Woman crippled with arthritis says going vegan helped her walk again | Totally Vegan Buzz

Woman crippled with arthritis says going vegan helped her walk again

Image: @kate.dunbar / Instagram

Whole grains, fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts, herbs, spices, beans and lentils are known to have anti-inflammatory properties, which help alleviate conditions like arthritis.

A 59-year-old woman has revealed how she changed her life and health after adopting a vegan diet.

Kate Dunbar, from Hunstanton, Norfolk, suffered from crippling arthritic pain in her joints and was left unable to walk.

But, it wasn’t until she realised that certain foods made her feel worse that she decided to go vegan.

According to her, the diet change helped “cure” her condition, and she not only start walking again, but she is also now able to run and recently completed her first marathon.

Dunbar’s story

“It started off with some bad back pain, which continued to get worse and worse,” she said recalling her condition.

“Eventually, I had terrible pain in all of my joints, including my feet, knees and shoulders.”

She added: “My flare-ups would get so bad that I’d suffer a condition called iritis and almost lost sight in my left eye.

“It got to a point where I was dosed up on painkillers, couldn’t get out of bed and couldn’t walk.”

Dunbar started researching and came across the Vegan Society, which led her to give being vegan a go. This step enabled her to halve her medication.

“However, I still suffered some flare-ups,” she shared.

Although Dunbar turned vegan, she was eating a lot of junk food such as cakes, pastries, and ultra-processed vegan foods and so didn’t see her a drastic improvement in her condition.

She then completely eliminated unhealthy foods to become a whole-food vegan, excluding oils and processed packaged foods.

“A wholefood vegan means eating lots of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts, herbs, spices, beans and lentils,” Dunbar explained.

“It’s a very anti-inflammatory diet and contains lots of fibre. It’s heart and brain-healthy too.”

Dunbar soon started noticing a drop in her arthritic pain and was able to reduce her medication gradually until she wasn’t taking anything at all.

“I kept waiting for a flare-up to hit me, but to my amazement, nothing happened,” she said.

Dunbar’s fitness journey

Soon Dunbar decided to join the Vegan Runners group. She fell in love with the sport and even completed her first marathon.

“I did the Boston Marathon, in Lincolnshire, and completed the race in four hours and 40 minutes,” she said.

“I was really happy with that time, as my aim was just to complete the race. I’ve even booked to do the Paris marathon next year.”

While she never intended to become a serious runner, Dunbar now runs about three times a week, along with swimming and cycling. She hopes to take part in a local triathlon.

“I can’t believe I have gone from not being able to walk to being able to run marathons,” Dunbar shared.

“I’d have been headed for a wheelchair if I hadn’t changed my diet.

“Everyone says that I always have a smile on my face now, but it’s because I am just so happy.

“It’s like a feeling of euphoria. I can’t believe how much I’ve managed to turn it around.”

 Studies on plant-based diets and arthritis

Dunbar’s plant-based testimonial corroborates a growing body of research about the positive effects of a plant-based diet in alleviating arthritis pain.

Last year, a study conducted by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) showed that eating a plant-focused diet caused a reduction in the pain and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis ( an autoimmune condition that causes inflammation, pain, swelling, and stiffness across the joints, eventually leading to permanent joint damage).

The study was published in the scientific journal American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine.

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