Rheumatoid Arthritis and Diet – take two


The last two weeks have been incredibly busy.  I moved house.  I have spent the last week doing some unpacking. But there is several more weeks of unpacking to go.  The house is set up, basically. Enough to live here.

My RA has gone rapidly downhill over these last few weeks.  I have maxed out the prednisolone, maxed out the Arava.  Still taking Plaquenil and Naprosyn, although neither of those seems to be helping at all.

And I am still in full body mega flare mode.

All of these drugs should be controlling my pain and inflammation…but they aren’t.


Well, moving house is very stressful.  Then there is the emotional impact of the end of my marriage.  While we have been separated for 18 months, both of us actually buying separate houses and finalising things through the courts still hits hard.

Also, for the last few weeks, my diet has slipped badly.  I have been eating lots of processed convenience foods.  Lots of bread…a quick sandwich here and there.  Not enough vegetables.  Not enough fruit.  Lots of sweet coffee for energy.

And then there is the exercise.  I haven’t had time to go to the gym and do my usual Yoga/Pilates based class, my Pump class, my Spin classes.  Instead I have been packing boxes, unpacking boxes, lifting, bending, reaching… very hard on the body.  Not enough rest.

All of this means I have seized up shockingly.

While diet and exercise can’t cure my RA, NOT exercising and eating a poor diet definitely makes things worse!

So I am back on the diet bandwagon.

As of today, no more dairy and grains.   I am going back to juicing fruits and vegetables – my current favourite is carrot, apple and cucumber.  Lots of intense nutrition in freshly made juice.  Because I am in so much pain, I don’t have any appetite.  Juice lets me get vitamins and minerals into my body in an easy way.  It’s also got loads of calories, so I don’t really need to eat.  Except to take my meds.

I will do this for a few days, and then I will have to add more food. Some eggs, lean meat.

And I will keep researching…follow what others do, and hope it helps me.  I am willing to do anything.  Because I am really struggling to get through this pain right now.

I know I will. There isn’t really a choice.  I will always get through it.

So I would love to hear about anything that has helped others.  Diet changes, supplements, exercise whatever.  I will try them all.  And let you know if they help me too.

A clean diet is the start.  Then I will look more closely at ‘inflammatory’ foods. I have been reading some research about gut bacteria and the connection to autoimmune disease.  Lots to keep me busy.  Anything to take my mind off how my body is feeling.

So fire away, please comment here, and/or on the facebook page.  Thanks!


  1. The plaquenil and arava never did anything for me. Maybe those drugs are just not up to the challenge, though anything you take with a full dose of prednisone really ought to make you feel pretty good based on my very limited experience with pred.

    Also they used to make a big deal (many years ago) about differences between the Nsaids like naprosyn. I tried about 6 including that before I found one that really worked – it was voltaren SR, which is diclofenac.

    I hope the lower stress will help you, and improving the diet is always good. Then there’s the exercise too – sounds like you have all the building blocks but they just aren’t working. Tomatoes make me feel worse.
    Sorry to have no real answer

    • Thanks Annette…things are improving. Stress levels are coming down, and whether its psychological or not, going back to the gym and eating better do make me feel better about myself. Funny..one of my favourite things is a cheese and tomato sandwich. That’s going to be taboo for a while…lol.

      I’ve tried lots of different nsaids too…voltaren worked quite well for me too. Thanks for the reminder – I used to swap it with Naprosyn every few months when the naprosyn became less effective. My rheumy said you get used to them, and changing them up can help. I think its time I tried that again – so thankyou! Hope you’re doing OK, and thanks for commenting.

      Arthritic chick signature

      • I have the Voltaren slow release – 1 in the am and 1 in the pm. I hoe you are still improving. Diet and exercise make a big difference for sure.

        I have just spent 3 weeks lying around after a wrist fusion and reading Harry Potter on an ereader since I had one hand. Lucky my husband cooks. I will try harder to join you on the right path after being a sloth. Finally back on rheum drugs and up tp 1x per week for Humira until I run out

        Do you get good sleep ? If not you could work on that

        • Sleep is a biggie…lately I haven’t been getting much at all. I’m not sure what to try next, to tell the truth? Wrist fusion doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun…wishing you a speedy recovery, and less pain!

          Arthritic chick signature

  2. Hi there, I can’t say that tomatoes have ever really affected me adversely & I do eat quite a lot of them but we are all so different. For exercise my personal choice is yoga. I find it easily adaptable to the joints and the stretching is definitely good for the joints and muscles. I always find I feel better emotionally for it too. I also find that rest is my best friend when I’m flaring, no doubt about that for me. I hope that this flare will soon be over for you x

  3. I have Coeliac disease in addition to ra so I eat a totally gluten free diet and have done for years, even prior to my ra diagnosis. It’s interesting to hear that you find tomatoes make you feel worse. I too find that tomatoes make my joints scream! I am trying to work out which foods apart from tomatoes have an effect on me so I can avoid them as well.


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