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Nightshades and Arthritis Pain?

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  • Nightshades and Arthritis Pain?

    Has anyone here successfully "cured" their arthritis/joint pain by eliminating nightshades from their diet? While I've eliminated most grain from my diet, with the exception of white rice, I still eat plenty of potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers (Frank's Red Hot). I haven't been officially diagnosed with arthritis, but the right side of my body - foot, knee, hip, and more recently my hand (pain, swelling, and numbness from the elbow down to the hand) - have been showing signs of osteoarthritis and tendinitis for a few years now and switching to a gluten-free, primal-type diet hasn't really helped. This is very disconcerting because a.) I'm only 30 years old, b.) I work a physical job and being in pain makes the job almost intolerable, and c.) it's affecting my sleep each night.

    I consume artificial sweeteners and dairy regularly, both of which have some link to joint pain. I understand elimination diets but which would you recommend I eliminate first...nightshades, dairy, or artificial sweeteners?

    I refuse to be in pain the rest of my life. Suggestions/experiences?
    I began this Primal journey on December 30th, 2009 and in that time I've lost over 125 LBS.

  • #2
    I wish I had a good, definitive answer for you...I've got osteo too, and I do seem to find that if I limit nightshades I feel better. SOMETIMES. And sometimes they don't seem to affect me. It's tomato season here, and I've been making slow-roasted tomatoes and fried green tomatoes, and have no more pain than usual. Too many potatoes, on the other hand (which I haven't eaten since I went Primal) do seem to bother me more. I think all you can do is experiment and see what the results are with your own's a small price to pay for feeling better!

    Still Craving Pterodactyl--my Primal Blueprint blog

    70 is the new 50--without the hot flashes!

    Goals: Feel good, be stronger, and hopefully kick that arthritis in the backside! Oh, yeah, and losing more weight would be okay, too.


    • #3
      I also have arthritis, and they don't seem to affect me at all. I've tried eliminating them entirely for months at a time, and I've had weeks when I'll eat them at every meal, and my pain remains the same. The only things that seem to affect it is the weather and supplements. I suggest taking glucosamine/chondroitin and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). They're the only things that seem to help at all.


      • #4
        It's weird, but for me quitting grains was the biggest change re osteo pain; it almost disappeared! Potatoes, but not tomatoes, also seem exacerbate the problem. I've had very little pain but find that when I have a little discomfort it's always if I've recently had a bit of potato or flour in some food.


        • #5
          I don't have arthritis, but nightshades do bother some of my joints. By avoiding them, I've been able to drastically reduce this discomfort.
          --Trish (Bork)

          FOOD PORN BLOG!


          • #6
            I have severe osteo, and the biggest problems for me are grains and sweeteners (both sugar and artificial sweeteners). Nightshades don't seem to bother me, although I usually avoid them. When I've had eggplant or peppers, I don't notice a difference in pain level as I do if I have anything sweet. Grains have been off limits for a long time. I don't do dairy either, but that's mainly an intolerance; I'm not sure it bothered my osteo.

            I think that different things bother different people, and my advice would be to experiment on yourself to see what helps most.

            By the way, I also avoid egg yolks, as they are very inflammatory, and I notice the difference in my pain level almost immediately. Much as I love eggs, I limit myself to whites 90% of the time. Other people aren't bothered at all by egg yolks.


            • #7
              GET RID OF THE ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS FIRST! They cause nerve damage, and they upset blood sugar levels. They are addictive. They are bad juju.

              I can't give you a definitive answer about nightshades and osteoarthritis. I'm at present on a very strict no-nightshade diet to see if I can get my knees better. I'm 65, not 30.

              One piece of information might be valuable for you: the most problematic substance in nightshades, solanine, is also present in some other foods, such as apples, cherries, blueberries, artichokes, and okra. So if you're going to make a real trial to see if eliminating nightshades helps your trouble, be sure to eliminate them as well. It might be a month or six weeks before you can be sure whether this protocol does or doesn't help.

              A hint from Dr. Kruse. He says that for patients with osteoarthritis he recommends krill oil AND fish oil, together. I'm trying that at present. I take krill oil every day (in gelcaps) and I have a teaspoonful of cod liver oil daily as well.

              -- and check out his thread at the Apple, if you want a LONG but interesting read!



              • #8
                Good question,

                Arthritis is a tricky disease, but until you eliminate all possible food triggers, you won't be able to tell what may be contributing to your condition.

                Here's what I would do:

                Eliminate all nightshades, grains (including rice), eggs, nuts/seeds, dairy, and artificial sweeteners for at least 30 days. If you feel better, re-introduce items one at a time until symptoms reemerge.

                Something else that caused a lot of joint pain for me was mycotoxins. I eat paleo, but even a lot of paleo foods have mycotoxins on them. Coffee being a major one. I've been digging around for a while on this topic, and I found a really good video on mycotoxins here:

                Bulletproof video: Get stable energy & perform better by avoiding these | The Bulletproof Executive

                Let me know if this helps!


                • #9
                  I have bone on bone OA of the knee and moderate OA of the hand. Giving up grains allowed me to get off Rx pain meds.

                  I dont eat many nightshades. Tomato and tomato based foods, cayenne, chili powder are part of my diet-though not on a regular basis. They dont seem to bother me.

                  Dairy and artificial sweeteners do not affect my arthritis pain. However, YMMV.

                  As to your joint pain-- things I would look into include:
                  1. thyroid issues
                  2. Vitamin D level
                  3. Anemia
                  4 Blood sugar


                  • #10
                    I have severe arthritis and the best thing I ever did was a lectin elimination diet while eating a primal diet:

                    THE LECTIN STORY

                    I found I have a major sensitivity to nightshades. Eggs also cause some problems. By eliminating nightshades, getting my Vitamin D levels normalized and staying primal I have eliminated 90% of my arthritis meds and have gone from disabled and in constant pain to somewhat normal. I would give it a try.

                    I actually feel best when I am dairy, nightshade, nut, and egg free and primal- that is pretty much the autoimmune protocol that is recommended by someone (Robb Wolf maybe?). It is a little annoying to follow but makes a HUGE difference in my quality of life.

                    Remember when you go nightshade free that you have to read every label - paprika in particular is hidden pretty much every where.

                    Good luck.
                    Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )



                    • #11
                      I'd say Artificial Sweeteners- aspartame, especially, as it breaks down in your body into an aldehyde (like formaldehyde, a carcinogen used for preserving dead bodies). My wife gets instant migraines from chewing gum that will put her down for 8-10 hours.


                      • #12
                        I have arthritis, and tomatoes and eggplant slay me. Before I knew any better, I prepared an Iranian dish that was chock full of both. I could barely get out of bed the next day. Potatoes and peppers don't have nearly the same effect.

                        I'm not sure about eggs. I haven't made a clear connection, but then again I haven't done the exclusion test on them.
                        "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


                        • #13
                          Haven't read through the responses, but the Nightshade Free Support Thread my be helpful.
                          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


                          • #14
                            I think you need to distinguish whether it is osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
                            Rheumatoid Arthritis Versus Osteoarthritis - Differences Between Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis


                            • #15
                              Some supps:
                              Arthritis Diets & Supplements: Do They Work?
                              Last edited by Sue; 10-15-2011, 07:27 PM.