Anti-inflammatory diet

Has anyone here tried to supplement the Pred with diet? I'm OK taking meds, but I'd rather not, if there is an option. So I went to a naturopath, who put me on a rather restrictive diet--the aim is to take as little Pred as possible. So, I can't have sugars, dairy, legumes and lentils, nuts and seeds, grains or flours of any kind as well as no nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, potatoes). So I can have other veggies, meats, eggs and 2 servings of fruits. Right now I'm on 9-10 mg (alternating days) of Prednisone. At the best of times, I have to work at maintaining my weight--so this will make it much harder. He told me to try it for 2 weeks, and then see how things are.

14 Replies

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  • There is no alternative to pred for reliable management of PMR. You may be able to reduce the amount of pred by diet but you have to bear in mind this is something that is going to be a problem for years - not months. Can you really face such a restrictive diet for that long? The few people on the forums who have tried it weren't able to last more than a few months.

    I have tried no alcohol, no nightshades, gluten-free (I was gluten-free when PMR struck as I have an allergy to wheat starch) and I used very little dairy for a long time. None of it made the slightest difference - just made my diet rather boring and eating out very difficult.

    We recommend here that when on pred you try low carb - and it really does help with the weight gain problem though there you do have to be strict. Even root veg and fruit can take you above the amount of carbs that keeps YOUR weight controlled. Everyone is different.

    Now you are below 10mg you do need to be sure you are trying to reduce SLOWLY. No reduction should be more than 10% of the current dose but even that is too much for many people.

  • Thank you for your quick reply. In a way, I'm glad to hear you say that, because I would really like to enjoy my food! But would a specialized diet help to strengthen the adrenals?

  • No. That's the plain and simple short answer.

    There will be practitioners who will happily take your money and tell you they CAN improve adrenal function through diet. It's bunkum. Adrenal dysfunction may cause some things - but it really isn't the basic cause of PMR although in some patients they have found poor adrenal function. This hardly surprising as PMR is predominantly a disorder of the elderly and adrenal function declines with age.

    There are several causes of poor adrenal function - diet doesn't help any of them.

  • Oh dear! Are you calling me "elderly"??!! :-)

  • Nah - no more so than I was at 51. But the definition in medicine isn't quite the same as ours!

    Conventionally it is "over 65" but there is no real definition. The practice has been to refer to PMR and GCA as diseases of the elderly - and they claim the average age of diagnosis of PMR is 72. Within the last few years the charity has managed to get the guidelines changed to "over 50" - but the medical bunnies out there still call it a disease of the elderly. As a result they often won't consider people under 50 as having it - nor do they look for it! You see where I'm going????? And the older patients with PMR ARE undeniably elderly.

  • I'm sure not!

    But according to the medical profession it is! They obviously don't realise 70 is the new 50 - in lots of ways 😉

    Unfortunately there is no magical cure in place of Pred, many have tried. Just eat sensibly, cut down on carbs, have the odd treat occasionally, give yourself a bit (or lot of TLC) and accept Pred is the way forward.

    Don't waste time or well earned money on ifs and maybes - life's too short!

  • Hello, I can understand you wanting to try to avoid Pred. There are a number of anti inflammatory diets about, proclaiming to be the answer. Some say meats are bad and some come down on diary too. Sugar and refined carbohydrates are known to be bad news generally across the board.

    When you say maintaining your weight is difficult, in what direction do you mean?

    Did the naturopath explain why ALL flours? There are many flours and some come from unrelated plants. I'd also be interested to know why all nuts are supposed to be pro inflammation.

  • Hi rheav.

    Just to clarify ......you have been on Pred for a short time (a month?), and are tapering 9-10 mg? And do I understand correctly that you have had trouble holding a healthy weight, as in weigh too little?

    We all understand your reluctance to use prednisone...been there too... however, at this time, although research is chugging ahead...there is no other known medical treatment for pmr, and more importantly...GCA, which is the bigger issue here. We have all been hopeful that eating the "correct" diet would make it go away. So far, that has not proven true.

    So, try the restrictive eating program as long as you can, and let us know how it works. There are many who would prefer that route as a treatment..!

    Kind Regards, Jerri

  • My opinion of restricted diets is the danger of missing out on essential nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, especially trace elements - which then have to be replaced in tablet from......!!! Also, dietary fibre for healthy bowel function! Nuts and seeds contain essential fatty acids - did he allow you to eat oily fish?

    I very much doubt that altering your diet for just 2 weeks will show anything, but do let us know how you get on.

  • I've learned the hard way to change one thing at a time, whether adding or subtracting, and to do even that gently and slowly, taking notice of any benefits or deficits or "no change" over the course of a couple of weeks.

    I also follow grandma's advice: "Everything in moderation, including abstinence".

    As much as we wish somethng else was true, there isn't anything besides prednisone that controls the inflammation that builds up in our systems with PMR/GCA. Consuming more anti-inflammatories, and reducing inflammatories, may or may not help around the edges, but we can't cure or even effectively treat PMR/GCA with diet. If we could, we'd not be in the shape we're in.

    In my unmedical opinion, the best things one can do for one's self are to get enough rest, exercise with the aim of maintaining range of motion and strength, stop stressing about things that are out of one's control, accept that we have a long-term health condition that gives us limited options that are not what we would put on the menu if we were making the list, ask for the help we need, do something kind for someone else, love our loved ones, and either find or create at least one thing of beauty and one moment of laughter each and every day.

  • Well said!

  • Well that's a lesson in life, with or without PMR/GCA. Best advice I have had is to try and control my weight by reducing carbs where possible. Eat a complete and varied diet. Take enough pred that the body requires whilst trying to reduce. Most of this advice came from contributors on this forum, they know who the are. There are many who will take your hard earned cash by giving dubious info.

  • If we could control these conditions by diet would ANY of us be taking pred?

  • Good thought! :-)

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