Thanks for setting this up, Josh! A little about myself:
I’ve had psoriasis for 40 years. It’s mild and it’s mostly on my scalp, with a little on my elbows and in my left ear. I have had psoriatic arthritis for 20 years, and it affects my knees primarily.
It took me 10 years to get a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis because my inflammation waxes and wanes, I never had symptoms by the time I would get to a doctor’s appointment. It wasn’t until digital cameras came along that I had something to show doctors. For about 10 years when I had no diagnosis I sought out the help of a nutritionist because I had read that food could be inflammatory.
I worked with the nutritionist to carefully track my food and symptoms. Over a few years I came up with a list of foods that cause inflammation for me: Gluten, corn, soy, dairy, nightshades, and bay shrimp. It’s a weird list but it has a huge effect when I can avoid those foods. I was also diagnosed with Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) in 2015. This is overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine. It’s also a chronic/recurring issue. When it’s under control, my inflammation is much, much (much) better. So I avoid foods related to that as well. See the FODMAP diet if you’re interested: https://www.monashfodmap.com/
In the past few months, my system of managing inflammation through diet hasn’t been working. Something changed, I’m not sure why, and I’m having more frequent, intense flares. I have a rheumatologist, and always had a plan that used joint damage and quality of life as measures of whether to try pharmaceutical drugs. Though I’m thrilled to say I have no joint damage, I have been more limited since about July, and I’m in a lot more pain. So I’m on the cusp of starting low dose methotrexate. I’m nervous about it, but grateful to have the option. I will continue to eat in a way that supports my immune system, but hopefully with fewer repercussions when I accidentally eat something with ingredients that my system reacts to.
Josh, thanks again for setting this up. Slack was a barrier for me because I use it at work and I don’t want to feel like I’m at work when I go home. But it’s great to have a forum for support.