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  1. #1
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    Oct. 2, 2012
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    Default Anti-inflammatory diets--anyone tried them?

    The NY Times magazine has an article about a vegan and gluten-free diet that relieved a little boy of his juvenile arthritis symptoms. My husband then read something about going wheat-free and how that helps control inflammation. Since I am a walking tower of inflammation (we have a freezer shelf dedicated to ice packs) I am interested in any dietary changes that may result in fewer aches and pains and less ibuprofen.

    Losing ten pounds wouldn't hurt, either.
    A helmet saved my life.

    2014 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!


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  2. #2
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    Feb. 24, 2005
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    I haven't. But I do eat a lot of tumeric. We have it in food, but additionally I was adding it to any eggs I eat. My small spice shaker disappeared an I stopped for a few months and noticed some joint pain in my hands. Never, ever, had I had that before. My husband saw my spice shaker and put it back, and I started using the tumeric again in my eggs and my joint pain in my hands left. It is reputed to have anti-inflammatory properties, and I'm convinced that it does for myself.



  3. #3
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    Mar. 9, 2006
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    After being diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease (autoimmune hypothryroid) several years back, I adopted a gluten free diet. I am not vegan, but we don't each much in the way of meat products, nor do we have cow's milk in the house.

    After about 2 months, my nagging GI symptoms (bloat/constipation/gas, but most of all crampy pain every single day of my life) disappeared. I had been to many doctors over the years and had upper GI/lower GI/endoscopy, etc. all performed with no diagnosis. I now believe that I either am very gluten intolerant or possibly even Celiac.

    Once eating this way, my anti-thyroid antibodies went from through the roof to undetectable. This is a decrease in inflammation by definition! I also lost a few pounds, lost the aches in my fingers, and just feel more healthy in general.

    Eating this way can be difficult. It's basically an "unAmerican" diet, LOL. You have to learn to cook, too. Eating out can be difficult when traveling (I can usually do OK for the occasional meal out, but a longer vacay is MURDER!).

    I would say go for it. It's all or nothing, though. A "low gluten" diet does no good--it must be eliminated completely. I started with Gluten Free for Dummies or some such and it was a huge help. I also went cold turkey--taking a huge box of all gluten offenders to work and never looked back.

    Good luck!
    From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.


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  4. #4
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    Jun. 9, 2005
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    Unionville, PA
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    Mr KC tried an ant-inflam diet for a while. It was a lot more work for me! No more cereal for breakfast. It was basically a modified low-carb. Not sure it helped, but he has an incredible sweet tooth, so found it hard to stick to.
    Delaware Park Canter Volunteer
    http://www.canterusa.org/



  5. #5
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    Oct. 2, 2012
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    Default

    Dumb question: does gluten free mean wheat free? My husband is at Whole Paycheck right now shopping for bread, but the local grocery store carries lots of gluten-free items. Is he wasting his money even more than he normally would at Whole Foods?
    A helmet saved my life.

    2014 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!



  6. #6
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    Dec. 29, 2012
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    La La Land
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    I am not gluten free or vegan, but in July my doc discovered my cholesterol was seriously horrid. So I began a fat free diet. I mostly eat fruit veggies and nuts. A sparse amount of meat 2 times weekly.(96% lean ground beef, boneless skinless chicken breast) I never ate much bread any way, so if I do have any, only whole grain. Its a very limited diet, but I really dont mind. Going out to eat is difficult. I have to do this because I can not take the prescription meds (side affects).

    The upside, it has been helping with my chronic pain. I used to eat a large bottle of tums a month, dont need them anymore. I feel better, have less migraines. And best of all I have lost 20 pounds and 5 inches of my waistline effortlessly. (Because I can have all I want of the ok items, so I dont feel deprived.) I think I might loose more in the summer due to more exercise. So its amazing how changeing your diet can change how you feel. This is and has been a lifestyle change, and I dont want to go back.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
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    Sep. 16, 2006
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    I'm a vegan and have a had a debilitating injury for the last 3 years. I came within 3 mm of completely rupturing - as in, severing - my achilles tendon. Two years after the injury, it was still an up and down recovery. I could only walk 45 minutes in a certain pair of shoes...and that was considered GOOD. At night I could only sleep in a certain position without my tendon aching or having sharp pains. I was on 4- 400 mg of advil a day to take down inflammation and had to ice it 2 hours a day just to be able to function. After TWO years!

    Within 5 weeks of cutting out dairy, I noticed a significant improvement. At my next physiotherapy appointment, even my physiotherapist noted a marked improvement. Interestingly enough, he asked me - before I mentioned my new diet - whether or not I'd had any major dietary changes. I said I'd cut out dairy 5 weeks ago! Apparently dairy (and wheat, which I'm also careful about) are linked to inflammation.

    So yes, I noticed a drastic improvement in my pain reduction. I don't eat any dairy or dairy derivatives, like casein or whey. Vegan cooking tends to use a lot more spices in cooking (or so I've found, anyway) and I routinely use turmeric, cinnamon, garlic, etc. which are all anti-inflammatory.

    A year after going vegan, I don't take any advil in managing my tendon. I can walk 3-5 hours a day and I only have to ice it after exercise. These differences occurred quickly within weeks/months of going vegan.

    Oh, and another thing i just discovered a few weeks ago: my asthma is noticeably improved. I've always taken a controller inhaler to control my asthma and reduce the need for my 'emergency' inhaler. I don't take the controller inhaler twice a day, I have difficulty breathing throughout the day. A month ago, my controller inhaler ran out and it took me a week to get it replaced...during that time, I didn't need my emergency inhaler once! That has NEVER happened before in my life. Now my asthma - for the first time ever - is controlled by taking the controller inhaler three times a week, instead of 14 times a week. There's another example of the anti-inflammation properties of a dairy-free diet.



  8. #8
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    Jan. 20, 2008
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    I have tried an anti-inflamatory diet, among many many other diets, due to Chronic Pancreatitis. I can't say I felt it helped any. I noticed no reduction in my pain level or any other symptoms.

    I can say that if I stick to good healthy food, I feel better in general. (i.e., not a whole bunch of processed junk.) I try for the most part to eat organic when I can, simply because I think it tastes better. I will eat something crappy here and there and I can for sure tell a difference. But none of the foods that are considered to cause inflammation bother me. In fact, I feel better when I have milk and cheese, so who knows!

    Not saying the diet doesn't work, it just didn't for me.
    Hope Blooming- Life with Chronic Pancreatitis

    My blog: Life with Pancreatitis


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
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    Mar. 12, 2006
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    I watched a program on PBS about the diet. It works miracles for some people. I will shamefully admit I am pretty much the laziest person in the world, diets like the gluten-free are hard to maintain.

    While trying the Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type diet I noticed huge improvements in my mood, sleeping, weightloss and painfree joints. Now this diet isn't that hard to stick to, unless you're the laziest person in the world.
    "All top hat and no canter". *Graureiter*



  10. #10
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    Mar. 13, 2007
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    Northern Virginia, 45 minutes east of paradise - 2 hrs during rush hour
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    In the early 1990s, I developed polyarthritis. I was exhausted. My knees hurt so bad that carrying a purse was excrutiating. My hands got so bad that typing was impossible. I wrote an entire paper for my graduate program by holding a pencil between my fingers with an open palm and pecking the keyboard with it. I could not hold my preschool aged children's hands to cross the street. I did not test positive for the rheumatoid factor, but the doctors said that I would within 6 months. I was taking 8 grams of aspirin a day to control the pain.
    I was an oceanographer at the time and had to go to sea for a research cruise. We got caught in a hurricane and the galley was closed for three days. No food for three days. My arthritis WENT AWAY.
    Long story short, it was gluten.
    When my daughter was around 12 she woke up with swollen knees and could not walk. The swelling went away, but not the pain. I let the Dr's work on her for a few weeks and when they came up with NADA, we put her on a gluten -free diet. Within 3 days she was fine and has been fine since. She does not test as allergic to wheat or gluten. I'm not sure there is any test that will show the kind of sensitivity that causes inflammation.
    BTW, one of the great benefits is that I used to get emotional crashes and exhaustion that stopped when I stopped eating gluten. And I used to have the worst acne. To this day, and I am 52, if I get any gluten I break out in cystic acne.
    "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

    "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x



  11. #11
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    Dec. 2, 2004
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    Interestingly, I was in the produce at the grocery and was looking at the big pile of plump fresh ginger root priced at $1.99/lb. I commented to the woman next to me about the price and she started reaching and about bagged everything that was there. I just had to ask her why. She said that she had some mystery ailment that couldn't be diagnosed and that ginger was super anti-inflammatory. I asked her how she used it. She said that she grates it and freezes it. She mentioned that uses it combined in a mashed potato dish, besides the traditional uses with it.

    Just thought I'd share this tidbit since it just happened the other day and was fresh in my mind.
    About the only time losing is more fun than winning is when you're fighting temptation.
    -- Tom Wilson, actor & comedian



  12. #12
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    Oct. 2, 2012
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    Default

    Hulk, OTV, Stacie: wow.

    Now I have to follow up!

    I'm not sure I old live without Greek yogurt, so maybe not going vegan for now, but we are definitely going wheat free for now.

    Also, can anyone answer my question about gluten free and whether it means wheat-free or not?
    A helmet saved my life.

    2014 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!



  13. #13
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    Jan. 17, 2008
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    All wheat has gluten, but gluten is also found in other things ( barley, e.g. I think). So if you are gluten-free you are also wheat-free. But if you are wheat-free, you are not necessarily gluten free.

    I've been gluten-free for a year and a half now, and my hip joint pain has slowly gone away. It took about a year for it to completely go. (My Reynauds Disease in my feet, which mysteriously appeared when I was around 40 also mysteriously disappeared after about six months on the gluten-free diet as well).

    I have to say I eat a high fat diet -- lots of olive oil, grass-fed butter and cream. And my lipid panel has trended over 3 years into an ideal range. Before going gluten-free my total cholesterol was 215. It is now 178 eating all the fat and protein I want. I highly recommend Gary Taubes' book "Why We Get Fat". Though, I do have to confess, I am overweight.



  14. #14
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    Nov. 26, 2003
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    NE FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
    Hulk, OTV, Stacie: wow.

    Now I have to follow up!

    I'm not sure I old live without Greek yogurt, so maybe not going vegan for now, but we are definitely going wheat free for now.

    Also, can anyone answer my question about gluten free and whether it means wheat-free or not?
    Yes it does. Gluten is WHEAT gluten. And it is in almost everything. Salad dressings, almost any sauces (chicken wings anyone?), including soy sauce, and it's in paprika. It is also in blue cheese salad dressing, and any soft cheese with a vein in it. It means yes also no barley, no croutons, no crackers, be careful with chinese food (monosodiumGLUTAmate). And dont just pick the croutons off my salad thank you very much, make me a fresh one. No pasta, and corn tortillas only no flour tortillas.
    Even tea you have to be careful. The Bigelow teas are gluten free, but the Celestial Seasonings teas are not, and many have barley.

    Eating out and eating at others homes becomes a real pain in the ass. I have gone to friends homes and they went to a great deal of trouble to provide gluten free food for me, then i saw them open a package of crackers, then open the cheese and set out the fruit without washing their hands after handling the crackers. Cross contamination is a big problem. I'm Celiac so its not just a lifestyle choice, its a medical problem.

    However, if you do have a medical diagnosis, the extra cost of any gluten free food you buy is tax deductible, as opposed to a life style choice.
    "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin



  15. #15
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    Jan. 17, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaegermonster View Post
    However, if you do have a medical diagnosis, the extra cost of any gluten free food you buy is tax deductible, as opposed to a life style choice.
    Yes, if you have Celiac you have to be SUPER careful, as Jaegermonster says.

    One problem is that gluten sensitivity has been proven to exist through reputable studies (they took a group of people who identified themselves as sensitive to gluten, put them in the hospital and fed half gluten-free, half gluten-containing food. And sure enough, the ones eating gluten developed verifiable symptoms), but there are no tests to prove you have it. It does not show up as antibodies to gluten in your bloodwork, nor as the gene for Celiac, nor on biopsy.

    Another great book is "Wheatbelly" by Dr. Davis.



  16. #16
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    Mar. 4, 2004
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    Louisville, KY
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    Yes, gluten is a wheat protein. If you truly want to go wheat/gluten free, you must research and read all ingredient lists exhaustively. It is a very hard diet to follow. For example, oats do not contain gluten, but since they are almost always processed in the same factories as wheat, no oats are considered gluten free unless the package specifically states that they are.

    I am a registered dietitian, and right now "gluten free" is the fad diet of the moment, much like Adkins was a few years ago, and "fat free" before it. Not saying it's not beneficial for certain people, but there is very little to no research out there showing that eliminating wheat or any other food reduces inflammation or any such thing.
    Caitlin
    *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
    http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01


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  17. #17
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    Jul. 6, 2005
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    Kentucky
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    Gluten-free is wheat-free. But, gluten free is not necessarily carb- free. Gluten- free foods can use rice, corn and other grains as substitutes. I have been doing the wheat belly diet for over a year, which is gluten, wheat, and grain- free (& sugar too!). That diet is pretty adamant that most health problems go beyond wheat...but is a variation of the many current diets are a variety of carb/ gluten/ sugar/ dairy limits.

    Biggest change is I eat a lotta (lotta!) nuts, but still have some dark chocolate too; it was hard for a week or so in the beginning and then I felt a big change- no cravings, clearer head ( which was surprising), less groggy all day. It fixed my mysterious blood sugar issues, which was why I started.

    There is a helpful (& very pretty!) blog I found recently (looking for recipes) written by a young woman whose husband was diagnosed with Crohn's disease but has had improvement omitting wheat: www.roostblog.com

    It's an interesting story and I've made a few recipes from the site, which were delicious! (the flatbread is now in regular rotation over here!



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaegermonster View Post
    (monosodiumGLUTAmate).
    MSG is monosodium glutamate, the sodium salt of glutamic acid--an amino acid, not a gluten protein. It's not healthy, but it's not gluten.
    From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.



  19. #19
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    For those who may not know, celiac is an auto immune disease of the intestines. Many people like to self diagnose, when actuality they probably just have a gluten sensitivity.

    My drs did a blood test first to heck for celiac and it was inconclusive.
    They diagnosed it by doing a colonoscopy and biopsies of my intestines.

    As far as the MSG thing, it was on the specific list of things I was told to avoid,
    Along with the other things I listed.
    "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin



  20. #20
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    Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley (and malt), and rye. It's a sneaky bugger in a lot of stuff. Any label that says "natural flavor"? Probably gluten. Malt or malt flavoring? Gluten. Wheat is used as a thickener for most sauces, salad dressings, etc. This is why I said you have to get used to cooking.

    I began following Elana Amsterdam's blog (Elana's Pantry) early on in my diet change. She's gluten free, and as of about a year ago, also Paleo. Tons of other bloggers out there with gluten free recipes too. There are GF substitutes for most verboten foods out there now, but that doesn't make them healthy--it's still just processed food without gluten.

    Oats are not gluten containing (but as stated above can be contaminated), but oats do contain avenin, a protein similar to gluten that some find problematic as well. Luckily I do not seem to have this problem! My pantry is FILLED with different flours (garbanzo, rice, millet, etc.) and while I don't eat nearly as many baked goods/breads/etc. as I used to I have found something to eat and enjoy when any craving strikes.

    Now, I have heard that "modern" blue cheese is not grown on bread and tests below detectability for gluten. According to the Canadian Celiac Society, they did extensive testing and found no gluten.

    Gluten free eating does not need to be more expensive. The GF substitutes for bread, cookies, etc. tend to be way pricey, but if you cut out all the processed stuff and stick with whole foods you can eat great at a reasonable price!
    From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.



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