Can diet heal tendonitis?Posted: June 9, 2019
It’s been a couple of months since returning from Antarctica and almost four months since the injury to my achilles happened.
The pain has moved around, from my achilles to my arch to my hamstring and back to my achilles again. It’s like playing whack a mole with the pain.
On Monday, the PT told me she is going to start treating the achilles problem like a chronic issue instead of an acute injury. My heart sank. I don’t want to be labeled chronically anything, except happy, rich, or spiritual.
Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” And I say, hell yeah to that. If rest, icing, taping, massaging, and physical therapy aren’t working, could it be something in my diet?
It’s been five years since I started eating meat again. I’d been vegetarian for the previous seven years. In 2014, I was diagnosed with severe anemia and when iron supplements didn’t remedy the problem, doctors encouraged me to eat meat.
Looking back, I’m not sure that was the best thing for my health, but doctors strongly recommended it and I didn’t want to stay anemic and tired.
After learning more about iron intake and requirements, I feel like I could have found another path to health, but I chose the easiest, fastest, and most convenient. And, in a few months, the blood tests indicated that it worked.
So imagine my surprise in 2018, after four years of eating meat, a routine blood test showed I was anemic. Again.
Instead of reexamining my diet at that time, I added an iron supplement and forgot about it. Maybe eating animals and animal products had become too convenient and ingrained my life for me to think there was another option. Going back to vegetarianism didn’t even cross my mind.
Fast-forward to Feb 2019 when my injury happened. I’ve not thought of changing my diet as a way to heal myself, but after four months of nursing a lagging injury, it came like a rocket during a meditation session in the form of a question. What are you eating?
The answer to the question was a little embarrassing. In February, I had just come off the bulletproof diet and was recovering from a terrible reaction to the flu shot. I had been back running only for a week or two when I was injured. (The bulletproof diet encourages copious amounts of grass-fed cow butter in your coffee along with meats and veggies, oils, and proteins.)
When I look back at my food log, I’d been eating various forms of meat, including processed (but paleo) bacon, sausage and lunchmeat, butter, yogurt, and cheese two or three times a day. I’m not saying this is what caused the injury, but the correlation is interesting.
Previous to bulletproof, I did the Whole30 diet time and time again, which focused exclusively on consuming copious amounts of meat, fish, eggs, fruits, and vegetables.
I lost weight, and after two weeks of suffering through terrible grumpiness and sugar cravings, settled into it. But could it have been hurting me?
I don’t know, but I’m going to run my own little experiment. For six weeks, I’m going on a plant-based diet.
My goal is to see if this diet will help heal my chronic achilles/foot/leg injury. I’d also love a little more energy (and happiness) throughout the day, but I’m not going to get pushy.
Let’s see what happens next.