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Rheumatoid Arthritis and Flares: The Real Story

The collection of advice about RA flares found in a search of Google predictably misses the mark. What we call ‘flares’ can affect almost anyone with an autoimmune disorder and are well known to those with Rheumatoid Arthritis. They are a sudden increase in inflammatory symptoms, pain, fatigue, swollen joints, any or all of the above.

If you believe what you read in articles posted on Google and at the Arthritis Foundation, you will think that flares are an unpredictable act of God over which you are helpless. Since ‘experts’ on RA are all very well versed in pharmaceuticals, their advice is always the same: increase or change your meds until you regain control.

That advice is complete and undiluted hogwash.

It is especially disappointing coming from the Arthritis Foundation’s publication Arthritis Today which recently ran an article entitled Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet: RA and Food Allergies concluding: “A new study suggests that food allergies may be linked to RA, after all.”

Flares are predictable, and once you know how to predict them they are controllable, without adding more toxins, otherwise known as prescription drugs, to your body.

According to all evidence, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and very likely all other autoimmune conditions, is a food sensitivity disorder. Something, often stress, triggers our immune systems into believing that certain food molecules (antigens) are in our bodies to do us harm. Always anxious to guard us from danger, our immune system speeds into action to protect us from what it mistakenly believes are evil-doers, in the process causing our level of inflammation to sky rocket with predictable consequences. We feel awful.

The key to eliminating flares is to calm the immune system and over-the-top inflammation by adjusting the diet. A flare occurs in response to a new or different food we’ve eaten in the past few days that our immune system regards with suspicion. To eliminate the flare, we have to identify and stop eating the offending food. It takes three days for food molecules to clear the body but by the end of day 3 you will feel fine again, as long as you haven’t eaten something else that ticks off your immune system.

Everyone with RA who wants to treat the disorder naturally, instead of relying on life threatening pharmaceuticals, should begin by strictly limiting the diet or going on a fast (as discussed in the tab at the top: How to Fix RA), keeping a journal list of everything that goes into your mouth. In that journal you will also record how you feel the next day, specific joint by specific joint. Your journal will guide you to health by providing a road map of foods your immune system is trying to save you from.

Sooner or later, you will identify the foods that your body really, really hates which trigger your flares. Then, unlike an act of God, they become not only predictable but avoidable. If I, for example, cut too many corners or eat something I know I shouldn’t, I flare, like night follows day. Remarkably, and totally ignored by researchers, the flare will occur only in the specific joint that the food affects. Rarely do we have a whole body flare unless we have really screwed up.

Anyone who has had Rheumatoid Arthritis for any length of time knows that it waxes and wanes. Some days are very bad, some days are not so bad at all, and some days we feel normal and healthy again. Then there are the days we have flares.

The cause of the variable, day to day, course of RA is our diet which also varies from day to day. What could make more sense?

The amount of officially sanctioned misinformation about Rheumatoid Arthritis is sad, unnecessary, harmful and very costly for us.

 

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