Inflammatory Arthritis
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Topics from the book,
Managing Arthritis
by Stephen Gislason MD

Learn About

Immune Mediated Disease
How Food Causes Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Gout
Fibromyalgia
Arthritis Drugs
Arthritis Nutritional Rescue

Arthritis Rescue Starter Pack

If you are not ready for the starter pack, Order the book, Inflammatory Arthritis print edition or download the eBook edition

Take a Food Holiday

Arthritis -Try Diet Revision

We think that inflammatory arthritis is sometimes caused by immune responses to food proteins and encourage everyone with arthritis to give diet revision a try. Several diet revision studies have shown benefit for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. These studies support the more common and persistent claims in the community that diet revision has benefits. Carinini and Brostoff reviewed the concepts of and evidence for food-induced arthritis. They stated: "Despite an increasing interest in food allergy and the conviction of innumerable patients with joint disease that certain foods exacerbate their symptoms, relatively little scientific attention has been paid to this relationship. Abnormalities of the gastrointestinal tract are commonly found in rheumatic disease...Support for an intestinal origin of antigens comes from studies of patients whose joint symptoms have improved on the avoidance of certain foods antigens, and become worse on consuming them."

Many of our visitors are arthritic 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 to them. Many have read both the orthodox literature and popular books or magazine articles with claims of arthritis cures.

Reasonable Experiments

I encourage all people of all ages with inflammatory arthritis to try diet revision. This includes people with:

  1. Rheumatoid Arthritis
  2. Psoriatic Arthritis
  3. Ankylosing Spondylitis
  4. Arthritis associated with Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  5. Arthritis associated with Lupus Erythematosis
  6. Arthritis associated with Celiac Disease

I consider these diseases to be major causes of suffering and disability and encourage everyone involved with these diseases to take the responsibility for looking after yourself. In my view, good self-care has several components:

  • You do not hesitate to make major changes.
  • You learn as much as you can about the disease.
  • You avoid dogmatic positions and unrealistic beliefs.
  • You sustain beneficial changes for years to come.

The arthritis experience is challenging in the extreme. Pain, loss of function, and repeated bouts of a flu-like illness become part of life. Drug treatments are disappointing and often add unpleasant side effects and toxicity to the already bad experience. When joints are acutely inflamed, the pain can be severe, and “pain-relievers” are often inadequate to relieve pain. Because the disease can be so severe, patients with the disease may bond strongly with their doctor and with agencies that claim to serve the needs of arthritis sufferers. Any understanding, sympathy or relief is welcome. A 1997 survey of 1,000 Canadian arthritis sufferers showed that 60% developed the disease after age 40; 62% of those dissatisfied with the care they received cited "not getting better" as their chief complaint. Arthritis was one of the most common reasons for visiting the family doctor in Canada and is the third most common reason for prescription drug use.

Inflammation is usually produced by populations of immune cells that occupy the affected tissues and secrete chemicals. Chemical mediators of inflammation are of several types, including prostaglandins and cytokines (such as tumor necrosis factor). Inflammation may show up diffusely, be localized to tendon or ligament attachments, or occur in and around joints. Joint involvement is diagnosed as inflammatory arthritis. There are several distinct patterns. A group of related joint and connective disorders have been called rheumatic diseases. All these diseases are immune-mediated, and all are expressions of inflammation in connective tissues. Inflammation damages joints and surrounding tissues, resulting in loss of function and deformities. Variations in the patterns of rheumatic diseases reflect the many possibilities for immune damage to disturb and distort structure and function. Severity ranges from mildly painful, chronic inflammatory activity to drastic, disabling or life-threatening disease.

Arthritis Treatment is Disappointing

A survey of 1,000 Canadian Arthritis sufferers showed that 60% developed the disease after age 40; 62% of those dissatisfied with the care they received. "Not getting better" was their chief complaint. Arthritis was one of the most common reasons for visiting the family doctor in Canada and is the third most common reason for prescription drug use. The annual cost of arthritis health care in Canada is $14.3 billion.

The Key Points: 1 There is clash between orthodox opinion and the ideas that flourish in the community at large. Sometimes professional opinion is biased and dogmatic. A drug bias dismisses all attempts to discover and remove possible causes of arthritis.

2. The withdrawal of Vioxx, commonly used by arthritis sufferers was a shock to doctors and patients alike.

3. While doctors attempted to reassure their patients that the medical approach to arthritis is not fundamentally flawed, the medical approach needed a complete review.

4. We urge the reader to spend the time required to understand good scientific hypotheses which lead to practical, common sense approaches to diet management in arthritis.

5. We think that inflammatory arthritis is often caused by immune responses to food proteins and encourage everyone with arthritis to give diet revision a try.

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Alpha Education books refer to the Alpha Nutrition Program, a standard method of diet revision.

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Managing Arthritis
Alpha Nutrition Program

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