This page is here in hopes that it will prevent somebody from going through what I had too.
In May or 2016 I was hospitalized and diagnosed with Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR). The symptoms was a very heavy ache of muscles all over, from my neck down to my toes. It hurt to sit, my butt and the back of my thighs aches horribly. If I stood the bottoms of my feet hurt. If I laid down, what ever part of my body that touched the mattress ached. My limbs were so weak I could barely lift my hand to scratch my nose. When in bed I couldn’t lift the sheets off me to turn over. I could not dress myself. In the 3 days before I finally went to the hospital I didn’t get more than 3 hours of sleep.
I was diagnosed with Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR). It is considered an autoimmune disease. I was given a dose of Prednisone and within 5 hours I was feeling great. I was discharged 3 days later and sought out a rheumatologist. Blood work to confirm the PRM takes about a week for a culture to grow, and it did come back positive. PMR and rheumatoid arthritis can present similar symptoms. With PMR it is mainly pain in the muscle tissue, symmetrically on the body, that is, both arms, both thighs. It usually begins in the neck and shoulders, then down the arms to the hands and the butt and thighs. Eventually your whole body will be aching and you will be immobilized.
My rheumatologist also found rheumatoid arthritis which I suspected. I’m 64 years old at the time I’m writing this. I’ve had pain since my 40’s but I wrote it off as just the heavy type of work I was doing as an mechanic. It got so bad that I was taking T-
My rheumatoligist started my on 20mg Prednisone and Methatrexate. The Pred was dealing with the inflammation while waiting for the Methatrexate to kick in, it never did. And so the cycle began. Start another drug, wait 3 months, then taper the Pred down slowly to see if the pain returned. If it did the drug wasn’t working, so up the Pred dosage and try another drug. I tried all the popular drugs and then moved onto the bio-
Even if I found a drug that did work, all these drugs will eat away at your liver, heart and other internals and you will die of a liver failure or a similar organ failure. Prednisone eats away at your bones over the years and your fingers will be like wet noodles, you can literally bend them backwards and touch the back of your hand!!!
So this brings me to today, November 7th, 2017, and the good news. A month ago, the beginning of October 2017 a friend I’ve know for decades dropped by for a visit. He has been suffering with PRM and rheumatoid arthritis for over 20 years and nothing other than Prednisone would work for him. He’s the victim of rubber fingers…. He was looking pretty good that morning and walked with a lively step, he even ran up my stairs! Considering he struggled to walk all the years I’ve known him I was taken aback. He shared what he had done in the previous 2 months and I was blown away. I would have been extremely skeptical had I not know this guy for 40 years. He described this diet he was on and how it made a drastic positive improvement in his health.
The diet is called a Ketogenic diet and it is focused on preventing blood sugar rising. You see, even if you are NOT diabetic your blood sugar goes up every time you eat something sweet, or fruit, or bread. It’s this elevated blood sugar over the years that damages your body. The sugar coats the nerves in your body and it can cause inflammation, seizures, of a multitude of ailments. In fact it was developed in the 20’s to treat epilepsy. This diet is mainly used today to lose weight, and it does that like magic. I’ll briefly describe how it works to lose weight.
Your body has a natural state called Ketosis. Sadly, in today's society our bodies don’t see this stat very often. I will call it survival mode, but don’t get hung up on that right now. We all know most of us battle the “bulge” and it’s a big big industry. You see, your body fuels itself with sugar. Your body has 2 places it can go to get this fuel, your digestive system (what you still have in your gut), or in your fat stores, your beer belly or butt of wherever it’s accumulating. Your body will always choose the quickest easiest place to get that fuel. That will be in your digestive system first, and if nothing is available there, it will THEN go to your fat stores for fuel. The key to weight lose is to not have sugar in your digestive system in the form of refined sugar or carbohydrates. Since we have so much sugar in our foods and we love our carbs, the body had a great source of sugar for fuel and seldom needs to go to your fat stores, so they just build up over the years. The diet restricts or eliminates carbs, uses protein and lots of fats. Yes fats are good for us! But not the fats you may be thinking of, those fats DO make you fat.
Now as far as PMR and rheumatoid arthritis are concerned, it’s the elimination of the toxic sugar build up in your body that needs to happen. So where am I in this process?
Once I found the “sweet” dosage of Prednisone it was 15mg to feel good. I could function well with next to no pain. If I dropped to 10mg I would feel rough, aching shoulders in the morning, cramped hands. Pain to reach up or turn a door knob, things like that. When I was tapering off Pred to evaluate the current drug, when I got down to 7mg I was in so much pain I had to put my dosage back up, I could not function, I could not stand the pain. So…… I began the Keto diet on October 6th 2017. 10 days later, I’d lost 8 lbs. I’m not trying to lose weight, but my pot is gone now. I’m 5’10” and weighed 170 lbs when I began. Over the course of this last 30 days I;ve been feeling better and better since the first 10 days have passed. I’ve slowly dropped my Pred dose as I felt I could. As of today, October 7th I am at 5mg and I feel GREAT!! I have some pain in my hands in the morning, but not near, not anywhere near the pain I have had in the past, and the pain is gone in a few minutes. I have NO shoulder pain, EVER! I used to wake up and feel absolutely beat, and I hadn’t even got out of bed yet. Now I feel refreshed every morning. In case you think I’m starving myself to do this, I’m not. I can now eat less and feel full all day long. Now you can be skeptical if you like, after all this IS the Internet! You can search “Ketogenic diet” and read for yourself. If you like you are welcome to join my Facebook Group, “Keto group of BC”. If you do please give me a shout when you join.
Blessings to you, hope you health stays strong.