Dairy/gluten free diet: Hi. Considering trying a dairy... - NRAS

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Dairy/gluten free diet

Mhairi54
Mhairi54
27 Replies

Hi. Considering trying a dairy and/or gluten free diet to see if that helps. Has anyone tried this? And if so did it help?! Thanks.

27 Replies
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gwynedd

Hi there Mhairi54,

I was on a gluten free diet when I first presented with symptoms, but I was eating dairy. I've since experimented with gluten and dairy free combined and to be honest I didn't notice any difference. Maybe I didn't give it long enough, i tried it for a few months. Saying all that everyone is different and what works for some might not for others. Our bodies are unique as our personalities, personally I'll continue to experiment with my diet alongside listening to my body and doing what's best for me and my lifestyle. Good luck with whatever you decide to do, be healthy. X

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Kariss

I cut wheat but not gluten out of my diet for two years way back when my RA first showed, but I didn't know that's what it was then and I was actually attempting to control my IBS symptoms. It helped a lot with that but I can't say I noticed any reduction in my inflammation at that time. I've also been tested for celiac as part of my RA diagnosis as symptoms can be similar but was not positive. I haven't ever tried dairy free. No harm in giving it a try though, especially if you suspect these foods might make it worse and there are quite a lot more 'free from' products around now which will make it easier than when I did it 12 years ago.

Good luck

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Matilda7

I've changed my diet a lot and yes it has helped! But you have to experiment to see what works best for you.

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Em13

I gave up gluten and dairy while on an elimination diet last year, and felt much, much better. Gluten's reintroduction a couple of months later - in the shape of a deep pan cheese-loaded pizza - coincided with the sudden onset of very severe tendonitis in my right shoulder where even breathing was painful. (I couldn't be sure the two events were connected, but have since Googled it, and yes, gluten can affect tendons.)

Consuming much smaller quantities, I later learnt that gluten affects my heart rate and makes me feel anxious - symptoms I'd been aware of for a couple of years, but I'd assumed was stress or age related. Regardless of whether it affects RA or not, I now avoid it completely because I don't like the way it makes me feel. I don't eat a lot of dairy, but that seems less problematical for me. But we are all different!

Oddly, one of my earliest memories is of being spoon fed a bowl of Weetabix by my great-grandfather and throwing up afterwards. I must have been maybe two years old at the time. I have not been able to stomach Weetabix or wheat-based cereals since.

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earthwitch

If you even think you might be gluten sensitive, please don't try the gluten free diet until you have been screened for coeliac disease. It is quite important that coeliac disease is picked up and medically diagnosed, as undiagnosed disease can lead to a lot of other health problems - some potentially quite serious. If it turns out you aren't coeliac, then by all means still try the gluten free diet, but at least you will then know that you don't have to be 100% strict on it. If you are coeliac, then it is incredibly important to maintain a strict gluten free diet to avoid damage to your body. I also think it is important to get coeliac medically diagnosed if other members of your family appear sensitive to wheat, or have malabsorption problems (like low iron, folate, B12) - once one person in a family is diagnosed then the doctors seem to take the potential in other family members more seriously.

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Simba1992

The AIP anti-inflammatory diet is gluten free, dairy free and suger free. You also elimminate the nightshade vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes. This strict diet has really made a great difference for me and so many others. It's deffinately not easy and there is no point cheating. You need to be persistant and give it time. For me it took 3months to kick in but the reduction in inflammation was amazing. For many just by leaving gluten ( all bread has gluten!), dairy and suger makes a difference.

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Padram

Hi, have eliminated sugar, gluten and dairy for 6 months. Reduced my RA Factor from 150 to less than 75. Wake up with absolutely no pain in any part of the body. No harm trying. Reintroduced dairy, but doesn't suit me. I also don't take any meds for RA, as it worsens my platelet count. Since I also have ITP with easy bleeding, have to be very careful. So started the elimination diet.

All the best.

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Godandme

Hi Mhairi54. I have been on a gluten, dairy, sugar free diet for nearly 9 mths now and have noticed an immense difference. Went off methotrexate and Hydrochloroquine and am averaging taking two panadol a month. Some months I have taken nothing at all except for Arnica cream rub.

Please note this is just my personal experience. Not telling anyone to go off their meds. I am still under my specialist for monitoring. But he has cleared me for six months re taking bloods, instead of the usual monthly blood tests.

I wish you all the very very best for a painfree life.

Luisa 🌸

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oldtimer

Please be careful if you are going to eliminate foods altogether from your diet. It is possible to remove things that you really need!

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Simba1992
Simba1992
in reply to oldtimer

The elimination diet is nutritionally very well thought through. If you follow Dr.Terry Whals instructions you probably get more high quality nutrition for your body than being on a " normal" diet😊

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Mhairi54

Ooh all sounds quite hard core. My problem is that I have no will power and a very sweet tooth! Do you think it would help to cut down on dairy/gluten rather than cut it out altogether, or does it have to be an all or nothing thing to see the benefits?

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helixhelix
helixhelix
in reply to Mhairi54

Aiming too high is a recipe for failure to me, as if you're already worried about your will power you'll never keep it up. Instead try very small steps to a better diet. So things like removing a tiny bit of sugar each day, or adding extra vegetables. Or if you use processed food then swap it for home made. I tried the hard core approach, which didn't work for me. So instead I have an enjoyable and varied healthy diet that includes lots of plants and tries to keep the sugars and fats limited. And I feel it's helped me a lot in coping with the drugs, rather than replacing them.

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Mhairi54
Mhairi54
in reply to helixhelix

That's what I'm thinking I'll do. Trying to cut down on dairy and gluten but think I'm setting myself up for failure if I try to give them up completely. My will power is terrible and the thought that I couldn't eat Ben & Jerry's Phish Food ice cream anymore is too much to take! Thank you for all your comments. x

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Simba1992
Simba1992
in reply to Mhairi54

Sadly enough, if you really want to feel real change it is an all or nothing endeavor😕 The suger is really important to eliminate. Bad gut bacteria really thrive on it. So it is hard core, but if you really can control your RA this way isin't it worth it ?

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Simba1992
Simba1992
in reply to Simba1992

I was SO wrong, and it really backfired! In RA there is a metabolic dysfunction in glucose metabolism and if you decrease carbs ( good sugars) too much, the symptoms may decrease at first but then you really mess up your metabolism. I ended up with hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, zero cholesterol and high cortisol. I wish someone would have told me about the effects of AIP.

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Cherub198889

Are you OK now?

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Simba1992

Oh my it's taken a long time to get back on those issues. Never again will I try a diet just because it has worked for many. I really want to understand first why the diet has worked what it is targeting and so on. Now I have a diet to support my metabolism and to fix the bad effects of the diet.

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Cherub198889

I'm glad you are now OK. I do find it strange how diet affects us all differently.

My diet had changed from a strict vegetarian to a crazy eat everything in site once I was diagnosed with RA....I even have the 35 pounds to prove how my diet has changed.

I became a vegetarian in my mid 20's. It kept my weight stable & honestly, I had a problem eating anything that had parents. So when I was diagnosed with RA, I assumed it was because of my stuggle to keep my B12 up. I forced myself to eat meat again.

Anyways, my RA diagnosis has changed to Reactive Arthritis due to botched dental work, and all the years of inflammation has given me secondary OA...So here I sit 35 pounds heavier....So now I have to get my weight down so I can learn to deal with this OA. I need to embrace a plant based diet again.

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Simba1992

I think in many ways you are a special case like all who have reactive arthritis and you are very lucky that the root cause was eliminated and you were not left with chronic RA. I think the best way for you to get rid of any unwanted pounds is getting your metabolic rate optimal in other words that the energy production in your cells it's the best it can be😊.This is what I've been working on.

All the best. Simba

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Amy_Lee

I eliminated dairy products since the day I was diagnosed with RA. That was 2 years ago. I was in great pain and my whole body was swelling for many months until the mtx kicked in to work on me. My ESR and CRP reading were coming down slowly to normal after 6 and 8 months respectively. Were these due to the diary elimination or the mtx that worked on me already?

A month ago, I tried diary products again. So far I see no different except my left hand feel numb, pins and tinglings. This happened around the same time I started the dairy again. Is this coincident? I am not sure.

Today, I decided to stop the dairy again and I want to see if the numbness feeling in my left hand will go off.

I do not think diets will control RA progession, but I believe they will help to maintain our remission stage. My opinion is to continue the medicine if the rheumy wants you to do so but eliminate the diets one at a time and put them back to see how your body responds.

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ann_martin37

I have eliminated dairy and gluten from my diet and feel better for it. I have less tiredness and fatigue and almost no morning stiffness. However, I still have RA flares and definitely still need my mix and sulfasalazine. So, yes, it does help some people's symptoms but it is definitely not the whole answer.

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andyswarbs

Diet makes a terrific difference.

Before Easter I was housebound or in a wheelchair, six months later I am been able to walk (on good days) over 10 miles. In that time my meds have reduced until there is only MTX left, and that will go and I will be forever drug free.

My diet is gluten-free, dairy-free, meat & fish free, nightshade-free, low-oil, low sugar, high greens, pulses/legumes and high fruit (no fruit juice), very low alcohol.

Key elements to my success? Looking at the diet it was adopting the Paddison Program strategy, including detox, getting a set of basic foods that work for me and then followed by elimination process.

Beyond pure diet, determination, research self-education, taking full responsibility for my own health, a fully supportive wife, listening intently to my body - all of these and more play their part.

Don't expect perfection overnight. It is a very rocky road to recovery with a guaranteed minimum of three months (the time taken for a healthy gut to regenerate). The alternative for me of more and more drugs and an increased drug dependency with a probable long term future of more and more side-effects. That is no option at all.

Btw. There is nothing "magical" about this kind of diet. It is backed by a hell of a lot of quality research and supported by empirical evidence. If interested start with nutritionfacts.org

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baconbeast

I am on a dairy free and gluten free diet and it has made a big difference. No more RD meds for me as they either did not work or the side effects were awful.

Even my Gastro Doctor admits the meds are very toxic.

What ever works for you!

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lilyak

I am dairy free, gluten free, grain free, except rice, legume free, nut free, nightshade free and no, that doesn't leave much. I have Eosinophilic Esophagitis, and was on an elemental diet (liquid amino acid diet) and none of this has any effect on my RA. Not a bit of improvement. And I have to live this way forever, because I'm allergic. So its not a matter of trying it longer. It just doesn't help me.

I say absolutely try it, it might help you. But it is all or nothing if you want results. If you have an allergy or intolerance, you need to remove the allergen completely, or its pretty much pointless.

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