Long, but very important!

Today is my 4th day of juice fasting but my fingers are still extremely hot and swollen. And my left wrist hurts when I pick up heavy things.  I had to go to Whole Foods to get some veggies for the weekend…we’re going to the farm for the weekend!…and I stopped at the new Robeks on the way. It was wonderful having someone else do the juicing (and the cleaning up after the juicing!) for me. I got apple, spinach, and ginger juice. Delicious. And, I tried a shot of wheatgrass juice to see what it was like- it was just as bad as everyone warns-but apparantly it is a really good detoxifier, so I felt good about drinking it anyway.

This is going to be a long post because I’m putting in a huge quote so everyone understands why I am juicing. I am trying to give my intestinal tract a chance to heal, hoping it will help with the problem i quote below.

It’s really frustrating to me that so many people’s Rheumatoid Arthritis is caused by food allergies and a leaky gut, yet no rheumatoligist that I’ve met nor the Arthritis Foundation will admit this.  I have read in many books of the link between leaky gut syndrome and autoimmune diseases but I will only quote from one,  Fasting and Eating for Health by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.:

“It has been shown in scientific studies that many people with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases have increased intestinal tract permeability. Because of genetic or other insults to the digestive system earlier in life, autoimmune disease sufferers have an abnormality of the digestive tract that allows incompletely digested foodstuffs to pass through the intestinal lining and into the bloodstream.

Proteins in food are the chief culprits that can excite an abnormal immune response. A protein is typically made up of thousands of amino acids linked together. The digestive enzymes cleave the bonds between the amino acids during digestion, allowing the individual amino acids to pass through the wall of the digestive tract. When isolated amino acids enter the bloodstream, they do not excite an abnormal immune response. During the process of digesting a protein however, if a piece of partially broken-down protein, known as a peptide, is able to pass through the the digestive tract wall by mistake, this peptide can and will excite the immune system to react against it.

The peptide, containing perhaps a hundred amino acids, is now recognized not as a nutrient like an individual amino acid, but rather as a foreign substance that needs to be attacked and removed. Thus, the immune system produces an antibody to this antigen, and an antigen-antibody complex is formed.

These complexes are present in the blood in increased quantities in individuals with autoimmune illnesses. [because a leaky gut is usually present, allowing more incompletely digested proteins throug into the blood] When these complexes are not effectively cleared from the bloodstream, they can become lodged in various tissues, where they cause inflammation.

In rheumatoid arthritis, for example, these complexes are deposited in the joints, and redness, swelling, stiffness, and pain develop, followed by destruction of the joint as the inflammation continues. The amount of immune complexes deposited in the joints corresponds to the severity of the arthritic symptoms.” -Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

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~ by thetruthaboutjra on January 22, 2009.

3 Responses to “Long, but very important!”

  1. Love your blog, and although I’ve yet to be convinced by the whole diet thing I really, really hope it works for you … who knows, a few years down the line I might be joining you with a wheatgrass juice … but for now I’ll try the meds!

    Where are the scientific studies that show that “many people with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases have increased intestinal tract permeability.” As a scientist myself (once upon a time!) I’d be really interested in having a look at some of them. Are they referenced by JF?

    Thanks a lot – and keep blogging – makes me feel less alone! :o)

    PP

    • PP-
      Yeah, the diet thing is a big unknown. I’m experimenting my way through it…that’s the only way to do it since there has been so little research. I’m seeing enough improvements to keep me encouraged though…I’m down to 8mgs or prednisone! (I was on 20mgs just last month)
      JF did reference the part about intestinal permeability and I actually went online to look for the original studies and found a few links for you. If these don’t work, google this: “williams bjarnason intestinal permeability rheumatoid arthritis.” The first three articles and the first link are about the studies on it. Basically it is based on the indirect and direct damage from NSAIDs…the acids in NSAIDs do insult to the intestinal barrier while the COX-1 inhibitors reduce the production of prostaglandins which have many functions including decreasing gastric acid output and increasing gastric mucous output. This still doesn’t answer the question of what causes the arthritis in the first place? There are many other things that cause insult to the gut like an imbalance of microorganisms in the gut caused by years of eating poorly, genetics, parasites, alcohol, stress, medication). Read more at http://altmedicine.about.com/od/healthconditionsdisease/a/TestLeakyGut.htm I am going to keep posting tidbits of info that I find out, but I’ll be better about referencing from now on!
      Thanks for your question, it helped me figure out some more stuff!

      http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1727292

      http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=williams+bjarnason+intestinal+permeability+rheumatoid+arthritis&hl=en&rlz=1G1GGLQ_ENUS313&um=1&ie=UTF-8&oi=scholart

  2. Fantastic – thanks so much for all this info! I shall have a proper read of it all just as soon as work calms down a bit and I get some time to spare! Excellent news about managing to reduce the prednisone so much … everything crossed that things keep going well. Yeah, it seems very odd that the gut problems are based on NSAIDS, and we take NSAIDs to get rid of the RA … so we were, on the whole, not taking them prior … sooooo … it’s not a question of RA being caused by gut problems, as you pointed out. It’s all very odd, but very interesting! I shall look forward to more of your posts on it. (I’ve now posted this on my blog and yours too … might get kinda silly … WordPress does notify me of responses, so you don’t HAVE to post on mine if you reply, but having said that you’re always welcome to ‘visit’! ;o) )

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