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Anyone on this site try vegan or gluten free diet ?

  • By 1keylimepie

    Hello 🙂 I have read the article on here that Angela Lundberg wrote about her vegan diet. It was very interesting. I have been on all kinds of medications for my Rheumatoid arthritis for over 9 years now. Nothing has really helped me and I keep getting worse… Tried all the biologics, nothing works other than Humira & Embril that I keep flip flopping around * they aren’t even working much for me anymore*….. I am at ends.

    Has anyone on here tried a vegan or gluten free diet ? I have read several blogs and articles that some of these have made people feel better. They were able to cut down or even able to stop their medications eventually. I truly do believe that you are what you eat.

    Thanks 🙂 Debbie

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  • By Erin Rush Moderator

    Hi 1keylimepie! I am sorry that conventional medications have not been helpful for you. I know that must be very frustrating. I know a number of our members have tried a variety of diets, with varying degrees of success. Much like the medications, each diet may or may not help an individual. I don’t know if you saw this article on our site about gluten free diets — https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/nutrition/pros-cons-gluten-free-diet-ra/. You might also find this overview of healthy eating options helpful — https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/diet-and-nutrition/. You can also pose this question on our Facebook page and see if you get some feedback — https://www.facebook.com/RheumatoidArthritisDotNet. Making healthy food choices definitely can’t hurt, so maybe you would like to try what you think is doable for you and your lifestyle and see what results you get. You can also discuss any dietary changes you are considering with your doctor. I wish you the best of luck! Please feel free to come back and update us on your progress, if you would like. Best, Erin, RheumatoidArthritis.net Team Member.

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  • By Anonymous

    I added some vegan items and gluten free items to my diet and it helps. Soy milk and rice cakes. Quality of food has been very important for me. Walnut or safflower oil not canola. No maltodextrins has helped a lot too. Years ago, I was a strict vegan but had the gluten. Now I find that a variety of foods that I tolerate helps most. Quality wheat like mini wheat cereal or a quality wheat pasta had been very helpful. The only medical treatment that I was given was Prednisone. It did not help. I manage pain, fevers, inflammation and swelling with Motrin and Valerian root. I have had RA for 2 years.

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  • By 1keylimepie

    Thank you guys for responding 🙂 Thank you for the links as well. I am trying strictly vegan at first and maybe gluten free afterwards. I will be following Dr. John Mcdougall, he makes a lot of sense to me. I am on all sorts of meds. that really aren’t working for me…. It’s great that you aren’t on any meds, I wish to be that lucky some day 😉 ….. I will keep you informed on how things are going 🙂

    Thanks again! Deb

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  • By Eebtool

    I am currently working on drifting over to a vegan diet, kind of hard thing to do when living in the “Dairy State” of Wisconsin, and I am also learning to follow the McDougall plan for what I suppose is many of the same reasons 1keylimepie is.
    For what it is worth, a healthier diet can’t make things worse.

    Edward.

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  • By 1keylimepie

    Hi Edward 🙂 That’s geat! Yeah, cheese is my absolute favorite! lol McDougall’s site is very interesting! Makes a lot of sense to me. I know my dad had psoriasis * in the autoimmune disease family as well * He was on a diet which was plant & starch based, pretty close to McDougall’s and cleared his skin up. He lost weight and was over all much healthier because of it. I am super excited today, as it’s the first day of eating vegan.

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  • By Mariah Z. Leach Moderator

    Hi 1keylimepie ~

    After I was diagnosed with RA (and while I was still struggling to find the right combination of medications) I tried being gluten-free for six months – and I have to say that unfortunately it didn’t really do anything to improve my RA symptoms. I certainly don’t mean to be discouraging – I think it is certainly worth a try and I have heard that many people have had success going gluten free! I just think it’s important to keep in mind that it doesn’t work for everyone.

    Also, in your first post, you say that you’ve tried all the biologics. Keep in mind that there are always more options being approved! So it may be worthwhile to discuss these issues with your rheumatologist again to see if he/she has any additional suggestions.

    Best of luck and remember that we are here to support you!

    ~Mariah~ (Site Moderator)

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  • By Riri

    I’ve been on a vegan diet for 9 months. During the first few months I felt
    a lot better. I used to eat a lot of dairy (yogurt, cheese, eggs) so cutting those out was very hard. I have gotten used to not eating tthose now, since I know I feel better. I even lost weight, without trying! 10 pounds in 6 months. However, I seem to have stopped improving and am back to getting flares. I am now trying to cut out gluten. I find this very hard. So many foods contain gluten, and I am already struggling to figure out what to eat. Variety of food choices is a struggle. I get tired of eating salads every day. Anyone else struggling with these issues? I am a fan of Dr. McDougall. I follow his teachings. Anyone who has RA should read his books.

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  • By Lauren Tucker Keymaster

    Thanks for your post Riri! We are happy to hear your diet helped with your RA.
    While different treatments work for different people we are glad you are feeling better.
    Thanks for being part our community.
    Best,
    Lauren (RheumatoidArthritis.net)

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  • By 1keylimepie

    Thanks for responding everyone 🙂 It’s been 10 days going vegan. The things that I’ve noticed so far is that I lose a couple of lbs. feel more energetic , sense of clarity * if that makes sense * bags under my eyes have disappeared lol, which is great! But arthritis still hurts… no difference as of yet ( still too soon I’m guessing ) Like I mentioned in a previous post is that Humira & Embrel are the only biologics that somewhat work for me… tried 5 others that failed and they are the newer ones. I’m so tired of being on 100 medications and still feeling so much inflamation and pain…..

    I got a blood test for Celiacs and I’m waiting for the rusults. I am actually praying that it comes up positive so I can cut out the gluten and see if it helps me 🙂

    Riri, I totally understand how you feel about food choices… I’m not a big vegi. eater normally so it is quite hard to create meals for myself. Making dinners is a task while having two children that can eat anything lol! Ugh ! There are some good recipes online and Dr. McDougal is pretty great. I follow him as well… I just made blueberry pancakes that were actually incredible! I used whole wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon , almond milk, vanilla, blueberries and maple syrup! It’s def. not gluten free but really deliciious 😀

    Please keep us posted on how you are doing!
    Debbie 😀

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  • By Mariah Z. Leach Moderator

    Hi 1keylimepie ~

    I’m glad your new diet is bringing at least some benefits! I’m also glad to hear that you are getting tested for other issues – hopefully you’ll get the answers you need soon. I hope you’ll continue working with your rheumatologist to find a good combination of medications. For example, a biologic alone has never been enough for me – I have to also take methotrexate and sometimes prednisone as well. It may also be worth talking to your rheumatologist about your other options for medications, because there are currently 10 biologics (and 3 biosimilars) approved to treat RA. So there may be some other options for you to try!

    And if you do end up trying a gluten-free diet, Pamela’s baking mix can make a great flour substitute. No one in my family is actually gluten free, but we do use the mix to make pancakes all the time!

    Best of luck to you!

    ~Mariah~ (Site Moderator)

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  • By 1keylimepie

    Thank you Mariah 🙂
    As my Rhumy describes me as being his *worst* patient, as in he can’t really figure out what’s going on with me. Seems like i’ve been having a constant flare for 6 months now… I have been on Mtx, 10 pills weekly, about 18 mgs of prednisone daily along with other inflammation reducers as well celebrex, sulfasalazine. I am still in bad shape ( had this ever since giving birth to my daughter 12 years ago… Like I said before, I tried other biologics and nothing else works for me.

    Giving dietary changes a chance 🙂 What could it hurt ? Never did that before. My dad tried this before when having psoriasis, and it cleared him right up, He never had to take medication. He cut out all processed foods and bad oils ect… took lots of vitamins as well. It is in the autoimmune family.

    Thanks for the baking mix suggestion 🙂 I’ll have to give it a whirl!

    Debbie

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  • By Mariah Z. Leach Moderator

    Hi 1keylimepie ~

    So sorry to hear that you are struggling so much to find a solution. I certainly agree that giving dietary changes a try makes sense! You are right that it likely can’t hurt! I’ll say that while I don’t think a gluten-free diet improved my RA symptoms at all, I do think there were some health benefits – primarily because the easiest way to be gluten free is to eat fresh and avoid processed foods! And I have heard of people who have had success with it – so it’s worth a try!

    Otherwise, have you considered seeing another rheumatologist and getting a second opinion? Nothing against your current rheumatologist if you like him, but a fresh set of eyes can sometimes help make connections that another doctor didn’t see!

    Best of luck to you!

    ~Mariah~ (Site Moderator)

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  • By 1keylimepie

    Hi Mariah 🙂

    Thanks for writing back.
    Did you ever test for Celiacs disease ? I took a blood test last week and it was positive. I do not have any stomach issues at all but heard that gluten can effect your body in other ways such as arthritis, ect… You’re right about eating healthy, it’s good to do that over all. While eating vegan, I felt energetic, lost a little weight and felt all around good although I didn’t notice any positive changes with my arthritis… maybe it’s too soon to tell ? Not sure… But anyway I will be starting my gluten free diet shortly and keep you guys updated 🙂

    Yes! I am in search of a new Rheumatologist that can give me hope and has more ideas on how to help me.. Maybe someone more experienced and has patients similar to me. I can’t continue this downwards slope…
    Thank you for all your advise! Appreciate it 😀

    Deb

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  • By Mariah Z. Leach Moderator

    Hi 1keylimepie ~

    I did test for Celiac disease and my understanding of my result was that I had the right genetic makeup but that I don’t actually have the disease. But the list of symptoms a gluten-sensitivity can provoke is mind-boggling, so I hope that things start to improve for you as you transition to a gluten free diet!

    As for finding a new rheumatologist, I thought it might be helpful for you to know that the American College of Rheumatology maintains a database you can search geographically: http://www.rheumatology.org/Directories/Find-a-Rheumatologist

    Best of luck to you!

    ~Mariah~

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  • By 1keylimepie

    Oh okay. That sounds confusing to me… From what I was told, was that I tested mildly for Celiac disease. Just figure I will cut out the gluten and see how I feel 🙂 Thanks for the well wishes! I will keep in touch on how things are going.

    I appreciate the link that you sent me as well 🙂

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend 🙂
    Debbie

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  • By davmo

    I’m probably going to be the junebug in the henhouse here, but here goes. To understand the diet connection you must understand what gave you RA in the first place. Intestinal Permeability or “leaky gut” is the main culprit. RA is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune is caused by bacteria and food particles leaking through the inflammed tight junctions in your small intestine. What causes leaky gut? Gluten, SUGAR, dairy, eggs, nightshade vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. Also, an atmosphere for disease created in the intestines by antibiotics, NSAIDS, medications, chlorine, flouride and other things that destroy the microbiome. So you must address the problem with among other things, diet. Depending on your degree of illness, age, sleep, stress, diet and invironment, it can take anywhere from two months to several years to reverse your symptoms.

    As far as the vegan diet, it is certainly a step in the right direction to healing, but somewhat like fighting with one hand behind your back. Fat is vital to overall health and certainly key to healing your gut. I followed the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) diet to reverse my RA. I recommend thepaleomom.com for complete explanation and understanding.

    https://www.thepaleomom.com/start-here/the-autoimmune-protocol/

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