Yeah! I know. Changing your diet is so hard, but in all truthfulness, it is what is needed. Every holistic book I have read about a disease of any kind says, “It’s Your Gut! Fix it with food.” Sadly, not too many doctors will take that road with you. They may agree it is wise, but they won’t really get behind you on it. Long ago, I took a stab at writing about how negatively sugar affects all of us. That post is No Sugar Tonight
This month I have a pain warrior who has done it and found that it does work. Let’s follow along for the next few weeks with Dayna Ault and her journey with pain.
My War Story with Chronic Pain & Diet
by Dayna Ault
Dear Warriors –
I was a young mother with two seemingly healthy children until I and my boys began experiencing pain and fatigue. The boys had debilitating leg pain, while I was plagued with joint pain, brain fog, and exhaustion. They diagnosed me with Rheumatoid Arthritis, suggesting nothing more than ibuprofen. Doctors said the boys had “growing pains.” Eventually, brain fog caused such confusion, I became lost in town, struggling to find my way home. I was so afraid—I had to get some help. I began to pray for some direction.
A Naturopath Can Help Find the Right Diet
I decided to see a naturopathic doctor, suggested by a friend. He did some tests and prescribed a new diet. He told me to throw out all processed and artificial foods. I remember going through my cabinets, close to tears. The cabinets, fridge, and freezer were fairly empty when I was done. Though the process was overwhelming, within a week of changing our diet, the pain and other symptoms began to resolve. I was so thankful, and I began to see the value in treatment through diet.
It Runs in the Family
Eventually, every one of my eight children and at least half of my 16 grandchildren struggled with some sort of pain or gut condition created by food intolerance. Dietary changes have helped us with colic, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, chronic pancreatitis, esophageal spasms, asthma, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), learning disabilities, allergic colitis, and more.
I want to share a little of what I have learned about diet and chronic pain, as a mom and as a chronic pain sufferer.
*** I am not a doctor or health practitioner. This is not medical advice. It is just my own experience. ***
But See your Medical Professionals too
Through working with both medical and natural professionals, I learned how effectively the body can respond to dietary changes. For instance, gluten is not just about celiac disease. For many with arthritis, consuming gluten causes joint pain and inflammation. I and my husband found that eliminating gluten reduced our joint pain by at least 75%, even halting the deforming effects.
Most doctors suggest beginning the diet process with a food diary when a food intolerance is suspected. If that does not reveal the culprit, they move to an elimination diet. I have used those methods with good success. I often suggest keeping a food diary as a beginning step in the process of understanding your body’s processing of food (more on that in a later submission.)
The FODMAP Diet
The FODMAP diet created by Monash University has become a favorite diagnostic tool for me. Though it is intended for people with IBS, it works beautifully for those suffering from chronic pain. The diet begins with a targeted elimination diet, focusing on the most common inflammatory foods and those which are most likely to cause issues. In addition, it explains WHY and HOW the eliminated foods may be affecting you—information found through years of research. Even though it focuses on IBS, many of the concepts are the same: foods cause pain and discomfort when our bodies do not tolerate a substance, or when we eat offending foods in large quantities.
To find the FODMAP diet and learn how and why it works, go to
Remember that even though they intended the diet for IBS, many of the principles work for Chronic Pain.
Thank you, Dayna!
We will mull this information around in our heads and return next week for another post on “Finding the Strength to Change”.
P.S. The food diary app that I use is called My FItness Pal. It will track your calories and nutrients and will connect with your Fitbit (or whatever you use) to track your steps. You can even enter your own recipes and it will calculate the calories for you. Get reports too!
Until next week,
Check out Dayna’s Fun Children’s Book
Dayna Ault has eight children who were inspirations for her first two children’s books, the latest, Who Made This Mess?, released in October 2022.
She worked as a freelancer and journalist and published The Missouri Autism Report Magazine (2010-2017) while homeschooling her children.
Dayna has served as an alderman in her small Missouri town, serves as a deaconess in her church, and enjoys teaching Sunday School. She is a member of several organizations including the Springfield Writer’s Guild, (SWG) the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), BookCamp (Chad Allen), and Children’s Book Insiders (CBI). She organizes and runs Kidlit Connect, an online critique group for children’s writers.
Dayna has one son at home, now in college, one very understanding husband, 16 grandchildren, an American Eskimo, and a fluffy, puffy gray cat.