Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at [email protected]

    This is how I cured my RA
    jennymu posted:
    And, no I'm not selling anything. In a nutshell, I started noticing symptoms of RA in my fingers a few years ago, I would get red swollen areas on my fingers, they wouldn't really hurt, but they were 'tight' feeling and hard to move due to the swelling. After my child was born, about 5 months later my left wrist (which never was injured during my lifetime) joint got so painful and started swelling up a little, and I could not lift my baby up. My mother has RA and got it when she was a teenager. I had been researching health topics due to a tooth abscess I had, and came across a book about nutrition. It was a treasure trove of great information on how diet really impacts health. I started changing my diet completely. The big changes for me were, to get rid of all refined sugar, flour and hydrogenated vegetable oils. The big one in kicking RA for me was the flour and sugar, I believe. Refined flour does not have the phytates neutralized, and this is what I believe was hurting me, as well as the sugar that takes nutrients out of your body (coffee does this as well, but I had cut down a lot in past years). I got the book called Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig. I credit this book with helping to restore my health! We also drink raw milk and have cut out most refined foods (very hard to do however). Soaked grains can be eaten, I can eat soaked flour with no problems. It took about 3 months, but my joint pain disappeared completely! Fast forward to about 3 months ago. I had 'fallen off the wagon' and had been eating a lot of white bread. Guess what? My left thumb started hurting (though not as acutely as before, maybe because of my improved diet), and my thumb joint started to swell up and 'harden', almost like a bone spur. As of writing this, it is still there, but once I stopped the white bread, the pain eventually went away and it does not hurt anymore. Kicking the three bad foods also got rid of my high blood pressure that would spike with no reason, and also I have so much more energy now. I hope this can help, even just getting rid of white bread and sugar can do wonders. And, all bread is to blame, unless it is made from grains that have been soaked or sprouted before being processed. I told my mother about this, but she refuses to even believe that food can influence RA. She also says that that is all she really eats is bread (it's true). I hope this information can help others to hopefully at least regress their disease. Another great source of info is the Dr Weston A Price foundation, and his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. If you do try to cut out bread and stuff, it may take awhile to notice differences in how you feel, depending on how long you have had RA for. I also read that eating fresh or dried ginger can help reduce symptoms and stiffness as well. Good luck and good eating! PS: A little off topic, but when we started using only raw milk, these have helped prevent cavities. You will not get the same result using mass produced heat treated milk however.
    WIPitGood13 responded:
    Hi jennymu, Thank you so much for your post, and how great is it that you have gotten your RA under control. I'm right behind you, and it all started when I started to see an acupuncturist and a healer here in my town. She started me on a new way of eating, much like you have just described, and each month that goes by I keep feeling better and better. I am following "The Genotype Diet" by Dr. Peter D'Adamo, and since you are already into it, you should read this book. I keep it as a sort of diet "bible", and I have pretty much adjusted to what he recommends. I did quit drinking coffee, but I have worked it back in on the weekends, and green tea during the week at work. It's the only thing I have had trouble adapting to with my new way of eating. I am losing weight without even trying, so now that I am feeling better, I'm going to turn up the "workout" effort and see how the joints respond. Thank you for posting and giving everyone some new possibilities. I for one am very grateful for this change, and even though I did not want to give up all of those things, I have not felt this good in four years, so it has been worth it to me. Take care and God Bless you, thank you again for posting your successes!!! WIP
    anniebananni responded:
    Hi Jennymu, I think it's great that you have found relief from your RA symptoms through diet. My dad has done the same thing, though it was about 30 years ago. He found a book written by an osteopath named Giraud W. Campbell, D.O. The forward to the book was written by Benjamin S. Frank, M.D. The book's title is: A Doctor's Proven New Home Cure for Arthritis. I think it was HUGE back then for a medical professional to buck traditional pharmaceuticals and suggest that our diets are the real culprits. Interesting that now Dr. Oz on t.v. says the same thing. Anyway, what this book says is basically stay away from refined sugars (except fruits) and white refined flour in any form. This includes bread. (I buy Ezekiel bread found in the freezer section of the grocery store, and in any health food store. I think Trader Joe's and Whole Foods always have it. It's a flourless bread made from sprouted grains).Don't eat PROCESSED foods: avoid anything that comes in a box or can. Apparently our bodies have not yet evolved to the point of metabolizing all the chemicals that are found in processed foods. Lots of fresh vegetables and fresh fruits are key. Today we would probably also look for the organic forms.He also says that alcohol is poison to our system, and coffee is almost as bad! I am just now starting to follow this diet, but I haven't had much luck in giving up coffee. I still drink a half cup in the morning but fill the cup up with milk. Maybe if I try raw milk instead? I have been a sugar freak for most of my life, so that may be why I have RA now. I applaud your finding the diet info...I hope you post your progress on this site for the rest of us. Good Luck and God Bless!
    LeslieRA73 responded:
    Hey Jenny! I believe diet is very important to how our bodies function. There is some info out there about a possible link to gluten and RA.....gluten is in wheat, barley, rye, and alot of processed foods as a preservative. They are studying this but it seems like if you have an allergy/intolerance to gluten that it can cause an immune response and therefore in turn cause RA. Its interesting stuff. I know I feel better on a gluten-free diet. I am still learning about and trying to find out what products contain gluten and what doesn't. Thanks for your post...I think it is very interesting
    DIYSTER responded:
    Thanks for your valuable insight regarding RA and diet/nutrition. I can say from personal experience that I feel a whole lot better when I stick with salads, vegies, fresh fruit, yogurt (with active cultures) and such. Once I get into carbs I become a bloated "blimp" about to explode in painful gaseousness. Too much sugar can have a similar effect though not nearly as bad as carbs. I even look for cereal that is only oats or rice since those two don't have a negative effect.

    My friend with Lupus has the same problems - no carbs or sugar and she can manage.

    Seems odd that none of the docs (general or Rheumy) have discussed or responded to anything I've raised about diet. Too busy dispensing meds I guess.
    NE_Rosie responded:
    Happy to have stumbled upon this! The white flour and sugar makes sense to me now! It seems my thumb, where it all began in my hands, does get effected when I eat anything with that. I will now do my best to exclude it and see how that goes. Thanks this post!
    RAWarrior responded:
    Jenny, There is no cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis.

    However, there are several courses that the disease may take. Some people have RA that goes into remission - even pemanently. I hope that is what has happened for you. Here is a link to a page which explains this:

    I can assure anyone reading this that diet is not a "cure" for actual chronic RA which is not curable. I wish it were. People think that what they do is influencing the disease - usually because for most people, the disease ebbs & flows (comes & goes) in severity.

    Of course, eating heathy is important for RA since RA makes people more susceptable to many illness, such as heart disease.

    One more important point: if you have RA that is in remission, or which has lessened in symptoms, it is still important to continue treatment since damage can continue silently in the bones, which are continuing to erode or in other organs, such as the heart. If you do have RA, you need a good rheumatologist and medicine to fight the disease.

    corlackan responded:
    Kelly -- I'm glad that I read your message before I responded! I absolutely agree with everything that you've written. NOTHING cures RA. We need to continue to treat even when our symptoms have disappeared.

    Certainly a good diet is essential to furthering our overall wellbeing, but it's not going to stop or cure RA, and there is absolutely no legitimate research that supports this assertion. I am a vegetarian and eat very little sugar and nearly no refined grains or carbs, but have RA severe enough to require my using a walker and, sometimes, a wheelchair in order to get around. I still work full time and up until July, had only taken off one day due to RA in the eight years I've had the disease. If anyone was going to be "cured" through diet, you'd think that I would be that one -- it just isn't so!
    RAWarrior responded:
    Corlackan, I know that our "experience" is not evidence any more than Jenny's experience is to be considered valid scientific evidence. However... I would add that I was eating the much touted RA-cure: "Mediterranean diet" when my RA became full-blown and suddenly disabled me. I was doing everything "right" for health. I've never smoked, etc. RA is not our "fault" and we cannot cure ourselves.

    I am so sad for so many who postponed treatment because they were mislead and had damage occuring when they could have been on treatment, which may help prevent it...

    ShellyRose55 responded:
    OMG! This is something that really gets my attention, because I have to watch carbs anyway! I had gone through a period where I was on a strict low carb diet with no bread, pasta, rice but ate complex carbs like fruits and veggies with lean meats and lots of dairy products. I went into remission as well as losing 70 pounds. Well, it was great for over a year until I could no longer afford to eat this way and since I re-introduced breads and sometimes pasta into my diet my inflammation and pain had come back with a vengeance! I am getting a diagnosis on the 17th and I know that my entire life I have had this disease but could not afford medical or insurance to really investigate it. Now I do and now it makes perfect sense that my triggers and cycles of pain and inflammation are due to the processed carbs I have eaten! I will check out this book and at least now I can see a red flag on what may be underlying issues to work on. Thanks so much! the time I was in remission was awesome and totally pain free so I am going back to my diet and figure out a way to afford it cause I cannot afford all those meds! I will let you know what I find. Ironic is that my mom is a two-insulin diabetic for years but I am not although I am reactive hypoglycemic. When i have that under control I also do better with pain as well. People look at your diet cause my ancestors are Native American plains Indians-who spend most of their time eating buffalo and no processed carbs. Now on reservations they have high incidences of diabetes because they eat more processed carbs. Seems to me that your food ancestry is of significance here as well. I fully believe that body type is a big factor in how we process foods and how we are evolved for specialization. My fiancee is Irish and is a true hypoglycemic. He has to eat lots of carbs and proteins in small meals all day to be healthy and keep at a weight of 165. He is 6 ft tall and feels at his best when he can keep at that weight but he burns off food like it was rocket fuel-really fast. Keeping the weight on is his biggest problem. I fully believe that metabolism is closely related to auto-immunological diseases.
    RAWarrior responded:
    The people of American Indian / Native American heritage also have a 5 times greater incidence of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Look at this e-medicine page about 3/4 of the way down:

    Diet cannot treat or cure RA. If it could cause RA, then maybe the buffalo meat could have caused their RA, but it can't cause RA either. Joking.

    WIPitGood13 responded:
    Well, I have kept my thoughts to myself for a while, and I cannot do that anymore. This message board is for everyone to speak their mind and share things that have to do with auto-immune diseases, and most specifically RA. And Jenny, I welcome your opinion about diet and RA, and I very much appreciated reading about it. And now, I will speak the rest of my opinion ... ... Kelly, I know you are a RA Warrior, and nothing could be better than having an advocate and an extremely knowledgeable person regarding all the different facets of being diagnosed with RA ... you are a plethera of information ... but if someone says that diet cured their RA, then that is what they feel, and diet cured their RA, it's that simple. I happen to agree with Jenny, diet sure can cure RA, and I'm in the process of curing my RA right now too. Maybe it's in the definition of the word "cure" that gets you going, I'm not sure, but even if us RA'ers get our disease to go into remission, what is the harm in feeling "cured???" You wrote in your post above that you "can assure anyone reading this that diet is not a "cure" for actual chronic RA, which is not curable." Why would you want to "assure" anyone that, and dissuade someone from trying something that might relieve them of pain and swelling, and the possibility of better mobility and function because of a change in diet ... I just don't get that. My acupuncturist is a doctor of Chinese medicine (title of Dr.), a R.N., and a L.Ac (licensed acupuncturist), and she has had RA for twenty years, and she does not take any RA meds at all, and she does not have one twisted finger or walk with a limp, or have any severe symptoms while still having active RA. Did she "cure" her RA ... well, who are we to say? She manages to treat herself with herbal medicine, acupuncture, meditation, and much more I'm sure. There are infinite possibilities out there for all of us RA'ers as well as people who suffer from cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and any other prevalent disease in our society today. I am a huge believer that diet has just as much to do with disease as anything else, along with stress, suppressed anger, allergens, pollutants, ozone, and also that RA existed long before there was a name for it, or people knew what it was. I happen to believe that many of us have the propensity to come down with a number of diseases, and certain things "trigger" our bodies to start attacking itself. It's a natural thing for our bodies to do, us auto-immuners just can't stop it from doing it in a bad way. I also have a friend who lives in Michigan that has been HIV+ for almost 25 years ... so if you do the math he was Dx with HIV in the mid eighties, and through the past two and a half decades, he has outlasted probably a million or more persons who have passed away from that horrible virus, and his treatments consist of vitamins, massage, acupuncture and diet. My point ... is it time now to get to the point ... okay, my point is, we as humans will never know how much power we have within ourselves to cure ourselves of whatever ails us. Any I humbly tell anyone and everyone who cares to read, to listen to yourself and your body, pay attention, and try to cure yourself if that's what you want. Yes it's hard, yes it requires some changes and sacrifice, and yes, it might not help at all ... but I truly think that any improvements us auto-immuners can make is a step in the right direction. To me, anything that results in less pain, less swelling, improved mobility, and just overall health benefits is awesome, and if diet does it for anyone, more power to them. And if medicine and whatever is needed to control pain is what works, more power to these persons too. Regardless, from what I have read, we all want our lives back, so go get it back and cure yourselves in any way you can. And if you succeed, please share, because I will NOT give up until I find the solution for me. God Bless you all. WIP
    BillHewlett replied to WIPitGood13's response:
    Great response WIP! Thanks for taking the time to write all that. I have just ?scaped' from the Rheumatoid Arthritis group on Facebook. I made the mistake of trying to share the way I 'cured' or 'put into long term remission' or call it what you like my RA by using an elimination diet. What I wrote was this:

    "In 2000 (then aged 49) I was diagnosed with chronic RA. I won't describe all the painful symptoms, medical visits, drug side effects, depression, lethargy, lack of sleep, etc. as they are all too familiar to anyone who suffers from RA. I suffered for five years thanks to the ill informed specialists I was seeing who simply said 'incurable' and keep taking the tablets (and all the other pills to overcome the side effects of these tablets, oh and regular blood tests to make sure we are not destroying your liver).
    After five years I had had enough (Methotrexate sucks!) and once I read the book 'Diet and Arthritis' by Gail Darlington and Linda Gamlin I was determined to get off medication and stick to the recommended elimination diet and food reintroduction program. (Read all the other books and most contain some good info and a lot of misguided info).) Within a couple of weeks there was noticeable improvement in terms of reduced swelling and pain, within a few months my mobility had improved and joints were only occasionally painful and after about 9 months of sticking with it I woke up one sunny day to find that even the morning stiffness (feet like planks of wood) had completely vanished. AMAZING! Now, ten years since I was first diagnosed, I can eat and drink pretty much what I like (although I am still careful with my diet and drinking 'habits' of course, e.g. no coffee, no milk, no nitrates (preservative) limited bread) and I no longer have any symptoms or recurrence of any kind of pain or swelling or stiffness. And it's all thanks to this book. I now understand the principles much better - equally what triggered the condition in me, nevertheless this book remains the definitive guide to using an elimination diet. I have bought several copies for friends over the last few years and everyone has enjoyed positive results. In truth there is more to controlling and eventually curing RA than is contained in this book (e.g. recommended exercise, meditation, etc.) and, as the authors state, it does not work for everyone, but believe me when I say that this method (although difficult) is absolutely the best starting point for reducing pain and joint inflamation and regaining your health and strength once more."

    I did manage to convince a couple of people on the discussion forum to buy this UK published paperback and there is another book Conquering Arthritis by Barbara Allan published in the US that uses a similar dietary technique (although in this book, starting off by fasting is very tough and dramatically lowering blood sugar when you are already in a fatigued state I can't recommend). But I got so many negative reactions and rude accusations that I decided to leave them to it. I don't need all that negativity in my daily life thanks. Being told repeatedly THERE IS NO CURE FOR RA like it is some kind of mantra. But what am I to do? Just turn my back on everyone and pretend my 'cure' didn't happen? So well done Jenny for your posting!

    I've had no pain no inflamed joints and best of all no drugs for the last five years. I'm not cured - if I drink coffee for example I can get a small flare up quite quickly (even within one hour) and it can take two or three days of being very strict on my diet to get back to normal again. But it's been probably 2.5 years since I last had even a minor flare up because I avoid foods to which I'm intolerant.

    To hear Dr. Gail Darlington speaking on BBC Radio 4 The Food Programme about Diet and Arthritis - it is 30 minutes well spent to listen to the whole show. Download Realplayer (it's free) to listen to the broadcast:
    Cornflakey replied to WIPitGood13's response:
    I completely agree with you WIP, everyone has triggers that set off the flares and we all should be very aware of what those are. Diet is a huge part of that and what sets your RA off may not set off mine. I truly believe we can take a level of control with our RA by controlling our environment, our diet, rest and activity. I believe we need to work with all those involved in our well being as a team. Drs., therapist, dieticians, moms and friends to keep ourselves aware of the things that irritate our condition and keep us healthy. We should go to message boards and possibly find the info that someone else has to offer that helped them because it may help you too. And we should all keep striving to cure it or find better ways of coping with it.

    Helpful Tips

    Dry eyes and dry mouthExpert
    Patients with RA may develop dryness of the eyes and mouth due to a condition called secondary Sjogrens Syndrome. The dryness is due to ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    41 of 48 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.