Nutritional Support for Aching Joints

One of the most impressive researchers on inflammatory conditions is J. O. Hunter, M.D. Dr. Hunter believes that inflammatory conditions are caused by toxicity transmitted from the intestinal tract. For example, a parasitic bacteria such as a toxic form of E. coli, can affect the immune system in such a way as to create symptoms of inflammation (Bland, The 20-Day...., p.128). Dr. David M. Brady, ND, DC, agrees with Dr. Hunter when he offers his perspective on autoimmune diseases. He said that a gastrointestinal tract burdened with pathogenic bacteria in the face of a leaky gut is one of the primary means to foster autoimmunity (Collin, Townsend Letter, June 2012, p.15).

Inflammatory conditions in general develop when the intestinal lumen becomes damaged, either due to malnutrition or infection. Bacteria can be transferred across the lumen into the bloodstream. The barrier of defense in the intestinal tract becomes so compromised that it can’t even prevent bacteria from attacking the liver. The bacterial attack usually occurs when the intestinal tract is severely compromised, but it indicates how important a defensive barrier the intestinal lining represents in defending against serious illness (p. 128).

A recent study of hundreds of patients found gut inflammation in more than 80 percent of those with forms of reactive arthritis (Mielants H, et. al., Ilecolonoscopic Findings in Seronegative Spondyloarthropathies, British Journal of Rheumatology, Vol. 27, pp. 95-105, 1988). Rheumatologists at the Health Sciences Center at McMaster University Medical School in Hamilton, Ontario confirmed that individuals with increased intestinal permeability have an increased risk of arthritis-like symptoms. (Rooney PJ, et al., A Short Review of the Relationship between Intestinal Permeability and Inflammatory Joint Disease. Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology. Vol.8, pp. 75-83, 1990).

Dr. Jeffrey Bland in his book Genetic Nutritioneering believes that inflammatory conditions, from intestinal inflammation to rheumatoid arthritis, is a result of a combination of genetic, lifestyle and nutrition factors. Therefore, an anti-inflammation program based on nutrition and good supplements can prevent and/or reduce inflammatory conditions (Bland, The 20 Day...., pp 170-184).

Following are nutritional and supplement strategies for inflammatory conditions:

I. Remove Offending "Trigger" Foods:

• Remove strong acid producing foods. Examples are beef, chicken and pork. If you must eat any of these meats, at least reduce the amounts significantly.

• Remove all dairy products (cheese and milk). These are also acid producing foods. If you cannot avoid them, then buy goat-based cheese (the soft kind) or raw goat's milk.

• Avoid grains that are considered high-glycemic foods. Examples are corn chips, instant processed grain mixes (i.e., puffed wheat), cakes, pies, pastry, processed breakfast cereals, instant grain cereals, white rice, white flour, and white flour pastas.

• Avoid breads containing yeast. It may be prudent to consume types of bread made from whole rye and leavened with lactobacillus.

• Remove hydrogenated oils and margarine from your diet. Use coconut oil (not heated) for cooking. Use extra virgin olive oil or raw butter for any cold spreads.

• Avoid nonfoods (i.e., salt, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, MSG, coffee, tea, soft drinks, ...etc.).

• Avoid soy products, except for old, fermented soy products (miso, wheat free tamari sauce, and tempeh).

• Avoid the use of microwaves and avoid long cooked, baked or fried foods.

II. Your Daily Anti-inflammatory Diet: For the first 14 days:

Michael Klapper, M.D., recommends this strict diet for the first 14 days. Eat only: (In unlimited amounts)

A) Brown rice (for energy and protein).

B) Green and yellow vegetables (for vitamins and minerals).

C) Low glycemic fruits such as apples and berries (for vitamins, minerals, and fiber).

D) Vegetable soups, broth, and fresh vegetable juices. One of the best broths for arthritis is potato peeling broth. Potato peeling broth is a high potassium broth and is one of the best broths I know for taking care of extreme acids in the body, and especially rheumatic and arthritic acids. Taking two cups a day for one month, or even two months, in between meals, is tolerated by most people. This broth can neutralize acids that have been accumulated over long periods of time. It helps to get rid of the toxic wastes that have settled into various parts of the body and to neutralize the acids that attack the joints. I found that it is a wonderful aid in getting rid of rheumatic pains in the body. This broth can be used right along with a good, healthy way of living. Make sure that you are using only organic potato skin.

E) Ample pure water, at least a 6 oz. cup or glass every 1-2 hours.

Reconstruct your diet after 14 days with “safe” foods. You can add oily fish, such as salmon, halibut or cod, soft goat cheeses, citrus fruits, all types of vegetables, some nuts like almonds, seeds...etc.

When you add such foods back to your diet, it is a good idea to add one food at a time, every two days. You need to carefully observe any effects on your joints and other tissues while keeping a food diary to record your body’s reaction (if any) to each single reintroduced food. Note any food that incites swelling, stiffness, pain in joints, or other adverse bodily reactions within 2 days. As your list of “safe foods” grows, base your daily meal choices on foods that cause no problems and that make you feel your best.

III. Improve the Digestive System:

A) Friendly Bacteria supplementation:

Lynne McFarland, Ph.D......., from the Department of Medicinal C