Diet and Rheumatoid Arthritis

A big part of challenging Rheumatoid Arthritis is changing what you eat.  What you eat affects how you will feel with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Are you ready to make a change in your lifestyle for the better?

Gone were the days of sugary drinks and high fat meals. I also became allergic to fried foods and anything that contained gluten, dairy or soy. I say allergic because I knew that fried foods would have some bad repercussions after and it was not something that I wanted.

Having Rheumatoid Arthritis, my body has become more intolerable to gluten. Gluten intolerance means your body has a hard time digesting gluten. It is shown that gluten intolerance is shown to lead to many health conditions including aching joints, muscle cramps, hair loss, mouth ulcers, loss of appetite, seizures, abdominal pain, nausea, diabetes and even intestinal cancer.

Find out more about gluten on the links below:

It took some time getting used to a gluten free, dairy free, egg free and soy free out of my diet and I concentrated more on the foods that I could eat and stayed positive about it.

After 30 days of being gluten free, dairy free, egg free and soy free I began to notice a huge difference. My joint pain was almost nonexistent. I’m able to move about with ease and I am back to training again.


My interview with Precor

Here at Precor, we hear amazing stories from peope all the time about how our products helped them overcome a health challenge in their life.

It’s one of the reasons that this line in our creed really stands out: “I believe tomorrow will be even better because of what I do today.”

At our all-company meetings each quarter, a success story is always presented. For example, we recently heard about Erick, who runs the blog Life Without Boundaries. Erick originally reached out to us through Twitter to tell us how the AMT has impacted his life and his battle against rheumatoid arthritis:

“At first I surrendered to what was coming from R.A.,” he wrote to us in an email. “One day I woke up with a decision to take my life back. I was fed up with all of the weight that the medication and sedentary lifestyle gave me. I was a former bodybuilder, surfer and runner. I had to make a change.”

It was during Erick’s training when a trainer he had become friends with suggested using the AMT® .

“I really liked how I could change the stride from short to long as well as go backwards and even use it as a stair climber all without stopping,” he wrote, adding that there was no impact on his joints. “My first workouts only lasted 10 minutes and I was exhausted. After three weeks, my training on the AMT progressively got better and longer. I’m currently able to run an hour on the AMT without any issues with my R.A.”

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

I have been asked by many about Rheumatoid Arthritis, that I thought this would be the perfect post for this evening. Rheumatoid Arthritis is just not “Arthritis” as you will learn. I hope this will help everyone fighting this disease or that knows anyone that is fighting this disease a better understanding.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia.

Rheumatoid arthritis
RA; Arthritis – rheumatoid
Last reviewed: February 2, 2012.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a long-term disease that leads to inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. It can also affect other organs.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The cause of RA is unknown. It is an autoimmune disease, which means the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue.

RA can occur at any age, but is more common in middle age. Women get RA more often than men.

Infection, genes, and hormone changes may be linked to the disease.

RA usually affects joints on both sides of the body equally. Wrists, fingers, knees, feet, and ankles are the most commonly affected.

The disease often begins slowly, usually with only minor joint pain, stiffness, and fatigue.

Joint symptoms may include:

Morning stiffness, which lasts more than 1 hour, is common. Joints may feel warm, tender, and stiff when not used for an hour.
Joint pain is often felt on the same joint on both sides of the body.
Over time, joints may lose their range of motion and may become deformed.
Other symptoms include:

Chest pain when taking a breath (pleurisy)
Dry eyes and mouth (Sjogren syndrome)
Eye burning, itching, and discharge
Nodules under the skin (usually a sign of more severe disease)
Numbness, tingling, or burning in the hands and feet
Sleep difficulties
Signs and tests
There is no test that can determine for sure whether you have RA. Most patients with RA will have some abnormal test results, although for some patients, all tests will be normal.

Two lab tests that often help in the diagnosis are:

Rheumatoid factor test
Anti-CCP antibody test
Other tests that may be done include:

Complete blood count
C-reactive protein
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate
Joint ultrasound or MRI
Joint x-rays
Synovial fluid analysis
RA usually requires lifelong treatment, including medications, physical therapy, exercise, education, and possibly surgery. Early, aggressive treatment for RA can delay joint destruction.


Disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs): These drugs are the first drugs usually tried in patients with RA. They are prescribed in addition to rest, strengthening exercises, and anti-inflammatory drugs.

Methotrexate (Rheumatrex) is the most commonly used DMARD for rheumatoid arthritis. Leflunomide (Arava) and chloroquine may also be used.
These drugs may have serious side effects, so you will need frequent blood tests when taking them.
Anti-inflammatory medications: These include aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naprosen.

Although NSAIDs work well, long-term use can cause stomach problems, such as ulcers and bleeding, and possible heart problems.
Celecoxib (Celebrex) is another anti-inflammatory drug, but it is labeled with strong warnings about heart disease and stroke. Talk to your doctor about whether COX-2 inhibitors are right for you.
Antimalarial medications: This group of medicines includes hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), and is usually used along withmethotrexate. It may be weeks or months before you see any benefit from these medications.

Corticosteroids: These medications work very well to reduce joint swelling and inflammation. Because of long-term side effects, corticosteroids should be taken only for a short time and in low doses when possible.


Biologic drugs are designed to affect parts of the immune system that play a role in the disease process of rheumatoid arthritis.

They may be given when other medicines for rheumatoid arthritis have not worked. At times, your doctor will start biologic drugs sooner, along with other rheumatoid arthritis drugs.

Most of them are given either under the skin (subcutaneously) or into a vein (intravenously). There are different types of biologic agents:

White blood cell modulators include: abatacept (Orencia) and rituximab (Rituxan)
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors include: adalimumab (Humira), etanercept (Enbrel), infliximab (Remicade), golimumab (Simponi), and certolizumab (Cimzia)
Interleukin-6 (IL-6) inhibitors: tocilizumab (Actemra)
Biologic agents can be very helpful in treating rheumatoid arthritis. However, people taking these drugs must be watched very closely because of serious risk factors:

Infections from bacteria, viruses, and fungi
Leukemia or lymphoma

Occasionally, surgery is needed to correct severely damaged joints. Surgery may include:

Removal of the joint lining (synovectomy)
Total joint replacement in extreme cases; may include total knee, hip replacement, ankle replacement, shoulder replacement, and others

Range-of-motion exercises and exercise programs prescribed by a physical therapist can delay the loss of joint function and help keep muscles strong.

Sometimes therapists will use special machines to apply deep heat or electrical stimulation to reduce pain and improve joint movement.

Joint protection techniques, heat and cold treatments, and splints or orthotic devices to support and align joints may be very helpful.

Frequent rest periods between activities, as well as 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night, are recommended.


Some people with RA may have intolerance or allergies to certain foods. A balanced nutritious diet is recommended. It may be helpful to eating foods rich in fish oils (omega-3 fatty acids).

Support Groups
See: Arthritis support group

Expectations (prognosis)
How well a person does depend on the severity of symptoms.

People with rheumatoid factor, the anti-CCP antibody, or subcutaneous nodules seem to have a more severe form of the disease. People who develop RA at younger ages also seem to get worse more quickly.

Without proper treatment, permanent joint damage may occur. However, early treatment with many of the newer medicines have decreased joint pain and damage.

Rheumatoid arthritis can affect nearly every part of the body. Complications may include:

Damage to the lung tissue (rheumatoid lung)
Increased risk of hardening of the arteries
Spinal injury when the neck bones become damaged
Inflammation of the blood vessels (rheumatoid vasculitis), which can lead to skin, nerve, heart, and brain problems
Swelling and inflammation of the outer lining of the heart (pericarditis) and of the heart muscle (myocarditis), which can lead tocongestive heart failure
The treatments for RA can also cause serious side effects. Talk to your doctor about the possible side effects of treatment and what to do if they occur.

Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if you think you have symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

There is no known prevention. Proper early treatment can help prevent further joint damage.

Huizinga TW, Pincus T. In the clinic. Rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Intern Med. 2010 Jul 6;153(1).
Scott DL, Wolfe F, Huizinga TW. Rheumatoid arthritis. Lancet. 2010 Sep 25;376(9746):1094-108.
Harris ED Jr, Firestein GS. Clinical features of rheumatoid arthritis. In: Firestein GS, Budd RC, Harris ED Jr, et al., eds.Kelley’s Textbook of Rheumatology. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 66.
McBeth J, Prescott G, Scotland G, Lovell K, Keeley P, Hannaford P, et al. Cognitive behavior therapy, exercise, or both for treating chronic widespread pain.Arch Intern Med. 2011 Nov 14.
Review Date: 2/2/2012.Reviewed by: Ariel D. Teitel, MD, MBA, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, NYU Langone Medical Center. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.