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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Recovery from Rheumatoid Arthritis

A primary focus of this method is one's intestinal permeability, or "leaky gut." Go to the website subpage of the supporting info page to find out more about this topic. I believe that just about everyone with RA has leaky gut. Much of what you see below is designed to correct this condition. The theory (and my personal experience) is that this contributes to RA in those that are genetically predisposed to it (like myself).

Basic Steps in this Approach

  • Stop taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) as they work counter to healing intestinal permeability. You will find after several days on the elimination diet below that you don't need them (as the ediet removes the primary sources of immune system arthritis-causing activity).

  • If you are taking a DMARD (disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug),stay on it. This is a personal decision between you and your doctor. That is one of the strengths of this approach (the flexibility to combine traditional and complementary methods if desired) and keeps your risk at a minimum. I did this myself as I was taking methotrexate at the time. After several months of improvement I was able to wean myself from it with my doctor's approval.

  • Do Dr. John Mansfield's elimination diet. He has used this diet for years with a high success rate (85%). If you have food allergies (most people do), expect some withdrawal, possibly very painful, after about 2 days. This is described in detail in Mansfield's book, ARTHRITIS: THE ALLERGY CONNECTION. The diet is also described here on the Dietnet site. This takes some planning to do correctly.

  • Determine Whether Other Leaky Gut-Related Problems Contribute To Your RA. Some people do not experience significant improvement after 6-7 days of Mansfield's elimination diet ( primary reasons why this occurs). Sometimes food particles are not the only things that leak into a person's bloodstream to cause immune system reactions. For example, intestinal bacteria and parasites like candida albicans yeast are other candidates that can either cause RA symptoms or make them worse.

    This happened to me.

    Mansfield himself mentions this situation in his book, ALLERGIES: THE ARTHRITIS CONNECTION . The recognition that there can be multiple factors influencing one's RA (and the fact that there are ways to successfully address them) was significant in my decision to follow this approach. In some situations, it may be inconvenient to explore these other possibilities, but they can be critical in bringing about recovery.

  • Start eating according to your inherited metabolism. Each of us inherits how we metabolize food in the same manner as we inherit our skin, eye and hair color. This helps to explain why one person's food is another's poison and will probably be the most difficult part of this approach as significantly changing eating habits can take a HUGE shift in one's thinking (of course, chronic, disabling pain has a way of giving one the incentive to make this kind of change).

    This way of eating (actually multiple diets) is described in detail in Dr. Rudolph Wiley's book BIOBALANCE and at this link. Key points involve moving to a whole foods orientation, ranging from a meat-eating orientation (Hunter-Gatherer) to a minimal meat approach (Agriculturalist). For background information, read the BIOBALANCE and NUTRITION AND PHYSICAL DEGENERATION book descriptions/quotes on the Supporting Info Books subpage elsewhere on this site.

  • Learn and use relaxation techniques. This little understood item is actually very important to countering the effects of the high stress society we live in. Here's the theory of how this works in relation to RA: The intestinal lining must regenerate itself every 12-18 hours to remain healthy. When you are stressed, one of the first things that happens during your "fight or flight" response is that the blood from your intestines moves to support your muscles. If one is stressed chronically, intestinal bloodflow is deficient and can result in problems over time. The response obtained when one utilizes alpha and/or theta brainwaves during relaxation helps restore normal bloodflow. This activity should be done for at least 20 minutes each and every day.

    I personally use meditation and visualization. It's actually quite pleasant after you learn how to do it. Sound like a lot of effort? It's a lot less than struggling to live with RA. Reference the Kenneth Pelletier book description on the Books subpage of the Supporting Info page. for more information. There is a LOT of evidence in today's mainstream media to support the body-mind connection.

  • Get regular exercise. This is standard for just about any arthritis protocol. Do as much as your pain and inflammation will allow without setting yourself back. Not always an easy task, but worth the effort.
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