July 6, 2011

Food Allergy and Joint Pain – Is There a Connection?

 

Most, doctors specializing in the treatment of arthritis, joint pain, and autoimmune diseases affecting the musculoskeletal system never even consider diet as an important factor in the development of these conditions.

I was formally trained in rheumatology at the VA hospital in Houston, TX, and I can say that diet and nutritional recommendations to patients were discouraged and in most cases frowned upon by our attending physicians. It was actually this experience that prompted me to dig deeper into the connection between autoimmune disease and food.

Over the past 10 years, I have treated thousands of patients with arthritic conditions. The most single effective therapies have always been diet and exercise. The paradox with exercise… It is harder to stick to if it flares up the arthritis. The problem with food…everyone reacts uniquely based on their own unique chemistry. But it only makes sense that if drugs can target inflammation as a treatment, why can’t food. After all, isn’t food a drug of sorts?

I have found that medical research greatly supports this connection, but more importantly, I have found that patients get better after eliminating inflammatory foods from their diets.  As a matter of fact, one of the quickest ways for these patients to feel better is to perform a fast or a liquid diet.  What foods should we avoid to help recover from arthritis? Depends on the person. Everyone is unique.

The Problem With Pain Medications

Drugs only mask inflammation, they do not correct the source. Many pain meds also cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies. This side effect can prevent long term healing. For example, NSAIDS (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can cause folic acid and vitamin C deficiency. Both of these vitamins are crucial for the body to be able to repair damaged cartilage, joints, tendons, and ligaments. See the diagram below:

Fox News recently interviewed me on this very complex topic. You can watch the interview below. If you think that the information will benefit someone (including your doctor), please share it.

Forms of Arthritis That Benefit With Diet Changes:

Common Foods Associated With Joint Pain

In my clinical experience the following short list of foods commonly contribute to arthritis.  The list is not comprehensive.

  • Grain (all grains including wheat, barley, rye, oats, corn, rice, millet, sorghum, etc)
  • Lectins
  • Nightshades (potato, eggplant, tomato, peppers, tobacco)
  • Hydrogenated Fats (hardly a food, but added to a lot of processed food items)
  • Sugar (in all processed forms)
  • Coffee and Tea
  • Soy
  • Peanuts

Foods That May Help Reduce Inflammation

Always looking out for you,

Dr. Osborne – AKA The Gluten Free Warrior

 

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8 Responses to “Food Allergy and Joint Pain – Is There a Connection?”

  • jamie says:

    Very true. For years I kept going to my rheumatlogist, who said my only options were drugs or exercise for my unexplained joint pain. I refused to accept this, as exercise made me feel worse, and I did not want to take painkillers or drugs, I wanted to find out the CAUSE. I finally figured it out myself without the help of any doctor, that I was gluten intolerant, and also could not tolerate any grains. To this day if I eat rice, my joints will begin to hurt again.

  • Dan Go says:

    Interesting information on food allergies in relation to joint pain. My clients have experienced reduction in pain when they changed what they ate. Good stuff Pete.

  • Bex says:

    It is absolutely true – I had an extremely sudden onset of Arthritis 3 months after the birth of my son – I literally got excrutiaing pain overnight – and after a couple of weeks, I could no longer walk or hold my baby! Not being a fan of classic doctors, I took matters into my own hands and went down the dietary route immediately. I refuse to take toxic drugs for a condition that cannot really be effectively treated (!)After only a few days, my pain dramatically reduced. As you say, every person is different, so it took a while to realise how MANY foods I was reacting to! And to subsequently find enough information to realise I was suffering the RA as a secondary immune reaction to Leaky Gut Syndrome. Thank God for the internet and the few decent doctors that are working for our cause!! I am now treating Leaky Gut and on an extreemly strict diet – coming up to my second year now. It’s a long process but better than a lifelong arthritic condition, even if I never eat grains again. Who cares! Thanks for publishing this…

  • Kate Mandoo says:

    I am sure this is all true as I was in pain until I became a Breatharian 6 years ago. It was the foods I was eating that caused my pain, so I stopped the grains all grains, all dairy, all meat/fish eggs. It is amazing how much better I felt when I removed food from my diet. I was a classically train medical doctor, and when I was a resident I BECAME INTERESTED IN FOOD And what it could do to the body, all the damage caused by food. Food that is poison, food that is served to children, elderly and all the weak people in hospitals daily. It must stop and I am glad to see someone is doing something about now. I praise this movement!

  • Alayne Walker says:

    We seem to be rather backward here in the UK, at coming forward with information on a level like I have been reading here for the last couple of years.. I’m Coeliac, and suffering many auto immune diseases. Osteoporosis being the worst of them :( I suffered with Coeliac disease undiagnosed until around my 45th birthday. Am 57 now and going downhill fast, even though on a Glutn Free diet (British Govnmtn recommendations). I have proof that diet improves my health and wellbeing having been on an exclusion diet for a couple of years when first diagnosed eating only meat, vegetables, fruit (not potato, onion,soya,dairy, eggs or wheat, oats, barley and rye) the physical improvements where enormous !! I returned to dairy, eggs, maize and onion with an ‘Ordinary’ Gluten Fre diet and within a month my health changed for the worse..

  • Alayne Walker says:

    I lost contact with the people who used to do testing for allergy etc here in UK. I think they were York Nutritional Lab’s… would anyone here be able to shed some light on who is closer to me around Cambridge, UK ?

  • Vicki says:

    Hi there. Was wondering if anyone knew of anywhere in Brisbane Australia I could get these blood tests for food intolerances. Desperate!!!
    Vicki :)

  • Glutens are added to medications because they are useful as fillers and as
    a substance that will either hold the medication together (binder)
    or thicken it. Cook time: 10 minutes (or until meat is done) 1 pound ground
    beef, turkey or chicken Pinch of sea salt. Popcorn, a dieter’s dream snack is also on the okay list.

    Also visit my blog; dr peter osborne reviews

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