SI Pain: 0/100 | Rib Pain: 0/100 | Concrete Back: 12/100
I thought it would be interesting to do a diary entry today to describe an element of the AS I still sometimes get nearly two years into managing the disease through diet.
I woke feeling fine (and definitely less achy) than yesterday but had an awareness of my right SI joint when I was waking up.
It wasn’t really painful, but I still wanted to highlight it because it’s something that happens fairly often.
I have got to this kind of magical 90 to 95% pain-free level with the AS but the awareness-of-one-side-of-the-SI-joints thing is sometimes there when I wake up.
The good news is it happens less and less as time goes on.
The even better news is that typically now (if I do feel it) when I get up, it just melts away.
After my 2-minute cold shower, which I always do first thing, it disappears completely.
Just writing that in case it’s helpful for anyone getting further into the diet who is wondering whether it’s normal to feel that awareness in the morning sometimes still.
There are days where I definitely don’t feel it, and sometimes have days like today, where there is that slight awareness, but it no longer worries me.
This is such a stark contrast to before when I was waking up pretty much every day in pain.
Even if it was a low-level pain in one of the SI joints, it was still there and it hurt to walk.
And then there was that long slow process of even being able to stand upright.
I would be close to a 45° angle for an hour to an hour and a half in the mornings, and some level of this would stay with me throughout the day.
So the changes are really profound.
Jumping wildly on a tangent, the main thing I want to highlight relates to yesterday, and some trigger tracking.
Trigger tracking – almonds
I ended up eating some almonds yesterday even though I’ve identified that they don’t sit brilliantly with me.
Sure enough this morning I had the SI joint awareness I just talked about. Then during my morning Zoom meeting with work my head felt a bit weird.
It was the AS flu feeling.
I’m not sure how many people with AS get this symptom but I know it is fairly common with people how autoimmune disease.
Before I got diagnosed with AS, and before I went down that internet rabbit warren of looking at studies and people’s personal stories, I had no idea really about autoimmune disease and what it meant or entailed.
A major part of it is brain fog, which I think a lot of people are familiar with, but also, and this is something I used to get a lot of the time, a kind of feverish feeling.
I often felt like I had a hot head and something that felt similar to a headache but wasn’t a headache. It was as if I had a temperature.
I could never put my finger on it, but once I got my diagnosis it was one of those magical “aha” moments where you can connect the dots.
Autoimmune disease = your immune system fighting something all the time. And this can give you somewhat flu like system.
This is something that has almost 100% disappeared now unless I overdo it (for example if I don’t do my intermittent fasting or have too much alcohol) or if something goes accidentally wrong with the diet.
Today I can feel it, the fluey feeling. As I’m writing this, I’m just touching my head, and it feels really hot.
I’m definitely not ill so the only thing I can attribute it to is having all of those almonds last night.
I’m really strict on the diet and that was the only wildcard variable.
So that’s really helpful!
This was a finding I had in my year one results, so it’s nice to have another confirmation.
In other news, I am nearly finished my ‘secret starches’ article [Update! it’s now finished, you can see this article here].
This is absolutely something that really tripped me up when I was starting on the diet.
It’s that really strange, scary world of not really knowing what a starch is, why the diet might work, or how to navigate these foods.
I would do all of this research and planning and had all these things in the house that I felt I should be able to eat safely…
While I should have been right on that front, mass food manufacturers had a different idea.
You can buy some sliced and packaged deli products from the supermarket thinking that you are buying what it says on the packet and nothing else.
But most of the time it’s total nonsense,
You are buying six or seven ingredients, and the real percentage of the thing you think you’re buying is much less.
Worse than that, more often than not, the ingredients that you don’t realise are incorporated are what I call ‘secret starches’.
So if you have AS and you are trying to manage it in part using a starch-free diet, this can be the horrible Trojan horse that is smuggled in.
That’s why I’ve been doing some research and going down some strange wormholes to find out the names of the starches that are most commonly used on the backs of packets.
Most of them aren’t labelled as starches. They have these fancy names. I’ll share that article on the site ASAP.