Pain, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Allergy and Food Hypersentivity

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dr Widodo Judarwanto, Pediatrician

Bacteria, viruses, and parasites trigger an immune response. But anything that triggers an immune response also triggers inflammation. The body can be allergic to any food, therefore any food allergy is capable of causing inflammation and arthritis. This includes RA, juvenile arthritis, and undefined joint pains. This is why it can be so difficult for one to recognize the relationship between their diet and their symptoms. This includes foods that are incorrectly identified by the immune system as not belonging in the body. Therefore an allergic reaction to a food can result in inflammation of the joints. Clinical and laboratory studies in a patient whose rheumatoid arthritis appeared to be exacerbated by dairy produce showed that challenge with milk and cheese resulted in a produced increase in synovitis and changes in immune complexes, IgE antibodies, and heat-damaged red cell clearance rates. Exclusion of dairy products from the diet produced a considerable improvement in her previously aggressive disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis is considered by conventional medicine to be an autoimmune condition of unknown cause. This belief ignores a large volume of scientific evidence pointing to food allergies as a major cause of arthritis. The medical community has focused almost solely on treating arthritis with anti-inflammatory medications, either prescription or over-the-counter. These medications offer temporary relief of the pain and swelling, but they never cure arthritis. Over the long term this type of treatment also comes with a host of side-effects.

One of the most promising lines of research on the etiology and pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is its association with the genetically determined MHC class II antigens. The function of these macromolecules, presentation of antigens to the T-helper cells, supports the possibility that external antigens influence RA. Some literature concerning the relationship between RA and food. Circumstantial evidence suggests that some foods or food components might influence subgroups of RA patients, although many of the publications on this subset do not meet acceptable standards of modern medical research

The body can be allergic to any food, therefore any food allergy is capable of causing inflammation and arthritis. This includes RA, juvenile arthritis, and undefined joint pains. This is why it can be so difficult for one to recognize the relationship between their diet and their symptoms.

Osteoarthritis is inflammation caused by degeneration of the joint and is due to chronic wear and tear. Osteoarthritis is most commonly found in the knees. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a more generic term for inflammation, pain, and swelling of joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is most commonly seen in the hands, although it can affect just about any joint in the body. In children this is called juvenile arthritis.

Forms of Arthritis and Pain That Benefit With Diet Changes:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Lupus
  • spondyloarthritis
  • psoriatic
  • reactive arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Scleroderma
  • Myofascitis
  • Dermatomyositis

Some patients with rheumatoid factor positive rheumatoid arthritis who had shown a marked symptomatic improvement during four weeks of hypoallergic, artificial diet were studied in greater detail. Placebo controlled rechallenges showed intolerance for specific foodstuffs in four patients. In three of these patients biopsies of both the synovial membrane and of the proximal small intestine were carried out before and during allergen free feeding. In two patients, both with raised serum IgE concentrations and specific IgE antibodies to certain foods, a marked reduction of mast cells in the synovial membrane and proximal small intestine was demonstrated. Although the number of food intolerant patients with RA remains limited and markers of allergic activity are scanty, the  observations suggest an underlying immunoallergological mechanism.

The hypothetically negative influence of food on the clinical activity of seropositive rheumatoid arthritis was studied using two types of artificial elementary food. One diet was allergen free, the other allergen restricted, containing only lactoproteins and yellow dyes. Ninety four patients entered the study, which lasted 12 weeks. During the second four week period they were randomly assigned to one of the two artificial foods. Comparison between baseline and subsequent periods showed only subjective improvements. Nine patients (three in the allergen restricted group, six in the allergen free group) showed favourable responses, followed by marked disease exacerbation during rechallenge. Dietary manipulation also brought about changes in objective disease activity parameters in these patients. The existence of a subgroup of patients in whom food intolerance influences the activity of rheumatoid factor seropositive rheumatoid arthritis deserves serious consideration.

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