Finally found something that works for me

I was diagnosed only last year (Nov 2011) and put on methotrexate in Jan 2012. At worst my fingers were like sausages and in pain and I couldn't drive the car, pull on my socks or brush my teeth properly.

The doctors just wanted me to take drugs which I did. However, I'm a stubborn and curious person so proceeded to spend hours and I mean hours Googling RA, treatments, diets, medicines and much more. I just had this gut feeling that there was more to this than what first appeared.

It has been a bumpy ride since then but over these last 6 months I have finally found a way that works. And how do I know this? Well, I took myself off methotrexate (I know, bit naughty going against doctors orders, but it made my stomach sore anyway - I DO NOT ADVOCATE COMING OFF DRUGS WITHOUT YOUR DOCS PERMISSION, BTW).

So what was it that made the difference? Well, not just one thing, not surprisingly. But if I could name just one thing, it was coming across Margaret Hills book - Curing Arthritis The Drug Free Way. Margaret was a trained nurse who came down with RA that forced her to be wheelchair bound. Through lots of research and trialling she found a way to cure her own arthritis.

By the time I read her book I was already doing some of what she recommended but not all, and then it all came together. Now let me explain this, it is a complete lifestyle change. It's not just about diet, it's everything.

So, here's what I now do to keep RA at bay. For the record, it hasn't been easy; changing old habits is hard, being selfish (sometimes saying no, putting myself first) is hard, but it has all been worth it.

My new daily habits are:

-Daily meditation twice a day (I try to do 20 mins but do at least 5 mins when busy)

-Green smoothie in the morning for breakfast (Ingredients: 1 apple, 1 nectarine, lambs lettuce, sprouted alfalfa, coconut milk, squirt agave syrup) For the record spinach made my RA worse.

-Drink two glasses a day of Apple Cider vinegar (1tablespoon) and dark honey (1tsp) in large glass warm water

-Eating loads of dark green salad veg all day in meals such as watercress and rocket

-Remove gluten, all grains (buckwheat is okay) and starch such as white potato

-Daily gentle exercise (swim, walk or both)

-Lots of sleep

-Drink loads water 2 litre a day

Now this is what has worked for me, it's pretty personal to me. But if you read Margaret's book she claims that RA is caused by too much acidity in the body that turns to uric acid that settles in the joints and she suggests an alkaline diet and the apple cider vinegar (plus loads of other stuff). Whether you believe that or not, all I can say is that this works for me. If nothing else it's worth a read.

Our bodies are all different so I don't believe there's a one size fits all solution but I do think it's about being open minded, trying this stuff and regaining your power because RA does not have to take over your life.

I'm very aware that if I stop doing what I'm doing the RA could get worse again but it's worth it so that I can lead a 'normal' life.

I hope this helps someone out there. I was incredibly scared last year when I was told my RA would progress rapidly and maybe if I hadn't tried all this stuff it may have done.

Anyway if you have any questions I'm happy to help. By the way, I'm not suddenly cured or some guru, I work at this everyday - to be healthy without drugs.

Lots of love to you. May you find a way that's right for you, that's drug free, healthy and happy. xxx

17 Replies

oldestnewest
  • this is great news!

    You've given me some thought, I keep having to come of mtx due to blood count problems, although I still take enbrel I panic the RA will flare up; seems like a good time to make more of an effort to look after myself a bit more and I think I'll try some of your tips, th green smoothie I'm not so sure about but the rest doesn't seem too difficult.

    I have a feeling I have that book but bought it when it was all new to me, feeling so ill at that time I dismissed it....

    Very interesting blog, I'm tired now but may come back and hinder you with some questions (since you offered :) ) once I've found that book I bought!

  • Hinder away, happy to help :)

  • I know the uric acid thing applies to gout but not heard it applied to RA. It's a risk to take if you have RA and turn your back on all the conventional drugs in favour of alternative approaches. Personally I've opted for both and am doing well. I might feel better if I dropped the DMARDs but the risk that I might end up in a lot more pain in the long term is very scary so instead I choose to try and compensate for the drugs by living a really healthy lifestyle and only putting very wholesome food and drink down me, losing weight and doing regular exercise. To me this would seem to be a less risky balance and keeps me on board with my GP and rheumatologist which seems important too.

    I'm glad this approach works well for you but please remembet that RA is a very variable disease that can go into remission for long periods and then strike with a vengeance again. Tilda x

  • Hi Tilda , thanks for your comment. I agree that people shouldn't come off drugs without doctors permission, I certainly don't advocate that.

    It is worth reading Margaret Hills book though, I got it for only 99p on Amazon. :)

  • I'm often sceptical when people come on here and make claims about being able to "cure" ra with diet but I think what you say about adopting a healthy lifestyle and diet makes a lot of sense. My diet has totally changed since diagnosis and I now avoid processed foods completely and understand the importance of a good balance of exercise and relaxation. I think I'll start reading into this in more detail so thanks for the advice. Great news that it is working for you and long may it continue.

    Paula x

  • Hi Paulywoo, I was sceptical too when I was doing research - I read that one RA sufferer was wheelchair bound, then discovered by not eating foods like strawberries and meat she was cured! Maybe she wasn't telling the entire truth?

    But anyway everyone's different and certainly for me it's a long list of changes in my life that's helped, which were discovered partly through trial and error and an insatiable desire to find an alternative way, plus Margaret Hills advice.

    Lots love and good heath

  • Hi Vixstar i am currently looking at alternative approaches as well and like you have been adopting meditation, and modifying my diet, hoping eventually to get to a raw diet.

    I am on sulpha which is a weaker dmard and have been having steroid injections. I hope that my last one is actually my last, i have also cut back pain relief and antiimflammatory tablets, I am still in pain but not anything like before and the problems and side effects that i have had with conventional medication has driven me to look at other approaches.

    Good to hear from you.

  • Hi Mads, that sounds great, hope it's helping,it's certainly worth keeping an open mind and trying stuff, plus giving whatever you try time to work. I think anyone diagnosed with RA has to be a very strong person to go through this.

    Lots love and good health

  • Really interesting to hear that this has worked for you. I have read the book also, and her story is quite amazing. I was also diagnosed in Nov 2011. I would be really interested to know if you initially tested positive for Anti CCP Antibodies, and have still managed to succeed with this approach? I hope you continue to reap the rewards. Alice

  • Hi Alice, my CCP test results were 340 when I was diagnosed. I don't know what they are now as my last apt. with specialist was re-arranged and I won't see him now until October on the NHS.

    I know in myself that I'm better as the swelling and pain is much diminished, however, as soon as I break the routine that works for me it creeps back slowly, so that's why I have to keep at it every day. But to be honest it's become a new life now rather than a chore. I know people have said they tried alternative treatments and the RA came back but I wonder how long they continued? It's easy to give up such a big lifestyle change and I do have days when I fall off the wagon but my body quickly reminds me what I need to do.

    I was just so keen to avoid taking drugs for the rest of my life that I just had to give it a go and it's working. It really isn't just one thing like diet it's my whole life that's changed...for the better.

    Lots love and health to you

  • I've been considering the benefits of an anti inflammatory diet for some time but just not taken the time to try it so I've downloaded the book onto my kindle so I'll give i read and let you know if it helps. I can't promise to read it straight away as I'm in the middle of the final installment of 50 shades lol. Of course I will be continuing with my methotrexate also.

    Paula x

  • It's got to be a better read than 50 Shades Paula!

    I have an acquaintance who came over to visit me before I was diagnosed and tried to tell me she'd had the same symptoms (only in her fingers) and had refused drugs and gone to have an allergy test instead. The allergy place told her she must avoid nuts completely and so she does and finds that if she accidentally has any her fingers stiffen and swell in the night so she can't bend them for a few days. Otherwise she's fine.

    I told my GP about this and he said nuts are packed with uric acid so it may have been gout that affected her rather than RA but suggested I experiment with eliminating them. I was already off wheat, caffeine, dairy and red meat so I duly cut out nuts for a month and the swelling continued. I now eat nuts and seeds but have continued with the rest of my diet and the only thing that gets me up or down re joint pain is if I don't exercise enough daily. If I eat wheat I get IBS. I agree completely with you about the change in mindset - it's got to be like an epiphany not like a diet. But for me I'm reasonably sure the dmards are working with the rest to keep the RA in remission. TTx

  • One of the first quesions my Rheumy aked when I was fist diagnosed was "Did you have any allergies as a child?" I did - everything from eating Pork (upset stomach) to drinikng from a plastic glass (swollen lipe & hives). These allergies/sensitivies wore off as I got older - but I still have the occasional flare up. Now my RA is under control most of the time with MTX.

    Now you will all think I have "lost it" I have just developed Osteo Arthritis.....has anyone tried the Copper Bracelet/Copper Coins approach? I don't know anyone who has tried it that says it has worked - but I'd like more info.....

  • I've got to agree with you Tilda, 50 shades has been a bit of a letdown..like a Mills and Boon without any story but more sex lol. Anyway I put it to one side and started reading the arthritis book. It makes interesting reading but I've not come across anything before that says ra is down to an acid state in the body and uric acid! I thought it was an auto immune response. Anyway I'm agreeing with all the healthy eating advice as most of it is what I've already adopted. I'm in agreement on the dropping of alcohol as again this has helped me. I like the advice to eat honey, something else I've taken up and will look into getting some black mollasses as it's not the first time I've been advised to try this. The thing I have trouble with is the 3 epsom salt baths a week! It's not that I'm against bathing lol, I'm just not sure about the epsom salts. Anyway I'm half way through already.

    Paula x

  • Hi Paulwoo, page 8 of Margaret's book in the first paragraph of chapter 1 claims that 'the underlying cause of OA and RA is too much uric acid in the body'.

    So glad you're reading it. I don't follow everything, for example I don't take molasses but drink Acid cyder vinegar with honey and warm water every day.

    Good luck with it all :)

  • I do believe everyone is different in the way this disease presents and in the things that trigger it Vixstar. I think for some the truth might lie in food intolerances and for others the secret might lie in exercise and for me a lot lies in both but not the same food intolerances as you have necessarily? I don't think I could bear to read a book purporting a new idea about the cause and treatment of RA just now. I don't feel balanced or impartial enough and nor am I enough of a scientist to be able to agree or refute this woman's ideas about uric acid in the body. All I know is that I seem to be on top of things for now but if I lapse for a day or two on the exercise front I usually feel it somewhere. I stick to my diet because it is balanced and suits my digestive system and I know, although I've already lost a lot of weight, I still need to lose more. I hate the thought of being on these powerful drugs all the time but it's a balancing act and since I seem well enough and healthy enough and am not presently in pain I have to assume that I've got it right for me just now. Also I did have 8 months prior to diagnosis to experiment with foods and even with the healthy and nutritious diet I'm presently on my RA got quite bad. My GP says that food intollerances are actually pretty rare and the best thing is to eat a sensible, balanced diet with as much leafy veg, oily fish and unrefined foods as possible so I think I'll go with that for the time being. I hope this book helps others though and I still would read it over 50 Shades anyday but that's not saying much! TTx

  • I actually went to see Margaret Hills in the mid 80s at her home in Coventry. She was a very interesting woman. I followed her advice for a long time but I think my RA was too far advanced by then for it to help significantly but I've often wondered had I known about it when I was first diagnosed, whether it would have worked for me.

    I remember the one thing that did work for me in the early days was reflexology. I saw a lovely lady for a good couple of years in the days before it was a fashionable treatment and I had great success from it. She retired though and try as I might I never found anyone who could do it like she did and I never got the same relief from anyone else.

    As you say everyone is different and what works for one person won't necessarily work for another - we know this from the diverse effects we all have from the drugs.

    All of these things don't do any harm to try and if you find something that works then that's great. But as you've already said, no-one should EVER stop taking their meds without speaking to their docs first. It can cause serious problems, especially with something like steroids which need to be reduced gradually.

    Good luck with it though - and I agree about 50 Shades ;-)

You may also like...