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joint care, arthritis and diet

707 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  newcastlemama
I'd like to know if anyone has a story to share regarding joint issues and diet.

Rheumatoid arthritis runs in my family. Well, let's just say my dad has it and his maternal grandmother had it - as did my dad's half-brother (paternal relation). I'd like to think it doesn't run in the family, and some of the research I've done on diet vis a vis RA show that there is a probably connection between the two... in which case there is possibly an "inherited" dietary anomaly (if you can call sensitivity to refined carbs an anomaly) that is surfacing in my family which is causing RA.

I would like to refrain from suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis, personally. I have had joint issues, however, as well as what seemed, for the life of me, to be an RA flare-up six years ago, but I tested negative for RA factor in a blood test. I've decided to NOT travel the route which would have me dive into more tests and rheumatologists and NSAIDS, etc. etc. That doesn't mean that my body isn't having issues (I know, denial doesn't mean there isn't a problem). Instead, I'm following the hunch (and evidence) that diet is the way for me to deal with this.

I've been experimenting as best I can (with a dh who thinks I'm already weird because of my fermenting projects and my desire to go organic, local, unprocessed, traditional, etc.), and I'd really like to know what's worked for you (all)...

I'm 36 and active, my weight is ok and I have no real health problems (never been on prescription meds other than antibiotics for the occasional pink-eye or respiratory infection). Sometimes my 3x/week 8mile bike ride doesn't phase me in the least and sometimes it makes my knees so darned creaky and stiff. Periodically I'll have a floating joint-pain - one day it's my thumb, the next it's a hip or an elbow, and other days it's all fine.

I've started taking CLO - which on first glance seems to actually help. ? but I'm not certain...

Though I can't cut all refined grains (dh is Chinese and white rice is pretty major in our dinners, though I've gotten it down to 3 times or less per week), I at least lessen my portions... also I'm pretty good about staying away from white flour and sugar (with only an occasional splurge). While they were gone I had lots of energy but that could be attributable to several factors - so I'm having a hard time sorting out what is diet related and what's not.

I found this site: - and it seems pretty right on. I tried the elimination diet while my family was travelling and I only needed to feed myself. I found that metabolically I tend toward the hunter/gatherer end of the spectrum, but since I don't really have consistent arthritis symptoms, I never had the "clearing" that he writes of that would make a major lightbulb go off.

all this to invite you to post your own observations and results....

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(I will answer because I have read about my condition being related to RA. I had a lot of Lupus symptoms too but that test thankfully came back negative.)

I have later stage Lyme and deal with arthritis/muscle/joint pains. (I am 26, healthy weight, very into sports and outdoors before Lyme). Most of mine is in my arms and espcially my hands. I have noticed that when I am not eating the foods I have been tested allergic/intolerant to my symptoms get very minimal. I have about 30 foods I avoid ( I had an Immunolabs bloodtest and I avoid nightshades because that is supposed to help the pain). I am working on being very strict right now and even cutting out all sugar (honey ect too) because of what I have been reading on WAPF and Mercola. (Mercola has some good info in RA, BTW). So my diet is basically coconut products, brown rice, meats/broth, my non-allergen vegetables and fruit, and nuts minus pecans. I eat a lot of grassfed beef. I will add large-ish amounts of water kefir to the list when I can find some grains!

I sit in the 103 degree hot tub 2 times perday and try for 15-20 minutes because I read that can help arthritis and help Lyme. I am on abx for up to a year right now to try and get it out. I am also on minerals and take about 1 T a day of CLO (I read about this helping in a few places). I would also lay out in the sun if I was allowed to (abx make my skin sensitive to burning). I also have my dh rub my arms and hands and would get massages if I could afford them. I make sure and sleep/rest enough so my immune system can work well. I try and get in a lot of coconut milk and oil because of the anti bacterial (Lyme is a bacterial infection) effects and I do seem to feel/look beter overall on it. I aim for walks around our rural property everyday. I am not at the point where I can really go for it physically but I am so much better than 6 months ago.

I hope this helps and that you can find a way that works for you! It is a great start to do traditional foods and an elimination diet.
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I was also wondering if kombucha has helped anyones arthitis. I can get a free scoby and wondered if it was worth trying out.
I'm actually just hearing that nightshades (tomatos, peppers, eggplant as well as bad ol' potato) can cause arthritis symptoms. (google something like nightshades + allergies, or nightshades + arthritis) I'm in the middle of a comprehensive elimination diet myself, although i keep sabotaging it and having to start again
: -- but i re-introduced tomatoes and peppers early on cause i thought they'd be safe... and then i tried to figure out if my fatique and achiness were coincidental.... i'm still working on this!!
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Originally Posted by newcastlemama View Post
I was also wondering if kombucha has helped anyones arthitis. I can get a free scoby and wondered if it was worth trying out.
Absolutely! My mother saw her joint inflammation go down visibly in 3 days of drinking kombucha.
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I had some success with the joanna budwig diet-- it's very strict though and you cannot consume any sugar at all. I'm vegan now so I'm not doing it, but I have found that being sugar free helps a lot.
I have had a psoriasis diagnosis for most of my life, and apparently because of that I'm very likely to develop psoriatic arthritis. Joint care was high on my list of why I'd started doing some of typically TN foods.

It has been my practice to make sure to get 'building material' in so that my bones and joints can be repaired as they get damaged in everyday movement. So things I lean toward are bone broths (that gel!), making sure I get enough greens and making sure all foods are digestible and nutrients available by soaking or fermenting those foods.

I also try to get kefir, coconut oil and CLO in regularly. I also get a lot of ACV, both in salads and in a drink of a cup of water and T each of ACV and honey.

I would do kombucha as well but I'm nursing and since I've never taken it before, I don't feel I should. I think the minerals in kombucha would surely help arthritis.
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I like hearing what other folks are doing - some things sound familiar and others are new to me.

Newcastlemama - that Lyme disease sure knocks you out doesn't it? I've don't have it but have an acquaintance who does (did? that was a while ago)... Interesting that the hot tub works for you - my dad's arthritis gets so much worse if he gets overheated (esp. hot bath or hot tub). I notice temperature fluctuations when my joints are acting up (as though my body has too much heat or yang energy)... coincides with nightsweats I think... anyway. It just amazes me how we all have to find such different things and that there really isn't one "right" way to alleviate these problems.

Quietserena, I've been taking ACV as well, but mostly because it seems to help me absorb water better - drinking plain water I can still get dehydrated whereas water with ACV can even take away a dehydration-induced headache. I've sort of slipped (understatement) in my kombucha making (as in I don't even know if my scoby is still alive), but I'd add that to water too...

I'll take a look at the Mercola site again (been a while)...

I've been trying so hard to get good bone-broth material but our local co-op's supplier actually sends their beef neck and knuckle bones to asia. Grrr. I'm searching through our local WAPF yahoogroup to see if anyone has any other options but without a giant freezer I'm still having trouble. Fingers crossed that I can find something soon. I lucked out and found some lamb necks in the frozen section the other day and made a huge broth/soup which gelled up nicely and seemed to lessen my "craving" somewhat.

Food allergies. So much seems to be related to food allergies and sensitivities. That's so complicated especially when the allergen is something that's a "staple" in our narrowly-defined-modern-diet-mentality.

I've got a sourdough starter starting and have been making the no-knead long rise bread and hope to put the two together within the week. I suspect that wheat is a problem for me though not major at this point, but without being able to cut it out completely perhaps that's a decent option.

Speaking of food allergies, as a teenager I was an athlete and I consumed huge amounts of carbohydrates (breads and pancakes and rolls, cookies, and crackers) and always craved more. That was during the low-fat craze (80s) when my family pared meat down to chicken and turkey (and lean cuts at that)... now that I try to eat more TF I don't have that old craving. I don't even crave bread at all and having pretty much cut refined sugar out of my diet I can pass the deserts over in the break room right by.

I'll keep an eye on nightshades (we do periodically eat potatoes, and that'll be hard to manage when tomato season rolls around, bummer!).

Unfortunately I'm not able to focus solely on my dietary fact-finding, being a spouse and a mother... I'm sure you all understand
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Anybody know if these kinds of dietary changes can help fibromyalgia? The pain isnt' caused by inflamation, so I'm not sure if all the "anti-inflammatory foods" will make much difference.

Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
Anybody know if these kinds of dietary changes can help fibromyalgia? The pain isnt' caused by inflamation, so I'm not sure if all the "anti-inflammatory foods" will make much difference.
Have you ever done an elimination diet? I had muscle aches also until I took out all my allergy foods. I am not sure if taking out the nightshades works. I am just trying it because when my joint pain stops I can get off drugs so I am willing to try anything reasonable.
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