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Jack,
Thought my story of rheumatoid arthritis might be of interest. I wrote this down awhile ago for a friend who was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. If you want more details let me know and we can exchange info via email.

Craig

Craig's Story
1. Motivation to change:
a. Heart problems
i. Went into atrial defibrillation in May of 98
ii. Required me to spend the Memorial Day holiday in the hospital
iii. On blood thinner and beta blocker for 1 month
iv. Underwent cardioversion ( heart stop and restart) as an outpatient
v. Stayed on blood thinner and beta blockers for another 2 months
b. Very concerned that my overall health was declining. I had now experienced two diseases that, I thought, only old people had. The other was rheumatoid arthritis. I had been diagnosed with it 5 years earlier and has been on anti-inflammatory medicine ever since. I had recently begun taking anti-ulcer medicine (Prevacid) to treat the NSAID side effects. My Rheumatologist was concerned that the meds I was using were becoming less effective and that I would have to move up to gold treatments and try some cytotoxic drug used in treating cancer. I asked what the alternative and "a wheelchair in 5 years” was the answer. I told him I'd think about it.
2. Discussion with Paul at the club. Paul is a pathologist at a local hospital
a. In his practice he had noticed eosinophils around the small intestine in the general population. Paul said this was a sign of infection and a huge strain on the immune system.
b. Viewed as normal by the medical community but not by Paul. He had seen sections from a population of primitive people eating their native food. These sections showed no indication of immune system activity.
c. Paul was convinced there were impurities in the water (bacteria and viral remnants) causing the gut to leak.
d. Encouraged me to drink only filtered water.
3. Went online to investigate Leaky Gut Syndrome:
a. http://www.healthy.net/asp/templates/article.asp?PageType=Article&ID=425
b. http://www.health-n-energy.com/ronagut.htm
4. Logged onto the Arthritis Support news group on the web.
a. There was one contributor who was convinced that arthritis was caused by the modern diet and was advocating return to a “stone age” diet. The logic was that our systems evolved over a million years eating the foods available on the African savannah. Our systems were optimized for these foods not modern day foods.
b. He recommended “Neanderthin” by Audet and recommended the following site for info on primitive diets:
i. http://www.panix.com/~paleodiet/
5. I decided Leaky Gut was a possibility and made some changes:
a. Stopped taking all Rheumatoid Arthritis medicines (NSAIDs, Palquinel, Prevacid)
b. Bought 3 Brita filter pitchers – 2 for home 1 for work. I drink only filtered water
c. Stopped eating all grains and sweets and stopped drinking any form of alcohol
d. Began taking 5 grams per day of L-glutamine to repair my small intestine
e. Bought the “Neanderthin Diet” book and started the diet. Stuck with it religiously. Difficult diet. If you can't kill it with a stick, dig it up with a stick or knock it down with a stick you can't eat it. Also it must be eatable in its uncooked state. You can eat meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, nuts and berries. Vegetables do not include corn (grain), beans and potatoes (uneatable raw). Complete lists are available in the book.
6. Results:
a. In two weeks all arthritis symptoms had disappeared. Visited my rheumatologist after six weeks and he confirmed that my Sed Rate for the RA antibody had gone to zero. He was impressed but concerned that I wasn't taking my meds!
b. Dropped 22 pounds. The weight kept coming off and I had to start eating lots of nuts to keep my weight at 150 lbs.

Follow-up 2004
- Been on a low sugar (variations of Neanderthin or Zone) diet for 6 years – serious weight lifter for 4
- Arthritis symptoms do not flair unless I seriously fall off the diet wagon
-Holding at 14-16% body fat, gained about 10 lbs of muscle mass and weigh 160 lbs
- I'm almost 50 and I feel better and am in better shape than I was at 30. Not bad for the first year I was supposed to be in a wheelchair!
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