• Kedren Elliott

Inflammatory Arthritis and mental health

In episode 36 of our Happiness Hub Podcast, we spoke to Jo Brimmell about her diagnosis of a rare type of Inflammatory Arthritis called Palindromic rheumatism.

Palindromic rheumatism is a rare type of inflammatory arthritis that usually appears in people between the ages of 20 and 50.

It causes episodes of joint pain and swelling. The painful swelling caused by these episodes disappears between flare-ups.

The condition is often treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which can help reduce inflammation during episodes. But whilst Jo was waiting the three months to see the rheumatologist she decided to follow an elimination diet (also know and an anti-inflammatory diet) to help with her symptoms and the results were remarkable, as you can hear in our podcast.

You may have already heard about anti-inflammatory diets and the health benefits these bring. So many of us suffer from digestion issues and things like fatigue and lack of concentration, so adopting a healthy diet is not only great for the body but also the mind.

But there is a little more science to it than just eating your 5, or 7 as they recommend now, fruit and veg a day. As we get older sometimes we start to become more sensitive or intolerant to certain foods especially when processed food has become so prevalent in our modern diets, do we really know what's on our plates?

Jo's investigation and application of an elimination diet not only completely eradicated the painful and debilitative symptoms of her arthritis but also helped her lose weight and reduce her anxiery.

The progression of her condition massively impacted Jo's life and made doing everyday things like boiling a kettle to make a cup of tea unachievable. The onset of her pain and lack of mobility happened in a very short amount of time and waiting for a full diagnosis impacted Jo's mental health massively, as it does with many people waiting for a diagnosis when you're wondering what the heck is wrong with you.

Many people and scientists believe that gut health is integral to both your physical and mental wellbeing and there are many studies that support this. After all, wasn't Gillian McKeith right, aren't we all what we eat? So if you're filling your body full of high fat, processed foods, that have no nutritional benefits, doesn't it stand to reason that our brains and bodies aren't going to thank us or function properly because of it?

I'd chops on more about the benefits of anti-inflammatory diets and how they can help people suffering from chronic conditions and ease pain, and also help your brain function better too. But I'll leave that to Jo, who's an expert in this field. You can find out more about her nutrition programme on her website and follow her on Jo Brimmell Instagram account.

Another great place to start is The Gut Makeover Book by Jeanette Hyde that Jo recommended on the podcast when Liz and I did Jo's 8-week plan. It explains the science behind how the diet works in a way that's easy to understand and follow.

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