CGinDC

NSAIDs for arthritis while on Whole30?

Recommended Posts

Hi, I'm wondering if any other arthritis sufferers out there are on NSAIDs, and if they've had good results on the Whole30.

 

I've had pretty severe inflammation in my right SI joint and the L2 vertebra for the past 8 years, since I was 27. I take diclofenac twice a day, and if I miss more than two doses the pain gets pretty bad. I already have trouble sleeping a lot of the time because I get stiffness in the joints, and the discomfort keeps me up. My doctor's options for me are a) increase the does of what I'm currently on, or B) start on something stronger like enbrel that has some pretty scary side effects. I worry about what the NSAIDs are doing to my stomach and intestine, and if this is just making the inflammation worse over the long run. I decided to do the Whole30 to see if it would help with the inflammation so that maybe I could reduce my dosage.

 

I also worry that because of the NSAIDs, that I'm not really going to be able to heal any intestinal damage that might be affecting things by doing the Whole30. I'm on day 21, and my inflammation is as bad as it always has been. I am sleeping much better and do have other positive effects to report, but I had hoped that the joint pain would get better.

 

I also have hypothyroidism, not sure if that matters.

 

Anyone else experienced anything like this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you eat or take curcumin?  Turmeric...

 

Prescription meds sure must complicate the matter.  I'm not here to offer anything but support.  I hope you find some answers.

 

 Personally, I'm not sure if I would undertake both a medication holiday (NSAIDS included) plus the Whole30 at the same time.  Finish the Whole30 with 100% compliance and then address reducing the NSAIDS and adding anti-inflammatory foods/eliminating pro-inflammatory foods and spices (like turmeric) after you have the Whole30 part down solid.  Extend the Whole30 concept beyond 30 days, too, since I've seen quite a few 'experts' say it takes 6 weeks to clear the system (I have a child with Autism and one of the underlying theories for symptoms is chronic inflammation).  It will probably become a permanent lifestyle change to some degree.  Dietary advice is all over the board:  even going total anti-Paleo and avoiding animal proteins.  At the minimum, I would make sure my animal protein is grass fed to reduce your Omega 6 intake and get those healthy Omega3s.

 

Adding a high quality probiotic is in your best interest:  opt for something multi-strain with counts in the Billions.  I'm not sure where that falls on the W30 compliance mantra since many are grown in a dairy environment.  Can also try drinking (or making) kombucha without added sugars or raw kimchi vegetables.  There is a coconut water kefir that is awesome, but sadly it contains stevia.  I wish they would stop sweetening coconut water drinks.  

 

I guess I couldn't stop myself from offering advice.  I'm bad that way.  Let me add that I am just a mom that has spent a decade trying to figure out my son's regressive Autism... I am nowhere near a professional.   :mellow:

 

In the past, I have used a product called Enhansa with my son.  I did not see drastic behavioral changes, so I opted to spend less money and use some OTC curcumin from the Vitamin Shoppe here in town.  I am considering going back...

 

http://leesilsby.com/benefits-of-enhansa-for-arthritis

 

There is a strong relationship between hypothyroidism and arthritis.  Arthritis can be just a symptom of an underlying illness like hypo-.  A vigilant MD should pay attention to that relationship.  Have you considered using a naturopath in conjunction with your MD?  He (MD) will probably hate it.  lol

 

Good luck to you.  I see more and more young adults with autoimmune diseases and it saddens me.  One last (controversial) idea:  avoid unnecessary vaccines like the annual flu shot.  Vaccines operate on the premise that you will have an appropriate immune response.  You already have a body that is eliciting an inappropriate immune response, and some worry that vaccines will just induce further inflammatory reaction.  I know that will ruffle some feathers big time so I say just to do some more investigation on your own if that interests you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the response, I appreciate it.

 

For now I'm trying to cut back to one dose daily of the anti-inflammatory, and I'll see how that goes. I have international travel coming up next week, to Africa, to it's to going to be easy to stay 100% compliant. That said, I think I'll be able to avoid gluten and dairy pretty well...it's the other things that might be harder.

 

It would be helpful if people have recommendations for "high quality" probiotics - I don't really know what brands are good and which ones aren't. I'll look into curcumin - I've heard good things about that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have RA, and when I started Whole30 I was on NSAIDs, prednisone, methotrexate, and hydroxychloroquine. I was able to get off the NSAIDS by subbing fish oil (2400 mg 2x a day) and 4 curcumin caps a day (I forget the dosage per capsule on that, but it's Doctor's Best, available through Amazon). I agree with you--I was afraid my gut wouldn't heal if I kept taking the NSAIDs, so I was really motivated to get off them. I did the full 90 days with the AIP, and was able to also get off prednisone (been trying to get off that for years). I too still have joint pain, but my overall inflammation level is much reduced. I still take the other 2 meds, but I'm sticking with eating Whole30-compliant indefinitely to see how far I can go toward freedom from these drugs. Good luck! I hope you don't end up on Enbrel or other scary drug, but honestly, if the choice is between something like Enbrel and being crazy from pain all the time, do what you have to do. I definitely have a love/hate relationship with my methotrexate  :P .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have arthritis and I'm now NSAID free (yay!), I still take prednisone from time to time, but not for arthritis.

 

I'm starting to suspect nightshade elimination will reduce my arthritis further, although it's much better since going grain free (wheat & corn free in particular). Dairy does seem to flare my arthritis, but some kinds more than others (milk, cream, yoghurt).

 

I've found dairy-free live bacteria probiotics in capsules, ask your pharamcist whether they stock them or can get them in. Mine have to live in the fridge, so only shops with fridges stock them. They clearly say Dairy Free on the front. These are also awesome for making coconut yoghurt! :D

 

Honestly, if it's bad enough that they're looking to increase medication, you may want to consider the AIP (Auto Immune) W30 protocol first (rather than a W30) and skip the NSAIDs altogether to maximise gut healing (leaky gut). AIP is stricter and eliminates much more (nightshades, eggs too I think), but you may have a dramatic reduction in inflammation. If you don't on AIP, most likely you'll need to increase medication. There are lots of recipe books and blogs about AIP.

 

If you haven't read it already, you might want to read this article which talks about hypothyroidism and autoimmune issues http://chriskresser.com/the-most-important-thing-you-may-not-know-about-hypothyroidism

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have arthritis in my low back, bulged discs, nerve pain, and an SI joint injury. I can't get through my days and be functional without medication and Celebrex. I am prescribed more things like a muscle relaxer, nerve pain killer, and something to help me sleep through pain but I seriously avoid them. When I'm doing well with being paleo, active, and on point about being gluten free, I feel way better. Most days I'm able to cut my painkillers in half and avoid the others meds (Celebrex is a must though). If you haven't cleaned up your diet before, I think you will be surprised at the affect it has on your inflammation. It took me a couple weeks of changing my diet to notice the difference but it's pretty amazing how much food affects our pain level, inflammation, and muscle spasms (these are killing me lately since the holidays have ruined my diet! Ugh!). I guess I'm not really offering any advice, but I literally feel your pain and think we will both really benefit from this! I know how frustrating SI joint pain is. Godspeed!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oops, I missed that you said your on day 21. I hope that your inflammation does decrease eventually and I'm sorry it hasn't helped yet. I also take a lot of fish oil, msm, spiralina, and have a compound (prescription) that I rub on the most painful areas. I've been looking into more anti inflammatory foods like turmeric and ginger and try to incorporate them in my diet. Yoga has also helped me work through the most difficult and painful times. I know what you mean about being stiff... Sometimes I feel like the tin man without any oil. I can hardly walk or stand up straight. My sleep sucks, I can't lay on my left hip for long. Anyway, enough complaining, stick with it and stay positive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been taking Mobic for months for a degenerating hip(lowest dose). I started W30 in April and it took a couple months to feel the difference in the hip so I could up my activity level(I do triathlons)-I am certainly not where I was last year but I am better than I was  earlier this year. I take lots of omega 3's, glucosamine. I have tried turmeric and green lipped mussel and the jury is still out for those. I have been "bad" this past week gaining 5 pounds in the process. Hip pain back up but I am back in the saddle food wise and what a relief for me. It seems my anxiety level goes up when I am off plan-I had fun and enjoyed the junk but not worth the pain(mentally and physically). The MAIN reason I started this plan was to be able to run with my hip and I was desperate. So happy to have stumbled across this as it is a life saver(for me a quality of life saver)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi again everyone. Just thought I'd check in again and give a quick update. I managed to stop taking my NSAIDs for the last week of my Whole30 and remained off them for a couple weeks after I completed my Whole30 - I managed the pain pretty well with curcumin. My reintroductions did not go well because I was traveling for three weeks overseas, I couldn't control what I was eating, and I had a major flare up at Thanksgiving. Since then I've been managing with a combination of curcumin and the NSAIDs, only taking the NSAIDs every couple of days if I have a lot of pain, and I've been avoiding gluten. That in itself is a big win - I've never been able to skip doses without really feeling it.

 

Anyway, I'm planning to do another Whole30 and I noticed that my curcumin has rice powder in it. I looked on Amazon and can't find any that don't have rice powder or other non-compliant ingredients. Does anyone know of a compliant brand?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia quite a few years ago and just ignored it as best I could for as long as I could. Then about 5 years ago my back and hips got so stiff and painful I could hardly get out of bed and couldn't stand in one place more than about 30 seconds. I went to my rheumatologist and he prescribed the diclofenac and it has been a life-saver for me. I make sure I never take the diclofenac unless I'm eating a meal, hoping that will help protect my gut. So far, so good. I try to take only 1 a day and sometimes, if I am feeling pretty good, I don't take one with my other meds in the morning, just stick a pill in my pocket so I'll have it at work if I feel I really need it. I am on day 30 of my Whole30 and am feeling lots better in some ways, but my aches and pains and chronic fatigue feel much the same. I realize with my medical issues and age (I just turned 65) that it's going to turn out to be a Whole45 or Whole 60.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CG - there's an old post which has a mentioned brand here: http://whole9life.com/2010/09/supplements-part-ii/%C2'>

 

For anyone still on NSAIDs, I spoke with my local chemist about these & permeability and he did not believe intestinal permeability would be prevented by consuming anything with a NSAID, but that it can protect from other NSAID side effects.

 

A lot of medications contain NSAID components, so for anyone with ongoing inflammation or leaky gut, going NSAID free is a good long term goal to discuss with doctors, even if it's not practical in the short term.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you need an Rx NSAID then you might ask your doctor if topical Voltaren Gel would be an option for you.  I personally use it because my gastro system can't tolerate NSAID's but I absolutely need them to deal with arthritis pain.  The topical option is a lifesaver. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, if you have hashi's and arthritis (me too!), then you should try the AIP protocol. NASIDS can cause leaky gut, which can excerbate inflammation. I have hashi's and had a lot of joint pain. I did the AIP and found that eggs were a big trigger for joint pain. I also don't eat nightshades, I had a sensitivity to them since I was a child.

 

I only take tylenol now, and not that much. I do take epsom salt baths and use Blue Emu, which helps. I also use a lot of tumeric in my food.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good Morning-New to the whole30-on day 3 and finding it pretty easy so far and not too different from Paleo.  I'm trying it because I have polymyalgia rheumatica(and I'm only 53)...dealing with it for 9 months now.  The reason I'm posting is to share my treatment choice with you.  Our medical industry is terrible with any autoimmune disorder when it comes to diagnosis and treatment.  I was terrified at the thought of prednisone....I am currently on a low dose-long term treatment of antibiotics.  Won't go into too much detail but you ladies need to research this treatment-it's cheaper and definately easier on your body. The trick is to find a doctor that will listen to you.  I encourage you all to go to www.roadback.org  It's full of wonderful testimonials and volunteers are awesome in providing you lists of doctors that follow the antibiotic protocol.  I have an excellent one in CHattanooga-it's an hour and a half drive for me but def worth it:)  I learned about the protocol from a dear friend of mine that went through the same thing a decade ago and pretty much had to find her own cure(she's an RN)...Please-do your research on this.  I have been on the therapy for 2 months now and it's awesome.  Before I started it I could hardly move. It came on so suddenly and within months I was a crying nervous wreck from the pain.  All over pain but worse in the hips and legs...couldn't hardly function and my doctor was absolutely no help.  Anyway-after reading the posts I felt I had to share my experience-do your own research please:)  If anyone wants more info feel free to email me [email protected]   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also have back pain and sciatic pain. It has taken me 5.5 years to reduce my pain and stop all my pain meds. On my last whole30 the only benefit I noticed was that my acid reflux dissapeared. After my whole30 I started eating some yogurt, sugar and sprouted wheat and I noticed my sciatic pain was returning. I am also doing different workouts which can also add to my pain. I have been gluten and mostly dairy free for 3 years. 30 days may not be enough for your body to heal. I have many friends who are gluten free and they felt amazing after 2 weeks. I have never felt amazing. I feel slightly better eating gluten free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a quick update on my arthritis progress. My biggest wins were from getting rid of grains (not just wheat) and dairy. Going without these for a long time and I forget now that I used to suffer so much, it's really something that's just gone now.

 

Keep on tweaking until you find what works :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have bone-on-bone knee pain and I'm seeking non-surgical pain relief.  Has anyone else had this type of osteoarthritis?  I'm not sure how OA is different than RA, but I've seen a number of testimonials from people who've had success in reducing RA pain with Whole30.  I'm on day 9 of my first W30, but not experiencing any changes (except slight lower blood glucose numbers, which is great).  Can anyone share whether they've had reduced knee pain with Whole30?  Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am new to Whole 30 forum - and just starting my third week on my first Whole 30.  Being very compliant, I stopped taking my meloxican (mobic) and right away developed torticollis - wry neck.  It was so painful I had to see a chiropractor, who helped me right away and suggested I should probably go back on the mobic.  I had not had to take it daily until this past winter, when I noticed a lot of arthritic cracking and pain in my neck.  I started taking it daily (prior to W-30) and got immediate relief. When I got the stiff neck, I tried tylenol, but it wasn't touching the neck pain.  I think It should be noted that going off everything at once and doing W-30 may result in some issues for people who have health conditions. Getting off N-SAIDS would be a good ultimate goal, but some arthritis sufferers should do this only after consulting with their doctor. NSAIDS also tend to promote a slight weight gain.  I thought about going back on my curcumin (turmeric) but it had something prohibitied in it. (What doesn't)?  I also developed severe muscle cramps, and had to increase my magnesium, and even ordered some electrolytes. I have done detox before, and this happend then, so I feel that this program is wonderful and a very healthy option, but folks need to be aware that it is a detox of sorts, and there can be side effects that can be very painful.  The cramping has stopped, and I learned not to overdo it while in the beginning.  Short story:   this is working very well for me - so tempted to get on the scale, but I am resisting!  Just wondering if anyone else has remained on NSAIDS, and if so, how did the plan work for you? I'm concerned that I may undo all the good I have done, but I am determined to continue. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have RA, but I have another autoimmune inflammatory illness (u.c). For me, 30 days was enough to feel that this was the start of something magical, but not enough to stop all medication and declare myself cured.

For metabolic effects like insulin resistance it makes sense that results happen in 30 days, but autoimmune inflammation is sloooow. I have been eating this way more or less for 10 months now and I just reduced my immunosuppressants by 25%. I feel a lot better, my lab tests are better but I want to give my body time to heal and not risk aggregating the system with a flare. Just my thoughts on immune systems and patience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Baydreamer - I was recommended a double knee reconstruction and found sports physiotherapy (the kind for athletes, which I'm not lol) and going grain and dairy free has been great. If you have permanent damage, some can be mitigated by building muscle to hold things together (my knees caps are held in place with muscle now, but if I jump off any high ledges they probably won't hold).

 

Dr Jack Kruse (who isn't to everyone's taste) also recommends non-skeletal meats (especially things like oysters) to help boost healing.

 

I found out recently I have severe genetic vitamin deficiencies which have probably contributed to a lot of my joint and health problems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re. curcumin, it is an extract of turmeric, an indian cooking spice. It should be easy to find turmeric without any fillers. It's the turmeric that's used in traditional medicines, not the extract. Taking the spice itself will change the dose you need though. 

 

Is curcumin good for pain relief from an injury, rather than a chronic condition, out of interest? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FYI - I was diagnosed as OA, but it looks like it was really gluten & dairy :)

 

Curcumin helps reduce inflammation, so if pain is inflammation increased or induced, it may help. Use curcumin under medical supervision, it is powerful and has side effects of it's own. Some medications should not be taken with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now