Thanks for your thank you letters!
They inspire me to write and research more ways to help all RA patients. As I search the archives, I'll add more to the list.
Dehydration can cause pain… Remove diuretics and pain subsides
“Thanks Kathy.From your site when I read about keeping your joints hydrated something clicked. I was diagnosed 12 years ago but the last few years I've done so well that my Rhumy was ready to declare me in remission. Unfortunately in Dec past,… the stress [skyrocketed] and I've had the worst pain in my life in ALL joints, settling in my hands and knees. After reading your site I remembered that my doctor had changed my blood pressure meds to one with a diuretic in it also in Dec. I went back to my previous meds and within days the pain became manageable again. Is this placebo effect? Who knows, but things are a little better.Thank you,”Gary
Seven months later:“You certainly can use my experience. And you can use my first name no problem. I don't remember when I wrote this but I did prove to my doctor that what I had claimed was true. I actually ran out of my BP meds and had to go back to some of the suspect BP meds for a week. Guess what, my pain returned. And after a new prescription was filled my pain again started to fade. The one that caused the problem was a Diovan-Hct 160/12.5mg. Using just the Diovan without Hct made a world of difference.Keep up the great work,”Gary
“The pain is almost gone…. My left wrist …is starting to look like a normal wrist again. ”
“I'm a currently a post-doc at … in Australia and am also a RA patient. I developed RA during my second semester as a grad student in Boston some 5 years ago. And because I don't have family history of the disease, I've also suspected that my RA is either cause by food allergies/an infection. However, my rheumatologist, who happens to be one of the best in Boston was always quick to assure me that food has got nothing to do with it. Instead, I was put on the usual range RA medications.
But being a medicinal chemist, I am personally very adverse to taking drugs because I know very well their mechanism of action and what other side-effects are waiting round the corner. So when I moved from the US to Australia and out of sight of my doctor, I started to ween myself off all the meds. Needless to say, the pain (which was previously under control) came back with a vengeance.
That was when I came across your website. Usually, I'm very skeptical about online sites claiming to provide relief from RA and prefer to rely on published articles to help understand the disease but because you are a prof at U Penn [I have since left and work from home as a scientist and medical writer] and a very well published researcher, I felt that I could trust what you've written.
I just wanted to let you know that I've read your recommendations very carefully (read through most of the references) and have followed through with most of them. I now drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, eat ~5-6g of omega3 from walnuts/flaxseed oil. I've cut out wheat, corn, dairy, meat from my diet completely. I also started juicing (adding ginger and beetroot to my juices). In my readings I came across a research paper on the positive effects of spirulina on RA mice so I started taking 6-8g of spirulina daily. I've also started doing yoga daily.
All these happened within the last 2+ weeks and the results are pretty amazing. The pain is almost gone. My left wrist, which was previously slightly bent due to the constant inflammation is now starting to look like a normal wrist again.
I just want to say 'Thank You' for providing this information online for free. I have to admit that there are times I felt like hanging up my lab coat for good because I am just tired of fighting the disease and trying to be a decent chemist at the same time. But now I see your accomplishments as an academic despite having RA and it inspires me to want to do the same.”