Prescription Pain Trap | Gluten-Free Society

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Unfortunately, most doctors specializing in the treatment of arthritis, joint pain, muscle pain, and autoimmune diseases affecting the musculoskeletal system never even consider food in the diet as a contributing cause 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 an exercise program if it constantly 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. What foods should we avoid to help recover from arthritis? Depends on the person. Everyone is unique.

Don’t Fall Into the Prescription Pain Trap:


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.

Some Foods Can Make Arthritis Worse:

Forms of Arthritis That Benefit With Diet Changes:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lupus
  • spondyloarthritis
  • psoriatic
  • reactive arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Scleroderma
  • Myofascitis
  • Dermatomyositis

Foods That Can Trigger Joint and Muscle Pain

In my clinical experience the following short list of foods commonly contribute to arthritis. The list is not comprehensive, but includes some of the more common food triggers of joint pain.

  • Grain (all grains including wheat, barley, rye, oats, corn, rice, millet, sorghum, etc)
  • 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

All the best,

Dr. Osborne – AKA The Gluten Free Warrior

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Gluten Free Warrior Commentary


7 responses on “Prescription Pain Trap

  1. TadeuA says:

    Yes, I had joint pain. Apart from gout which is very painful and the chronic rotater cuff issues I would have and regularly, all gone now, I also had pain in my knees for years. It began in my mid 30’s. I assumed it was due to sports I played in high school and even took pride in saying I’ve got football knees. But it hurt mostly when I would descent stairs at the metro station everyday. I would have to shift and thrust my weight to avoid sharp pains in both knees as I negotiated the daily obstacle. I had read that rheumatoid arthritis could also be attributed to gluten but never thought that is what I had. I thought I was too young for that diagnosis. It was six months approximately after I went gluten free that my knee pain began to evaporate much like the multitude of other symptoms I’d been having as well but never thought to chalk them up to gluten too. It’s been a year and a half for me now since I went gluten free. Now at 40, I still almost giggle inside with every single step I take up or down those same stairs. I think to myself with each step, “That doesn’t hurt. That didn’t hurt, neither did that, and that doesn’t hurt either.” It’s such a trip for me. I love it. Still profoundly enlightened. You guys helped me a lot in my research. Thanks. Tadeu

  2. Eva says:


    I was wondering why remove rice. Isn’t rice a gluten free grain???

  3. Erick says:

    What about stem cells therapy? it seems to fix, not just patch are diminish health problems. I have a friend who works for a Stem cells clinic in Mexico and she told me they have great results for many degenerative diseases! What are your thoughts?

  4. Jeanne says:

    What are the effects of gluten on asthma? I have a friend who has very bad asthma and I would like to give her some research info on eliminating gluten to help her asthma.

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