No...not that kind! I'm in the midst of an iritis/uveitis (not sure which yet) attack and am seeing an opthalmologist later today. This has happened once before, and the standard medical approach is to treat it with corticosteroid drops for a few weeks, which I will certainly do.
Now, I'm not asking for paleo alternatives to eye 'roids (Fred Flintstone steak over the eye?), because I feel like not-being-able-to-see is one of those conditions I'm happy to turn to conventional medicine for help with. I am wondering if anyone has advice on nutritional/supplement strategies to help offset any effects that squirting steroids in your eye might cause.
Since the attack started, I've boosted my fish oil intake and have gone super strict on food adding bone broth and cutting out all potentially inflammatory foods (ie. no starch, GAPSesque Diet, strict paleo). I'm hoping my solid paleo foundation and strictness going forward will help me heal quicker than my pre-paleo flare (6 weeks to heal), but are there any extra things you feel I should add to improve my outcome?
Any experience or perspective is much appreciated.
Perhaps you are too low carb -- see this interesting blog post:
"Zero-Carb Diets Can Induce Mucus Deficiency
I ate a high-vegetable but extremely low-carb diet from December 2005 to January 2008. At the time I thought I was getting about 300 carb calories a day, but I now consider this to have been a zero-carb diet, since I don’t believe carb calories are available from most vegetables. Vegetable carbs are mostly consumed by gut bacteria, whose assistance we need to break down vegetable matter, or by intestinal cells which consume glucose during digestion.
Throughout my 2 years on this zero-carb diet, I had dry eyes and dry mouth. My eyes were bloodshot and irritated, and I had to give up wearing contact lenses. Through repeated experiments, I established that two factors contributed to the dry eyes – vitamin C deficiency and glucose deficiency. After I solved the vitamin C issue, I did perhaps 50 experiments over the following few years, increasing carbs which made the dry eyes go away and reducing them which made them immediately come back. This established unequivocally that it was a glucose deficiency alone that caused the dry eyes.
Rebecca reports similar symptoms in herself and her low carb friends.
This is also a well-known symptom during starvation. As a review cited by LynMarie Daye (and referenced by CarbSane in the comments) notes,"
I've had multiple uveitis attacks over the last 15 years, at least 1 every year for the first 12 years or so. They were starting to get worse every time. I was getting tired of the pred forte and started experimenting with different things. The conclusion I finally reached was the process that kicks off a uveitis attack is very similar to the process that kicks off a migraine. I have had migraines very infrequently since I was a kid and every time I lost vision before the pain arrived. I learned if I relaxed the muscles in my neck and shoulders (by taking a hot shower for instance) immediately when my vision started to go I could avoid the migraine completely. I tried the same thing with my Uveitis. I had another flare-up, went to the opthamologist to confirm and get some Pred-Forte, then went directly to a Chiropractor and got treatment on my neck and shoulders. The flare-up was much more mild then I had ever had before. I was able to avoid steroids almost entirely for two weeks and then treated it with one drop every four hours and weined after a couple weeks. Prior flare-ups got worse if I didn't have a drop every 2 hours, even through the night. I have not had a flare-up since (2 years now).
It seems, for me, that I carry stress in my shoulders and it causes my neck to get very tight, compressing the nerves in that area. I have kept the area from getting to that point using a lacrosse ball for 15 minutes every other night or so. I Just lay on the floor with the ball under my shoulders and back. Move it around and find the tight spots. It's like getting a deep-tissue massage every night. Check out www.mobilityWOD.com for more info on the technique. I've also, within the last 2 weeks, started the Paleo diet in hopes of treating the underlying cause of the inflammation systemically.
I hope you find this info helpful. Good luck!
Ive had numerous iritis/uveitis attacks over the past 10+ yrs, but only one since going very strict paleo 10 months ago. And this was the least severe attack Ive ever had, with the quickest recovery.
Sounds like you are doing all the right things diet-wise. Ive cut out anything that might potentially irritate the gut [per Robb Wolf and Dr Cordain], including alcohol & caffeine. Many have had success on the Enbringer/London AS/Sinclair no starch/low starch diet which is believed to starve klebsiella in the gut [it's based on a theory that the autoimmunity is triggered by 1. over growth of klebsiella 2. leaky gut 3. molecular mimicry]
I really prioritize and focus on getting maximum sleep and minimum stress. And Ive worked with my docs to reduce or eliminate as many meds as I could that might irritate the gut: NSAIDS, prednisone, cytotoxins, etc.
My assumption is that corticosteroidal drops like PredForte do not impact the gut like oral prednisone does.
Dan here again. I thought I'd give you an update. I had a uveitis flare a couple months back and was able to get rid of it without any steroids. I aggressively massaged my neck and shoulders with a lacrosse ball against a flat door frame (100 rotations each on left neck, right neck, upper right and left shoulders, lower shoulders, mid back, etc.) once or twice a day and was able to keep the symptoms in check. I'm also at about 80% paleo with the diet. This was also done without chiropractic or acupuncture treatment. I've learned to "feel" the stress better before it gets to the point where it sets off a flare of the uveitis. Hope you've made some progress as well.
I'm glad I found this string. I felt the onset of iritis this morning and immediately scheduled an appt with the doc for tomorrow. I've had iritis twice in the past, the last flare up being over 2 years ago. I'm usually 75% paleo but have recently fallen off the wagon so I'm thinking that my change in diet has contributed to the current flare up. I guess the good thing is that light sensitivity and pain isn't as severe as the prior flare ups. I will definitely take your advice in rolling out the shoulders to relieve tension. My hope is that recovery is much shorter than they were in the past.