Almost drug free and now pain free

12 months ago I was on 25 mg of Methotrexate a week, Plaquenil 400mg a day and 4 tablets of Sulphsalazine a day also I was taking Naprosyn to reduce the pain.

For the past 10 months I have been on the Paddison program it hasn’t been easy but it has been life changing. Over the past 10 months working with my Rheumatologist we have been reducing my medications and all of my blood test have been excellent, no inflammation. just visited my Rheumatologist since my last visit in July he has reduced my Methotrexate and he now believes that by the end of the year that I should be able to come off it if all goes well.

My Doctor was very sceptical at 1st when I told him what I was doing and now he seems to believe that the animal proteins must be the trigger point for me.

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  • Oh well done you! I've always thought that mixing conventional and non-drug treatment was a good way to go. So glad that's worked for you, and I really hope that the next stage proceeds smoothly too. And even better that your rheumy is with you on your approach.

    It does make sense that if stress or smoking can be triggers for RA, then so can other things. And perhaps responding so fast to aggressive drug treatment Also shows that your body was helping the fight. It took me a year just to get under control on triple therapy, let alone think about reducing. However For the last couple of years I have had a go at reducing meds every now and then, but it never lasts more than a few weeks. I'm feeling pleased right now to have got down to 1.5g sulpha (plus 400 mg hydroxy & 20mg MTX) so you must feel great to have got so much further!

  • helixhelix some folks might disagree with this but I was told that there mechanism in brain that can make our body's addicted to prescription meds so this is why some people can have a hard time coming off medication.

  • I think I can tell the difference between an RA flare and coming off drugs - I gave up nicotine amongst other things so I do have experience of the way the body protests at removal of a something it's used to! And having joints go bright red, swell up and throb is not the same. But thanks for considering this.

  • helixhelix just wanted to clear things up and say I am not talking about ra and a flare up. Just thought that I should put it out there and explain how our brain apparently works. All the best.

  • Congratulations, Shaun

    What was the hardest thing for you in the Paddison program? I would have trouble eliminating dairy products. Keep up the great work and look forward to hearing more

    Cheers Doreen

  • For me the delight of being pain free is worth any sacrifice.

  • Great progress congratulations

  • Lucerito the chemicals etc that are in Dairy is the reason why a lot of us get addicted to Diary. The way I cut out certain foods from my diet was by replacing the bad foods with other foods and doing things slowly.

    If I am being honest if the Paddison program works for you that is great. However all the Paddison program really is, is a low fat vegan a diet full of leafy greans and you will be given food like buckwheat etc to eat. You don't need to pay a lot of money in order to start a plant based diet.

    Everyone's biochemistry is different and personally even though I really enjoy eating a plant based I know that there a lot of the Dr's are now talking about a high fat diet and inflammation in the body.

    Personally I have been seeing a functional health practioner and the reason why I like doing this is because they will look at your bio chemistry and come up with a diet that works for you and your body type.

  • Good to hear Shaun94, I am seriously pleased for you.

    Ok, not trying to hijack / argue / disagree with anything and apologies for the long post....

    One thing that strikes me from the little reading I have done so far, is that nobody seems to know for sure which foods or food groups are likely causative factors in autoimmune diseases. For example, some say cut out meat completely, some say leave in organic, lean, grass fed, non-farmed fish etc

    It seems to me that the approach the paddison program takes (and please correct me if I'm wrong) is to cut out pretty much everything. And I'm guessing reintroduce at some point? Or is that not an option?

    Whilst this is fine to a point I feel that there must be a risk of people not getting the nutrients they need from their diet and that could bring on a whole new set of problems. Over time, of course.

    Are there any approaches that are geared towards those of us that aren't quite so desperate, by which I mean whose disease is already fairly well controlled by meds and therefore perhaps do not have the motivation needed to stick to such a restrictive diet?

    I have recently made a few (for me, big) changes to my diet and drug regime.

    I have cut out, almost completely, dairy, refined white anything, processed food (didn't really eat anyway), nightshade family (chips and tomatoes are my favourite comfort foods 😟), non-organic meat, PPIs, NSAIDs, chlorinated and fluoridated water, all other drinks (apart from one coffee a day and the odd glass of wine at weekends only 😊) and any added sugar food (pudding 😟).

    I plan to stick with this for at least 6 months and take things from there.

    Issues I have with the total elimination method:

    1. I am currently trying to build up muscle mass due to big back problems leading to a huge amount of lost muscle in my lower torso. It's hard enough anyway, but if I cut out the types of proteins and branched chain amino acids that our muscles require to repair themselves (and thus grow) it's going to be even harder.

    2. Weight loss. Yep, I struggle to keep weight on. I have found that my new dietary regime coupled with increased exercise program have exacerbated this incredibly. Therefore sticking to a diet made up largely of leafy greens and not a lot else is only going to make it worse.

    3. Erm, there is no 3 I just wanted to make the list look longer. πŸ˜€

    4. See 3.

    In all seriousness though they are the biggies for me, I want bulk, I want protein and I like a glass of wine every now and then. I'm not gonna lie.

    Is there any research that shows the elimination approach has better results for people with currently mild disease symptoms than the approach I have suggested?

    Is there any research into diet vs stress as causative factors in auto immune disease triggering?

    Do people that don't have a stress (or illness / infection) trigger to point at for the 'starting point' of their condition have better responses from a dietary approach?

    Do as many vegetarians / vegans get autoimmune diseases as meat-eaters? (I realise the autoimmune diet and the vegan diet are not exactly the same)

    Is there any correlation between junk / processed food consumption and autoimmune disease? (And I know correlation does not equal causation)

    Kai-- any thoughts on the above? I appreciate your insights, and anyone else's...

    Just throwing some stuff into what seemed like an appropriate thread. πŸ˜„


  • No worries Kai--, I should really do my own research, just wondered if you had any thoughts on my ramblings.

    Such conflicting points of view, it's so easy to go down one path and ignore the things we don't want to see I find (confirmation bias anyone?πŸ™‚), a skilled practitioner such as yourself may already have sorted the wheat from the chaff...


  • hey I have got to go to bed but just wanted to reply to your message and tell you that I followed a lot of the medical mediums advice when it came out to down to detoxing etc with RA and at the mo I am currently trying to gain muscle.

    I would not say I am a skinny girl but I would say that if I just ate fruit and veggies then I would need to eat a lot of these foods in order for me to not loose a crap load of weight.

    Now that I am gaining muscle I am trying to eat an extra 500 cals a day but I am really just experimenting with things atm.

    I follow quite a few vegans who have wanted to bulk up but you may want to check someone out called naturally Stefanie cause she explains certain things if her vids very well.

  • Thanks kalel

    Not trying to give the impression I'm trying to turn myself into hulk hogan you understand, just figured a BMI (yes I know it's a flawed measureπŸ˜€) of 18.6 is low enough.



  • Sorry maybe I mis understood you. I thought you wanted to bulk up a bit and no I did not think you want to be like hulk Hogan!

    I am currently bulking up but I def don't look like hulk Hogan I just want to gain muscle and increase my body strength.

  • No I don't think you misunderstood - I lost a lot of muscle mass following emergency spinal surgery (twice) which meant I couldn't walk for about 4 months. As you can imagine I lost a lot of muscle in my lower torso. Frightening amount as it goes.

    Consequently I have been trying my hardest to get I back. Hence the bulking up comment. Currently going to the gym 3 times a week and doing stuff at home the other 4 days.

    As muscle gain is my motive protein is my friend.

    At least as far as I understand it.


  • oh ok thanks for explaining everything. I don't know if this will help you out and I am not really the best person to explain all of this gaining muscle thing but for me I eat a lot of carbs and prob eating about 15 per cent protein in my diet and about 15 per cent fat and when I can I try to add about 500 extra calories into my diet. Which has been enough for me to start bulking up. I am currently doing some cardio and weights but I have also lost muscle but that was my own I got very lazy.

    If it helps you out at all even if you don't listen to what this girl has to say about gaining muscle then there may be someone else who you may want to think about following on you tube.

    For me the only time now when I would not think about exercising is if I am doing a cleanse (when I have had ra probs)

    The guy that I was dating put on a load of muscle by eating a lot of protein but I am just careful about doing that because I know a lot of people that say eating to much protein is bad for us but if we seriously want to gain muscle then we need to find a balance and do what is right for us.

    I am really sorry to hear about all the health issues that you have gone through. I do hope that you are slowly starting to recover.

    Good luck with everything. If you ever need to chat you can always message me.

  • Yes I'm doing similar - cardio / weights type stuff.

    Amazing difference in only about 12 weeks so far.

    I agree about the protein / balance thing. RA and muscle gain aren't the best of friends it seems.

    Thanks for the links, I'll have a look.

    I think having recently cut out my favourite source of carbs (spuds, white rice and pasta!) I am needing to find other sources. I don't mind sweet potato, but.....chips 🍟 😬

  • Hey I will send you another message later/see if I can find any other fitness people that you may like.

    For me I am a vegan and have been vegan for so long I could never eat meat again and it seems to screw up my digestive system and I am sure my health probs stopped when I became vegan but I eat a lot of potatoes and other things. I normally eat raw food during the day and then some cooked food at night.

    I try to stay away from grains because I know most people say grains are really bad for us if we auto immune probs but a typical day for me atm are bananas, melons stone fruit and I am juicing a lot of celery juice etc at the mo and then in the evening I will normally eat a large salad and some potatoes.

    I did have a blip with my ra a while but I am starting to think that maybe these herbs that I was given by dr and building up my muscle strength has helped me and I am maybe able to eat foods that I could not of done a while ago.

  • See I've read that whey protein (I know not an option for a vegan) has real benefits with regards muscle gain, and I have banana whey (and soy milk πŸ˜€) shakes before the gym. Whey has lots of branched chain amino acids which are good for repairing muscle, according to studies.

    Which doesn't fit in with avoiding dairy, which I am also trying to do.

    I like the 'little things build up over time' approach, so that's what I'm doing.

    If I start seeing results I might do more, and then more.

    Who knows, one day I might give up wine. πŸ˜€


  • you need to do what is right for you but for me I avoid whey and dairy because I have been told that it depletes our calcium intake and we need to add in chia seeds and sesame into our diet instead.

    As far as amino acids are concerned well If you are eating enough and eating plenty of leafy greens you should not need to worry about that for example even mangos are a complete protein.

    For me I like the garden of life protein powder I will find the one I am using but I normally only buy raw organic vegan protein powders

    I don't know how bad your ra is but for me if I eat certain foods then I will end up in a really state. I think I am doing well at the mo but then again you never know with ra.

    You need to do what is right for you and your body. I mean for me I don't drink but on occasions if I did then I would buy vegan organic wine but that is just me and of course you need to do what makes you happy and what works for your body only you know how you feel right?

  • Amen to that.

    For me personally I have never felt a link between what I eat and flares. My RA was historically pretty severe but since Humira has been a lot better. In fact I haven't even needed a joint replaced for at least, erm 18 months, oh...

    Put it this way I was in agony now I'm in a bit of pain - mainly in my wrists.

    I am certain that stress was a big trigger for me, food I'm not so sure. I read people say they eat so and so and regret it after, but that doesn't seem to happen for me.

    That said I am prepared to try changing my diet to see what happens. If it helps I will carry on, if it doesn't I will reassess.

    If I carry on losing weight though I might have to start eating chips again. πŸŸπŸŸπŸŸπŸŸπŸŸβ€οΈπŸŸβ€οΈπŸŸβ€οΈπŸŸβ€οΈπŸ˜€

  • I read about people loosing lots of weight with RA...I'm gaining while I'm in a flare.

    My diet used to be plant based. I loved my veggies!!!, still do...but now I am eating everything!!!

  • I am sorry to hear that you have had to have some of your joints replaced. Whilst I am not a dr I would of thought if you continue loosing weight and if you are building muscle strength that should really help you out.

    We all need to do what is right for us but for me I started following a lot of the medical medium had to say about detoxing and then I listened to people like Dr Gregor and make sure even if bake potatoes and make chips they are oil free.

    In an ideal world if I could do a cleanse every month then I would do that but it is hard for me to do that because I love food and my body needs the energy but I am trying to really sort myself out at the mo.

    All I will say is do what is right for you but for me I am pretty sure we get ra due to the toxins that can be caused by us having a lot of stress in our life and a bad diet and just the way a lot of us live our lives. For me personally eating the way I do at the mo, as crazy as it sounds has been the best thing I have ever done.

    Up to you of course but if you can manage to find a holistic dr or a functional health dr I would highl recommend doing that.

  • Have you considered having all amalgam dental fillings replaced with biologically compatible materials (determined by blood test) and trying low dose naltrexone instead of traditional ra drugs in addition to modifications to diet? You might want to research these things. I was diagnosed with RA in 2008 and was prescribed various traditional drugs in succession (as none worked fully) and narcotic pain relief. After 6 years of this, I felt pretty miserable and decided there has to be a more effective way of treating my disease. After research and a lot of trial an error, I developed a plan that worked for me. I modified my diet (no gluten, no dairy, no refined sugar, no processed foods or "bad" fats, ate organic as much as possible), started various supplements like MSM (again, determined through trial and error), and weaned off prescription pain meds. My condition improved, and I had my amalgam fillings replaced by a "biologic" dentist, after which my health again improved drastically. The last step, for me, was to stop leflunomide and then start low dose naltrexone (for me, 3.5 mg/day before bed). I think I'm 90% "normal" now and I've been able to reintroduce a little cheese and some other foods that I avoided before. Everyone's journey is different and perhaps these methods are too drastic for you (and may not work for you), but it's great being off the drugs and have little to no pain and very little joint issues). The process took me 18 months and improvement was very gradual. Don't get discouraged! Good luck to you! Think you're moving in the right direction; diet is part of it, I think. But I needed to do more.

  • I'm so happy for you Shaun94. Take it nice and easy as you go drugfree. If you start to see swelling again then please seek advice from your rheumy. I wish you peace and love on your painfree life


  • It’s now been 7 months being 100% drug free, I feel now tuned into my body where I will have something to eat and just get a twinge in my knees. I stay away from the meat and dairy. I sometimes have cheese in some meals but in moderation. I have found it to be a real life changer and I have never felt better.

    If you could follow the Paddison program for a month to see how you go would be worth the change. I worked closely with my Doctor in the reduction of my medication. Just some food for thought what do some of the biggest animals on the earth eat? Look at cows, the calf drinks the milk for quick growth then it doesn’t drink any more milk for the remainder of its life.

    For more info look up Dr John Mcdougall and Dr Michael Klaper they also have some good information.

  • I'm happy your diet has helped you be drugfree. If RA is caused by our genes or environmental factors or stress then, I honestly do believe that some people's RA may be caused by not eating the right things. No one knows what causes autoimmune diseases.

    Having said all that, I have "fallen" off my plant based diet these past few months and I noticed no change in my pain. I believe my RA was due to extreme emotional stress.

    Maybe I should give the Paddison program a try for a month. No harm no foul....I have noticed a few (10 lbs to be exact) extra pounds on my tummy since eating meat again...and if it doesn't work for me then maybe I can drop this weight. :)

    Take care


  • hey Sue do what is right for you but personally I would not bother paying for his programme if I were you I would just buy his book and if I have also found the medical medium book is great but I do understand why some people are put off by him. I am also a massive fan of the ayurvedic diet.

    do what is right for you and your body but I will say this if your joints are weak and you have a lot of toxins in your body then you need to look at doing things like dry brushing and caster oil that can help remove toxins and healing your gut. Diet can be great but in my opinion if you had ra for a long time then at a guess you would prob need to do more than just change your diet in order to get rid of the inflammation in your body.

  • Not easy with diets!😰Have my RA under control with a very strict AIP diet. Have tried introducing foods back but find it hard.Dairy, gluten and eggs seem to be a no no, am not sure about rice. I eat a lot of good fats, meat and fish and vegetables, nightshades are out. I have lost a lot of punds and find it hard to put on weight.Getting enough carbs seems to be a problem. Doing a lot of excersize but getting back muscle mass is really difficult. Any good advice Kai--😐?

  • Hi again Kai and thank you for many good ideas but one problem is that Paddison and AIP are not on the same page as far as fat and animal protein goes. I am leaning towards seeing the AIP diet as having more scientific evidence backing it. Dr. Terry Wahls and Dr Sarah Ballentyn have both built their diet protocols to target deffficiencies and dysfunctions in AI diseases. The dysfunctional mitochondria needs energy and best and fastest form of energy in cellular metabolism is fat. The elimmination of allergens and the nutrient dense food all support the dysfunctional Immunesystem and has proven to substantially decrease inflammation in 60-70% of AI patients. It is really quite strange that these two diets seem both to work. I hope there will be scientifc studies soon that would help people understand how the diets can help and what their mechanisms of action is.

  • Interesting nugget Kai-- , so...

    ....kind of begs the question as to how anyone ever goes into 'spontaneous remission' πŸ€” or at least why some folk don't just go down and down and further down....

    Though I guess just because inflammation can cause intestinal permeability, doesn't mean it always will....

    Sorry, just initial thoughts / ramblings πŸ˜€

  • Hi Kai I wish you all the best, its a long road. My last visit to the Dr where he told me that I was in remission he checked the nodule on my left elbow and said it was reducing in size. I had never even thought of checking. I thought that I would be stuck with this nodule. I have checked and yes I do notice it has reduced. The Podcasts from Clint are great and keep you on track and they give you some small tips to try.

    One tip was our Bowel movement, I now do this about 3 times a day, I will do this also before bed and I will push the movement out.

    All the best, Shaun

  • Thanks Kai, Good idea I will take some photos to keep track on the nodule. I had written a comment on the Paddision Facebook page and Clint did ask me if I would like to do a podcast with him. I told him that I would like to. Hopefully I will be able to give something back and help others with RA on their pain reduction plan.

    Regards, Shaun

  • Hi Kai

    Did my podcast with Clint today, should be published in a few weeks. He said he has a few podcasts lined up in front of mine.

    Regards, Shaun

  • Hi Kai Good read for everyone with RA or autoimmune disease.

  • Thanks Kai, Yes it is hard work but well worth the effort. I will always remember the pain, and I feel for those that are in horrific pain.

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