January 15th of 2017, I started "The Elimination Diet" by Allissa Segersten and Tom Malterre. I followed the diet recommendations and actually extended the length of each reintroduction to make sure that I didn't have any reactions to the reintroduced foods. I did not however reintroduce gluten, dairy, processed sugar, soy or caffeine.
Before the diet, with my medications contribution, I had gained more than 25 pounds. I was in constant pain. I had severe flares about 1-2 times per month along with bouts of depression. The prescribed biologics were not working for me at all. I was very discouraged. But, with the years of research I had done after being diagnosed 5 years before, and my scientific and agricultural background, I eventually came to the conclusion that most disease comes from the gut. After further research by my lady friend and myself we came across the above mentioned book. It touched on almost all of our nutritional concerns with simple to understand explanations and examples. Much of the book is easy to follow recipes, which in my opinion are very delicious. I have never felt deprived at all. In addition to the diet I have been making fermented foods for their pro-biotic benefits to re-establish the beneficial gut bacteria.
During the reintroduction phases, the only food category that was a problem for me was the nightshades. I reintroduced potatoes first, then tomatoes. No problem with either of them. Then I tried eggplant, one of my favorites. I flared that evening and the following day. I waited a few more days and tried eggplant again. I flared the same as before. So obviously eggplant is a trigger food for me.
As I mentioned above, I never intended to reintroduce gluten (although I love sourdough). I believe gluten is the cause of many illnesses we have in the United States. I did not intend to reintroduce dairy, processed sugar or soy because of inflammatory reasons.
Since beginning the diet. I have eliminated all of my methotrexate, I am off all pain medications, and I have reduced my prednisone from 10 mgs to only 4 mgs per day. I have also lost 45 pounds (I started the diet at 270 pounds and am now 225). I am 6-6 so I carry a bit more weight than the average Joe. I am practically pain free now. I do have a flare about once every 6 weeks or so, usually if I eat too much red meat. The flares still last about three days, but they are much less severe. I am once again able to chase my grandkids around the yard and play with them. I am hiking, hunting and fishing again, and I even jogged a half mile about two weeks ago. I hadn't been able to jog for about 5 years. (I was a little sore for about 24 hours afterwards.)
I do consume, in limited quantities, the following organic, unprocessed sweeteners - Raw honey, raw maple syrup, and coconut palm sugar.
I don't limit my food consumption. I guess I feel I hv given so much with this RA that food is my guilty pleasure.
Diet plays a major role in RA. Avoid nightshade foods and reduce sugars. Lots if veggies and greens.I gave been off Xeiljans for 3 months now and started CBD hemp medicinal oils and I religiously drink my turmeric and ginger tea with pepper each day. I have some pain in my hand but doing well.
Right now I'm only doing fresh fruits, vegetables, and some fish. Anything I want to eat I'm cooking from scratch. I'm trying to avoid process foods since I found out the process foods were bringing on my flares.