Extreme Health Radio with Justin and Kate

Justin and Kate interviewed me about how, after 2 1/2 years in a wheelchair, I cured my arthritis naturally:

Barbara Allan

We spoke about leaky gut syndrome, fasting and the link between anger and inflammation. We discussed different kinds of arthritis and how their development is different.

We discussed various risk factors that can predispose people to arthritis and how history and childhood stress can shape how your body responds to threats.

Most importantly, we talked about what can be done to heal, despite all these risk factors, and what that healing journey looks like.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment: Tips for Cocktail Parties, Holiday Travel and Beach Vacations

Delayed food and chemical sensitivities are an often unrecognized underlying cause of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other types of arthritis. Because the particular foods and chemicals that are triggering inflammation vary from person to person and can even change over time, it is important to be individually tested.

My most important recommendation would be to be tested at least a month ahead of time, so that you know what your triggers are and have figured out a strategy for your cocktail party or vacation to be arthritis-free. It takes most people about a month to successfully discover and learn to avoid hidden food allergens, once they have a list of which foods are safe for them and which they need to avoid. Once they have this skill, they have the power to stop arthritis flair-ups.

For instance, if you are reacting against grapes, brewer’s yeast, sodium sulfate, beef or pork (because pig and cow byproducts are often used to make gelatin and gelatin is often used to clarify wine) you won’t want to skip wine with dinner, but depending on your reaction pattern, you might do just fine with a bloody Mary or a Margarita. If your food sensitivities are moderate or severe, you would be best off skipping the alcohol all together, because it tends to make leaky gut syndrome and therefore inflammation worse. However, that doesn’t mean you have to skip the fun of a cocktail party or drinks with dinner. Knowing what drink set ups are safe for you means you can still “drink” with everyone else without making your arthritis worse and without having to worry about triggering an arthritic flair-up.

If you have a tricky pattern of food and chemical sensitivities, planning a trip to a spa or another place that understands food allergies and can cook interesting and appealing food that is safe for you, might be just the ticket.

A few years ago I noticed that the food concessionaires for the US National Park System were particularly good at creating safe, creative, gourmet entrees even in the face of the food restrictions I had at that time. My best experiences were at the lodges at the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park. Restaurants that are part of the “slow food movement” are also often a good choice because they are already so aware of what is in the food they serve and much less likely to accidentally include one of your problem foods in the dishes they serve you.

As for the beach, knowing your food and chemical sensitivities ahead of time can be a godsend there too. That will give you time to make sure your sunscreen is not not accidentally triggering your inflammation and if it is, to purchase light colored clothing you can wear instead of sunscreen for sun protection. Knowing if you are reacting against chlorine can let you know if you need to stick to swimming only in the ocean or if the hotel pool is also safe for you.

Since it generally takes about seven days for the inflammation triggered by delayed food or chemical sensitivity to end, mastering how to avoid your inflammatory trigger foods and chemicals before you leave, can make the difference between the vacation of a lifetime and one spent in pain.

Barbara Allan is the author of the best selling book, Conquering Arthritis.

Visit her website for more information on testing yourself for delayed food and chemical sensitivities with the alcat test.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment: Non-Dairy Sources of Probiotics Supplements

Rheumatoid Arthritis is not inevitable, no matter the particulars of your family history or genetics. Some people have genetics that make them more susceptible, but something must still trigger the disease process. Likewise, it is usually possible, even after the rheumatoid arthritis has been triggered, to “untrigger” it by reversing its underlying causes.

One underlying causes of rheumatoid arthritis is a disruption of healthy gut bacteria. This can happen because of any number of stressors: taking antibiotics, losing a job, losing a loved one, having a loved one seriously ill or injured, divorce, your home going into foreclosure, surgery, taking a board exam, traveling in a third world country, getting some other illness, working long hours without enough rest and more. Even joyful events like the birth or a child, a job promotion or, moving to a new house can cause stress that can trigger RA.

This is because for most people stress has a strong impact on the gut. Once gut flora gets out of balance it can stay that way for years and years, until something helps it to rebalance itself.

This rebalancing of gut flora is one way to help “untrigger” rheumatoid arthritis.
One way to do this is by reintroducing healthy bacteria everyday through your diet.

Most people know about the benefits of eating live culture yogurt because of the healthy bacteria it contains. Most people don’t realize the almost infinite number of other sources of probiotics. Many can be made in your own kitchen without much effort and easily incorporated into your everyday diet.

If you can eat dairy, it is easy to get probiotics through yogurt, kefir, and the many commercial probiotics supplements grown on a dairy base.

If you can’t eat dairy, you may not realize how easy it is to still get enough probiotics.

Here is partial list of the many non-dairy probiotics-containing foods you can eat and drink:

1. Commercially available cultured coconut milk

2. Homemade cultured coconut milk, soymilk, rice milk or fruit juice made using kefir grains

3. Unpasteurized sauerkraut

4. Unpasteurized kim chee

5. Sour pickles

6. Other vegetable ferments, such as sour beets, sour turnips, fermented radishes, etc.

7. “Potato cheese” – cooked potato fermented with brine from live sauerkraut culture

8. Brine from ferments used as a digestive tonic and Soup Stock

9. Fermented chutney

10. Miso

11. MIso Pickles

12. Tempeh—soy

13. Ferments made from other beans such as pinto beans, kidney beans, navy beans, etc.

14. Rejuvenac—made from sprouted grain

15. Kombucha—a tea fermented with a special kombucha culture

16. Porridge—fermented overnight before cooking to increase digestibility

These probiotics-containing foods start with either an already established culture which you can buy or someone can gift you (yogurt, kefir, miso, tempeh and other bean ferments and kombutcha) or capture wild bacteria from the air (sauerkraut, kim chee, sour pickles, other vegetable ferments, brines, rejuvenac and porridge.)

Barbara Allan is the author of the best selling book, Conquering Arthritis.

Visit her website for recipes and more information on rheumatoid arthritis treatment—non-dairy probiotic supplements.