New Diet, New Me?
On the homepage, I gave you all a brief description about what Lupus is. However, I didn't really break down the science behind it and explain why changing to an inflammatory diet could be so beneficial to my health.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease. Which means that my immune system can't tell the difference between foreign invaders or healthy tissues; my body is basically attacking it self. Normally our immune system would produce proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these foreign objects. Since my body cant tell the difference between bad and good tissues, it creates autoantibodies that attack both forms of tissues. As a result, the autoantibodies cause inflammation. This inflammation can lead to many things such as: hair loss, skin issues, fatigue, nausea and even organ failure in some cases. As for me, the worst symptoms that I deal with on a daily basis are hair loss and skin deterioration. Hence, why I want to try an anti-inflammatory diet in order to prevent these symptoms from getting worse.
When I was in elementary school, I noticed that I had a small red dot, like the size of a pea, in my scalp. I played basketball when I was younger and got braids a lot. My mom and I thought the spot was from the braids being too tight. However, things started to change when I went to college. After my first year of undergraduate, I noticed that the spot in my scalp grew from the size of a pea to the size of quarter. Now this freaked me out! I had no idea what was going on but all I knew was that I wanted to stop it from growing.
After graduation, the spot was almost 5 times larger than when I entered college. I knew now that it was time for me to seek professional help. I went to my primary physician and she suggested that I go see a dermatologist. When I got to the dermatologist, the doctor looked at my scalp and immediately she said that I either had Alopecia or Lupus. She couldn't tell from just looking at it so she informed that I would have to get a biopsy to determine exactly what I have. I received the biopsy and low and behold it was Lupus. This shocked the hell out of me because I was already struggling withe asthma, acid refulx and many other things, that I did not want to add something else to this list. However, I had to take the news with a grain of salt because there was no way I could prevent it; or at least that is what I thought at the time. Even though this diagnosis has been hard, I feel that is a blessing in disguise (I will touch more on this on a later post). Now I am trying to focus my attention on becoming the healthiest version of myself by preventing flare-ups and maybe all symptoms.
Since inflammation is the key cause to flare-ups for people with Lupus I thought what if I eliminate the foods that cause it and maybe I can completely heel my body. Now at this time, I have a vegan diet. Which means I don't eat meat, diary or any animal by products. It took me about 1.5 years to get to this point. I transitioned slowly in order in avoid going on a binge (comment below if you would like me to do a post about how I did this). I am now finally able to avoid all the foods mentioned above and am already starting to notice the difference but I am not where I would like to be yet. I have finally reached the point where I have enough will power to try just such a drastic lifestyle change. So stay tuned for my next post where I will explain what foods I will be eating and which ones I will be avoiding.
Until next time,