Fasting and Rheumatoid Arthritis

References: Joel Fuhrman’s Fasting…for HealthWikipediaScand Jr RheumatologyLANCETArthritis Rheum,

We need about 30 grams of protein a day and eat around 150. That extra animal protein needs to be digested and broken down to all its breakdown products. Many of the pieces along the way look like antigens and inspire an antibody reaction of some kind. Because there is quite an overlap between animal proteins and human proteins, some of the antibodies made begin to attack us because the proteins that trigger them look like us. The next step is for antigen-antibody complexes to end up in our joints where they set off the natural inflammation those complexes are designed to set off. We call that rheumatoid arthritis.

Next step, dozens of very toxic drugs for 1 % of the population
What would happen if we took the triggers away that are setting off all that inflammation? Trigger number one: Animal protein (eggs, meat, cheese, milk, yoghurt). Trigger number two: all food. Yes, all food. The reason that 70% of your immune system is around your gut is because cleaning up the toxins in the food you eat is 70% of the work your immune system has to do. Let’s take away that work.

Now, let’s give your immune system 10 days to clean up its foolishness it has gotten into with your rheumatoid arthritis. Remember, most of us are at least 25% fat. I am. I have 50 pounds of fat which gives me 175,000 calories of fuel to work with. At 1800 calories a day, that is 97 days worth of fuel. 10 days is not starving. It is simply giving your immune system and your gut a chance to reboot.

What happens? It has been studied.

In 2001, a report in the Scandanavian Journal of Rheumatology reported on their update of all studies of fasting followed by a vegetarian diet. They don’t give exact numbers in the abstract but they say the effect is statistically positive and very much worth studying on a larger scale. 
The British Journal, The Lancet, published an article showing that folks who followed a vegetarian diet benefited with statistically improved joints for up to a year after following a strict vegan, low-fat diet.

The Scandanavians have been doing much more of this. Back in 1988, they published a report of 14 patients undertaking a 7 day total fast and becoming strikingly much better.

What’s the takeaway? My goodness. For no cost at all, you can reduce your symptoms dramatically, and may even get a full remission! No toxicity! No side effects! And all you are frightened of is that you will be hungry!

WWW: What will work for me. This should be the first strategy offered to you if you have RA. Seeing as how it affects 5% of elderly, a lot of people have this awful disease. My mother in law was subjected to all the toxic side effects of gold and had to have all her tendons moved to keep her hands working. She suffered immeasurably. Curiously, she was a very odd eater, which I interpreted as being anorectic. Looking back, I think she did it because she felt better when she fasted. She was doing it for spiritual reasons. I bet the spirit led her because she felt a lot better. In any case, she lived way longer than that 10 years multiple joint RA folks live. Give her great credit for intuitively figuring out how to keep herself well.

Pop Quiz

  1. What is Rheumatoid Arthritis? Answer: (No fair). Didn’t include this. Inflammation, mostly of the knuckles but also every joint everywhere in some folks, of swelling, pain, limited motion, increased risk of heart disease and general malaise.
  2. What is the cause or RA? Answer: Making antibodies to yourself, most notably your joints.
  3. What is the proposed mechanism? Answer: Your body making antibodies to animal proteins that cross-react with human ones, meaning you. Vegetable proteins are clearly different so don’t set up such confusion.
  4. Why does fasting help RA? Answer: It gives your immune system time to focus elsewhere – wherever the problem is.
  5. What percent of people with RA are cured by fasting followed by vegan diets? Answer: Hard to ferret out but the chance is there. There are many reports of complete remission. Most objective studies show statistically valid changes in large groups. Enough to be encouraging.
  6. Can I make it 10 days on a fast? Answer: Easy. You likely have 100 days of fuel in you in your fat stores. A properly conducted fast will get you ketogenic and not hungry in about 24-48 hours. Then, you aren’t hungry so it’s easy. (Boring, but easy)