7 Important Rheumatoid Arthritis Lessons From Ghita’s RA Journey
In this podcast you’ll learn the following lessons:
1. You can still improve dramatically despite age and length of disease
2. It pays to get your blood tested
3. 99% of Rheumatologists and doctors are not your nutritional coaches
4. Pain is a great motivator
5. Improvements are normally very fast
6. Nobody exercises enough
7. “If it’s meant to be it’s up to me”.
Disclaimer – this podcast does not contain medical advice. Before making any changes to your diet, exercise and medicines you should consult with a licensed professional that will assess what is best for you and your unique health circumstances.
Thanks for tuning in for this Paddison Podcast episode!
Thanks also to the couple of 5 star reviews the show has received on iTunes – appreciate those, please pop over to iTunes and give us a 5 star review that’d be hugely appreciated.
Pleased to say the last Episode with Richard Matthews was our most popular it’s had over 2,000 downloads in under 5 day so it’s great to know that so many people are interested in learning more about gut bacteria and the underlying cause of Rheumatoid Arthritis and how to address RA from a natural point of view – I’ve just got an email back from Richard and I’m scheduling another call with him this week so he’ll be back on another episode very shortly for Part 2.
Today I want to read you a story. I thought that would be really nice. Remember how good was that when you used to be a kid when mum or dad would read you stories and you could snuggle up and know that everything was good and safe in the world. I used to love myself, I I love it and now with our little daughter Angelina I’m really enjoying reading her stories now and I remember how nice it is.
Now, those kind of stories we used to get read and the ones I read to Angelina obviously don’t involve crippling disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis – so some things change as we get older because that’s the story I’m going to read you today.
My favourite RA stories are the ones of recovery and how people have turned their lives around – and I’m pretty confident that I hear more of those stories than other doctor or specialised doctor on the planet. That’s not arrogance or misplaced confidence – that is reality because I specifically work towards getting people well by healing the digestive system. But anyways, today it’s not actually one of those stories of recovery. This is a story of someone who is a work in progress, who is still in the midst of her healing path – this story is Ghita’s story. I’ve have learned her story because she has just joined our Paddison Program Forum and one thing that most members do when they join is jot down their RA story so far. Where they’re up to, what’s worked, what hasn’t worked, where they’re currently at and what med’s they’re on and so on – and then a lot of the other members show them some love and welcome them and it’s just a lovely warm way to welcome every new person when they join.
When I read Ghita’s story the other day I smiled constantly throughout it because I saw so many common mistakes, or I prefer to say lessons, that she discovered, that so many people make that I thought would be wonderful to share with you. That way, you can be reminded of or made aware of those lessons so that you can avoid them yourself.
So I got the green light from Ghita to share her story. So I want to read you this story and I want to jump in along the way to give a short lesson at various points and then we can move on again with the story? I hope that sound good? I can picture your head nodding. So let’s get into it.
THIS IS GHITA’S STORY
Once upon a time…No.
“I have had RA for probably about 5-6 years. I didn’t know what it was just that my joints ached a lot and I had lost all the ‘spring’ in my step. Going upstairs was becoming agonisingly painful and I was finding that doing simple things like turning the taps on was becoming difficult, getting dressed was becoming tricky, jumping out of bed was not happening any more… we’ve all been through this or similar!
My best friend has had RA for over 40 years and have seen her sit with her cocktail of drugs and still feel like rubbish and in pain and some of her flare ups have had her immoveable for days if not weeks on end. Last year she was diagnosed with breast cancer. To have the mastectomy and chemo she had to come off all RA drugs for a month. She was very worried about doing this. Having recently attending a course on diet and health and seen the effects that an alkaline diet had on others I suggested that she and I look at an alkaline diet and if she did it I would support her and do it with her. It was from March and so I had a plant based diet for the summer. (yes I did cheat a bit!). I have a boat and so I sail a lot and it was very noticeable that I seemed to be doing a great deal more and with less pain. The cheating came from when we caught fresh mackerel – it seemed so good to eat it straight from the sea!
As Chris’ chemo finished, she too added fish. Over the winter I added other stuff to my diet and notably dairy. Chris did not, and she is still off ALL her medication. How interesting (!) my pain increased. Still I did not make the connection (doh!)”.
LESSON 1 – It doesn’t matter how long you have had the disease. You can still heal dramatically. It doesn’t matter how old you are. You can still improve dramatically. Yes it helps if you’re younger and yes it helps if you haven’t had the disease very long and your joints aren’t already damaged (especially from the point of view of being able to use exercise strategies – we discussed Bikram in an earlier podcast but also other specific joint excercies that I’ve made videos about and those ones are able to be done easily by people when they’re at the early few years of their disease ).
But what I’ve found plays an even bigger role as to the responsiveness of the gut – is the specific drugs that you’ve been on and for how long. Some of the drugs do more damage to your gut than the worst diet ever could – And the three drugs that I’m seeing that make the path back the hardest seem to be people who have been taking prednisone, NSAID’s (or pain killers) and antibiotics for long periods. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense since the science tells us that prednisone depletes the mucosal lining on the gut wall, which is critical to not just house our healthy bacteria but for absorption of nutrients. So with a depleted mucosal layer the immune system has little chance of normalisation and it’s easy to become malnourished even when consuming a lot of various foods – the NSAID’s cause more leaky gut (that’s a no brainer, we all should know that if you’ve been paying attention to any of the stuff I’ve been publishing for years) and the antibiotics simply wipe out your good bacteria like dropping an atomic bomb into a city of innocent civilians and we know that it can take weeks or months to replenish healthy bacteria even after a 5 day dose of antibiotics. And I know that there are justifications, and reasons, and other treatment approaches and meetings with doctors that have led to the use of these particular drugs – and they do serve a purpose and for many people may an important role to play – so this doesn’t mean you should stop taking these drugs – I’m simply saying that I feel that whilst on those drugs in particular it’s 2 steps forward and 2 steps backwards and that’s one of the reasons why I had to set up the online forum because trying to help people heal whilst on those drugs was so hard when I used to do it via email customer support that we needed an easy ongoing discussion format where we could communicate each day PLUS I wanted input from others who had gotten off those drugs who had gotten off these drugs so they could contribute with their experiences – which they have done and that’s why it’s so awesome.
GHITA’S STORY CONTINUED…
“My wrists, hands, legs and back began to hurt more and more so I took myself off to a naturopath and osteopath; who was shocked at quite how lightly he touched me before I hit the roof! He packed me off to my ‘regular’ doctor who tested me for RF and CCP and CRP… My CRP was 20 but a much stronger indication… my CCP was over 500! (normal is under 20 and up to 60 is starting to give cause for concern)”
LESSON 2 – It pays to get your blood tested. You must get your blood tested monthly. I have a whole video on this on youtube – in fact I’ll just embed it with the transcription of this podcast on the show notes about why you have to be getting your blood tested on a regular basis. The fundamentals of this are that when you’re healing the pain moves around in your body. You need a quantitative measure each month so that you can see how you’re tracking. There’s more to it so watch the video where I cover it in detail.
GHITA’S STORY CONTINUED…
“So I was official diagnosed with RA earlier this year and after the consultant had done all the measurements, blood tests, scans, physio appts and xrays; he said I was now going to talk to the nurse about all the medications I would be prescribed. Recalling Chris’s (my friend’s) basket of drugs and the effect they actually had; I said to save the NHS some money and no thanks I would do this via diet and exercise. He laughed and said that there was no cure and drugs for the rest of my life was the only route available to me”.
LESSON 3 – 99% of Rheumatologists and doctors are not your nutritional coaches. Rheumatologist and doctors can be outstanding at matching drugs to disease. But when all you have is a hammer everything you see looks like a nail. There are 1% of medical practitioners who do understand the importance of dietary, supplementary and exercise influences on RA and are promoting plant based diet to patients because they are now seeing what works – and that is fantastic and I’m hoping to get some Rheumatologists who do this on this show in coming episodes. And I’m already in touch with a couple of them so more on that soon.
Here’s a short list of some good GP’s/Rheumatologists who will work with you on the appropriate diet in conjunction with sensible medication use:
Dr Klaper – California, USA
Dr Heubner (Rheumatologist) – Illinois, USA
Dr McDougall – California, USA
Dr Nisha Manek (Rheumatologist) – California, USA
Dr Jim Burtouch (Rheumatologist) – Sydney, Australia
Please tell them I sent you 🙂 They’ll know what you’ve come to learn from me and therefore your level of understanding of this disease.
I hope to get some of them on this podcast soon.
GHITA’S STORY CONTINUED…
“Three days later I went to see my mum for her birthday and took her out for a cream tea and when I got home I felt very sore and consoled myself with some cheese on toast! The next morning (absolute AGONY) it took me 2 hours just to get out of bed (I was on my own as my husband was working away) I then had to go to my friend who lived 100 yards away to help me finish getting dressed. It took me 25 mins to walk to her. It was probably the worst day of my life healthwise. I just cried with pain and frustration. That did it!!!! It finally really dawned on me that I was what I ate and I was really suffering the consequences of my food from the previous day and long before that”.
LESSON 4 – Pain is a great motivator. Unfortunately we all wait until we are in agony before we take positive action. Don’t be that person. This disease is progressive and aggressive. It doesn’t just turn itself off. It needs to be slowly extinguished and you can’t extinguish a fire if you keep throwing gasoline on it every day. And there’s no bigger gasoline than cheese.
GHITA’S STORY CONTINUED…
“So I spent the next 48 hours on the internet researching everything I could abut natural remedies, cures and everything I could about RA. I found a lot of crackpot ideas from the ever hopefuls, extreme ideas about how to deal with it via praying to the sun and all sorts of stuff! Then I came across this guy, Clint Paddison who had the most chronic RA… started when he was 31 and progressed at a frightening rate. I watched a number of his videos on Youtube and decided I would invest in his program. They are really worth the time to watch… !!
A whole £50 or so for the Paddison Program for RA, about what you’d pay for a night out… to me it had to be worth it. Since I have been following the diet starting with how to clean out and repair the gut my pain levels went down to zero. I had almost no painkillers from about a week after I started”.
LESSON 5 – Improvements are normally very fast. Most people with RA have no idea that they just caused more of their own joint pain about 2-5 hours after their last meal and that the impact of their last meal plays a massive role as to how they currently feel. When you stop these sources of aggravation, you stop throwing gasoline on the fire, and you replace them with foods that heal the gut, it’s not uncommon to see 50% pain reductions in 1 week on the same exact medication levels. The path from that point onwards is to reintroduce more foods that can continue the healing process and expand the diversity of your meals until you have a broad, lovely, enjoyable diet that avoids all the nasties.
GHITA’S STORY CONTINUED…
“I noted that Clint strongly suggests Bikram yoga… I thought YOGA! He’s having a larf! I live in Plymouth (UK) and there is no Bikram or hot yoga down here. However we have very good friends in Sussex and when visiting them I decided to go to try it… after 3 sessions … OMG what a difference! Then of course I came home … so my naturopath suggested that in the absence of hot yoga I try a sauna, which I do – and I do a lot of exercises in there 🙂 I went to Crete on holiday and I felt wonderful! I even managed to do a long walk, SIX miles! Oh that felt good, I was absolutely shattered when I got back but oh so happy!”
LESSON 6 – Nobody exercises enough. I encourage people to think like they’re becoming an athlete. Because most of us are so far from becoming an athlete but the thought of it does seem to trigger a feeling of the discipline, the mindset, the feeling that we used to have when we could run as a kid and play sports and be competitive with our bodies. I want that thought and those feelings in peoples bodies to get them to yoga, get them to the gym, get them into the pool and move their bodies because the waste system, the lymphatic system, absolutely have movement to work – it doesn’t work like bloodflow in the body which happens automatically – you have to have the movement. And with RA we have a lot of waste so we need a lot of movement every day.
GHITA’S STORY CONTINUED…
“Then of course comes complacency… Feeling loads better I started to slip on the diet, crisps… yeah, ok but they have some oil on them. Moving house, no fridge, cant find plates etc, so ending up by having rice and veggies from the chinese, (cooked in oil)… then thinking ‘get back on track’ … well I have learnt my lesson… no more straying… last the few days after that was agony.
Back on the diet with a vengeance and there is still no Bikram here but there is about 1.5 hour drive away. So I’m signing up for that. I am 2 stones lighter since starting the programme and feeling better after only 4 days ‘back on track’. HOT yoga makes your lymphatic work much more efficiently and drives the healthy blood back into your joints, so I am also working on the lymphatic system by using a rebounder daily. I am fortunate that I don’t have to get myself off the drugs; but as my friend Chris’s time has shown… it can be done and relatively quickly”.[Clint’s note – Now I just want to add a comment, not a lesson here, to soften that last statement – not everyone can get off drugs, remember that this is one of the worst diseases in the world and sometimes the body cannot get the blood inflammation readings down to being consistently normal without some ongoing medical assistance. But, for a lot of people, improving on the inside so as to therefore require simply less medical drugs to protect their joints long term and to keep their pain levels to a minimum is a still huge win if they’ve been on a cocktail of drugs that are giving them terrible side affects and are giving them only partial relief]
“The rheumatologist has agreed to see me to monitor my bloods on a monthly basis (look at the money I am saving the NHS with no drugs!) I have also been offered (and accepted) the hydrotherapy and physio being offered. once I can get the Bikram under way – I hope that I may be able to drop it. On the up side the physio guy had never heard of Bikram and is very keen to follow this through… It would be good if he can get this going in the hospital!
This is not a particularly easy diet to do to start with; I keep telling myself it does get easier! I love cooking or should I say food creation; and there are hundreds of recipes out there online to use. Looking up plant based recipes… raw food recipes…and of course Clint and Melissa have all of their great recipes available to us.
I have finally realised that the best roast dinner in the world, the best chinese roast pork or even the best cheese on toast (!) simply CANNOT taste as good as a pain free day!
You ARE what you eat…”
END OF GHITA’S STORY
LESSON 7 – Nobody else can do this for you. How many people can you count right now that really deep down are desperate for you to get well? Do you really think your doctor is praying each night that you’ll get well? Do you really think your friends are deep down bothered by the outcome of your disease? I dunno, but for me I had my wife Melissa who lost sleep most nights worried about what our future would bring. And my parents would be very concerned also – but mostly people don’t understand and it’s just too complicated, or too foreign or too uncomfortable for them to think about so they just let you do what you do. And mostly what you do is suffer like I did. So we are always going to have pain in life – it’s unavoidable. So we can choose from the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. I like the phrase ‘if it’s meant to be, it’s up to me’.
So I want to thank Ghita for allowing me to share her story which I hope you enjoyed listening to, and I encourage you to take a positive step with your RA today whatever that might be for you. If you’re not a Paddison Program customer I obviously encourage that it’s the very best way that I can help you move forward from here, and I hope you’ll also become part of our Community Forum where I can get move involved with your healing journey and help guide you with your healing choices. Sending wellness and happy healing.