Kim has dropped all medications with the Paddison Program

We discuss how:

– Kim was diagnosed with RA in 2014 and put on methotrexate, Plaquenil and prednisolone
– The drugs initially helped with reducing joint pain but in terms of side effects it was a nightmare
– She then came to know that a colleague was effectively opposing Hashimoto with diet
– She went on a sort of plant-based diet that helped reduce pain but only got to a point in drugs reduction
– Then in November 2015 she found the Paddison Program and started it
– The food reintroduction process took patience, but it’s been worth it
– Kim is now completely drug-free
– Kim shares many insights and subtleties of how she got such wonderful results

Clint: Today I’ve got a guest who has a fabulous story to tell. Her name is Kim, she’s from Melbourne, she’s been part of Paddison Program support which is the platform in which I can help people personally for a number of years. But I didn’t get to meet her in person until just recently when she attended a conference in Melbourne that I was part of, Doctors for Nutrition. It was a fabulous conference, and I got the pleasure of meeting Kim and hearing just the profound changes, improvements that she’s been able to make by following the Paddison Program plant-based diet. And it’s absolutely awesome, we have now connected for her to share her story. And not just her story, but lots of actionable, implementable tips for you to follow as well if you’re down a similar path and on the Paddison Program or thinking about implementing it. So Kim thank you so much for joining me today.

Kim: No worries at all, it’s lovely to meet you.

Clint: Yes we really had a great chat, it was you and myself and a few other folks who were part of our little network of lets help ourselves against the most monstrous disease kind of group. And we had a bit of a laugh and we had a chat and we exchanged some experiences. So I’m looking forward to getting into that detail in a minute, and as I said a moment ago we’re going to allow a lot of time for you and I to talk about implementable tips and suggestions and guidelines. So we’ll spend a portion of the time talking about your story. But first of all just give us the highlight reel, give us a snapshot of before and after.

Kim: Yes I was pretty much diagnosed in 2014 with RA, and I had previous flare about 18 months earlier which seemed to subside. So I ended up with a rheumatologist put me on Methotrexate, and probably six months later on plaquenil as well. And before I got to see the rheumatologist, the doctor put on predisilone just to help with the pain until I could see the rheumatologist. Yeah and then eventually started the Paddison Program. And I’m good, great, back to normal pretty much but then a little bit of pain still in my feet and that’s about it. So otherwise I’m doing really well.

Clint: That’s fantastic, and you’re off those medications, completely right?

Kim: Yes.

Clint: Awesome. Okay well looking forward to covering your experience with those drugs. Also your experience with managing pain in the experimental phase of what worked what didn’t work. And of course then we’ll get into all of the interesting stuff about how you used the Paddison Program, and what aspects of it were most crucial and so on. So 2014 that takes us back from where we are now about five years. So tell us, symptoms began, what was the course of progression with the condition before you hit those drugs that the doctor put you on.

Kim: Oh yes pretty much I just woke up one morning, and stepped out of bed, and my ankle was sore. And I just thought Oh, I’ve sprained ankle I don’t remember spraining my ankle but okay. And then a couple of days later I got all this fluid and swelling under the foot,and I sort of started going oh this is a bit strange I know that fractures sometimes have swelling and I’m thinking surely a kind of fractured it and not even knowing. And then a couple of days later after that the other foot started hurting, and I thought Oh well I’ve been on that foot a lot because I’m easy in other the foot that must be why. And then it just seemed to spread all over my body, so about a week later I was just pain all over my body, and I thought I’ve got to stop going to work and just have a week off. You know obviously I’ve got the flu, and I just need to recover, but it just got worse and worse. And it got to the point that in the morning I couldn’t actually put my ankle on the ground, I physically could not get my ankle to go on the ground. Obviously from the swelling etc. And so I was sent back half hobbling on my tip toes, and then sort of crawling, and trying to get to the bathroom in the morning, and get around to start with. So at that point I just went (inaudible), there’s something really not right here.

Kim: Yeah, so went off to the doctors and went into her office, and she just said you know, how can I help you today? And I just burst into tears, I just have never had that sort of pain before. So yes she wasn’t sure exactly what it was, you know there’s lot’s of different. I don’t know she said it could have been an insect bite, some sort of virus attcking my joints. So she sent me off a blood test for Lyme disease (inaudible) fever and all of that stuff then shot my CERP. and put me on prednisolone just to help ease the pain and inflammation. A couple of days later my blood test came back and my CRP was in the 50 range somewhere, Idon’t remember exactly what it was sorry.

Clint: Yeah wow, you came on quick ha.

Kim: Yeah.

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Clint: I was just talking with another guest on an episode just of a few prior to our recording now, about when you have a really good strong, powerful, youthful immune system, the disease can progress extremely quickly because the immune system is operating in its programmed way. But we’re the enemy against this powerful immune system. My rheumatologist said look you know he sees us a lot especially with like young people with good immune systems that become crosswired with the disease, the progression is rapid which is what you saw, definitely yes. Okay so when you saw the rheumatologist, how did he outline or he or she outlined the course of treatment?

Kim: Well to start with I just was on the prednisolone for 3 months and then my doctor weaned me off of it. And the reason I was on it for a bit longer was because I actually had my first overseas trip, so I’m freaking out thinking I’m not going to go on this trip you know. Yeah and sorry she weaned off it and it actually went away, so she just thought it was a virus that was attacking my joints. So it wasn’t until 18 months later that I was driving to work, and all of a sudden I felt the pain in my elbow, and I’m just going no no no actually said it out loud, I’m not having a stupid thing back again (inaudible) spread again really quickly but this time I got to the doctor’s lot quicker, so then she referred me to the rheumatologist. So he had a look at me and just diagnosed me with RA which the doctor said I might have, so I had already researched it. Also all the horrible things about it and thought Oh no, I don’t want any of that stuff.

Kim: Yeah so she turned to the rheumatologist, the rheumatologist diagnosed me with RA, and he pretty much said that I need to hit it quick. And I said to him I don’t want to end up in a wheelchair because that was the things I’d read. And he said well I’m not planning on you being in a wheelchair, and he said that he’d try me on Methotrexate first and see how we go. He said often he has to combine drugs or mix things around until he finds what works for each individual person, and then pretty much just gave me an A4 sheet of all the side effects of methotrexate. I had a look at all of that and kind of freaked out.

Clint: Did you ask for a thinking period or did you just say okay I’m going for it?

Kim: Nah just too much pain, all the degradation of my joints. So I’m just like I’m just going to go on it.

Clint: Sorry were you still on the steroids at the time?

Kim: Yes sorry, he pretty much wanted me on the methotrexate and you know going from the lowest amount and increasing it you know every week or two. And yeah, and then he said once that’s good he will waen me off the prednisolone.

Clint: Wow, there was like a ramping on an onboarding process for the methotrexate.

Kim: Yup. So it was (inaudible) you know take this amount, and then I think it was like 10 mg of something initially, and then it was like 15 mg, and 20 mg and then I ended up on 25 milligrams the full amount.

Clint: Interesting.

Kim: He wanted to hit it hard I suppose.

Yeah 25 mg off the bat is hard, but if you’re at 50 odd you know I know it’s the first time round you hit sort of 50 plus C reactive protein, and of course normal range is less than five. So if you’re anywhere like you were first time around then that’s obviously, maybe you could argue that that’s an appropriate amount of offense against that kind of attack. The onboarding and ramp up like that I haven’t actually seen before, you know normally or at least put it this way I haven’t seen it done in a fast fashion like that. Like I ended up doing that, but it was that start you 10 see how you go. Couple of visits later, okay we need to increase it a little bit up try again, that was my experience. So okay, how did you tolerate the methotrexate, both in terms of symptoms reduction but also side effects?

Kim: And so in terms of symptom reduction it definitely started help, the joint pain itself but not for aching all over my body. So it definitely helped but didn’t help fully, which I mean the rheumatologist who said he might need to combine drugs to get it fully under control so that was okay. In terms of side effects it was a nightmare, it was just awful. So nauseated and sick, exhaustion to the point that I couldn’t even do grocery shopping like he’d get halfway through grocery shopping an feel like I was just going to pass out. It was just an absolute nightmare, I remember my family we had a wedding or something on and I was looking for a wedding dress. And I remember one of them holding me up while they’re looking around and quickly bringing stuff to me. And then after about two stores mum said you can’t do any more can you? And I’m like nah, I’m going home. So yeah it was pretty full on the effects.

Clint: Yeah. Wow. Like holding you up, just sort of just holding your arm just to make sure that you were not going to fall over. That’s obviously as extreme as you could ever want. I had a similar experience with methotrexate, and I was doing Bikram yoga as well which exhausts me at any time. Even after coming off the drug I find it tiring, very tiring exercise. But combining methotrexate, Bikram Yoga, and being only on raw foods, I mean I was like you I was just so exhausted. And the best way I can describe it is just feeling like a zombie, just like brain fog and and feeling like like I say I was alive, but I didn’t feel like I was living. And anyone who’s thinking about going on it here’s the weird thing, I think that it’s probably the best one. That’s what’s crazy. It gets pretty bad after methotrexate in terms of what where you go from there. But anyway tell me, palquenil was then added. How did the additional drug impact you?

Kim: Yes, I pretty much she was really concerned about how much the methotrexate was affecting me energy wise. And he said that’s not a way to even live very well, so he wanted me, he would put me on the plaquenil in the hopes of getting off the Methotrexate. But only managed to reduce my dosage to 20 mg, and then I tried it to 15 and I just ended up massive flare for 2 weeks. Sorry, he said obviously we need to keep him on Methotrexate (inaudible) his job. But what I noticed with the plaquenil was that it was helping the (inaudible) of my body.

Clint: Interesting.

Kim: Yeah really interesting. The methotrexate seem to have the joint pain but the now seem to have the aching. (inaudible) ended up on both, Methotrexate 20 mg and the plaquenil one tablet a day.

Clint: It sounds like Plaquenil actually was the suitable addition, and to give it the appropriate recognition because with other guests sometimes we trash the drug about how much they’ve struggled on it and I’ve given examples of others who struggle. And so just to be fair with you know your experience, did you ever get anything like the giant heart beats or the feeling of panic and stuff that can sometimes come with it?

Kim: No.

Clint: Okay well it’s fantastic. The doctor has done a wonderful job in finding a combination that got your symptoms under control. Obviously the number one goal for the rheumatologist is minimize future joint damage, develop what they call remission which is just you know heavily sedated, heavily drugged situation to suppress symptoms. And so that was great. So what went wrong after that? Where did it start to fall apart or did it not and you’ve just found the program and just started to go for it?

Kim: Yeah. So pretty much once I got diagnosed, I was (inaudible) my bosses what was going on, and they said that one of the other work colleagues had Hashimoto’s, and that she had successfully helped herself with diet. So they tell me to go speak to her. So when I had a chat to her and she had done a heap of research, and she didn’t have the same stuff that you had. But she started me on a program which is you know getting rid of dairy, getting rid of sugar, and more fruit vegetables meat that sort of thing sorry getting rid of processed foods all of that. And so that really helped us on that for about 10 months, and that really helped my energy levels. I lost a heap of weight, and so it was really beneficial but I got to a point where I just plateaued and I couldn’t do, I didn’t get anymore improvements. I couldn’t reduce my meds and so she had actually given me your brochure from a (inaudible) magazine.

Clint: Which is a health food store that I’ve presented at and hosted their conference on a couple of occasions. So all of their staff who run their stores or their store owners are familiar with my story, with my work because of witnessing my story at their conference. So that’s how I’m piecing the dots together here.

Kim: Yeah so, she pretty much said, look you can do it with diet because this person’s done it. Yeah. So that’s when I went Okay right. Well he’s actually had rheumatoid arthritis, so I’m going to have a look at it and I had a look at it and thought well it’s worth giving it a go. And yes sort of jumped in from there. Yeah it was in November 2015.

Clint: Okay. How did the process unfold with, how did you feel? And how challenging was it? And how long did it take before you realize you’re on to something?

Kim: So the first day was an absolute nightmare, and I only got through about I think the liter of the cucumber and celery juice. And I felt so ill it wasn’t funny, and I just said oh my gosh I can’t do this, this something you (inaudible). My housemate at the time, she is really good and she’s just like, well it’s either this or you’re in pain for the rest of your life on those drugs. And I’m like yup. So yeah I couldn’t do it, you know I couldn’t do much with that and ended up I can’t do this, so I just ended up having water. And until I could start on.

Clint: Day three.

Kim: Yeah the next process. The issue was I found out later that actually the cucumber was a reaction food for me.

Clint: How about that, that’s rare but I’ve heard this before a couple of times yeah.

Kim: Anyway, so that I just ended up on the dietary stuff, and just had salad and celery and carrot sticks and you know and with the quinoa in Basmati and stuff and yeah. So I just started it from there, I had headachy, tired, some heart palpitations, so I really struggled to start with (inaudible) writing on your forum going oh this is I’m not good. And so you said I could introduce the sweet potato I think a day early, and my mom came and she cooked me a whole batch of sweet potato soup which is lovely. And then I started from there, and that really helped and then yeah I sort of went from there. I started recording you know my pain levels in different joints and stuff, but I wasn’t noticing a lot of difference. And eventually I stopped doing it because every morning I wake up feeling depressed because I had to.

Clint: Write the same numbers down again.

Kim: Yeah. So I can’t even tell you when I started noticing a difference, it just I don’t know slowly I suppose it just happened and yeah, it was just so improvements here and there.

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Clint: That’s fascinating you know how different it is for everyone, because you know I have with my hand on my heart told people in the past and even used as kind of text on my website. At times that most people can halve their pain in 2 weeks and that’s because that’s the truth. And in your case you wouldn’t have met that sort of situation. You have had the very very gradual slow change that does come up again from time to time like cucumber intolerance, that’s very rare. And same with your slow response at first not noticing much, that also is very rare. But we can see from you that no 2 people are the same, and that if we trust the process sufficiently with how long this took for her to feel better. We have to understand that eventually if you put enough of nature’s perfect foods into your body eventually, the biological ability of your body to repair does begin.

Kim: Yes.

Clint: Because you’ve removed all the things that are going to create fermentation, and toxicity, and so forth in your digestive system by taking out the meat dairy and oils. And that just leaves plant foods, and these plant foods are synergistic with the body and that stuff is goinig to work eventually.

Clint: So okay. So you’ve started to gradually feel better and probably noticed after a couple of months, I am feeling better and that’s enough motivation as well as our support and encouragement online fear to say okay I’m just going to keep at this. When did you really realise now you could start talking about medication reduction and all that? When did that sort of the (inaudible) power of powerful part of this kick in?

Kim: Well I kinda did things differently in terms of how I thought about it. So I pretty much told myself I wasn’t even thinking about medication reduction until I’d done a year on the program. That was my goal, was I was going to do a year and then from there assess it, so pretty much a year to the day was when I was just doing so well my CRP went down to 2, and I’m thinking oh how am I going to you know mention it to my rheumatologist that I want to try reducing it. But I never had to mention it to him, he did it all. He just saw how good I was going and just started reducing me.

Clint: Now this is absolutely fascinating, did he start to reduce the plaquenil first or simultaneously lower both?

Kim: He started reducing the methotrexate initially first, and because I was still quite exhausted.

Clint: Because of your feedback on that, because you were telling him it sucks it sucks.

Kim: Yeah, so that’s what he wanted to try and reduce first. So yes he reduced that first I was maybe 5 mg you know over 3 months, kept going. And then at one point he said, Okay which drug do you want to reduce now? And I’m like oh I just thought I’d keep on getting off the methotrexate. But what had come back in my blood tests was my ALT and my AST were getting out of normal range. So obviously my liver wasn’t coping very well, I think he probably just wanted to get me off that.

Clint: Probably would have taken you off that straight away the points that started right the methotrexate?

Kim: No, yes she took me straight off the plaquenil.

Clint: When your ALT and AST NIST went up?

Kim: Yeah.

Clint: Wow. I wasn’t aware that that drug could raise the liver enzymes as well.

Kim: Yeah I don’t know, but yeah he just took me straight up the plaquenil. And then I kept with the methotrexate for a little bit longer, and then I started reducing that. Probably reduced at half methotrexate half way, then I got taken off plaquenil, and then I reduced the methotraxate the rest of the way.

Clint: I think what’s good to note here is that the first reduction of 5 mg methotrexate took 3 months, and that’s really important for everyone to appreciate. It’s not like you know it was half the dosage, and then more again next month. I mean 5 mg, if you starting on 25 and then you’re reduced down to 20, it’s worse that a 20 percent reduction over a 3 month period. The body has plenty of time to reassess where it’s at, and for symptoms to present themselves if they’re going to present themselves. And for your body to re-acclimatized with that level of intervention. And so again another smart move from the rheumatologist and I definitely learnt something about the plaquenil may be contributing to the ALT AST increase. I had not known that before so that’s really interesting. And when he took the Plaquenil out of the mix, did the ALT and AST returned to normal?

Kim: It started returning a little bit better and then, so I was fully off the methotrexate then it’s back to normal completely.

Clint: Yeah I think the doctors are okay with it being just a little elevated, but if these 2 markers stay elevated for a long time or very elevated it can be concerning. Because obviously it’s like, it’s liver toxicity right? It’s the liver having having basically difficulty.

Clint: Wow okay fantastic. All right. Well, that’s obviously brilliant. Now after coming off the drugs just to conclude on your story before we start sharing tips and things we need to emphasize and stuff. Did you notice that you had to work harder with getting more simple on the foods’s or did you see that things were stable well after the medication?

Kim: And so I definitely had some increased pain reducing medication which I knew was going to happen because you’ve got it all you know formulated on your forum so I was expecting that. So pretty much I remember one time my legs were just aching something chronic and so I’m like right off to the gym. So yeah went off to the gym and did about half an hour on the treadmill, and then afterwards I got off and went oh my gosh thank goodness that pains really subsided.

Clint: Yeah awesome.

Kim: So I just pretty much tackled any of the increased pain with some sort of you know physical movement.

Clint: I love it I love it I love it. This is what I try and tell everyone to do, I love it.

Kim: I even remember like I had some elbow pain or something 1 day that was flaring up, and I remember I was just like flicking my elbow back and forth just you know moving that elbow you know because I was at work I couldn’t do anything else and yeah it helped.

Clint: It helps, I mean the thing is only a joint because it’s meant to move. It’s only purpose is to move, and a joint is obviously not as strong in terms of weight bearing, it’s not as reliable and robust as a straight piece of bone. So the body has simply said look I’m going to compromise everything so I can put something in here that can create movement. And so that’s the only purpose of the joint is to move, so we’ve got to move it. And we have to move it in a way normally that’s way more than what we expect. You know we think that if it’s inflamed, if we just move it a little bit, do a little bit of that just to keep the elbow moving, that might loosen it up. No, we need to take it to levels that surprise ourselves, and surprise people around us if they knew what we were doing. because if there’s inflammation trapped in there, it needs even more attention than ever before because we have to not just give it its daily typical motion but over and above to try and clear out problems that are in there.

Kim: I did a hundred repetition of it.

Clint: Yeah it’s fabulous. So this is textbook stuff, everything you’ve done is just textbook stuff and brilliant. So let’s let’s now talk about what your diet looks like now. Are you frequently resetting back to baseline or are the foods in the baseline just part of a broader group of foods that you can now enjoy?

Kim: Yeah I eat so much stuff, I’ve got heaps of variety and choices. Now I don’t need to reset if something happens to randomly you know like if I’m been away somewhere and something’s been given to me that’s a bit funny or something. I just have to stop having that for a couple of days and then it’s gone. So I don’t need to reset as such.

Clint: You slowly kind of realign and rebalance comes back to the body after just a day or two away from whatever some external trigger was that’s your day that day normal.

Kim: Yeah that’s right. So I mean you know eat fruits and vegetables and pasta’s and rice and all normal sort of stuff, salads. It’s just without all the process stuff and without the meat and oils and it’s great.

Clint: Brilliant. Okay let’s talk about some tips you might have for some viewers or listeners. What do you think is the most important part of this process to emphasize? Would it be some of the foods, the exercise? Would it be having to do all parts of it that’s most important? I mean can you give us some insights for you what was crucial?

Kim: I think the first thing is the fact that it’s an elimination type you know diet, because the things that I found I was reacting to I would never have any idea. Like things like pumpkin I still don’t eat, and it gives me headaches, I got absolutely no idea why. But you know things are you eat all the time every day, I think if we just eliminated those things and didn’t do the elimination style that you’ve got you would have no clue that these things that you think are really good foods are actually triggering your RA. So I think the most important is to do the plan as you’ve said it, and slowly introduce stuff properly so that you can really see whether you get a reaction or not. because it only takes 1 or 2 foods and you’re going to feel awful and not realize what’s going on.

Clint: How true, it does doesn’t it? Just 1 or 2 foods and you think, this sucks, I’m in pain or you had it like you have headaches. Then you make some huge deductions from that, and you say this isn’t working for me, I’m not making progress, I’m losing hope. I mean all these things start to play on your mind immediately once you don’t feel like you’re still in a healing groove. And again to to reinforce your comment about the importance of it being an elimination process, I consider that it is just imperative because so many of us have these random food sensitivities. Like just like you I still a bit wary about bananas, I’m wary about broccoli.

Kim: Yeah broccoli I can’t do either.

Clint: Really?

Kim: It’s mainly I think it’s blue berry, broccoli and pumpkin are still the things that I don’t.

Clint: And to other people they’ll be like, what are you talking about? How can you not eat blueberries, pumpkin, broccoli? I mean, and again these are healthy plant foods, right? So this is where it becomes way beyond the scope of just saying, hey just go and do like a vegan diet. It’s way more complicated than that, because you know that alone will probably enable say half of the people with RA to get rid of some symptoms. But on just a vegan diet you still can eat you know French fries, and Coca Cola, and stuff. You’re still miles and miles from even the starting point. So that’s a fabulous insight about the just the crucial part of following the reintroduction process in a regimented way so that you can make these discoveries.

Kim: Yeah I was very upset with exactly doing what you said. So I didn’t introduce anything earlier you know like it was just exactly what I’d written down.

Clint: Did you find there were some easy victories with the food reintroductions? Like were fruits particularly easy or veggies?

Kim: No not really. I think the thing is initially get heaps of no’s which can be a bit disappointing. But I remember because I did it like a month before Christmas, so I remember Christmas Day going right and introducing potatoes, but they just can’t have Christmas without potatoes. Potatoes were a win, so that was positive. Fruits I found a bit more challenging, I’ve tried oranges, I tried rock melon they were all no’s and I was writing that on their forum and you said to try papaya. And so I tried papaya, and that was a yes. That was just great.

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Clint: That’s So exciting. Like I just get goose bumps on my left leg. It’s so exciting when you can handle papaya, when you can handle papaya it’s basically like. This is the weirdest metaphor that sprung into my head. Do you remember those arcade games that used to be at cafes, and they were the old like there was a little spaceship and some things went across the screen they had to try to shoot them right?

Kim: Yeah.

Clint: You’re just old enough to remember that. So anyway with one of them after awhile if you shot and kill enough of the aliens then, another little supportive space ship would come and attach to yours. So now you had like a little supportive space ship and it was shooting bullets too. So now you’re shooting out of two little space ships not just the one. And that’s what it’s like when you can had papaya. It’s like now you’ve got this extra firepower for digestion that you didn’t have before, and that is so helpful, and it’s now you go out at night with twice the amount of firepower. So yeah that’s just randomly sprung to mind but I think it’s a good metaphor as long as you’re over the age of about 30?

Kim: Yeah.

Clint: I don’t know. But so anyway so that’s supercool. So papaya was a win, and you had potatoes at that point you’re setting yourself up for for some really healthy and yummy meals, Potatoes obviously such a fantastic staple to have end up. Okay good. Stepping aside from the food reintroductions, was there any other aspect that you emphasized? Like did you salad with every meal and did you do green smoothies things like that?

Kim: So I really struggled with Salads for whatever reason, all the lettuce and stuff just made me feel not good at all. And so what I actually did was with the carrot and celery sticks, I deliberately I heap (inaudible) before I had my normal meals. So I was trying to get those enzymes and stuff you know working in a way that I could do. And then I eventually got onto iceberg lettuce which I know is not you know the best but it’s still something. And then eventually on to cos lettuce and spinach. So yeah it took me a little while but I still implemented it in the way that I could implement it.

Clint: So you kind of did greens food reintroductions almost so that you could actually get to cos lettuce. You had a tougher, this is some tough stuff like you’re clearly what you’re telling me here is not one aspect of this was easy.

Kim: No, not at all. It was pretty full on it was like no joke about the fact that hey at the moment I can only have about 5 ingredients.

Clint: What was the total amount of time from when you started until you’re able to feel that you had a large range of foods, where you didn’t have to reset frequently, and it all felt like you were in a lot of control?

Kim: That’s a good question. Look I’d probably say maybe the 6 month (inaudible) I started to feel like I had a decent amount of foods that I could eat so probably about then. Yeah and then I got to a point I don’t know a little bit after that where I wasn’t as keen to introduce new stuff, I felt like I had a good range. You know people were saying you tried anything new this week or whatever, and I’m like nah I’m right with what I’ve got. So I’d say between 6 months to 1 year mark, I really started to feel like I had a good variety and was happy with what I was eating.

Clint: Yeah that’s really really stimulated my memory on this, because what I used to do as well is I work to get to a point and now I felt like it’s just like yourself safe and feel safe to be there. And so yeah there are other foods, and some of them seem appealing but quite a lot of them not. Like for instance all the different vegetables like cauliflower, and maybe beans like I mean like green beans. And things like this I mean and yeah sure on paper seem like things that would I tolerate quite well at time. But at the same time that I had no interest in those foods, like how are they going to add to my life. I was interested much more so in different types of legumes right? So I could have different beans and rice and different lentil flavors and stuff like that because also from a point of view. I don’t know just more hearty and masculine foods that will help me gain muscle and stuff I sought out those. But I certainly wanted the feeling more which was to not get inflamed, and so I would stay where I was many months when I felt like I was onto something and then on to a winner.

Kim: My most exciting foods that was reintroduced, because I actually had a sorbitol intolerance because I had IBS. And yeah the day I remember writing on the forum (inaudible) apple. It was just incredible. So sorbitol intolerance is completely gone, and eating apples, and pears, and stuff was just so exciting.

Clint: Wow that’s great. So the IBS completely went?

Kim: Yeah.

Clint: Yeah, okay. You get that one for free when you get rid rheumatoid.

Kim: Yeah.

Clint: Okay. All right. These are some great insights. Is there anything else that comes to mind that you did that you think might be helpful if someone else is going through this?

Kim: I suppose some of the little things that I worked out was like you know herbs and spices. You know often we sort of s(inaudible) it should be fine, but I actually found that I didn’t tolerate the herbs and spices from the supermarket like oregano and garlic and onion powder. Back from the health food store the organic stuff was fine. I suppose if people are having still some a bit of pain like really McCrory look at what you’re eating, because you know even herbs and spices are introduced one by one to see how I went with them. So the other thing was reducing the medication was realizing that some of the foods I thought were safe actually weren’t safe that the medication was masking. So I think that’s the other thing too if you’re reducing your meds to really look at what food you’re eating and experiment a bit to see you know so like nutritionally (inaudible) was something that it was upsetting me that I thought was safe which I can have now no problems at all. Back then reducing the meds I worked out, that was actually a no but I thought it was yes.

Clint: Yeah I can see why you’ve done so well and you’ve gotten the results that you have because you are a insightfulness is really acute. So with that kind of level of insightfulness, obviously you have that ability to work all this out. So it tells me a lot that you’re able to notice these little sort of things, and these things are so real is that the drug is masking our reactions to everything we’re eating to some extent. And yes if we’re reacting a little bit to something and the drug is covering our symptoms, then when the drug lowers suddenly now that becomes apparent. Which is why I have guidelines around coming off the medications, and one of those guidelines is that you are ready and prepared both physically and mentally or emotionally for a pain increase. Because if you’re on the threshold of being only able to handle your current level of discomfort, even if your blood tests look good and your symptoms to the doctor seem pretty good. But if you in your body feel that this experience is only just manageable then, lowering the drug is not a good idea because it’s going to knock you over the edge and you’re going to be unable to just keep doing what you’re doing without getting too distressed.

Kim: Yeah you got to feel like you’ve got it under control, and you know okay I can do this, I can cope with it. Absolutely you have to be prepared for it.

Clint: Basically feel like you have to have some buffer or some insurance in place, like okay if things worse a little bit I’m going to be fine with it, I can handle it. And I have enough experience with doing all the things that you did which is the testing of the foods, the preparation the food, having months of experience under your belt, so that if things do go the wrong direction a little bit there is no panic. This panic and stress associated with that also can then trigger negatively with our symptoms. So it needs to be very calmly and systematically done.

Kim: Yup absolutely. I noticed (inaudible) myself don’t stress, it will be fine, just give it a go.

Clint: That’s it. Great. Okay. And you mentioned before some of the exercise components. But is it something that you do on a regular basis at the moment or is it something that you do on a putting out fire kind of basis?

Kim: Yeah pretty much you couldn’t (inaudible) firebases now. So initially I tried Bikram Yoga for a couple of months, but I really didn’t cope. Just the energy for teachers I didn’t cope with, and so I ended up doing yin yoga because my osteo suggested try some other yoga’s and yin yoga was really really beneficial. So I was doing that regularly and big improvements. So it was funny initially because you know the teacher would be talking about you should feel you know the pain in this particular part of body or not pain that you know any discomfort (inaudible) body. I’m thinking, really not feeling pain in my fingers or other random place.

Clint: That’s right you’re trying to find a place that doesn’t hurt.

Kim: Yeah it was really funny you know. Did you feel the progress then when you eventually actually you were feeling the muscle stretch and stuff and not all the pain. And I remember like I think it was things like lion’s pose, and you’re supposed to put your hands like you know backwards behind you. And I’m like there was no way I could do that, and you know slowly little by little that started getting better and better until I could just do it without any problems. Yeah. So that was really important, and then I was doing some gym sessions as well just half an hour nothing. Full-on just more cardio stuff. Yes so I didn’t have to go massively into the exercise that I utilized at any time I I needed to yeah.

Clint: So you kept up your yoga membership, you kept an ability to go to the gym when you needed it. This is crucial, I mean especially in the US gym memberships are so cheap. I have a gym membership that I’m still paying and I live in Australia it’s so cheap it’s like I’m not even using it but I just keep it open so that next time you there. It’s 10 dollars a month. Okay so I mean it’s cheaper than Netflix. So it really is a really easy way for people to know. Again they have that insurance, they have that safety net. If you feel bad, need to go to the gym go to the gym please don’t sit at home and think you know get the gym membership in place have it as insurance or ideally go in a preventative way. Go as often as possible. If at all possible.

Kim: Definitely, initially I was regularly going.

Clint: Yes. And the yin yoga absolutely love the yoga how the body feels when you walk out. You just feel blissful.

Kim: It is great.

Clint: The first time I went to a yin yoga after doing couple of hundred of bikram classes and though I only knew Bikram as yoga. And I go to a yin class and I’m like, is this it? Like is this what we’re doing we just have to lie here with my leg tucked under me for three minutes? This is like unbelievable (inaudible)

Kim: I’ve all this Bikram classes are not (inaudible).

Clint: Yeah. But then you feel really so good afterwards.

Kim: (inaudible) keep going back, so much better after them.

Clint: Yeah I know I do mis them, I do miss them. Okay well Kim thank you so much for sharing all this with us. It’s been really great to recap on your story, and for you to inspire our audience to keep doing what they’re doing. And yeah really appreciate you sharing everything you’ve learned.

Kim: No worries. Happy to do so. Thank you so much for your help.

Clint: Thank you very much.

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