My son was suffering with terrible hip pain so bad that he could barely get out of bed, and he even missed a few days of work because of it.
Within 1 month of going Paleo, his hip pains were GONE.
Also since going Paleo he:
* Lost 50 lbs - went from 310 lbs to 260
* Sleep Apnea GONE
* High Blood Pressure GONE
* Can walk for miles with no pain
He looks like a NEW MAN !
PS) I highly recommend the new book, "Wheat Belly" by Cardiologist Wm Davis. This is a MUST READ for anyone in your family that is not yet convinced of going Paleo. In just 1 week it hit the NY Times Best Seller List, and the Food Industry is already waging WAR against him.
I love nightshades, but have to limit them to once or twice a week. (I'm considering going off them for a month, but I seriously just canned 35 quarts of tomatoes for the winter and can't quite wrap my head around not using them for an entire month. But we'll see.) I've got a history of joint pain and fatigue and some generally nasty inflammation that is kept under control by eliminating grains and sugar. Alcohol definitely exacerbates the inflammation.
What I ended up doing to heal originally was going on an anti-candida diet (whether scientifically sound or not, I honestly have no idea) that was essentially free of all inflammatory foods. I also use a lot of ginger and garlic in cooking. No sugar, low fruit, no dairy, no grains, no beans, and though not intending to cut out nightshades I just kind of did because I didn't have access at the time to fresh local tomatoes. Helped immensely. In fact, I should probably go and do that again because I've let myself slip by eating tons of starch and a little more wine than I should because of some social events.
Anyway, good luck.
OH. Your original "how long" question. To see improvement from cutting out gluten when I found out I was severely intolerant it took about six weeks. I started to feel better immediately, but I felt loads better after those weeks. Dairy and sugar, a little while longer. But now that I feel better, when I do sneak in some sugar I feel horrible immediately. (If I eat gluten I can barely walk for a week.)
In the quest of gaining weight I had strayed away from paleo-primal diet for a while. I was having brown rice post workout. potatoes for lunch etc...In a matter of month I started getting joint pains which never even existed especially in shoulders and a chronic pain in the left wrist. I even had a joint supplement " Animal Flex" which helped marginally. Sleep apnea sprouted up. . I was also extremely sluggish all the time and tried to make up for that by resorting to copious amounts of coffee which messed me up even more. I finally decided to cut all the carbs ( with the exception of green leafy veggies with my meals and bananas pw). In a week shoulder pain was gone...in 10 days flexibility improved( really don't understand this) and my chronic wrist pain vanished. I can now do a full handstand pushup without any joint issues. No more joint pain. No more sluggishness either.
Planning on doing a strict primal for the next 30 days...no grains, legumes, tubers, sugars, dairy, alcohol, coffee etc.
I've had post viral fibromyalgia (pain like toothache in bones and joints + fatigue) for past 2 yrs. (I still take regular slow release pain killers and was taking a lot of extra during day).First 3 weeks on primal pain was really really bad. From week 4 I can get out of bed in morning with no pain and have not needed to take extra pain killers at all. Any aches I've had have been logical ie I carried 2 big bags of veg home from Farmer's Market last week and shoulders were sore next day.
I'm so pleased that eating and thinking Primal is helping. Makes me feel good that I'm doing something positive about my situation.
ps I still eat home made full fat probiotic yogurt and some cream - will experiment with a month of no dairy soon (too addicted to yogurt and berries at present - yum!)
Here's a good link on AS and no starch paleo [url=http://paleozonenutrition.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/auto-immune-disease-hla-b27-pain-free-on-no-starch-paleo-diet/]Auto-immune disease HLA-B27, client pain free on no starch, paleo diet | Julianne's Paleo & Zone Nutrition Blog[/url]
I never realized how pain free I was until I spent a couple days at a conference in a far from ideal paleo setting.. knee pain came back with a vengance and that is when I really noticed that there's definitely something to it. Once I was back in the saddle for a week or so, the knee pain was all but gone.