A.S. Face 0467: Stephanie Taylor Stewart
My name is Stephanie Taylor Stewart, and I am 44. I was diagnosed with Sjogren’s and AS (with a little fibromyalgia thrown in) in May 2011. After getting over the relief that I wasn’t crazy and just really depressed (which is what my friends kept telling me was wrong with me) and educating myself about AS, I can trace my AS symptoms back to 1994. I have a terrific rheumatologist and am on meds (Celebrex and Enbrel). I started a strict anti-inflammatory diet about 3 months ago, and it truly has been a miracle for me. (http://www.toquietinflammation.com/). It is not easy at first, and I resisted it for a long time (who wants to give up all the “good stuff” when you are already suffering from chronic pain???). However, once I decided to try it, the pay-offs have been immense. I can tell within an hour if I have eaten something that “feeds” the inflammation–my SI joints get very sore and hot. Staying off all ALL sugar and sweeteners (fresh fruit is okay), gluten and dairy seems to be the ticket for me. I have regained my energy, enthusiasm and am cycling hard again–and even dropped some weight. Here is a pic of me from a recent ride that my husband and I did (climbing 2400′ in 5 miles). I share this not to tell others what they should do, but rather to let folks know that it has been so helpful to me and provide a resource in case they want to try it.