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Comments (45)


45 Responses to “Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet: 3 Key Questions”

    1. tharr says:

      Kelly, I have read so much on this subject. I have tried a gluten free diet, one with antioxidant rich fruits and Omega 3’s. Bottom line is that I could not tell any difference on any of these plans. I have no doubt that they are a healthier way to eat and take care of your body, but as far as relieving my pain from RA, I felt no change through any of them. Either I’m to far advanced for a diet to help me or I’m to stupid to realize that they were making a difference.

      I know that poor nutrition can contribute to fatigue, currently I just try to eat a balanced diet of lean protein, vegetables and fruit. I’m not big on sweets, limit myself to 1 coke a day and no alcoholic beverages. I want to get back in the gym, but still hurt too much to exercise right now. I walk a little bit every day and do some mild dumbell exercises … all I can do right now.

      I would be interested to find out what type of plan others follow, any relief I can get from RA is welcomed.

      By the way, here is an odd little note to throw in on the subject, I was doing my best 2 years ago while I was working 60 (sometimes more) hours a week and eating junk I would pick up on my way to work. I am not advocating the pizza, nachos and cheeseburger diet (I’m not on it now) but looking back, it’s ironic that I was doing better then than I am now, trying to eat better. Maybe my metabolism is so slow it has taken 2 years to feel the effects of working those long hours and the crap I was eating. lol

      • You are so funny. 2 year behind metabolism. :chic:

        I have similar tales as you to tell about eating well and getting the worst RA. You are so disciplined about what you do now: if discipline or fortitude could cure RA, then RA would be just a bad memory. :razzmad:

    2. Jana via facebook says:

      well written Kelly. I noticed my first few years how many claims of relief were available…from suppliments to chiropractics. it’s sad to know that there are people on Earth that will take advantage of us and simply try to separate us from our money.

    3. Dadwithra says:

      RA Warrior, good post and thanks for the tip on the article of J. Hopkins. Several people have told me about diet and RA over the past years. I was always skeptical about the issue, even when presented with ‘evidence’ that two people who had RA followed a diet and are ‘cured’. I went to a dietician when I felt I needed to adjust my diet to go with my exercise regime (yes, here I go again 😉 The best thing that helps for me is a normal well-balanced diet.

      • Yes, the Johns Hopkins article is the best summary I have found. Healthy & well-balanced seems safest bet for now. A few additions may be good to make up for our deficiences which RA causes. And a few more “cautions” than the average person considering our high risk of heart disease.
        Exercise as long as you can, man. I hope I join you someday. 😎

    4. Chelsea says:

      Excellent post.
      RE: “2) Can some foods make my Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms better?”

      I live near a chiropractic college and often run into the students. They all have been trying to get me to come in so they can prescribe their anti-inflammatory diet.

    5. Hilary says:

      I have run the gamut on food and nutrition, trying so many different supplements (recommended by my naturopathic doc cousin and holistic docs), and nothing seemed to help except temporarily, as you said. But an odd thing happened: I had been coloring my hair for more than 20 years, with harsh chemicals, no less. My hairdresser did the main color, and I touched it up between sessions. I decided to stop the coloring, stop the inhalation of fumes, and went gray. I now feel a tad bit better; wonder if the chemicals seeped into my skin and destroyed some good cells? I can tell a difference, but it sure didn’t cure anything!

    6. Jules says:

      LOVE this post. If I see one more “I stopped eating XYZ and now I am CURED” I will probably vomit. Actually- I will probably get really snarky and say something like “Oh, so you didn’t really have RA, huh?”

      I fully believe that what you eat has an effect on other issues- right now I am trying to change my habits to keep my liver enzymes under control. I just cannot deal with the people pushing that if we started or stopped eating something we would be “cured”. It’s like saying all of us are so stupid that we wouldn’t already be doing that if it were true. Can you tell this is a touchy subject for me? LOL.

      Good Job Kelly!

    7. It’s so hard to tell what helped and what didn’t help because of the reasons I mentioned yesterday. That is why I felt I had to write that post first. “Proof” is difficult for those good reasons. We need good clean science.

    8. Aiko says:

      I was diagnosed with “sero negative RA” back in May. Since then, I have tried everything that I could find to help alleviate the symptoms including the joint pains, fatigues, muscle weakness, etc. Diet and supplements prescribed and supervised by my doctor who specializes in integrative medicine is one thing that I am continuing because it seems to help me quite a bit. My symptoms are at bay with the combination of diet and supplements. I was able to get off of my Plaquenil when all of my symptoms disappeared after 3 months of trying the regimen. In the beginning of December, I went off of the supplements with the intention to stay on the diet plan, just to see how I do. However, between the cookie exchange and Christmas party, it was hard for me to stick to the plan. The symptoms returned very quickly and now I am trying to reverse it again. I am slowly getting better. I have concluded that food does affect my RA symptoms because I can actually see the cause and effects. The supplements are helping my body to support proper function of my immune response. I also think that what works for me may not work for some. My doctor have prescribed the specific supplements based on various lab results.

    9. I sure 2010 is a better year for all of us with RA, thanks Kelly for all your blogs, it give us more to think about, have a good holiday!

    10. Karen says:

      I have had RA for 16 years and have been medication free for 10. In the beginning I was very ill, and spend most of my days in a paralyzed state from the extreme stiffness in my joints. I was leary of the medications, because the side effects were just as bad, if not worse, than my actual disease. I went out on my own and after extensive research, I learned to avoid the “nightshades” and all food preservatives. I am now in control and if my symptoms of my RA become bad, I can directly link it to a taboo food or chemical that I let slip into my diet. Please try this!

      • Karen, you say your “side effects were worse than the disease”. That may be a clue to why you are free of RA symptoms. Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms such as pain & disability in every joint or eye inflammation or heart disease are much worse than the nausea & hairloss of mtx or the bee sting reactions or rashes of TNF’s…

        This post explains why it is so difficult to make generalizations from experience. RA has different courses & degrees; medication and food do react differently because the actual disease varies; and there are other illnesses which may be mis-diagnosed as RA. If one does have RA, damage can continue while symptoms abate(remission), so a bone scan or MRI may be a good idea, even during remission.

    11. Viesta Morrison says:

      Kelly, I have read everything you blog on RA, and most of what you state pertains to my RA – I tried it all, the diet, the meds, avoiding certain foods, lost over 50 pounds by eating better – my RA was a lot better for Sept to early Dec of this year, but now that I have had a a few really bad flares, been in bed for days at a time, I have to confess, it is creeping back up on me slowly but surely, I click when I walk, that is the damage of RA, my hands click when I move them just the right way, so I avoid moving them that way, you can see the misalignment in my right hand index finger, my left hip pain has never really ceased- on meds or not, I have come to the final conclusion, RA is a horrible diease- that renders us all to some varied degree, never the same- all different, we all have the same affliction known as rheumatoid arthritis but we are like snowflakes, no two are the same, so the combo of meds and food that work for one person will not show the same results for another person??? Just a thought

    12. Jenni says:

      I have had RA for eight years and have been off all medications for five. It was to the point where I could not walk down the block or even lift my arms up high enough to brush my hair. The drugs I were on (sulfasalazine and prednisone) did nothing and when the doctor suggested I go on methotrexate, I decided to investigate other options.

      I attribute my recovery to diet and exercise alone. I have been off all dairy (for three years), all gluten and yeast (for five years), all processed foods, refined sugar and eat a mainly vegetarian diet with the exception of fish on occasion. I attend spin, step aerobic, and lift classes at the gym and have even gone out running, something my (ex)rheumatologist said I would never do again. It’s to the point where my family practitioner is amazed at my recovery and has asked me to share my story with his colleagues.

      I understand that everyone is different, but it’s disheartening to see the anger that some people hold towards holistic cures. I think more than anything we all want to offer help and share our personal experience regarding what has worked for us because we know what it feels like to be affected by such a horrible disease.

      I wish you all nothing but the best in your search for answers, and a treatment that you are comfortable with and will give you relief.

      • Hi Jenni.
        I don’t think anyone here is “angry” about “holistic cures.” I can only speak for myself, but I am trying to help people find the best information available about RA. From the journals I’ve read, the doctors I’ve interviewed, the scientists I’ve encountered, and the RA patients I’ve met, there is no cure for RA. I knew there would be flak for writing that, but I can only say what I find the facts to be. To do otherwise would be cruel and dangerous.

      • Anon says:

        Please explain to me then why I have severe RA and I am already on a gluten-free diet for years because of Coeliac Disease. That’s all I’m going to say about this bull. You need to look at other *reasons* as to why your *RA* went away because gluten-free isn’t the reason.

    13. Jenni says:

      Kelly, I didn’t mean for that comment to offend, and it wasn’t directed towards you or anyone else on your site.
      I’ve joined online RA support groups in the past and when I’ve shared my story I’ve always received a significant amount of genuinely mean-spirited backlash from people, many of whom stated that diet and exercise as an acceptable treatment for RA is a “joke”. I always get the typical “scientific research has not proven that diet does anything to help RA” response. All I can say to that is if I lived my life by scientific research I wouldn’t go out in to the sun…ever, would avoid most human to human contact, and would most probably live my life in a bubble. It’s also funny (maybe not funny “ha ha” but funny “Alanis Morissette ironic” funny) how scientific research changes on a regular basis and how much of it’s findings depends on who is funding it…
      Again, I should have clarified, and like I said before, I didn’t mean for you to think I was pointing fingers or trying to offend.
      I think what you’re doing here is wonderful, and I can imagine you are helping a lot of people. I am trying to get my story out there as well to see if what I have learned can help anyone else because what I have found that works for me has changed my life.
      I was reading more of your site and I came across a section where you mention laughter. I can tell you from experience that I have found a significant amount of humor in my own journey with RA and you’re right, laughter is some good, free medicine…We should all do more of it! :)

    14. Jill says:

      I happened to run across your blog today and am always drawn to the topic of RA and diet. I am 32 years old and was diagnosed a little over 2 years ago with RA although my disease began after my son was born in 2004. Immediately after being diagnosed I was put on prednisone and methotrexate, and a few others. In Jan of 08 I was given a gift. A referral to a practioner that specializes in acupuncture and Eastern medecine. After working with her for some time and staying in touch with my Rheumatologist I decided to attempt to go med free. I did not like the side effects from the medication and was still having flares anyway. It didn’t seem it could get much worse. I have been med free for over a year except for 15 days of prednisone which I just completed. I believe this is the best way for me to treat my disease at this time. I follow a very limiting diet of no gluten, dairy, sugar, no nightshade vegetables (eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes), no pork, processed foods are out of the questions, caffeine and I am most likely forgetting some others. I realize this is extreme. It is not easy and is not flare proof. Stress, weather, and other factors still affect me but my good days far out weigh the bad. I take a number of supplements and different combinations of chinese herbs as well. I see my practioner for acupuncture once a month and continue to treat see myrheumatologist for regular check-ups. It is important to find practioners who are open minded to both western and eastern medicine. At my last appt. my rheumatologist could not believe how well my joints looked and has started referring her patients to my prationer as well. I have spent lots of time working through old issues with a therapist. Old anger and resentment is too hard for our bodies to carry around. I recognize that this method of tx does not work for everyone and is a daily struggle just like every other way of treating RA. I am sharing my story with you all simply because I feel I was given a gift when I received that referral. I hope that this will inspire those of you who feel this may be an option for you.

      Warmly, Jill

      • URandomnessK says:

        Jill, I am very concerned as I read your post. Has your doctor done xrays, MRI’s, CT and ultrasounds? Sometimes the joint damage is yet to be seen however it is still there and it is still real. I am afraid that you are working with denial here. If it is not denial to the seriousness of your condition that it sounds like your emotions have created psychosomatic symptoms that look like RA but is not really RA. I have done extensive research, RA cannot be treated with diet and therapy and herbs alone. The damage will still exist and continue to happen. You have to be proactive and aggressive in treatment. I am not saying give up on what you are doing but remember that you are still causing damage to your joints when you could be protecting them. RA is a dangerous and ultimately can be a deadly disease, remember that when you choose your treatments.

    15. Hello RA Warriors, I feel that we all are warriors with RA. I am new to RA Warrior, I came upon it by reading a blog from someone blogging about RA on WebMD. I’m glad I did! I have an open mind about what my fellow RA associates are saying about the disease. What we say may not be for everybody but it is for body, as I have found from reading other bloggers. Continue keeping it “real”, and be mindful that you’re helping or encouraging someone with the enemy called, RA.

      I was diagnosed with RA in December of 2007, after being in the bed for 2 months because I was so tried, and all I had strength to do was lay in the bed, go to the bathroom, and take a shower, when I felt like it. The pain in my knees were so awful because of the effect RA. When I found out I had RA my left knee was already deformed and I wasn’t able to extend it fully. When I left my primary doctor’s office I had a referral for physical therapy, a rheumatologist and an orthopedic surgeon. I had physical therapy hoping that it would help, but it didn’t.

      I am 49 years, I’ve used a cane for the past 14 months. I’m on sulfasalazine(3-6 tabs a day) folic acid and Methotrexate (8 tabs a week), I was on Prednisone on and off (which I felt my best when I was on it) downside is weight gain and organ damage. Now because I’m at the max of Methotrexate and Sulfasalizine together and it’s not controlling my the disease, in about a week I’ll have my first infusion of Remacide (not sure of spelling). This is what I’ve tried to avoid. However, I know it’s important to control the disease so that it dosen’t do any further damage to my joints or organs. I try not to major on the side effects, like I did when I first started Methotrexate.

      I have a good Rheumatologist, he listens to what I want and I listen to him for what’s best for me.

      I know that one day I will have knee replacment surgery but for now I’m learning how to make my life better and comfortable living with RA. I have a sister who also have RA, hers was “more severe” than mine, she had/have difficulty using her hands, and I have difficulty using my knees. The good thing is we’ve been able to support each other.

      If you’re using Remacide I would appreciate hearing about your experience.

      Thankful that I found RA Warrior

      • Hi Charlene,
        Glad to meet a fellow warrior. I agree with you about keeping it real.

        I have not used Remicade myself, but I have some friends who do. I can still say this: you are doing the brave thing to fight the disease in the best way you can. It is a much more important medicine than the prednisone because it fights the disease. I hope you will do better with it.

    16. lindsey atkinson says:

      i have recently gone an seen specialist as my doctor was treatin me for athritis with out seein a specilaist or tellin me about my bloods been high etc so now a few months on i been on plaqinel an methotrextate i was on 10 mg an now on 15 mgs as from last night i have stopped the plaqas something is makin me sick every ay followed by high fever sweats chills an feelin like been hit by a bus , my knuckles hurt my ankles stop me from walkin the pain walkin my knees an elbow s too , i have bone spurs in my back , and my hands i can not use a pen knife an fork unless i use a fork without the knife i can not open drinks so if i thirsty i have to get some one open for me , high heels kill my ankles so flat shoes i must wear , if i dont get up an push my self out of bed i can not get out , my wrists hurt so bad that my left i have trouble bending , i try to keep all my pains to myself as i dont want people knowin , i have now decided to go on to a diet of no meat an night shades an sweets an things i shouldnt eat i only just found out about this from reading blogs this last week , has any one tried green lip muscle capsule they are ment to be good or if any one can help me with diet please do , also how did u react on planquinal an methotrexate ???? any help i would love , i am 31 yrs of age ,

    17. There have been a few comments here on this post which dispute the post. This is actually a good thing; a productive discussion is good for all. I have written a post as a reply to some of those comments. You can find it here.

      Also, you might find this post helpful, which has some specific concrete diet tips.

      And finally, don’t forget the RA Kitchen pages, full of specific things we can do to eat as well as possible.

    18. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by eurospaclub , Kelly Young: Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet: 3 Key Questions http://bit.ly/4wty3S Can food help or hurt RA? […]

    19. Dixie says:

      I was diagnosed with RA one year ago. Though diet is not a cure, removing gluten, oats, eggs, dairy, and soy (I tested allergic to each one of these foods) has taken me from living a miserable existence to a manageable pain-free (not swelling-free) life. I did a lemmonaid fast for ten days, and my symptoms improved drastically. This led me to take a stool test and through trial and error, eventually eliminate the foods that caused me continual pain for months. I still have RA. However, I can live a happy life with little stiffness and I am on very little medication. Diet can play a major part, if you are one of the lucky ones of us allergic to many common foods. If I cheat, even a tiny bit, I will be in pain again for 3-5 days. If I eat well and don’t eat anything I’m allergic to, I feel much better. It’s amazing how freeing this restricted diet has made my life!

    20. KarenWard says:

      I was diagnosed with RA about 5 years ago. My dr immediately put me on methotrexate which gave me some relief for a short while. She then added humira which didn’t work, then enbrel, which also didn’t work. She then prescribed remicade which again gave me some relief for a short while. Then the pain and stiffness and swelling returned with a vengeance. For months I was in constant pain, sometimes unable to even hold a pen to write my name, and the pain and stiffness was now moving into my neck and back. Prednisone was taken daily and I was beginning to have extreme side effects from that as well. I was only in my 50s and my future was looking a little glum. I was afraid I’d have to stop working and go on disability which would be financially catastrophic for me.

      Finally, desparately, I began to research RA and diet. To make a long story short (and since the end is the best part!) I’ll tell you my experience. I learned: (1)that most, if not all, of the natural nutrients are processed out of our foods, leaving us overfed but undernourished; and (2) that to make up for the deficiency in nutrients and, ultimately, taste, manufacturers and growers ADD artificial and chemical ingredients and preservatives that are incrediby harmful to our bodies, and the buildup of these toxins in our bodies have a detrimental effect on our immune system and overall health.

      My choice was not to eliminate any one food or group of foods from my diet. My choice was to eliminate the toxic additives and chemicals from my diet. For the past 9 months I have been eating primarily organic and natural foods and limiting my intake of sugar. Within 2 weeks my pain level went from severe and restricting, to managable. After 2 months I was pain free, waking in the morning with very little or no stiffness. After speaking with my doctor, I halved the amount of methotrexate originally prescribed. I don’t claim to be cured. I know I still have the disease and there is no cure (yet). But the benefits I have experienced from eliminating unnatural and harmful chemicals and toxins from my diet is incredible. Anyone who suffers from chronic pain knows how debilitating and depressing it can be.

      About 6 weeks ago, my husband and I had been away for several long weekends in a row and during that time it was not possible to eat organic/natural foods and it wasn’t long before I suffered again from the pain and swelling in my hands and wrists. But within a week after returning to the organic diet, the pain and swelling was gone.

      Perhaps it sounds too simple to be true, but then perhaps it is just that…simple…and true.

    21. Michelle says:

      My RA is secondary to Celiac Disease which in itself is an auto-immune disorder. I also am hypothyroid (auto-immune too) In my research I have read that once you have one auto-immune disorder you can have have 3-5 more! In relation to diet and the relief some people experience I would suggest talking to the Dr about the possibility of Celiac. 1 out of 133 people has Celiac and most are not diagnosed. Symptoms include nausea, bloating, diahrea, constipation etc. I was told I had IBS for years (over 10!) My diet now besides being Gluten Free, is as balanced, healthy and organic as possible. I stay away from processed, pre- packaged foods and try to make as much fresh from scratch as possible.
      Just a thought for those that may want to be checked for Celiac .. Do not go on a GF diet before being tested! you will come back with a false negative result! My gastro had me eat tons of whole grain whole wheat products then tested me. hope this helps!

    22. anne loder says:

      I’ve been told to use the fat sick and nearly dead diet it cure joe the truck drivers I must not want to be well if I won’t even try it! Guilt spreads thick in my mind. I do want to feel better not worse and I am trying with as much grace as possible to do thisjourney. Some days are harder than others some days I surrender and feel sad and grumpy and eat bad things but I’ve been fighting for 13 years no remission for me . My sons wedding is next week and I am afraid there will be a mother son dance and I can’t stand that long .I will fail in frount of our new family and old family . I already am stressed about it.He won’t mind but I will.He is a wonderful.young man who loves his mom

    23. Chris says:

      Regarding diet – I did find that if I eat pork, the next day I am miserable. So I gave it up, which was hard because my family loves pork. They still eat it, as I don’t believe in making them give up something just because I can’t have it. Still don’t eat as well as I should, and a busy schedule makes it hard, but I will keep working at it. After reading the post about celiac disease, I did some reading, and I will be discussing this with my doctor. I have learned so much from reading about the experiences of others. As they said on Schoolhouse Rock, “knowledge is power.” Thank you all for sharing your power with me.

    24. DG says:

      Was just on a holistic cruise, there were many people who cured or improved their disease by eliminating inflammatory foods such as dairy, gluten, red meat in their diet. Did not meet anyone who said they felt worse on a plant based diet. My own son has eliminated dairy and gluten from his diet and his chrohns disease has improved 80%, over the last three years with no relapses or medication. It can’t hurt to try diet modification we could all eat better. Your health depends on it.

    25. RAchica says:

      I think the issue here is the word “diet”. Yes, there is no “diet” that will cure anything! I was diagnosed with RA in 2007 when my Rheumy told me that if I didn’t get on Enbrel that “I would be in a wheelchair in 5 years!” Well, I never went back to her. I did my own research, found a more integrative Dr. and watch “Fat, Sick Nearly Dead” When I watched the movie, I saw the “autoimmune disease” treatment was the SAME regardless of the disease process. It’s still steroids, methotrexate, plaquenil and later on TNFs. After about 5 months of this cocktail of meds and no improvement (labs or symptoms), I decided to start juicing. It did a 14 day raw juice fast and saw immediate results. That movie changed my life. I can say now that I’ve been in remission for more than 2 years and I minute that I put something processed or sugar filled (even alcohol) or gluten in my body, I wake up with a swollen hands. I know these “anecdotal” stories piss off scientists but there is so much in our food these days, no wonder we are sick!!

      Stop eating garbage and eat clean food-I now eat paleo and do a raw green veggie juice everyday. It wasn’t easy, especially in the beginning but it was so worth it to not be on those nasty meds. The doctors will NEVER EVER tell you that food can make a difference. I used to have GERD, pain, indigestion, now NOTHING. I feel great!!!
      There is also a autoimmune paleo protocol to reduce leaky gut syndrome (something that everyone with autoimmune diseases have).

      • Anon says:

        So you have effectively just contradicted yourself in saying the “minute that I put something processed or sugar filled (even alcohol) or gluten in my body, I wake up with a swollen hands.” Right! So then it’s not RA causing it. As I commented above, I have Coeliac Disease and have severe RA, and I can tell you that I have a very strictly controlled gluten-free diet due to the Coeliac’s and the damage that it did to my colon, so please explain to me how you can justify your claims. Basically, this just muddies the perception of RA all over again, that it is easily fixed, that it’s diet, and worse, it profits the greeding ones pedalling all the herbs and garbage which desperate sufferers of real RA are clinging to without any real science to back it up.

    26. MAUREEN KINCAID says:

      this is my first blog about anything. I hope it gets to where someone will read it. I am NOT A TECHIE.
      I have been diagnosed withRA for 19 months. I had just had surgery for a brain problem, Hydrochephalis. recovered well from that; about 4 months later i woke up in excrusiating pain and my left hand was swollen to twice its size and I was screaming in pain.
      I didn’t want to have another “”something” to BE BRAVE about. But, I did. After being angry, then ignoring it, (that didn’t work a bit) I read everything I could find. I narrowed my findings down to nutrition. I stopped eating anything WHITE. It was a challenge at first, but became very easy and very enjoyable.
      My last visit to my doctor, he told me YOU HAVE PUT YOURSELF IN REMISSION!!!!!
      I hope this helps someone!

      • Robin says:

        Hi Maureen,
        Could you please delete my first post? I rewrote it but didn’t know how to delete that shorter message I wrote.
        Thank You,
        Robin

    27. Robin says:

      While never believing in a “one diet suits everybody” I found certain foods trigger my rheumatoid symptoms. For the past six years I have been able to control inflammation and avoid medication. I don’t know if this freedom of swelling and pain will last, but it has been wonderful and I recommend others to experiment with their diet and see what happens. I fasted for two days, then slowly added foods and beverages back into my diet. Sigh, every summer I try fresh corn on the cob again, but within two days the inflammation stops my enjoyment of eating regionally-grown organic corn. Gluten is also a no-no for me. And then there are foods I can eat, such as eggs, infrequently. It works for me (so far) and you won’t know if it will help you until you try.

    28. Robin says:

      I was diagnosed with RA about 14 years ago. Symptoms slowly worsened and reached the point about six years ago where I was strongly advised to try Methotrexate. While never believing “one diet suits everybody” I experimented with my diet and found that certain foods triggered my rheumatoid symptoms. For six years I have been able to control inflammation and avoid medication. I don’t know if this freedom from swelling and pain will last, but it has been a blessing for me. In the beginning I fasted for two days, then slowly added foods and beverages back into my diet, starting with foods that are usually not considered suspicious in terms of food allergies or sensitivities. Sigh, every summer II retest myself every so often to determine if the range of safe foods for me to consume has changed. Interestingly, before finding out which foods triggered inflammation and pain and eliminating them, I got a rash and abundant mucous discharge every time I consumed a coconut product. Afterwards, I could eat coconut curry and not suffer any negative consequences. Sigh, every summer I try eating fresh corn on the cob again, but within two days inflammation stops my enjoyment of eating regionally-grown organic corn. Gluten is also a no-no for me. And then there are foods, such as eggs and chicken, I can ear infrequently. This process of experimenting and keeping abreast of what foods trigger inflammation works for me (so far). I am not saying diet restrictions will work for others, I am reporting on my experiences with controlling RA related symptoms through diet. Best wishes to all who read this, regardless of what you do or don’t do to care for yourself.

    29. Jill Tate says:

      Hi,
      This is Jill in Idaho. I was diagnosed two years ago with RA. I did not tolerate the Plaqunil so I am on Methotrexate (.4mg) injections. Since I started on this road I have put on 15 lbs. I have basically a good diet with no gluten and no diary products. I read your site two or three times a week and it helps a lot. I currently am sleeping almost 10 hours a day and I do Tai Chi for 30 minutes and day, and twice a week for 90 minutes. I cannot get the weight off or stop my hair from falling out. I am not sure what to ask the doctor anymore. I do not have a thyroid gland so I am on medication for that. Any help would be appreciated.
      Thanks,
      Jill from Idaho

      • Jill, I’d talk to your thyroid doc and tell him everything you just stated here. Those symptoms are common with low thyroid, so it’s possible your replacement dose is not just right. I’ve been on thyroid medication most of my life & it can be tricky to get just right – your need can change over time & there are different types of meds. good luck.

    30. Sharon says:

      Although I wish I could say that diet alone will set anyone into remission, for some, it won’t. I have RA and it has not been an easy trip. I went from knee pain (off and on) to being unable to dress my children, let alone dress myself most days. I received my RA check-off list from the doctor and was sent away with a script for Indocin and D3. No follow-up appointments, no instructions as to what I was to expect. There was no mention of diet, nothing. I had to hear it from my mom who has severe RA, that red meat when eaten caused her more pain. I was in so much pain, I mean I couldn’t walk into the local Walmart to do any grocery shopping for myself and my children. Getting home was a nightmare, since I had to climb out of the SUV to walk up the wheelchair ramp that was installed for my mom. It hurt too much. I decided to tinker with my diet. It wasn’t easy, but I found what made me hurt more and blow up like a Christmas tree. I’m still tinkering with this diet. I’ve read and researched the Paleo diet, vegan, etc…, but not just one diet is a total fix. I know that some days, not all days, but some days an egg, just one egg in the morning, could cause me my knee to swell and hurt, but so could overdoing things also. So it’s not just one thing only, but a combination of things. There are days that I don’t feel like salad and I know that the brown rice will cause me pain (despite it supposely being “harmless” to us that have RA), but it’s something that comes with the disease. I really wish there was a one diet that fixs it all, but there isn’t. I’m not claiming that I am totally pain-free, but I do have the mobility to do some of the things I want. I can’t run a mini marathon, but I can now at least talk short walks with my children and even do some of the things we use to be able to do before. So instead of dissing what diet might do for others, I believe that instead of pointing out the “faults” with what didn’t work for me or the “tests” that did or didn’t run, I made it a point in my life to eat better, not just for myself, but my children.

    31. Prosenjit says:

      Thnakyou for your wonderful log. My mother is suffering from Rheumatoid Arritis for the past 2 years. I regularly check your website for new information.

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