Do diets work or not work?: Hi there! Has anybody had... - NRAS

NRAS
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Do diets work or not work?

Hi there! Has anybody had any positive experience with diets that controls effects of RA symptoms?

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I've found an improvement in my RA since eating a healthy diet which avoids processed foods. I think getting to a healthy weight helps as there's less strain on the joints and blood pressure can be improved. I add turmeric to soups and curries as it's supposed to be anti inflammatory. I also take fish oils and evening primrose. I tried avoiding tomatoes and oranges as they're meant to be inflammatory foods but it really made no difference to me. I eat meat in moderation and avoid alcohol. I also started building regular exercise into my life, starting with walking and gentle swimming before gradually building up to 50 minute gym sessions and spinning classes. My RA is vastly improved but who knows if it's down to diet, exercise or methotrexate.

Paula x

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Paula you are an inspiration ...so no biscuits, crisps , cakes etc etc :(( ...I'll give it a try . Out of interest what fish oils do you take wasn't sure if I was allowed to but would like to as although I eat fish 2 - 3 times a week heard its so good for your joints ...thanks Claire x

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Thanks Claire :-) No I don't eat cakes, biscuits or crisps anymore but the thing with clean eating is the longer you go without these things the less you want them. I'd actually choose an apple over a cake now and believe me I never thought I'd ever say that lol. I eat oily fish twice a week too but just top up with omega 3 fish oil capsules, 1 daily...any cheap brand from the supermarket and a daily multivitamin. I know we should get everything we need from our diet but as I'm controlling my calories I think it's best to be safe.

Paula x

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Thanks Paula , apples it is x

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foodhospital.channel4.com/c...

I remember watching this. what's to lose? it seems like a good idea

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foodhospital.channel4.com/c...

sorry - particulaly meant the fish oils

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Thanks for your answers! I have been on a Vegan diet, no wheat, no nightshade veg, low sugar & fat , no citrus fruit for about 18 months now. With mixed results. It worked well for 6 months however than my symtoms returned and I now take a low dose of Methetrexate & Hydroxycholoquine. I still get flare-ups occ and have been looking at how to tweek my diet further. I have been looking at Clint Paddison program rheumatoidarthritisprogram.com and am wondering if anybody has tried it?

He looks soo convincing....

thanks xx

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I might buy Clint Paddison's book or DVD, I might even try the diet (I assume it's a diet ...) but if it doesn't work I'm going to hunt him down & bore him to death the way he nearly did to me with his sloooooowwww presentation that doesn't deliver.

Seriously though, the only bit that chimed with me was the bit about trusting your gut instincts that you can get better. I feel like that but don't know if I'm just in denial. Paddison's approach certainly doesn't inspire my confidence - just seems like a typical tantalising pitch - why doesn't he just outline his programme online?

I don't know ....... but I hope you find something that makes a huge difference & let us know about it too.

Luce xx

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I'll have a read of this thanks Matildaa but I don't imagine I could go vegan or even vegetarian. x

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Hi Matilda, I've also been experimenting with a vegan diet. I was trying to avoid taking medication, it all looked so scary. But like you, have had mixed results. It worked initially but then flared up worse than ever!

It's a shame there aren't independent clinical trials using diet, then we could assess whether the natural health practitioners claiming to cure RA are worth trying or not.

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It's one thing to sell supplements and so on, but to ask for money upfront for an unknown "programme" just seems to smack of a scam to me. If I really found a way to cure myself of RA and come off the meds then I would want to give it to as many RA sufferers as I could for free....in fact I'd be handing it out on street corners. I've read that a few lucky people do seem to get self limiting RA, or palindromic RA, that does die away - so perhaps that's what he had.

I've certainly improved since I've starting looking after myself better, eating well and exercising. I just stick to the basics...no processed food, lots fish & veg, limited dairy and meat, etc etc. But a good variety so that I do get full range of vitamins and trace elements and that seems important to me. So prefer to spend my money on fresh food than people called Clint. Polly

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Nras have a good page on diet on their website , there is no known cure for RA as you know, but Nras have laid out oils which may be beneficial I think.

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Since I gave up all white carbs and sugar I have felt a lot better, but it hasn't changed my RA. My cholesterol results have improved and my waistline has reduced.

I try and avoid processed and "low fat" concoctions as much as possible.

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I'm in the same boat as Paula - have lost just over 4 stone since RA started 2 years ago and exercise daily, in my case using the Wii Fit Plus, Zumba and walking the dogs. Like Polly I prefer to spend my money on eating an all round balanced diet with only wholesome produce and nothing refined or sugary and no caffeine either or wheat. I excluded wheat to help my gallbladder problems and IBS like symptoms 2 years ago.

I find if I stray from this I get a very sore tummy and if I don't keep my exercise regime up then my joints stiffen badly. I have tried coming off the 17.5 injectable MTX and the Hydroxy for just over a month and all symptoms returned so I know that for me I need more than diet and exercise to keep RA at bay. Hope this helps. Tilda

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Hello :) I agree with Phoebe 100%! Eating a healthy diet made up of whole, homemade, unprocessed foods will help your general wellbeing but won't stop the inflammatory process of RA. I avoid meat because I do think it aggravates my symptoms a bit but I make up for that with loads of fish and some tofu.

I also think processed, artificial "low fat" foods and other processed stuff is really bad for our health as they're full of preservatives and additives and loaded with sugar. And as we have a higher risk of all sorts of other conditions, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease, it's good to avoid stuff like that.

While I agree, meds are the only way to stop the autoimmune process of joint destruction, there are things we can eat that are really good to help fight inflammation, reduce nausea and strengthen the immune system. Stuff like nuts, dark choc (my favourite!!), organic fish, herbs and spices (turmeric!), and basically all fresh fruits and veggies :) To name just a few of my favourites!

Hope this helps a bit Christine xx

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Hi, just to sing the praises of Slimming World ......I've followed this for 365 days now and lost a massive 30 pounds. I am convinced this has helped with my symptoms not getting any worse.

Oh of course I've also stayed off the booze for 365 days but who's counting!!!!

Good luck, Jan

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Similar post to this one on 30/3/13 - My RA and Me... Great if it works but have to agree with Polly.

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I have been having VERY good results with diet, which I initially tried as a desperate measure to avoid starting a new biologic, Rutixan after a major flare in November and December. (Had been on MTX and Enbrel with only fair response.) I am on NO meds currently, with only some occasional very mild pain in my little finger - usually after eating something I shouldn't have.

I used the book, It Starts With Food to get me on foods that promote health (they have a 30-day "challenge" on their website to help you get started). Highly recommend the book.NY Times best-seller - good science behind it. I stick to grass-fed or pastured raised animal food sources, since grain-fed are pro-inflammatory (omega 3/omega 6 ratio out of balance). I eat non-starchy vegetables, fermented foods and home-made yogurt that has the lactose fully digested by the lactobacillus (24 hours); sock-eye salmon 2x/week. My diet is high in fat (healthy fats include avocados, coconut, ghee, pastured-raised animal fats, nuts.) I include meat broths and bone broths regularly to promote healing of my gut.

I think Clint Paddison's diet might work for awhile because it probably detoxifies the gut of overgrowth of bad bacteria with all those raw vegetables, but I think eventually a person may start to suffer without good animal foods that are nourishing.

My husband's ankylosing spondylitis (arthritis of the spine) is also responding to this diet - especially the non-starchy part. (See Kickas.org for information on this diet.) The SCD diet is similar.

Basically, I think if I can get my gut flora healthy and take care of a leaky gut, I will have this disease in remission. I'm telling you, I'm pretty excited!! My rheumatologist was completely unsupportive when I asked him about trying a diet: "Hogwash," was his response. Well, the way it is going, I won't have to hear that again.

I think it is a sad that we have to do so much research on our own to find alternatives to these drugs and receive so little support from the medical community. I also am angry that I had to suffer the side effects of these drugs for so long, when changing my diet is what seems to be making all the difference. Yes, the diet is a BIG change, but so is having RA! The drugs have their place' they can be helpful short-term in relieving us of the horrible symptoms, but then, why don't we get put on diets that may cure us??

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Here here!

I completely agree. Why aren't there any clinical trials being done on the effects of diet on RA. It seems so obvious.

Can we start some?

Carole x

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There have been some research studies, and some do show that diet can help particularly people with osteoarthritis. Other research I've read shows that diet can help us with things like the risks to our hearts. But none so far have been able to prove that diet can reliably provide relief from RA for more than a lucky few. Which is not to say that people shouldn't try, as if it works for you then that's fantastic and you have to eat anyway so why not try eating different things? What I object to is people trying to make money out of us by selling programmes. (...unless of course they were using the money to do more research to prove what works).

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thanks for your reply. I will have a look a the book you recommended. But I don't think I want to eat meat again.

I have already switched to a vegan diet (no wheat) with the odd bit of oily fish . I eat plenty of veg & rice & quinoa (good source of protein). I have also excluded nightshade veg & citrus fruit. I seem to be getting reaction when I east citrus. The bottom line is I only eat healty food. I have been on this diet for 18months and it worked a treat for 6 months but then I had months of bad flare-ups & I am on RA meds now. However I am still following the diet but recently have been having more flare-ups. Rather than trying more RA meds I want to tweek my diet a bit hence the interest in Clint Paddison. I will keep you posted of any developments

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If your flare-ups coincide with a period of increased stress, your digestive tract takes a hit - energy for gut repair is diverted to other parts of your body, blood flow is reduced, etc., so the digestive system isn't operating as well and consequently, a more "leaky" gut that allows bacteria, partially digested foods (or whatever it is that we, with RA react to) to circulate in your system and your immune system go into high gear. If this is the case, I would pick the foods that you find are the most easily digested (avoid starchy foods) and eat these for awhile, cook everything really well, drink only warm fluids. Interestingly, even holding a warm cup of broth will increase blood flow in your hands and your body then thinks you are relaxed=safe, and more blood may then flow in your digestive system! Finally, eating almond butter, coconut oil (fats or proteins) with all your fruit or grains will help keep your insulin from spiking. The main thing it to lower the reactivity of your system. Good luck! (If you ever do check out Clint Paddison, I'm very curious to hear what he recommends:-)

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Hi Matilda, There is a book you can buy called 'Curing Arthritis the Drug-free Way by Margaret Hills' if you go onto Amazon and read the customer reviews, it does get a very good rating. It was written by someone who was a nurse and developed RA whilst in training. It offers advise on what to eat and what to avoid and also gives some very nice receipe's. You can get on Amazon for 1p but think the postage is about £2.70.

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Many thanks for replying. I have read the book hence the diet that I am on now. It worked for 6 months ( no drugs no pains nothing) however than the pains returned and I am now on drugs but do still have flare-ups. I believe the diet that I am following is helping (vegan, mostly glutenfree, no refined sugar, no prepared food etc) but I was wondering how else I could tweek it. Thanks for all your replies - I keep you informed. M xx

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Amazing i came on this site about 4 years ago and got nothing but negativity when i talked about diet and supplements to boost digestion and immunity. I so pleased that there is more positivity around the subject now. I dont eat processed sugar and when i do i ache - proof if ever there was any! i also dont eat diary and avoid processed foods. Green smoothies are also a great boost and you feel instantly better (not joint wise just generally) after one. I too do not miss sugary food, on the occasion when ive 'treated' myself its a huge disappointment as all you can get from it is a sweet sensation no actual taste. So keep up the good food and you'll reap rewards, i'm a big fan of this, even if you do take the drugs too.

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Here's the keynote talk I gave at a recent health conference about the incredible relationship between diet and Rheumatoid Arthritis -

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