Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet, Part 2: Ten Easy Tips | Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet, Part 2: Ten Easy Tips

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet 2

What would a diet for RA look like?

Is there a diet healthy for Rheumatoid Arthritis? Diet seems to be one way we can impact our health for the good. If you read the last blog post with the crazy medicine cabinet, you know that there is not a Rheumatoid Arthritis diet cure.  However, we examined three key questions about a diet for RA. We’re looking for things we can eat which can make our symptoms better or improve our long-term health. You’ll want to read that post too if you missed it.

So what kinds of things should an RA diet include or exclude? How can you know what foods or supplements help you? What kind of special diet needs do you have because of RA?

Ten RA diet tips

  1. You could ask your primary care doctor to include lab tests which check for any deficiencies. These can be caused by either Rheumatoid Arthritis or by RA medicines. Ask him to go over the results with you. Get yourself a copy of your lab results and look up anything that is flagged. Ask for recommendations for changes or supplements you should add to your diet. Some supplements can be prescribed which means they will be a more reliable dose than over the counter. Things which showed up for me include iron and B-12.
  2. Whether or not you are at a healthy weight now, determine to eat as healthy as possible as a priority which may eventually lead to a healthier weight for you.
  3. If you are suspicious that any specific foods are either helping or hurting your Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms, keep a food diary and show it to your rheumatologist. If a certain food is a definite problem, consider seeing an allergist or immunologist for evaluation.
  4. Add antioxidant-rich foods to combat inflammation or free radicals, thought to be a worse problem for those living with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  There are hundreds of these foods. Check out the lists in RA Kitchen here. Or look for lists online like this one on About.com or this one at Cleveland Clinic and foods that are brightly colored. Some top antioxidant foods are berries, broccoli, red grapes, garlic, teas, beans, carrots, whole grains, or even popcorn.
  5. There are actually many different antioxidants. One called quercetin is thought hinder tumor necrosis factor (TNF); that is what Humira does. Some of the best foods for quercetin are onions, kale, leeks, cherry tomatoes, cocoa powder, apricots broccoli, berries, and apples with skin.
  6. Pay careful attention to types of fats. Choose as many healthy fats as possible, especially foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids. Some rich sources are flaxseed, walnuts, canola oil, cloves, cold water fish like salmon, and sardines.  Here is a list on Nutrition Data which gives amounts of Omega-3 in dozens of foods. Both flaxseed oil and fish oil are available in capsule form. An MSNBC nutritionist is a real fan: “Omega-3s actually work to decrease inflammation by suppressing the production of cytokines and enzymes that erode cartilage. More than a dozen studies have demonstrated that omega-3 fish oils can reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.” Omega-3 also promotes heart health and fights the effects of Sjogren’s syndrome.
  7. I read that one should not take more than 1000 mg. per day of fish oil without asking your doctor about drug interactions. A potent supplement should be considered a medicine as well as a food. The body does not distinguish between pharmaceuticals and natural remedies. Fish oil has caused blood thinning like NSAIDs do.
  8.  Add more beta-carotene to your diet. One study showed that RA’ers have 29% lower beta-carotene than the general population. Their conclusion: “These findings support those of a previous study that low antioxidant status is a risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis.” I don’t believe that this means deficiency, if it exists, is due to our diet. It is possible that beta-carotene becomes deficient as the body tries to fight the effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Many people with dietary deficiencies do not get RA. Two foods rich in both beta cryptoxanthin & beta carotene are pumpkin and apricots. Others include greens, carrots, beets, parsley, paprika, and sweet potato.
  9. Fight back against osteoporosis with calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium.
  10. Consider adding ingredients to your diet which are reputed to have anti-inflammatory properties. Although some of them may be unproven, they are harmless in moderate amounts. They don’t replace treatments that fight the disease, but I think of them as natural Advil if they give me any benefit. Some popular ones to include in the Rheumatoid Arthritis diet include, garlic, turmeric, ginger, dark chocolate, and various teas. Here’s one good list of anti-inflammatory foods.

This list is full of links to more lists that will keep us busy trying to eat healthy this year. I am collecting recipes and tips which incorporate these foods and others on the RA Kitchen pages. What about you? What are your favorite tricks for a healthy Rheumatoid Arthritis diet?

Recommended reading:

Kelly O'Neill Young

Kelly O'Neill (formerly Kelly Young) has worked over 10 years as an advocate helping patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the author of the best-selling book Rheumatoid Arthritis Unmasked: 10 Dangers of Rheumatoid Disease. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Through her writing and speaking, she builds a more accurate awareness of rheumatoid disease (RD) aka rheumatoid arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creates ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and brings recognition and visibility to the RA patient journey. In addition to RA Warrior, she writes periodically for newsletters, magazines, and websites. There are over 60,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook page. You can also connect with Kelly by on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is a mother of five, longtime home-schooler, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. She has lived over thirteen years with unrelenting RD. See also https:/rawarrior.com/kelly-young-press/

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44 thoughts on “Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet, Part 2: Ten Easy Tips

  • December 31, 2009 at 5:13 pm
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    Sending out a hoot, a holler and oh hell YEAH that 2010 is going to be a good year, a entralling year, a year to be remembered, for each of us to heal in whatever we need, in both spirit and physical, take the time to care for yourself, then the people that mean the most to you. With each new season, may ALL of us feel better and better, so in 2010 and wishing you a brillant new year, I say, Happy New Winter, Happy New Spring, Happy New Summer, Happy New Autumn, stay safe people and stay on the positive side of living! ! ! !

    Reply
  • December 31, 2009 at 6:25 pm
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    Great article! Thanks.

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  • December 31, 2009 at 9:49 pm
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    All the best to you Kelly and thanks for keeping up the moral and positive thinking for so many of us on RA in 2009- right into 2010~

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  • January 1, 2010 at 1:05 pm
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    Happy New Year Kelly and everyone else here! :star:

    I have been an advid reader of this blog, but this is my first post. I hope to become more active here in the coming year.

    2009 was my first year whole year with RA and Fibromyalgia. First dxed with RA. I have it in all my joints, but some joints hurt worse. The strong pain travels. My muscles are so tender and it always feels like I worked out WAY too hard, so my Rheumy dx that as Fibro.
    Anyone here with both?

    I take MTX and Enbrel. Just got off almost a year on Prednesone low dose. May change to an IV med, since I’m not getting any real relief. I just turned 40. Like Kelly, I have not had any remission, but I’m not giving up hope.
    I’m married with two children. I can’t.

    Thank you Kelly for all your hard work on this blog. You are helping so many people. 🙂 :cake:

    Reply
  • January 2, 2010 at 1:53 am
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    Kelly, how are your new treatments working? Are you getting any relief or seeing any new difference? I went back on enbrel, too long without it and hopefully it will kick in soon on the flares- let me know when you can =) Take care

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    • January 2, 2010 at 9:48 am
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      Thank you for asking, Viesta. It seems like only those who know by experience ask, “How is it…?”
      The Orencia has not kicked in yet. I have a lot of pain right now. Stiffness, weakness, and pain in 40+ joints. My hands are worse than ever &have spent the last few days in bed or on the sofa because of my neck. Really hoping that the Orencia will be my wonder drug because there is so much I want to do!! :sidefrown:

      Reply
  • January 2, 2010 at 3:21 pm
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    I am sorry Kelly, I know what you speak of, I have had it off and on now, the flares are starting to take over my body again after trying to be so positive for so long…..I see the rheumatologist on the 23 to see what the test say, same ole same, I am ready for 2010 to be that year we ALL of us hear we are in remission, I read that piece on Lucy Ball over the weekend, it cracked me up, she wrote how the shots they gave her were horse shots, she seemed to have moved on after that, I wish I knew what it was they gave her? Well Kelly, I think I might ask for one of those lil 1 motor carts this year to move around the mall??? Beats walking… and I wish you all the best, I sure hope something kicks in for you soon, this has been too long and I know you are sick of the pain, we need a change…. they need to stand up and notice us finally!

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  • January 7, 2010 at 11:50 pm
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    My trick is to drink V-8 juice 1 can a day if possible and take a prenatal vitamin with DHA every night. I do the best I can to get all of the good stuff in my diet, watch my fat intake, sodium and so on, use brands like Smart Balance instead of butter and SmartTaste Pasta instead of regular pasta (smart taste has a lot more protein). I only eat lean, low fat meats but only eat meats a few times per week. I also eat soy products such as veggie bacon or veggie burgers which are vurtually fat free and have so much nutrient. Very important, allow yourself “bad foods” too like McDonalds or a candy bar. Even chocolate has it’s benefits including vitamins, minerals, think of all that calcium for our weak and brittle bones!

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  • July 12, 2010 at 5:48 pm
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    I changed my diet on April 20th this year and have been unbelievably pain free ever since. If anybody wants to know how I have done this feel free to ask. I have posted the story before and nobody seems interested. I AM PAIN FREE AND YOU CAN BE TOO. Pain free WITHOUT medication!! I’m not “in remission” , i am over rheumatoid arthritis forever, as long as I stick to what I eat. Best of all my diet is not boring, it is not low fat (in fact it’s quite high in fat, SATURATED animal fat). Interested to know more? And in case you were wondering about weight gain I have not gained any weight and I am slimmer now than I have been in about 5 years.

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  • July 12, 2010 at 7:39 pm
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    Just going through the blog and came across this article and just wanted to say another great one Kelly!
    I believe in a very high quality natural diet for everyone, even if you dont have RA as our bodies are our temples and were not designed to have all of these junk foods and preservative and pestacides dumped into our systems with out putting strains on our organs. I use to be very alternative but have since laid that soap box down and praise science. Thank god that we have the advancement in medcine that we do now. I watched a poor Aunt have no quality of life as the result of having no meds. This woman ate organic home raised everything her whole life and ummmmm well she died of complications of her RA. I think we should do everything possible to eat healthy to assist our bodies in fighting this disease as well as be responsible and take our meds. I was on a completely raw organic diet when I was in a wheelchair and dont even ask for the list of supplements I was taking…… It was science that got me out of that chair not cherry juice or pumpkins or goji fruit or whatever I was buying and trying at the time. However I do have a new love for Grapes as a result of my healthy diet. I hear they reduce pain, and well they taste darn good, I still have pain but they are Yummy! Thanks again Kelly for another great post and eat healthy and drink a side of cherry juice with your meds!

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  • July 12, 2010 at 11:19 pm
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    This is in response to Lisa’s comment: It would be wonderful if all we needed to do is change our diet to cure RA. However, that’s just not reality. It makes me both sad and mad to see people, suffering from chronic illness and pain, exploited by people wanting to make a profit from $$ome false $$upercure. In their misled hope, some patients toss out their meds and $$pend their money in desperation. Profiteers without a conscience gladly take their money, leaving suffering patients to possibly face permanent physical
    damage and increased pain.

    And then well-meaning but ignorant friends and relatives suggest the latest fake fad “cure-all”, which makes those suffering with chronic illness and pain feel further invalidated, minimized, misunderstood, and isolated.

    Like I said, it makes me both sad and mad.

    Reply
  • September 1, 2011 at 9:55 am
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    I know this will be met with skepticism by most , if not all of you , but I have my RA under control , mostly because i cut out grains, a lot of vegetables and fruit from my diet and started to eat a lot more fatty meat. and butter. it seems kind of incredulous. My doctor shakes his head in disbelief, especially as I now literally have more energy than I have ever had, and my bood pressure is normal for the first tme in my adult life. Also , I no longer crave salt!! If anyone would like more information I’m happy to pass on details. It’s based on metabolic typing, so dont worry if you cant stand the thought of eating meat , you may not really have to. It just turns out that my metabolism is geared to a high fat diet due to my ancestry.

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  • September 1, 2011 at 12:28 pm
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    Lisa, is the metabolic typing based on your blood type? I’d be curious to know more. Also, what’s your ancestry? I’ve always craved salt. Lately wanting more spicy things. I’m a meat eater so that’s not a problem. It’s staying away from processed meats that’s supposed to be important though.

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  • September 1, 2011 at 6:11 pm
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    HI Chelsea, thanks for the interest. I have posted this story on forums before and didn’t get any bites. I thought perhaps people didn’t believe me! I don’t blame them because my story IS kind of far out… !
    OK the metabolic typing thing…. basically you complete a questionaire, it costs about $50 US to complete , and after you answer a bunch of questions about your body and appetite it gives you a list of foods to eat and foods to avoid.
    Well it was a great shock to me to find that nearly everything on my list of foods to eat was animal! I had spent the previous 20 years eating loads of vegetables and fruits and was “mostly” vegetarian for a long time!!! AS a child I had never felt really well ( I had RA in my hip sice the age of 10, but didn’t know that’s what it was) and always seemed to get every cold or flu that was going, so I gravitated to a vegetarian diet in an attempt to feel well. I didn’t notice… or I didn’t make the connection, that i was actualy feeling worse on the vegetarin “healthy” diet because I had so bought into the hype of vegetables being the path to health. I started to get symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome about 15 years ago.. and still thought my diet was healthy. Then I guess a couple of years before I got the full blown RA attack with swollen digits and pain and suffering I had a lot of pain in my body, sore ligaments, stiffness, my hip was out of control, sore every dAY, really sore! I decided I wanted to deal with the bowel issues and sought out the care of a naturopath. He intructed me to follow the “anti-candida diet” which I did, religiously for about 6 weeks. I was basically eating loads of vegeatbles, no fruit, no grains or sugars of any kind, not even dairy. only a little meat, very little FAT. And then I woke up one day unable to get out of bed, swollen and sore….. and a few more weeks of that it was before I did the metabolic test. I did the test on April 20th last year , changed my diet immediately to be mostly meat and basically it wasn’t long before all my RA symptoms left and it is now as if I never had it… except one of my fingers is now bent out of shape from being swollen for so long. In a way I kind of like that, because I feel so fighting fit now that if I didn’t have that finger nobody would believe my story!
    So my ancestry… I’m from NewZealand, but I have Northern European Ancestry, more specifically Norway. So that’s a place where meat was the most important food eaten all year. It was able to be stored and eaten through winter when crops couldn’t be grown.
    Interestingly… my irritable bowel is fine now. I also seem to have a fairly robust immune system now, in stark contrast to the forst 39 years of my life!
    The salt thing is really curious! I used to put salt on everything , except maybe ice cream lol. Now I can eat a steak sometimes and not put salt on it. Then i read something somewhere that made sense… adrenal stress… I have suffered from symptoms of that forever, lol, anyway i didn’t know it but one of the signs of that is craving for salt. one of the cures of adrenal stress is to eat more protein!! So aybe tht explains why I don’t crve salt now. I eat meat 3 times a day. The emphasis is ot so much on the protein , but the fat. the right kind of fat for my body, it’s ideal FUEL source, is saturated animal fat. Hard to get your head around, right?! I used to get terrible mood swings because my blood sugar was never stable when I was eating lots of vegetables and carbs. On the high fat diet I feel calm and collected because of the stable blood pressure , no more PMS!!
    I could go on. I basically feel like a brand new woman, it seems incromprehensible to me that so many people are suffering. I wonder if medical science made up it’s mind too soon on animal fat.? It just can’t be the bad guy they claim beause it really has saved my life. I get about 30 to 40% of my calories from animal fat. I bet my arteries are in better shape now then when I was a vego! my blood pressure was always low and so was my core temperature. those are indicators of poor health. well both are normal now. I sleep only about 5 hours a night, so if you think all this fat means i have to lie around digesting for hours… you’re wrong!! the other most interesting thing is that I dropped 4 dress sizes, I am now a size 10, and my weight has been stable for the first time in years. Oh, in fact recently I noticed my clothes are looking a little big , so I must have lost a little more! My weight used to yo-yo all over the place on the healthy food.

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  • September 1, 2011 at 6:15 pm
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    I used to get terrible mood swings because my blood sugar was never stable when I was eating lots of vegetables and carbs. On the high fat diet I feel calm and collected because of the stable blood pressure , no more PMS!!

    whoops, I should proof read before I click send… that should read “stable bloood sugar”

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  • September 1, 2011 at 6:19 pm
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    oh and on the subject of blood type and diet. My blood type is A negative. I’m “supposed” to be a vegetarian! In fact I read the blood type book years ago and was completely sucked in by that as well! At the time it confirmed the nonsense I was telling myself that a vego diet was good for me.

    Reply
  • September 1, 2011 at 6:28 pm
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    Caysea says:
    July 12, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    This is in response to Lisa’s comment: It would be wonderful if all we needed to do is change our diet to cure RA. However, that’s just not reality. It makes me both sad and mad to see people, suffering from chronic illness and pain, exploited by people wanting to make a profit from $$ome false $$upercure. In their misled hope, some patients toss out their meds and $$pend their money in desperation. Profiteers without a conscience gladly take their money, leaving suffering patients to possibly face permanent physical
    damage and increased pain.

    And then well-meaning but ignorant friends and relatives suggest the latest fake fad “cure-all”, which makes those suffering with chronic illness and pain feel further invalidated, minimized, misunderstood, and isolated.

    Like I said, it makes me both sad and mad.

    Oh , I was wrong, my story did attract interest..!! But you see, people DON’T BELIEVE ME. I hope Caysea reads my new post and can see for herself that I am not selling ANYTHING TO ANYONE. In fact I am willing to post up the list of foods that got me well for free, if people are curious. If you want to do the most accurate metabolic typing test you have to pay 50bucks ONCE. or you can do a less accurate one for free. but after you have that list you are armed with the knowledge to make yourself well for a lifetme, and probably resolve more than just RA. let me guess…. nearly everyone here has something other than just RA?? I bet nearly everyone has some kind of problem with their digestive system. am I right?

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    • September 1, 2011 at 7:07 pm
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      I bet that did not feel good to read that, Lisa. But knowing Caysea, there are tons who make these claims who actually are selling something she probably encountered.

      The problem of disagreeing / not believing something is something we all encounter. I think you’ll find several posts on this site, for example, where Chelsea disagrees with me strongly. 🙂 I wish we all understood RA, genetics, and each other better! But it’s not the world we live in. So we can express ourselves & try to learn from each other, but there will always be something or someone not accepted or understood.

      What you’re saying about food is interesting, but it doesn’t make sense to me w/ my own RA. My stomach is fine. My grandad had RA & so was his. I do beleive that there are subtypes of RA and that there are several things that are mis-diagnosed as RA, including various sensitivities & reactive arthritis. Also, a certain percentage of RA just remits on its own – so who knows why diet has cured your symptoms & it did not work for others? But I know many others who have tried & food made no difference – we want to “believe” them too, right?

      Thank you for posting, even though what you posted earlier was not agreed with. Thanks for participating in the discussion.

      Reply
  • September 1, 2011 at 8:16 pm
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    Hey Kelley:
    Great topic. I have psoriatic arthritis, not RA, but I have had tremendous improvement by RADICALLY changing my diet per a scandinavian study done a very small number of RA patients. I want to say at the outset that I still take my meds. I do not contribute my improvement to diet alone. I think it is a combination of diet + methotrexate and yoga. Under the supervision of a physician I did a week long fast limiting my caloric intake to about 1000 caloires of only organic fruits and veggies. After that I have adopted a vegan lifestyle using mostly gluten free grains. I has been a significant lifestyle adjustment and one that required a good bit of learning on my part. But I have to say I feel so much better and my labs are much improved. I don’t have the website link for the study handy but if you google scandanavian study of vegan diet and RA your readers will get hits. Again, I take my meds. I don’t think it’s diet alone. But the difference in my pain and inflammation and ROM on and off the diet is huge.
    Best to all,
    Amy

    Reply
  • September 1, 2011 at 11:42 pm
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    This is off topic but I need help. I am new to this blog and cannot find a way to email Kelly. I posted a comment last night to the post “What was your first symptom?” I came back tonight to see if I got a response and I cannot find the post. I don’t remember what month or year it was. Can anyone help me? Thank you:)

    Reply
    • September 2, 2011 at 1:15 am
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      Dawn, sorry, I’m behind but I do see you! I’ll write more tomorrow after I get back from my mri. Your post is there – it must be on the next pg of comments since that post has 334 comments – they can’t fit on one page. You can email me kelly@www.rawarrior.com – it takes a couple days but I answer all my emails!

      Reply
  • September 2, 2011 at 7:03 am
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    Hi Kelly,

    I understand people being skeptical , I really do. There is no way I could have believed this would work. the pain I experienced for so long… from the age of ten, really didn’t feel like it had anything to do with what I was putting in my mouth. what I have learned about diet and my body however is that seemingly healthy foods dont necessarily have a healthy result for everyone. For example Kelly, the foods that you list as being possibly good for RA, including tomatoes and onions and cocoa …these are all things I personally am supposed to avoid.
    The beauty about metabolic typing is that it doesn’t treat everyone THE SAME. it is based on your own body’s response to different foods. And because of that it wont give everyone the same list of foods I was given. (although I would be curious to know how it worked out percentage wise!!)
    I also hear what you are saying about some RA cases spontaneously remitting… but mine is not in remission, I have come to realise. If I want to experience PAIN again all I have to do is eat the foods on my “avoid” list in any quantity for a few days and bingo…. PAIN. so , I guess I am not cured, I have it under control by maintaining the diet by and large. I can get away with some stuff “off the plan” these days, I think because my body is getting stronger.
    I also take some enzymes which help keep my blood clean, and if I take those I seem to have a lot more dietary freedom. I heard about those initially from another RA forum and do recommend them also….yeah u will have to pay good money for those but after the first month or so you can cut back the ammount to a maintenance dose and I only take a few when i have pain now, i pretty much dont worry about a maintenance dose because I’m forgetful unless it hurts lol. i did the diet religiously for a few months though, long enough to see the effects before mediating with the enzymes. my body is a better laboratory than a lab lol. I can feel the changes, I dont need to measure them with tests!
    I have a pretty normal life now… including coffee and lots of great Australian red wine. so it’s not like I’m suffering through a boring life for the sake of my health. but Im pretty sure I would be if I hadn’t changed my diet!

    ps. for anyone who is curious the enzymes are called neprinol , they are supposed to keep the blood clear of excess clotting factors which help cause inflammation. as we all know…inflammation means pain. take away the inflammation and it seems to rid the pain too. I dont know how it works I am just observing that it helped me.
    for anyone who does try them I would really be interested to hear how you go so please post up any results. I cant say enough good things about them without sounding like i’m on the payroll LOL, but anyone who googles it can make up their own mind if they are worth trying.
    Well thats enough raving from me… I hope this has given at least one person some hope , if nothing else. Vibrant health is our birthright !

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  • September 2, 2011 at 7:09 am
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    I would be interested to know what diets people have tried to follow to help their RA that didn’t work. I have done lots of different things to try and get healthy over the years, including spending a small fortune on freelife goji juice, doing the 100% raw food diet for 6 months… Fit For Life, Blood type diet, I have always supplemented… I have spent fortunes on alternative remedies over the years trying to sort my gut out and all that did was make me more ill. it wasn’t until i threw out everything I thought was true about diet and started to eat for my metabolism that things turned around. I can’t deny the link!

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  • September 3, 2011 at 9:44 am
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    Is there a country or a geographical area within a country with little or no arthritis? If so, what is their diet?

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  • October 7, 2011 at 12:20 am
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    i get so tired of being in pain is there ever relief? i realize the importance of fighting and being strong but it is exhausting sometimes. What really works? im tired of being the trial pig. its feels good to whine sometimes to someone who understands. thanks

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  • October 7, 2011 at 6:36 am
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    Hi it’s me again the fatty food advocate…. The other thing that works for me… Have i mentioned this before? systemic enzymes.. The ones I tried first were Neprinol, which i read about on another forum. About to try some new ones that seem about the same and were a bit less expensive. Called serracor or something. They are pretty marvelous things i swear! But dont Google them if you really aren’t tired of pain and suffering. totally changed my life and gives me freedom from being so strict about diet.
    All the the best… None of us deserve that living hell.I don’t know if this is allowed but if anyone wants to email me I’m at 40spots@gmail.com

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  • October 7, 2011 at 11:09 am
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    Could someone relist a story about RA in the spine. Had it not been diagnois early it could have been fatal ?

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    • October 7, 2011 at 11:35 am
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      Jill, in rare cases it has been fatal – if left untreated and the spinal cord becomes severely affected. But there are less serious complications too. You can see a couple of actual stories in the Tag List for RA Spine (click arrow on the right side of this page). I’ll put the link here for you – click here – to see the list. You might be thinking of the story of Carla Jones’ mom called Death by Rheumatoid Arthritis – it’s on that list.

      Reply
  • March 7, 2013 at 11:43 am
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    Hi kelly And all of you! I have a question have any of you heard of the Auto Amunity Bible by Julia Liu Is it a scam? I found this on-line? Deb

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  • September 14, 2013 at 11:30 am
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    Thanks so much for creating this online resource. I am currently in the middle of a major flare up and was searching the internet for ideas to reduce the pain. One of the symptoms I have is that the pain andinflammation is MUCH worse in the morning. I can barely move and I am curious about the differences between the body at rest and the body awake and wonder if there is a clue hidden in that difference. Anyway…thanks again for the website. –Debbie

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    • September 17, 2013 at 8:00 am
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      Hi Debbie, we are not all the same – this disease is quite heterogeneous. However, there are a lot of people like you who are worse in the morning. We did a poll on morning stiffness and about 23% were worst in the morning I think.

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  • August 2, 2014 at 6:53 pm
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    I second the advice about watching the fish oil intake. I started getting lightheaded when standing up (was taking halibut liver oil, cod liver oil, and garlic oil at over their recommended doses) and my doctor suggested that I cut the fish oil intake for a bit and it solved that problem. I think it was linked… but with this disease, it is hard to tell. Some weird symptoms just seem to come and go randomly.

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  • February 26, 2015 at 3:53 pm
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    I was recently diagnosed with RA and so I begin the long journey of understanding what this all means. I am 43 and a proud single parent of 3 children 8 & younger. There is a lot of information on this site which I find both exciting and over-whelming. Thank you all, especially Kelly, for pulling this all together.

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  • August 3, 2015 at 4:22 am
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    I have been an RA patient for 8 years. I was unable to do most ,normal, things on my own for the majority of them. There was a time I couldn’t walk or raise my arm away from my side. I was convinced that there had to be a b,enter answer than all of the mess with terrifying side effects. After years of shots and infusions I stopped researching just RA , and started looking into auto immune. I tried a vegan diet for a year with very little relief so I ended that misery and moved on. Next I Avoided night shades which many people say are a big caus for the extreme flair ups, but I found very little relief. Everyday was miserable. Then 22 months ago I illimitated gluten from my diet. I had been relunctant because I really thought it was just a ‘fad’. But within a month I was feeling dramatically better. And within 3 months I was holding my bi-weekly injection to my leg and just couldn’t pierce the skin. I felt so good I wasn’t willing to put the medication (toxins) into my body. I chose to try a month without it. I havnt taken one since. I now only need an over the counter med for the occasional flair ups (usually caused my me accidenty eating gluten) but if I drink lots of water and eat fresh the following day the pain goes away within a day or two. In this time I also discovered fair ups triggered by eating peanut butter, so now I stick with almond butter. I am an RA patient that joked at one point (when I tried vegan) that I would do anything to feel better. Now, my joints still get tired before everyone else’s and my hands are clumsy and useless with anything that has significant weight, but I am so much better than I ever thought possible. All I can say if your like me .. It’s worth trying. Cause if it works for you it is amazing the relief it has brought.

    Reply
  • December 29, 2015 at 6:35 am
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    Hi, dear Lisa. I have also started out on a healthy diet and it resulted in wonderful health
    I am learning as I go, though, so advice from your side would be welcomed. Thank you for all the encourageing testimonies here. Theresa

    Reply
  • January 3, 2016 at 4:16 am
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    Hi…the article mentions the possibility of seeing an immunologist. How often do people with rheumatoid autoimmune disease get referred to one? Is this something that I should ask about for my daughter? (She’s quite a severe case.)

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    • January 5, 2016 at 11:54 am
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      It depends on what is available in your area. Many local immunologists focus on allergies, etc. If you are near an academic center, you could call and see if they have one who sees rheumatoid patients “for a second opinion,” especially if your daughter is not doing well.

      Reply
  • December 30, 2016 at 9:59 am
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    Hi Kelly!

    I’m about a year into this journey with RA, and I’ve been soaking in as much about nutrition as I can. Your site has been incredibly helpful!

    Since I don’t do well with big overhauls all at once, I am trying to find little ways to improve my diet each day. For instance, I “sneak” in a serving of tumeric by adding it to my morning coffee with some cinnamon and a splash of almond milk. I call it my breakfast chai drink!

    I’m looking forward to a new year of tweaks and improvements. All the best to you – Happy New Year!

    Reply
  • March 7, 2017 at 10:33 am
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    I have been thinking that I may have some degree of gluten intolerance that may be related to increased inflammation in my body… I have RA. I began to notice a couple years ago that when I ate grains, esp wheat and certain other hrains, that my pain seemed to increase within 24 hrs. afterward.

    Reply
  • December 18, 2017 at 12:02 am
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    Hi! I have recently been introduced to a supplement that is supposed to be A LOT more efficient at stimulating your body’s own antioxidants and eliminating more oxidative stress. Have you heard or looked into the studies behind it: Protandim?

    Reply
  • May 17, 2018 at 10:17 pm
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    Maybe I haven’t seen reference here, but have you explored a low fat, starch-based vegan diet? There are several Doctors promoting this type of diet with extensive science-based results. Apparently there are decades of research but there’s no money for big Pharma in diet. Drs are John McDougall, Neal Barnard, Alan Goldhamer, Michael Greger, T. Colin Campbell and Caldwell Esselstyn. They all contend that many autoimmune diseases (including Osteo and Rheumatoid arthritis can be stopped with this simple diet.

    Reply
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