Dieting with Obstacles - dieting with R.A and other autoimune illness

04-02-2006, 12:28 AM
Hi, Saw threads for everything but autoimune illnesses and R.A. So thought I would see which one of the old the R.A. People went. Saw a couple in fibramyalgia. guess I will go and say hi.
I have been gone a very long time almost 2 years.

Sorry I spelled autoimmune wrong.

06-12-2013, 06:06 PM
I have RA really hard to lose weight.

06-12-2013, 07:12 PM
While I do not have R.A. or an autoimmune disease, I did happen to stumble across an article last week regarding it and found it interesting and proceeded to read it because, well, why not? And then, here I see a post regarding it. I think sometimes faiths bring coincidences up like this for a reason. Anyways, you can find it here ( In summary, a lot of experts recommend the Paleo diet (and nope, I REALLY have no clue exactly what that entails. I never really researched THAT part of it.)

07-07-2013, 02:05 AM
Whilst originally given a diagnosis of SLE (Lupus) further manifestation of symptoms and subsequent tests (ongoing) show that I indeed have an autoimmune disease, however, it appears not to be Lupus but rather a more obscure one.

To help treat and counteract the symptoms/flares I am taking high doses of corticosteroids and immunosuppressants which tend to make it difficult to shift weight.

07-20-2013, 12:20 AM
I also have and autoimmune disease, Sjogrens Syndrome and the start of RA in my fingers. One of the symptoms is very painful Peripheral Neuropathy in my hands/fingers and feet/toes/legs. Makes it very hard to exercise, giving that it hurts to be on feet for too long and touching anything with hands/fingers gets to be excruciating. :mad: I was on Steroids, but they didn't help. On new drug now, but it's not helping either. Been through so many different treatments and meds and nothing is working. Just gotta keep going through the pain. Good luck everyone!

07-26-2013, 11:55 AM
I have been diagnosed with RA and fibromyalsia (they often seem to go hand-in-hand), but I am lucky that I have not had a flare-up in years (knock on wood). I do have aches and pains each and every day, but I can live with those. I exercise when I can and rest from exercise when I need to. I am currently not taking any meds for these conditions, just because I have a fear of meds and unless my symptoms are really bad, I just can't convince myself to go back on them. As for dieting, I gained a lot of weight when I was first diagnosed and went on meds for both RA and depression (I'm not sure which of these was more responsible for my sudden weight gain) and since then I've really struggled with my weight. I was always bad about yo-yo dieting, so I haven't wanted to get involved in that again. I am currently trying something called the Slow Carb Diet that focuses on lean protein and non-starchy veggies, and it seems to be working for me, although I've been on it for too short a period to be able to comment on its long-term success. I'm just taking it one day at a time!

08-06-2013, 11:53 AM
I have RA, Lupus, and fibro.
Also PCOS, and thyroid issues, anyway, if you are ill you know a lot of things just add to it.
I am on the south beach diet, I have lost quite a large amount of weight on it, mostly purely on diet, because of the weight I have lost I can actually now move around more.
I get off and on the diet but I am once again trying hard, I am glad to have found this thread.

08-06-2013, 12:30 PM
Paleo is excellent for autoimmune diseases, our modern diets contribute to modern diseases. several good books out there!

08-06-2013, 02:10 PM
I have fibro (which many, but not all doctors consider autoimmune) and early or undifferentiated connective tissue disease (which basically means we have evidence of the disease causing inflammation and damaging cartilage (and therefore joints, nose, and ears), skin, and lungs, but the disease has not yet damaged enough tissue for doctors to recognize a pattern consistent with any one or more autoimmune disease).

In autoimmune disease, it seems that sugar is the enemy. I was skeptical, but I can't refute the evidence. My symptoms flare severely when I am eating high carb.

Low-carb and paleo (if it's a lower carb paleo) controls and minimizes symptoms.

It's bad enough that if I eat something quite high in carbs such as candy or even a huge baked potato, I can see and feel the effects very shortly. My face, hands, and feet begin to itch, my face, neck, and chest flush very red, and my skin swells (the skin of my chin, cheeks and forehead swells so much that it looks like the skin of a pink to deep fuchshia orange).

The orange peel skin (peau d'orange is the medical term) is caused by cutaneous lymphatic edema (in other words swelling and inflammation which is what I just said.

At it's worst, it would become a very, very painful and insanely itchy impetigo. The lymphatic fluid would ooze out of the pores, over hot, red, skin that had become infected (a secondary infection, probably staph or strep). The fluid would crust and cause the skin to crack and peel.

Hubby poetically calls it "face rot."

Lowish carb dieting prevents the swelling from occurring, and if I do overeat carbs occassionally, I can prevent it from progressing to the face-rot stage with a prescription steroid.

Not all paleo diets are low carb. Many allow unlimited fruit even high sugar ones (that are nothing like fruits in nature that haven't been selectively bred by humans), and some allow honey, maple syrup, and potatoes (at least sweet potato).

A high carb paleo diet is NOT helpful for autoimmune disease, because even natural non-fiber carbohydrares all convert to sugar, and sugar causes inflammation whether the sugar comes from a pop-tart or fruit and honey.

Sorry, didn't mean to go into medical lecture mode.

08-06-2013, 03:22 PM
I am still on the lookout for a better diet, the problem is that I had a tumor out and had my spleen and a chunk of my pancreas out, I can't eat as much fat as before so I gotta supplement.
I don't think I have much of a problem with whole grain carbs, I do limit them and I make sure it's rich in fiber and omega3s. I eat lots of veggies and berries mostly, one or two apricots now and then, and when I REALLY need sugary stuff I eat half a small banana or sugar free popsicles.

I think everyone does what they can to improve their diet, my doctors told me to keep having low fat dairy, whole wheat grain, low sugar fruits with lots of fiber, and good fat like avocados and walnuts, almonds, etc.
I limit my intake of these, and like I said, it's not always easy, I do fall off the wagon because I am a stress eater, I eat my feelings.
But I have to keep going to get there.

08-14-2013, 03:42 AM
Nice information above here.I am so glad to read this.

08-25-2013, 02:04 AM
Lupus - have you had any complications regarding having your spleen taken out? In addition to RA I also have an aneurysm and in the near future they will have to take my spleen out.

08-26-2013, 08:30 PM
Lupus - have you had any complications regarding having your spleen taken out? In addition to RA I also have an aneurysm and in the near future they will have to take my spleen out.

Nope. Make sure they give you the full blown set of vaccines though, your spleen fights off infections, so just be more vigilant about washing your hands and eating well.

I just had a stomach thing, but I think it's because I fell off the diet to celebrate my anniversary and went a little too far :(.

01-16-2014, 12:54 PM
hi all! Bringing this up to the front to see how everyone is doing.

I have hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia and RA. I so far have avoided any meds for the RA other than over the counter stuff and occassional steriods, but that will change soon.

I did a low carb/low fat diet and lost the first 75 pounds that way, but it was so restrictive (due to food allergies) that I struggled for the past 10 months. I did notice that as soon as I reintroduced gluten into my diet (one of my allergy foods) that the RA pain started flaring up. I am most effected in my hands, knees, hips & shoulders.

The gluten triggered the worst flare up I have ever had. It lasted 5 months and I couldn't even walk. Steroids did nothing, even Vicodin didn't touch the pain.

I have changed over to the Atkins diet and am doing well. I would say to anyone with an autoimmune disease to get blood work done for food allergies (they are called an IGG and IGE test).

When you consume foods you are allergic too it triggers your immune system into overdrive, making all the other conditions worse. Not all reactions are rash, hives or swelling. It can be things like migraines, IBS, inflammation, fatigue, muscle pain, etc.

Would love to hear from others for support :)

All my bet,

CW 190

02-11-2014, 09:52 PM
I'm hypothyroid, fibromyalgia and RA. I'm having a terrible time losing the weight I've gained with the steroids and inability to work out as intensely as I used to. I know carbs, gluten and sugars cause great pain. I'm not really having weight loss cutting them out though. It's very frustrating!