Dietary Management of Inflammatory Arthritis
We encourage all people with inflammatory arthritis to try diet revision. This book explains why. The inflammatory tendency in your body will be explosive at times and the triggers can be sensitive.
Many of our readers are arthritis sufferers or have loved ones who are suffering. Some are newly diagnosed and are beginning the search for information and guidance. Others have had arthritis for some time and are disappointed with treatments offered them. Many have read both the orthodox literature and popular books or magazine articles with claims of arthritis cures. Some have already experimented with diet revision. As always, there is a clash between orthodox opinion and the ideas that flourish in the community at large. The truth of arthritis probably lies somewhere in the middle. Advice from the major institutions is often dogmatic and sometimes wrong. We know that advice about diet and arthritis from major institutions can be misleading and often discourages self-directed effort to seek a solution through diet revision. The institutional advice ignores a body of scientific evidence and sound biological thinking that should be of great interest to the arthritis patient and his or her MD.
There is bias toward drug treatments and a prejudice against any self-management. The newest drug treatments can be aggressive, toxic, expensive and require intense involvement with medical faculties over many years. The long-term benefits of aggressive drug treatments are uncertain; drug toxicity and high cost are, however, more obvious. In the introduction to the book Inflammatory Arthritis, Dr. Gislason states: "The idea that food can actually cause inflammatory arthritis is difficult to believe and widely dismissed by physicians. The fact is that food can cause arthritis. The pathogenic possibility is not in doubt, at least if you read the medical literature carefully. What is unknown is how many people have food-induced arthritis. How much suffering is caused by ordinary food and how much relief can be obtained by changing food choices? The basic idea is that proteins in foods such as cow’s milk and wheat gluten can enter the blood stream and travel to the tissues around joints. A foreign protein is usually captured by an antibody and travels as an immune complex. Immune complexes that end up in tissues trigger inflammation.
The main problem with popular diet advice is that books and magazine articles that advocate changes in diet or offer nutritional advice often get the story mixed up, and good ideas are helplessly entangled with bad ideas. Food ideas are also mixed up with commercial hyperbole, and the result is quite chaotic. We urge the reader to spend the time required to understand a good scientific hypothesis, which leads to a practical, common sense approach to diet management in arthritis. We do not advocate taking any drug or product as a cure for arthritis. We do suggest a practical, problem-solving approach to arthritis management.
In the community model, physicians are seen as limited in their understanding and ability to help arthritis sufferers. Alternative treatments and support systems are available. In the institutional model of arthritis, the patient tends to be a passive victim and must submit to the authority of properly qualified physicians. The medications offered for inflammatory arthritis treatment are often disappointing and can do harm. There is no consistent treatment plan and little progress has been made in understanding the disease mechanisms. "
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