Alternative diets for RA

Has anyone tried the Paddison Diet. It does seem to make sence when you read about it. I'm interested to see if anyone on meds can reduce them and get some relief from diets.

33 Replies

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  • You will see lots of posts on here about this diet - and from other people saying that it's fine together with treatment or from others saying diet doesn't work from them. It seems that some people do really well and others not, and most people are somewhere in between! Put a search in and read through all the posts!

  • See Kia--'s post 3 days ago. X

  • I never did the Paddison Diet but I am vegan and I eat a lot of raw food. I think you can buy the Paddison book but you don't need to join the group. I will send you the links to the couple of people that I follow but for the most part I have listened to my body and just eaten what has felt right for me. I also see a couple of alternative therpists who helped me with my autoimmune problems.

  • Yes I would be grateful f you could send me the links, I have been really bad lately with it going from wrists to arms to shoulders, and the fatigue gets memdown. Can you gimme some idea of what you eat. I don't eat meat. But am still learning, it's so confusing. What does the alternative therapist suggest you take. I would be grateful for any help .

  • Hello Ruffles, Sorry to hear you're having such a rough time. My symptoms were very much the same when diagonosed. I started right away with an elimination diet called AIP ( lots of info and help on the net!) I also started with LDN ( ldnresearchtrust.org) and important supplements. My inflammation was down in 3ms and fatigue gone. Hope this of some help😊

  • I'm on aip too. Everyone keeps raving about LDN to me but I havnt tried it.

  • I don't know what difference LDN makes but I see it as an important part of my treatment " protocol".

  • hey Ruffles give me a couple of days but I will send you some links. I eat a vegan diet plenty of fruit, veg and leafy greens and starches. I try to stay away from grains cause they don't agree with me but I love eating buckwheat that I cook in my dehydrator and I will eat some legumes but I prefer to sprout them if I can or cook them in an instant pot.

    it can be hard to not be overwhelmed by all the different diet choices that are out there but buying the Paddison diet book may help you out.

    When I first went vegan I put myself on a bit of detox and juiced a lot and cleared a lot of the toxins that were in my system. I then slowly added certain foods into my diet and saw how by body reacted to certain foods but I don't eat meat and I don't eat fish I only eat plant based foods.

    I do a lot of alternative therapy including seeing a functional health dr, reflexologist and accpuncture. There have been a lot of posts on here about the aryuvedic diet. I have also taken Chinese herbs and I love taking Chinese herbs,

    I also do a lot of exercise keeping your joints strong is the best thing you can do to prevent damage. Even doing some morning stretches and seeing a physio and slowly building up your muscle strength will really help your RA

    Just remember slow and steady wins the race when trying to reverse RA symptoms if it takes you six months a year or whatever just stay positive and wake up every day and remind yourself you can be healthy again and you will be. I know it may sound a bit weird for me to say this but I was told by my RA nurse that she sees so many patients that are depressed etc and seeing how I have had always had a positive attitude and always knew I would be ok has made a difference to my life and how I treated my RA. Even though some people may disagree with this but I am a big believer that are thoughts are everything and if you believe you will be ok again you will be.

  • I've concluded that the Paddison diet is probably helpful if used with medical guidance but would urge people not to turn away from their conventional drug treatments. I thought I'd 'cracked' my RA for 10 years when I stopped drugs and focused on diet. My quality of life was a bit better but the regime cast a shadow over life- and my weight dropped to 7 stone at one point. Then one day it hit me like a train. The RA erupted and the bone damage was extensive.

    This is why I find diet stories upsetting. They give real hope to people like me who loathe taking drugs but until I see evidence from academics and researchers, like Dr Tom O what's his name, and proper clinical trials I won't dare. I find Mr Swarb's smug posts telling us how well he is from the Paddison diet while still on methotrexate nauseating and irresponsible.

    Please take care everyone.

  • Yes we are all struggling in our own way. I'm sorry you had a bad experience with your treatment of Ra. I think diatary modifications like any therapeutic measure should be followed up with blood tests and mri or us.

    One can also see your situation from another perspective . There are many who have chosen the med treatment line and have taken the eventual adverse effects and side effects for ten years and then find themselves in a situation like yours when the meds are no longer working. Many of these say they are happy that they had the ten years. I do not know what your situation was but after the ten years didn't you have a chance to try meds?

    "What's his name"has a very comprahensive list in his recent book over the recent scientific research on the topic.

    I do not find Andy's remarks smug. Being happy and enthusiastic about improvement with diet, which he in fact shears with thousands of others can only be seen as a good thing. Being able to cut down on mtx with nontoxic alternative, and feeling so much better must feel fantastic😊

  • Hi witness so are you saying that you were drug free but eating a better diet for 10 yrs but then the RA resurfaced and caused terrible damage, or did the damage occur throughout the 10yrs you were drug free? Sorry to be nosey but that my biggest worry about trying a drug free path, that my joint/bone damage will continue on and become irreversible by the time its discovered

  • I'm afraid I cannot answer your question with any confidence iAce and I'd like to know the answer too! I felt better for not taking DMARDS or pain relief. From memory (I'm talking 30 years ago) I had a little inflammation but nothing life-limiting. I was a bit stiff in the morning. I was working for a Homoeopath at the time and his kept my gut healthy and I dare say helped it heal somewhat after Gold injections, ACTH - all sorts of toxins. Unfortunately doctors weren't so enlightened about diet in those days and no way was my GP going to cooperate by doing blood tests, unless I came to my senses and resumed conventional treatment. When I eventually crashed after 10 years, they told me I had done myself irreparable harm and I can only agree with them. My hands and feet are a mess, I've had both hips resurfaced etc etc. However, I also had 10 years drug free which I still think may have helped me in other ways. I have been on biologics now for 8 years and although my joints are great (I would call this remission) I suffer from the disabilities the bone damage caused and also some sort of sinus pain/headaches which I invariably get when overtired. I have de-stressed my life by only working occasionally and consequently resent my pension being delayed and the benefits system being so abusive that I won't put myself through it. In any case, I'm fortunate to be a 'kept woman'! But I digress -

    I think you are right to be wary but if your GP is prepared to monitor you via blood tests, and you are prepared to deny yourself certain foods in order to take control over your health, I admire you. Good luck

  • And yes, I was dieting very carefully after hair analysis advice and allergy tests plus homoeopathic remedies.

  • Well thank you so much for your reply, I hope that maybe an improved diet will at least allow me to greatly reduce my drug intake and your advice is a great help!

  • I do hope anyone contemplating using diet to control their RD read your post & how it affected not only your weight (that just cannot be healthy) but also that you sustained damage. I don't understand why people think that food can heal. A healthy balanced diet is certainly helpful but without the meds which have been proven to work they're risking same result. I do wonder how many of those on diets now will, maybe years down the line, have joint damage? We'll wait & see I guess, though I doubt they'll admit to failing & the resultant need to start meds.

  • Agree with Witness2. If you look at the references to medical literature that Paddison throws in with his materials they are irrelevant or extremely weak on evidence. Bottom line is that there is not strong evidence to back him up. Never stop your disease-modifying drugs without doctor's advice! That said, some dietary change to a Mediterranean style diet would be healthier for all of us.

  • hey Don I think do what is right for you at the end of the day it does not matter what the science says if what you are doing works for you that is all that matters. I can understand why some people are a bit oh when it comes to the Paddison diet but then again I also think each to their own there is so much info about what to eat and not to eat. Even for example when treating Alzheimer some docs will say up the fat intake eat three tablespoons of olive oil a day etc but a lot of vegan drs are against olive oil especially if you have inflammation going on in your body. Everyone just needs to figure out what works for them.

  • Yes it DOES matter what the science says. Cumulative, well collected experience from large studies is more reliable than individual anecdotes. People who have positive experiences with anything are much more likely to share than those with negative experiences. As Witness2 has found, one can do real damage by relying on anecdotes. Rheumatoid arthritis has normal ups and downs, and even spontaneous remissions, so one can never be sure why improvement occurs.

    Of course, everyone is free to choose what they believe is right for them, but evangelizing based on experience over science is simply irresponsible.

  • I am not going to argue with you but science is changing all the time the way they treat RA changes all the time. Even for example if you go and look at someone like Dr Hyman work in comparison to Dr Gregor they will tell you different things based on things they have researched and the science they have studied. Even when you look at how they treat patients for example who have a heart condtion a lot of drs are now saying eat a high fat diet but there are others who will still tell you eat a plant based lower fat diet. Like I said do what is best for you but all I can tell you is I spent many years of my life studying nutrition and science.

    Also in regards to RA well as my nurse always told me do what is right for you thank god I don't need to rely on meds. Whilst having RA is an awful disease there is a reason why seeing functional health drs is becoming so popular and that is because a lot of us don't want to be on toxic meds. We all need to do what is right for us and yes whilst no one wants RA damage but one of the best ways as I was told to prevent damage is doing daily exercises, stretches and if you can body rolls.

    I don't believe anyone should just come off meds and I am sorry to hear about witness went through but like I have said on so many occasions if you want to be med free find a good dr that can help you do and keep an eye on you etc. It is all about balancing out the body, getting rid of toxins etc.

    Wishing you al the best. Take care..

  • I think you may have misunderstood my point Simba. I am stable on Biologics now. The ten years when I experimented with diet cost me dearly. The experience I wanted to share was that my RA appeared to be under control until it re-emerged catastrophically. I very much hope that those trying the Paddison and other diets now will not experience something similar in the future. I did say in earlier posts that I believe there is some validity in the leaky gut theory, it's been around for 35+ years.

    I object to evangelists grandstanding and I find it insulting that Swarb's mission is to educate NRAS.

  • Hello Witnees2, What was and is still unclear to me is did you follow up on progression and blood results during these ten years?

  • I was under my GP but not a rheumatologist, foolishly. If you are suggesting that diet in combination with careful monitoring is the way to proceed, I couldn't agree more. However...I appeared to be doing just fine during those 10 years (quite sore at times admittedly) then it all went horribly wrong.

  • Sorry about misspelling your name😊Yes I think it really is essential to follow up just as carefully as with meds. What would be interesting to hear is that when the RA drasticly broke out, at that point how much erosion did you have?

  • Plenty! Perhaps if I'd been monitored by X-ray that would have been apparent earlier. I'd love to know how many 'dieters' are being supported by NHS doctors in their endeavours and whether they are really well monitored. Mine knows how I hate drugs and would prefer a natural solution but we both agree that I can't risk it. He thinks it's baloney of course, being a committed medic/scientist.

  • A good question! If you choose to try the diet without meds, I can imagine most rheumies would not be interested to follow up the situation. Some rheumies would maybe be ok with meds and diet together and follow up would normally follow. If you are left to your gp then you often need to take responsibility for the followup I would imagine.

  • Yes, with the benefit of hindsight I could have managed it all a lot better. Are you attempting a diet Simba?

  • Yes, that's why I'm so interested😊Was diagnosed Dec 2015 and have since that controlled my RA with AIP, LDN and supplements. Ok so far, keeping fingers crossed😊

  • I wish you every success. The Paleo diet has more scientific credibility perhaps.I admire you for going to those lengths, and you're so newly diagnosed you may have time on your side. Take care.

  • I have not read all the replys but I will say from my own experience I know a few people who were diagnosed with autoimmune problems and Ra and managed to reverse all there symptoms by seeing an alternative therapist.

    I started taking meds and in hindsight I wish I had done things differently because it took me a lot longer to get myself back and track and start reducing my meds etc.

    it really is an individual thing how one treats there ra but if you go down the alternative medicine and find yourself a good rheumy who is understading well I don't see why one can't look into staying away from drugs or being on a small amount of meds and then try to reduce them at some point. Think the most important thing Ra patients can do is exercise a lot and find themselves a good dr.

    I am sure some people may be able to reverse RA symptoms by changing there diet but in my experience it is important to find a good functional health dr and a team of alternative health therapist who can help you get on back track.

  • Yes I think you are so right. The problem is however that good integrative doctors are hard to find in Europe. The US is the best place to find them and also Oz it seems. I am left quite alone with Mr. Google and a very nice GP who does send me to any tests and exams I want, but is not very knowledgeable in functional medicine.

  • hey Simba if you want I will give you pm you the two functional health drs that I know are good in the Uk.

    I know there are some good functional health drs in the usa in the auz but I have also seen that some good functional practitioners are not dr's or gp's. Think the key to finding a good functional health dr is making sure they are properly qualified and unfortunately going down the alternative medicine route is not cheap but for me it was worth it.

    reflexology is also amazing and if you can find a good reflexologist I would suggest doing that.

  • Thank you Kalel for you offer, I would really appreciate it😊

  • think people have to eat the type of food that suits them and there lifestyle. If the Paleo diet suits you then great but I don't eat meat and try to stay away from grains cause I find them very acidic and they just don't agree with me. In my experience the best thing anyone can do is keep a food journal and see if things like meat, fish etc affects them. Having studied nutrition I don't think the Paleo diet has more scientific credibility cause to start with science and what we find out about the human body is changing all the time but there are drs that advetise a Paleo diet and those that are very against it. Do what is right for you, listen to your body and go from there!!

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