Woman who was bedbound and unable to walk says turning vegan 'cured' her arthritis
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A woman who was bedbound and unable to walk claims turning to a vegan diet has ‘cured’ her arthritis, and has now even run her first marathon.
Kate Dunbar, 59, was no longer able to walk after experiencing debilitating pain in joints all over her body, later being diagnosed with arthritis.
She said: "It started off with some bad back pain, which continued to get worse and worse.
"Eventually, I had terrible pain in all of my joints, including my feet, knees and shoulders. It got to a point where I was dosed up on painkillers, couldn't get out of bed and couldn't walk.
"My flare-ups would get so bad that I'd suffer iritis and almost lost sight in my left eye.
Dunbar, from Hunstanton, Norfolk, realised certain foods made her feel worse, so decided to try a wholefood vegan diet to see if that helped.
She now hails the lifestyle as being the cure to her condition, continuing: "One day I noticed that certain foods made me feel worse, and although some doctors told me it had nothing to do with it, I knew it was affecting it.
"It was later suggested that I should try an elimination diet, and I discovered I was having the worst reactions to red meat and cheese.
"I then discovered the Vegan Society, and after doing some research, decided I would give being a vegan a go which enabled me to half my medication that I took.
"However, I still suffered some flare-ups."
Dunbar said after turning vegan, her diet still wasn’t as healthy as it could have been, as she’d still gorge on vegan cakes, pastries and processed foods.
While she claims it still helped her arthritis flare-ups, she believes her ailment wasn’t cured until she took it one step further and became a wholefood vegan – having bumped into someone who swore by it while out on a tentative first jog.
She said: "I felt very unfit, and one day, when I was walking my dogs, I started running a little bit out of nowhere while I was in my jeans and Crocs. I thought I'd have to be very careful because of my joints.
"I can remember running my first steps on the sand as I thought would be ok, and I think I managed around three small steps at first and gingerly tried to build it up.
"I then went to a market and came across a vegan runner stall and got chatting with a woman and told her that I wish I could run and explained my condition.
"It turns out the woman suffered the same condition, but she became a wholefood vegan and now runs marathons and even stopped taking medication.
"I was gobsmacked and burst into tears on the spot.
"I'd not heard of it before and spent a few weeks trawling the internet and getting my head around it.
"A wholefood vegan means eating lots of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts, herbs, spices, beans and lentils. It's a very anti-inflammatory diet and contains lots of fibre.
"It's very heart and brain healthy too.
"So I gave it a go, and one by one, stopped taking my medications until I wasn't taking anything at all.
"I kept waiting for a flare-up to hit me, but to my amazement, nothing happened.
"It was a miracle."
Dunbar then decided to join the Vegan Runners group and fell in love with running – having 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."
Dunbar now runs about three times a week, as well as swimming and cycling, with hopes to do a local triathlon.
"I can't believe I have gone from not being able to walk to being able to run marathons,” she added.
“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."