Anyone else have Rheumatoid Arthritis (disease)

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Anyone else have Rheumatoid Arthritis (disease)

This topic contains 10 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Essgeebee 5 years, 3 months ago.

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  • Hello, I have Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)and Im Hypothyroid. About 3 years ago I managed to lose 160lbs just through dieting. I had no choice because my knees were so bad that if I didnt do something I wasnt going to be able to walk. I found that my inflammation greatly reduced as well on a healthy diet. In January of this year I had both of my knees replaced at the same time. Surgery and recovery was a breeze but I slipped back into my old eating habits. Amazing how easy it is to restart bad habits. Anyway, now I am 40lbs heavier and my inflammation is so bad I can barely move on some days. Started the 5:2 lifestyle on Monday and I can say the pain from inflammation has already decreased. I really think this new way of eating is the answer for me. Want to hear if anyone else is battling RA or Hypothyroidism or both.

    Hi Shannon, just bumping your post up, because I know there are others here who have Rheumatoid arthritis or Hypothyroidism or both.
    I have read posts about how much inflammation reduces once the weight is gone.
    Welcome!

    I have been told today not only do I have RA but have little to no carteledge in both knees and am to young for knee surgery there is a lot of inflamation according to the MRI along with soft tissue damage, cycts and bursitis… I live in the country with no access to hydro therapy and it would appear that the intense 3 minute exercise is out at least for the present I plan to increase my activity but it wont be the 3 minute stuff and cyclying and walking are out for the present at least does anyone know if this will hamper my progress on 5/2 and or can anyone think of something else I can do that will not stress my knees and does not involve a pool that would work thanks

    I was finally diagnosed with palindromic RA in December last year after suffering four years of muscle and joint aches. It had progressed to the point where I was getting severe swelling and pain in many joints. I also have had a significant respiratory problem for eight years, thought to be allergic in origin but now felt to be linked in some way to the RA.

    I started the 5:2 diet in early October this year, about 5 weeks ago. I was about 2.5 stones overweight at 14st 7lb. In just that short time, I’m already 7lb lighter and into a size smaller trousers and shirts which is great. I feel a slightly more active and energetic. Most interesting of all though, my RA seems to have improved.

    I keep a diary of symptoms to report them to my consultant. At my last 6-monthly review, I reported that I had about one serious ‘flare’ per week on average involving a shoulder, hand or other joint, putting it out of action for several days with associated severe pain. Since starting on the 5:2, I have made no entries at all in my diary. None. Pain free for almost five weeks and no swelling. No pain killers needed and feeling fine.

    I’m slightly sceptical by nature and obviously, it may not be down to the 5:2 with something else at play but I now think that, if the diet has something to do with it, fast days are a small price to pay for such a positive change. Weight loss is a bonus.

    I’ll try to post again in case anyone is interested in how this pans out longer term but in the meantime, because this supports Michael Moseley’s finding that 5:2 can improve inflammatory conditions, if anyone else with RA sees a change I hope they post about it.

    Hi Everyone,

    Really interesting post. I’m so glad the diet has been so helpful. I have a friend with RA, but she is so slim already and sticks to a low fat diet. I don’t know how this could help her.
    I know a lot of doctors are beginning to recommend the Fast Diet for weight loss, but they haven’t yet cottoned on to the other health benefits! Hopefully they will soon. All the horrible drugs they hand out often have such dreadful side effects in the long term. I wish my doctor had told me that inflammation could be reduced by fasting. I suffered a really bad kidney infection which I suspect was brought on my a painkilling drug I was taking for fibromyalgia. I haven’t needed painkillers for a long time now. I suspect because the inflammation has dropped due to this diet.

    I have some osteoarthritis in my hands and I did notice that reducing the amount of meat I eat helped lower inflammation. That was before I started the 5:2. Since doing this diet though the stiffness I normally experienced most mornings and after getting out of a chair has decreased no end. Also my restless leg syndrome has reduced at night, which can apparently be caused by inflammation too.

    I’m living with Psoriatic and Rheumatoid Arthritis and now starting the 5:2. I’ve been on a healing journey since diagnosis in 2011 and successfully used IF for a year early on but got derailed by devastating life changes and the effects of prednisone.

    I’m coming out of the life crash and off the prednisone (fingers crossed) and want/ need to lose 20-25 lbs to take the next step towards improved mobility/ functionality and quality of life.

    My previous IF experience was combination of daily 8:16 hrs plus weekly 6:1 days. I’ve tried to restart this but have a hard time sticking to the daily routine because it feels like punishment so trying 5:2 and viewing it as 2 days of focused self-care. Aiming for Sundays and Thursdays when I am busy but not super stressed. I will build Yoga into the routine on those days to underline my goals of mobility, de-stressing and taking back my life after six hard years.

    Looking forward to walking this path with you – wish me luck!

    Hi all — I do not have RA or really any serious pain during the day from joints and arthritis, but have noticed over the last 3 -5 years that I have been getting pain in my finger joints — classic beginnings of arthritis. Has been steadily building and now I basically wake up every morning to pain in my finger joints, sometimes enough to make me wince. The pain goes away within 5 – 10 minutes (thank goodness).

    So, I wanted to post here to check and see if my experience is “real” or if this is just, I don’t know, a “placebo,” since I read the research and heard that fasting works to create an anti-inflammatory effect.

    Okay, so, basically I fasted once or twice before the holidays, in December of 2016 (I think I fasted on Dec 19th and 21st). These day-long fasts (especially the second one) were ended by dinners those evenings that were well over the “suggested” 500 calories for a woman of my activity level/height — I would guess i ate more like 800 or even 1000 calories. Hard to say. Anyway, didn’t notice any difference in my usual pain in my hands when I woke up on the 20th and the 22nd.

    Fine, so, January 2nd came and I started up the 5:2 again, this time with more determination to follow the guidelines as closely as possible, rather than kidding myself.

    Fasted Monday, Jan 2nd, and Wednesday, Jan 4th. And this time I stuck to the 500 calorie limit for dinner, and also didn’t drink any wine on fast days (I typically have a glass of wine with dinner, and I did have wine on the December fast days).

    And then today I woke up and instead of the usual way I wake up — “well, my right ring fingers hurts a LOT and my other fingers hurt less… and my hands in general need to wake up and get the pain out…” I woke up and felt… virtually no pain in my hands AT ALL.

    Is it possible that I could be getting this effect from two fast days?

    Hi, I’ve had RA and polymylagia (inflamatory disease which affects body tissues) for 17 years.

    Like Shannonwashere, I got my excess weight off using methods other than 5:2 and then had knee replacement surgery (lost 52kg from 2013-2015). I stated with just counting calories and then used a VLCD (very low calorie meal replacement diet) as I had to quickly get my BMI under 35 for surgery. I maintained the weight loss for 18 months, but as I tried to reduce the amount of obsessive calorie monitoring I was doing (on my dietitian’s advice), my weight started creeping up. I’ve regained 10kg in the last 3 months and I can’t let it get any worse. I need a healthy way of getting the 10kg off and maintaining my weight, without obsessing about the calories in every meal. I’m hoping intermittent fasting can provide a viable solution that will work long term. I’m almost finished week 2, so far so good.

    Something I have been doing for about a year is adhering to an eating window (sometimes this is called 16:8). For me this means I don’t eat breakfast, but commence food around lunch time – sometime between 11am and 2pm. I stop eating somewhere between 7:30-9pm at night, with 9pm being my absolute cutoff point regardless of how late I actually started eating that day. It took a while to stick to this but it’s second nature to me now. It does help with my tendency to binge as it limits the number of hours each day that I can eat. It also helps with the late night eating that had become an issue for me – if pain keeps we awake I get up and make a hot drink – while waiting for the kettle I always ate. I actually started the eating window as I had read that it helped which chemo symptoms. As the treatments for RA are also immune suppressant I though that it may help with the chemo-like side effect I was getting from the abatacept (Orencia) infusions that I have every 4 weeks (this is my main RA treatment drug). All of the worst side effects stopped immediately (vomiting, nausea and headaches).

    I hadn’t realised that the excess weight added to my inflammation levels – no-one had ever told me there was an connection. But since losing weight my ESR blood tests are consistently lower and the amount of visible inflammation in my body is lower. I also noticed that with my recent weight gain, not only did I see more inflammation, but my last ESR blood test was up by 30 points, so I know exces weight does not help. That is not to say that the RA symptoms go away with weight loss – of course they don’t. But my pain levels are lower, my inflammation levels are lower, my average energy levels are a little better and I’m taking fewer strong pain killers. These are marginal, but very welcome gains.

    Like Duma, I find yoga helpful. As the RA means I’m not all that flexible, I use a 30 min program designed for seniors (that’s about as challenging as I can manage), and it does help with my balance and flexibility. It also means I can’t use bad whether as an excuse to not be active.

    PamelaV – I haven’t noticed any clear difference in my inflammation levels on FD or other days, I find other things have much more impact. However I have noticed in the last couple of years that if I have a true binge day (eg an excess of foods high in fat/salt/sugar), it’s followed by 1-2 days of very noticeable extra inflammation in my joints and tissues. If I stick to a largely healthy balanced diet (whether it’s a FD or a NFD), then my food seems to have no impact on my inflammation levels.

    Hope you are all having a good week.

    Hi fellow RA sufferers.
    I’ve had RA and polymyalgia (inflammation of the body tissues) for 17 years. Although I’ve always had weight issues, my BMI when I was diagnosed was about 33 (which is good for me), but I gained a lot of weight in the first few years after diagnosis. I was much less active and I think also eating to deal with moods and pain. I lost the excess weight from 2013-2015.

    Like Shannon I also lost a lot of weight before having knee replacement surgery. Initially using calorie control and then a VLCD (very low calorie meal replacement diet) I lost 52kg as my BMI had to be under 35 for surgery. I kept the weight off for 18 months, and started having occasional appointments with a dietitian to help with weight maintenance. As she encouraged me to stop obsessively counting every calorie and weighing myself several times per week I had difficulty keeping my weight stable. In the last 3 months I gained just over 10kg. I want a healthy and sustainable way of getting the kilos off and maintain my preferred weight long term. I think intermittent fasting is the best option. I’m 2 weeks in and so far it’s going well.

    PamelaV – not noticed any significant difference in symptoms between FD and NFD. However, because I do tend to monitor symptoms carefully I do know that for me there is a correlation between binge eating (high fat/sugar/salt) and a noticeable increase in joint inflammation for the next 2-3 days.

    Until I lost weight, I hadn’t realised that there was a connection between weight and inflammation. I am not saying that weight loss eliminates the RA symptoms, it certainly doesn’t. However, there are a number of improvements that all make my life easier and I think make it worth the effort to try and achieve a healthier weight. I noticed that at a lower weight I have less inflammation, less pain (especially at night, keeping me awake), I take fewer strong pain killers, have capacity for a little more activity in my day, and my ESR blood tests (inflammation levels) are consistently 10 points lower than they were before the weight loss. All improvements worth having.

    Hope you are all having a good week.

    Hi There – to the person who mention your friend eating fat free… fat does not cause inflammation, especially good fat. Sugar, grains, processed foods, all these cause pain and inflammation. Perhaps fasting is not the right thing for your friend but maybe an anti-inflammation diet is? I have an autoimmune disorder and fasting/anti-inflammation diet are the key to keeping it together. That and being very careful about clean, organic foods.

    Re Shannon’s post: Anyone who lost as much weight as you (160lbs) must have undergone a long period of serious dieting which will have needed determination and willpower. You clearly had that and were rewarded with a dramatic improvement in symptoms, which is great. However “slipping into old eating habits” also suggests a failure to really mean it and is incomprehensible given the hugely positive outcomes of losing weight. Who could even think of allowing themselves to go back to the dark place you were in.
    This may not sound very supportive but unless you appreciate you have achieved something remarkable, made yourself healthier and reduced your dependency on healthcare and medication (some people would give their all to be in that position but can’t) there is little point in doing anything. Only you can do it and all the supportive comments from 5:2 won’t make much difference if all you will do is lose weight then pile it on again. Tough love Shannon but it seems anything else results in only a temporary delay in your journey to becoming incapacitated.
    I wish you success but it will have to be YOUR success, no-one else’s.

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