About Me

About Me | Rheumatoid Arthritis

I have written this section in the hope that it may interest  the many sufferers of  Rheumatoid Arthritis. This is entirely a personal  experience and I do not suggest that I am in any way giving medical advice.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a disease of the immune system where, essentially it is attacking itself. Its effects on the body can be different for every sufferer.

Over thirty years ago I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It started first in my hands with pain or discomfort, described accurately by a French client of mine with the same problem,  as making one want to cry. The arthritis fairly quickly progressed to also affect my hips and knees to the extent that at times that I was walking with a stick.
The medical profession were very supportive and offered me various drugs and painkillers but I was in my early thirties and didn't want to face a lifetime of medicines with uncertain side effects in the long term. My solution was to look for another way and what follows is about my personal approach and the reasonably high level of success that I have achieved.

I have not been cured of the condition but I do live a very active and exceptionally busy life. I still have some pain in my hips and sometimes hands overnight and very occasionally, I just feel and look very unwell but the steps set out below work for me.

1. Diet has been central to what I do. I started out by cutting a lot of things out of my diet then rebuilding on what worked for me. I found that liver pate, in particular, had an almost instantaneous  negative effect. I do mostly avoid red meat and red wine, some beers and I also try to minimise white bread and wheat based products. For some people, what I call the 'trigger foods' are different, maybe dairy in some cases or so I have heard. I eat a very healthy diet with a lot of fish, salads, oats and I find that white wine actually helps. One or two people have commented that it is quite surprising that I have lived in Texas for almost a year and have lost and not gained weight.

2. Maintaining personal fitness without damaging my joints was important and this has been maintained by sensible exercise and identifying which things hurt me, for example, although I walk every day with my dog, and sometimes I walk for hours, I do avoid hill walking (which in Scotland is a euphemism for a pretty steep climb). I have my own personal fitness regime, which is not at all excessive, but I am pretty fit and very strong for my age.

3. Real Chinese acupuncture has helped me. Recent medical information now accepts that acupuncture does work for rheumatoid arthritis. Quite a number of years ago I was having a really bad day when my wife Lorna and I came upon a Chinese herbal medicine clinic in Glasgow. I signed up for a course of acupuncture  and after about five sessions there was a definite improvement. The acupuncture doctor is also now my friend.

4. Many people have had success with dietary supplements varying from 'Honegar' a wine vinegar with honey, to glucosamine and MSM and green lipped muscles. However, these showed little improvement with me. My greatest success to date is a supplement based on rosehips. I take these every day  and after a fairly short period of time I was relatively pain free. I won't give the brand here as I have no commercial interests in the product ,but if anyone wants to email me I'll happily pass on the contact details. More recently, I had a very painful left hip and Lorna suggest that I also take Devil's Claw and Bromelain and while I can't swear to what works, I can assure you that I take very few paracetamol  tablets now whereas I used to require the maximum permissible  most days.

I don't know whether my approach would work for you, but I am absolutely certain that what I have set out above allows me to live a very full life.