• Amy Suto

A Year of Progress: Reducing Inflammation, How to Create Healthy Habits with RA

A year ago, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and my healing journey felt like it was a million miles away. I had trouble getting up and down stairs, I felt tired all day everyday, I was relying on caffeine to keep me going, and I felt sick and lost.

Now, almost a year and a month later, I feel totally renewed. I'm on Xeljanz, which is working to help me manage my symptoms, and I'm going to start to reduce my dosage and hopefully taper of the drug because my inflammation levels are TOTALLY NORMAL which is a huge win.

I no longer have any joint pain, and my swelling is way down. I still have a bit of a way to go until I can completely get off of my Xeljanz and get this disease into remission, but I'm well on my way.

I recently did a post on my main blog about the 10 health and lifestyle habits that changed my life over the past year, and I wanted to follow up on this blog about what specific-to-RA that I've tried and seen work really well for fellow chronic disease sufferers.

First, I feel like the major change I made in the last year was getting my mental state right. I changed the way I viewed work and stress, I went into therapy, I dealt with external stressors, and I shifted my freelance work from memoir ghostwriting to copywriting which is less mentally and emotionally taxing.

Second, I did a deep clean of my physical health. I went on a strict elimination AIP diet, which sucked. I gave up coffee for four months and discovered an undiagnosed iron deficiency with the help of my nutritionist. I started working out with a personal trainer and am building muscle and burning fat to further speed up my recovery. I now eat fully vegan and avoid bread/gluten, only having it as a treat. I drink matcha oat lattes in the morning (no more morning coffee!) and will occasionally have espresso in the afternoon as a treat. I stopped taking birth control and my anxiety disappeared almost overnight.

Third, I got my financial health in order, raised my rates as a freelancer to $350/hr, and am focusing on building passive income streams so I can continue to work less, charge more, and deliver great work to my clients. I'm also finding more time to write on my blogs (I'm back!) and write my novel that I've been working on 5ever.

I look back at all these changes and I can't believe the transformation I've seen in myself. I'm so much healthier and happier, and my mood is stable and I find more peace and calm in my everyday.

I wanted to post this to let you know that healing is possible. Progress is possible. I'll be breaking down how I did this in more detailed posts, but I think it's important to know that chronic illnesses can be defeated truly by uprooting your bad habits, replacing them with good ones, and getting to the root cause of your illness and changing your mindset.

Fairly simple, but not easy.

I have so much hope for the future, so much excitement for my continued health improvements, and so much joy that I get to wake up every morning with a ton of energy in a way that wasn't possible in the past.

If you have something you want me to write about on here, just let me know here or get @ me on Twitter (@Sutoscience). I can't wait to share more about how I got here with you!