Magazine Article about RA

I have just read a letter from a reader in a magazine who was diognosed with RA in her hands which were swollen and painful. She refused any meds as she read that they may cause liver and kidney problems and she felt that she may be swopping one problem for another. After reading up about foods etc, she decided to cut out bread, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, red meat and fruit juices. The long and the short of it was this made hardly any difference at all.

Her local health store recommended Montmorency cherries which they sold in a capsule form. She says that after a few weeks of taking these, the inflammation in her hands had gone and her doctor discharged her as a patient and she is now free of RA. She still takes these capsules and cuts down on all the above foods.

Does anyone have any comments on this, or experience of this happening ?

26 Replies

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  • Hey Wendy,

    Umm.. unless she mentioned what her Rhumatoid factor or Anti ccp score was I wouldn't convince myself she had RA. I couldnt hazzard a guess as to what she had though.*scratches head*

    If she did have RA i'd be VERY interested in talking to her GP and Consultant to view her before and after test results (I assume i'd be waiting in a LONG line of doctors and drug companies...)

    Is the article online?

    Jx

  • Hi Custard,

    The article was torn out and given to me, but at the foot of the page is is on page 40 of Woman Magazine, probably early January, if that helps.

    x

  • Cheers Wendy!

  • I have never heard of Montmorency cherries I'm afraid but had heard that for some people cutting out the deadly nightshade family is a very good way of helping allay RA symptoms. I am currently being monitored weekly for MTX because it has been affecting my liver function, which has been a bit raised on all fronts for about 3 weeks now. I will be discussing the results of my latest blood test with my GP tomorrow afternoon because I am also undergoing a fair amount of abdominal pain which I feel might be linked to an existing gallbladder problem that the MTX may be triggering and may well relate to the raised liver results. I am very concerned that my liver might be being affected by MTX because my relatively mild RA symptoms are not yet sufficiently severe to justify this and anyway I don't want to end up with RA and also with problems in my liver or kidneys.

    So thanks for telling us about this article - I'd be interested to know the answers to the questions Custard asks too. TildaTx

  • Hi Tilda,

    Sorry to be dumb here, what is included in the deadly nightshade family, which are best avoided. Yes I agree, our livers need looking after, I too have relatively mild RA symptoms and feel that the MTX is keeping it that way, but keeping an eye on anything fishy with my liver is paramount to me.

    I hope everything works out for you, might be that you need a different medication.

    The article was from Woman Magazine under My Health Story, probably January edition, it was torn out and given to me.

    Wendywoo

    x

  • Interestingly enough (or not!) my father had osteo arthritis and he always found tomatoes made it worse, As he really enjoyed a cheese and tomato sandwich for his lunch, it was a real hardship to give up the tomatoes!

    I was told that rosehips were very good for RA as a natural anti inflammatory. Not tried it myself but did try Gogi berries. Can't say it made any difference!

    Lavendarlady x

  • I don't think any one food type causes or contributes to the worsening of everyone's RA. I have a friend who is a consultant dietician and she says that gout is the autoimmune disease that reacts to food for certain but has never come up with a similar list for RA sufferers. I'm sure some people do find that certain foods make their pain worse but this varies enormously from person to person.

    If these cherries or juicing worked so well for all RA sufferers then I'm sure the statistics of those with RA per head of population would have seriously decreased? But it's always worth trialling to see which foods make the symptoms better or worse if you can find the time to do this in a really organised way i.e making a diary of foods consumed that matches with your RA symptoms so that you can spot recurrent offenders if any and elminate them from your diet for a period. You can do this while taking your prescribed drugs surely - the two aren't mutually exclusive? TTx

  • I certainly think that what we eat can help us with symptoms, and also eating badly can make things worse. But if RA could be completely cured by diet there would be no way NHS would fork out £15,000 a year for anti-TNF treatments! What was the magazine I wonder? I question whether it was a properly researched article, and whether the person really had permanent RA as I have heard that palindromic RA can flare once & then go away for a few years...

  • i found a bar of chocolate and a cold glass of cider helps me.

  • Oooh, what a combination. Hope you mean at different times as eating together sounds horrid.

  • lol

  • Hi

    Agreed that a good diet can help with RA symptoms but am very cynical about claims that one food or group of foods can cure RA.I think the NHS would save a fortune if it was true

    Julie xx

  • Hi,

    Well after last weeks discussion about eating coloured foods, I bought red, green and orange peppers. Green and red grapes, strawberries, tomatoes and cucumber. Now whats for tea!!? Axx

  • Well, you could make biscuits with chopped strawberries!

    That's a nice assortment.

    slice a 1/4 of each of the peppers, a little garlic and onion, in olive oil in a skillet, add a sliced and diced tomatoe, some salt and pepper and Oregano and/or basil and thyme, let it simmer about 5 mins and put it on some scrambled eggs for breakfast. Grapes go well with cheese and crackers.

    You will have all those veggies gone in no time. Then go buy some more. To good health, Loretxxx

  • Well, first of all, did she really have RA?

    Montmorency cherries are sour cherries, usually used for cherry pie. It was determined a long time ago that sour cherries can reduce a flare of gout. And they do. My ex used to get gout and he'd eat a whole can of cherries for 2 days and it was gone.

    So, then it was found they contain a large amount of anti-oxidents, therefore considered anti-inflammatory.

    But that is a fry cry from curing RA. If it were that simple, we would all have been treated with cherry puree or some such thing, instead of all these drugs. No, I will stay on the side of Medical Research.

    Now it's not going to hurt to eat cherries, cherry pie is my very favorite, but I'm afraid it would take anawful lot of cherry pie.

    It is a good idea to keep all fruits and vegetables as a major part of a healthy diet, reduce those foods that have little or no nutritional value, like pasta, or white bread. The highly colored veggies do contain the higest levels of anti-oxidants, so why not? I don' think any dietician is claiming them to cure RA or any other form of arthritis. Except Gout. That one is food oriented.

    could slosh them altogether in a blender and drink the stuff 5 times a day! :)) Lxx

  • No, no, please don't remind me of the dreaded princess and her juices...

  • Hmmm... I wonder if I can swap my twice daily celebrex tabs (anti inflammatory) for a couple of Montmorency smoothies instead?

    *Joking*

    *Kinda*

    :D

  • :) :) :D: :P !!!

    What a twisted memory she left with all of us!

    Uh, i wouldn't swapped the Celebrex, but add to the juice, what a zipped up day you could have!

  • A friend of mine was being monitored for RA and had exactly the same symptoms as me. The hospital kept her on painkillers and anti inflamms and were considering MTX as the next step but after a year all her symptoms went away. Remission? Or just not RA? I wonder if the cherry lady is the same as my friend, sounds like it to me. I think I will stick with medics on this one xxx

  • Well the year's not quite yet up for me yet but it's a bit of a gamble seeing if her symptoms went away isn't it Treesha? - quite a lot of damage can be done in a year I would have thought so she was very lucky and so were the hospital. And I do keep wondering if mine will go away still - as I believe this happens with RA in a few cases. Perhaps it's Palindromic Rheumatism which they say is RA with a faulty starter motor - sometimes it catches light and burns into RA - for others it remains as PR and for about 50% it dies away?

    Personally I think it's better to treat aggressively with the drugs and then if it burns out then great and you can stop them and if it doesn't you have yourself covered to an extent hopefully.

    There is nothing to stop us all from healthy eating as well as taking the drugs of course and that's got to be the best compromise. But some people definitely feel the benefit of cutting out some of the foods you are recommending Loret. The deadly nightshade family has been linked with RA on all these cranky sites and I've met people who say they have benefited a lot from cutting them out of their diet (not me I like them too much!). Red peppers and tomatoes as well as chillies and potatoes and aubergines are definitely of that family so if symptoms of RA worsen it may be because of this? TTx

  • Hi Tilda,

    Just a question here, if RA symptoms are relatively mild and, with me, some days I feel very normal, no stiffness in my hands or feet, how do we know if the RA may have disappeared and I am taking medication for no reason at all. What I mean is, if say my RA was this Palindromic Rheumatism, and it just died away, how would I know unless I stopped taking the medication.

    Does my garble make sense?

    Wendywoo

    x

  • I think that's the question lots of us tussle with from time to time. Everytime I feel good I start thinking that it was all a big mistake, and maybe I don't have RA after all - or it's gone. But then it pops back again before I've made a decision. Anyway, my current 'plan' is that if I don't get any flares/tender bits/swollen joints for 6 months then I'll ask Doc about slowly dropping the meds. But I've never made more than about 2 weeks so far, sadly. I had so much trouble getting the inflammation down to a level that I could get out of bed that I'm not keen to repeat that experience, so want to be quite cautious.

  • Just as Polly says - that's the big question for those of us with relatively mild RA. I don't know at all - yesterday I felt a bit of a cheat and preoccupied with gallstones, today I felt like a classic RA person with swollen fingers and knuckles and stiffness everywhere from feet to shoulders and neck - and SO tired. But then gallstones have been keeping me up in the night so maybe I'm tired because of that and also i took my MTX last night - and maybe I'm getting blue cold swollen stiff fingers as part of my menopause I just don't know Wendywoo it's all unfathomable sorry?! TTx

    Ps it's not your garble that doesn't make sense to me it's RA!

  • HMMM Tilda, I have read a little of nightshade plants, but haven't seen any studies done, other than what you hear of. Whatever works, works. It would be a shame to eliminate tomatoes in our society, Pizza, Spaghetti, Tacos, chili, oh geez, that would have to be the last resort and I would have to be totally convinced. I am a hard sell!

  • I am always very wary of anything I read in a magazine. Journalists seem to jump on rumours etc and blow them up just to make an article. I have diabetes and the amount of wrong information out there, in newspapers and magazines, is unbelievable.

    I don't, for one minute, believe that eating cherries can `cure' RA. Maybe they may help but I think that if they were a cure then someone would have realised that by now. Maybe they help to reduce inflammation in the body, but to stop it permanently - I doubt it.

    Just my thoughts. Maybe others will disagree.

    Jo

  • Totaly agree, Jo! I don't believe anyone relaying results of lengthy studies, or even short ones, is saying anti-inflammatory foods will cure arthritis. What they are proposing is these foods may decrease the amount of inflammation, thus pain, thus allowing us to decrease pain meds. Seems like that would be a good goal.

    I would guess those who don't have wide-spread arthritis everywhere would be more likely to notice an improvement before the "heavy duty" cases.

    Whatever anybody does, do NOT discontinue meds w/o your doc's OK. Remember, if you think you no longer have RA, that is because the meds are working! Don't mess with success!!

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