Paleo diet recommended by rheumatologist!

To my surprise, my rheumatologist actually brought up the topic of nutrition. She highly recommended the paleo diet. She said there are medical studies being published that show it benefits people with inlammatory arthritis. I almost fell out of my chair…that she even knew what paleo is and then that she recommended it. She also recommended that I take borage oil and curcumin as directed on the bottle, 3000 units of good quality fish oil, up to but not to exceed 400 units of selenium. This on top of my Humira. I am happily complying, we will see. There are so many great sources for paleo recipes online!

Interesting! I’d rather do the Paleo diet than the Vegan diet that my last Rhuemy insisted had “irrefutable evidence” to cure arthritis!

How interesting, Alara! I had to laugh, because I remembered that Clr’s rheumy had suggested the complete opposite not so long ago. Three years back, before I had a PsA diagnosis, I was feeling generally awful, and my lipids were going out of whack. Doctor said I should take a statin and eat low cal / low fat. I flatly refused the statin. Doc wasn’t happy. I went home and researched like a maniac. I decided that I had an insulin resistance problem and that I was going to do a low carbohydrate diet, which is very similar to paleo.

I liked the way low carb made me feel. I didn’t feel great, but I certainly felt better than I had. Three months later, I went back to the doc. She liked my weight loss (something like 20 lb) and best of all, my HDL was way up, my LDL was down and my triglycerides had dropped to the low range. She really liked the results, but she looked a bit sick when I told her what I had done. :open_mouth: And the statin was off the agenda.

The next year, of course, I got my PsA diagnosis. (Ooops, nearly said “sentence”, LOL.) Since then I have read that there are suspicions that PsA messes with metabolism, causing insulin resistance (and weight gain), and dyslipidemia (the proportion of HDL/LDL/triglycerides in your blood). One study –

That certainly looks like what had been happening to me, and (for me, anyway) the low carb diet seems to have counteracted those tendencies nicely. I’d say that the paleo diet is well worth trying. I doubt that it would do much harm to try it for several months to see what it does for you. It might be interesting to ask for a lipid panel before you start, and then again after you have been doing paleo for a bit.

I have continued to watch my carb intake since then, and a carb-y day always makes me feel icky. Now that I’m feeling better, I’m almost ready to buckle down and go seriously low carb again. Thanks for the encouragement!

I have been a vegan for almost three years and the first signs of my PsA showed up a couple of years after I switched to vegan. My husband, who is vegan as well, was just diagnosed with gastritis and esophagitis. He has never had any inflammation. I started researching the anti inflammatory/autoimmune paleo eating style and have discovered that is really isn't that much different from what we were doing except that it eliminates all grains (I was gluten free) and nightshades (and adds fish and meats). Makes sense to me since grains are really hard to digest and lots of folks are sensitive to nightshades. We made the switch today and our first autoimmune paleo supper was delicious. The two things that will be the most difficult for me are no coffee and no alcohol. Oh well, if my hands stop hurting it will be worth it! I just had a lipid panel, so the timing is good, and although I was following the vegan diet very strictly, my total cholesterol went up from last year.

I've heard of the paleo diet, but never looked it up yet, so am not sure what it's about. I am currently on a low histamine/low salicylate/anti-candida diet for inflammation. I don't eat carbs or fruit or any sugar (except for 1 apple per day). Will be looking up paleo. Thanks!

The diet “thing” is confusing to me. But I read the article that Seeny posted. I have 3of the symptoms of metabolic syndrome. This is a list from Mayo’s website about metabolic syndrome:
Having metabolic syndrome means you have three or more disorders related to your metabolism at the same time, including:

  1. Obesity, with your body fat concentrated around your waist (having an “apple shape”). For a metabolic syndrome diagnosis, obesity is defined by having a waist circumference of 40 inches (102 centimeters or cm) or more for men and 35 inches (89 cm) or more for women, although waist circumference cutoff points can vary by race.

  2. Increased blood pressure, meaning a systolic (top number) blood pressure measurement of 130 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or more or a diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure measurement of 85 mm Hg or more.

  3. High blood sugar level, with a fasting blood glucose test result of 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 5.6 millimoles per liter (mmol/L), or more.

  4. High cholesterol, with a level of the blood fat called triglycerides of 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L) or more and a level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol — the “good” cholesterol — of less than 40 mg/dL (1.04 mmol/L) for men or less than 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) for women.

Having one component of metabolic syndrome means you’re more likely to have others. And the more components you have, the greater are the risks to your health.

I have the apple shaped fat body, high cholesterol and borderline high blood pressure. I need to do some kind of diet to change this!

Thanks for the thought provoking discussion!

Clr, I have the same three. No blood sugar issue. Almost every new doc that meets me says “And are you diabetic?”. They usually get kind of a puzzled look on their face as if to say "Oh, OK then…"
In retrospect, my BP, body shape and lipid issues developed concurrently with the symptoms that, ultimately, led to a diagnosis of PsA. Coincidence? I think not.

I have the same 3, and they all happened 8 years ago when I went from remission on Enbrel to massive flare (not very well controlled the past 8 years). I've always been height / weight appropriate until that happened, and I ate FAR FAR more than I do now. I truly think my PsA has caused these changes, and though I've tried diet modification it hasn't done anything for me.

Seenie said:

Clr, I have the same three. No blood sugar issue. Almost every new doc that meets me says "And are you diabetic?". They usually get kind of a puzzled look on their face as if to say "Oh, OK then...."
In retrospect, my BP, body shape and lipid issues developed concurrently with the symptoms that, ultimately, led to a diagnosis of PsA. Coincidence? I think not.

Right, but this doesn't happen with everyone. There may indeed be a connection for some people, but it is not necessarily a part of the disease. More part of the inflammatory process.

I took a look at the study, and it says that there is a higher prevalence, but there is no causation. It was also a really small group, just 105 people, and only 5 were women. I wouldn't be comfortable drawing any conclusions from this study at all.

Oh, exactly. I would be super thrilled if ANYONE got even temporary relief from diet changes for their PsA. We really need to just dump all our ideas on the table (like we do on this board) so everyone can share and try what they want to.

You’re right, Stoney, the study doesn’t imply causation, and it’s certainly a small and not particularly representative sample of subjects in this study. But I’ve seen other mentions of metabolic syndrome being more common in populations with PsA. Seems to be yet another fringe “benefit” of this disease. Hey, I think I hate having PsA. :slight_smile:

Thanks for sharing this information.

This is one of the best discussions I have read in a while. I too have those same 3 and have never related it to the PsA...however, now that my thought processes have been provoked...there is correlation. Interesting to say the least. I wish our doctors would acknowledge the things we come up with in this group.

Well that is a start !!! from one cured by diet and intelligent biology who knows the body does recover if you give it a chance !!!! Read Cooling Inflammation blog by Prof Ayers if you are serious about taking your life back xxx