September Blog - Sadiq Jiwa
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Michael: Hello my name is Michael Bentley and I have the privilege to be joined by professional golfer Sadiq Jiwa who also happens to be a patient advisor to arthritis research Canada. Sadiq, thank you for joining us.
Sadiq: Hey Michael it's great to be there thanks for having me.
Michael: Nail City you've shared with me that you were diagnosed as a child with JIA and so can you tell us what JIA is and what was the impact of that on your life?
Sadiq: So I was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis Jia when I was six years old. The symptoms leading to that diagnosis started a couple years beforehand and it was mainly isolated to the suboccipital joints in the back of my neck. Fast forward to today 20 years later where I have full-blown systemic JIA. Which means that more than 50% of my joints are affected by the disease. The impact that had on me as a child was significant. I didn't fully understand what it meant to be diagnosed with juvenile arthritis when I was six years old. I do remember that I was told that life was going to be a little bit different for me. I was going to not be able to do some of the things my friends were doing in terms of Other things related to any sort of physical contact and. Both physically and emotionally made me feel isolated right through my elementary school and high school years.
Michael: So obviously that was a traumatic enough challenge for you but it wasn't done in absence of medications. How was your JIA being treated?
Sadiq: So through my elementary school and high school years I was being taken care of by the Pediatric Rheumatology Wing at BC Children's Hospital. They were the ones who diagnosed me and they were the ones that were covering my treatment for a good chunk of the first decade of my diagnosis. And their approach to managing the condition was very much so utilizing different medications to get things under control they would do physical exams they will look at blood work and imaging to determine the state of my condition and then change up my ready medication regimen based on that and so when I first started I was just on anti-inflammatories and that actually put me in and out of remission a couple of times and As I Grew in the disease of evolved, that changed into me being put on more medications. I was on everything from the anti-inflammatories to dmards to biologic steroids and it really just felt like I was under their control in terms of the medication that I was on and what I was taking and not really thinking too much into how that was affecting my body on a short and long-term basis. It wasn't until I left the Pediatric Care Center and went to university and made a decision that I wanted to become a professional golfer that I took a much more proactive approach to managing my condition and when I did that things changed for the better.
Michael: So what does a proactive approach for you for treating your arthritis look like?
Sadiq: It means utilizing all the other resources that are out there to help manage my condition. The reality is there is no cure right now for arthritis but there are other ways that we can help manage the condition on an individual basis. Check for me that meant working with the guys at Pain Pro clinics and a physiotherapist in the chiropractor and all the other services that they offer. It meant looking into lifestyle changes, looking into my diet, nutrition and natural supplements and all these other ways that I could help gain an edge in managing the condition and be able to perform at a high level and be a professional golfer.
Michael: So movement exercise Hands-On therapy diet and supplements maybe just quickly tell us a little bit about the dietary changes that made a difference.
Sadiq: Yeah absolutely. So there was a lot of trial-and-error like I used to work with the nutritionist and there was a lot of trial and error in terms of figuring out What foods are beneficial for me and what foods I wanted to stay away from. For example, I stay away from alcohol and some caffeine and from too much sugar as I can stay away from the process of having any fried foods. Those tensions make me feel not the best after eating. The flip side of that is a lot of lean protein loss protein on my plate. I've heard this saying a lot of rainbow colored vegetables on my plate all the time as with those proteins in the rainbow colored vegetables has led to both making sure I'm able to manage their condition on a day-to-day basis. To be able to perform at the highest level.
Michael: Right and so leading question now. What about supplements? Tell us how you've experimented with supplements.
Sadiq: I didn't really look at them until I made that mindset change of taking a proactive approach to managing the arthritis. There are a couple of different supplements that I looked at. I remember the omega-3 fish oil or something I went in and out of wasn't too committed to because we weren't really seeing the benefits all the time. It wasn't really until I found Sierrasil where I was taking their powder and also using their topical spray. I saw some both quantitative and qualitative benefits to my day-to-day and long-term health.
Michael: And you are tracking it was not just a tad OTA you were tracking that with a piece of technology can you just quickly tell us about that.
Sadiq: yeah yeah for sure. There were two major ways that I've seen Sierrasil help me. One is just the overall way I'm feeling and I'm the person that knows best in terms of what my body is going through and I can feel that it's better while I'm on the Sierrasil. But to give some actual anecdotal evidence was I used to use an app called the whoop which is an activity tracker that's become a lot more popular End the elite Golf Community it was designed for high-performing utilizes variables such as you are sleeping or physical activity to then spit out a number and their algorithm that tells you your body's ability to recover the next day and therefore perform. I did a little trial and error with the Sierrasil where I started on it for a regiment of 3 weeks and saw Quickly. My recovery numbers increased from what their baseline was still quite a significant level. Not only was I feeling much better but it showed on the whoop that my recovery number got better. After I ran out of my initial supply of Sierra I stopped wanting to see if the wood could actually see a change and it did when 3 or 4 days later we saw my recovery numbers walk back down to those initial Baseline numbers. Three weeks later. On the Sierra Soul again in boom 3-4 days later by recovery number has shot up again and so with that couple with just how this year's show was making me feel they can be able to practice harder and harder and feel better in terms of less pain I decided to stick with him and it's been great so far.
Michael: And that's a really important point, Sadiq, that it's a holistic approach in that Sierrasil was helping you do the other things that helped you battle the JIA effectively. So, I think that's really positive. Speaking of battling, You are you've got some tournaments coming up and talking about golf before we come back to a couple things of encouragement that I would like to cover, if you picked a favorite golf course that you can play one round and could pick your your dream foursome, who would it be and which course?
Sadiq: Hands down that the golf course that I want to play at is St. Andrews in Scotland. It's the home of golf. I've been there once before but never got a chance to play it but I really want to go and play and see how long I can go there. My dream is there are two golfers I want to have with me in 10. A recreational golfer. I want the great Jack Nicklaus. One of the greatest winningest female Canadian golfers is Brooke Henderson and then just to throw a little mix in there Barack Obama would love to round out that foursome.
Michael: Oh well I'll reluctantly admit there are probably more interesting to play with me but you know we can get together another time. I don't qualify for this part of your journey for some but you know that's okay I'll get over it. One of the things we wanted to do in honor of arthritis month is as a way to say thank you to you for sharing with us, is if somebody goes to our web store this month, and in lowercase puts in arthritis for the coupon codes, we will donate 15% of the proceeds to arthritis Charities of your choice Sadiq, as well as adding another 5% off for customers. So, 5% off the regular pricing plus 15% to arthritis Charities of your choice Sadiq. So before we finish though what you went through was probably really and happy through it could be really really discouraging that I've always known you to be a person of gratitude and update what are two things what are a couple things that you would recommend to somebody right now who might be listening who's kind of down because I've got that pain and it's just well it's impacting their quality of life?
Sadiq: And the two things that I can or two pieces of wisdom that I could impart on everybody is have a positive mindset and stay strong with your regiment and how you're managing your condition. I know being a chronic pain patient for 20 years and only being 26 years old I understand what pain does physically and emotionally and how it makes you feel. So utilizing the other resources around you to keep your mind positive to keep going through that battle and finding better ways to help manage the condition with that positive outlook is going to be very keen. The second thing coupled with that first one is to seek out these other resources that are available. When I made this mindset change of a reactionary to a proactive approach That was looking into the physiotherapist into the natural supplements like Sierrasil and these are all the resources that are out there and I encourage everybody to go in at least look at them ride them and see if they will help because a good good chances that something else is out there that will be able to help you manage your condition and will lead to a better quality of life.
Michael: Sadiq, thank you so much for joining us. A couple of lessons that I take from this conversation is be proactive, don't be reactive to your condition. Be proactive, get out ahead of it, take a holistic range of solutions and try to stay positive and tap into the resources that are available in the community and in whatever relationships that you have. So thank you and best of luck this week in tournaments ahead. Thanks for taking time out of your schedule on the road to be with us today.
Sadiq: Absolutely thank you. I appreciate all the support and we will get out and play around golf soon enough don't you worry.
Michael: Even though I'm not part of the dream foursome. Have a wonderful evening and good luck in the coming tournament.
Sadiq: Great, thank you very much.