Hi babes! Today’s post is all about my journey to be pain free and reduce inflammation. I have shared sporadically on Instagram stories over the past couple of years, but have never written it all out here in this space. I was originally going to just share some of the ways I’ve changed my diet to reduce inflammation, but I received a lot of requests to share my full story.
My hope is that through my story some of you will learn something that will be helpful in your own life. And in turn, I know I will continue to learn for you guys, too!
Without getting into too many details, I’ll rewind a bit to where this journey started. After graduating college I was diagnosed with Endometriosis. My main symptoms were pain in my lower abdomen near my ovaries and bladder. Most of the time the pain was manageable, but it would build over time and ended up affecting my ability to be intimate with my husband. I attempted to slow down the process of developing endometriosis with medication, but unfortunately, it didn’t work well. Over the years I had several laproscopic surgeries, which helped reduce the pain for a period of time.
In 2012 we were told to try and get pregnant and that it would be very difficult for us to conceive due to endometriosis. By the grace of God we were able to get pregnant and had two beautiful miracle babies. After Abby was born we were faced with a tough decision. While my pregnancies were easy, the actual birth process was challenging. We were told after Abby to wait a minimum of 5 years before having another baby as my body couldn’t handle another birth. When I started having pain again we made the decision to have a hysterectomy for several reasons.
The first reason was for safety reasons. We didn’t want to accidentally get pregnant and get into a scary situation physically. The other reason was directly related to my battle with endometriosis. Knowing how often it returned and the pain it caused, we knew I would have to have surgery to remove the tissue every couple of years for the rest of my life. I already have lots of little scars from previous surgeries and honestly did not want to add to them. So, at age 30 I had a full hysterectomy to remove the organs where endometriosis was growing. Luckily, I have never had endometriosis on my ovaries so they left them in.
chronic inflammation –
After almost a year after my hysterectomy I was still having pretty intense pain. I went to my OB thinking maybe I had scar tissue that was causing the pain, but that was ruled out. My OB recommended me to a urologist and that is where I got the diagnosis of chronic inflammation surrounding my bladder. Big bummer. However, I had a wonderful urologist who was very knowledgeable so we created a plan to tackle my pain with both medication and diet changes.
reducing inflammation –
Medication-wise I was put on an anti-arthritis medication to reduce inflammation. Diet-wise, my urologist advised that I cut out foods and liquids that cause inflammation. So, with his advice and some research on my own, I began eliminating things from my diet and making some big lifestyle changes.
- Eliminate caffeine – caffeine causes inflammation, so 3 years ago I eliminated caffeine cold turkey. It was definitely hard the first couple of months, but now I don’t crave it at all.
- Drink clean wine – my urologist of all people told me to stop drinking American wine. He informed me how many additives are put into wine and specifically American wine. American more than other countries because a lot of the chemicals added into American wines are outlawed in other countries. This started my journey to discover clean wine. Then over a year ago I discovered Scout & Cellar – a new company that supports small vineyards and markets clean wine. We completely switched over to clean wine in our house and it’s made a world of a difference in my pain level.
- Eliminate processed food – sugars, refined carbs, etc. can all cause inflammation. I try my very best to eliminate processed food when possible.
I am still very much on a journey to be pain free. I’m still learning and working daily to decrease pain. About a year ago I went off my medication as I didn’t want to take a giant pill for the rest of my life. I’ve tried to manage it via diet, but I still have a decent amount of pain. I’m probably due to see a doctor again, but before that I’m going to crack down on my diet a bit more. I’m also going to try new things like celery juice and other things people rave about. So, here’s to staying on this journey and continuing to learn!