burst. One of the people viewing the house found this, and the contractor they brought with them to see it shut off the water this morning. So the furnace needs replace, the pipes need lots of work, and more than likely the offer I had in the works to buy my house will go down the tubes.

On top of this, I’m having yet another bout of pleurisy and round of drugs to combat it — I’ve been taking the prescription steroid Prednisone. The working theory of my pulmonologist is that I have early onset Rheumatoid Arthritis, which causes joint inflammation and lung inflammation, and if left untreated causes severe joint damage and other problems. I’ll scheduled to go back to see the guy in April, but if I keep having reoccurring problems I think I’ll need to go back in sooner.
The Prednisone is both a good and bad thing — it certainly makes me feel way better – my stiff knees and joints go away, the pain in my lungs goes away, my endless stuffy head/runny nose goes away. My mood is way, way better – I feel great, have tons of energy.

The downside is that I’m ravenously hungry all the time, and even when I’m eating healthy, I gain lots of weight. I’ve gained 30 pounds since Christmas time, when I started taking the new medication. And aside from actual weight gain, I’m also retaining water, which is as bad or worse. And I’ve been exercising regularly, too, which you would think would help – but not so much really.

Basically I’m having a really crappy day.

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