Healing Rheumatoid Arthritis with a Plant Based Diet

Healing RA with plant-based diets with Somerset

Somerset ThumbThis podcast does not constitute medical advice. All changes surrounding medications, diet, and exercise should be made in consultation with a professional who can assess your unique health circumstances.

Listen to the episode here:

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Clint: Welcome back to the Paddison Program Podcast. We’ve got a special guest today who’s got an amazing story to tell about her progress off the medications with her rheumatoid arthritis. Now she’s pain-free, drug-free, and back to maximum energy. Her name is Somerset. Welcome to this episode.

Somerset: Hi there, Clint.

Clint: Now, you have just given me a real quick summary offline, before we started recording here, about your story. Let’s start with that. Then we’ll move on to what medications you were put on and then how on Earth did you end up, now 12 months, off medications and no pain. It’s quite the story and a very quick transition as well, a very quick healing story. So I’m curious to get all the details. So why don’t you take us back to when it all began, when you first got diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

Somerset: Okay. So it was six years ago, coming up now this April. I was 27 years old, had two young children, and it started in my left hand. I was a primary school teacher. My left knuckle was really painful. I’d been to the doctor six months before, and they said, “Oh, yeah. It’s fine. It’s repetitive strain injury.” Then I just . . . I was struggling with poppers and nappies and all sorts. So I took myself back to the doctor’s, and I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, on the back of an anti-CCP blood test.

Clint: Okay.

Somerset: Then I was referred to my local rheumatology department and managed to see them quite quickly, actually. So I was diagnosed in April, and I saw them by the end of May and quickly treated on Sulfasalazine, which I took for two weeks, but it completely depleted my white blood cells, my nutri-fill counts. So I had to come off of that immediately. Then I was treated with Hydroxychloroquine, and then a discussion was happening about Methotrexate. Then yeah, so I was put on Methotrexate tablets, folic acid, and I was on the Hydroxychloroquine as well.

Very quickly, after every appointment, it was having to be increased. The tablets were having to be increased, until the point that I was injecting the Methotrexate weekly. So I was on 20 milligrams a week, self-injecting. Then that ended up not helping with my symptoms either. So I was put on for the drug, the biologic drug, Cimzia. Now, they . . . This is what the rheumatologist actually said to me, because you have to hit certain criteria to get the Cimzia, to get the funding. She said, “Right. We’re gonna have to keep you in pain, so that your scores, your blood scores, are right to hit the criteria for the Cimzia.”

At that point, I just broke down in tears. I was really struggling. I was unable to climb the stairs at night, really struggling with marking all the books at school, doing basic daily tasks. So yet, I was kept in pain. I was struggling a lot, but I managed to get the funding for the Cimzia. So Healthcare at Home, which was the company that was delivering it to me, they came around, taught me how to inject. So I was injecting that, fortnightly.

Now that, to me, was an amazing drug because, within two weeks, my symptoms were getting better. So I was happy. I was well-managed. I was getting back on top of things. Life was getting back to normal. So it was January, two years ago, that I had a conversation with my Pilates teacher, who is more of a friend now. She said, “Well, this is amazing that you’re feeling well and everything. But what are you gonna do now?” I said, “What do you mean?” She said, “Well, you can’t be on all this medication, as much as you are, for the rest of your life.” I did have that niggle in the back of my head, that it’s a chemo drug, the Methotrexate, and it’s very toxic.

Yeah, I was only . . . What am I now? I’m 33 now. So I was 31. Yeah, we just came up with a plan that, “Wouldn’t it be great to try and reduce them?” I came away, completely scared, thinking, “Well, I can’t reduce and then flare up. What am I going to do?” So I started to research how to heal my body naturally. So I went on the Internet, found . . . I didn’t come across the Paddison Program straightaway, but I did find out lots of things about eating well, plant-based diets, that was the key for me, and gut health. I read so much information about gut health, healing the gut, and that was where this journey began.

So two years on, I’m now off all medications. I saw my rheumatologist back in December, December just gone. My blood tests were perfect, and she signed me off in the hope that we’d never have to go back for any problems. So yeah, I’m in a really good place right now, and all down to a plant-based diet.

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Clint: Well, there you go. You’ve just covered an enormous amount of turmoil and adventure and ups and downs, all in about a five to 10-minute summary. So that’s awesome. I can tell you’re involved with teaching because you are able to tell a great story. So thank you for that. That’s really great. Let’s sort of chunk it down a little bit. I’ve got some questions that I’ve noted here as you were talking, first of all, some comments.

First of all, I think this is a good example of how drugs can play such a varied role, from person to person, and how one person’s success with one drug can be quite the opposite story for the next person. Your experience with Sulfasalazine, within two weeks, your white blood count dangerously low. That’s the sort of stuff that can happen. Then you’ve had little success with the Methotrexate, which is obviously a sort of bread-and-butter drug for RA. Then you’ve gone on the Cimzia, and you’ve had great success with that.

So you’ve really sort of had a mixed bag and mixed results with these drugs. I think that illustrates what can happen in the varying effectiveness of these drugs, person to person. So that really struck me as interesting. Do you remember your C reactive protein level when you were first diagnosed?

Somerset: Yes, I had . . . It was only slightly high CRP of 14.

Clint: Okay. Okay. Yep. In the UK, sometimes, that’s milligrams per deciliter though. Do you remember if it’s milligrams per liter? Or milligrams per deciliter?

Somerset: Oh, I don’t know. I’m not sure.

Clint: Okay. Okay. Not to worry. Well, it was 14 milligrams per deciliter than. It’s a tremendously high amount. If it’s 14 milligrams per liter, then it’s bad, but it’s nothing we don’t see commonly with people with this disease.

Somerset: Right.

Clint: Okay. So it was elevated. But at that point, it wasn’t absolutely ridiculous. Then it just worsened from there. At what point did you start learning about the benefits of healing the gut? Who were some of the people that you learned from, that listeners might be interested to hear about?

Somerset: Well, I found a clinic in this country, someone called Margaret Hills, who had rheumatoid arthritis. She’s opened a clinic in England, and she’s not alive now, but her daughter’s taken on the clinic and everything. So she . . . You can go up there and visit them or . . . It’s too far for me, but we started having telephone chats and emails. She didn’t recommend a plant-based diet. So I took as much information from  her as I could, and then went away and researched some more.

So there’s not one person I could say that I took everything from and followed them 100%, bearing in mind I hadn’t discovered you yet. So I also found Kris Carr’s book, “Crazy, Sexy Diet.”

Clint: Yep.

Somerset: Totally inspirational woman. Got her cookbook as well. Yeah. So I think online, it was just scientific evidence really that I found, not just one person. I couldn’t really name any names, but just everything pointed towards the importance of gut health, not just for rheumatoid arthritis, but for so many diseases in the body.

Clint: Yes, most definitely.

Somerset: Yeah.

Clint: My wife and I are familiar with Kris Carr’s work. She’s got “Crazy, Sexy Diet” and also the cookbook here in the house.

Somerset: Yeah.

Clint: So we’ve pulled it out over the years and also referred to some of her recipes, and also, Mel found some of her information useful as well. Mel’s just put together another program for pregnancy, plant-based pregnancy. So we’re about to release that.

Somerset: Oh, brilliant.

Clint: So Kris Carr’s stuff was useful in helping to act as a reference for some of that as well. So yeah. Okay. Okay. That’s great. Similar story to me too. Although I just had Dr. McDugle [SP] on a podcast recently, and he and I spoke, and I certainly give him a lot of credit with a lot of his work towards being one of the most influential people, from my perspective, of who helped me, but certainly wasn’t the only one. Like you, I took information from multiple sources and eventually found, with also my own trial and error, what worked best and what worked for me.

So far, from what you’re describing, we’ve had, however, the exact same solution, even though we found information through different sources. So how did you . . . I have a 30-minute video on how to get off Methotrexate, for clients, in my program. But I’m curious. How did your doctor work with you to come off the Methotrexate? First of all, what did they say when you first said you want to try and get off the drugs? Just how did you go about this process of coming off the medications with your doctor?

Somerset: Well, I was a little bit naughty. I didn’t actually tell them what I was doing because I knew what their reaction would be. Every single appointment, I used to say to them, “So what can I do to help myself? Is there anything I can do? Anything diet-related?” I’d be dismissed every single time, and they would say, “Well, there’s no evidence in it, but you can try a Mediterranean diet,” and I’d come away a bit like, “Uh.” So there wasn’t really any support in trying to reduce or anything like that.

So I changed my diet. I just did it myself, really. It wasn’t until . . . I think it was February. It wasn’t until April/May time that my body seemed to start rejecting the Methotrexate, because I had to go and have blood tests quite often to check my nutri-fill counts, because in the past, I had a few problems where I had to stop the Methotrexate, then start again, stop, start.

But by the April/May, my blood tests were showing that my nutri-fill count was getting pretty low again, and I was teaching at the time. I had the children as well and illnesses and colds and all that going around. So I had to be quite careful. It was then that I said to my nurse, “Well, do I need to stop and start it again? Do I need to take a break and wait and see what my blood test says with my nutri-fill count, see if it goes up again?” She was like, “Yeah, I think we should just take a little break and then restart and then take a break and restart.”

It was then that I said to her, “Do you think it could be anything to do with what I’m doing?” She said, “Well, what are you doing?” I said, “Well, since February, I’ve changed my diet. I’ve cut this, this, this, this, this out. I’m completely plant-based.” She said, “Oh. Oh, I doubt it. I don’t think it will be anything to do with that.” So my nurse knew at the time, but not my rheumatologist.

Clint: Okay.

Somerset: Then when it came to July, I was having to stop it again. I then had the guts to say to her . . . I was starting to feel better and full of energy and everything. The fatigue from the Methotrexate . . . I didn’t mention that earlier. It was just awful. You know when you say to someone, “I’m really tired,” but really they’ve got no idea what tired fatigue is like. I couldn’t get through the day without having a nap on the [inaudible:0[0:13:57], which, with two  young children, was almost impossible, or I’d have to just close [inaudible:0[0:14:05] in the front room, put the tele on. They would set up all their toys on the floor, and mommy’s having a nap.

Clint: Yeah.

Somerset: So those symptoms were going. it came to a point in July, and she said, “Right. You need to stop it again for a few weeks, just to get your nutri-fills back up.” A few weeks had passed, and I called her, and I said, “I’m not gonna go back on the Methotrexate because I don’t feel like my body needs it anymore.” She was like, “Right. Okay.” I went in to see her and talked more about what I’m doing, and then, at that point, she said, “Right. That’s fine. I’m gonna support you in that decision,” and that was where we went.

So I carried on with the Cimzia, and we had the conversation that, eventually, I’d like to spread out my Cimzia injections as well. So instead of them being fortnightly, if I continued to feel better, I’d like to spread them out to three-weekly and see how that goes, then four-weekly, and that’s the conversation we had. I had her on the side. So that was brilliant.

Clint: So I think . . . Let me just jump in there. I just want to clarify and make comment on a couple of things.

Somerset: Yeah.

Clint: I think part of your success here has come down to the fact that you’ve actually sort of, I want to use a different word, but undermined the doctor or the rheumatologist because you’ve been working with a nurse who isn’t sort of the prime stakeholder in your health. Right? She works for the . . .

Somerset: Yeah.

Clint: Yeah. So what you’ve done is you’ve spoken to . . . You’ve kind of bypassed getting approval, which you may never have gotten. I think that although this isn’t something that . . . I don’t think you or I even endorse, but it’s just something that . . . Just how it came about, you saw a crack or a window of opportunity, and you went with it. That’s just how it unfolded. So that’s been really interesting because people who I work with in my community forum . . . There’s so much head-butting, not all the time, but with a lot of doctors who just refuse to even engage in discussions of lowering meds and find it offensive because, “How dare you suggest that the treatment I’ve put you on isn’t the one that you need to be on forever.” I mean, they can become offended by it. You avoided a lot of that personal conflict and that uncomfortableness, which can really deter people from making the changes that they would like to at least explore.

Somerset: Yes.

Clint: Then with regards to fatigue, I describe the fatigue that I had on Methotrexate as I was a walking zombie. So I was physically alive, but my life was dead. That’s how bad it felt for me on Methotrexate. I lost all that spark in my life. I felt like I used to be like a bubbly labrador kind of puffy, happy, kind of dog, if I was a dog. I just became the walking zombie. It’s a horrific side effect, that tiredness.

Somerset: Yeah.

Clint: Okay. So that brings us then up to . . . You are now working with your Cimzia, to extend the periods between injections. You would have been excited at this point. You would have been seeing that this is going somewhere.

Somerset: Yeah, totally. Yeah, I couldn’t believe, really, the success I was having. I think the reason why I was able to work with my nurse is because the setup over here is . . . You see your nurse in between seeing your rheumatologist. The rheumatologist, you only get to see really twice a year. Then in between, all your blood work and everything is looked at by your nurse. If anything serious gets flagged up, then they go and consult the rheumatologist. So I was quite lucky that, yeah, I wasn’t going behind her back as such, but my care was mostly coming from my nurse, which we had, we still got, a great relationship. I can call her up whenever I want if I need to, just for a chat, just for a little, yeah, just to see how each other are and everything. It’s brilliant.

Clint: That’s great. She’ll be calling you on a regular basis, saying, “And what should this person do? Because this is the situation they’re in, like you.”

Somerset: Yeah.

Clint: That seriously could happen.

Somerset: I’d love that. Yeah.

Clint: Well, what you’re doing right now . . . This podcast could reach over 5000 people. So what you’re doing right now is taking a great step forward and being someone who can inspire others. I’m sure that this is just the beginning. If that’s what you want to do, there’s so much need for people to hear good stories and to hear it from people who can explain themselves well and justify their decisions. You can see that you weren’t some kind of . . . This wasn’t some kind of . . . I can’t say that word. . . . some kind of crazy kind of haphazard or negligent approach. You were systematic about this, and you made sensible, calculated decisions in consultation with the nurse, and you did everything very, very carefully and sensibly.

Were you able to still get the healthcare to cover your monthly blood tests after coming off the Methotrexate? Or did they say that you can’t have them anymore because there was no need for them? Or do you need to have them as well, monthly, on Cimzia?

Somerset: No, I didn’t have as regular blood . . . Well, because my nutri-fills were low, I was still . . . I think I was still going monthly for blood tests, just to keep an eye on everything. Then they slowly went down to about three-monthly. Then once I was off the Cimzia in January . . . I can’t really recall how that happened. I think I just came to the point . . . I absolutely hated the time when it was to inject anywhere. I’m sitting on the edge of the bed, with the needle ready, poised, and just thinking . . . I just hated doing it.

It just got to the point where I thought, “I feel so well in myself.” I was off the Methotrexate from the July to the January. I just thought, “Maybe I just don’t need this one anymore.” I just decided not to do it anymore. I had the supply in my fridge. So there was my backup there, just in case. I had the conversation with my nurse, saying . . . It took me so long to get the funding for the Cimzia, but not to cancel it completely, but to have an agreement that I’m on a break from it and to keep the prescription open, but not be delivered until the September, because then . . . So it was winter, wasn’t it, over here. So it was January. They were like, “Oh,  yeah, but you might flare up because it’s cold.” I thought, “No, no. I’m gonna be fine.”

Then we got to spring, and I was fine. I was strong. Then it got to summer, and I had an appointment. They were like, “Are you still okay? You’re bloods are still fine.” Then I remember the July conversation. They said, “We’ll keep the prescription open until September. It’s gonna be autumn soon. Things might flare up again.” Autumn came, went, nothing. Then that was it. I had a phone call, eventually, from Healthcare At Home, saying, “You haven’t had a delivery recently. What should we do?” I just said, “I don’t need it anymore. I think we’re gonna cancel it.”

That just felt amazing to be able to say that and it be true, because up until that point, you’re just . . . You are on a little bit of a . . . You’re confident in what you’re doing, but in the back of your mind, you’re thinking, “Oh, what if something triggers it? What if you might take fall and it come back or whatever?” But yeah, now I can . . .

Clint: Well, when every time you . . . Sorry. When every time you call, and you have this conversation about this, you’ve got people on the other end who are the professionals [inaudible:0[0:22:09] saying to you, “It’s gonna happen again. You’re gonna get another flare. Be careful. Be careful.” Does that really fill you with confidence? Absolutely not.

Somerset: None. Not at all. No.

Clint: The sort of people that you want looking after you are people who are telling you that what you’re doing is scientifically backed to . . . scientifically supported to improve the quality of the micro biome and, in turn, this will directly improve the decision-making process of your immune system, and you will, consequently, have less attack on your joints, but those sort of comments, you never hear at the moment from the medical community. You just hear this sort of anxiousness and, “You better start worrying because it’s gonna get cold.” This sort of stuff sounds like early 1900s. But anyway,  you’ve done so, so well. You’ve now been off all the drugs for 12 months, I believe. Yeah?

Somerset: Yes, so it will be now March, so 12, yeah, 12 months.

Clint: Okay.

Somerset: Yeah, 14 months, I’ve been off everything.

Clint: Nothing what you would describe as rheumatoid symptoms, like swelling or heat or pain in the joints.

Somerset: No, nothing at all. No.

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Clint: Okay. That is just so good to hear. This is the sort of stuff that can inspire so many people to continue doing what they’re doing to stick with the only way forward for this disease, which is a plant-based diet. I have regular conversations with people who come to me and say, “I’ve been on something like the Paleo autoimmune protocol or something for a period of time, and it was working for a while, and now it’s not working. What should I do?” There’s just no other way forward than eliminating all of the animal products, including the dairy and the oils from your diet.

There’s just no other way of going about it, because it’s not just you and I and all the other people who I communicate with and I’m constantly sharing on the podcast who do well on a plant-based diet. It’s what the science says. It comes straight from the scientific literature. You mentioned that you read a lot of this beforehand anyway. So you must have read studies that showed, for instance, that meat is one of the greatest aggravaters for people with rheumatoid arthritis. I can just put a link in the show notes for this, for anyone who’s uncertain.

Here’s the scientific paper

Because if you’re trying to get well using something like the Paleo diet, you’re just taking one step forward and one step back. Sure, you improve straightaway, because everyone’s coming at it from a crap western lifestyle. When you eliminate dairy and oils, like Paleo suggests, then you immediately improve. Okay. Because everyone does. Okay. But that’s the easy stuff. But you’ve got the meat in there. For as long as the meat will be in the diet, you are gonna stay sick.

So you’ve bypassed that sort of thing that a lot of people do for a year or two, thinking that’s the solution. You’ve gone straight for the bulls eye. So tell me what was the . . . Did you discover the science as well? Do you remember, in particular, some of them that really stood out for you?

Somerset:  The signs or . . . Sorry.

Clint: The science. The scientific literature you mentioned.

Somerset: Yeah. No, I can’t remember exactly who the literature that I read . . . It’s just I just did it all online. But you’re right about the meat and everything because I’ve got some followers. I set up a Facebook and Instagram page called “Purely Somerset.” I’ve managed to get some followers on there. When they ask me, “What have you cut out? What have you done to be so successful?” They’re just like, “What can I eat then? If you’ve cut out all of that, what’s left to eat?” I said, “Plants. Just plants. Plant-based fruits, vegetables.” There’s so much you can eat and cook. Yes, you have to cook from scratch. Yes, you have to be organized, but it’s just the  only way. They’re just, “Oh, but we’ve been brought up with meat and potatoes.” You just think, “Well, this is proven to work. So yes.” You have to be so determined to do it.

I think it’s a definite mindset. I’ve shocked myself, really, at my determination to do it. I did see a nutritionist before I started thinking about changing diet, and she suggested cutting out the nitrates first, and I did. I cut those out. So that’s tomatoes [inaudible:0[0:26:54] and white potatoes and things like that. That had no effect on me at all. I was still having flare-ups and everything. Then the next thing she said, “Well, let’s cut out dairy.” At that point, I was like, “No way. How can I cut out  dairy? How can I cut out my tea and biscuits in the morning and all of that?”

It wasn’t until I decided that I was going to do it and did all the research, that, yeah, that was it. Overnight, I cut everything out and haven’t looked back, really. So yeah, to people that are like, “I can’t do that. Oh, no,” how can you make that decision that you’d rather be in pain, that you’d rather be injecting or popping all those tablets and giving it 100% try to go plant-based, when there’s so much, like you say, research about gut health and plant-based being best? Yeah, there’s mixed messages out there, like you say, with the Paleo diet and other diets.

Clint: People want to eat meat. They want an easy solution. Meat’s addictive. It’s been proven to be addictive in the same way that cocaine is addictive. There are things that the body responds to by eating dairy products as well, that are like crack. Right? So the body becomes addicted to these foods. Also, we know that the more you eat a food, the more you then want a food. If we’ve been eating meat since we were born, it’s very hard to un-train that part of our gut bacteria, basically, who scream like a chorus for those foods, because that’s what they’ve evolved to live on. So you’re not just shutting down your own habits, but you’re shutting down your own sort of desires, taste buds, thoughts, the whole collection that comes from the gut bacteria.

So once that’s broken, however, it’s a completely different picture. I’m sure that you share a same view that I do, where I have no desire whatsoever, no sort of innate urge to eat meat or feeling of having to resist going and buying a steak or something. It’s just not in me because it’s just not habitual, and it’s not coming from a microbiome.

Now I just want to point out that you said you had to be so determined. In a presentation, I talk about how it got to a point with me, when it was all just about to be just completely . . . My life’s just not worth living. When I was sitting in my rheumatologist’s office . . . My wife used to always come with me to my visits to the rheumatologists. We were looking at other drugs because I’d hit 25 milligram of tablet Methotrexate. We were looking at the next step. It would have been, for instance, like the Cimzia or whatever. Right? We were looking at other things.

But with the healthcare system in some countries . . . I’m not sure if this applies in the UK. You have to actually stay on the Methotrexate, even when you upgrade to the bigger drugs. So you can’t just say, “Okay. Let’s jump off this one and then jump on that one.” You just actually add. Okay. So I was not looking at a situation where I would be able to do Methotrexate or free of a drug that wouldn’t affect the potential to have kids or be too dangerous to have children on because of the side effects that could happen to the baby. So that was it for me.

I just said, “Up until this point, I have outsourced this problem to every naturopath, homeopath, Chinese herbalist, every specialist who gave their 100% to help me, and they did their absolute best,” but I had to make it my own project, my own must-get-well sort of approach, before I then decided, “Okay. Look. I’m gonna lose some weight if I change my diet,” and I didn’t want to because I was already slim. Right? I’m going to probably . . . I’m gonna have withdrawals from all the foods that I like to eat. There’s going to be problems, but no greater problem is not being able to have kids and letting my wife down and feeling in complete and utter pain all the time and fatigue and a failure as a husband.

So nothing could be as bad as that. Then I thought, “All right. I’m just gonna eat different things. How hard could it be?” Then once the shift in mindset, the point of no return, then it’s about thinking about, “Okay. What am I gonna eat? What am I gonna choose? How do I make this? What’s that gonna taste like?” Rather than, “Should I? Or should I do it?” That’s . . . Being stuck in the “should I, or should I not do it” is a bad place to be. You don’t want to be there very long. You want to be there for as short a time as possible.

Somerset: Yeah, because I’m a bit of an all-or-nothing girl as well. If I decide that I’ve got to . . . I cut out wheat and gluten and everything and refined sugar and all that as well. So I didn’t want to do an elimination where I can cut that bit out and do that for two weeks, and then I’ll cut that bit out. If I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do it all. I’m gonna do it all properly, and that’s it, overnight. Done. So yeah, that was my mindset too.

Clint: Great. Well, you’ve been . . . I know we’re short of time. How are we with regards to . . . Do we need to wrap this up?

Somerset: Yeah, within the next five minutes. Yeah.

Clint: Okay. Yeah. I know you’ve got to go to the gym. You’ve got life to live.

Somerset: Yeah, I know.

Clint: Yeah.

Somerset: I can’t believe what I can do now. It’s amazing. Yeah, I’ve been going to the gym for the past three months.  Yeah. This could build up my strength again and my fitness. Yeah, it’s been amazing what I can push and pull and lift. So yeah, it’s . . . I’m feeling on top of the world at the moment.

Clint: I can tell.

Somerset: I just want to just say about my last rheumatology appointment, which was back in December. I actually saw my rheumatologist because she’s the one that signed me off.

Clint: Oh, yeah.

Somerset: She said that, from my blood test results and everything, there’s completely no sign of the rheumatoid arthritis in my body. I told her what I’d done. My story . . . I contacted Arthritis Care, which is a charity in this country. They published my story in their quarterly magazine. I was in the Inspire Magazine. I had a three-page spread of my story, which is where my followers have come from, really. They’ve seen that and have made contact through my Facebook and Instagram page.

Clint: That is . . .

Somerset: I showed her that article, and she was just amazed. She said to me, “Do you know you’re the first patient, the only patient in the whole of my career, that has been able to be signed off and totally have no sign of the arthritis anymore in their body.” Even then, which upset me at this point a little bit, even then, she said, “I think that’s possibly because we caught it early and treated it really early with drugs.” I thought, “No. No. I don’t . . . No, that’s not the reason. The reason is because I’ve taken control of the disease. I’ve gone plant-based, and I’m the one. I’m responsible for it, not you, not the drugs, not anybody else.” Yeah, that kind of disappointed me a little bit. I felt amazed that I was her first patient in her career, but also that little bit of disappointment that she said that. What you think about that?

Clint: What do I think about that?

Somerset: Yeah.

Clint: You know what I think about that.

Somerset: Yeah, you can imagine my disappointment.

Clint: I hear this all the . . . It’s extremely disappointing, and it’s insulting. It’s a complete and utter insult to you and all the extreme hard work and discipline that you have deployed to get to where you are now. It’s condescending, and it is ignorant. It’s everything. I would say that to any doctor in their face because doctors need to understand.

It’s got to the point . . .  I’ve been now saying this message for four and a half years. I know that’s not that long in terms of trying to make a big change on planet Earth, like I’m trying to do, but I mean . . . How many thousands of patients around the world need to say to their doctor, “Hey.  You should check out this guy, Clint Paddison, or these people that he interviews on his podcast or watch his TED Talk or do . . . ” Or now in your country, what you’re doing and the people that your . . . How many people need to tell their doctors that diet, at the very least, diet plays the most massive role imaginable in this disease? Because even that hasn’t been achieved yet within the medical community. Even today, people are saying that their doctors tell me that diet has no impact. You see?

Somerset: Yeah.

Clint: That would be stage one. But look, don’t think about your rheumatologist again. Just be grateful that you are where you are. Who knows where this could lead? I know you have to run now. I want to drive people to your Facebook and Instagram page because I’m sure a lot of people are wondering, “What do you eat? What was the diet that you went through?”

Somerset: Yeah.

Clint: I’d like you to pop that through to me if you could, some of that information. I can put that on the blog post that’s going to be created when I have this transcribed, this episode. I’d also like to wrap up by saying I don’t want any listeners to think that we or me are anti-drugs. Drugs played a massive role for you early on in this disease, and it was very, very necessary for you to develop control over the condition.

Now, this isn’t to say that you couldn’t have gone ahead immediately and done all of your dietary stuff and achieved this without the drugs. However, when we first get diagnosed, we don’t know what’s going on. We don’t know whether we’ve got to get on drugs like everyone’s telling us we must. We don’t know what to do with our diet. It’s always a blind side. So I would just like to make sure everyone understands that, for most people, if they follow a program like mine, that they still will often require some medical care to complement the program, so that they can get their inflammation to absolutely zero, so that they don’t have long-term joint damage.

So drugs have a very, very important role to play, and we’re very lucky to live in the time that we do, to be able to have access to them. Now, in your case . . . Yeah. I’m sure you agree 100% with that. But for those people who are passionate about trying to find out if they can minimize, not like, “Hate drugs. Never use them. Get off them as quick as possible,” but just minimize where are necessary the drugs that they don’t need, because their body is naturally responding to healthy changes, then this is what we’re . . . This is the people we’re appealing to, and this is the people we want to reach.

If you want to make changes, you want to minimize the drugs, because you simply won’t need as many, then do what Somerset is talking about. Follow the Paddison program, which I’m sure has enormous overlap with what you’ve done. You will give yourself the best chance of requiring the least amount of medicines that obviously have a lot of side effects that we want to try and keep out of our healthy bodies.

Somerset: Exactly. Definitely. 100% agree. Yeah.

Clint: Well, you’ve got a gym class to get to. Thank you very much, Somerset.

Somerset: I do. Thank you so much.

Clint: I’m sure we’ll have another chat down the track because I think listeners are gonna be very inspired and keen to hear more from you, and I will send them in the direction of your social media pages.

Somerset: Fantastic. Thank you so much. It’s been so great to speak to you, Clint. Thank you.

Clint: You too. Bye, Somerset.

Somerset: See you. Thank you. Bye.

Clint: Thank you. Bye bye.

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Clint Paddison

Clint Paddison has recovered from crippling Rheumatoid Arthitis and now assists others with this disease via the Paddison Program for Rheumatoid Arthritis, the Paddison Podcast and the blogs on www.paddisonprogram.com