Thursday, May 31, 2012

Flirting with My Diet

Not too long ago, I wrote about Venus Williams being diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome. It was the reason she dropped out of competition for a period of time. She was suffering from fatigue and muscle weakness.

Sjogren's is an autoimmune condition. It causes your immune system to turn on you, attacking the mucus producing glands. Among the major symptoms are dry eyes and dry mouth. It can also be linked to arthritis-like symptoms, fatigue and muscle weakness (as Venus had). It is not curable, but there are steps you can take to mitigate the symptoms.

I was diagnosed with Sjogren's some years ago. I visit the dentist often to deal with the dry mouth, which leads to increased dental problems. I use prescription eye drops to deal with dry eyes. As I get older, I wonder if some of the fatigue I feel might be due to Sjogren's.

The other day I read an interview in which Venus was discussing what she had done to feel better and get back into the game. Her answer was her diet; she has become a vegan. She has given up meat, dairy and sugar. I thought maybe I should look into this. So, I have been reading these two books.

I definitely don't think I can jump into this change cold turkey (or cold tofu), but I will try what Alicia describes as "flirting" with it. I am going to try some of the ingredients and recipes in the books and see how it goes. I'm sure that eating more vegetables, especially leafy greens, is a good idea in any case.


Arthur Ransome said...

I am sorry to hear you have this disease. I had never heard of it. I think you are very sensible to try diet to help you. I was a vegan for years and am still that way inclined. It's easy for some of us who naturally prefer that kind of food. Last year a friend and I decided to lose weight and we have done so, slowly but surely, by eating sensibly and healthily. One of the things I have done is to give up sugar. I am now full of missionary zeal about this as I feel so much better without it. We eat so much sugar, it's in almost everything, and we're not designed to cope with it. Based on my experience, I think you would feel much better if you give it up. I hope you find the healthy eating as helpful as I've found it.

judy in ky said...

Most people have never heard of Sjogren's, until Venus Williams' experience brought it to light. Your missionary zeal is appropriate here, because I have an issue with sugar. I know it's bad for me, but I have a hard time staying away from it. I hereby declare my intention to give it up for good.

Arthur Ransome said...

Brilliant! Please keep us informed as to how you get on. I think I've been a sugar addict most of my life but I've found giving it up surprisingly easy. I hope this will be the case with you too.

judy in ky said...

I am motivated to give it up. Yesterday, I said goodbye to sugar by one last "fling". I ate a slice of carrot cake, then vowed no more sugar. Not sure if that was a good idea, but it's working so far.