Welcome to Let's Heal Rheumatoid Arthritis
Welcome! My name is Amy Suto and I'm living with rheumatoid arthritis. I got my diagnosis back in January of this year (2021), and y'know there's nothing quite like living through the plague in 2020 to only enter 2021 with an incurable autoimmune disease. What a world, right?
I wanted to start this blog to chronicle the journey I'm on to heal this disease, as well as to talk about the emotional side of things as well. I'm 26 and otherwise a healthy person, so this disease caught me by surprise.
I'm still struggling with the basics: how to overhaul my entire diet from scratch and learn how to cook and eat totally different foods, how to deal with my new limitations and life now that I've got a condition to manage, and how to eventually completely heal so that I don't need these (really tough!) drugs anymore.
And -- on top of all of that, trying to figure out how to deal with the emotional side of it all while also still being in a quarantine world.
The Isolation of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Autoimmune Diseases
When I got diagnosed with RA, I felt like I immediately had to be bright and cheery and positive. I had to be a picture of strength. I had to be positive.
And that pressure felt incredibly... heavy. Even though I was mostly just working at home with my cat for January, I still felt like on phone calls with friends I had to hide or pretend I was doing better than I was, when in reality I fainted after I got my blood drawn because my elimination diet was making me lightheaded and I still couldn't figure out what I could eat without letting my arthritis flare up again.
Even now I want to just feel "normal" -- that is, someone who can eat occasional treats like donuts and not worry about the 15-20 supplements I have to take on a daily basis in addition to my methotrexate dose which makes me feel nauseas all the time. I want to not feel like eating a can of chickpeas isn't going to make me feel bloated for the rest of the day. I want to be able to brush my hair without feeling like my hair isn't going to continue to fall out like it did when I was on my highest methotrexate dose.
This stuff... it sucks. A lot.
Emphasis on Vegan, Gluten-Free Plant-Based Diet and Homeopathic, Holistic Healing
After doing a hell of a lot of research on nutrition and consulting with my awesome nutritionist, I found the diet that seems to be the most effective in reducing inflammation and healing conditions like rheumatoid arthritis is the vegan diet.
I'm choosing to go gluten-free and mostly soy-free for now as well, because I've identified those as triggers for me.
In terms of the rest of the things I'm focusing on, I want to find homeopathic, holistic healing solves. I'm investigating Ayurvedic solutions like acupuncture and Castor Oil packs, and will report back!
We've replaced a lot of ancient methods of healing with pharmaceuticals as well, and while I think modern medicine has helped a lot of people, I do believe we've been quick to lose knowledge about health that used to be passed along from generation to generation.
Also: everybody is different. Consult your doctor and/or nutritionist about what's best for your body before your start any supplements or try any new remedies. I'm just sharing what I've found works for me.
"Narrative Medicine" and Sharing Our Experiences with Rheumatoid Arthritis
So far, it's been so helpful to be able to read about others' experiences. I feel like there's so much I can learn from people going through the same thing, which is why I also wanted to share what I'm learning and dealing with in case it helps someone else.
I've heard the term "narrative medicine" thrown around to describe the healing benefits of writing about what we're going for -- and reading others' accounts so we don't feel so alone.
So... welcome! In this blog, I promise to be honest with you about what I'm going through, sharing good days and the bad, and also diving into the recipes and concoctions I've found help the most.
I don't claim to have perfectly healed myself yet, but I am seeing progress and have been lucky to also receive a lot of help and support from my doctor, nutritionist, therapist, friends, family, and others who have autoimmune conditions.
It does sometimes take a village to heal. And if ewe can heal ourselves, we can give that gift to other people.
As a heads up, I'm not a doctor, nor do I claim to be one. I don't have any fancy degrees, and I'm just here to share my own experiences.
In addition, you'll find affiliate links throughout my site. Any links to products or whatnot are most likely affiliate links, and by clicking on them you're supporting this blog.
Thanks for reading -- now let's figure out how to heal rheumatoid arthritis together!