Fasting and Elimination Diets to Help with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Mar 27, 2022 | autoimmune disease prevention, Elimination Diet, Fasting, Fasting mimicking diet, Longevity

This blog on rheumatoid arthritis is #8 in a series of blogs in the form of questions or statements about a health issue and answers. These are in the typical format used when doctors take tests.

Question # 8

A 35-year-old woman with new-onset rheumatoid arthritis wants to try fasting and then an elimination diet.

Which is not true regarding using fasting for therapeutic benefit in rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

  1. Fasting is worthless because food has no effect on rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
  2. Fasting has been shown to induce a temporary remission in autoimmune disease.
  3. The observed benefits of an elimination diet indicate that certain foods may trigger inflammation.
  4. Fasting has been found to reduce inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein and interleukin-6.

That’s correct! #1 is not true.

Fasting clearly decreases symptoms in rheumatoid arthritis; however, symptoms rapidly recur with the resumption of food intake.

A few people with rheumatoid arthritis appear to have a food intolerance that exacerbates their disease. Many more people believe that certain foods exacerbate symptoms but this effect has not been observed in blind trials of food exposure.

The offending foods are usually dairy products, wheat, citrus, or nuts. An elimination diet for 2 weeks with the reintroduction of the suspected food can be done with or without the supervision of a physician or a nutritionist.

My vive: The science over many decades clearly identifies why certain foods will be problematic for people with autoimmune disease including rheumatoid arthritis. All people with an autoimmune process will have an issue with wheat/gluten and cow’s milk dairy. After that, each individual is highly unique in which foods are bothersome and which ones are not.

Advanced testing is available to determine exactly which foods need to be avoided in each person. But after eliminating the offending foods and fixing the gut, most people will once again be able to tolerate most of those foods again.

The reason rheumatoid arthritis symptoms tend to return once someone stops fasting is that avoiding the offending foods is important but this needs to be combined with fixing the reasons why the foods became bothersome in the first place. Thus, fix the gut.

When combined with addressing the underlying reasons why someone developed an autoimmune disease in the first place, fasting can be quite helpful and changes are able to be maintained easier.

A method of fasting that can be quite helpful is called The Fasting Mimicking Diet. This was developed by Dr. Longo out of USC over many years of studying the Blue Zones of the world. Communities that tend to live longer, healthier lives than other parts of the world.

The Fasting Mimicking Diet is the first intervention approved by the FDA to improve human longevity!

“Got a revolution. Got to revolution.”


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This post has been updated to 2022 to reflect edited links.

“Got a Revolution, got to Revolution.”  Jefferson Airplane

 

Dr. David Bilstrom
Autoimmune Functional Medicine Doctornatural treatment for autoimmune disease by Dr David Bilstrom Functional Medicine Doctor MD

 

 

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