A couple of months ago, I received a lovely email from a lady named Jo (from the UK) who’d read my H Pylori Diet book and somehow ‘cured’ her 30-years of rheumatoid arthritis.
Expecting to learn a protocol to overcome a stomach bug (H pylori), this lady found that by altering her diet, her so-called rheumatoid arthritis had disappeared.
Here are the exact words she used:
“I am so much better having stuck to your diet. You might be interested to know that having used your diet my Rheumatoid Arthritis, which I have suffered from for 30 years, the blood tests are showing it to be normal and my pain has almost disappeared. The doctors are puzzled. My tummy symptoms are also so much better. Thank you for all your help.”
Then, we had Lynn Dorr from Houston in Texas, who after reading the same book, wrote:
“I can’t believe how much better I feel already. Besides much relief in gastro symptoms, I don’t have near as much joint pain.”
So how can a few diet changes lead to rapid reversal of a disease that’s supposed to be with you for life?
Well first, it’s not so simple for everyone – these are cases where people hit the jackpot and ‘accidentally’ took away the trigger for their inflammation.
But I believe that by hook or by crook, anyone and everyone can overcome chronic pain syndromes such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and others if they’re prepared to go the distance and figure out WHY the conditions have developed.
What causes chronic pain?
I can’t stand the term ‘chronic pain’ because it implies you’re ‘stuck with it’, that’s it here to stay, and that you can’t do a damned thing about it.
Instead, I prefer to use the term ‘sustained pain’, which I learned from “inflammology” expert, Dr. Alex Vasquez.
If you have ‘sustained pain’, it’s wise to examine WHY the pain is there – what is creating sustained pain in your body?
There is always a reason for pain – it doesn’t just hit you without having a cause.
Chronic pain syndromes such as headaches, migraines, reactive arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, polyarthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus, ankylosing spondylitis and others aren’t ‘phantom’ conditions.
They erupt because you have too much bad stuff in your body (food, infections, toxins) and inadequate good stuff (food, nutrients, good bacteria in your gut).
This combination causes your immune system to go haywire, leading to inflammation.
If you’re genetically susceptible to arthritic and other pain-based conditions, that’s what you’ll get.
If you’re susceptible to neurological conditions that affect mood and behaviour, that’s what you’ll get.
It’s ALWAYS an interaction between your genes and environment, and your environment is basically “everything that’s not you” (your food, air, surroundings, etc.)
When you remove the bad stuff and put the good stuff back, the immune response settles down, inflammation levels drop and pain goes away.
The only exceptions to this rule are when your pain is being caused by structural / mechanical problems that need the attention of a physio, chiropractor or osteopath (or similar), OR if you have emotional pain that’s expressing itself as physical pain.
How did Jo and Lynn overcome their pain?
It’s my hunch that these ladies accidentally overcame their chronic (or “sustained”) pain by removing pro-inflammatory food from their diet.
In The H Pylori Diet book, I recommend the avoidance of gluten, cow’s milk, soy and other common ‘allergy-causing’ foods.
As unbelievable as it may seem given western medicine’s lack of attention to the impact of diet in common diseases, a simple gluten intolerance can cause inflammation anywhere in the body.
Cow’s milk is the #1 allergy causing food on the planet, and soy isn’t too far behind.
When people avoid these foods, all manner of symptoms can melt away.
It doesn’t work every time because in some folk, the immune trigger leading to inflammation is a chronic infection, toxin accumulation, or poor nutrient status.
This is why we insist on making sure basic nutrition and lifestyle factors are covered alongside a deep and thorough investigation into other potential triggers.
Where’s the evidence?
For all you know, I could be talking absolute crap. I could have made up the messages from Jo and Lynn and be fabricating the whole argument.
But I’m not.
In keeping with Jo and Lynn’s messages, here’s a published case from the medical literature dating all the way back to 1986:
“A 15-year-old girl, with synovitis of the knees and ankles for 3 years before a diagnosis of gluten-sensitive enteropathy, is described. The enteropathy was confirmed histologically and on the basis of a clinical response to a gluten-free diet. The arthritis also resolved promptly, suggesting that it was associated with the bowel disorder.” (1)
This is just one example, but here are some thoughts from Prof. Alan Ebringer, from King’s College, London, who’s done much research in the areas of autoimmune pain syndromes:
“Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease caused by an upper urinary tract infection by the microbe Proteus.” (2)
“Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is an autoimmune disease caused by Klebsiella bacteria in the caecum and ascending colon.” (3)
Then, let’s take a look at what Dr. Alex Vasquez says:
“Approximately 70% of patients with chronic arthritis are carriers of “silent infections”, according to a 1992 article published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. A 2001 article in this same journal which focused exclusively on five bacteria showed that 56% of patients with idiopathic inflammatory arthritis had gastrointestinal or genitourinary dysbiosis. Indeed, research evidence strongly indicates that bacteria, yeast/fungi, amebas, protozoa, and other “parasites” (rarely including helminths/worms) are an underappreciated cause of neuromusculoskeletal inflammation.” (4)
What can you do if you have ‘chronic’ pain?
The first thing I recommend you do is re-frame the terminology of your health challenge from chronic pain to sustained pain.
Then, tell yourself that all pain has a cause and that you can find the cause.
Start by eliminating gluten, cow’s milk and soy from your diet.
Also consider removing nightshades (potato, tomato, peppers, cayenne, paprika, aubergine, goji berries).
Don’t expect miracles because it won’t always work immediately, and you may need to do some deeper investigation.
Furthermore, it’s important not to feel deprived of tasty foods without knowing what to eat instead!
If altering your diet doesn’t improve your symptoms, take a deeper look.
- Do you have a bunch of bad bugs in your digestive or genitourinary tract?
- Have you stockpiled heavy metals like mercury, cadmium and arsenic from poor quality food, tap water or dental amalgams?
- Are you struggling with chronic nutritional deficiencies?
That’s where we can help.
Case reviews and consultations
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed and would like some hand-holding through this process, please get in touch.
We can either run a detailed case review and 60-75min initial consultation with you, or have a friendly ‘getting acquainted’ chat, with no obligation.
Just click here for details of how to arrange one.
Please know that I care deeply about chronic pain conditions. My grandmother had incapacitating arthritis, my mother had it, and my uncle has it (but doesn’t listen to me!)
You CAN beat chronic pain. You just need to find out WHY you have it.
1. Pinals RS. Arthritis associated with gluten-sensitive enteropathy. J Rheumatol. 1986 Feb;13(1):201-4.
2. Rheumatoid Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis: Microbial Trigger, Genetic Association, and Autoimmunity. Alan Ebringer B.Sc, MD, FRCP, FRACP, FRCPath King’s College, London. 2011 International Symposium on Functional Medicine. Bellevue, WA.
3. Rheumatoid Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis: Microbial Trigger, Genetic Association, and Autoimmunity. Alan Ebringer B.Sc, MD, FRCP, FRACP, FRCPath King’s College, London. 2011 International Symposium on Functional Medicine. Bellevue, WA
4. Vasquez, A. Reducing Pain and Inflammation Naturally. Part 6. Nutritional and Botanical Treatments Against “Silent Infections” and Gastrointestinal Dysbiosis, Commonly Overlooked Causes of Neuromusculoskeletal Inflammation and Chronic Health Problems. Nutritional Perspectives: Journal of the Council on Nutrition of the American Chiropractic Association. January 2006.