Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet – Milk and Dairy Foods

The very first step to start eliminating Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms is to avoid milk. This may seem like an unlikely first-step, but without eliminating milk then everything else that I teach will fall to the wayside. Milk is one of the most allergy-forming, intestine-ruining, acid forming things you could put into your precious body.

Most Westerners like to drink milk because we have strong positive associations with it. We think it is healthy for us. We also think that it is perfectly natural to drink and that it will strengthen our bones. Most would argue that it tastes good.

Very few people are out there criticizing dairy and telling you that it is one of the worst ‘foods’ that you could eat. The reason that you’re not hearing this message is that nobody makes money out of it telling you this message. Who do you know would make money out of telling you to stop consuming dairy products? Absolutely no one. Besides, who wants the argument every day with all of the dairy lovers? I certainly couldn’t be bothered hearing another parent insist that they can’t possibly remove dairy products because “if we removed milk and ice cream what on earth would we give the kids?”

On the contrary, who makes money out of telling you that dairy is good for you? The Trillion-dollar industry worldwide who is hell-bent on having you and your kids jam as much dairy into you as your body can possibly handle! If you do, say goodbye to your health.

What Do The Experts Say?

Doctor Neal Barnard writes “Casein is a common trigger for rheumatoid arthritis and joint pain. People often find that their pain disappears when they refrain from eating dairy products. [1]

In the book ‘Vegetarian and Vegan Nutrition’, author G. Eisman, states “Rheumatoid arthritis is more severe than osteoarthritis…Since this type of joint pain can be a symptom of a food allergy, dietary change sometimes has a profound effect. Dairy products, the most common food allergen, are one likely candidate as a contributing causative factor.” [2]

In his book ‘No Milk’, by Daniel Twogood, D.C., writes “In systemic arthritis, like Rheumatoid, the cause is coursing through the blood, and it got there through the diet. When all of the joints are involved, the cause is not physical, but chemical. It’s usually casein. (Eighty percent of milk protein is casein). I once saw a 65 year old man, Bob, who complained of neck stiffness and headaches. His hands were so stiff and sore. Bob lived to play golf. I instructed him to give up all milk and dairy products. Since giving up dairy products, he no longer experienced pain and headaches, and his hands were also pain-free. Joy, a 42 year old woman noticed that her knees were pain-free after eliminating dairy products. Once, after drinking a glass of milk, her knees swelled within 20 minutes.” [3]

So what does the actual scientific studies show between the link of Rheumatoid Arthritis and dairy products?

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What The Scientific Studies Show

  • A 38-year-old mother with 11-years of rheumatoid arthritis recovered from her disease and attained full mobility by stopping all dairy products. Since her early 20s the patient had had a passion for cheese, consuming up to 1 lb (0 4 kg) a day. Although there was no clear history of allergy or diarrhoea after eating cheese she agreed to try the effect of restricting dairy produce, with the elimination of milk, cheese, and butter from her diet. The authors reported “Three weeks after starting the diet she began to feel better – both the synovitis and the morning stiffness diminished. She was reexamined frequently over many months, and eventually morning stiffness completely disappeared and the synovitis almost completely resolved…The improvement was maintained, apart from when she inadvertently ate dairy produce again-after which the symptoms returned within 12 hours” [4]
  • An experiment was conducted where all dairy products were removed from the diet of patients with seronegative rheumatoid arthritis. Out of 15 patients, 7 went into remission [5]
  • A comparison was made of the arthritis-inducing properties of cow’s milk, egg protein and soy milk in experimental animals. The 12-week cow’s milk feeding regimen produced the highest incidence of significant joint lesions. Egg protein was less arthritis-inducing than cow’s milk, and soy milk caused no reaction. [6]
Why Is Milk So Bad For Rheumatoid Arthritis?
  • Milk damages the intestinal environment by increasing the amount of bad bacteria and destroys the balance of the intestinal flora.
  • Contrary to popular belief, eating dairy products has never been shown to reduce fracture risk. Countries with lowest rates of dairy and calcium consumption (like those in Africa and Asia) have the lowest rates of osteoporosis. Following on from this, there is a consistent trend between countries that have the highest consumption of dairy products with the highest rates of osteoarthritis. A book called ‘The China Study’ by Colin Campbell gives amazing insights into these findings. In ‘The Enzyme Factor’ Dr Hiromi Shinya explains the effect of drinking milk on the body’s calcium levels. When you drink milk, your calcium levels in your blood suddenly rise above the usual 9-10mg. Although at first it looks like you’ve raised your calcium levels, the body responds by dumping calcium out through the urine from the kidneys to return the blood calcium levels to normal, producing the ironic result of depleting your overall levels of calcium in your body. [7]
  • Dairy products have been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. They are completely devoid of fiber and complex carbohydrates but loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol.
  • About 50 percent of the world’s population is lactose intolerant. They are genetically unable to properly digest milk and other dairy products. Shouldn’t this alone give us a big sign that this isn’t a food for humans?
  • Humans are the only animals that drink milk after weaning from their mothers. But even stranger is that unlike any other species in the world, humans are consuming the lactation juice of another animal!
  • Dairy products are commonly contaminated with blood, pus, pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics.

Ice cream is the worst of all. Some ice creams will use the fat from scraps from slaughter houses. Cooked tallow, suet, and lard are in commercial ice cream. According to Nature’s Path magazine, ‘retail store ice cream manufacturers in the US are not required by law to list the additives used in the manufacture of their product’. Consequently, today most ice creams are synthetic from start to finish. Even if you found a ‘real’ ice cream that does not use any chemical additives, you are still ingesting the fat from animal’s milk which will wreak havoc on your digestive system, as we have just learned. It will also interfere with your immune process, as our earlier literature review showed.

What Should You Drink Instead?

This is normally the section where people would tell you all about Almond Milk or Soy Milk and various alternatives that are going to keep you satisfied and happy. Not me. I want you to get well from your chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis and to have the perfect Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet so advising any of the above is not helping you at all. Almond Milk AND Soy Milk are better than cows milk (because everything is), yet both too high in fat for someone with RA to make dramatic improvements to their health. Someone with RA needs to take their health VERY seriously and should drink only water for a few weeks and watch their condition improve.  The second oldest woman recently died at age 116 years old and her health tip was ‘make water your only drink’. She and I think the same. I don’t think I’d be pain free from this horrible disease if I hadn’t started by eliminated milk. And you should start your new journey towards wellness by doing the same. You’ll never look back, I promise!

Reverse Pain Now With The Paddison Program
[1] Neal Barnard, M.D. http://yummyplants.com/vegan-nutrition/vegan-health-tips/dr-neal-barnard-discusses-benefits-of-vegan-diet/
[2] Vegetarian and Vegan Nutrition’, G. Eisman
[3] ‘No Milk’, Daniel Twogood
[4] ‘Rheumatoid Arthritis and Food: A Case Study’ BMJ 2[82:20]27, 1981
[5] Isr J Med Sci [21:53]2, 1985
[6] Int Arch Allergy Appl Immunol [80:19]2, 1986
[7] ‘The Enzyme Factor’, Dr Hiromi Shinya

What do you think about milk?! Shoot me a comment below.

Disclaimer: Do not take this information as personal medical advice. Do not change your diet if you are ill or on medication without the advice of a qualified health care provider (your physician, for example).

Article by:

Clint Paddison
Creator of the Paddison Program for Rheumatoid Arthritis
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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

  • R M (Blader)

    Hi Clint I dont really drink milk now for awhile I used to have cereal but now I only occasionally have a vegan protein shake with almond milk. I’ve been doing something similar to your plan I’ve been almost vegan for over a year I was introduced to the vegan way, through my niece which met up with a nutritionist. I’ve been able to reduce a lot of meds that I was taking at the beginning prednisone,lufimide, I dont take anymore…But i still take methotrexate…at first 20mg a week im down to 7.5mg but the big one that Im still on is simponi. Ive been trying to get my rhematoligist to cut back on it but shes worried that I could come out of remission..How can I get off of all my meds? Is it possible? I know that all week I dont eat meat at all, and on weekend I have some meat just to get up my lack of protein. Ive watched some of your podcasts and I hear of people getting of the meds but I dont hear of anyone getting off the biologics like Im taking. Oh I do have some cheese during the week which doesnt bother me like you say after awhile you get to know what your body can tolerate. Interesting also I had a weeks vacation in summer and I swayed away from my veggies everyday and ate back like before wow did it hit me after day 3 I was in some much pain even with all meds I almost went to hospital…it took me month to recover completely from that episode. I initially told my RA specialist and she snubbed the idea of my diet change..she quoted saying theres no medical proof that diet affects RA.. I told her what had happened to me on vacation the next time I saw her and she quickly backpeddled saying oh I guess it does work for some people I told about your program…thanks

  • Carmen Tan

    hello. my name is carmen. how do i start with your program ?

  • Delia Gomez

    Hello! Im Irma (Delia) I’m a cheese lover, love yogurts and chocolate ice cream. Milk I hardly don’t drink at all. So it must be the cheese. My Dr told me to eat just fish I quess because she’s oriental and told me no beans because I’m Mexican… Lol…I’m also allergic to nuts. What proteins can we eat? We need proteins and calcium, so where do we get our calcium from?

    • Marianne

      You get lots of calcium from plants like leafy green vegetables! You also get enough protein on a whole-food, plant-based diet. What you hear and see on the media is just advertising and money driven. Milk does not do the body good!

  • M J

    I’m Mimi and I have discovered that having cheese does cause me great pain and swelling of my wrists and fingers. I had switched from cows milk to cashew milk, as well as almond milk, about two years ago. I also stopped eating butter. I now know that continuing to consume cheese, yogurt and ice cream was a big fat no no. Smh I’m doing my best to follow the Paddison program although I haven’t officially signed on yet. This particular post has been eye opening and I am always grateful that I was led to you!

  • Susana Pascolini

    Hi Clint, I’m Susana I have psoriasis, I used to drink milk when I was a child but actually I never liked it, but I do like cheese!!!. I started by eliminating one diary at a time. Now I have cheese only when I have pizza, once a moth more or less and my psoriasis has disappeared by 90%, but I have to continue until complete healing. Thank you for your advice and testimony.

  • Maria McKenzie

    I don’t have RA, but do have osteoporosis and two autoimmune conditions, GCA and PMR. I’m currently taking 10 mg of prednisolone per day and 15 mg methotrexate per week. I think it’s worth it to avoid the risk of going blind with GCA and being completely crippled by PMR. My rheumatologist wants me to take a bisphosphonate for the osteoporosis, but I’m resisting this, as I’m definitely concerned about the bad side effects that can occur, including a higher chance of a fracture, as it builds extra hard bone and reduces the natural flexibility. My daughter who is now in her 40s was diagnosed with RA at the age of 14. She was already a vegetarian and a few months later became vegan, which she has remained ever since. She did this for ethical reasons, not knowing that veganism might improve her health, which it definitely did do. Having this close family example of the benefits of a vegan diet, you’d think I’d be enthusiastic, but I’ve been slow. However I do seem to have lost my taste for most cheese and yogurt, so maybe now is the time to drop dairy. I like that you discourage the use of soya milk or almond milk as a substitute. I don’t like soya milk and since it evidently takes an awful lot of water to make almond milk, want to avoid almond milk for environmental reasons. I’m happy to drink water as long as some of it can come in the form of black or green tea.