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Rheumatoid Arthritis And Gluten Sensitivity/celiac
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A friend of mine has a 4 year old son who developed juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at 1 year old. The typical drugs used for this condition do not work for this child. There was one drug that worked, but it recently stopped working and the child is struggling with severe arthritis pain that is very disabling. It is such a heartbreaking story. I was wondering if other people have seen a relationship between rheumatoid arthritis and Celiac or gluten sensitivity? Both are auto-immune diseases and it is my understanding that there are drugs in development that will work for both diseases. Does anyone know of cases where rheumatoid arthritis was cured with gluten-free diet?

Thank you so much!

Evelyn

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Evelyn,

I suffered from RA before I went gluten free. In fact, doctors believed I had juvenile RA as a child because of the amount of pain in my joints. I think it was probably due to the fact that I was born with Rickets and because I had undiagnosed celiac disease that caused pain in my bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints. I ended up having rheumatic fever twice, and then the RA set in. However, I have no trace of it now that I follow a gluten-free diet.

When the child in question is a little older and can eat apples, there's a natural remedy that worked for my husband and me to alleviate the RA before I was diagnosed with celiac. The remedy is to eat 1-2 organic apples for breakfast with 1-2 glasses of organic whole milk. I know--it sounds crazy...but it worked for both of us. My husband, in fact, still does this every morning to stay painfree.

I hope the little guy gets better...

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HI There! My daughter does not have RA but she has another autoimmune called Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM), they are similar. JA affects the joints and JDM affects the muscles and the skin. She is 2 and was dx @ 18 mos with JDM. She is also gluten intolerant. She started showing symptoms of the gluten-intolerance when we introduced solids. I would swear she is Celiac, but all her testing came back negative. She is responding very well to treatment. I know she would not be doing as well if we were not gluten-free. I hope this helps.

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I had my first rheumatic related surgery in kindergarten. It was so severe by the time I was diagnosed with celiac forty years later that I could barely walk. I went not only gluten free but also adopted a paleo diet and within forty eight hours I went from not being able to do anything but barely shuffle for the first several hours of the day to being able to hit the ground running. My RA factor numbers prior to diagnosis were unbelievably high. I was told all the damage was irreversible. I was noticing my hands the other day and realized that my joints have actually gotten straighter and healthier after three years of strict paleo diet. Not exactly a juvenile example (well, unless you ask my children about my behavior...)

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Thank you everyone so much for the responses. This is so helpful!! I was wondering if you also eliminated dairy? Did everyone see an immediate change after going gluten-free?

Thank you again.

Evelyn

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Thank you everyone so much for the responses. This is so helpful!! I was wondering if you also eliminated dairy? Did everyone see an immediate change after going gluten-free?

Thank you again.

Evelyn

WE eliminated dairy only because we thought that was primary culprit (whole milk) although she did improve when we removed diary she did not improve completely until we eliminated gluten. It turns out she was lactose intolerant secondary to the gluten intolerance (just like in Celiac). While this was all happening she started showing signs of her disease (JDM). I think the gluten intolerance was a triggered her disease, among some other things. I have no idea what the paleo diet is...I'll have to google it. My husband has RA and I have trying to get him to change is diet. No luck so far. I hope this helps.

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Paleo typically doesn't include dairy. I dropped dairy because of the damage to my villi. I recently tried to add hard cheese back in to disastrous consequences but I have a working theory I am going to test in the near future. You might want to check out Robb Wolf's site or Loren Cordain for basic information on paleolithic diet practices. I find that Robb Wolf's site has the most useful basic guidelines spelled out (for free, no less!) I cannot convey how significant the turnaround of my rheumatoid arthritis has been as a result of this. My rheumatologist still refuses to believe that my RA might have been secondary to my celiac. I respectfully disagreed with him. In his estimation I was supposed to be dead now for not following his recommendations and deciding on only dietary intervention. I feel great for being a zombie, I guess.

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The Paleo diet seems to be similar to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), which is interesting. SCD is supposed to cure things like Chrons, Celiac, Autism. The theory behind SCD is that you basically starve the pathogen that is responsible for triggering the disease.

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I had my first rheumatic related surgery in kindergarten. It was so severe by the time I was diagnosed with celiac forty years later that I could barely walk. I went not only gluten free but also adopted a paleo diet and within forty eight hours I went from not being able to do anything but barely shuffle for the first several hours of the day to being able to hit the ground running. My RA factor numbers prior to diagnosis were unbelievably high. I was told all the damage was irreversible. I was noticing my hands the other day and realized that my joints have actually gotten straighter and healthier after three years of strict paleo diet. Not exactly a juvenile example (well, unless you ask my children about my behavior...)

I just shared this with my sister. I am sure she will be inspired. Thanks for sharing.

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Just chiming in - my son's biggest, most obvious symptom was joint pain. Rheumatoid arthitis in his hip is what landed him in the hospital for emergency surgery and ended up setting us on the path that brought us to our conclusion that he has celiac disease. Eliminating gluten took away all his joint and bone pain (as well as other stuff I've posted elsewhere). It is also the first symptom to return when he gets glutened.

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Just chiming in - my son's biggest, most obvious symptom was joint pain. Rheumatoid arthitis in his hip is what landed him in the hospital for emergency surgery and ended up setting us on the path that brought us to our conclusion that he has celiac disease. Eliminating gluten took away all his joint and bone pain (as well as other stuff I've posted elsewhere). It is also the first symptom to return when he gets glutened.

Wow, thank you for sharing that. Did you also eliminate dairy?

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I just wanted to say thank you again to everyone for their responses. My friend has decided to try a gluten-free diet with her son. All of these responses really helped in making that decision.

Now I have to try to convince my mom as well. She has severe rheumatoid arthritis. I am sure I got the Celiac gene from her and I think that she could benefit greatly from a gluten-free diet.

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Wow, thank you for sharing that. Did you also eliminate dairy?

We didn't eliminate dairy, however, we did end up making more major dietary changes.

While his joint problems went away with just the gluten, he had other issues as well. His stomach aches, anxiety, terrible allergies, and attention issues were still present. The rest of the family went gluten-free with him, and we all experienced some effects. More research led us to try the GAPS Diet to see if it would help. It truly has made a world of difference for all of us.

I've posted about it all over the forum recently, so I won't retype it all here. In a nutshell this is what our diet now looks like:

- everything homemade, organic, pasture-fed

- we've cut out all grains completely

- dairy was introduced as ghee (clarified butter - casein removed)

- other dairy was introduced in cultured forms - yogurt and kefir (we're now at a stage in the diet where we have started with a bite of cheese - we'll see how that goes)

- lots of probiotic foods (sauerkraut, beet kvass, water kefir, milk kefir, yogurt)

- mineral supplement drops (ConcenTrace low sodium mineral drops)

- soup, soup, and more soup! Lots of bone broth, meat, and veggies!

Unexpected results included:

- our son going from barely being able to sound out words and recognize letters to blazing through novels at an 8th grade level with complete comprehension in less than 6 months.

- our daughter's tourette's getting much better

- my migraine auras and other weird neurological stuff going away

- my partner's PCOS resolving

- better menstrual cycles for us both

- picky eating and our dd's vegetarianism becoming a thing of the past

- anxiety going away

- I no longer have to get up to pee at night (used to get up 3-5 times)

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    • The anxiety thing is there I take teas, and supplements along with CBD oil to help with it, and long walks and exercise when I get antsy. As for the human interaction it is a mix of other mental issues, and the way I feel about people who can eat gluten. If they are not eating I have no issue talking with people. I mentioned I have issues accepting them as the same species when I see them eating. My reaction to gluten is so ingrained in me that it is not a food but a poison, that watching others eat it causes a subconscious reaction where I find myself avoiding them and looking down on them like something from another planet. I end up disgusted with them and walking away, I will go out of my way to avoid people and places where foods like this are present. This is my TRAUMA part of the gluten exposure, and one of the big things I am trying to address in my life right now. I know it is irrational to do so but I end up doing it, I have never cared about others race, religion, or looks, but if I see them eating a gluten/poison, it somehow changes how I perceive them and interact with them and I hate this part about me. It is taking a lot of mental effort to try to smile and treat them as a human, and not something to be looked down upon in disgust. I just recall that mental state that gluten puts me in with my mind and body turning against me and not doing what I will it and the fear comes back. This diet is pretty much like mine, I take Doctors best Magnesium powder in a tea that is actually brewed with st johns wort (never thought much of it) , I use Liquid Health Stress & Energy along with the Neurologic Support they have, twice-three times a day for B vitamins(along with a bunch of other supplements) . I can not digest meats or carbs well, meats it is a issue with breaking them down same with egg yolks, I literally just burp up the undigested meats hours later. I have found the only way to eat them is to boil/slow cook them til they melt then blend them into a broth and have it with digestive enzymes so only do it with turkey bacon, longhorn, and salmon in small amounts in soups or for flavoring stock for stir frys.  As for Carbs like rice and potatoes I end up getting really gassy and bloated, same with sugars in any amount greater then like the size of my thumb give or take. Oats I only have gluten-free Harvest in about a tbsp amount when tasting recipes of stuff I sell at farmers markets. So I eat mostly fats and protein from egg whites, nuts, seeds, veggies, and vegan protein powders blends balanced for complete proteins. I have at least 1-2 dried fig, dates, handful of banana chips, or a 1/4 of a small fruit with meals for fruits.  My meals are mostly egg white and veggie omelettes, stir frys, and soups, Always with lots of fats and proteins in each meal. I have found having nutritional yeast to help with my mood and energy levels also and find someway of having it in meals often. I keep my foods on rotation and keep getting updated feed back on ratios with my dietician. I also have a rather odd list of foods I can not eat due to allergies/intolerance.
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