**Update on diet changes & RA

*Update* I am having huge successes in alleviating my symptoms from changing my diet!! Please if you are visiting and have RA...try this. Or contact me... I am not only a mission to fix myself but to help others!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Question for fellow RA'ers or vitamin people!

So, I am now taking quite a few supplements... and some days I take some in the morning and some at night... and some days I space them out...  I don't really know when to take them...do you?

Here's the list:
1.5 teaspoons of Cyto-Matrix Omega D-3
2 probiotics (HFM Forte)
2 Natural anti-inflammatories (Inflammatrix by Cyto-Matrix)
4 Vitamin D pills
2 Calcium pills
1 Materna (prenatal vitamin....we are planning a 2nd at some point!)

It feels like a lot of pills but compared to some, it's not that bad.  After my friend Cam's post on http://www.arthritis-alternatives.com/  I realize that I should also add Vitamin C to the mix.  Can anyone recommend a brand?  Is the Costco brand ok?

I take 2.5mg of prednisone in the morning.  I am waiting to get to the doc to reduce that!

I typically take the Omega 3 at night.  My thinking is that since mornings are the toughest, that the oil will help lubricate the joints while I'm sleeping?

Is it ok to jam down 6 or 7 pills at one time?  Thanks...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

On the Mend!!

Well, it's stopped raining in my world!  My flare is back under control and my achilles tendinitis is basically gone!  I found the most amazing physiotherapist and I've been a good patient, doing my exercises daily.

Food has been back to basics with no new additions to get out of this flare.  I've been learning to love steamed broccoli (key word there is learning!)  I have been enjoying my freshly juiced veggie juice!  Something feels very organic and healthy about drinking beets, kale, carrots and celery.  I think it's really good for my body and immune system.

Something I have learned is I have some pretty strong cravings while I'm PMS'ing!  I'm past it now but I had a few days where I was actually holding onto a bad of chocolate chips!!  It took some major inner strength to put them down!!  haha.

And on that note, I must say that I really love getting people's posts and comments.  It really keeps me going knowing that people are reading and following, so thank you all!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Icky day

How does that saying go... when it rains it pours??  Things were going so great and I ate a few questionable foods and boom, big flare!

I ate Lone Star on Sunday evening.  I had made a healthy beef stew at home with all my allowed foods (carrots, celery, beef) but when I went to my father in laws for dinner and I saw all the beef and chicken, I thought it might be ok.  I only had about 3 pieces of each but boy did it taste good (and different from my plain old bbq'd meat with sea salt!!)  I wonder what exactly they put on it?  Salt, butter, and what else?  Does anyone have any guesses....well whatever it was it sent me into a flare!

Then I really hurt my achilles... after my run and workout on Sat I knew something wasn't right.  When I woke up Sunday, I could barely walk.  Long story short- got to the doc and physio and I have achilles tendinitis.  Very common and very treatable.  Just means I have to rest... (yuck... I'm not so good at that...) and do some rehab exercises. 

Oh well....  it's all part of it.  Live and learn.  The few times I have taken a risky chance, I've flared up.  I need to stick to it, no exceptions!!

On a positive note, I went to NutriChem yesterday and bought some new supplements.  I'm trying the most potent Omega 3 supplement that is on the market.  Cyto-Matrix Omega D 3 Forte and Inflammatrix, which is a turmeric based natural anti-inflammatory.  I'll see how they work!~

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Great article!

Good Sunday morning!  I just came across a super article....  it's nothing that we don't already know but I love reading well written and logical research from doctors to support what I am doing!!  Check it out...


Saturday, October 23, 2010


Things are going great on my end.  I haven't been adding foods as often as I should, but I'm enjoying the use of my hands and feet so much I don't want to send myself into a flare!!  I mean, it's part of the process but I'm being selfish!

My son turned 2 this past week and there were a few parties here for him.  That means some baking (cupcakes) and other treats (pizza, chips, etc)  I fully admit and take responsibility for sneaking a bite of a cupcake but other than that, things have been going very well.

I successfully added pork, which is nice as I have lots of options for dinner now (steak, chicken, pork, eggs, hamburger)

Today I pulled out our juicer and made a nice fresh juice.  I was in a "let's get healthier" mood.... which I tend to do about once a month!!  Haahaa.  I used some safe foods- carrots, apple, celery..and added 2 newbies- beets and ginger.  It tasted good.  My 2 yr. old was even fighting me for it!!  I don't mind letting him drink that!

On another note, I have been researching Omega 3 EFA's (essential fatty acids) and I think I'm going to change my curreny brand.  I was using Nutrasea, then at the recommendation of a friend, switched to Metagenics (which I think is an excellent brand)  but I just spoke to a rep for Cyto-Matrix and it turns out their supplement has much more EPA (1750mg) and DHA (875mg) as well as Vit D (1000 IU).  They also carry a product called Inlammatrix which is what my Naturopath suggested, I just couldn't find it. 

It's too bad my benefits don't cover all these proactive supplements....just the big bad meds that I'm staying away from!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Status Quo....

Nothing exciting to report!  I am doing extremely well, feeling great and trucking along!!  I am adding pork tomorrow!  I successfully added broccoli.

I bought spaghetti squash for my fam so I will likely add that in the next few days.

My hands and feet are feeling normal and well!!  I am running, doing weights, kickboxing and the only soreness that I am having is good soreness from working out!

I am curious if anyone out there has made any diet changes to get RA relief?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Feeling fine....

Well it's been a few days since my last post.  Things have been going extremely well.  I successfully added eggs which has been nice!  I love eggs. 

Then I added goat cheese and shortly after hummus (probably a little too soon)  I have some slight swelling in my hands but it's not very bad.  I'm going to eliminate them both and try adding something else.  Probably a veggie of some sort.  I'm really enjoying roasting parsnips, sweet potato and carrots- it caramalizes them and they taste great!!  Hmmm...anybody have any suggestions for another great "roasted" veggie??  I'm stumped.... 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello All!
It's Thanksgiving and it looks beautiful outside.  One thing I've noticed of late (since feeling good) is that my outlook is much more positive.  I've always been a happy positive girl, but some mornings waking up in so much pain, really took it's toll on me and my attitude. 

Now when I wake up, I feel energized and pain free.  It's like a gift every morning.  I am trying not to take it for granted.  I have realized that I have been successful in relieving my RA pain by changing my diet.  It's so amazing.  I hope that other RA sufferers will read this and give it a shot.  Some people think that eating in such a strict and controlled manner is one of the most difficult things, but really?  If it helps your disease, the way you feel, gives you the option of going off of serious drugs & meds?  Doesn't seem that hard to me. 

Some people have been asking me to update my food list and how I got started... so I'm going to recap ;)  I started my elimination diet on August 1st.  The diet info can be found here  http://www.frot.co.nz/dietnet/reviews/mcferran01.htm

I found this site after I was told I needed to go on an IV drug for my RA.  I was on a lot of meds (naproxyn, plaquenil, prednisone, Humira injections).  This diet changed my RA and now I am in the process of cycling off of prednisone.  Then I won't be on any meds!!

My friend, Cam, has some very informative and great posts (especially her latest about RA and fasting) ... check it out at:

Here is my current safe food list (keep in mind, it has been a process... lots of ups & downs)

Veggies:  sweet potato, celery, carrots, spinach, cucumber
Fruit: mango, blueberries, POM juice
Meat: chicken, beef
Other:  SunWarrior rice protein, rice milk, rice crackers, olive oil, sea salt, flax seed, almonds, eggs
Supplements:  probiotics, omega 3
Oh and just introduced goat cheese yesterday!!

Happy Thanksgiving all!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

RA Awareness

A typical evening for me usually goes something like this... make dinner, eat dinner, put baby down, crawl into bed with my laptop and research RA.  I try to find other blogs like mine and almost every single night I manage to find one about someone that is suffering with RA.

There are not a lot that I can find that are directly related to diet but I'm sure I just haven't stumbled on them. 

It makes me realize that I am one of the lucky ones that decided to try this elimination diet. There are a lot of people that have RA that are on lots of serious medications.  I am still taking 2.5mg of prednsione and I plan to try calling my rheumatologist again soon to request an appt and also request a lower dose prescription.  I feel ready to ditch the prednisone!  It's about time, in Dec. it will be 2 years on them.

I found this great link and decided to share... it's a good description of RA!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Kickboxing, running & good eats

Things are going great.  I am feeling well and my hands & feet are amazing.  I have a terrible cold but that's the least of my worries. 

It's amazing how much better I feel mentally when I have no or little pain.

Just getting ready to put my little fella down, have 2 eggs (still testing them out, but so far so good) then a run on the treadmill followed by some kickboxing.  It's also great to get to chose my workouts by how I feel, opposed to, "what can I do while my hands and feet don't work" 

Happy hump day!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Energetic & pain free

Not a lot to report other than feeling fantastic and going strong.  I added eggs yesterday. 

Saturday night I had a few glasses of wine at a friends party and I was hurtin yesterday!!  I have to remember that I don't eat as much as I used to and I can't handle as much wine as I used to as well!!  Lesson learned.  At least I just had a hangover, as opposed to being flared up, stiff, sore and hung over!

I still can't get over how good it feels to wake up with no pain in my hands & feet.  I'm now over 2 months into this diet experiment and I can't believe that diet is such a huge factor in RA.  I believe this whole heartedly.

And..... I have been in contact with other people that are having similar results.  It's so amazing.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ready to run again

Wow, I'm back to feeling the best I have again!!  I realized something huge yesterday!  Since I was taking rice protein and rice milk with zero probs, I started eating rice crackers.  The brand I was buying included only rice and sea salt (no prob right!)  I realized that I bought the no name brand, or actually I think it was the "irresistables" and I ate some a few days ago... here's what's in them:
1. japonica rice
2. sunflower oil
3. corn maltodextrin *YIKES!!*
4. sea salt

Um, there's my problem!!  I know it.  Corn is a big no no according to my food sensitivity testing.

Me yelling at myself "Smarten Up, read labels girl!!!"

Anyways- I've been super good with nothing new or out of the ordinary and I feel amazing again.  So good that I plan to go for a nice run on the treadmill when my babe goes down for his nap.  So funny that I could barely walk on Thursday, yet ready to take on the world & run Sat by altering my diet.

Friday, October 1, 2010

It's a NEW day :)

Happy Friday everyone!  I woke up today feeling significantly better!  I didn't eat very much yesterday but I did limit the rice milk and I must have drank about 5 litres of water.  Anyway- it feels good!!

I was up late lastnight researching and I ended up coming across some really great blogs about RA.  I swear most people with blogs are professional writers- they are so well written.  I've added a few new blogs to my side bar- check them out!!

After reading lastnight, it reminds me of a few important factors.  Firstly, most people with RA have what they call leaky gut syndrome (sounds lovely huh?)  Well, this is a very common problem with lots of people.  It is basically little holes along your GI tract that allows undigested food particles into your body.  They say that health starts in the gut and if you do have leaky gut, then you will have health problems.  In a study done, they found out of 100 people tested with RA, all 100 of them had leaky gut!!!  So, it was a good reminder for me to continue taking my probiotics. 

Secondly, I was reminded of how lucky I am to have the option of testing my food sesitivities while going off my meds.  While I try not to complain, there are others out there that are much worse than I.  I actually have it pretty good and the fact that I am able to function and live without any meds (minus prednisone) is amazing.  Some people are in such debilitating pain that they simply can't go off their meds, it's just not an option.  For this reason, I will not feel deprived when I can't eat what everyone else is eating, it's a choice for my health... a smart choice that I have to take seriously.

Here is an article that I came across on a random website...  it was a good read. (A tad long though)  Enjoy!!

Arthritis may be an allergic response to materials in the food supply. Diet

revision may be helpful in reducing the activity of inflammatory arthritis and

in some instances may halt the progression of the disease. There are many

patterns of arthritis. A group of related joint and connective disorders have

been called rheumatic diseases. All these diseases are immune-mediated, and all

are expressions of inflammation in connective tissues. Inflammation damages

joints and surrounding tissues resulting in loss of function and deformities.

Variations in the patterns of these diseases reflect the many possibilities for

immune damage to disturb and distort structure and function. Severity ranges

from mildly painful, chronic activity to drastic, disabling disease. Rheumatoid

arthritis, often severe and disabling, is the dominant rheumatic disease that

can attack all joints in the body.

Rheumatoid arthritis is often considered to be an autoimmune disease. Our idea

is that no disease is just internally generated and must involve outside

contributions. Arthritis is often associated with inflammatory bowel disease.

The mechanisms of food allergy link abnormal gastrointestinal Tract (GIT)

function with immune attacks on connective tissue. In all arthritic patients,

normal GIT function should be rigorously sought by adaptive dietary adjustments.

Simple allergic arthritis is a definite entity that is often not recognized as a

food allergy. Typically, a dramatic, acute, and painful swelling develops in one

or more joints asymmetrically. Eating a food, either an unusual food eaten for

the first time or sometimes a regular food eaten in excess usually brings on the

joint inflammation. This presentation is similar to and often confused with

gout. Any food can cause allergic arthritis. Staple foods such as milk, eggs,

and wheat (rye, oats, barley), coffee, beef, pork, and food additives are the

most common food triggers. Carinini and Brostroff reviewed the concepts of and

evidence for food-induced arthritis. They stated:

Despite an increasing interest in food allergy and the conviction of innumerable

patients with joint disease that certain foods exacerbate their symptoms,

relatively little scientific attention has been paid to this relationship.

Abnormalities of the gastrointestinal tract are commonly found in rheumatic

disease...Support for an intestinal origin of antigens comes from studies of

patients whose joint symptoms have improved on the avoidance of certain foods

antigens, and become worse on consuming them. These have included patients with

both intermittent symptoms, palindromic rheumatism and more chronic disease.

In another study, 33 of 45 patients with rheumatoid arthritis improved

significantly on a hypoallergenic diet. The authors concluded: Increasing

numbers of scientific studies suggest that dietary manipulation may help at

least some rheumatoid patients and perhaps the greatest need now is for more

careful and well-designed research so that preconceptions may be put aside and

role of diet, as a specific or even a nonspecific adjunctive therapy, may be


Unfortunately, dairy products, wheat and its close relatives, oats, barley, and

rye, have proved to be a major problem in the diets of our patients. There are

many possible reasons for cereal grains to become pathogenic. Hypersensitivity

mechanisms triggered by grain proteins, collectively called Gluten, are the

likely cause of the illnesses related to intake of cereal grains. Gluten is a

mixture of individual proteins classified in two groups, the prolamines and the

Glutelins. The prolamine fraction of gluten concerns us the most when grain

intolerance is suspected. The prolamine, gliadin, seems to be a problem in

celiac disease; gliadin antibodies are commonly found in the immune complexes

associated with this disease. Recently marketed grains, spelt and kamut, are

wheat variants (despite claims to the contrary) and are likely to cause problems

similar to other wheat varieties.

A wheat gluten mechanism has been studied in rheumatoid arthritis patients. The

clinical observation is that wheat ingestion is followed within hours by

increased joint swelling and pain. Little and his colleagues studied the

mechanism, as it developed sequentially following gluten ingestion. Dr. Parke

and colleagues concurred with this explanation of the gut-arthritis link in

their report of three patients with celiac disease and rheumatoid arthritis. The

mechanism involves several stages:

* GIT must be permeable to antigenic proteins or peptide fragments, derived

from digested gluten.

* The food antigens appear in the blood stream and are bound by a specific

antibody (probably of IgA or IgG, not IgE class), forming an antigen-antibody

complex, a circulating immune complex (CIC).

* The antigen-antibody complex then activates the rest of the immune response,

beginning with the release of mediators - serotonin is released from the blood


* Serotonin release causes symptoms as it circulates in the blood stream and

enhances the deposition of CICs in joint tissues.

Once in the joint, the immune complexes activate complement, which in turn

damages cells and activates inflammation. More inflammation results in more

pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of mobility.

Arthritis is usually treated with salicylates or related anti-inflammatory drugs

generally referred to as NSAIDs. These drugs alleviate the terrible pain of

active arthritis but do not favorably affect the outcome of the disease. All

anti-arthritic medication can produce asthma or chronic rhinitis and a variety

of allergic skin rashes. Gastrointestinal surface irritation, bleeding, and

ulceration are routine problems of anti-arthritic medication.

The first attack of joint swelling and pain should be treated as an urgent

problem to be solved. Inflammation may damage joints. Often NSAIDs and

physiotherapy are the only treatments prescribed and inflammation is given every

opportunity to ravage tissues. We have seen countless patients, just treated

with NSAIDs, who progressed rapidly to a severe disabling disease, often with

poor pain control. In unlucky patients, severe deformities of joints accumulate

in the first few months of a severe attack. There is a trend to recommend more

aggressive treatments, using drugs that impair the immune response. The best

drug is prednisone, but it is seldom used because it has long-term side effects

which scare both physicians and patients. Prednisone is often a magic drug that

relieves terrible pain and suffering often in the first 48 hours of therapy.

Beyond prednisone, there is a grab bag of immune suppressant drugs to treat

arthritis-chloroquine, penicillamine, gold and methotrexate have emerged as the

favored drug therapies. All these drugs have impressive side effects and great

potential for toxicity.

Our preference is to try to stop the inflammatory activity as soon as possible

with diet revision. All inflammation is likened to a fire. You get out the

fire-extinguishers and go to work. No matter what pattern the immune attack

assumes, our standard defense can be tried first. The Core Program method of

diet revision is used. Food is replaced with an elemental nutrient formula,

ENFood, for a clearing period of 10 to 20 days. Prednisone and/or NSAIDs are

drug options during the clearing period and then the dosage is reduced after

pain and swelling have subsided. Improvement is followed by slow food

reintroduction (see Core Program). Each returning food is carefully screened for

arthritis- triggering effects. You hope that food allergy caused the problem and

that food control can be successful controlling the disease in the long- term.

Nothing is lost by taking this approach and complete control of the disease can

sometimes be obtained. If strict food control proves to be inadequate, then

other drug treatments can be instituted.