Author Topic: Healing my chronic muscle pain/inflammation thru antinflammatory diet  (Read 24017 times)

[Buddie]

Hello all
Iím over two years off of a xanax fast taper/cold turkey. My list of symptoms was long. I had the physical stuffófrom tinnitus to muscle spasms to insane jaw tension/pain, the head stuff--from brain zaps and pressure to ear popping, and also the mental stuff--from mania to deep depression to cog fog. I had it all, I've healed from all of that and more,  and all has long since cleared up but I had one symptom that just wouldnít let goósevere and near-disabling chronic muscle pain, tension, and inflammation, particularly in the neck, shoulders, mid/lower back, and hips. But basically my entire body was involved! I hurt to be touched anywhere and everywhere. I've finally found a solution, so I wanted to share my success here in hopes that it will benefit others.

Like many here, a fibro diagnosis has been thrown around by my doctors, but with my research I never felt like my symptoms matched with that condition. My areas of pain are pretty specific plus fibro is not an inflammatory condition and doesnít usually respond to anti-inflammatory treatment unless there is something else going on, and I have responded pretty well to anti-inflammatory treatmentóa short course of steroids gave good but temporary relief and one month on high dose naproxen gave me several months of relief from pain but the inflammation and tension just would not let up.

One doctor that I saw about a year ago mentioned polymyalgia rheumatica as a possible cause for my symptoms.  When I researched this condition and saw a diagram of the areas most affected by PMR (shoulders/hips) I had that a-ha moment and knew that this was most likely what I am dealing with, even if my brutal xanax withdrawal as the cause for onset and my age donít make for a textbook diagnosis--this condition is rarely diagnosed in those under 50 (Iím in my 40s)  and is considered an illness associated with aging.  But it is  inflammatory condition, an arthritis of the muscles rather than the joints, with longterm steroid treatment with prednisone being the standard.


Obviously given my benzo withdrawal history, as well as the awful side effects associated with longterm steroids, I was not ready to jump on this course of treatment.  I agonized for months over making that decision. Things were looking pretty grim for me as I have missed tons of work over the past year, my pain just continuing to worsen, and my ability to cope wearing very very thin. I was seriously considering that going on longterm disability was looking like my only option, as were the steroids. I began praying nightly for some insight on how to avoid going down the steroid/disability road.

Then sometime in mid September someone suggested that I try a vegan anti-inflammatory diet in hopes that it would help with my inflammation and pain. Hereís a link to the diet: http://www.nourishingmeals.com/2010/01/elimination-and-detoxification-diet-its.html
I started it the very same day as a last ditch effort. I didnít have much to lose. Started drinking green smoothies every morning, eating only whole unprocessed foods, heavy on the greens, and no animal products.  In just THREE WEEKS my pain and inflammation was 80% resolved. Guys, this was nothing short of a miracle. This was pain that strong pain meds and muscle relaxers did not touch, pain that began as my very first wd symptom back in 2009 when I first began reducing my dose.  Iíve felt for many months now that Iíve been healed from withdrawal but that my body was in some kind of systemic inflammatory response to the physicality of my withdrawal, injured to its core basically, with no way out and no amount of time was going to heal that.  I wondered if I would ever run and jump and play again...and now I can :yippee: And the coolest thing about it is that I am healing myself--without meds, without the help of a doctor. This diet is the answer to my prayers.

 So now I have the diet. Itís a serious lifestyle change, but I can tell you it works for chronic inflammatory conditions among other things and I encourage anyone here dealing with the same issues I was to give it a go, for at least a month. You may find like me that the results are so rewarding that you want to stick with it for life. I have determined I have sensitivities to dairy, msg, soy, and possibly gluten. Any of these cause my pain to return and my face to puff up with swelling within 20 minutes to 24 hours.  But the only way I was able to determine these things was by going on a very restrictive elimination diet. I have lost 20 pounds since starting the diet, weight I gained my last years on xanax and during the time I was laid up with pain. My skin looks great, no more dark circles under my eyes.  :)  Iím now doing gentle yoga to get some of my strength back. Too much physical activity will cause a pain flare up but it is quickly managed within 2-3 days with diet and rest rather than the months on end of pain I experienced in the past.

I know another chronic issue here for many is insomnia, broken sleep, and rude awakenings at 3 am.  I dealt with all that, and it worsened as the months passed and fatigue set in. At 15 months on the dot my sleep came back and despite my ongoing pain issues I have continued to sleep well. Iíve seen a lot of people with the chronic sleep issues see a resolution between 15 an 24 months, so hang tight, it will return given enough time and without adding anything to the mix such as sleep meds, antihistamines, etc.ótry your best not to get in the habit of taking such things daily as that will interfere with your bodyís ability to learn how to sleep on its own.

I hope some of you will try the diet-- please post if you have success with it! Recovery from benzos is a long road, it feels like you will never heal and get back to normal, but you will and actually better than before.  :)   Strength and [...] to you all. Have faith, your body will heal, but be very good to it and help it along wherever you can.
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PS>>I should also update on my tinnitus--it is GONE. Never thought I would see the end of that but slowly, surely, it went. When all is quiet now, I can hear silence again.

Edit: commercial link deactivated
« Last Edit: June 08, 2012, 11:26:03 am by [Buddie] »
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[Buddie]

Re: Healing my chronic muscle pain/inflammation thru antinflammatory diet
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2011, 07:28:48 pm »
Thanks for posting this. I was juicing and doing a fairly strict diet but stopped. I'll return after reading this.

How do you ensure you have enough protein and b vitamins?

Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Healing my chronic muscle pain/inflammation thru antinflammatory diet
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2011, 07:42:52 pm »
Lots of brown rice and beans. ;)  Plus all veggies and fruits have protein, it's not hard to get enough. I feel what I'm getting is more than adequate, actually have never felt better about how I'm eating! I don't get that full bloated feeling like I did when I ate meat, but it's a different and good feeling. Your body adjusts. I have had  amazingly very few cravings for meat or even processed/junk food. Since I started eating this way I'm rarely ever hungry, I guess because so many of my nutrional needs are being met, without all the extra junk.
 
 Apparently the liver stores enough b12 for several years before becoming deficient with a vegan diet, but I plan to take a supplement at some point and right now I'm using nutritional yeast fortified with b12 in my cooking. The elimination diet I posted allows some lean meats back in after 3-4 weeks, for those who choose not to continue vegan. From what I'm learning I feel it's even more important to avoid dairy. I don't plan to ever reintroduce that.

Thanks for posting.  :) I'm happy to answer any questions you have about how I did the elimination diet, and the subsititutions I made due to my own food preferences and what was available  in stores in my area.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Healing my chronic muscle pain/inflammation thru antinflammatory diet
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2011, 09:58:09 pm »
Congratulations to you [...].

A battle fought courageously and won!!!

Thanks so much for posting about your pain and your journey out of it.

YOu are amazing.  Love you dearly.  Zoe  :crazy: :angel:
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Healing my chronic muscle pain/inflammation thru antinflammatory diet
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2011, 10:14:33 pm »
Thank you, Zoe! Healing is worth the fight.
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[Buddie]

Re: Healing my chronic muscle pain/inflammation thru antinflammatory diet
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2011, 01:12:42 pm »
What a great story.  Congratulations to you on your healing.  You're persistence and knowing that your body could heal itself is what impacted me most about your story.  Our bodies are amazing.  We just need to understand what they need and provide it.
Thanks for writing and posting the link.
All the best to you!
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Healing my chronic muscle pain/inflammation thru antinflammatory diet
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2011, 01:49:34 pm »
 Thank you, Hope! And yes, that's exactly what I want people to take from my story! ;) I've had many successes since my last dose, but healing the muscle pain has been by far the most trying.

Even tho I had a lot more symptoms the first year off, my second year was far harder because of the escalation in pain and the realization that no matter how long I waited, that symptom was simply not going to clear on its own without some kind of serious intervention. This is where I was able to put into play all I had learned my first year off, about how to depend on myself and to not expect my cure to come in the form of a pill.

In the end, I've learned a lot about myself, my strength, and [...] it or not, I look at my entire withdrawal experience as the number one most important thing that has ever happened to me in my life--have I ever grown. This required taking full responsibility for myself, my sitatuion, my addiction, and making amends for how my years on xanax affected others in my life.  Acceptance of all this was key, as was releasing others from blame. Thankfully I was able to accept all this very early on in my wtihdrawal, and it made my full emotional healing possible and road to recovery a whole lot easier.

good luck to you and thanks for posting :) [...]
« Last Edit: December 27, 2011, 02:12:11 pm by [Buddie] »
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Healing my chronic muscle pain/inflammation thru antinflammatory diet
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2011, 10:48:35 pm »
Wow -- you are AMAZING!!  I love reading what you've learned and that you could turn this experience around and see it as so positive!!!

I'm still not sure what I'm to learn from all of this, except stay away from medications!! 
I've prided myself on my healthy lifestyle -- never smoked, did any "drugs", not much of a drinker, exercise, eat as well as I know how to...  I'm still too early in the "healing" to really be able to think this all through.  I know that I am very grateful to have realized that it was the ativan causing my problems and the strength to get through the first month -- which was horrible.  I've really come far in the 7 weeks since I CTed.  I'm very hopeful that I will continue to be better and better each week.  I'm still experiencing GI sx and am foggy -- not able to really enjoy life.  But so much better than simply getting through the minutes/hours/days/nights that was my existence only a few weeks ago.  This process is so long -- I guess patience is my first lesson :)

Bless you for posting.  This BB is amazing.  I don't know where I'd be without it. 

XOX
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Healing my chronic muscle pain/inflammation thru antinflammatory diet
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2011, 05:20:15 am »
Hi Hope
Thanks for your nice response. Oh yeah, it's a good thing to be past the initial very acute stage--if you've got thru that part then you'll survive the rest of it, but be prepared for it to go back and forth for a while yet. Withdrawal is full of surprises, but it does end eventually!

Hard to say what this will all mean to you in the end. I can only speak from my own experience and what I have seen work for others--acceptance of the process is key, if you're open to that then it makes things a lot easier.

 Once the dust settles  in the next few months you'll be better able to assess your situation and process things better. I've seen a of people come out this the better for their experience and very grateful for the lessons learned and  a new appreciation for themselves and the work they did to heal and regain their physical and mental health...and why not?  Any trauma provides great ground for learning and personal and emotional growth, if we're open to it. :)

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Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Healing my chronic muscle pain/inflammation thru antinflammatory diet
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2011, 09:47:04 pm »
Thank you for posting yoursuccess story [...], this gives so many people so much hope. Incredible you are indeed!

Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.