I had severe arthritis in both hips which I was not able to effectively manage the pain/inflammation of with typical "Western medicines". I went on an anti-inflammatory diet and it did help some, but with my lifestyle it was difficult for me to stick to it 100%. What seemed to help most was an herbal medication which I found after doing extensive internet research on the effectiveness of various arthritis treatments. It is called "SKI 306X" (which sounds stupid and did not inspire confidence in me) and it is a traditional Asian medicine (made from Clematis, Trichosanthes and Prunella). It is of course not available in the USA (thank you FDA and Big Pharma), but my acupuncturist/herbalist was able to make it for me. While after 3 years I had to discontinue it as it began to cause too much stomach upset (and then had successful surgery to replace both hips), it helped immensely until then and I recommend others with arthritis try it, although I do not promise you will necessarily find it as helpful as I did. If you are at all interested in this or other medications, do your research. Here is a link to one study of this medicine and its effectiveness: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11789591
I forgot to mention that I am also helping things along by taking a Turmeric concentrate, and a 2x daily dose of Glucosamine / Chondroitin.
When CrossFit became popular I was surprised to see how many people developed arthritis in their 20s and 30s who looked amazing. We thought perhaps it had to do with CrossFit being so extreme. I am friends with trainers who are critical of the form they teach in CrossFit, so we thought that was it.
That may not be the reason tho. The head doctor of Stanford's football team gave a talk a few years ago about how they reduced the injury rate on the team by almost 80%. Part of the solution was to stop training on machines and do more CrossFit-type exercises that build their fitness multi-dimensionally, so they have strength from side-to-side.
One thing they did is remove all supplements, energy bars and processed food from the facilities and replace them with plant-based foods like apples. This is becoming a trend among even pro athletes. Some people say the downside of CrossFit is they endorsed the Paleo diet which got them eating crazy amounts of burgers and bacon.
There don't seem to be definitive studies on arthritis and diet that I'm aware of, but I know of more than a few athletes who tell stories like this: https://www.forksoverknives.com/how-i-overcame-crippling-arthritis-and-returned-to-elite-level-fitness/#gs.WrOliUA
I have never seen any scientific evidence for the idea of 'resetting' your immune system. Sounds like a load of baloney or pseudoscience to me. Eating a healthy and balanced diet though is a sound plan and could help you in numerous ways. To be honest your post sounds like a marketing or sales pitch if not yours then one that someone has 'sold' you on. I hope it's not. I'm sorry to hear about your health challenges. I hope your diet helps in some way.
Hah. I don't think I'm making any scientific claims. No sales pitch, I don't care if you do it or don't do it. I'm just reporting my results. And I think that's the issue, there aren't enough real-world results out there. In my profession (pro photographer) I don't read or care about measurement sites/camera reviews at all. I try the camera, or the lens, and decide for myself. Same with this. My food-doctor wife has been trying to get me to do this for years, and I resisted.
It was easy for me, I reached the maximum amount of pain I could tolerate. "Science and Medicine" that HAS backing/studies/results (and politics and $$$$$$ behind it!) has failed me (Pills, injections, etc). So it was stupid-easy for me to try this, there was/is zero risk and only something to gain, so I did try it. I'm glad I did.
My understanding is there's pretty good data on which foods are inflammatory and not. There have been various indicators of inflammation but the one that seems to get talked about most is C-reactive protein, which comes from a blood test and it's complicated yada.
This simple chart from Harvard is easy to remember but it's missing dairy & eggs, plus legumes.
From all the legit research I've been able to find, it looks a lot like dairy & eggs are inflammatory and legumes are not. Legumes, surprisingly, seem to be the food group most associated with long life around the world. The surprising part is it seems like they shouldn't be ahead of vegetables, but UN consumption data seems to indicate that they are.
I occasionally see the term used for research into autoimmune diseases or allergies. For example, the Imperial College of London has produced promising results for 'resetting' the immune system for treatment of Multiple Sclerosis.
I've been meaning to respond to your post for a few days now, but haven't had the time due to Easter weekend.
Preface: I could deep end on this type of conversation for days. Nutrition and its effects on our bodies has been a focus of mine for >15 years now. I'll do my best to keep things fairly brief.
First off, congratulations on the positive changes you have made to your diet and experienced physically. The point of any health intervention should be to help you feel better, and it sounds like you have certainly done that. Your wife was 100% correct when she told you that your diet can have a profound effect on your body's inflammatory responses. A shockingly large number of Americans struggle with chronic pain as a consequence of chronic inflammation, and this pain could be dramatically improved or even resolved if they made healthier dietary choices consistently. Sadly, very few MDs or DOs speak to their patients about the real life benefits of dietary change, likely because it's not something that most doctors receive much (or even any) training in. Not all of the blame can be laid at the feet of doctors, though. I have conversations about this literally every single day that I am in my office, but I've found that very few patients are interested in making substantive changes to their life, even in the face of severe health consequences. Instead, most people hope that they can just take a pill and make the problem go away. Alack, as you have already learned, medicines can be good band-aids, but they don't actually fix problems. But I digress…
A few specific responses to points you mentioned...
- Kudos on the weight loss. More than anything, that amount of loss in 30 days highlights just how toxic your diet was previously. Unfortunately, this does not indicate that the diet you are currently following is the healthiest/sustainable/best/etc. More on that in a second...
- Whole 30 has a number of positive things about it. Removing sugars, refined flours, and milk and cheese from your diet will lead to only positive outcomes, regardless of who you are. Unfortunately, that does not mean that you can eat an endless amount of eggs, butter (clarified or not) and meat without consequence. The consequences of eating these foods may develop more slowly while on a Whole 30-like diet than they did when you were eating butter, eggs, meat, sugar, refined flours, milk, cheese, fast food, etc, but they will still come. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. If you look at people across the face of the whole earth, anywhere you find populations who eat large quantities of butter (clarified or not), meat (excluding fish), refined sugars, refined flours, and other dairy products you will find the same problems you see in America: namely, high levels of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, chronic pain, increased cancer rates, etc.
- Be cautious about any type of dietary approach that is temporary. Temporary changes always yield temporary results. Always. This is true in every field of life, including relationships, finances, faith, and certainly weight. You mentioned that you were going to be "super cautious" about introducing foods back into your diet. Caution is good, but if you go back to eating the same foods you were eating before, you will also go back to having the same problems you had before. If you want to make permanent changes to your physique/health/etc, then you need to make permanent changes to your diet.
👆👆👆Physician. I have inside knowledge of his practice and he produces great results with his patients.
Good stuff, Scott. And I agree and do understand about temp vs. long term changes. Good thing I married "up" just like you did ;) See you one day in the future and you won't recognize me!
Just to say, 9 months later.... total of 44lbs gone, that's 20 kilos, yay! I feel better in every respect. Still no gluten, dairy, sugar or really anything processed or any fast food (did you notice the stock of McDs going down??)....
Haven't taken any anti inflammatory drugs in 9 months either. In fact, no drugs!
Now aside from doing triathlons like certain people we both know, I have to figure out how to drop another 10 kilos and I'll be pretty darned happy :D