Diets for PsA?

Hello everynoe!

I've been diagnosed with PsA (about 4 months ago). My symptoms are not severe yet (plantar fascitis, some pain in the wrists when typing too much, and lately, also pain in my index fingers when using the computer long hours).

The Dr wants to start me on methrotrexate but I'm a bit hesitant.

As probably most of you, I've read about the benefits of some diets and would like to try. Gluten, tomatoes, dairy, citrids... so many. I've kind of started myself avoiding gluten, dairy, alcohol and tryian to also reduce tomoatos, peppers, etc. Not sure if they are having any effect yet. I've only done it for 3-4 weeks on and off. I had some digestive problems for the last 3 years (not the right consistency, borderline with dhiarrhea) and it seems to be improving. Not sure if those digestive symptoms may be related to PsA or something else.

So, my questions:

1) Has anyone experienced similar digestive symptoms related to PsA?

2) Any guidelines, instructions, etc on how to start a diet? I've been told abotu an exclusion diet, but need some methodology


I did modify my diet when I was diagnosed with PsA. I used the food tracking tool on to keep track of what I was actually eating. After a couple weeks I looked back to see that I was eating a lot of processed food and carbs. It was so easy to grab crackers, pretzels, a sandwich, etc when I was hungry instead of grabbing something healthier.

I now eat mostly protein, fruits and veggies. I also added additional omega 3, vit d, folic acid, and a multi vitamin. So far I've dropped 13 lbs and no longer need my anti inflammitory medicine. This has been a lot easier than I would have thought.

I'd say not to go crazy over your diet. Analyze what you are eating and then make changes as you go along. I found that by making a small change every could weeks I've been able to stick with things. If you change everything all at once you'll be less likely to stick with it.

Great suggestions MMDog. I think cutting out sugar is great in general as it's a known toxin. In regard to medication. I had very similar symptoms to you Daniel, and instead of sending me down the biologics path, my doc suggested I try oral Ridaura first. It's old school, but the side effects are minimal. I started taking a 3mg pill every day and bumped it to 6mg every other day. At three months, my plantar fasciitis disappeared, and gradually with the help of physical therapy the rest of my joint pain has also dissipated to 10% or so. Now the only thing I'm coping with now is fatigue, which is mainly due to the travel and level of energy required for my job. Ask your doc about it. It's not nearly as common as the others, but it's worth looking into if your case isn't as severe.

BTW - to get the initial inflammation to go down (Ridaura generally takes 3-6 months to fully kick in), I did a 10 day course of 3-5mg/day of Prednisone. Any aches and pains I deal with on a daily basis are relieved by a single course of Aleve.

Diet changes can make a huge difference for some. I was diagnosed with celiac while undergoing testing for PsA, and from what I've read it's not uncommon for someone with an autoimmune disorder like PsA to also have celiac.

An elimination diet is a good way to go to determine if any foods are making you feel worse. First, you start a food journal, keeping track of what you eat. Then you can either decide to take one food or group of foods at a time, or eliminate most of what might be an issue (gluten, dairy, nightshades, citrids...possibly a few others like soy, meats containing hormones, fruits containing pesticides). You need to absolutely avoid these foods for weeks, even eating a little can skew your results. (I am not a healthcare professional or nutritionist, but have had experience with elimination diets and these are the methods I've heard about ...)

If you take option 1, you need to remove a food from your diet for a number of weeks (different for different foods - 8-10 weeks for dairy, less for other foods), and then reintroduce it. You'll want to keep a journal to note any changes that happen when off of the food and when you re-introduce it.

If you decide on option 2, you go to a base diet of whatever you deep appropriate (rice, veggies except for nightshades, fruits excepts citrids, meats) for 8-10 weeks, then add a food or group of foods back into your diet one at a time for a week at a time to see any changes in how you feel.

Either way, avoiding possible allergens is best accomplished by eating "whole foods" and not processed foods and avoiding cross-contamination. You really need to know what forms gluten comes in (wheat, barley, etc. ... oats are often cross-contaminated with gluten and some people who react to gluten also react to oats - or in the case of dairy, ingredients such as casein, lactose, lactic acid, whey, etc. need to be avoided, and you need to pay attention to things like non-dairy creamers that contain diary - yes, really!).

With the symptoms you're having, I'd suggest you get tested for celiac, just in case.