‘Free From’ pain..A case study.
Updated: Mar 4, 2019
Paleo diet reduces inflammatory AI disease for Sue.
As my specialist subject is food sensitivities I thought I’d share a case history with you to inspire and motivate if you’re considering your first ‘Free-From’ journey to health too.
For privacy purposes I’m going to call my client Susan. A 64 year old retired teacher who loves her food but struggled terribly with Psoriasis and Rheumatoid Arthritis ( Psoriatic Arthritis).
The poor Lady was taking very strong steroids and pain relief which were also upsetting (and further exacerbating) her very sensitive digestive system.
As with all AI disease I looked at gut health first, identified food sensitivities with a simple blood test, asked her GP for baseline antibody levels.
I then helped Sue to implement and adhere to a free-from diet, in this case the Paleo (‘Hunter Gatherer’) diet. She could eat meat, fish, eggs, organic butter, oils, nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetable to her heart‘s content. Eliminated were grains, dairy protein (milk, cheese, yogurt, cream) lectins found in legumes (beans, peas and pulses) and sugar.
Alternatives were nut milks, nut and seed butters, raw honey and maple syrup used sparingly, and it IS amazing what you can do with ground nuts and seeds for baking treats :)
Sue will openly admit it wasn’t easy at first, it meant clever forward planning to ensure there was always something in the house when cravings struck.. which they invariably do initially. The brain tends to have the screaming abdabs when you withdraw from opiate-like chemicals such as casein and gluten.
I then implemented a supplement program to further assist gut healing and reduce inflammation. I recommended probiotics, and an anti-inflammatory product containing amongst other things Zinc, Curcumin, Boswellia, Ginger and Pine Bark Extract. After a few weeks a review of her diet identified a need for Calcium supplementation so I added that in too.
After the initial withdrawal symptoms had subsided (just a few days), Sue started to experience relief from GI related problems such as indigestion, acid reflux and bloating. Some of the improvement was due to omitting problem foods for her which were wheat and dairy.
After 3 months Sue's GP did another blood test to check anti-body levels, they were down, as was the inflammation in her joints, so her medication was reduced, thus further reducing her GI distress.
These results served to motivate Sue further, and after 4 months the Psoriasis on her scalp and legs was reduced enormously; it was less scaly and itchy. Overall Sue was delighted with progress and made the Paleo diet a lifestyle choice rather than a short term fix diet.
A welcome side-effect of the diet was weight loss of 2 stone. She wasn't trying to 'diet' as such, but did need to lose the weight which came off at a healthy rate, this ofcourse further helped reduce the pain in her weight bearing joints.
Occasionally Sue would come off the rails, no one is perfect after all, and travelling does pose problems if not self-catering. Providing this wasn't prolonged, she found she could tolerate the occasional 'slip up' without detrimental effects.
I continued to work with Sue and her GP who was very impressed with her results. After 12 months, the Rheumatoid antibodies whilst not dissipating completely, were much reduced and medication is now minimal compared to her prescription at baseline.
If you have any inflammatory condition, auto-immune or not, it is certainly worth trying the Paleo diet; it helps to cut out processed food, return to freshly prepared meals and in doing so increases nutrient intake.
If you need any help with this, please do contact me.
Thank you for reading :)