Natural remedies for rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or psoriatic arthritis start with food.
The foods you eat will either cause more inflammation and pain every single day of your life or they will help you to heal and feel better.
Any food that you react badly to can cause inflammation.
You may want to be professionally tested for food intolerances or sensitivities – even if you think you don’t have allergies. Not everyone has medically-recognized allergies, but you can still have food reactions.
Everyone in my family with arthritis vehemently has denied having any food intolerances, yet they all had the classic symptoms of gluten and dairy sensitivity. Believe me, I know from experience that life is SO much better once you stop eating the foods that cause problems and pain.
Gluten and grains are at the top of the list of problem foods for people with arthritis and psoriasis.
Research from Alessio Fasano MD shows that gluten stimulates the release of zonulin in the gut. Zonulin is a human protein that opens gaps between cells of the intestinal walls, allowing molecules to escape into other parts of the body and trigger inflammatory and autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis; even cancer.
Dr. James Braly says that, “Researchers are reporting the occurrence of celiac disease over five times more frequently among people with rheumatoid arthritis… More remarkably, about half of the patients with rheumatoid arthritis show clear signs of gluten sensitivity…”
You don’t have to have celiac disease to be gluten-sensitive. An unusually high percentage of adult and juvenile RA sufferers have problems with gluten. Dr. Braly also points out that non-celiac psoriasis patients improved on a gluten-free diet and worsened when they went off it.
Gluten is found in wheat, rye, oats, barley, kamut, spelt, and any of their products such as bulgur, couscous, semolina, farina, beer, bran, dextrins, TVP, stock cubes, soba noodles, groats, malt, triticum, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, wheat germ, and so forth. It really doesn't matter whether you are eating top quality whole grains - if they contain gluten, they are damaging your gut.
Dr. Braly goes on to say that, after a few months on a gluten-free diet, people with arthritis often have no more need for pain relief medication since their pain levels drop significantly or vanish completely!
He cites the case of a rheumatoid arthritis sufferer named Lucille, who was scheduled for hip replacement surgery. In researching Crohn’s Disease for her mother, she discovered the gluten-free diet. Lucille decided to try it herself and had life-changing results.
Not only was she able to go off all her medications, but she no longer needed the hip replacement! (Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your medications.)
One of the big problems with wheat and other grains is that they contain proteins that make gaps open in the walls of your intestines. Casein, a milk protein in dairy products, does the same.
This is called leaky gut syndrome. Toxic microbes and molecules of food that are supposed to stay inside your gut leak out into your bloodstream. They look like invaders to your immune system, so antibodies race to the scene to start the removal process. This generates the auto-immune response, inflammation and allergic reactions.
But it gets worse.
The microbes that escape through your gut wall can migrate to your joints or anywhere else in your body. Some of those microbes end up in your synovial fluid (the fluid around your joints that floats them so they don’t rub together) and causes synovial inflammation. More pain.
So, obviously, one of your best natural remedies for rheumatoid arthritis – or any other arthritis – is to heal your gut and keep those fecal molecules where they belong.
How do you do that? A good place to start is with a gluten-free or Paleo diet.
The foods that are the best home remedies for arthritis are whole, organically-grown foods. No junk, no sugar, no refined carbohydrates.
The easiest way to eat foods that help heal your gut and reduce inflammation is with the Paleo diet.
I think of it as one of the best natural remedies for rheumatoid arthritis, other types of arthritis, and other chronic health problems. It’s also the simplest way to go gluten-free.
The beauty of the Paleo diet is that you only eat REAL food, like meat, chicken, fish, healthy fats, vegetables, nuts, seeds and a little fruit.
That gives you a full range of nutrients while you avoid the many chemical toxins, sugars and anti-nutrients in processed and junk “foods” that disrupt your gut flora and cause leaky gut syndrome.
Learn more about leaky gut syndrome and how to stop it.
So where should you start? Changing your foods to make them into natural remedies for rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis can be a bit of a challenge at first – until you get used to a new way of doing things that supports your health instead of promoting inflammation and leaky gut.
Go through your kitchen and toss out or give away everything that contains wheat, grains, white flour, sugar, poor quality vegetable oils, dairy and chemical preservatives. Get rid of processed foods, legumes, and white potatoes and other nightshades that increase inflammation.
If you eat out often, order grilled or baked poultry, meat or fish – not battered or deep fried – with vegetables (not potato) and a big salad. Ask for olive oil and lemon for the dressing because many salad dressings contain sugar and dairy – which won’t help your inflammation. Skip dessert or have fruit without sugar on it.
If you’re going to a friend’s for dinner, let them know you have food restrictions for health reasons. I’ve found that people are quite willing to adapt the meal as necessary, especially when I make it easy for them by offering to bring a dish.
Going off grains and refined carbohydrates isn’t easy, even though it is one of your best natural remedies for rheumatoid and other forms of arthritis.
Why is it hard?
Because grains contains opioids – naturally addictive substances that fit into the same receptors in your brain where drugs like heroin would fit. So when you stop eating them you may have withdrawal symptoms for a week or two.
And when you’re used to eating white flour and sugar and other high carbohydrate foods, your body can experience some carb withdrawal initially.
Be prepared with healthy carbs like baked sweet potatoes and winter squash. Don’t go too crazy with fruit – all that fructose can be hard on your liver while you’re clearing out other toxins.
Eating a bit of protein with fat every 2 or 3 hours during the first few days will help to keep your blood sugar balanced and reduce cravings for the wrong foods. Try a handful of nuts or some nut butter on apple slices or celery sticks, a hard-boiled egg or devilled egg made with olive oil or home-made mayonnaise, a few bites of chicken or other meat (but avoid deli meats that contain sugar and nitrates.)
When I went off grains, I had withdrawal symptoms for 2 or 3 weeks – depression, headache, no energy… But the good part was that, once that was over, I felt a hundred times better than I ever had before. Food has an astonishingly powerful effect on your brain and emotions as well as your joints!
If only I’d known about these natural remedies for rheumatoid arthritis when my mum was alive, things might have turned out quite differently for her.
Foods that are nutrient-poor, sugary and full of chemicals lead to the formation of free radicals in your body. Free radicals cause damage to your tissues which triggers inflammation. The inflammation triggers more free radicals which trigger more inflammation. And so on. One bad thing leads to another. Altogether, too much inflammation.
So you’ll want to do everything you can to avoid forming those free radicals. Or neutralize them.
By including lots of different leafy green and orange vegetables, herbs, spices, and some dark-coloured fruit like blueberries and cherries in your diet. They are full of anti-oxidants – the enemy of free radicals. At the same time, you’ll be healing your gut walls.
When you improve your foods, one thing that will really get in your way is if you think like this: “Do I really have to give up my favourite foods? I love cookies/pasta/cheese/whatever…”
The reality is, you might think you love those foods but they’re really just a habit. And they don’t love you back.
Try this on for size: Think of yourself as a powerful person who is choosing to make fantastic changes that will have big health benefits. Focus on the positive outcome of how great you’re going to feel.
Another big problem when changing how you eat is that – at least if you live in the western world – our entire social life is oriented around sugar. Birthday cake, coffee and dessert, holiday cookies, Valentine’s chocolates, Christmas candy, wedding cake and so forth. If you don’t want to eat sweets, you’re almost made to feel as if something is wrong with you!
But you’re not the problem. The real problem is that we’ve learned to associate sugar with love and celebration. The reality is… love is love. Sugar is sugar. There is no law of the universe that says you have to participate in festivities by eating sweets. (And sugar is definitely NOT anybody’s natural cure for arthritis.)
Use EFT Tapping to help yourself get through the challenges. You can tap on your own resistance to change, relief of physical symptoms, stress, fear of what people will think, and just about anything that’s bothering you.
When you use natural remedies for rheumatoid arthritis – or any type of arthritis – it’s just as important to work with your mind and attitudes as your body.
7 Natural Anti-inflammatories for arthritis. These anti-inflammatories are natural remedies for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, providing powerful relief of symptoms.
Leaky gut syndrome – Is this what’s causing your arthritis and inflammation? Understand leaky gut and how to fix it to stop arthritis symptoms.
What is the Paleo Diet? The Paleo Diet is an easy and delicious way to go gluten-free and avoid inflammatory toxins that make arthritis symptoms worse.
EFT Tapping - How to Tap. Use EFT Tapping for effective natural relief of physical symptoms, stress, fears and resistance to change.
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