Bill Moore can measure the day he hit rock bottom in numbers. He was 320 pounds, with body fat of 50 percent and blood pressure that hovered around 190/120.
His blood glucose was between 120 and 129, making him pre-diabetic. Worst of all, psoriatic arthritis had deformed several of his fingers and toes. Some days, he was in so much pain, his blood pressure shot up to 200/120. His rheumatologist said he would likely have to start using a wheelchair soon.
Moore was already using methotrexate and hydrocodone to try to control his psoriatic arthritis. He tried Enbrel but kept getting infections in his mouth due to his suppressed immune system.
So he started doing some research and making some changes. Over the next six months, he took gluten and dairy out of his diet and started eating more fruits and vegetables. He began taking herbal supplements of turmeric, ginger and horse chestnut because he read they were anti-inflammatory and helped increase circulation.
And then he began to notice something. He no longer needed help getting up from a seated position. He started dropping weight and best of all, his joints were doing better.
"I no longer had a situation where I woke up and noticed a finger was more deformed than it was a couple of weeks ago," he said.
When he reached 250 pounds, he had a bit of a relapse. He started eating processed food, gluten and dairy again. His weight began to creep up and his joints began to trouble him again. That's when he realized his clean eating habits had to be for life.
Moore added exercise to his healthy eating habits, starting first with walking, and began lifting weights, using wrist straps to keep the dumbbells to his hands because his fingers were too stiff to grip them. Now, he no longer needs those wrist straps.
Other things are looking up, too. His blood pressure is normal — 120/70 — as is his glucose. While the psoriatic arthritis has permanently deformed some of his joints, he no longer has the swelling, redness and pain he used to have. He weighs about 202 pounds.
Maintaining his health takes discipline, but Moore said he's committed.
"The more you don't allow failures to take you off course, the failures came farther and farther in between."
Driving discovery, creating community
For more than 50 years, we’ve been driving efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected. But there’s still plenty to do! Learn how you can help our advocacy team shape the laws and policies that affect people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis – in your state and across the country. Help us raise funds to support research by joining Team NPF, where you can walk, run, cycle, play bingo or create your own fundraising event. If you or someone you love needs free, personalized support for living a healthier life with psoriatic disease, contact our Patient Navigation Center. And keep the National Psoriasis Foundation going strong by making a donation today. Together, we will find a cure.