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Fitness, Health, and Wellness

3 Ways to Reduce Inflammation

And My 10 Year Diagnosis Anniversary

reduce inflammationI haven’t updated you in a while, but I am working through some inflammatory issues! Here’s what’s happening and 3 ways I am working to reduce that inflammation (if that’s even what it is!).

It’s been a while since I have posted. Apologies. But if you read my last post, you know I’ve been struggling. I have some serious inflammation going on. I think part of it has to do with I ate like crap for almost an entire year because I was at a training facility.  It wasn’t in line with what I had in place before training. I also have had increased stressors. I started a new job. I moved…twice. And frankly, I’ve been stubborn.

I’m struggling to eat less, even though I know that it will help me. I’m struggling with how my body looks, mostly because of inflammation I have happening. I am not looking to have perfect 6 pack abs and a thin figure. I’m struggling with the fact that I essentially have a tire around my waist. Right at belly button level. It’s hard as a rock and things I have done the past 4 months are not working. And now I also have a new issues which involve maybe a bladder infection/UTI, or even more serious bladder and pelvic issues. It’s a whirlwind. And it’s messing with me mentally (and I guess hormonally since I got the IUD out and have been all over the place 🙂 ).

But what I do know is that I love this outlet to write.

This lets me get things off my chest, or weight off my shoulders. And even though I took some time away, I knew that coming back here would make me happy. So here I am! Back for now! Hah. And I realized, 10 years ago I was diagnosed with IBD. Starting with an incorrect Ulcerative Colitis diagnosis and suffering for 5 years before getting my Crohn’s diagnosis, which was life saving! That’s crazy to think about. I’ve been on this journey for a decade already, and though I am in remission, I am still on the ride and trying to figure out how to slow it down! And share everything I learn with you all.

Now back to my inflammation struggles and issues

These past few weeks I have made a few changes. First, I got into contact with my primary care doctor to try and get control of these bladder/pelvic issues I am having. I finished a round of antibiotics because we were thinking I had a bladder infection, which I am used to getting, but that didn’t resolve my symptoms.

I’m still suffering with urgency, which comes on so sudden that I literally have to run to the bathroom so I don’t pee my pants (sad to deal with this at my age). I also have pelvic pressure and pain. Bladder issues with Crohn’s Disease are not uncommon, but I haven’t drastically changed anything the past few weeks for these symptoms to all of a sudden take place. There is a chance that I have scar tissue that is interfering with things. Or that I have interstitial cystitis. My doctor and I follow up soon to try and get to the bottom of the issues. I’m sure blood work and some scans are in my future.

reduce inflammationSo, I decided I needed to do some things to try and reduce my overall inflammation

There are a few things that I changed over the past 2 weeks that I hope will help with the tire around my abdomen and reduce that inflammation. In my experience, when I have this tire and it’s hard as a rock, that’s inflammation for me.  And clearly it could be affecting my bladder.  Either way, knowing different ways you can reduce inflammation and encourage healing are good tools to have in your arsenal. These are just a few things I’ve changed this time, but there are a multitude of different ways to reduce inflammation. Check out other posts I’ve written about it to really get all the goods!

1. I started Intermittent Fasting again

More strictly. I’ve dabbled with it for months at a time. But it truly helps to let your body, and your gut, rest. Read my post from a while back about intermittent fasting and what it’s all about. Honestly, I feel so much better when I am doing it. I’m slightly more lenient on weekends, but I am still requiring a minimum of 13 hours. So if I want to indulge late, I’m making my self wait in the morning to have food. My body is clearly mad and needs rest, so I’m trying to put my mind to it and actually listen. I started back up with a 15:9 eating window and have moved to the 16:8.

While incorporating the fasting, I am also putting myself into a calorie deficit while incorporating anti-inflammatory foods. I’ll be clear…I know I don’t need to lose weight. But I clearly have either extremely stubborn fat or major inflammation in my abdomen. Pumping my body with an unnecessary amount of food because it makes me “feel good” obviously is not helping. I kept telling myself that I eat a gluten free and vegan diet so who cares how many calories I eat because it makes me happy. Well here I am, not happy, and feeling like crap. I’m eating enough to keep me healthy and with plenty of energy. And I’m cutting back on the indulgences which for me are chocolate and red wine.

2. I adjusted my exercise routine to reduce inflammation it may cause

My doctor had warned me years ago that certain types of exercise increases inflammation. It’s common sense, but it never occurred to me. The way we gain muscle is to essentially cause inflammation that eventually heals and makes us stronger. Well when you are inflamed for other reasons, that added inflammation doesn’t help. And one of those types of exercise that causes it…lifting weights. Which I love to do. And I was doing 4-5 times a week. So, changes needed to be made. I am only lifting 2 days a week max now.  I have also started to incorporate pelvic floor exercises to hopefully help to strengthen the muscles around my bladder and hopefully help whatever is happening there.

3. I waived the white flag and finally called my doctor

I have been struggling for months, and have been extremely stubborn. Sometimes I cannot fix everything on my own and I need another set of eyes, or ears to take a look and listen to what has been going on. To say the least, she wasn’t pleased I waited over a month after experiencing my pelvic symptoms to call her. And she’s determined to get to the bottom of all this inflammation non-sense as well. We started a course of antibiotics to hopefully resolve any infections that could be causing the inflammation but that is just the first step to tackling this. You have to remember that your doctors are on your team and want to help you too. I see her again for a follow up and like I said, I’m sure I’ll be getting scans and looping in my GI doc too.

So there you have it. Three simple ways I am working to reduce my inflammation. I’m sure it’s all things you’ve heard before, but sometimes you just need friendly reminders, like I do, to light the fire under your butt and get to work! You’d think after 10 years of this I’d have it all figured out. IBD definitely gives you a reality check.

 

–Kelsey

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