A newbie from England

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A newbie from England

Postby Greengranny » Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:51 pm

Hi everybody!
I'm really pleased to discover (from Blue) a discussion board that looks at health in such an all round way!
I have had polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) for three and a bit years now, and the standard treatment from our (mostly excellent) NHS is to go on prednisolone. Which works a treat - until you begin to discover the side effects! So then more pills - alendronic acid, omeprazole, and, of course, calcium to cope with the possible osteoporosis.
I was so ignorant!
Now I am down to 2 mg pred. and working really hard to get off that final pill. But I have a real problem working out whether any pains are still PMR, steroid reduction or good old Anno Domini - I am 75.
I have been a vegetarian for many years, and am trying to take that last step so Dr McDougall is inspiring!
Any advice is really welcome! I have always had very good health hitherto and women in my family live to mid nineties commonly. I don't want to do that in poor health - or a wheel chair!
Grren Granny
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Re: A newbie from England

Postby greentea » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:45 am

Welcome Green Granny!
Do you have any specific questions about this WOE?
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Re: A newbie from England

Postby Greengranny » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:37 pm

Are there any others on this forum who have had extensive steroid treatment for Polymyalgia?
I can't find any references to alcohol?
Is the aim to eliminate fats altogether? I use a small amount of olive oil at the moment.
I'm sure more queries will come up as I get going!
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Re: A newbie from England

Postby blue » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:24 pm

Hi GG!
I'm glad you found your way over and are making the rounds. :)

As far as PMR and other pain issues go, a few people with such things have posted in my thread here:
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=26176&start=15

And of course, Gardener. You might try posting in the PMR thread I started in the Health Forum to see if he responds.

You might get more responses to your questions by posting them in some of the other forums such as Jeff Novick's board where you can ask specific diet questions regarding oil, alcohol, etc.
viewforum.php?f=22

Also, this is a good blog post by a woman who began a vegan GF diet last year when she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of 28.http://phoo-d.com/2011/04/28/a-diagnosi ... uten-free/

I'm still using a small amount of olive oil myself, but have made conscious efforts to limit its use. I have already removed butter and margarine from my diet.

Glad to see you here! I'll be in touch.

Blue
Sept 2011-began PB diet to avoid steroid treatment for polymyalgia rheumatica. Back on program 2-24-14..Start weight-135 lbs BMI-21.6, current-128 lbs/ BMI 20.7
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Re: A newbie from England

Postby michaelswarm » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:19 pm

Green Granny,

Welcome and wishing many more able years.

Try as much whole plant foods as you can. Everything is contained in the plants: fat, protein, carbohydrate, etc. Instead of fat for cooking, try a splash of water or broth. For salads try vinegar, citrus and fruit.

Depending on person and situation, alcohol may be tolerated, or maybe not. If I was trying to reverse a specific condition, I would definitely give a fair shake to diet, by cleaning up alcohol, coffee, etc. But you can also pick and choose your battles.

The search function is pretty good for turning up Dr. McDougall's articles as well as past discussions.

Keep us posted on how you are doing. Sometimes it helps to post a day's simple menu.
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Re: A newbie from England

Postby blue » Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:40 am

Hi GG
I've also found these two threads by members dealing with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.

viewtopic.php?f=38&t=18593
viewtopic.php?f=38&t=25099

Not PMR exactly, but pain issues nonehtheless, so these people can relate to what we're going through and its interesting and hopeful to read about their good (and often very fast) results with this way of eating.

And as Michaelswarm mentioned above, the search function here works great. As there don't seem to be a great number of PMR folks here, I've been doing a lot of searches for RA and Psoriatic Arthritis, as those conditions are awfully similar in that they are inflammatory and affect joints and muscles and I believe are frequently treated with steroids. And I think another condition treated with prednisone is Lupus?

Regards, Blue
Sept 2011-began PB diet to avoid steroid treatment for polymyalgia rheumatica. Back on program 2-24-14..Start weight-135 lbs BMI-21.6, current-128 lbs/ BMI 20.7
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Re: A newbie from England

Postby Greengranny » Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:36 pm

Thank you so much everybody for your replies - there is so much to look at!
I would like to lose some weight but that is not too big a problem, more that steroids tend to put it on round the waist, oh and cheeks. Times I've looked like a hamster! But now I'm down to 2mg prednisolone from 20 mg three years ago some of the pounds are coming off anyway.
What I really want to do is get my adrenals up and running again! So I'm cutting out caffeine, sugar and the refined carbs. I am a vegetarian anyway and love my fruit and veg. :-D
However I am a little bothered about calcium without dairy - steroids really leach your calcium out, plus somebody mentioned potassium and magnesium levels as well. And I have also heard that you need some fat to absorb calcium.
So any thoughts on these questions would be welcome!
I looked up some of the recipes using only three ingredients and was rather horrified that the one that appealed the most was the one for peanut butter and jelly (jam) sandwiches. I really fancied it - but I'm not sure that's quite what the good doctor ordered! :lol:
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Re: A newbie from England

Postby blue » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:46 pm

GG
I had the moonface, too, without ever going on the longterm steroid treatment. I hadn't realized how much better I was looking on this way of eating til I had 2 creams (rather than almond milk) with my coffee, and my face swelled up like a cabbage patch doll. That was only 3 weeks into the diet so I hadn't lost but a few pounds yet, but seeing that and having people comment on that noticeable swelling in my face, made me realize what I was onto with the diet and in that short time I had been on it there had been noticeable improvement, before I even felt the pain relief. Telling you this so that you can be on the look out for improvements that you might not expect ;) Might be physical, might be emotional, might have to do with energy levels.

I don't have the answers for you in regards to the steroids and what to expect when you go off and how to completely mitigate any damage that may have occurred with their use, but hopefully the folks and the information avaialbe on this board can help. I think it can only help!

So good to see you here and hopefully we will find the answers that both of us are searching for! I think it's a pretty good use of our time!

Take care, Blue
Sept 2011-began PB diet to avoid steroid treatment for polymyalgia rheumatica. Back on program 2-24-14..Start weight-135 lbs BMI-21.6, current-128 lbs/ BMI 20.7
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Re: A newbie from England

Postby TerriT » Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:42 am

Welcome to the forums, Greengranny! I live in England too (though I'm from the States originally).

There's a lot of good information by Dr McDougall about calcium in the hot topics section of the website - linked to articles from past newsletters. You can find them here:

http://www.drmcdougall.com/med_hot_calcium.html

I love the Food and Recipes section of this discussion board. I get lots of great ideas from what people have posted on there. If you have trouble deciding what to eat a potato and some vegetables are always good! I think potatoes are a great way to ease into this way of eating, because they are so nutritious, they're cheap and everybody loves them. I like to eat potatoes mashed with water with some frozen vegetables (cooked in the microwave) on top for a simple meal.

This links to a discussion about people's favourite ways of eating potatoes and sweet potatoes:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=19571

Oh and I love porridge too. I use jumbo oats (from Holland & Barratts or Waitrose) because I think the texture is nicer and I think they probably digest more slowly too. I always make more than I need in the morning because they're good for a mid-afternoon snack. I reheat my porridge with some blueberries in the microwave ... delicious!
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Re: A newbie from England

Postby Greengranny » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:44 am

Thanks Territ,
Where abouts in the UK are you? I'm in Guildford, Surrey. I may find myself coming to you to explain some more American terms e.g. is the UK "slow cooker" the same as an American "crock pot"?
You make me realise I am over conventional in my ideas about food - never thought of having oatmeal/porridge in the afternoon - which is often the time when I can get quite hungry.
The great veggie food here at the moment is root veg. I make a great pan of soup with all the root veggies, plus some green ones - just what I have around, I used to think I had to braise the veg. in oil first, now I just put them all in together with some stock, or maybe just water - they have plenty of flavour. Great in this cold weather, especially if I use my "slow cooker", and if I'm out I come in to a house full of this lovely smell.
Lots to look up about calcium.
Green granny
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Re: A newbie from England

Postby TerriT » Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:09 pm

Hi Greengranny!

I'm in West London (my other half works in Guildford!). Yes, a slow cooker and a Crock Pot are the same thing. Lakeland sells actual branded Crock Pots but I find my cheap slow cooker from Argos works just fine. I like it for cooking chickpeas and pinto beans and black beans; I think they taste nicer cooked this way than on the stove and they don't need soaking, just put them in the slow cooker with water and salt and they're done in 4-5 hours or so.
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