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Wow, say that 5 times fast! Paying the pain price for peppers. On Saturday evening, our family went for dinner to our friends’ home and had a great time! Played board games, ‘rock band’, laughed and ate. I was having so much fun that I didn’t notice that the nachos had huge amounts of red peppers, an hour later my knuckles and elbows felt like each joint had been stung by bees, some of them even looked like it. Red bell peppers are one of the worst things I can eat regarding my Rheumatoid Arthritis, they trigger a flare up within minutes.

I know that I have talked about food triggers on past posts, but since it’s been a bother the past 48 hours I thought I’d chat about it again. I’m always amazed and sometimes bewildered by the human body and how one part will cause another part to react. What I’m talking about is the digestive system and inflammation of joints.

When I was first diagnosed with RA, a Nurse Practitioner advised me to stay away from night shade vegetables such as tomatoes, potatoes, egg plant, paprika and red peppers. When I asked why, I was just told that they’re known to cause inflammation, but I wasn’t given any further explanation. I did notice that red peppers, shell fish and red meat made me feel a lot worse but it wasn’t until this past February that I found out the reason why. I was really sick this past winter, and decided to go to a Naturopath to give it a shot. She got out this chart and went through this whole lesson on how our body reacts to certain foods, and it made sense!

The point was our digestive system is crucial to our body’s good health, if we’re ingesting something we may have an allergic reaction to, our body’s going to react. I had always thought that an allergic reaction was a rash, a drippy nose or swelling of the eyelids, throat or lips, but there’s also fatigue, nausea, inflammation of joints, muscle pain and headaches as well, maybe even more symptoms.

Having an immune disease that attacks the body’s connective tissue, such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, is going to cause it’s symptoms to escalate when the body encounters something it’s allergic to. To find out my food triggers, I went on a cleansing diet. Ugh! I NEVER want to have to do that again. I had to cut out sugar, caffeine, deliciousness, salt, anything worth while eating, wheat, eggs, corn, fun, dairy, taste, starch and happiness. It was the longest 4 weeks of my life, but I did it and then I was able to slowly re-introduce things back in, one by one to test which ones gave me trouble. I was so nervous with the sugar and caffeine and cried tears of joy when I didn’t react to them! Hallelujah! But, there was a black day when it came to red meat, no more tasty, marbled, prefectly grilled rib-eyes for this gal! But I can drown my sorrows in chocolate. The additions to my ‘bye bye’ list are red wine, shell fish and pork. Oh, and liver! (well, I didn’t really test it out, but I hate it so I’m putting it on there!)

Now I’ve been feeling a lot better since I’ve been avoiding my ‘bye bye’ foods as much as possible, unless they’re cleverly disguised in delicious nachos!

Have there been foods causing you grief? I’m interested to hear what they are, how you’ve discovered them and how you deal with it.

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