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Arthritis tips?

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  • Arthritis tips?

    My husband has arthritis in his knees. It runs through his family but it also could be from having been (at one time) 300 lbs and jogging to lose weight. His grandfather was thin as a beanpole and very active though, and he was completely crippled with arthritis by the time I met him, so I don't think it's just my husband's weight.

    We have both had great health changes from going primal including a decent amount of weight loss for him, but his knees have not improved. I'd like to explore other changes we could make to see if it would help.

    A week ago I read on this board that some people find bell peppers cause their arthritis to flare up, so I cut all peppers from his diet since he was eating a lot of them (cooked and raw). No change yet.

    So here's what he eats. Any suggestions are welcome, though he might not follow through on them. He's overall loving primal eating, but after a decade of me putting him on every diet known to man (low fat, high grain, McDougall low protein and strict veg, etc) he sort of rolls his eyes when I suggest new things to try. Can't blame the man really

    Every day he eats
    2 eggs
    onions (lots of onions)
    romaine lettuce
    bell pepper (but not this past week)
    red cabbage, raw in his salad
    salad dressing with canola oil
    ground beef patty (homemade with onion and various spices)
    Either beef or chicken in his salad (mostly beef)
    Nuts (lots, mostly almonds)
    One square of 86% chocolate
    carrot sticks

    Coke Zero. 2 or 3 a day. I'm not happy on that and have been asking him to cut that for years, but that's his biggest sticking point and as of right now he will not give it up so please don't tell me that's the problem, lol! (or if it is, I'd love an actual article so I can show him )

    Some, but not all days, he has hot sauce on his eggs. Which, agh! I just realized involves peppers. Duh. I'll ask him if he's been eating that this past week. It's a tiny amount, but still.

    Some, but not all days, he has cheese and garlic.

    For dinner we eat different every night but it's primal, unless we have salad in which case we have salad dressing that has canola oil. Now that I think of it, I should just make my own dang dressing. That might not be "it", but it won't hurt.

    Ok, any big flags there? If it's as easy as the canola that would make my day I think I'll try that one anyway. But anything else anyone sees?

  • #2
    Reduce the nuts. More Omega-3s (either with supplements or more fish). Somewhere to start, anyway.
    Depression Lies


    • #3
      Some people have issues with nightshade veggies - potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants - they give some people severe arthritis

      One thing I have to be careful of is keeping very low omega 6s - very low pufas in general - almonds are very high in omega 6s and could be part of the problem - omega 6's are inflammatory

      Canola oil also has omega 6s. Making your own dressing is easy - 2 parts olive oil to one part balsamic, salt, pepper, and herbs (I use italian seasoning)

      I thought I had a big issue with nightshades, but when I tested the nightshades, I realized I had also had lots of omega 6s the day I tested. What I had really reacted to was the omega 6s - I was terribly achy for 3 days from them.

      I'd cut the nuts and see what that does.

      A joyful heart is good medicine

      He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliot

      Mmmmm. Real food is good.

      My Journal:


      • #4
        You know, just writing that all out, I can't believe I overlooked the canola for so long. I thought I was 100% grain free and all this time, I've been eating canola oil in my salad dressing too. Duh. I mean, cool that we've had such health gains while still eating it, but it still should go.

        And he hates any and all fish (more for me!) so I'll get fish oil pills again. We used to have them, I'm not sure why we stopped.

        I'm going to do that. And I'll replace the nuts with meat I guess. I'll see if he's ok with starting with that (the canola and the nuts) and give it a few weeks or a month to see if we notice anything before moving on to any other food items.

        I'm still interested in hearing what everyone has to say though.


        • #5
          Magnesium and sleep are two things I've seen mentioned often on the board as being imperative for joint pain issues. If you search joint pain and cillakat you may get some helpful stuff. Also here is a nightshade free support thread. Tey can be quite insidious, and if you've got an issue w/ them, even a trace amount can impact you. (Although looking at your post, doesn't seem like nightshades are a HUGE part of his diet...)

          I believe Robb Wolf also mentions avoiding inflammatory foods which can include grains (duh), nuts/seeds, nightshades, dairy and eggs. (Can't remember others if he mentioned them.)

          Oh, and for me, avoiding sugar is very important as well (triggers joint pain for me.) Not from fruit, but in sweets etc--doesn't seem to matter if its honey/maple syrup or too much dark chocolate either.

          Good luck figuring it all out! Hope you find some things that help!
          My Before/After Pics
          Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

          "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco


          • #6
            I have bone on bone arthritis in my left knee ,moderate OA in my right hand.Three years ago I was on Celebrex and Rx pain meds and still had pain. Things that helped me get rid of the pain:

            1. Get rid of grains and sugar
            2. Optimize thyroid hormones
            3. Optimize sex hormones
            4. Optimize Vitamin D, magnesium, iron (ferritin)
            5. Walk 5 days a week. If I miss more than a few days in a row I stiffen up.

            Diet Pepsi is the bane of my existence. I did not have to give it up to get rid of the pain. However, YMMV.

            I eat everything from your list except bell pepper-- I don't like them. Onions are only eaten cooked as they bother me (not arthritis related) when eaten raw. Canola oil is rare.

            I also take krill oil, in pill form, daily. I do not like fish and every fish oil pill I have tried has haunted me with fish burbs.

            Has your husband had a hs-CRP test to check his level of inflammation?


            • #7
              I have very severe OA, and have controlled it for years with diet and exercise--although my primary doctor said it would be 'impossible' for me to get off meds.

              As others have commented, grains and sugar are killers, and you need to rachet up the omega 3s. I not only take fish oil supplements, but I also eat a lot of fish (my main protein source).

              Egg yolks are inflammatory, and for years I ate only whites. Now I eat both and find I can tolerate yolks, although I can feel the difference.

              I have never tested nightshades, but I generally avoid them.

              I do know that if I have any sugar (very rarely I'll have a dessert in a restaurant), I feel as though I've been run over by a truck the next morning.

              I cannot walk much, but I swim and do water exercise. I also do strength training to build the muscles (to support the joints that don't function well).


              • #8
                His last CRP was 2.6 (woot!).

                He does eat quite a lot of nuts though. And he has a salad every day, so there's the canola oil. The problem is that he can't seem to go long without eating so that's where the nuts come in. When I'm eating strictly primal I can go a long time before I'm hungry, but he hasn't gotten there. Of course, I tend to eat steak for breakfast while he's eating two eggs and a small amount of beef . . .

                Edited to say, do you think one square of dark chocolate a day is a problem as far as sugar?


                • #9
                  I think YMMV w/ the dark chocolate and sugar. May be helpful for someone like him to go really strict, whole30 ish type thing for a month or so, then slowly add things in, testing them to see how they impact him.

                  Some snacks could include jerky, hb eggs (if he tolerates them), and even mini meals (an extra salad w/ some protein), a tin of salmon, etc...

                  Just some thoughts!
                  My Before/After Pics
                  Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

                  "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco


                  • #10
                    just read that chia seeds are a good substitute for fish oil if you don't tolerate the fish oil well. you could make a chia pudding using coconut milk (which I seem to remember-but may be wrong-has an anti inflammatory effect.)

                    I started doing a Leptin Reset and the most positive thing to come out of it so far is that it has tamed the appetite beast! I am pretty sure it is because of the recommendation for a high protein (50g-75g) relatively low carbohydrate (0g-25g depending on whether or not you want to lose weight) breakfast.

                    Would Macadamia nuts be a better choice-I am not well versed in the Omega 3/6 issues, but know that they have a higher fat content and tend to be more satisfying than almonds.
                    Last edited by demuralist; 09-26-2011, 12:48 PM. Reason: spelling
                    "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It is about learning to dance in the rain."

                    My journal:

                    My "Program": doing my version of a 4:3 - 3 day fast diet with real food every day, with a little twist of anti-inflammatory mixed in.


                    • #11
                      I second eliminating nightshades. They affect me pretty badly, and since I have running goals, nightshades just aren't worth the discomfort. Do I want to set a new PR or do I REALLY want that stuffed bell pepper?
                      --Trish (Bork)
                      TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
                      FOOD PORN BLOG!


                      • #12
                        Just a wild guess, but see if drinking non-fluoridated water helps.


                        • #13
                          Ok, a friend just told me canola is not technically grain, lol! Still something I should get out of my diet but I guess I can go back to saying I've been grain free for months

                          I think my husband would do better if I could get him to eat bigger meals. He seems to still be in diet mindset. I am trying to tell him that if he just eats enough protein and fat at one sitting he would probably be able to go longer without being hungry (I can't say 100% but it's worth a try). Though to be honest, part of his problem in the morning is time. He has to leave for work really early so he doesn't want to lose sleep getting up even earlier to make a big breakfast. It has to be easy and so far, eggs are the easiest. But when I eat eggs I eat 3 or 4 at a time and he's eating 2.

                          I do think macademia nuts are better but for how many he's eating, we can't afford that. It will be cheaper to replace the nuts with meat.

                          I think for now I'll try and talk to him about concentrating on getting the omega 6's out of his diet and add some omega 3's (in the way of pills) and see what happens. We unfortunately can not afford all grass fed meat so it's not perfect, but getting the nuts and canola out should help.


                          • #14
                            I have arthritis.

                            Nightshades -- ooh, ow. For me, that's the worst of the lot. Nuts, too, but that's secondary to the tomatoes and eggplant, which wreck me.

                            As support (but, really, the food has got to be cleaned up primarily):
                            Hyaluronic acid

                            I love this product:
                            Natrol, Hyaluronic Acid MSM & Glucosamine, 90 Capsules -
                            "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates