In 1988, I began developing recurring migratory abdominal, thoracic, and joint pain associated with recurring low-grade fevers. Essentially, my whole body felt inflamed and bloated. At times, it was a miserable existence, living through recurrent fevers, pain, and inflammation, all the while trying to raise a young family and run a thriving podiatry practice. 

Over the years, I tried to find answers. I saw many different doctors, including pulmonary (lung) and gastrointestinal specialists. They found elevated inflammatory markers, but to my dismay, none of them could pinpoint a diagnosis, and no treatment ever afforded lasting relief. 

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Finally Finding Relief from Inflammation

Then one day a few years ago, my wife suggested we watch the Forks Over Knives documentary. Using the scientific research of Caldwell Esselstyn, MD, and T. Colin Campbell, PhD, the film made a compelling case that a whole-food, plant-based diet could prevent, halt, and reverse some chronic diseases. We were intrigued: If a plant-based diet could reverse heart disease, diabetes, and other inflammatory conditions, could it help me? My wife and I decided that we would give it a trial run. 

Within weeks, my pain and inflammation began to subside. Within just three months, my symptoms had completely resolved. For the first time in 30 years, I was living without pain or recurrent fevers. We decided to stick with our new lifestyle. 

Lasting Results

My wife and I are in our fourth year of eating WFPB, and we’re still going strong. We have grown to enjoy preparing meals together whenever we can. The Forks Plant-Based Recipes app has become our go-to destination, providing a seemingly endless source of recipes that we love. My decision to go whole-food, plant-based was not motivated by a desire to lose weight, but I’ve lost 60 pounds since making the switch—a nice side effect!

Through genetic testing, I recently discovered the cause of my symptoms for all those years: a rare genetic disorder called benign paroxysmal peritonitis (also known as familial Mediterranean fever), which is characterized by recurrent short episodes of fever as well as inflammation in the abdomen, chest, and joints. In some cases, it may be associated with abnormal buildup of proteins in the kidneys. Although there is no clinically recognized cure for benign paroxysmal peritonitis, I’ve managed to completely eliminate my symptoms since going plant-based four years ago.  

I cannot thank Drs. Campbell and Esselstyn enough for their research and Forks Over Knives for helping to get the information out there. I tell everyone I can about the WFPB lifestyle and what it has meant for me. I truly feel that it has saved my life. 

Ready to get started? Check out Forks Meal Planner, FOK’s easy weekly meal-planning tool to keep you on a healthy plant-based path. To learn more about a whole-food, plant-based diet, visit our Plant-Based Primer.

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