Hope you had a very wonderful Christmas, Hanukkuh, or Winter Solstice Celebration!
We had a wonderful time visiting family for Christmas dinner.
In today's issue of Healing Choices for RA Newsletter, let’s tackle two questions that keep popping up on the survey form:
Q: “Which foods can cause a flare up?”
A: First of all, several clinical studies described in the 1980’s and 1990’s showed that some RA patients are sensitive to some foods. However, any given food such as tomatoes triggered symptoms in only some RA patients. Double blind studies confirmed that a specific food aggravated symptoms in the few tested RA patients.
So what are these foods?
The top 5 foods that worsen symptoms in some RA patients include
Corn, Wheat, Bacon / Pork, Oranges, and Milk.
Are these the only foods? No.
The top 20 foods that induced or aggravated RA symptoms are listed in the free ebook, “45 Tips that may help to prevent and Calm Rheumatoid Arthritis Flares”. In addition, you can develop a sensitivity to any food.
6 tips for avoiding food sensitivities:
1. Before each meal, drink sufficient water (1-2 glasses) and ingest sufficient salts so you can more easily digest the foods and absorb the nutrients.
2. Small food particles mixed with saliva are more easily digested so chew your food 15-20 times.
3. Eat a variety of foods. Whenever possible, eat foods from the same family at least 3-4 days apart. Here’s an example for fruits and vegetables: Day 1: eat broccoli, sweet potatoes, apples, bananas, raisins; Day 2: peas, carrots, lettuce, asparagus, watermelon; Day 3: papaya, dates, prunes, zucchini, avocado, etc. Same with meats: Day 1: wild Alaskan salmon, Day 2: eggs, Day 3: organic chicken, etc.
4. Raw foods contain enzymes which help digest your food so include some raw foods with every meal.
5. Notice if you feel better or worse. Your reaction to a specific food may last up to 18 days.
6. If your pulse increases after eating a food, it’s a sign that you may be sensitive to it. If so, figure out what you can substitute for that food. Substitutes for corn are listed in the complimentary ebook, “45 Tips that may help to prevent and Calm Rheumatoid Arthritis Flares”.
Q2: Why do most doctors claim that diet has no relation to this disease and that changing ones diet won't help reduce symptoms?
A: First of all, I don’t know. Here. I’ll speculate: Most physicians do not have the time to read the primary literature. Second, in some studies, only 5 out of 100 patients appeared sensitive to foods. Some Physicians may consider a 5% response rate too low to discuss the possible cause with patients. Third, some clinical trials used test diets that included corn, wheat, pork, and /or milk (4 of the top 5 foods). These test diets often caused symptoms in susceptible RA patients, as expected. These latter studies have been quoted extensively.
Personally, I noticed that some foods triggered flares or increased symptoms over 35 yrs ago. I avoid those foods or have been treated to become tolerant of them. When I told most physicians about food sensitivities over the years, they doubted it (an understatement). However, times are changing and now, some physicians are considering this possibility.
After all, if even 5% of RA patients are sensitive to a few foods, this information can help over 65,000 RA patients in the US alone. Other studies estimate the percentage of RA patients with food sensitivities at 15-30%.
Wishing you a Healthy, Happy and Fun New Year!
P.S. The free ebook, 45 tips that may help Prevent or Calm Rheumatoid Arthritis Flares,
is now available after you fill out a survey.