Since this is consistently a topic of conversation in regards to Autoimmune Diseases and chronic pain, and something that I personally struggle getting on the band wagon with, I figure it would be a good time to bring it up again. Post Halloween-sugar craze but pre-Christmas delicious-food-time. The Paleo Diet is specifically what I want to talk about. I tried it for the second time in the past year, in August. I failed miserably after a week. There’s more than one factor that goes into why I struggle with sticking to it. As well, I’m constantly back-and-forth on whether it will work. The research on diet is constantly changing and what everyone says works now, probably will be totally different in ten years. Now, I’m not discounting Paleo by any means. My boss swears by it. He feels better than he ever has (after suffering from IBS), and has a lot more energy. I have a chiropractor friend who also swears by it, as does my own chiropractor, and though my naturopath also says it’s great, she admits that she doesn’t quite stick to it either.
Image from: http://thepaleodiet.com/
There definitely seems to be more people in support of the Paleo Diet than against it. Many people, chronic pain and/or autoimmune disease warriors who have become symptom-free after using the diet. Though in many cases, this is in combination with exercise, massage therapy, water therapy, and additional supplements, indicating that it may not be diet alone. That being said, through my vigorous internet research, there doesn’t seem to be enough scientific studies done to see if it actually does have the beneficial purposes it claims to have. There are currently a number of studies under way, so hopefully that helps to clarify, but we won’t know until they are completed. The food on the “good to eat” list of the diet, are all definitely good to eat. No one would doubt that for a second. And a lot of the foods on the “bad to eat” list are also, not great to eat. Again, no doubting. Though some of the foods (particularly the night shade vegetables) feel weird to be on a “don’t eat” section. There are numerous benefits to the diet, aside from reducing chronic pain. Such as weight loss, and mental clarity.
Image from: http://interweave-consulting.blogspot.ca/2016/02/michael-mosleys-paleo-diet.html
So why do I find this diet hard? The number one reason is cost. I don’t make a lot of money, and the amount of money it costs to maintain this diet is super high. Even modifying it doesn’t reduce the costs by a lot (for example, I can’t afford to buy grass-fed meat, so both times I modified it with just regular supermarket bought meat). Reason number two, is that I’m a foodie. I love food, particularly from different regions of the world, and find it hard to give up those foods altogether, for a more basic diet. Yes, this is entirely my issue, and I probably should get over it, but when you’ve grown up eating food from everywhere, it’s difficult to eat rather plainly. Third reason, is that both times I tried the diet (the first time for 3 weeks, and the second for 1 week) I felt incredibly hungry all the time, and extremely exhausted. I read that you have to make it a month before those feelings subside, but since I already suffer from exhaustion, especially during a flare, the last thing I need is to feel more that way. I do think this diet is worth a third attempt, just so I can make it past the one month and see if I actually feel better physically after, but we’ll have to see.
Spike the vampire dog hopes you had a great Halloween!
I would love to hear from any other chronic pain warriors who find themselves in the same boat as I do. Trying this diet, but finding it difficult for the above, or other reasons. In the meantime, for November I’m definitely going alcohol-free because I feel a good liver cleanse is always a good thing. Hopefully everyone had a great Halloween!