Rheumatoid Arthritis is an inflammatory, autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy tissues. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is something that I have been challenged with since 1995.I spent many years in excruciating pain in my hands; so much pain that I couldn’t even hold my toothbrush or button my pants/shirts. The pain would last for an entire day before calming down and then it would take 3 days before the swelling and soreness would go away. When these situations occurred, this was called a “flare-up” (inflammation). Initially, I would get these about 3 to 4 times per year. I tried every home remedy and drug, (Celebrex, Vioxx, Arava, cortisone drugs/steroids (such as prednisone), hydroxychloroquine, and methotrexate injections, but nothing worked permanently; these were all short term fixes and the pain would always return.
After many years of dealing with yearly flare-ups, in 2005 after meeting Dr. Don Colbert, I learned that there were many different foods that could trigger one to have inflammation when diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. After reading his books as well as other studies on arthritis, I decided to put all of that information to the test. I decided to stop eating foods that would make me have a flare-up. The following is a list of foods that could trigger rheumatoid arthritic reactions:
|Foods that Trigger Inflammation (“flare-ups”)|
|Shellfish||Milk & dairy products|
|Night shade plants (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants & bell peppers)|
By now, I know that you are in shock! You are asking yourself what are going to eat if you take away these foods. Don’t be alarmed, you can make changes over time.
Here are some of the foods that I typically eat:
|Foods that Won’t Cause Inflammation|
|Cold Water Fish||Dark Leafy Greens|
|Garlic||Whole Grains (no wheat)|
|Ginger||Fresh fruits (no oranges)|
|Natural Nuts/seeds||Olive oil|
|Flax oil||Fresh/Frozen Vegetables|
It took time for me to make the transition, but I did it and now I finally feel better than ever since being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis! I can now wake up EVERY morning able to hold my toothbrush and get dressed without a problem! So for me, not eating a piece of chicken or having my favorite coffee was okay.
So how do you get started? Start slow and remember that not all of these foods listed will impact everyone the same. In order to find out if a particular food causes inflammation in your body, you must remove all of the items from your diet for 2 weeks and then slowly re-introduce them back–one per week. If you still having the pain and can’t identify the cause, send me an email because there are a few other things/strategies that you can do to help you live pain free! I am telling you the truth, it really does work!!! I no longer take any medications for rheumatoid arthritis!
Kamhi, Ellen, and Zampieron, Eugene. Arthritis. California: Celelestial Arts, 2006.
This post has been updated; originally published July 19, 2008.