A few weeks ago I wrote an article about carbohydrates and arthritis. Well this is an update on what is no longer a personal thing but a small-scale medical experiment.
There are now 29 people involved in this unofficial trial to try and work out if cutting carbs can reduce the pain of arthritis. Now contrary to what many people believe I am not entirely stupid, I worked in the medical profession for years and I KNOW you can’t cure arthritis. It’s a degenerative disease that depending on the patient, causes pain and decreased mobility, grows steadily worse over a period of years and usually results in joint replacement.
It isn’t a reversible condition.
So why am I not suffering the effects of it anymore?
Why are 14 people in our unofficial trial not suffering from the effects of arthritis anymore?
- Of the 29 people who have signed up to try this out 1 has lupus and has reported a moderate improvement in her condition.
- 4 including myself have psoriasis and all of us have seen an improvement, even though we have stopped using the creams and lotions that normally keep it under control. Flare ups associated with individual triggers have occurred in two of us but are of lower severity than we would have expected under the circumstances.
- 10 people have reported a moderate improvement in their arthritis symptoms
- 2 people have reported a minor improvement in their arthritis symptoms
- 3 have reported no difference so far
Now, as this is not a formal clinical trial there are two major problems and that is that we all joined in at different times. For example, all of the 14 who have reported a massive improvement in their arthritis symptoms have been cutting carbs for between 4 and 6 weeks.
Of the 3 people reporting no improvement one of them has only been cutting carbs for a week, the other two for more than two weeks but under 3 weeks. Is it a case of giving it more time or will this not work for those three individuals? Only time will tell.
we have decided to continue recording results and see what happens with each individual at their three month mark.
The second problem is weight loss.
3 are clinically obese for their height
3 are severely overweight for their height but not clinically obese.
9 are moderately overweight for their height…including me!
10 are within recommended weight limits for their height
2 are at the lower end of normal weight for their height
2 are underweight for their height.
ALL of us have lost weight, which is great for those above the optimum weight for height but not so good for the rest of the group. We have to consider that weight loss, particularly in the severely overweight and obese groups is possibly responsible for at least part of the alleviation of arthritis symptoms as there is less weight on their joints.
Those within normal limits, low end of normal and underweight have had to add more fats and protein to their diet to prevent weight loss.
I have lost 10 pounds, but the pain associated with arthritis started to go within three days of cutting carbs and well before any weight loss occurred. Overall 8 other members of the group report the same findings. Pain subsided within 72 hours of cutting carbs.
All of those involved in this a medically trained and the general consensus is that for us at least a major cut in carbohydrates has alleviated a degree of pain we suffer from arthritis.
Time will tell of course, and at the three month point 6 of us have elected to start eating carbohydrates again to see what happens…we feel this is the only way we will be able to differentiate if it really is the carbs, the weight loss or a combination of the two.
On a personal level being able to get up in the morning without hurting is amazing. To those who have never suffered arthritis the only way I can describe it is that you are not conscious that you have hips! You can take them for granted, like everyone else does. To walk a mile without pain is just so fantastic I can’t tell you. Not to ‘waddle’ when you walk because your body favours the less inflamed joint and to walk upstairs upright, not bent and going up with your hands on the stairs, bum in the air like a toddler learning to walk is just mind-blowing.
These are very simple things to most people, but to me it’s a new lease of life. I even look a little taller as I hold my body upright more than I did. This is a major bonus when you are only 5 ft 2.
I miss carbs. I love toast dripping in butter. My cooked in goose fat roast potatoes make people salivate…but I no longer eat them. I am craving a cheese and onion sandwich, a British staple. A crunchy baguette filled with all manner of scrummyness feels like a distant memory and worst of all cold chicken, bacon and mayo pasta salad…Oh Lord how I miss that.
I won’t have them until the time comes to reintroduce carbs to see what happens. The thought of waddling to the shops, groaning when I get out of the bed and seizing up if I drive the car for longer than 20 minutes is just too terrible to contemplate.
I am taking more interest in my appearance in general, I feel alive, I smile more…I am happier. I had no idea that I had fallen so low, that constant pain had had such an effect on me both physically and psychologically.
I feel reborn in a way, and it’s a feeling I don’t want to lose.