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Treating arthritis with diet and exercise

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Seeking options to treat her painful psoriatic arthritis, Johanna Legge, 57, says she found something “by mistake.” Her find was the Paddison Program, which she claims is the sole reason she has returned to good health.

Rewind Johanna’s story to early 2013 when she lived in Vancouver.

“I would have swollen ankles, which appeared like sprained ankles, and the medical community couldn’t figure out how I could sprain my ankles so badly, and not know when and where I did it,” she recalls. “I had no answer.”

The pain was excruciating. “It felt like you put a vice-grip on my ankle. I also didn’t sleep when I had the worst flare-ups.”

Legge was an environmental enforcement officer, which required her to do a lot of ladder climbing. Saw mills and pulp mills were among her many industry job sites. “I would go to work and shove ice packs in my steel-toed shoes to mitigate the pain and swelling,” she says. She would take the ice packs out of her shoes when she went on a site inspection and then try to climb.

Unfortunately, the swelling didn’t just stay in her ankles. “When my knees seized up it made that job extremely difficult to do,” she says.

In 2015 the problem was finally diagnosed. It was psoriatic arthritis, which destroys the joints. Her relief at a diagnosis was short lived.

“I found out what I was in for—a raft of medications and no support groups for people with arthritis,” she says. “So I went online and found a psoriatic support group. But they were not supportive. Just a pain circle, where you learn about your grim future in more detail.”

Legge’s condition was treated with a regimen of drugs that caused hair loss, weight gain, diarrhea, severe fatigue, nausea, and so on. The prices were not cheap and drug plans were not picking up much of the tab.

Then she came down with a severe flu and a lung infection that put her off work for six weeks. When surfing the web for treatment options for her arthritis, she found the Paddison Program. It was founded by Clint Paddison of Australia, and developed to deal with his own rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

The program has been controversial. Some of the critical literature suggests it is not meant for everyone.

Legge, who now lives on Salt Spring Island, started on the program in January 2018. Her program is 60% dietary and 40% exercise.

“Within weeks I felt so much better,” she says. Hot Yoga was recommended. “It’s a bit tough to take because it is so hot.” However, as you sweat out all the toxins, you become more limber.

“The plant-based dietary plan really changed my life. I eat as many greens and carbs as I want. I minimize fruits and sugars, with no oils.”

In the plan, you introduce foods into your diet and monitor how you react. You eliminate those that give you issues.

“It is a difficult program when you are working,” she says. “But I found my energy levels went through the roof.”

She has weaned herself off all the drugs. and says if it wasn’t for the program,
she would never have been able to move to Salt Spring Island. She started feeling better after about a month on the program. She no longer has any swelling in her joints. “The whole program has been amazing,” she says.

Note: Consult your doctor before beginning any new health regime.

More Insight: Check out this cool article on using smartphones and watches for health management.

Author: Tom Peters is a contributing writer for HUM@Nmedia for both Optimyz and Silver Magazines.

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