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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Recovery from Rheumatoid Arthritis

Below are some improvements I have experienced. Some are arthritis remission-related and some are not. ALL are related to better health habits and diet.

Joint erosion reversal. I have had foot x-rays taken four times by a licensed podiatrist:
in March of 1998, January 1999, December 1999, and December 2000. By 3/98, the cartilage in the lower joint of each big toe was basically gone, spurs were developing on both joints, and the bone at the joints was becoming pitted. Recall from the
Timelines page that the RA was
still very active as confirmed by blood tests (and by how bad I felt).

In January 1999 (this was 5 months after dropping methotrexate), my feet showed bone structure improvement as bone spurs that previously existed were gone and joint spaces
in several joints were larger (RA typically shrinks joint spaces). My podiatrist was amazed. In December 1999, I had a third x-ray. This one showed further joint space improvements with no RA progression. I felt confident this was the case prior to the x-ray based on how I had been feeling, but it's nice to have objective confirmation. My fourth x-ray showed little change, a good thing.

Orthotics. In conjunction with my arthritis feet problems, I started wearing custom orthotics. As I improved, from time to time I tried to go a day without them. My feet protested. In February 2000, I tried again. I do not have to wear them anymore.

Headaches. I used to get headaches every few months. At this point, I have had one slight headache in over 3 YEARS.

Colds and Allergies. I used to have seasonal allergies most years and multiple colds. I thought this was normal. It's rare (once a year if that) that I get anything now. If I do, it is MUCH reduced in duration (a few days at the most). I have not missed a day of work in over 3 years.

Obsession with Diet. I don't have to obsess over what I eat. As I have improved, I have more tolerance for small deviations from the diet that I didn't have earlier. I take this to mean my "leaky gut" is getting better.

Exercise intensity. I've been careful not to get too intense with my exercise workouts as I have set myself back at times. However, I am now at the point where I can RUN A COUPLE OF MILES with no problem (and no ramifications). I also lift weights, and have been able to do more there as well. I was fortunate to find out about wellness methods (whole foods diet, relaxation techniques, etc) shortly after I was diagnosed as extensive RA damage can be difficult, if not impossible, to reverse.

Pushups. My wrists have always been sensitive as some damage was done there. Being an exercise person, I have tried pushups from time to time just to see if I could do them. For about 18 months, these were impossible. Late in the summer of 1999, I could struggle through a few with my hands abnormally forward (because my wrists would not bend at the required angle). Early in 2000, I could start to do up to about 10 NORMAL pushups with some slight pain involved. Now I can easily do 30 normal pushups, with the limiting factor being my muscles and not my joints.

Reversal of Gum Deterioration. I went to the dentist in February 2000 to get my teeth cleaned. He commented "your gums look GREAT!" This is significant because just a few years ago he told me that I had signs of gum DETERIORATION.

Weight Maintenance. In the same conversation my dentist also inquired about how I maintain my weight as he has put on several pounds recently. I just tell him and smile. Within the Hunter-Gatherer portion of Wiley's metabolic diet, I can eat what I want, feel satisfied, and not gain weight. I am thin (5'9", 160lbs, 32" waist) like I was meant to be. It feels GOOD to be in this position after the last few years!

Cholesterol. My cholesterol levels normalized a few months after starting Wiley's metabolic diet and have stayed that way.

Airplane Ear Problems. I fly regularly for business. My hearing used to be drastically reduced after a flight, sometimes for days. I now have minimal, if any, problems with this.

Then versus Now. About three years ago, I was on disability from work only 2 months after I was diagnosed. I had difficulty eating (because of jaw pain), couldn't open a doorknob and couldn't stand up over 2-3 minutes. Couldn't see my wrist bones for the swelling, etc.

I am now healthier than the vast majority of people I meet.

Questions? Comments? Send me an email





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