I’ve tried many things in attempts to cure my arthritis. However, the best thing for me was doing nothing specific. It was an overall lifestyle change.

Gelatine

Drinking hot gelatine is one of my earlier experiments. Instead of drinking delicious hot chocolate, my mum made me a different kind of drink twice a day – 3 tablespoons of gelatine dissolved in boiled water. Mmm sounds appealing, doesn’t it? She read about it somewhere. It was supposed to lubricate my joints. Did it do anything? It’s highly unlikely.

Raw food

Next came the raw food diet. I read a book by a “doctor” that said to cure arthritis I needed to adopt a raw food diet. It sounded too good to be true but I decided to believe it. If you’re going to try something like that you really must be convinced, otherwise what is the point? The worst that could happen is that I could feel healthier. And that’s not so bad. So, I ‘believed’ and started eating raw – lots of uncooked vegies, raw meat and even near raw liver. Did it work? It certainly didn’t cure me, but as predicted I did feel good. On a side note, it was unsustainable because I love a good burger!

Supplements

There were also the various supplements – glucosamine, fish oil, black seed oil… Did these thing work? Who knows. They may have had a positive effect but there’s no evidence to prove this. I’d also been told that I’d need to take a significant amount to make a significant difference. I don’t want to swallow more pills than I have to.

Hemp Seed Oil

Currently I’m taking Hemp Seed Oil, which is high in Omega essential oils. It has a kind of nutty taste which was yuck at first but now is no big deal. It’s not cheap but I only have two tablespoons a day with my morning smoothie so does last a while. Does it work? Yes, I believe that this is one of the only things I have tried, supplements-wise, that makes a difference to my body. Not long after taking it I was able to reduce my painkillers. I’ve been taking it for several years now. There was a period when I didn’t replace the empty bottles and my joints started getting achy again. I am not medical professional, but if I were to recommend one thing, it would be this!

Overall diet changes

I drink less alcohol, eat less dairy, gluten and processed foods. I say eat less because I need some freedom. If I am too restrictive it’s too hard to maintain.

Sleep

I prioritise sleep. I go to bed early, like a nana, and the extra sleep helps me recover. I wake up with more energy than I’ve ever had and have less pain overall.

Exercise

I do light exercise. Growing up I was very active. I played a lot of sports. This was and still is one of the most frustrating things for me. But now I (have to) choose to avoid those hard activities. I walk when I can. I stretch. I swim or do aqua-aerobics to get that proper workout feeling. I’ve also changed the way I think about chores. Cleaning the shower, vacuuming and mowing the lawn are all my new forms of sport.

Mindfulness

I (try to) incorporate meditation, mindfulness and breathing into my new lifestyle. These things have helped me to stop, take a break, think about my choices and accept the pain.

Does all of this work? Yes. I can’t cure my arthritis but I can control my choices. These lifestyle choices are realistic and manageable for me. I still have to consciously think about my choices sometimes, and it can still be a challenge sometimes, but most of it has simply become my new way of life. And I feel pretty good.

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Buy your Entertainment Membership to support Arthritis New Zealand – Southern Region and get free postage! Memberships are packed with year-round savings on dining, shopping and travel: https://t.co/I9Git9uKIJ

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