A day in a life with rheumatoid arthritis – Part 6

It’s been a while since I last blogged about my diet experiment. I thought it would be a fitting time to give an update since I have some news to report.

Back in October I geared up to try a new diet in an attempt to manage RA symptoms. Now, I have to tell you that it’s been a bumpy road. I started and stopped, started and stopped…..

The whole idea was to go off foods that have potential for sensitivity and consume a starch based diet consisting mostly of vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, grains, and starchy vegetables. Foods such as gluten, dairy, corn, soy, eggs, and meat are considered to cause sensitivity in some people, especially those with autoimmune disease. I found this particular diet information during my search for healing from RA (an autoimmune disease) on Dr. McDougall’s website. What impressed me the most were the testimonials, not only for RA, but a host of other chronic disease like Crohn’s (my father had Crohn’s, which is also an autoimmune disease).

I kept detailed notes about what I ate and noted my symptoms. Here’s what I found;

  • Significant reduction in joint pain and inflammation.
  • Elimination of heavy thick aching feeling in my whole body.
  • Greatly reduced number and severity of flare-ups.

I kid you not. I noticed such a difference in the level of my symptoms that I’m a believer now. I admit, I was skeptical that diet would effect my symptoms, but after going on and off, on and off for actually several months now, as I have been experimenting for quite some time with food sensitivities, I’m sold on the idea enough to continue further investigation into longer term effects.

a change in season

Here’s what I eat;

Fruit, vegetables, green leafy vegetables, some beans, quinoa, rice, salmon, a little cottage cheese sometimes and gluten-free baked goods. Also, I take vitamin supplements.

When I stick to the foods mentioned I feel much better.

In addition to the change in diet, I’ve also reduced the meds I take. Currently, I’m at 5mg prednisone daily and 17.5 mg methotrexate weekly. I still can’t get off the acid-blocker and stomach issues come and go. Haven’t figured out what the triggers for that are yet, other than the meds, if there are other triggers.

I’m happy that while diet may or may not be a cure for RA, I had a positive shift in the level of symptoms I experience. It’s been a long tedious process for me because it actually started a few years ago and I’ve dabbled with it since then. The events (click link to read background) of the past year helped to, shall we say, coerce me into getting serious.

Another indication that the change in diet is helpful and the meds are working will take place on January 13th when I have my 3-month Echo-cardiogram to check the pericarditis situation. Hopefully, all will be well.

During the holidays a video crossed my path that further supports the idea that chronic disease is affected by diet. Dr. Terry Wahls used diet to cure her MS and get out of her wheelchair. Please watch as she tells her story and looks at the science behind her amazing discovery.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only based solely on my personal experience with the exception of Dr. Wahls video. No medical advice is given or intended by the owner of this blog.

31 thoughts on “A day in a life with rheumatoid arthritis – Part 6

  1. Hi Marianne;
    I know that diet has helped me – about 13 years ago I used the MS Diet for a year by Dr. Roy Swank, coupled with Udo’s Oil = changed my world. Now I follow an anti inflammation diet and eat gluten free foods to the best of my ability; recommended by Dr. Weil and now have a new book – Anti inflammation Diet by Julie Daniluk — and am pretty much living pain free – pain free from fibromyalgia — I know that diet and how we eat; with joy and intention will bring great healing. Continue on your journey — and I heard a great quote one time about diagnoses; ‘ it is just an opinion’ . ;-).

  2. Sorry Marianne; also wanted to say; bravo for moving through and finding what works for YOU – being active in your health and healing is key. Great on you!

    • Thanks Karen, I’m happy I persisted enough to notice the effects of diet. I feel I’m over the hump (resistance). It can only get better from here on. At least, that’s my attitude no matter what happens.

  3. Hi Marianne,

    So glad that you have a diet that works for you. I believe diet is the cause of many health issues even if we don’t have a specific disease. I’m also trying to eat more green vegetables, fruits and meats and cut out the dairy and wheat. The processed foods can be unhealthy, so it seems best for all of us to try to eat as much natural food as possible. Best of luck with your diet and RA.

    • Thank you, Cathy. As I mentioned to Karen’s comment, I’m so glad I persisted to notice the effects of diet. It’s given me the incentive to carry on. Thanks so much for your comment. Hope you have a happy day. 🙂

  4. That is very encouraging, Marianne. I knew that I needed to get through the holidays before making any real changes in my diet, but I’ve been committed lately to returning to elements of the anti-inflammatory diet my ortho doc. had recommended before. I’m very hopeful. I’ll be praying about your cardiac tests later this month – anxious to hear the results. (((gentle hugs)))

    • It IS encouraging, Pat.The comments from readers contribute encouragement as well. So, thank you very much for your comment, Pat. I’ll keep you posted on the results of the Echo…. 🙂

  5. Diet is central to health. I have eliminated certain foods that cause inflammation and I constantly read labels. However, I am not been able to give up my caffiene. Good for you for taking this approach.

    • Thanks, Lana. I’ve experimented with diet off and on for a few years now. Persistence to keep trying and tweaking has paid off. As Dr. Wahl says in her video, loads of fresh nutrient dense foods daily is the key. My new mantra is, “Bring on the vegetables.” I look forward to see how the next month goes as I continue with this eating plan. 🙂

  6. I’m thrilled this diet is working for you.

    Lana is right that diet has a huge impact on health. Mine has not always been the best, but I’ve worked on eating healthier foods in the past 2 months and notice that I DO feel better.

    Thanks for this update. Here’s to more healthy eating in the coming year!


  7. I am so glad the new diet is working for you, Marianne. The more I play with my own diet, the more I become a believer in the old saying “You are what you eat.” Healthful foods make for a healthy me. 🙂

    • Yes, it’s helping greatly, Robin. It’s wonderful to know others who are on a similar path. Thanks so much for your comment and I look forward to the discoveries we will make in 2012. 🙂

  8. This is inspiring and encouraging news! So far I simply try to avoid sugars and refined foods to help with depression. I do find it makes a difference to the way I feel generally and if I feel better in one way, it helps depression automatically. I am going to visit the website you mentioned, you have got me curious.

  9. Hi, Marianne! I KNOW diet is a huge factor in all autoimmune diseases (I have endometriosis) and I need to get “back on the wagon.” I’ve never kept a notebook, but you’ve inspired me to do so. I’m so happy you’re finding some relief from RA!

    • So glad you’re inspired, Debra. Dr. Wahls also mentioned she did electrical stimulation. That is something I’ll have to check into further as well. I’m excited to see what happens as time goes on and I stick to the eating plan. Thanks so much for your comment, Debra. 🙂

  10. Congratulations on sticking to a plan to increase your health, and THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing the information!! My daughter was born 4 months early, and has struggled with vague learning disabilities all her life. Recently I read a study that revealed that premies have decreased myelin in their brains and that this is what causes their cognitive disabilities. Now, thanks to you, I know what I can do to help her.
    May you prosper and thrive, pain-free


    • Melissa, that is so very cool!! I am so happy that you found information that will help your daughter. Dr. Wahls video has inspired me even further. Keep me posted on how things go and thanks so much for your comment. You’ve made my day. 🙂

  11. I am so happy, so very happy, so very very happy, that this is working for you, Marianne. I want you free of pain and thriving! Hopefully the diet will continue to help you. I know diet is so important.

    • Thanks so much Kathy! It’s very encouraging to have such supportive comments as I’ve received on this post. And, I’m so happy it’s helped others as well. It really makes living worthwhile and great incentive to carry on. Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend! 🙂

  12. Marianne, I found your blog after doing a search for Richard Gordon vs. Eric Pearl vs. Richard Bartlett. What kind of energy work did you receive?Reading this post, I’m wondering if you’d read anything about nightshades. My joint pain is gone after eliminating them from my diet.

    • Hi Linda,

      The person who gave the energy treatments established her own way of working after taking numerous workshops with various teachers.

      I have heard the theory that nightshades are tricky for those with various chronic illness. It’s great that your joint pain is gone after eliminating them!

      Thank you for visiting and commenting, Linda. Hope you have a really great weekend! 🙂

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  14. I also have ra. yes diet plays great a part in well geing. I also found a site called “the road back foundation” its run by people with autoimmune disease.
    Great site.

    • Hi Gerry, thanks for your comment. Thanks for the reminder. It’s been several years since I used the antibiotic Minocycline to treat RA. While I was taking it, it worked magnificently to stop the disease progression, however, it also created a huge problem with my gastrointestinal tract which I still deal with. I weaned myself off to try the natural route and found that eventually the RA got completely out of control to the point I was bedridden and disabled. None of the immune suppressing drugs and bio-logic’s have even come close to controlling it like Minocycline (however, it did take at least six months to become fully effective initially). My rheumatologist won’t agree to put me back on it and I’m reluctant to really push the issue because of the state of my gastrointestinal situation. It’s a pity that our medical system is controlled by big pharma. There is way more money in immune suppressants and bio-logic’s than antibiotics. I read Dr. Brown’s book,”The Road Back” many years ago. His research made sense and the fact that I experienced relief from symptoms while taking minocylcine attests to Dr. Brown’s research. I’ll definitely check out the website again. There has to be a way to naturally control or kill the bacteria that causes this disease. Thanks again for visiting and commenting, Gerry. Hope you have a wonderful day. 🙂

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