My ex wife read some things online a while back which suggested that she could possibly mitigate some of her symptoms from her Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (a connective tissue disorder) by going vegetarian, and possibly even more by going full vegan. Is this really possible? Why might this be?

As some added background: people with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome have defective connective tissue, which is stretchier than it should be, and doesn't snap back as well as it should. It's frequently compared to the difference between taffy and rubber bands. They're frequently much more flexible than average, but are also much more prone to orthopedic injuries.

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She found that around seven years ago. Prior to her diagnosis, she had a fairly regular cycle of getting sick about once a month with flu like symptoms without anyone around her catching it. This was her normal expectation, her mother was the same way (also has EDS). Removing meat from her diet for a year brought her down to four instances of those flu-like symptoms. The following year, she removed eggs and dairy from her diet, and since then, she's not any more likely to get sick than other people in the household. Of course, when she does get sick (we are still friends), her EDS can still complicate things.

This happens because the GI tract is made up of connective tissue. Each person with EDS will have a different presentation, which may or may not include having faulty GI tract connective tissue. Therefore, not every person with EDS will have this same experience. Some people who do have EDS involvement with their GI tract will be sensitive to different foods. But it's fairly common for dairy to be one of the most problematic dietary elements and somewhat common for red meat to be one. My ex started with going vegetarian rather than giving up dairy because for her red meat was enough of an issue she tended to avoid it even before her diagnosis, and dairy seems to be everywhere. I think she indicated at one point that most of the people she knows with EDS who have GI involvement have found they were best served with going vegan, though there was at least one exception who found their dietary restrictions basically made going vegan infeasible.

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