Reversing RA Joint Pain With Emily
Learn from Emily how she:
- Got off high-dose prednisone step by step
- Reduced her inflammation naturally using the Paddison Program
- Introduced kick boxing to up her daily exercise
- Found the mindset and determination to make this all possible
- Is going to draw a picture of the Paddisons 🙂
Disclaimer – the information on this site is not medical advice. All changes to lifestyle, diet, exercise, supplements need to be first discussed with a licensed professional.
Clint: Thanks for joining me on this episode of the Paddison podcast. I’m very excited today. I’ve got a guest with me who’s got a fabulous story to tell. Her name is Emily. She’s joining us from the U.S. How are you, Emily?
Emily: I’m good. How are you?
Clint: I’m fine. I’m excited because a lot of the time when I interview folks for some of these episodes, I’ve worked with them closely. And in this instance, you and I haven’t really shared too much information since you have adopted our program. And so a lot of this is going to be brand new to me and I’m going to learn your story for the first time and I’m thrilled.
Emily: Yeah, I’m excited to, you know, you’re my hero right now so this is an honor for me to be able to talk to you.
Clint: Oh, thank you, Emily. And I think you’re going to inspire a lot of people because we just spent a couple of minutes before we started recording this so that I could come up to speed with, you know, just I guess the fundamentals of where you’ve started and where you’ve got to now. So there’s going to be a lot of people very interested because you’re fairly new to rheumatoid arthritis. You were only diagnosed, as you said, around about…no, you said you were experiencing some joint pains only about 12 months ago. So why don’t we start, if you could tell us, how that began? Where did it start in your body? And what was that like?
Emily: It started in my feet. I used to walk to work, took me like an hour to walk to work. So I felt maybe I didn’t have supportive shoes on and I went to the emergency room one day because I just couldn’t walk like the mobility wasn’t there and they took x-rays and said I probably just had shin splints and sent me on my way. And from there, it just traveled up to my left knee and it was so hot to touch. And from there, it pretty much just took over my entire body.
Clint: That’s interesting.
Emily: There’d been good days and bad days. But I’d say about towards December, it completely took over everything.
Clint: Okay. So let’s say that it was August 2015 that you started to get these pains in your feet. So you’re saying around about, was that four or five months’ time, it was all throughout your body. So mine started in the feet as well. I think it’s fairly common to start in the feet or fingers, they’re the places that most people start to get the problems in those little fingers, sorry the little joints of the metatarsals of the feet and the fingers. So that’s pretty sort of classic. And so what were you thinking and what were you doing at the time? Obviously, we all start on Google and we see those horrific pictures on the Google images of all the things that can happen, the gnarly fingers and all of that. So what were your sort of methods of research?
Emily: Well I drink a lot to deal with the pain, first of all, so I didn’t know it was wrong and I thought maybe I was just older. And I had dinner with an older couple and I said it’s hard for me to get out of bed and one of them said that it’s not right, like you need to see someone about that. So I started investigating and I thought, oh maybe it was some kind of arthritis, I wasn’t sure which type until I saw my normal physician who made me take a rheumatoid factor test and said it was elevated. And then from there, I started just, you know, get very scared and then I pretty much figured it was rheumatoid arthritis from there.
Clint: Okay. And did he refer you to a specialist, joint expert such as a rheumatologist or yeah?
Emily: It took about two months to get in so in that period of time, it took over, which is kind of a shame that you know the American healthcare system takes that long. And there are days, I went to work. I’d lay in the bathroom on the floor like crying. I almost passed out a few times and you know you have really bad thoughts. And so I started, in that time before I went to see him, my mom’s boyfriend has RA so he said remove the preservatives out of your body. So this was before I got diagnosed so I kind of had someone leading me kind of which way to go. It was overwhelming because I didn’t know what I had and then I don’t even know where to begin. If I did have it, which diet to go through because there’s Paleo and then Mediterranean all of that stuff. So it was all overwhelming all at once.
Clint: Okay. So your mother’s boyfriend recommended that you get off preservatives and stuff like that. So what does your diet look like when you first started to get symptoms and how did it change after getting that advice from him?
Emily: Well, I thought I eat healthy but you know until you get on plant-based diet, you really eat unhealthy. So I was mostly vegetarian but I’d eat a lot of processed food. I love bread and gluten and I didn’t really drink pop or anything like that but I love the pasta and cheese. And then I started reading online how Paleo was really good for a lot of people. So I tried that and I didn’t know which way to go. I hadn’t found it yet. So I tried that. And my boyfriend and I, we call it the pizza incident because I felt okay for about eight days. It was tolerable, I was still in pain but it’s tolerable and we ate a pizza together. And the next day, the bone in my left foot eroded. So I knew that I needed to do something else. And around that time was when I saw my rheumatologist and got diagnosed.
Clint: Right, okay. So the meeting with the rheumatologist, you were at this point experimenting with your diet, you knew that something wasn’t right when you had your pizza incident. And so you obviously walked in there with a bit of trepidation. It’s quite intimidating the first time. In fact, every time you go to the rheumatologist, it’s hard not to walk out happy. It’s not their fault. It’s just that they paint a bleak picture about the future and the drugs that you’re probably going to take and how severe with all these and it’s just such a heavy in some like kind of meeting every time. So you’ve walked in and how did that go? What was the conversation like?
Emily: I barely walked in. I couldn’t even lift my shoulders at that point. And he basically, you know, did the test, reassessed everything and said, “Good news, bad news. Bad news is you have RA, good news is I can treat it.” And it was pretty cool and I already looked at methotrexate and so I knew that I didn’t want it and heard horror stories about it and he put me on the prednisone right away and I told him I needed the weekend to think about the methotrexate.
Clint: Did he give you a prescription for it?
Emily: No, he didn’t. He said, “Give me a call on Monday.”
Clint: Okay. So if you were able to contact his office and he would have written you a prescription and posted it to you.
Clint: Okay, that’s quite good. Now it just doesn’t aside as well, you made the comment about the U.S. medical system and taking a couple of months to see the rheumatologist just so that you know that that’s actually quite standard around the world.
Emily: Oh, is it?
Clint: Yeah, yeah. I’d say two months is about the average around the world. Two months, it took, I was scheduled at over two months when I first was, you know, referred to a rheumatologist. But then the GP or the general practitioner, he was so concerned about the severity of my condition because like at that point I was like you know barely walking and stuff and this was only a short while after getting diagnosed because it went pretty quickly. And so he pushed and made some additional phone calls and got me in only after about three weeks or something because I think, anyway, I think he asked for them to call him if there was an opening or something. He did something nice and went a little bit further than the average doc. But, yeah, two months around the world, that’s kind of typical. Okay.
Emily: And scary, too.
Clint: It’s scary. It’s scary.
Emily: For the amount of pain you’re in.
Clint: That’s right. The kind of one person that everyone’s telling you that is going to influence your future the most is unavailable for nearly a quarter of the year.
Emily: Yeah, and your body is crippling itself.
Clint: I know. I know. Just go over there and cripple for a couple of months.
Emily: Yeah, yeah, you’ll be fine.
Clint: Exactly, exactly. We have wheelchairs, you know, and we can push you there if you need to be pushed in. Okay, so you thought about it for the weekend and what did you decide?
Emily: I talked to my mom because of her boyfriend and he suggested I get a holistic doctor. So I have like notes because I went through it so quickly. Let me see. So February 18th, I was diagnosed. February 24th, I saw the holistic doctor for the first time and I kept ignoring my doctor’s phone calls. I didn’t pick up and I saw her and she basically said, “You know there’s ways we can treat this naturally. Some people have to go on medication but there’s ways, we can change your diet.” So I was pretty much wanting to get in to see someone as soon as possible to avoid talking to my doctor. So that was the 24th.
And I think the 28th, I was looking online for rheumatoid arthritis and diet because she suggested it and I found a speech from Dr. McDougall. And then down in the right hand corner was your TED talks and it immediately made me feel like so much calmer and I wanted to tell someone but no one cared. And I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I can help myself.” And you know, it is overwhelming. Brains and you know people fight about your diet a lot, what’s good for you isn’t good for someone else and where do you begin as a person. So basically a week after I was diagnosed, I found you and I was impressed and started crying a little bit.
Clint: Yeah. Okay, great. Alright, so you got started then on that and you remain while ignoring the calls from the doctor and you’re also working with your holistic doctor. So talk me through the next, you know, the next few weeks.
Emily: I had to see her in two weeks. So I started plant-based on February 29th, the day after I found out of your program and I went. She was supposed to get a program for me together. So when I went back to see her, she said, “I think you shouldn’t go plant-based.” And I said, “I already have been for about a week,” and she put me on a high dose of probiotics, 50,000, I think.
Clint: Fifty billion.
Emily: Fifty billion, thank you. I’m sorry, yeah. Fish oil and vitamin D, like a big dosage of vitamin D and suggested doing castor oil packets.
Clint: Which one, castor oil packets? Okay.
Emily: When you take castor oil and you apply it to a part of your body that’s in pain and then you wrap it in and then you put heat on it for 40 minutes and that pulls out the toxins from your body.
Clint: So it’s topical, you put it on your body, yeah? Okay.
Emily: So and that really helps. Sometimes, if I feel a little joint pain, I’ll just, you know, sit around with castor oil on my knee and then it feels a lot better. And then the Epsom salt baths and meditation. I’m not good at that but I’m trying. You know trying to be, trying to relax, which I’m bad about and getting lots of exercise. So I know you’ve mentioned hot yoga, which is really expensive in Cincinnati, so I do kick boxing, it’s really helped me.
Clint: Right, okay. That surprised me. I wasn’t expecting kick boxing. Okay, you know, like less people with rheumatoid, they’re like, “I think I can try Tai chi.” And you’re like, “Yeah, I’m just kicking down walls.” So that’s really cool. Now, I’m loving your holistic doctor. I give her nine out of ten. I would only slap her on the wrist for the fish oils but everything else sounds really, really good. We know that Epsom salt baths, if you soak your feet in that it gives you a nice relief and the meditation is great. Relaxation, this is because we know it from scientific studies that stress affects dramatically the quantity of healthy bacteria. And the exercise, big tick tick tick. I consider exercise 40% of the Paddison program. Alright. People think it’s a dot, it’s not. I mean that’s part of it. But exercise is just so critical. And so that’s great. And you’ve taken on that with the kick boxing and I’m getting a little bit off the chronological order about that. But with your kick boxing, do you really build up a sweat or is it more just you kind of just like light lifting, you don’t really sweat you just sort of use your muscles for short periods, but when you’re doing it, do you really build up a sweat and get a high heart rate?
Emily: Yeah, I do. I do pretty like intense 30 minutes with weights in my hands and sometimes I’ll put weight on my ankles just to make sure that I have extra resistance so I do sweat off a lot.
Clint: Okay, that’s fantastic. This is a message I really want to reinforce and just really, really drive down to listeners, so to speak. When we exercise for pain reduction we have to sweat, we have to build up a high heart rate. It just does nothing to go walking. It feels good and yes it’s healthy for the body but it’s not pain reversing. It’s more like just a day-to-day essential for the body just to move a little bit. But when you’ve got rheumatoid and you’ve got high levels of inflammation, to reverse that, we have to get high heart rate status.
And so if that sounds, as a listener, really difficult for you right now, then just start by moving your hand a little bit and then tomorrow, involve the wrist and on the next day, lift your whole body just a little bit. Just start from whatever’s possible, the smallest possible starting point and build up. And if the concern on the other side is that you’re on some kind of medications that influence your, you know, that does a concern about getting too high heart rates because of other health conditions, then just, again, ease into it, seek your doctor’s advice, see what’s possible, because the goal should be to be try and be able to get that heart rate up safely.
So fantastic, Emily. So, okay, explain now, you said you started Paddison program on the 29th of February, holistic doctor did 9 out of 10 with the recommendations. Talk me through how things progressed. Because you were on the high dose of prednisone at that point, were you? You were on prednisone.
Emily: I think on that point, I was down to five milligrams because…well no, at that time I was 20 and then I tapered down to five. I think I tapered down to five in maybe March or April. I went to see him back in March and he was kind of upset with me that I never answered his phone calls. And he asked me if I was ready to take it and I said no and he offered me other drugs and I said I want to try to do this naturally. And he said, “You’re going to be in pain. I’ll let you do it but you’re going to be in a lot of pain. And I want to see it back in six weeks.” And pretty much dismissed me. And I thought he was going to fire me. And I had to ask for my own blood work because you know from listening to your podcast and everything that you should, you know, monitor your own blood work to see how much you progressed and he wasn’t even going to give it to me. So he just kind of rolled his eyes and told me I can get it if I want to but, so he pretty much just dismissed me and so I was on my own to just figure it out and keep going and not listening to this.
Clint: Well, I’d give him a different school. Everyone can imagine what that might be. So when your blood test came back, what was it? Do you recall?
Emily: Yeah, I have them right here. The first one I had was my CRP was 18.93.
Clint: Okay, and is that milligrams per liter?
Clint: Okay, so that’s high. For listeners, it should be below five milligram per liter. So you’re up there. You kind of by a factor of four. Yeah.
Emily: And then my sed rate was 29.
Clint: Okay, and that’s only slightly outside of the range. Sed rate should be about up to 20 millimeters per hour. Okay. And then, so he said I’ll see you in three weeks. Now, have you got subsequent blood work or is that the only that you had taken? You’ve got subsequent? Okay, I’m looking forward to those. So you went back, you’re able to…give us the figures then. Give us those figures, just the CRP.
Emily: Yeah, my CRP is down to…it’s a little high and I think that’s because of my shoulder, it’s 6.44, so that’s really good.
Clint: Okay, so you’re only juts outside the range. And you were at 18.9, so you know, you’ve reduced that tremendously.
Emily: Yeah, and then the sed rate went down to 13, which was really good.
Clint: Which is in the normal range, okay, great. And when were those last ones taken?
Emily: Last month.
Clint: Okay. So you’re only like four weeks into your last blood work.
Clint: Yeah. And then you were able to get more blood work on a regular basis, like each month?
Emily: I believe I can. I think that he had to have his colleague call me with my results. I don’t think he was too happy to.
Clint: Alright. You’re not like the typical patient and that makes things more complicated and that, you know, it’s just, that’s not really the way they like to do things. So, okay. Now, talk us through your improvements. You said on the 29th of February, 20 milligram of prednisone, you said and by March to April, around of that day, you were down to five, are you still on any prednisone?
Emily: No, I weaned off about June 15th, so it’s been little over a month now.
Clint: Okay, so you are drug-free and your CRP is only just outside range and your sed rate is well within range.
Emily: Yeah. And I know that you said in the past, if you know, when you get off drugs it’ll sneak up, your pain will expose itself and so I think that’s what’s happening right now. But I feel a little better every day. I can, you know, feel a difference but it’s just I’m trying to work it out. I think it’s just fighting to stay in.
Clint: Yes, yes. You’re probably in that little bit of a balance where the body is trying to decide, “Am I going to become more inflamed steadily or am I going to heal more steadily?” And kind of either gets into little bit of that snowball effect with the pain that then you need to try and intervene and pull back either by exercising more or you know, going back to baseline with your food again just for a couple of days and that just cuts the pain off at the legs and that just has no change and then you can bring back your food again quickly. Or when all else fails and all of the troubleshooting that we have in the program is not able to hold it at bay, then you know, a little bit of medication, or a lot depending on the situation, but generally some medication can then take up that slack and take away that pain. Because the pain, we have to remember, itself, the inflammation itself creates more leaky gut and so that’s the real delicate but the most important thing we have to remember. So we have to be able to feel like we can control the pain because if we can’t control the pain, then you know, leaky gut continues to be in place.
Okay, so this is really exciting. Where is the pain at the moment? Did you say just in your left shoulder?
Emily: Yeah, just in my left shoulder.
Emily: I was really scared to wean off the prednisone. I asked my doctor and he basically said, “I guess, whatever, do it. You know, you’re doing whatever you want anyway.” But it was, you know it’s really hard because it makes you feel nauseous and depressed and really down. And so I was really cautious about it and just cognizing of how awful I’m going to feel. When I went down, I did a quarter by quarter sort of, yeah, so.
Clint: Good. Yeah, yeah. That’s what we find. I was never on prednisone but I’ve learned a lot as an observer from other people who are on the drug and who have worked diligently to get themselves off it. And I’ve seen that the quarter at a time tends to be a popular approach. And for the people with the patience to do it, it tends to have the best results. I mean, can you walk us through the general reduction steps that you made and the exact motions that came up as a result and so forth just because I know a lot of people are on this drug. It’s a disaster’s drug. It causes more leaky gut, prednisone. So if you’re on it for a long period of time, it’s not a good thing to be doing because, I mean I don’t have the list in front of me. I have a list of all the problems associated with this but just two of the big ones in terms of trying to heal is that, I believe it causes more leaky gut because it depletes the mucosal lining. So that’s my theory into this. Now I’ve chatted about this in person with Dr. Klaper, who’s a plant-based doctor that we strongly admire and refer to. And he tends to think that I might be correct with that. But certainly, it does cause leaky gut and studies have shown that. But not only that, it also, in conjunction with nonsteroidal and inflammatory drugs, so if someone’s taking prednisone plus a pain killer, it’s like a factor of three, the exacerbation of that problem. So this is something that’s a disaster to be doing, this prednisone plus nonsteroidal drug, I mean that’s a really bad combination. And then, of course we know that prednisone creates osteoporosis, so it causes the weakening of the bones and being on it for a long period of time, you can end up in that new situation, which is a disaster as well. So I mean it’s a horrific drug, the devil drug.
Emily: It is. And it is the devil because it makes you feel so good.
Clint: Right, it’s like it leads you into areas that are, you know, dangerous because of that, doesn’t it?
Emily: Right, yeah.
Clint: So I’ve had my rants about prednisone. So let’s talk about you know, your strategy. Can you really explain the tapering process that you applied?
Emily: Well I just, I knew the longer I stick with my diet and tried exercise… I couldn’t exercise. I used to do kick boxing all the time before I got sick and then I just stopped exercising because, you know, I couldn’t move. So the more I had to try to exercise and the more, and your program with eating, just eating probiotic food so I just try to pump myself full of, I love miso and rice and bok choy by the way, that’s, oh and seaweed, that’s my favorite thing to eat. So I would do four to six weeks at a time. I would take away a quarter and see how I felt. There was a few times where I felt the pain come, I could feel it inside of me and so I just would go back like push it back a week or two like I’ll try again next week. So I would cut it down by a quarter and then go four to six weeks. I’d mark it on the calendar and then just, you know, keep eating more and keep exercising more and then kept cutting it down and down and down, until I went off of it, it was really scary. I woke up in the morning and I was just, you know, you can’t go to bed because you hurt so bad and you’re scared to wake up because you don’t know if you’re going to move. So I went to bed like, “Oh my goodness, please let me move in the morning.” And I was fine other than feeling, you know, nauseous and depressed. So that was my strategy, just patience and four to six weeks at a time.
Clint: Okay. You’re very, very, very good. How long did it take after you got off it before you felt normal again?
Emily: It was pretty much right away, you know.
Emily: The pain in my shoulder came back but that’s about it.
Clint: No, I mean emotionally with regards to depressive states and stuff.
Emily: I’d say it was about four to five days. Well my boyfriend is really good about cheering me up. He would just say, “You know, I don’t want to hear it,” and he just wouldn’t let me feel sorry for myself.
Clint: He’s awesome.
Emily: Yeah. And you know, it’s a lonely drug so you have to depend on yourself and you can’t feel sorry for yourself. So you have to put yourself in a happy state of mind.
Clint: Yeah, that’s great. I think, you know, success often occurs more when we have someone who is really close to us that’s super supportive. I couldn’t have gotten through this without my wife, Melissa. She has just been my rock from day one. And as you, you know you said there was some dark places that you go to in your mind, you mentioned earlier and boy did I have a lot of those. There were times when I actually couldn’t get off the ground in yoga. I was like, and I had to incorporate my head to help like find some muscles and joints that would actually give me some ability to get off the ground. And so, when you’re lying on the ground trying to get up, using your head and then the rest of the class are in the next posture, that’s you know, you don’t have a lot of self-esteem at that point. And you know, and having someone to talk to about it who understands is, you know, it was just so important. So let’s talk about your diet a bit more. A lot of our listeners are already on our program but a lot don’t and so, can you talk through the miso, rice and bok choy combo and how often did you have that? I mean, how often, were you having the miso in particular, I want to know, at least once a day? So you’re having a probiotic meal at least once a day.
Emily: I would already incorporate miso or sauerkraut into my diet somewhere along the way. It was those two that I kept going back to, or kimchi, but you know it’s kind of expensive. So I was addicted to the miso and rice. I would probably say I had it at least four to five times a week.
Clint: Yeah. Okay. Well I was even worse addicted than that. I mean I used to, when I felt progress on things, I mean I would stick with it like a crazy person. You know I thought this was working for me, almost like, don’t come near me. I’m just eating, I’m doing the same thing every meal every day if I need to. I just saw things that work and I wanted to repeat them. And it’s so important, once you find something that works, sometimes we don’t understand either, why does it seem to work and that doesn’t seem to work? For instance, someone the other day in our forum said that they can eat rice just fine but they can’t eat the rice crackers. And you’ll look at the ingredients in the rice crackers and it looks like it’s just rice that’s being slightly processed into the cracker and it doesn’t look like it has any oils or anything and it should be fine. But they get inflammation from the rice cracker and they don’t from the rice. And so, you know, you could argue or maybe you know, one’s a whole food and one’s processed. But we’d think, well okay, but why? And I can’t answer that. But if it doesn’t work, then toss it aside and just stick with what works, don’t think about it too much, just do what works over and over again.
Emily: Right, yeah. I was also scared since I was trying to incorporate as many foods as possible. So I was like, well maybe if I did this too much, it wouldn’t have the same effect. So I’d tried to incorporate a lot of your recipes at the same time. But I kept, I was kind of addicted to that.
Clint: Yeah. Well that’s a good thing to be addicted to because I think eating miso paste with your meals and large quantities of it, or sauerkraut as you said or kimchi, is a better way of getting your probiotics than paying for them as in supplement form. I just feel that that’s, you know, not only is the quantity probably greater because of the, just this actual physical size of the amount of probiotic food that you’re eating, but my guess is that the diversity is probably greater and in a distribution, that’s probably more in lined with nature than what you’d get by picking the strains as a manufacture and then putting certain bacterial strains into a capsule and then, you know, having it go through a processing plant. Now I’m all for probiotics. I think they’re wonderful and I think everyone should take them. No doubt about it. I just think that if you had a choice, the miso paste is my tick.
Emily: Right, yeah. Yeah, I still do take the probiotics every day, too, high dosage.
Clint: Yeah, high dosage, yeah. Fabulous. What’s your diet look like now? How much have you moved on from sort of the baseline-y kind of foods? What does it look like on a, you know, what sort of meals are you able to eat?
Emily: I think, you know I was trying to watch out for nightshades but I’m able, I’m doing fine with those. I accidentally ate egg and my right foot felt like a piece of concrete so I definitely know I can’t have that. So pretty much, I’m a creature of habit anyway so I’m just sticking to recipes like vegan recipes that I can mock something like zucchini noodles instead of pasta so I can make sure I get more, you know, the nutrients.
Clint: Yeah, just diversity, a bit more diversity.
Clint: Have you noticed anything that particularly sets you off and just to get your mind ticking off it, for instance I find that for everyone it’s fat, I mean first and foremost, have to keep this as low fat diet as we can. That’s like an absolute fundamental for people listening and they’re being frustrated but they’re still, you know, they’re still eating nuts, so they’re eating olives or they’re eating avocados. I mean, come on, come on, I mean let’s get this right to begin with. We’ve got to low fat. So the diet you mentioned before where you’re eating rice and bok choy and miso paste, there’s virtually no fat in there. There’s enough fat in plant foods for us to absorb, sorry, for our fat soluble vitamins to be activated but we don’t really want to be adding additional fat in the form of oils or fatty vegetable food. So that’s one and I also advocate, you know, not excessive protein and obviously you’d eliminate all the animal products. But is there anything that you found that’s consistent with what I’ve just said or food sensitivities that are a bit odd that you’ve found?
Emily: Oil, for sure. I sauté everything in water and going out to eat is kind of hard sometimes. That’s, the egg like I mentioned that I can’t have, cheese or anything like that, so dairy, I think I’ve been, I’m very stubborn person so I think sticking strictly to what I know works for me, I haven’t had any weird flare-ups or anything like that. But I’m still contained in a very little box and I’m scared to get out of this. So I might down the line figure, know something might not be good for me but and maybe I’m eating something that my shoulders are still hurting because of it, I might not know. So maybe I do need to reset my diet and see how I feel from there.
Clint: I think that’s a good idea. So in the interest of doing everything strictly by the book, I would be aiming to try and get that CRP below five because at six, it’s obviously still good. And in fact, if you measure the C-reactive protein of the average person on a straight and just walk around with a needle and stuck them all and got their blood and then took a measurement, I think you’d find that quite a high proportion of people who don’t have rheumatoid arthritis are outside the five milligram. Sorry, five milligram per liter range. And so it’s not like you’re particularly unusual to be outside that range. But to protect the shoulder long-term and to avoid awkward discussions with the rheumatologist, you want to keep the blood results normal because my rheumatologist, the CRP was the one thing that he wanted to base most of his decisions on for people whose blood responded closely and matched that with their inflammation or zero positive, right. And so you know, I always knew that if I wanted to avoid him talking drug increases, I had to keep that C-reactive protein in the normal range. And so if I were you, I’d be, you know, still scheduling meetings with him and even if they’re a bit, you know, a little bit uncomfortable sometimes with the way, and keep getting those blood work done each month and work on getting that C-reactive protein below five. When mine was for instance three or four milligrams per liter, I could still feel inflammation in my body. So I was still aware of it. Yeah. It wasn’t until it dropped below one that I felt like I was an all-clear and everything was perfect. And so, I mean one’s obviously a low number and one’s lower than most people on the street without the disease but one was what…
Emily: That’s amazing.
Clint: Yeah, but that’s what I had to get to for me that, to feel that my joints weren’t going to be slowly eroding over the forthcoming years. Yeah. And you can do that. You can do that. If you’ve gone from 18.9 down to 6.4 in only a couple of months, remember it took me a long time. We’re talking a couple of years of very, very basic foods. You say that you know, you’re in the box, well I was in that box for a very long time. But as long as the pain’s really low and you’re eating right and exercising right, you can still heal with low levels of pain. I don’t need to be zero levels of pain, they just got to be low.
Emily: Well that’s good to hear. That makes me feel a lot better because it’s been driving me crazy. Like, I know I’m doing it right and I know, but it’s just since that bone in my foot eroded, I’m scared that something might happen to my shoulder but other than this, the inflammation markers are low. I guess that’s something that I can feel go about, I guess.
Clint: Yeah, and my strategy was always look for expanding the food base because we naturally want to create a more diverse diet that’s also good for us. So we want to do that, there’s no doubt about it. We’re always going to be pushing for that. But then every time we don’t, or I didn’t feel like things were as good as I could be, I would instantly reset back to the foods from days three to twelve like the baseline foods and then, for me, that’s like having a bath of, and there’s some inflammation in the bath, it’s just pulling the plug out. It’s just taking out the inflammation out of the body and then you put the plug back in and it takes a while to build back up again. You know the bath has to fill back up again with little bit of inflammation and that could take, in the early days, you know actually, I was permanently on that reset. I was on that for weeks and weeks and weeks, months at a time. But then there’s, in the later stages, I was able to reset and then I wouldn’t need to reset again for a month and then, you know, and then I just reset for one day and then I could eat all the foods that I’d been eating up until the reset again instantly the day after because by emptying the bath of inflammation, the body can then handle these foods again without it cascading, right?
Emily: That’s incredible.
Clint: Yeah, because of the concept of the inflammation itself creates more inflammation. So you’ve got to empty the bath and then you’re able, you know, it’s like taking, yeah, it’s not like taking a painkiller because that just suppresses it. It’s like actually removing the inflammation so that then your body can, you know, have a starting point fresh again.
Emily: You are such a wealth of knowledge. Hang on, [inaudible [00:38:44]. Incredible.
Clint: Yeah, I’ve been at this quite a while. Like I have a talk two nights ago in Brisbane for a health food company here in Australia, they have health food stalls around the country. Yeah, when I started speaking I realized it’s ten years now, ten years since I first woke up with the sore feet and yeah it was in Brisbane that I told the story and it was interesting because that’s where it began for me. So it was weird to be ten years and I’m back in the city and talking now instead of, you know, well, talking for a good reason about it and explaining to a whole bunch of naturopaths in the room about how they can incorporate this into their practice and it was very, it was really, yeah, quite an emotional thing for me to realize it’s now being a decade. Wow.
Emily: Yeah. Yeah, it’s truly crazy that my friends are like, “I cannot believe that this is working for you.” And you know, you have to explain a lot about leaky gut and they just lost it and like whatever just, I’m glad it’s working.
Clint: Yeah, exactly, exactly. So any tips or suggestions that you might have for people who are listening who might not be getting the results that you are? Is there anything that you found has been really beneficial for you that might not be as obvious to others?
Emily: I honestly think I got lucky. I did a lot of research, you have to listen to your body. I think that’s the biggest thing. Because that’s the big thing with Paleo is that no, you know, no nuts or beans or anything like that but you can have meat in your diet. And I know some people can tolerate them. My mom’s boyfriend can tolerate meat. So you just have to listen to your body and you, like, you just have to keep working on it and it’s not a pill you can take and get better. You just have to keep doing it and keep trusting it. Yeah, you have to get very focused and pretty much ignore everyone around you. I ask how I get protein and well, I’m alive so obviously I’m okay, you know. I didn’t take things personally. I’d get offered cake all the time at work and I just say, you know, they’re saying, “Oh, you’re watching your weight.” ‘Oh, yeah sure, whatever.” You know, set the focus and do whatever you have to do to stay focused. And for me it’s just acting like I don’t have it and that this is my mission and you know, treating it like cigarettes or something like I just can’t have it. Sorry, you know.
Clint: Yeah, that’s good. That’s good. I say treat it like a project not a problem because if we treat it like a project, we’re good at that because we get employed to do that at work and we get trained how to do that. We learn processes and we learn how to set goals and so forth. So we also just associate from it emotionally if we treat it like a project, not a problem. And so, you know people used to ask me, you know, “How’s your health going?” And I said, “Oh, it’s just a project.” You know. It’s like another thing I’m working on amongst other things and I used to set goals for my C-reactive protein. I’d set goals with my exercise regimes. I wanted to be able to do this by that stage, whether it be you know another ten reps on this particular exercise for my elbow or whether it be to be able to. You know one time I couldn’t walk to the end of the straight. And so I simply set a goal for myself to walk to the end of the street without having to stop and adjust my knee by pulling it up to my chest. So and you know, I just set goals and it was just a project, a big one and a horrible one. But the emotion kicks in when we have, we feel like we have this problem, don’t we?
Emily: Right, yeah. Yeah, exactly. And I think when you, you’re right, when you treat it like a problem, too, then there’s all these obstacles you have to overcome instead of, “Well, this is, the cards have been dealt with, then what do I do to fix it?” You know, and then it becomes a project. And it makes your mental health better I think, too.
Clint: A hundred percent. And that’s such a big part of it because we get all of the, you know, the monkey brain kicks in and the worries about this and that. And as you said, there’s always different people doing different things and, you know, obviously I have a lot to say on the Paleo topic and a lot of ways to counter. You know, people’s arguments about that. And that’s based on science, too. I mean, I can’t help myself to talk about it because I don’t want people to make the wrong mistakes and go down that path and it’s not because I have a bested interest in people having to do what I recommend. I mean there’s plenty of ways you can do a plant-based diet and all the information that we talked about today and in all the other episodes, it’s all free if they will just want to go and do this without having to involve me in any way. But the problem with the Paleo diet is that you fundamentally kind of get away from the fat content. Meat is extremely high in fat. It doesn’t matter if it’s lean chicken with no skin and there’s no fat hanging off it because the fat’s inside the muscles. So it’s a 30% by calorie percentage fat intake when you eat lean chicken. And so by eating the fat, you’re exacerbating the condition. And so, I’m so pleased that you were lead initially in the right direction by your mom’s boyfriend who gave you some good information about changing your diet. But, you know, I’d love to see how he went if he switched to cross the plant-based. I think that he might be able to find a whole new level of improvement and maybe with time, you can be an example for him.
Emily: Yeah, we actually had dinner at my mom’s birthday a couple of weeks ago and he eats whatever he wants and just deal with the pain. So he had no idea what I was doing. So you know, it was kind of fun to talk to someone older who’s just like, “Yeah, you know, I’m in my sixties. I don’t care anymore.” And I was like, “Well, you have to be able to move. Don’t you want to move?” Yeah, he had no idea what I was doing with my diet. So it was fun to talk to him about that.
Clint: Yeah, that’s really cool.
Emily: Yeah, it was actually cool when I was on Paleo. It was, just because, I was in the pressure of, you know, society and being around my friends and being able to go out and eat and eat what they ate, yeah, you just have to say no to that and do your own path, you know, because at the end of the day, you’re the only person, you know, you have to answer to or look at. And it’s hard to do that sometimes.
Clint: It is. There’s no doubt about it. Social pressures are incredible. We don’t, we’re adverse to conflict and if someone starts challenging you and saying about this and that, we’re meant to eat this and we’re meant to eat that and there’s people listening and they want, you know, you have to respond in a groupie of friends or something that can be, yeah, it can be a situation that’s so uncomfortable that we’ll actually eat foods that are bad for us to avoid having those conversations.
Emily: That’s true, yeah. Someone, a few times, someone asks if was vegan and kind of rolled their eyes about it and I said I have a disease and they said, “Oh, that’s okay.” And I was like, well how was that different that you have to, I have to eat this whatever this is, you know if it was my choice? And so I’m starting to feel bad for vegans now because, you know, their lifestyle choice is frowned upon because it’s a choice instead of, you know, something that they have to do.
Clint: Yes, but it is changing. And it is changing in a massive way. Let me talk about this event that I was just at again in Brisbane the other night and then we’ll wrap it up. This event the other night, the other presenter was also a vegan, world bodybuilding champion, natural bodybuilding champion, vegan, huge guy, he’s going to be on the podcast sometime soon, I’m just going to tell you up a time with him. So the two of us, the guest speakers at the event were both vegan, he has a vegan organization. His products, vegan products are now the only products at Gold’s Gym at Bondi Beach in Sydney so the Gold’s Gym have adopted his products as their only product at that iconic beach.
Emily: They’re cool.
Clint: It’s growing like crazy. He’s got Instagram fans around the world who are promoting his product even though they’re sponsored by other brands, you know what I mean, because he’s getting the best results. So he’s powerlifting champion, I mean, the guy is amazing, a vegan advocate. And then the speaker after us who has all of these probiotic supplements, and I’m hoping to get him on to talk about probiotics in quite depth, he’s shifting his whole business towards more of a vegan-friendly supplements, all of his capsules are all veggie caps. The whole thing, I mean, I was amazed. And I said to Melissa when I got home, I said, “Honey, I felt like we’re at some kind of vegan event and this was just an industry event of which I was a guest speaker and the other guys as I said, and we’re all just talking about this whole vegan movement. It’s quite amazing. It’s a real change to what I’ve seen in the past.”
Emily: Yeah, yeah. I was telling my dad I’m fortunate to have gotten this disease now versus ten years ago when there are so many options and tools and you and Dr. McDougall, and you know, it’s easier to go to the store. And so I feel fortunate that way.
Clint: Yeah, oh yeah, we’re all very lucky, aren’t we? That would have been terrible like 20 or 30 years ago. I don’t know if I could have done what I did back then. I might not have made the discoveries or made the connections because I wouldn’t have had miso paste available, the seaweeds, I wouldn’t have had available, the supplements, I wouldn’t have had available, the internet wasn’t even available.
Clint: So I would have been screwed. So let’s be very grateful for that, that’s a very good point. Well, Emily, thank you so much for coming on and it’s been lovely chatting with you and you look like you’re glowing and you’re healthy. You got such a great smile and sort of aura about you. So I’m wishing you all the best in the path from this point on. And if you need me, just reach out and ask me for help at any time.
Emily: Definitely. It was great talking to you and I still want to send you a painting so you have to give me your address so I can do it, a goofy, fun cartoon painting of you and your wife.
Clint: That would be awesome. I’ll tell you what, I’ll put it right behind me so in the future podcast, we can have that, our picture behind. That would be really cool.
Emily: Yeah, well thank you for giving me back my health. I appreciate it more than anything.
Clint: Oh, that’s the reason that I do what I do is because it’s so exciting to see people improve and to see people go from pain to happiness. It’s just so, it’s such a rewarding thing and you’ve done it all. You’ve applied yourself and put in the time and effort and determination and so congratulations. It’s great to see.
Emily: Thank you. Thanks.