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Diet & RA

Hi all,

I'm new here. I'm 32 and was just diagnosed with RA 2 weeks ago! So far I haven't tried any medications because my rheumatologist is having me try an elimination diet to see if some of the symptoms can be controlled by certain food sensitivities. (She is a functional medicine doctor and tries to combine traditional with alternative therapies as much as possible.) I did the food sensitivity blood test and it came back positive for wheat, yeast and dairy, so I am trying to cut them out for at least a month. I've also started taking probiotics and liquid fish oil (nasty!). To add to my confusion, I also have a nutritionist who I trust and love, and is unable to find any scientific basis for eliminating gluten/dairy/yeast to control RA symptoms, and is skeptical about the blood test for food sensitivities. She basically said to try it for a month but she's doubtful that it will make a difference. Her opinion is that having a healthy 'gut' is the best way that her other patients have controlled their symptoms with diet. (Of course they take medications as well.)

Which leads me to my question - has anyone else tried to alter your diet to help with RA symptoms? It has only been about a week and I actually am feeling worse! I have read it gets worse before it gets better, but I've seriously been feeling the need to rest at all times when I'm not at work, and everything is swollen and achy! I'm new to all this and was not at all expecting to receive this diagnosis. Any info/tips/advice would be much appreciated.


  1. Heather, I hate to hear of a new RA diagnosis. I hope that you can adjust and find effective treatments. Many of us have tried diet changes. Research on the impact of diet on RA is very mixed. The majority of studies found no impact but there are a few recent ones that are starting to find some connection. Personally, I found no impact on the disease and I tried them all. You can read all kinds of articles about the subject at this site. My recommendation is that you work closely with a board certified rheumatologist as they are the only doctors specifically trained to treat RA.

    1. Hi, I'm 56, YES altering your diet WILL help. certain foods cause inflamation, do your research dilligently. As for me, I also have microscopic colitis and candida, so My diet has altered drastically. totally cut out sodas, if your blood work showed you have an intolerance to specific foods,,then stop eating drinking them. There are some great alternatives to regular milk you can try. Everything takes time to adjust to, I've adjusted to eating to LIVE. I'm going to side with your doc on this one , but it's good that you ask questions, so you can gather as much information as you can. We are all different, different stages, our symptoms showing up differently, none of us can be medically treated exactly the same. I am alergic to NSAIDS and very sensitive to other meds , so I don't take anything, except hydrocodone, and that is rare. I am making myself walk every day, pain or no pain. it's not miles and miles of walking , but I'll get there, my last flare was extreme, 2 months, I am hoping and expecting to have a nice long remission so I can get myself stronger .. oh and eat Chobani Yogurt !! it's not as sweet as the others, but all natural, no sugar added . and lots of probiotics naturally. =o) wishing you a gentle journey.

      1. Hi-I've had RA for 36 years. I've tried SO many supplements over the years and experimented with a variety of diets. I currently eat extremely clean and find it amazingly helpful. I can eat badly one evening and by morning my hands are inflamed. Although science has yet to prove a modified diet makes a huge difference on RA, I'm a firm believer it can make a difference. It won't hurt to try a few modifications. Consider a clean diet as medication. I also cut out wheat, dairy and sugar. This is a long journey-find the things that work best for you and most of all be patient and go easy on yourself.


        1. Hi Diana,
          Thank you for sharing your experience with us. We are so glad to hear that you have found a diet that truly works for you!! We really are what we eat.
          I thought you might be interested in this article that discusses specific diets and RA symptoms:
          Warm regards,
          Jillian ( Team)

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