(image thanks to arthritis.org)
What Does “Arthritis” Mean?
The word “arthritis” simply means “joint inflammation.” There are basically two types: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. 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.
The Traditional Approach to Arthritis
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.
Is It Possible to Eliminate the Inflammation without Drugs?
Very often it is actually possible to eliminate the cause of the inflammation without resorting to drugs to suppress it. Inflammation is actually caused by the immune system. The important question is, “Why is the immune system creating inflammation?”
What Triggers the Immune System to Create Inflammation?
As you already know, bacteria, viruses, and parasites trigger an immune response. But anything that triggers an immune response also triggers inflammation. 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.
What Foods Cause Arthritis?
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.
Let’s use a dairy allergy as an example. If you eat any form of dairy, be it milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, or even dairy in the form of casein or whey in another food product, such as bread or milk chocolate, then you can potentially trigger the symptoms of your food allergy, in this case arthritis. You should also know that allergy symptoms may show up hours or even a day later, well after a food is absorbed into your system.
How Do I Determine if I Have a Food Allergy?
Most doctors are not well versed in evaluating patients for food allergies. Skin testing is inadequate, and many blood tests are not thorough enough to discover a food allergy. The best way to determine if you have a food allergy is to have your blood tested for both IgE and IgG antibodies to a variety of foods. This is done with an ELISA Food Allergy Panel, which measures your immune response to approximately 100 different foods.
For more information on testing, contact our office at info@IBSTreatmentCenter.com.
Image thanks to arthritis.org
Dr. Wangen is the founder and medical director of the IBS Treatment Center, the award winning author of two books, and a nationally recognized speaker on digestive disorders. He has been on ABC, NBC, and Fox as well as public radio, and was named one of Seattle’s Top Doctors by Seattle Magazine.