I am sure there are many vegan success stories that exist. I am looking forward to hearing yours. This is my vegan success story. I hope it brings some inspiration and motivation to a few people thinking about trying the vegan diet.
My Backstory: The Disease That Started My Journey
I was diagnosed with severe juvenile, rheumatoid arthritis around 2000. I have suffered with chronic, debilitating joint pain for over twenty years. The severity of the condition has gotten worse as I’ve aged.
The disease robbed me of my ability to partake in hobbies that I love and enjoy, such as ice hockey. It has limited my ability to do simple, everyday tasks. At many times I am unable to do the things I love: weight lifting or exercising in a meaningful capacity and playing with my son. The exhaustion and pain are taxing on my body to say the least.
The Never-Ending Quest to Find Relief
For years I relied on expensive medicines and steroids (prednisone), along with pain meds like ibuprofen to get through the day. My traditional routing has been to literally take two ibuprofen as soon as I wake up every day.
The problem is that the effectiveness of these medicines are limited and they are also extremely expensive. The last few years their effectiveness has dropped off significantly. In turn, I became miserable, almost every day.
I began hearing more and more about the benefits of limiting animal products and adopting a plant based diet or vegan diet. I became more and more interested.
One night I watched James Wilks’ documentary entitled The Game Changers in early 2019. This documentary became a game changer for me. This documentary led me to do further research on the relationship between the vegan diet and rheumatoid arthritis.
I came across research articles from reputable sources that supported the benefits of the vegan diet for individuals with rheumatoid arthritis. The article Do Vegan or Vegetarian Diets Help to Reduce Arthritis Inflammation was published on the Arthritis Foundation’s website. The fact that the Arthritis Foundation supported the idea that a vegan diet reduces inflammation was important to me.
This was not my first attempt at diet related fixes. I have experimented with different diets in the past to see if they had any positive effect on my arthritis. These include the gluten free diet, the ketogenic diet and the bullet proof diet. In my experience limiting gluten has been the only dietary change that has had any positive effect.
Despite my limited success with dietary changes I was game to try anything that might help. Thus, I decided to try the vegan diet.
A Vegan is Born
When I commit to something I do not mess around! I went vegan overnight. I researched and created a list of foods to buy on a Saturday morning and went grocery shopping that same day. That was it; my vegan journey started that day. I have not looked back (its only been a short-time I know).
The Positive Health Effects of the Vegan Diet
The positive effects I have experienced so far have been tremendous. The diet has reduced my stiffness, swelling, soreness and aches. The mobility in my hands, knees, shoulders, etc, although still limited, has improved. My level of fatigue, while still there, has been reduced.
Yeah I know you are saying it is all quantitative, but I have been able to measure the effectiveness of the vegan diet in quantitative terms.
Before I started the vegan diet I needed to take an injection of Embrel etanercept every single week. It got to a point where I genuinely had trouble walking, getting out of bed, and holding a cup with a single hand if I did not take a shot within one and a half to two weeks. I also needed to take 2-4 ibuprofen per day.
Since starting the vegan diet I have been able to go 6-8 weeks comfortably in between taking an Embrel injection. I also don’t need to take ibuprofen every single day. Sometimes I find myself taking it as a force of habit, but its not truly necessary.
My reliance on medication is how I have always measured the improvement or worsening of my disease.
My result is absolutely remarkable, and the only thing that has changed in my life over the last several months is my diet. This is my vegan success story, and hopefully it is one of many vegan success stories that will be shared on TheVeganBodybuilder.com website.
My story is the reason I have such a passion for sharing the benefits of the vegan diet with the world. Theveganbodybuilder.com was launched to spread the word.
Vegan Success Stories: Let’s Hear Your Story!
Now that I’ve shared my story I want to hear all of your vegan success stories. Please feel free to leave your story as a comment or send it as a message below.
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