Monday, February 15, 2016

More About Inflammation . . .

OK - again, possibly interesting only to me . . .

I know I've talked about inflammation before, but I did a little more personal research and thought I would share why I think it's so difficult for me.

Unfortunately, no one really knows why inflammation can go wonky in the body.  I mean, we need inflammation - it's a marker that something's wrong and our body knows to attempt to try to fix it, but no one really knows why it sometimes goes haywire. And no one really knows why some people have it and have to deal with it and others don't.  I am one of those people - I have it.  My primary care doc has told me that he doesn't know why I have it, and why it affects me so severely.

Whenever someone says inflammation, you automatically think they have arthritis, which is very much an inflammatory condition.  But I don't have arthritis.  There isn't any joint damage (that's the hallmark of arthritis).  I just have inflammation. 

Inflammation = "-itis."  So, something that ends with that suffix is usually about some sort of inflammation, but there are many other conditions that involve inflammation that don't have that suffix - things like asthma, gout, and rosacea, to name a few.

I've been thinking about this for awhile now that I've fallen into this pit again.  I don't know all that much about my father's side of the family other than his parents both lived into their 90s and both eventually had dementia of some sort, and his sister died I think in her 50s of, I think, bladder cancer.  My father died at the age of 33 of kidney disease - nephritis - of both kidneys.  I think I've mentioned before that Nephritis is inflammation.

My mom had three different types of arthritis.  I know that one was osteo (the most common form), but she also had some sort of vascular arthritis and another kind that I don't know what it was.

I wrote it all down in an effort to get a better picture . . .

Dad:  Nephritis (cause of death), and Gout
Mom:  Three kinds of arthritis (osteo, vascular of some sort, and one other)
Grandma (maternal):  Osteo arthritis
Great Aunt Lily (Grandma's sister):  Rheumatoid Arthritis
My half-brother (paternal - we share our dad): Gout

And then there's me . . .

Me:  Asthma, Plantar Fasciitis, Rosacea, Gout, and free-floating inflammation that settles wherever it feels like it.


I guess when you look at my family history it's not really surprising, is it?

I'm the fucking Perfect Storm of Inflammation.  Thankfully I haven't had a go-round with gout for more than 30 years (man, I hope that doesn't rear it's ugly head again).  As mentioned before, I have had intestinal issues since I was a child.  We took a road trip when I was little and my mom used to tell the story of my having to stop at every bathroom all the way across the country.  At one time the docs thought I had Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and I have been tested for Celiac Disease because it's many more times more common in people of my Irish heritage.  Thankfully I don't have either of these.

Mostly, I just have inflammation.

And from my own experimentation, I know that sugar is a huge component for me.  When I eat crappy, junky, highly-processed foods, I'm not OK.

I take diclofenac - a common arthritis medicine - for inflammation.  It's a wonder drug.  I take 75mg twice a day.  That's the highest dose.


I don't think I need to say anything else on this topic at this time.

Here is Sunday's Amaryllis:\

And today's


Anonymous said...

Sometimes I think that we are dealt some very lousy cards in this game of life. But then I think these are situations where we are supposed to gain some insight and overcome what is staring us in the face. But as you can tell, I'm right there along with you, trying to deal with the problem and suffering. Sometimes it's just easier to mask the pain than trying to find the root cause and dealing with it at that point. Knowing that sugar is a trigger for some of your ailments is a good starting point. It is hard to weed out what can be causing your intestinal problems. But getting back to natural foods and exercising can be great helps. I've discovered that if I indulge in any sweet treat I become tired. It also lowers my resistance to infections. So every once in a while I will have a treat. But I'm getting further and further away from those days. It's been hard to realize what causes my problems and learning how to eat better. One of my doctors told me to eat food in as close to its natural state. Have you consulted a nutritionist? That may be helpful in learning what you can and cannot eat.

I wish you better days, Annie.

Janice H.

A :-) said...

The root cause of all my digestive and inflammatory issues is sugar. I worked with the dietitian in my doctor's office before she left the practice. What I call "The Strict Program for Three Months" is pretty much how I have to eat. It's how I was eating when I was an ovo-pescetarian, but now, because I can eat chicken again, it's quite a bit more manageable :-) It's not much fun, but so it goes.

candy said...

Have you ever tried Turmeric? I bought some but I haven't tried it yet. I hope you feel better soon.