Rheumatoid Arthritis

Recovery from Rheumatoid Arthritis

Below are the additions to this website, starting with the most recent.

1/31/2004. My Current Health Status
As I state elsewhere on this site, no one has all of the answers to the RA/autoimmune question, least of all me. I do know that the things that I have done, while not the only path to take, have proved helpful for many. After several years in total remission, my RA is active again, although it is MUCH less severe. I'm able to work and exercise (although at a lower level than before - yardwork, walking and a few light weights right now). After several months, I've improved significantly, but I still have moderate morning stiffness/swelling in my hands and feet. This is minor compared to the agony I experienced several years ago, but it does exist, and there is some pain for me.

I've tried to review the things that could have contributed to my RA returning. I think the primary thing I dropped (we're all human) was the relaxation techniques. Stress affects us all, and I took my recovery for granted a little too much. Relaxation techniques are again a part of my daily routine, along with the other things (diet, exercise, supplements) I have always done. I'm not doing badly, but I want to do better.

1/31/2004. More Complete Elimination Diet Instruction
The vast majority of the questions I receive are along the lines of "how do I get started?" or "how do I do an elimination diet?" The link below, from the extensive Dietnet site, provides a great starting point, although it is recommended that people do some up front learning prior to starting this process. Included are things such as the purpose of this e-diet, the 4 stages (preparation, elimination, testing, healing), and a large number of typical questions asked and answered.

How to do the elimination diet that I used

10/26/2002. Blood Test Results
If you have looked at the "Timelines" page of my site recently, you will notice that I have not posted new blood test results since May 2001. I have a very good reason for this: I do not need them. The money spent for each round of tests was not worth it as the results have continued to be good and I continue to feel good!

2/18/2002. Leaky Gut Article
If you have read the "RA Approach" page of my site, you know that I have used a protocol to resolve my RA based on the existence of an abnormally permeable intestinal tract, or "leaky gut." Recently I wrote an article about Leaky Gut Syndrome that was published on the site Arthritisinsight.com. The following items are discussed.

  • Basics of the human digestive system, with emphasis on the intestinal tract
  • The interaction between the intestinal tract and our immune system
  • The epidemic of digestive illness we have today
  • The impact of chronic stress on the body
  • What Leaky Gut is, how it can develop, and what you can do about it

Several books, authors and websites are also referenced. ArthritisInsight is primarily a traditional medicine site in terms of the approaches to arthritis that are emphasized, but I do give them credit for accepting articles like this one. You may want to take a look.

Leaky Gut Article

12/1/2001. 4 Year Anniversary
I started Dr. Mansfield's elimination diet just hours after eating my Thanksgiving dinner (painfully as my jaw and most major joints were hurting) in November of 1997. After 4 years, I have experienced tremendous improvement, first relatively quickly and now on a slower pace. Along with diet changes, I have also relied heavily on relaxation techniques, an antifungal for yeast overgrowth and light exercise. I took methotrexate for the first 6-7 months.

Although I have occasional twinges during intense exercise (full court basketball) and slight stiffness for a few minutes when I wake up in the morning (I experienced damage in my feet and ankles within months of my diagnosis), this is still slowly improving. It continues to amaze me. I have no arthritis symptoms and take NO medicine.

I continue to be encouraged by my progress. I have been in total remission for over 3 years.

10/4/2001. Latest Blood Tests
In June of this year I learned firsthand that sed rate rate and rheumatoid factor are not tests specific to rheumatoid arthritis. These test results were worse. I was concerned, although I didn't have any arthritis symptoms. Shortly afterward I discovered my body was fighting a cold as two days after these tests I came down with one. Now, about 4 months later, I still have no arthritis symptoms (the cold is long gone).

See my latest results on the Timelines page.

7/17/2001. New Frequently Asked Question
There have been several people that have asked whether this approach to RA will also benefit those with osteoarthritis (OA). For some people (not all), the answer definitely appears to be yes. For much more detail, follow the link below.

Does this approach benefit OA?

5/27/2001. "The Doctor Within" website
The "doctor" in this case is your amazing body, which, under the right circumstances, has the ability to heal itself as mine has (although in the case of RA, joint damage may still remain if extensive).

Are you interested in understanding the fundamental differences between traditional and holistic approaches to chronic disease? How about learning more about how your colon functions and how it relates to allergies, autoimmune diseases, etc, in layman's terms? This site accomplishes this and more.

I've also added this site to the Websites subpage of the Supporting Info page on this site. Click on the link below.


5/27/2001. Created subpages from the Supporting Info page
This page has always been very long. I added links from Supporting Info to lead to individual pages for Books, Studies, and Websites. Hopefully this will be easier to use.

3/24/2001. New Site Search Function
I have added a new search function at the bottom of each page on this site. Searches are not heavily used here as this is not a large website, but Google's search should be a little easier to use.

2/10/2001. Latest Blood Tests
I had another round of blood tests on 1/31/2001. Things continue to look very good. My sed rate has now been in the normal range since July of 1999. I last took traditional arthritis medicine (NSAIDS, DMARDS) in August of 1998. See my latest results on the Timelines page.

02/05/2001. Update to "RA Approach" page.
The foundation of the approach I have followed is diet modification. However, as I have specified in other places on this site (such as question on the "FAQ" page called "I haven't improved significantly on Dr. Mansfield's elimination diet? Why?"), some people have additional "leaky gut" related sources of immune system reaction which affects their RA symptoms. I modified the "RA Approach" page to reflect this fact. Take a look at the fourth step on the RA Approach page called "Determine Whether Other Leaky Gut-Related Problems Contribute To Your RA."

01/21/2001. Rheumatoid Arthritis and Diet site
This site has a very good collection of research, books, commercial sites, etc., related to diet and rheumatoid arthritis. My site is also included. If you want to look further into this subject, this is a good place to start. I've also added this site to the Websites subpage of the Supporting Info page on this site. Click on the link below.


10/20/2000. Frequently Asked Questions Page
I regularly receive questions of many types related to this method of approaching RA. This page is a first attempt at providing more detail concerning some of the more difficult things to explain, such as how to determine one's metabolic type and how to add back foods after the elimination phase of Mansfield's elimination diet. Click on the link below to go to this page.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page

9/23/2000. Latest Blood Tests
I have my blood tested about every 3 months. I have finally added my test results for 8/18. Note that these results are slightly higher than before. As sed rate and rheumatoid factor tests are both general tests that are influenced by items other than RA, it's impossible to know exactly what's going on here.

As I increased my exercise intensity about 1 month before these tests (jump rope 1,000 times 2-3 times a week and more running on hard pavement), my thinking is that the bone spurs that exist where my ankles meet my feet (still there from when the RA was active), are causing this slight inflammation/antibody increase. I'm still exercising at this level. When I jump, I sometimes do have some discomfort.

My podiatrist, who has x-rayed my feet multiple times, agrees that this is a distinct possibility. I am in the process of scheduling outpatient surgery to have these spurs removed. See my latest results on the Timelines page.

9/1/2000. Diet Website
I've recently become aware of a website ( http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/rwgully/) that does a nice job of sharing information about several of the popular diets out there today (Atkins, The Zone, Eat Right for Your Type, etc.).

Also included is the metabolic diet I have followed and substantial portions of Robert McFerran's manuscript for his upcoming book "ARTHRITIS -- Searching for THE TRUTH -- Searching for THE CURE", which can help a person understand much of the theory behind this approach. Go to the Site Map page to see this. The site also has a pretty comprehensive nutrition reading list.

Click on this link for a more detailed description of this site within the Websites subpage of the Supporting Info page.

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