Drip Diets & Detox’s: Why the Disgusting Trend for Hospital Treatments Makes Me Sick

I admit I was horrified to read a feature in Grazia the other week on the new ‘Drip Diet’ craze, but I’m not one to judge and if these silly girls want to risk their health to loose weight then whatever. As you know I’ve been sick lately but had to drag myself out today to run some errands, I picked up a Grazia to read on the way to cheer me up, but ended up in a rage.

I’m ill, I feel like utter shit. It’s a gorgeous sunny day but I’m covered up, every inch except my hands and the bottom half of my face. I have to cover my arms up because they are full of bruises from needles and one arm is a swollen mess due to a bad reaction to a vaccine. One of the drugs I have to take has made me super sensitive from the suns so I’m hidden under huge sunglasses and a hat. Ironically I also have a vitamin D deficiency so I really need some time in the sun, I will go and roll my sleeves up in the garden when I get home in where nobody can see me.

Two week old needle bruises, I don’t heal at a normal rate anymore

So when I open my magazine to see a feature on ‘Party girl drips’ I totally loose the plot. I remember seeing the photo Rihanna tweeted of her on a drip, I felt sorry for her being sick, I know what that’s like, having to be poked and prodded with needles in hospital is the bane of my life. But to now find out celebrities and ‘party girls’ are paying to have vitamin infusion drips to cure hangovers really upset me. I am not one to judge, each to their own, but to make such hospital treatments that other people have to save their lives into some frivolous fancy for these rich and stupid bitches is too much. I was also severely disappointed to see at the end of the feature one of Grazia’s editors trying out the treatment. I could have respected a critical review of the worrying situation, but to try it out like a new lipstick only shows encouragement.

An allergic reaction to the Pneumonia vaccine I had to have prior to starting a new medication – this was two days after the shot you don’t want to see how bad it got after that, I suffered 5 days before I could even get treatment for it (excuse the mess and the fact I’m in my bra I never intended to post this photo, I only took it to show my friend who is a nurse).

So here is some reality, a reality I hope none of these silly celebrities ever have to face. For those of you who don’t know I suffer from a disease called Psoriatic Arthritis (previously thought to be Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia). It is a difficult thing to correctly diagnose hence the number of different diagnoses I have had so far. Even this one disease has many different variations. Either way they are all auto-immune conditions, this means my immune system doesn’t work correctly, rather than defend my body it actually attacks it. In the two years I have been suffering with this I haven’t had one day where I wasn’t in pain. Some days I cannot get out of bed, every single part of me hurts – there is now way I can ever describe this, my joints swell up, I can’t walk without feeling my hip joint grate in its socket, my fingers are now permanently two ring sizes bigger, my feet will only fit extra wide shoes now, I throw up most days because of the meds, I constantly have stomach ache from the meds… the list goes on and on.

Treatments are available to help manage the condition and try to prevent further onset, however there is no cure. I’ve tried so many different drugs I lost count, many of them having severe side-effects, one put me in hospital when I had a migrane for five days, I thought I was going to die. Right now I am left in the situation where all the ‘safer’ drugs have failed and I am now facing a drug called Methotrexate. Methotreate or MTX for short is a cytotoxic drug, it is a chemotherapy used in higher doses to treat cancer. That is how serious it is, this I am told is my last resort because I am not sick enough to merit the Biologic drugs which have better sucess rates, yet are 100 times the price. Mr Cameron does not think I am worth ┬ú10,000 per year. I must wait until I am near crippled, even though medical research proves it is vital to stop the disease early before it gets to irreversible damage levels. Having said that MTX does have a 30% sucess rate, it is something of a wonder drug for those people allowing them to live an active life. For the other 70% the side effects are very scary, ‘minor’ side effects are nausea, dizziness, stomach pain and hair loss, ‘major’ includes liver damage, seizures, breathing difficulites, oh and death. I don’t have a particularily good track record with side-effects so I admit I am absolutely terrified to start this drug. I have two weeks before I start it so am planning days out and a party with my friends before hand, just in case I’m too sick to see them for a while.

My friend having blood taken for tests

I probably know a lot more about this drug than the NHS booklet would like, this is because I am an administrator in an Auto-immune support group. This is a private group where we can share stories and offer a shoulder to cry on. In our group one member had been on MTX for 15 years it is really helping her, others however I have seen suffer from it immensely. Constant nausea, stomach pains, mouth sores and hair loss. Because let’s face it, as much as I would shave my head right now if I thought I would be cured, the fact is it’s a prospect nobody wants to face. Whilst the dosage I will be on is not as high as that of a cancer sufferer, where the hair is pretty much guaranteed to fall out, it can still be effected. I have read stories from people just experiencing slight thinning to one woman loosing 70% of her hair a few weeks prior to her wedding. It really is stupid to be worrying about something so insignificant, but when you are used to having a disability you can hide, something so visual as your hair makes it very much public. Just like the bruised arms, suddenly you look sick.

Having the Methotrexate injection, my friend has them in hospital as she is very sick and needs to be closely monitored. Usually the injections are self administered.

These last two photo’s are of my very dear friend, I won’t use her name but she knows who she is. She set up our support group and is one of the bravest women I know, as well as one of the most generous and kind hearted. She is always trying to help raise awareness of our conditions and took these photo’s as a means of doing so. Her condition is far worse than mine, she has multiple strains of auto-immune diseases. She gave us all a bit of a worry the other day when she was rushed off to hospital and we hadn’t heard from her. Thank god she is ok but she is currently having to have a drip infusions to keep her alive.

So forgive me if I don’t want to have such medical procedures trivialised in a glossy magazine. Grazia I unsubscribe.

23 thoughts on “Drip Diets & Detox’s: Why the Disgusting Trend for Hospital Treatments Makes Me Sick

  1. I’ve shared this on twitter for all to read. ”Grazia I unsubscribe” is an apt way to end this very interesting post, I’m sorry that you’re in a position that you have to write it, but you have produced a very very interesting post, so thank you. xx

  2. “I got an unpleasant acidic taste in my mouth” I can’t say I’ve read the whole article though I did see the bride one, but as someone who has had near constant acid reflux for years due to meds and then constant vomit and a bleeding for the last week I also find these articles very strange.

    “I was also severely disappointed to see at the end of the feature one of GraziaÔÇÖs editors trying out the treatment.” o.O I don’t quite know what to say to this. That makes it sound so trivial!

    You know what, we are gonna go on a huge Manc shopping spree before your treatment starts and have an amazingly fun day full of Hello Kitties, cafes and hopefully non-mouldy vintage! =D

    Florrie x

    • It was the editor who made the ‘unpleasant taste’ comment!
      Aww it wouldn’t be the same without the mouldy frock section 😉 xxx

  3. Well said, I saw the Rihanna picture and was so annoyed, I can’t understand how medical professionals can treat these idiots, I would rather they spent more time developing treatments for people who are suffering from diseases, medical conditions, etc. But most importantly I do hope you are feeling better and I really do hope that your new treatment regime goes well for you. You and your friend are the women that other women and young girls should aspire to be, not silly buggers like Rihanna and Bridezillas who treat their bodies so unnaturally xx

    • Thank you honey, it gives such a bad example that there are quick fixes, what ever happened to eating healthily and doing a bit of exercise!

  4. Ayayayayay! That is terrible darling! I hope many people see this and become inspired to do things the right way. Speeding things up will worse it. This is bad practice of medicine and I wish you the best. I hope that there are no adverse health effects! 🙁

  5. My dad has suffered from Psoriatic Arthritis since the early 90s – he was on steroids for a long period – they put him on Methotrexate but he didn’t react well to it. He is now on Embril – which he injects twice a week and has really helped – it’s really done the trick. Although he now may have post-polio syndrome which doesn’t! Although funnily enough like you he is really into crystal which help – as does reiki! So I know what you are going through – but keep on keeping on as you’ll find the right combination of medication for you. You have to be the most stylish poster girl for Psoriatic Arthritis sufferers though! Much love, Kitten xxxxxx

    • I am glad you dad finally has the treatment that works for him. Enbrel is one of the biologic drugs which are proven 50% more effective than the old drugs like MTX yet they cost from ┬ú10,000 per year so they have strict guidelines over who can have them. Everyone HAS to try to other drugs and MTX first no matter if they are the best drugs for the situation or not, even then you have to meet guidelines, your condition has to fit into a series of tick boxes. Because my condition is unusual, I don’t have the psoriasis skin condition (although I did as a teen) for a start. One doctor told me if I wanted ‘fancy’ treatments I should move to the USA! So it’s not just the disease we have to battle but the health care system and the politicians too. – Im ranting again ha ha!

      Crystals and that side of things have always been in my family, I just think they whole mind set around it lovely, any thing beautiful and positive in this world can only be a good thing. From an annoying scientist point of view of find them interesting too xxxx

  6. Oh Pearl I can quite see how this must drive you crackers. I read your post last night, but didn’t quite know what to reply. Rhianna is a role model to many and her choices go from bad to worse – but its more for all of us who take our health for granted, even if we don’t resort to drips to bail us out from our stupidity. So thank you, and your kind and brave friend, for reminding us that the good health most of us enjoy is a really precious thing, and I hope so much that you get on well with your new treatment. xxx

  7. I usually buy Grazia most weeks, but this week I saw the cover headline about drip diets and decided enough was enough. I haven’t read the article, but I am completely appalled that one of their staff would try it. As you said, this isn’t a new lipstick people!! Giving these idiotic and potentially dangerous treatments mainstream attention is nothing but foolish and naive; for every few people that are disgusted by the crazy antics of celebrities, there will always be one rushing off to their GP to get on the list. I am with you Pearl – start the unsubscribe revolution!

    I wish you all the best with your new treatments, and enjoy your pre-MTX partying fun (with no drips :P). xxx

  8. I can’t believe people do this for vanity. Plus Rihanna seems to be going downhill fast, you can just tell from her physical appearance, it doesn’t have to be hard drugs or alcohol but such a lifestyle. I’m so sorry you’re ill and for your friend. Sending you both good thoughts xx

  9. Pearl, I’m so sorry to hear about your troubles! Good luck on your new treatment – I hope your body takes to it.

    I have to laugh at your repeated “I’m not one to judge” coming right before “stupid bitches(!)” – there are places to judge, and it seems like this is one of them. Your situation is so unlucky and you feel like Grazia is trivialising it, so judge out loud! Judge the heck out of it!

    • Ha ha I know I’m such a hypocrite, I should say ‘Im not one to judge – unless someone is a really stupid bitch and pissed me off’ LOL

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  11. Pearl I totally agree with you on the Grazia piece. I saw it and thought “what the heck”. Totally irresponsible. I knew in the back of mind mind somewhere that you were ill. I think I heard it from Roz. I didnt know just how much you were suffering until now. So I would say that you also are a very brave young woman who I have only ever seen the happy side of. I wish you success with this new drug they are going to try you on. However I do wish for you also the more expensive one with better results too. We have some friend of ours staying with us who just arrived from Hungary last night who have been talking to us about a diet they are on that has meant that one of them has been able to stop taking insulin for his diabetes. I only mention this because they also mentioned someone they know who has arthritis too and it is really helping them too, maybe worth a try? Based on what we have heard of their experiences my husband and I are going to try it. My husband has Parkinsons so is keen to give it a go – here are some links http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2010/10/04/the-beginners-guide-to-the-paleo-diet/
    Love Dvora Xxxx

    • Hey Dvora, Its funny you should mention this diet as I actually follow a really similar plan called the Harcombe diet. It has the same principles – basically dont eat processed foods! Although the Harcombe is a little more relaxed than the Paleo because you can have some grains. I’ve been on it for months now, I went on it after Kate from Make do style suggested it. I’d been on a similar diet given to me by the doctors which was to try and eliminate food allergies, whilst it worked it hadn’t been totally successful. As soon as I started the Harcombe it was tough to stick to for the first week or so but now I do it without even thinking about it. It has 3 stages so you can bend the rules and have a chocolate cake should you so want! So it has fixed my food intolerance’s, stopped my binge eating from the steroids and helped me start to loose the weight Ive put on since not being able to exercise when I got ill. I can’t say it’s cured my illness but it has made me feel miles better and much healthier which all go towards fighting the disease.The diet aims to rid food intolerance’s and sort out other stomach problems and stabalise blood sugar levels so I can see how it could help diabetes. I would really recommend it to anyone. xxx

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  13. A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I do think that you need to publish more on this subject, it may not be a taboo matter
    but generally folks don’t speak about these topics. To the next! Many thanks!!

  14. Hi Pearl, I have been reading a out your struggle with joint pain. I am so sorry that you have to deal with all this pain. I was wondering if you have read upon being completely wheat free. You might check out a book called Wheat Belly. I have heard of many people with headaches and joint pain become significantly better by completely eliminating wheat. Even a small amount in salad dressings or eating out can set them off but at least they know that complete elimination helps them.

    • Hi Joanna, actually I dont eat wheat (nor processed foods and sugar) but that is due to an intolerance rather than anything else, personally I don’t find any foods effect my arthritis for better or worse however some people feel they do, wheat and also plants in the Nightshade family (aubergine, tomato etc) are thought to cause inflammation. It is a simple thing to try and can’t do any harm so worth a go for people, my disease first began to show with food intolerance since auto immune conditions are wide and complex it is common for sufferers to be intolerant to foods. When I first became ill it was thought I had food poisoning, then allergies and then intolerance. After trialing an elimination diet my doctor gave me I looked into eating plans more and now follow the Harcombe diet which is basically all about eating fresh unprocessed foods and shows you how to test your body for intolerance. It works for me anyway and now I find I can even cheat and have a cupcake every now and again will no ill effect – previously that would have had me doubled over with stomach pain and bloated for a week! I basically think that if you help your body out by eating as healthy as possible it is surely going to help it deal with disease even if it can’t help cure it.

  15. Hello! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone 4! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the outstanding work!

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