Food And Arthritis

Add the RIGHT foods to your diet to REDUCE arthritic pain and inflammation.
Include the WRONG foods to your diet and INCREASE arthritic pain and inflammation.
My choice? A life-journey based on a low-oil whole-food plant based diet.
Whatever your current state of health, make yourself healthier - you deserve it. Start your plant based diet journey today.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Where am I?

Over the last few months I have had two main challenges.  That of reducing my methotrexate and also adding back foods that previously caused me arthritis problems.  Along with this I have been continuing my yoga and in fact doing more.  But let me start with my medication.

Medication: Like many people I wanted to avoid the DMARD medication such as methotrexate.  Emotionally I simply could not handle it.  In fact after starting I found no noticeable side-effects and settled down to it.  That said I refused point blank to have the dosage increased, as advised by my doctor.  Had I done that I am sure my doctor would have doubled the medication level, possibly moved on to injected methotrexate and/or other drugs.  But I held out at 10g in four tablets at first and then reluctantly allowed an extra tablet to raise it to 12.5g.

Now that my arthritis is disappearing, after discussions with my doctor and rheumatologist, I started tapering the drug a month or so after I had had no RA reactions.    Also remember I had previously stopped all other medication (primarily anti-inflammatory drugs) months before with no sign of any need.  So the methotrexate was my last drug (let's ignore the Folic Acid which will disappear as the MTX disappears.)

Initially I started tapering at a tablet every two months.  But as I progressed, with no RA reactions appearing I decided this was to slow.  So I have settled on 1 tablet reduction per month.  Still no reactions.  I am now down to just two tablets.

One point worth noting is I only reduced my medication after a successful blood test, that is my CRP levels continue to be low.  So every month I would wait for my blood test results and look for the doctor's comments.  If everything was good (which it was) then I continue to taper.

Interestingly reducing my medication has not just been problem free, I have noticed that my body is feeling healthier.  It is as if the brakes on health have been released.  Yes, this is nothing tangible, just a feeling.  But believe me this is a very strong feeling that encompasses my entire body.

And now to the food: To further make this phase a challenge I have decided to test my body with the full range of foods which previously I found serious RA reactions to.  I have named this my add-back phase.  In summary this has also been a resounding success.

I will detail two parts.  Adding back Gluten and Tomatoes.  I have tried to stick with home-made bread with high-quality flour but everything I have tested has caused me no problems.  My standard flour is spelt which makes fabulous bread.

Tomatoes were one of my biggest no-nos.  At my worst a hint of tomato would take me out for a couple of weeks.  So I planned my tomato attack with great care.  In fact I took a month over the whole process, starting with tomato paste, then passata, moving on to tinned tomatoes and finally fresh.

This adding-back of foods proved to me as much as anything that I was in control of my RA.  I am the master of it, not the slave.

All foods that I want to test have been tested.  My gut microbiome is working perfectly well and digesting everything I want to throw at it.

In future I will never go back to dairy, milk or cheese.  Nor will I have lots of oils, never things like margarine (which without lots of salt would taste appalling!)  I am sure my body will be able to tolerate them in small amounts, but I choose to stay clear of them.

Finally my yoga: Anyone who thinks a whole-food plant based diet is for wimps is talking out of their posteriors.  Over last months I have stepped up my yoga.  Let me just say that what I started doing, Bikram Yoga, often people refer to as "90 minutes of hell."  I subject myself to this day in day out, at least four days a week.  Well I did do.

In recent months I have stepped up my sessions with double-Bik's, back-to-back Bik's and weekend intensives.  My diet, my body, I cope with these with ease.  Yes, I benefit from being retired, and yes, I know when I need to do things like sleep and pace-myself.

But if you had asked me a year ago, or even five years ago if I would be able to keep up this kind of intensive training...  Well, I do this for me and because I can.

Physically I can do it.  Not bad for someone who a year ago could not walk even a 100 yards to his local supermarket across the road.


  1. You are a shining example to everyone Andy. Wonderful.

  2. Yes, so encouraging. This is one of the things Id like to talk with you about. I have the drug in my possesion but have not started it...can't seem to make the decision to take it.