Changing diet VS medication : Hello, my husband has... - NRAS


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Changing diet VS medication

Amyfarqxo profile image

Hello, my husband has been doing lots of research as he isn't keen on me being on medication long term and has seen lots of different alternative doctors (mostly in America) 'curing' people of RA by eliminating grains, sugar, meat etc.

How have others altered their diet and has it helped? In my opinion food is my favourite thing and I love cooking and experimenting so would be a little sad if I had to stop doing that.

85 Replies

Firstly to be blunt , tell your husband RA can not be cured. Wish it could but not yet.

The drugs have saved me from getting deformities or more problems that RA causes and I am so grateful for them.

Diet can help you feel better( look at the Nras website) and people will try to sell you RA duets, most of them are proven not to work.

However a good health Mediterranean diet is good for health and I think that is great. Di check with your doc before trying anything unusual as it can interfer with your RA drugs.

Your husband is trying to be kind stopping you getting side effects, you may get none and the drugs work very quickly.

Do investigate properly before you choose things other than is scientifically proven . XXXX

AgedCrone profile image
AgedCrone in reply to allanah

I so agree with your take on this subject. Earlier this year I bought a book called A Quest for Wellbeing , by Marina Young. Deep down I really knew the claims that this lady had weaned herself off Mtx & was now RA free couldn't be true....except maybe for her.

On reading it ( knowing it was distributed by a company called Seeking Sense & Science Ltd I should have known better) I knew I'd rather put up with RA than live on the diet this book recommends! Borrow it from the library & you'll see what I mean.

I mentioned it to my Rheumy ....a really sensible doctor who wants to find a cure as much as we do ....& he said what we all really know......if we eat sensibly we'll ensure we give ourselves the best chance to cope with RA.

Boring I know...but I fear that is the Truth!

Changing your diet would probably involve more cooking and experimenting, so don't worry on that score!

I'm sure diet makes a big difference for some people, but it isn't always the same things that cause problems. I was already vegetarian when I diagnosed myself last summer, and while messing me about GPs put me on NSAIDs which didn't really help. When I had to stop taking them a few weeks later, I started an elimination diet, giving up just about everything except fruit, vegetables and brown rice, and drinking pints of fresh vegetable and fruit juices. And that did get rid of the pain and inflammation I'd been suffering with for several months. And I haven't experienced that level of pain since.

With the elimination diet, after a few weeks, you gradually reintroduce different foods one by one, seeing if your body reacts to any of them. I found for me, the only thing that was really problematical was gluten, but I have tended to keep off most processed foods and sugar and dairy since the elimination diet. Some alcoholic drinks make me ache the next day - but it may be the additives rather than the alcohol - as I'm Ok with brandy!

I miss the convenience of convenience foods, so my kitchen is gathering gadgets by the week. Latest investment is a soup maker. I love veggie soups and this makes them so easy, without being tied to the cooker. Another recent purchase is a Phillips Quick Clean Juicer. My other juicer is a much better quality one and less wasteful, but it was too much hassle to use and clean. If you enjoy cooking, see the change as an adventure. For me, as my friend Dawn used to say, I only have a kitchen because it came with the house.

Matilda7 profile image
Matilda7 in reply to Em13

I've had much the same experience as Em13. I've done a lot of experimenting with eliminating various foods and fairly quickly settled on an organic meat free, whole food diet, with very little gluten, sugar, citrus, and cows milk products. I was diagnosed in 1978 and for many years managed without taking any drugs, starting from when I was first pregnant.

Unfortunately I have now had to go back onto drugs but my bloods are always in the normal range, and I keep as fit and healthy as possible by swimming, cycling and doing yoga.

The only way to find out if changing your diet will help is to try for yourself and it's great that your husband is so supportive!

A good tip is that it's often the food that you like best that may be causing you there anything you'd find really difficult to give up? Could you eliminate it for 2 weeks and see if it makes any difference to how you feel?

There are so many alternative products these days that it's much easier than when I started experimenting with food. No gluten free product ranges then!

Keep in touch and let us know what you decide to do.

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to Em13

I love the last line! I am still awaiting diagnosis but a few years ago when my liver was really inflamed I ate.much as you describe. I felt better but man as you also lose the.convenience factor. Such a pain.

DelicateInput profile image
DelicateInput in reply to Em13

Some alcoholic drinks make me ache the next day - but it may be the additives rather than the alcohol

No, it is not the additives. Alcohol causes inflammation in the body and, if you have an inflammatory condition, it will make it worse. Not only that, it is very bad for all forms of arthritis, osteo and gout included.

Some drinks are worse than others, eg beer is a killer, white wine is bad, red wine (which contains an anti inflammatory) is fairly neutral. I find champagne and sparkling wine OK as well. I don't drink spirits or know enough people who do to comment but this is the general consensus of an awful lot of people including me.

I used to think, early in this condition, that having a drink was doing me good but I thought it opened up the arteries. Well, it actually causes inflammation in the arteries, particularly in RA so it is quite dangerous (albeit smoking is a killer in RA).

Certain foods do cause inflammation in the body. Omitting them won't cure RA but it will lessen the inflammation and thus pain. The most notorious is red meat. Not only does it cause inflammation but it also contains prostaglandins which are known to cause pain and do cause musculo skeletal pain in numerous other conditions. There is plenty of hard evidence of that.

I think there might be a salutary less in not cutting foods out as well. I was told I had gout so went on a vegetarian diet. I have always eaten a lot of fish (3/4 times per week) but no meat. Both contain purines which increases uric acid and mine was sky high. Well, the supposed gout was a lot worse and was eventually diagnosed as RA. I do wonder, therefore, whether fish is an anti-inflammatory, particularly oily fish like salmon. I can't stand very oily fish but eat wild salmon. Just a thought. I am not planning on trying it out again just yet.

Em13 profile image
Em13 in reply to DelicateInput

I only drink maybe one glass a month; don't make a habit of it! Sparkling wine and cider made me more achey than brandy though. When we go out for a meal, it is hard enough watching the rest of the family tucking into proper dishes while I'm having to make do with whatever is gluten-free and vegetarian on the menu. As I don't like spicy foods, on these occasions it is usually impossible to avoid either fried food (chips) and dairy (cheese) as well. So eating out is a miserable experience, which I try to avoid.

I haven't eaten meat for over 25 years, but only gave up fish just over 10 years ago. I am eating oily fish again twice a week now (and taking krill oil), but if it doesn't make an obvious difference, will likely return to being vegetarian.

a lot of my friends who suffered with RA no longer have it by changing their diet and seeing functional health drs, taking certain herbs that suit their body, healing the gut and seeing acupuncturist, tui na massage and other things. It is all about balancing out the body and getting it out of the toxic state it is in at the mo and of course being positive and believing that you don't need to let ra get you down and you will be ok. Our health is our wealth right.

allanah profile image
allanah in reply to kalel

Sorry but they do have it , RA that is ! It doesn't go away , it's a long term life long chronic illness, but it can be controlled .

kalel profile image
kalel in reply to allanah

hey Allanah I have made about six friends that all had RA and no longer have it. Everyone is different and I personally believe that we have gotta be positive about these things I wake up every morning and tell myself that I am healthy and am always positive and happy and even my nurse told me the fact that I am such a crazy, happy person this has been one of the main reasons I never suffered with RA probs the way other people have done. We are all different and all need to do what is right for us. Take care.

allanah profile image
allanah in reply to kalel

I am sorry to disagree . But what do you mean they no longer have it .

The disease is variable and can on occasion be severe and then mire controlled. It does not just go away.

If it has in their cases I think the nhs would be interested. Certainly I have heard of some types " burning out" but it can still reappear.

One thing about me is I'm extremely positive and get on with my life, but I still have RA.

Amyfarq I think yes diet is important for all our health, no it's not a cure but it can help symptoms for some . The drugs are often used in such things as cancer treatments and I can understand where you husband doesn't want to see you on chemo drugs. But in RA the doses are so much less , many people on this site do have lots of symptoms to come on here to talk about.

Those that don't maybe don't think to access the site to say , get in doing well on low dose disease modifying drugs. Just those words, we have drugs now that modify the disease!

I wish my dad and grandmother had them , I feel lucky to have the choice.

Do look at the Nras site or call their helpline , they are so good.

Ultimately I agree with you it is your choice what you feel will work . Xx.

kalel profile image
kalel in reply to allanah

well you can disagree that is cool. All of my friends that have had Ra no longer have the disease. A lot of them never went on meds and saw functioinal health drs and did other things. Look after yourself. Goodnight.

seanjudge profile image
seanjudge in reply to kalel

I think statements are like this are dangerous to those really suffering and scared of the meds. It's isn't curable and herbs and diets, whilst possibly therapeutic, are not going to be a cure. Ignoring the meds and the science is dangerous.

gaymamma profile image
gaymamma in reply to seanjudge

Totally agree x

Simba1992 profile image
Simba1992 in reply to seanjudge

If you are able to control your RA with diet and supplements it's a far better alternative and far less dangerous than doing it with meds. The remission you can achieve with dietary measures is also in every way preferable to the clinical remission that you may achieve with meds, that you still need to take and that eventually will lose their effect. In any case perhaps the most essential thing is that everyone of us choses the treatment route that feels right. I have difficulty understanding why there is such a strong need not to give any credit to these alternative treatments that have in fact helped so many and where there is a steadily growing number of anecdotal evidence coming from both patients and doctors.

seanjudge profile image
seanjudge in reply to Simba1992

Mostly because anecdotal evidence is not the same as scientific evidence and until it is scientifically proven, those who follow and fail to achieve benefits from alternative treatment when they could've been using proven treatment will suffer worse long term effects from the progression of the disease. Internet hearsay often does more damage than good.

There is also the distinct possibility that those that have been 'cured' possibly never had RA in the first place.

Simba1992 profile image
Simba1992 in reply to seanjudge

So many unknowns still in AI. Nothing is really fool proof, not even close that's why it is so very hard both for patients and doctors to make treatment decisions:( We are always taking risks which ever way we turn this is why condemning someones choice of treatment doesn't help anyone. Hopefully different thoughts and angels can be analyzed together leading to a broader view and understanding, New research is coming up in a very fast pace.

All the best to you, Simba

kalel profile image
kalel in reply to Simba1992

Well said/agreed. I've gotta say since I startedseeing my reflexologist she has helpedme in figuring out what is going on in my body etc etc

kalel profile image
kalel in reply to seanjudge

We all need to do what is right for us and if I'm being honest whilst there may be a time and a place for people to be on medication the thing I hate about this forum Is when people like me talk about reversing there RA symptoms and they get a lot of backslash for it. Also if you want to go And see a fuctional health dr and see a rheumy and find out why you you got RA in the first place etc etc there is nothing wrong with me that. I really think its about time everyone respects each other choices as to how they want to treat there RA. Eg I have been following someone called the medical medium now for many years and he works with Drs and talks about RA and many other things I really like him but if someone else doesn't that is there choice and again let's all respect each other choices instead of there being this thing of you have RA and your gonna have it forever and you must take your meds. Ok maybe not everyone on here is saying that but there is nothing wrong with talking about alternative therapy and the different ways we are all treating our RA. Take care

gaymamma profile image
gaymamma in reply to kalel

If they never saw a regular doctor how on earth were they diagnosed?

kalel profile image
kalel in reply to gaymamma

lol of course they saws rheumy and were diagnosed with RA but what I'm saying is they did many things to reverse all there symptoms and no longer have the disease.

Anyway as much as I would love to continue talking about this I'm outta here. Wishing everyone all the best. Take care

AgedCrone profile image
AgedCrone in reply to allanah

Oh Alannah don't we all know people who immediately you tell them you have RA say they too have it & start waving crooked osteo arthritic joints at you?

If you can be bothered, you explain that RA is an AutoImmune disease& no you don't hang up seaweed so that you know when your joints are going to ache.

Most people who THINK they have RA have self diagnosed ,haven't bothered to be referred to a Rheumatologist & just assume they have the disease.....but they don't seem to wonder why it just remains aches & pains & even disappears in its own!

Before I was diagnosed with RA I didn't even think that was my problem....I was far more ambitious & scoured the Internet for whatever really rare condition I had contracted in India (had amoebic dysentery there) or even Africa (only got prickly heat there) but eventually I had to be content (?) with RA!

Maybe one day there will be a diet that " cures" RA....but I bet it will be so disgusting no one will want to switch to it!

A-Faye profile image
A-Faye in reply to kalel

A lot of people say they have "Arthritis" and got "cured" through diet. Those people most probably have OsteoArthrits which is normal wear and tear on joints and progresses with age. Speaking as a recently diagnosed (1year) 64 year old Physical Therapist who had NO idea how pervasive Rheumatoid Arthritis really can be, I am here to tell you this disease ain't goin NOwhere- it is here to stay. I am so thankful to be living in this day of Modern Medixine with multiple treatments that I thank God everyday.


kalel profile image
kalel in reply to A-Faye

Alice there is no way you or anyone can presume that my friends who were diagnosed with arthritis have osteoarthritis because that was not the case they had rheumatoid. Sorry but it really bugs when comments like this are made because ....

The problem is again we all see things differently and if you want to be on meds and tell yourself you will have Ra forever that is of course your choice but it will be never be mine. I wont have RA forever I can already see so many improvements and I will be fine and I will get my health back end of and you wait and watch it will happen. All the best to you.

Sorry everyone but there are far to many negative comments on here for me again lets just try and be respectful of everyone choices sorry but I will never be that person who tells myself that I will have arthritis forever cause that just won't happen but that is what I believe for myself and please lets try and remember before the negative comments come a flocking in if you think you will have ra and be on meds for the rest of your life that is fine but this is just what I believe for myself so please again respect my wishes and I will respect yours blessings to you all.

DelicateInput profile image
DelicateInput in reply to kalel

No, neither will I. The bugbear in curing RA though is that people do not get treatment in time. The drug companies state that the drugs have the best chance of working by switching off the immune process if they are taken within three months of symptoms arising. A lot of people do not get a referral in that time. Even the consultant I saw said we were late in taking the drugs and he did not think they would now work. They have helped but not as much as the Chinese herbal medicine that I took during the long, long wait.

Ribbon36 profile image
Ribbon36 in reply to allanah

I had it many years ago for years. Then it seemed to just go away (remission) It then stayed away for many years....little to no symptoms unless I used my hands in some really vigorous way for a long period of time then I would hurt. I also could sleep on a shoulder wrong ...and then that might hurt...but it was really few and far between. I actually forgot about it. Just recently, it has come back. I was reminded of the pain once again and now I can't help but wonder what helped to keep it away? The only thing that is different in my life is that both times I experienced the pain, I was inside for exceptionally long periods of time....and therefore probably lacked vitamin D. Not sure if that could have any kind of link. I do agree that it does not go away....but I can also say that it does feel like it goes I had totally forgotten about it until it came back!!!!

gaymamma profile image
gaymamma in reply to kalel

In which case they were misdiagnosed originally. There have been numerous tests tried by thousands of people under scientific conditions not one single difference was noted.

Not one.

If it was curable.

It wasn't RA.

Matilda7 profile image
Matilda7 in reply to gaymamma

Please give us references to these numerous tests that you are referring to.

thelmar profile image
thelmar in reply to gaymamma

If it was curable we would all be pain free and rheumatologists would be redundant.

Offer to break his leg or neck then offer him a plate of vegetables to mend it, I'm Celiac and has diet made a difference?, no, and RA does not just affect cause inflammation it can affect other things. So does he want you to risk blood clots, deformity, pain and depression, life changing limitations to ordinary things like walking?

If he wants to help you his research could include what happens if the medications aren't taken. And lets not forget the internet can be a dangerous place for claims of a dubious nature. Ask him why the NHS does not 'cure' us all by diet, it'd save the NHS millions in drugs. RA can't be cured, but it can be treated very well by modern medications.

I'm used to the GF diet but it has not made any difference at all to my RA, but Leflodamide has put it into remission. So you have my sympathy but do also ask him to look at the consequences of not being treated.

It seems that diet can make a big difference to some people, but not all. It can help you get to a position where your RA is in remission - not gone or cured, but dormant. But the people who can get things under control and stay under control with diet are in a minority. Most of us have to continue to take some drugs to stay in remission. Diet alone didn't work for me, although what it does do is help me tolerate the drugs with no side effects so I stick to a sensible diet of lots of plants, and not too much of things like saturated fats or sugars. And no processed food.

However, there's nothing to say you couldn't be one of the ones that diet helps hugely! What seems to be the most likely to be successful approach is to use drugs alongside diet to start with to get your disease under control, and then try to wean off them slowly with the support of your rheumatologist.

There's lots of interesting research going on about gut flora and the like, so maybe one day soon they will be able to tailor drug/diet regimes much more closely to us as individuals. Until then it's trial and error with both the drugs and the diets..... have summed it up absolutely perfectly! This is exactly the way I feel about this issue that will continue to raise its head on here... I think we should pin your comment on the diet vs drugs debate! Thank you

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to helixhelix

I think the sensible approach is best. Food is a kind of medicine. I agree with you. Eat wisely and take your prescribed medicine. Best of both worlds.

gwynedd profile image
gwynedd in reply to helixhelix

Perfect balanced response Helix. We shouldn't dismiss the effects of diet but more scientific research needs to be conducted, Scientific being the key word. Im the meantime I intend to continue to eat healthy and experiment with eliminating foods but whilst staying on my meds, we are all individuals.

Thanks for everyone's responses. I understand my husband wanting to help me but sometimes when I read on miracle doctors websites about people changing their diet and suddenly being asymptomatic it seems a little too good to be true.

My husbands mum has cancer and he has seen her go thru weight loss, hair loss etc on similar medications (although different doses obviously) so I think that's why he is finding it hard to think that I will be on the same treatment.

Maybe I'm naive but I trust that my doctors in the NHS are doing the best for me and that if they thought a change in my diet would help then they would be recommending it themselves.

Hi Amy...sorry to read that you too have RA and about your husband's mum also. I agree all doctors would be prescribing a change in diet if they thought it would cure us...but I think a healthy balanced diet along side the drugs can help especially until we have our condition under some kind of control. As I've said above, I think Helix has summed it perfectly and that is the approach I take too. Good luck 🙂

helixhelix profile image
helixhelix in reply to Amyfarqxo

My NHS rheumy does talk about lifestyle as being important in managing the disease - so number 1 on her list is stop smoking, 2 is get your weight right, 3 is take a good balance of rest & exercise and 4 is eat properly (not miracle cures, or supplements but avoiding a high fat, high processed food diet). It's part of the picture, so ask your rheumy what he/she thinks.

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to helixhelix

I think this is great advice. We should all live with this kind of balance in mind.

Gigi71 profile image
Gigi71 in reply to Amyfarqxo

Hi Amy...I started the Zoe Harcombe diet 3 years ago its by no means a starvation diet. It's low carb high protein and helps me greatly alongside my meds. She explains why we need foods to rebuild our bodies. Processed foods contain so many additives we just don't need. Take a look on line if it's not for you then fine. You must do what you are comfortable with. Good luck.

kalel profile image
kalel in reply to Amyfarqxo

amyfarqxo just a quick note to say that reversing ra isn't only about changing your diet. Unfortunately there is far more to it than that to start it is about looking at your gut health do you have leaky gut, do you suffer with a lot of stress in your life or have you in the past, is your thyroid in good shape, what is your medical history my list could go on but if you manage to find some good alternative health DRS yes drs not some hippy dippy person on the net then go and talk to them if you can and see what they have to say and see if they can help you out. Ok if you don't want to do that then don't but what have you got to loose by talking to a really good functional health dr etc?

just a side note to say that whilst I understand not everyone wants to be vegan the vegan lifestyle is not limiting if anything since I became vegan many years ago it is now popular than ever and a lot of the supermarkets are in high demand to supply us vegans with more options were all different but for me being vegan was the best thing I have ever done. Where a lot of people go wrong on the vegan lifestyle is they don't eat enough.

Do what is right for you but that is just my opinion on things. Take care.

Paulajolo profile image
Paulajolo in reply to Amyfarqxo

I was diagnosed 8 months ago. I have been following Dr Peter Osborne book called No Grain No Pain. Its very tough. It's helped keep pain down but not the inflammation meds do that. We need to combine both for best results. My RA has not improved yet because I have had adverse effects to the meds.

I don't believe the doctors are informed about either diet or supplements. Mine certainly aren't and are keen to point this out.

My Mum was diagnosed with inoperable, untreatable, fast growing brain tumours in Sept 2013, and died in February 2014. My sister and I prepared all her meals from her diagnosis. Although we were not able to save her with nutrition (Budwig Protocol), we would never tell others in the same situation not to try. So it should be with RA. You need to do what you feel in your heart is right for YOU.

The wife of someone I knew was diagnosed with cancer and sent home from Pilgrim and told to put her affairs in order as there was nothing they could do for her. Her husband arranged for her to begin Gerson Therapy (another nutritional therapy, but much more intensive than the one we used with Mum). She lived another 17 years, much of them cancer-free.

I understand your husband's concerns about the drugs - they terrify me too, particularly the chemo one. Yet, I still take two DMARDs for my early RA. As helixhelix says, it is important to get the RA under control before anything else. The drugs affect different systems within the body, not just the ones they are targeting, so good nutrition is important to help minimise the side effects.

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to Em13

Sorry about your mom Em13. I do appreciate that you shared two different results as it could be diet that helped in the one case and not your mom's.

I think that food is medicine. But it isn't a miracle cure either.

My dad lived 8 years after his diagnosis that he had 4 months to live. We credit the scotch for his extra time. Lol. But who knows. Maybe his system was better at fighting disease or maybe his optimism?

kalel profile image
kalel in reply to Em13

hey Em I am so sorry to hear about your mum. I really wish you all the best with your arthritis treatment.

Em13 profile image
Em13 in reply to kalel

Thank you, Kalel. I'm sure the stress of those five months are what led to me developing RA. I haven't felt right since, and inexplicable symptoms started appearing about nine months after Mum's death.

Amy_Lee profile image
Amy_Lee in reply to Em13

Dear Em13,

I am very sorry to know about your mom and yourself. I hope you can get better soon with the drugs helping you along.

Em13 profile image
Em13 in reply to Amy_Lee

Thank you, Amy. That is very kind.

Thanks everyone. By changing diet it's not because at the moment I eat badly, we generally eat really healthy anyway and I'm slim and healthy, but I've seen some doctors recommend going completely vegan which to me would be a step too far as its so limiting.

andyswarbs profile image
andyswarbs in reply to Amyfarqxo

At one point I cried myself silly about my new vegan diet. All my old quick-meal cooking techniques seemed irrelevant (eg cheese sauce with pasta) and the pain in my RA ridden body meant all I wanted was something quick & easy to eat.

My food shelves seemed full of foods that were dangerous to my body. Eg It is amazing how many products have tomatoes in them!

With tremendous support from my wife (who at times was tucking into a ready-made pizza) our food shelves have been redesigned and now I can safely pull out a range of items that together I can make a quick meal or so.

A staple quick meal these days is lentils and rice with whatever vegetables are to hand. Always add turmeric, garlic, ginger. Add other flavouring to suit. Lastly a lemon quartered into wedges goes in to help both in terms of iron absorption and more VitC. This is a very hearty meal and for my body totally healthy with infinite variations. Also left overs can be reused in lots of ways.

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to andyswarbs

I wrote down your recipe to try. I am always looking for fast options.

I like making big batches of foods and then freezing them on a tray in qithcyou cup servings I can drop in a dish to take to work.

I know how it feels to watch everyone eating these delicious smelling and tasting foods as I chew through my vegetables. It can feel a little lonely and punishing until you start to feels the good effects of healthy eating! Then the trade off is wOrth it! Thanks for the recipe!

Hi, I see there's been loads of answers already so I'm not sure mine will add much. However no-ones mentioned the auto immune Paleo protocol. I've just started this on advice from a functional medical practitioner (which has been mentioned) as I have RA. There's a really good book by Sarah Balantyne with loads of what she calls science in it - it did seem pretty scientific to me, but then I'm not a scientist! It's all about autoimmunity, so very applicable to RA. It's very restrictive, so no grains, dairy, nuts, legumes etc but it is very healthy! It also talks about the holistic healthy life as someone has already mentioned, so sleep, exercise and meditation/managing stress. It doesn't suggest it can cure RA. It does suggest, if I've read it correctly, that you can put it into remission. If accurate it would mean p, by implication, no meds are necessary I'm wondering. Hospitals agree the disease can go into remission, although I'm sure as many have said would not agree it can be done through diet.

My approach is that it can't harm you to have the sort of diet and lifestyle they suggest and, again if I'd read it correctly, it also suggests that it can help with side effects of medication. She doesn't suggest it's either/or. Why not have a read? And perhaps give a nutritionalist who specialises in autoimmunity a try?

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to Jan31

I am going to search up this title thanks.

I think that the decision is your and yours alone, as it is your body that is suffering so you should make any decision regarding treatment and diet. I have seen so many fad things that come and go and really a lot of them are scammers. I worked for a cancer support group for 12 years and saw people who could least afford it get sucked in to spending thousands and thousands of dollars on 'cures' and not be left enough money for funeral expenses, so I am fairly cynical when people say 'cure'.

I am sure a healthy diet plays an important role in keeping us in as good a shape as possible, but I do not believe it cures people. If that was the case then we would all just be doing that. :) I wish! I certainly think that diet and medication can complement each other and that we need to keep in mind that this is a systemic disease with many aspects that needs to be treated with everything that is available to help keep us as well as can be.

Get your husband to read A Quest for wellbeing by Marina Young & ask him if he'd like to live on the diet she recommends! After all you can't be expected to cook fillet steak for him whilst you eat pulses & drink Spring Water can you?

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to AgedCrone

At one point about two years ago, I was cooking three different meals. One for my husband. One for nmy daughter. And one for me. It was dizzying and exhausting. Slowly my family is starting to eat a little better answer I am starting to eat a little worse. But I an sure paying the price. I feel the food irritating and pain and flaring when I eat poorly. It is such a pain living like this. Literally, lol.

AgedCrone profile image
AgedCrone in reply to Hidden

Oh Stewnamie they'be got you on a pice of string. Don't ask what they want to eat .....serve what you have cooked......if they dont want to eat it......point the way to the kitchen, or the chippy!

Believe me that works......bit of resistance at first...but hunger overcomes a lot of things! Especially if you say how yummy whatever you are eating tastes!

Try it,

kalel profile image
kalel in reply to AgedCrone

I have been vegan whilst dating two meat eaters it has never been a problems for me eating a vegan diet whilst my man eats whatever he wants. I have not read the book that you are talking to but all I will say if things do work out with the guy I am currently with well I am blessed to maybe fiind someone who would let me eat dust everyone whilst he eats his steak and chips but again we all need to do what is right for us.

AgedCrone profile image
AgedCrone in reply to kalel

Dating & living with are a bit different....if you have a husband & 2 children who all want to eat different diets, would you really be happy to be the house chef?

I was not criticising anyone's choice of food, but a lot of youngsters go thru the veggie stage....not eating anything with a face was the reason a few years ago.....I found a plate of vegetables christened with ketchup soon sorted those who meant business!

Good Luck with your guy...maybe he will give up his steak & join you in vegan long as you cook it for him!

I'm sorry I just want to stress this is not a critism but why would you want to put off anyone who wanted to turn veggie...surely it's up to the person and like you say with a lot of teenagers it's a phase. I brought up two children and I was a veggie...I let them make their own choices about whether to eat meat or not and they both do but I certainly did not discourage it. More and more are choosing not to eat meat or have meat free days...the vegetarian/vegan diet is not what is was a few years ago, but I do have to say eating out still needs some improvement!

No I didn't mean to discourage anyone from being a veggie....I eat hardly any meat myself. My meaning was if someone is feeling fragile & has to cook for a family he/she shouldn't have to cook different meals for everyone's taste.....the cook should give a choice of menu & let them choose...but only one choice not one each......might encourage some people to learn to cook? No bad thing in these days as there is supposedly such a lot of obesity!

I certainly didn't mean to offend anyone...just suggest that having RA you should be able to lead as calm a life as possible & not be stressed over meals.....especially on those days when every bone hurts.

Absolutely I agree and when I cooked different meals I didn't have RA. After a childhood and teenage years of feeding my girls healthy meals they completely rebelled at 16 but I felt they were old enough to make their own choices. What I meant is that phases are part of growing up and the obviously the better ones should be encouraged!! It was just a difference in opinion and you didn't offend me 🙂 Have a good day.

kalel profile image
kalel in reply to AgedCrone

well at the mo I am making food for my whole family two sisters and parents they all eat differently and if they have to eat meat they prepare it themselves. Also my ex long term bf ate meat so I am used to this sort of stuff but were all different right.

know you are not criticising anyones food choice but I just wanted to say that you can be vegan be around others who don't eat the same way as you.

ha ha well we will will see what happens with this guy it is very early days I am hoping for the best expecting the worst. ;-)

AgedCrone profile image
AgedCrone in reply to kalel

Good luck with 'This Guy' do hope he's THE ONE,

Keep us informed! Maybe he'll become vegan?

kalel profile image
kalel in reply to AgedCrone

Thanks so much. I don't know if I believe in the one and my dating life has been quite colourful to say the least so just gonna take things day by day and see what happens. I will let you know how things work out with him. Thanks for kind words. ❤️😄

I have to largely disagree with allanah. Drugs are very important to get stabilise your RA , and that importance cannot be overstressed. But a change in diet can seriously help and not only that I have found deformities can be mended by good health. Remember there are no dead parts in your body (except anything you might inadvertently swallow): the body is a wonder of self-healing. To recover effectively it needs to be in as best a state of health as possible. A very big part of that is diet.

Stop eating foods that are hurting your body. Replace them with foods that are going to help heal your body.

Personally I would not advise a Mediterranean diet, because oils and fats in the meats and fish are not good for someone with RA, and if you cannot help your own RA then reducing meat and fish intake will at least help the planet. (Total meat/fish/dairy consumption is twice as bad for the planet as all the carbon that might be saved from permanently stopping all cars, trains planes etc worldwide.)

Also doctors are not, in my experience the best people to ask about diet. They have very little training on the subject and instead are indoctrinated in the values of drugs. If you want professional advice I would suggest seeing a dietician.

My own experience is I was housebound / in a wheelchair at Easter and on a range of drugs. I changed to a whole-food plant based diet, initially using a detox and elimination regime. Now six months later I am walking regularly (on Saturday I walked over 10 miles) and have started treadmill and swimming at the gym again. My remaining drug is 10mg MTX weekly but will be phasing this out slowly once I have had my next appt with my rheumy.

gaymamma profile image
gaymamma in reply to andyswarbs

So how come when they tested 'clean eating' on over 500 diagnosed RA sufferers not a single one showed any measurable benefit other than weightless?

andyswarbs profile image
andyswarbs in reply to gaymamma

please send me a link to the research.

kalel profile image
kalel in reply to andyswarbs

Well said. When I last saw my rheumy he was eating a box of cadburys chocolate Infront of me and asked me if I wanted one.

I'm not a fan of the med or paleo diet either were all different but for me I just find eating meat is to acidic for me and doesn't digest well. I'm doing things like drinking celery juice, chaga mushroom in my tea etc atm

AgedCrone profile image
AgedCrone in reply to andyswarbs

Believe me if your thumb joint crumbles away due to RA a new plastic/metal one is the only answer& if only some sort of meds to prevent joint damage had been prescribed in time it might not have happened.!

Just look at the number of people on this site who tell us of the replacement surgery they have had....I'm sure most of them follow a sensible diet.

Much as I'd prefer to be drug free, I'm not going to try to rely on diet until one that is 100% proven is on the menu! I do hope it includes, Lobster, Halibut & oh cream!

andyswarbs profile image
andyswarbs in reply to AgedCrone

Absolutely agree that when the body crumbles, it does just that. As it did to my sister who, although housebound due to RA for many years, wanted to attend the funeral of a dear friend. She did so and due to exhaustion fell whilst trying to sit on a bench. The result was a broken femur, hospital and a steel plate.

AgedCrone profile image
AgedCrone in reply to andyswarbs

I'm so sorry to hear about your sister...I do hope she is comfortable now?

Years ago when I was being a pain & refusing to take Mtx my then Rheumy explained how DMARDS slowed down joint damage & could mean the difference brrween walking or being in a wheelchair.

That was 17 years ago & druggy that I am I still walk without a stick.....bit wobbly at times but upright.

I do hope your sister your sister is well now.

andyswarbs profile image
andyswarbs in reply to AgedCrone

Dmards if used aggressively definitely slow down and halt the effects of RA. That is the doctor & rheumy's strategy and it has a lot to commend it. I used it for my RA and would recommend it to anyone new to RA. But it has its limits.

Imo, Rheumys and doctors give their advice mostly in structural ignorance of the advantages of diet. How much time of their university studies is spent on nutrition? On the other hand drug companies have large sales and marketing budgets. Key research is often backed by drug company funds, so as a rheumatologist if you want to have a great career... Charities as well tend to support the research lines promoted by rheumatologists, after they are the "experts".

I don't see any company called Broccoli Inc backing research into promoting broccoli with so much as a single pound, never mind a multi-million pound budget. One of my favourite websites for nutrition is, which relies on volunteers who are paid zilch.

The financial and structural odds are stacked heavily against the argument for diet and in favour of drugs. But in my experience change diet at the right moment, bring it in effectively and with total commitment and it can be life transforming.

I also chose a whole-food plant based diet because of the increasing evidence of adding healthy years to my lifespan and less risk of dementia - all for no extra commitment or cost. I have a small pension, and I am not rich enough to be able to pay for a lovely care home.

So I put, what money I have inside my mouth as good quality & appropriate food.

AgedCrone profile image
AgedCrone in reply to andyswarbs

I think in the 21st century so little is available to young people regarding healthy eating. When I used to go to work I saw children on the bus at 7am with a Cola drink & a packet of crisps ....breakfast!

On talking to these kids the answer was usually their mother left for work before they left home, or that 'Mum doesn't get up early'!

So they chose their breakfast from the corner shop......soon those children will be parents themselves & so it goes on....& as you say mostly the food they see advertised is take away or at best ready meals.

Maybe Mary Berry should start a Bake Off programme on healthy eating rather than cakes & buns?

There is absolutely NO evidence that has been able to be reproduced under scientific testing that diet affects RA.

Tell him to go away!

Obviously eating healthily and keeping weight down is a wise idea for everyone but beyond that. Go and enjoy!

Hidden profile image

I agree with others on here - you cannot cure RA, although, you can get to remission. The only thing I would say about diet is to try to eat more things that help with controlling inflammation and try not to be too acidic. I find that when I keep my pH in it's normal range, which for me is 7.5 - 8.0, I feel a lot better. When I get really acidic (<6.5 - a soda will do it every time :-)..) my joints hurt more. The only thing I have seen that might get him off of the usual drugs is Minocycline. I would say cook on!

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to Hidden

Maybe I should have said, you "might be able to get to remission". Sorry - no absolutes, except no absolutes...

Love this site for interesting debates.

To clarify my point was only

A) there is no known cure for RA

B ) there is not any scientific evidence of diet which cures RA

C) I wish there was ! As soon as the gut studies are proven, I'm in! And I'm sticking to the Rheumatologist advice when scientific proof is available.

D) NRAS have a section on proven or not dietary plans and supplements which is interesting


Ok thanks everyone and sorry if I've hit a nerve with anyone. I think I will carry on as I am and eating in moderation as we don't eat much processed food as we make everything from scratch and avoid fizzy pop etc but I'm not going to change my whole life for RA it doesn't deserve it!

allanah profile image
allanah in reply to Amyfarqxo

Thanks for promoting the debate! We are like a family on here , we don't always agree but in the end we are all here for each other!

Thankyou and sorry I didn't mean that I don't deserve RA as nobody does, what I meant is that it's already taken away some of my hobbies that I can no longer do so it's not going to take my enjoyment of food too. :-)

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I hear a lot of talk about people reversing their RA. When a person's RA has gone into remission with or wihout drugs, that is something to be happy about. Long may their remission last.

To reverse a person's RA implies that their own stupidity has caused it and I honestly believe that they truly reversed their RA. Truth be told, RA ranges from mild to severe. Sometimes a person can go into spontanious remission and they believe they have "the secret to the cure" . The medical profession does not know what causes auto immune diseases. People can just go into remission. They are the lucky ones.

andyswarbs profile image
andyswarbs in reply to Hidden

I definitely am heading towards remission (or whatever term one wants to use) BUT NOT by any spontaneous nature whatsoever. It was extremely focused work requiring listening to my body and how it reacts to foods. Before that my RA was, imo as chronic as anyone else's here, eg taking 20 mins to go from bed to toilet, unable to roll in bed, unable to get in/out of bed without assistance.

Bottom line, I was as close to suicide as I have ever been in my life.

One difference is that I had not been on dmards for many years. MTX (which am on) does not harm the gut, unlike other dmards) so recovery can be an easier process, especially as nsaids can be reduced.

You are right I am lucky. I have an open mind and experimented. And I am succeeding. Every night when I now go to bed I lie down and I think to myself how comfortable every joint is. Pure heaven.

I am not alone. Increasingly a steady stream of people are waking up to the opportunity. It is not going to be easy or quick for many of them. I know of one person who is going through the elimination diet process but is struggling to find a single food that doe not cause him pain and suffering and has been for some time. But he will get there through persistence and determination.

Rheumatologists are very aware of the importance of a good gut. But they come at the subject from a very deep level looking at specific proteins for instance. Nutrition and diet is very top level stuff and is a wholly different kind of study. Chalk and cheese.

I see you've gotten a lot of replies, and I'll be honest to say that I haven't read them, so I'm sorry if I'm repetitive. I think you need to do what works for you. There has been a lot of success for people in managing their symptoms with diet, although I find it hard to believe that RA can be "cured" with diet. An incredibly good source is For several years she had managed her RA with diet and 1 Aleve tablet per day. Just recently she made the difficult decision of adding methotrexate to her arsenal. It's a difficult and personal decision and I think it's helpful to read her own thoughtful experience. RA drugs are toxic, they have awful side effects, but pain is debilitating and depressing. You know those "You're not you when you're hungry" commercials? Well, you're not you when you're in chronic pain. If I could make one suggestion, it would be to take whatever you need to get your RA under control. I feel like I don't have the energy to put into making sure I follow an RA-supportive diet if I'm exhausted and in pain all the time.

I have read a lot about diet. I am currently gluten free. I felt the best when I was grain free, dairy free and *nearly* sugar free. I followed the paleo autoimmune diet for about 2 months in 2014 (; The Paleo Approach). I've also found it hard to go back to that. You can't eat out very easily, you can't go to other people's houses for supper (unless they are REALLY understanding and supportive), and you're kind of the family weirdo at Thanksgiving, etc. It's really hard for people to understand (though my hubby was/is supportive). My sister, for example, treats me like I'm abusing my children because their days aren't full of donuts and cookies. Anyhow, sometimes it's easier to fit in, though gluten is my redline - I don't consume it and neither do my hubby or kids (read: Grain Brain, Wheat Belly, Perfect Health Diet, Primal Blueprint, Primal Body/Primal Mind, etc). I'm okay with being the weirdo mom on that one.

I also suggest you check out thelifeandadventuresofcatep.... She's also come to see that medication and diet both can play a positive - and complementary role - in managing RA. Good luck. This is ultimately YOUR decision. Good luck and gentle hugs!

I have wondered whether I should be eating fish or not, Kai. But then I think I probably need the protein. Most days I'm not aware of inflammation, but if I stray too far from healthy eating I do feel it my hands.

I do take flaxseed oil as well, but I understood it was less readily utilised by the body. What I do with it is emulsify it with cottage cheese. My science is not good, but I understand the lipids in the oil bind with proteins in the cheese to make it water soluble and more bioavailable. It was part of Johanna Budwig's Protocol, which Mum adopted. Science aside, I acquired a taste for it and make it as a salad dressing or as a sauce to have with cold pasta dishes. (A beautiful green sauce if you blend it with uncooked spinach.) I don't mind it whizzed up with banana, a little raw honey and raw cacao powder and topped with freshly milled flaxseed and walnuts as a chilled desert either. I don't eat it every day, but some days I crave it.

I take black seed oil as well.

Hi Amyfarqxo,

It took a while to read all the debates here but I think it is a good exchanges though. I will just write my own experience for your reference.

Before I was diagnosed of RA in Jul 2014, my food intake as below:

Breakfast - yogurt, whole meal break, cheese, butter, egg and a glass of cow milk.

Lunch - rice, fish, chicken and vegetable. Sometimes noodle soup.

Dinner - a lot of different fresh fruits.

I seldom eat red meat, oily food and spicy food. I went for yoga classes 3 to 4 times a week and went hiking most of the weekend. I didn't/don't drink liquor and smoke at all. I had been a very healthy person and I hardly had any medical leave.

After I was diagnosed of RA, I stopped all the dairy products. I worked very closely with my rheumy and started the occupational therapy 2 months after mtx and started the physiotherapy sessions 4 months after the mtx. I was still in great pain when I started my physiotherapy sessions but the physiotherapist said that I must go through this stage to ensure my joints were mobile again. I had my muscle wasted at that time, I was left with bone and skin. I lost a lot of weight from 54kg to 38kg.

About 6 months down the road from the physiotherapy session and a lot of exercise I did in the morning and at night daily, I was in a very stable position then. That was about a year after I started the mtx. In Jan 2016, my rheumy told me that my RA activities were already very low but she did not declare me in remission yet. In Apr 2016, she told me that I was/am in remission so she wanted me to do what I do and eat what I eat. She reduced my mtx in Apr 2016 when my liver reading was double the normal range. In Aug, my liver reading was back to normal and I was very happy to know that. My blood test results in Aug were almost perfect.

The only thing that I did after I knew that my liver reading was double the normal was I told the turmeric golden paste daily. The rest of the food and exercise remain unchanged.

Conclusion is I started to have very healthy food. May be one could say it might be due to the dairy products that I took. However, when I was diagnosed the problem, like anyone here, I also went to see the traditional Chinese doctor. I sent my blood test results, X-Ray and medication to him and told him my diet. He said that since I already start the western medication, I should continue and avoid going for two different kinds of treatment. He also said that it could be because I had only fruits for my dinner that was too cooling my a human body. Apparently I was told we should take fruits during the day not at night for dinner.

So it is very individual to decide if food really cause RA? Is food really cure RA? I believe we must not skip our medication but can have a healthy diet to keep us in a better position to achieve and maintain remission.

Because I was detected with osteopenia now, I started the dairy products one at a time and keep a record of what I eat. I took that for about a month now, so far I am okay with them.

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