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“Food Fixes RA? Maybe for You But Not for Me.”

I thought I’d tell you a little about the reception this web site has had since I started posting about a year ago.

There have been some wonderful success stories where someone decided to look for a different answer than the one handed to them by physicians, and, rather than rely on a succession of lethal and ultimately ineffective drugs to handle Rheumatoid Arthritis, found permanent health by modifying their diet.

Like Jen, who had been suffering with RA for three years and, rather than begin a new biologic to replace the one she had been taking which had lost its effectiveness, she decided to take matters into her own hands and do some research.

She found us and others online who encouraged her to find her own way and assured her that she could indeed triumph over a dreaded disease by making different food choices.

Like all of us who have made the leap from flares, fear and fatigue to good health, Jen has to handle the ups and downs and complexities of learning to work with her immune system by finding the right changes to her diet.  As food growing and processing methods change, as well as our bodies over time, control can seem like an ongoing work in progress.

But the same is true of the deadly drugs that are the current medical alternative. After the immune system is disabled by biologics, it adapts to the circumstances in the body and comes roaring back again. The drug in use then becomes ineffective and we have to either increase the dose or find a new drug and start the process over again. That is why the users of pharmaceuticals have to change drugs so often.

There will never be a time when the user of a biologic can assume that a prescribed drug has solved the problem forever. That person will always, at some point, need a new drug. Big Pharma, as hard as it tries, can hardly keep up and new immune system supressors seem to show up daily.

Sooner or later the rope will run out and biologics will no longer be regarded as the solutiion so many today think they have found.

Not all of those who landed on this website have had the reaction that Jen did.

There have been some who had early success by modifying their diet, hit a road bump, and decided that it was easier to just take the drugs. I have to admit that I did the same thing myself until it finally sank in that drugs would never be the answer. I didn’t like the idea that I would spend my life exchanging one med for another, hoping that the disease didn’t progress and that the drugs didn’t kill me. For me, as for Jen, the effort to find a way to work with my body was, in the end, the only way to go.

It’s as though our body makes a decision at the molecular level and nothing in the medical arsenal will override it for long. We have to work with the set of circumstances it gives us by addressing the immediate reason for its annoyance — food intolerance. Our bodies repeatedly reject a drug solution as though trying to let us know that pharmaceutical weapons will never control it.

There has been resistance from other areas, also.

There are many who simply don’t want to hear the message that those with autoimmune conditions can often control their own destiny. Chief among those are people and organizations who profit from ill health. When you think about all the money you and your insurers spend on drugs, doctors and appliances to control the condition, you will know who they are. Autoimmune disease is big business.

To be fair, there are many in the medical profession who simply don’t know (or won’t believe) anything they weren’t taught in medical school. And one thing they never learn in medical school is that the patient may at times be better off without them.

But Big Pharma doesn’t deserve a free pass. They know that diet is a major influence in the control of Rheumatoid Arthritis because they read the same research I do. Think about the cost of the prescription meds you take. Pharmaceutical companies are among the most profitable on the planet. And to an astounding, unconscionable, degree, they underwrite medical schools, medical education and physicians’ practices.

The next time you’re in a doctor’s office, take note of the ads for Big Pharma. Their logos might be on the clock on the wall, prescription pads, pens, magazines, or anywhere else. You never know how obligated the physician feels for all the largesse s/he has accepted from the drug companies. Research says the doctor will say the answer is ‘none at all’ but his or her documented prescription practices tell a different story. If you see no pharma freebies anywhere in your physician’s office, you’ve found a doctor who is unlikely to be conflicted about your best interests. You may have found someone you will want to keep.

There are others who are resistant to the idea that they can deal with RA on their own.

Some patients prefer to be patients. Being out there on our own is hard work and letting someone else take care of us is such a seductive idea that we can easily be blinded to the true cost. I will always regret that I couldn’t convince my mother to try it my way, even as she saw me break free of the condition and as her own condition worsened. She never trusted herself to handle her own life, despite daily evidence that her physicians had no good alternative.

I also regret that it took me as long as it did to trust my own body and give up the toxic drugs whose impact, in the end, was worse than the disorder.

There are others who block the message of this site for an entirely different reason. Sadly, they have been sick with RA for a long time, they are physically and economically heavily invested in the disorder, and they don’t want to hear that they could have done anything differently. While those persons have my deep sympathy, I would ask them to give themselves the opportunity to feel good again, drug free. Changing one’s diet may be difficult, and understanding the intricacies of one’s body may seem impossible some days, but it is a no-risk proposition.

The advice regarding diet and Rheumatoid Arthritis on this website has got me – and who knows how many others – banned from numerous RA forums. Some, like the forum hosted by the Arthritis Foundation, are heavily loaded with ads for drugs.

Last week Google sent an email notifying me that my (expensive) little ads for this website violated their requirement that I have the approval of some pharmaceutical institute to advertise a ‘cure’ for RA. Huh … ??? Eventually, they took another look and decided there was no violation of their rules. Never found out why Google, which runs millions of ads for health care, happened to send a rejection notice to us.

I wish I heard more from you all. I know you are out there because hundreds of you are subscribers, but most days it feels like I’m all alone in a vacuum. How are YOU doing?

14 comments to “Food Fixes RA? Maybe for You But Not for Me.”

  • Diane Ifflander

    Hi – I found a website called managing arthritis naturally on facebook. That was the first place that I read about RA and food allergies. I was diagnosed 3 years ago after having Lyme Disease and being on heavy antibiotics for a year. I see now the connection to Leaky Gut, etc. I didn’t really believe that food could make such a difference, but the RA was getting worse and I was having trouble walking even with plaquenil and anti-inflammatory – they have upped the anti to rituxin infusion. Anyway, I’m on my second day of autoimmune diet – no wheat, no diary, no coffee 🙁 , no beans, no sugar – and the swelling is almost GONE – its a miracle. It’s Thanksgiving and I stayed on the diet – because I want to get better so badly, I want my life back. I was an aerobic instructor – high energy – and I became a tired, achy cripple…now I have some hope – Praise God and Thank You for writing this blog.

  • Janis

    Finally! Other people get the food-RA connection! Changed my diet drastically and I have very little symptoms.

  • Elyse

    My mother has severe RA. I have suffered actively for the past 2 years. I am planning on having the RA and inflammation panel of blood tests done hopefully next month. When I eliminate or severly restrict eggs, gluten, nuts and dairy from my diet I am pain free. The swelling in my knees decreases by more than half. I take bee pollen, diatomaceous earth, omega 3, probiotics, Pain X, on a regular basis. Aspirin only if I have fallen off my “diet wagon”.

    I went from barely walking, suffering constant pain in my knees and back to being almost completely functional with in 2 weeks. A miracle!!! Just dietary changes, nothing else different. I strongly urge everyone to consider the effects of diet on inflammation of the gut as it relates to the increase of swollen joints and pain. This isnt just new age alternative wishful thinking. I believe inflammation is the source of all disease. Thank you for this blog

  • Toni

    I’m choked as I read your information as it’s a huge relief to read this! I’ve had RA for nearly three years now and have been put on Methotrexate twice, once for four months and once for two! I stopped taking it both times as have never felt comfortable with it. My flare over the last two months has been so horrendous that I felt I had no choice but to change my diet. I’m only on my third day but already am feeling positive. My digestion is already responding and my flare has calmed, although I know that it’s early days and things won’t happen overnight. I’m just sorry I didn’t try this earlier. It pleases me so much so read websites like this that are so encouraging and so well written. The information is very clear and motivational and it really helps to know that you’ve actually experienced RA yourself so you know what it’s like. I’ll keep you updated on my progress. How long did it take you to feel better?
    Kind regards
    Toni

    • It makes me very happy to know that I can improve the lives of those of us with RA, simply and naturally. Thank you very much for your comment. To answer your question, I felt normal again in 3 days, and continue to feel normal for as long as I don’t take too many shortcuts with my diet. The prescription is always the same for RA, and, I suspect, other auto-immune conditions: 1) use the 3-day fast to convince yourself that food is the problem. At the end of 3 days you will know for certain how to fix yourself without the prescription meds that are responsible for a rising number of deaths. 2) Keep a food journal to simplify the search for problem foods. 3) Never underestimate the impact of a rotation diet, where you eat food that are only marginal problems no more often than every four days.

      Let us hear more from you.

  • Terri

    Hello,

    Thanks for the info. I have learned through years of health problems and exp that what we eat or don’t eat and losing weight effects our health enormously. I was diag with arthritis a month ago (age 46) when I suddenly could not walk and had to resort to crutches and walker. At one time I couldn’t not walk at all the pain was so bad I needed a wheelchair. I will try the 3 day fast then veggie or mediterranean diet as recommended on your site. Keep up the good work. Father God will bless you for it. I was very depressed about having RA until I found your website. I hope the diet works. It sounds promising. If all goes well, and I believe it will, I will repost and make a donation. I have a website too so I know that getting feedback can be tough. Thank you again for your words of encouragement. BTW you are right about the drug companies. They and many docs only care about money. I rely a lot on herbal/natural God-given remedies that I purchase at my local health food store. Many of them have been life changing for the best. Hallelujah! Amen. God is good rain or sunshine!

    • Thanks for the feedback. It’s notes like yours that keep me and the blog going when I could be doing many other things. I’m shocked that your RA onset was so sudden. Remember 2 things: 1) RA is basically a food sensitivity disorder and not an Enbrel deficiency, and 2) any food item could be responsible for your symptoms, including some veggies. After you identify the immediate triggers and toss them forever from your diet, go on the rotation diet where you eat no food more often than once every 4 days. You will be fine again.

  • Marybeth Sullivan

    Hi Cameron,
    I stumbled across your website through another RA website. I went off Cimzia January 2011 and began a primal diet. I have been seeing a nutritionist since July 2011. It has been hard for me to pinpoint which foods cause me to feel bad. I am primarily gluten, dairy free. Do have farmer eggs that I buy from a local woman, on occasion. I try to avoid sugar and cook with EVOO, coconut oil and sometimes ghee (which I have made). No process foods. Lots of spices.

    I would like to try the 3 day fast but am a little hesitant. When I prepared for my colonoscopy, I felt very weak and not well. I did chicken broth (that I had prepared with organic chicken) and still felt very weak. I am 5’3″ and weigh 106lbs. Any suggestions?

    Am truly enjoying your website and intend to pass it on to a dear friend.

    Thanks,
    Marybeth

  • rdavenport35

    I am about to try your method, I think I have tried everything else.

    thanks bob.

  • Lillian

    HI thanks for the information. Food versus meds. excellent
    I hate taking meds because i know what they can do to the body
    I take colestrol med and want to go off it; my doc says i need
    to take it to keep my levels even; (as he explains: if i was
    diabetic I would have to take my med for that………. )and
    he has told me that before.
    How would i go about finding out which foods are right for me
    so i can get rid of the joint pain and the swelling?
    This is good news because i only take arthritis tylenol when
    i really have to; and don’t want to take it then.

    • Hi! Thanks for the note. It’s always good to find out that this blog is reaching the right audience.

      If I may comment on the diabetes advice: Unless you have primary, juvenile onset DM, which is a rarity, diabetes almost always disappears with weight loss. ‘Adult onset’ DM is a function of overweight and obesity.

      I wish I could recommend the foods that will make you well, but solving the RA riddle is a do-it-yourself project. You have to eliminate foods, keep a journal, and see how you feel one day at a time. Eventually, you find your triggers and voila! you are healthy again. (See other articles on this site.) It’s like magic.

      The foods that you should start eliminating are the ones you eat most often. They are the ones causing the problems.

      Best –
      Cameron

  • byron

    I was diagnosed with RA last week.I am experiencing a lot of pain in balls of feet,toe joints and it seems whenever I do something repetitively physical(put a new roof on my shed and new shingles)I had extreme pain in my thumb to wrist joint. hip and Knee. What i find interesting is that whenever I strain a joint anywhere that causes inflamation. The pain is about a hundred times worse than it used to be. This pain seems to move from joint to joint but is constant in my feet and left thumb joint. I take green source and cat,s claw. Apple cider vinegar and I start my day with a multi vitamin ,vitamin B complex, omega 3 6 9 and an antioxident. The pain is not quite as bad since I started this regiment. My Rhumatologist appointment is not until August 11 2011.so right now I am just trying to manage the pain. Very difficult to walk first thing in the morning.I believe their is an alternative to prescription drugs. I am going to try a three day water only fast and see what happens. I think there is some truth to PH level of the body causing this.

  • Erla

    First of all, thank you for your website. It has such a great information as well as inspiration for people like me. I have arthritis and I’m beginning my journey to try to heal my arthritis without the drugs. Your website has been a great help for me.

    • Thanks for responding to my blog. I just posted your blog – no more arthritis – in my links. Best of luck with your trip to Iceland. Too bad you can’t get what you need here. I sooo understand what you’re going through. Cam

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