No nightshade diet...success story!

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LizJ
LizJ Member Posts: 4
edited 20. Aug 2015, 04:18 in Living with Arthritis archive
Since taking nightshade veg out of diet, my arthritis and well being have drastically improved. I am 51 & was diagnosed with end stage OA in L hip a year ago, with RH thumb also badly affected 4 months ago. I could not write, use cutlery, use car fob etc. stopped work, desperate.

Nightshade vegetables are: potatoes, tomatoes, aubergines and all kinds of pepper (capsicum, chilli). I thought it would be very difficult to take these out of my diet, but have found it easy, and am enjoying finding substitute foods.

The symptoms in my thumb have gone completely, and my hip is much less painful. I noticed improvement after 3 or 4 days.....

Has anyone else tried this? There is no information on the NHS about nightshade at all....

Comments

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,726
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello LizJ. It's lovely to 'meet' you. I'm sorry about the arthritis but it's good to know that things are much better for you right now.

    We have lots of past threads about diet (Just enter the word in the small, pink, search engine above right) and potential 'trigger foods' but no actual consensus. I personally felt better when I stopped eating meat many years ago but low iron levels resulting in more than one lot of cameras up, down and around have convinced me that a small amount is the way to go.

    This is what Arthritis Research UK says about the nightshade foods.
    Some people feel that certain foods are bad for arthritis and that cutting them out helps. These foods include:
    citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons and grapefruit
    vegetables from the nightshade family (solanaceous plants) including potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, chillies and aubergines.
    We don’t recommend leaving these fruits and vegetables out of your diet because of the important nutrients they contain. There’s no scientific evidence that cutting out these foods can help with arthritis. In fact, they're rich in antioxidants – oranges and red peppers contain an antioxidant called β–cryptoxanthin which studies have shown may slow down the progression of arthritis.
    - See more at: http://tinyurl.com/qeb9rga
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • LizJ
    LizJ Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Stickeywicket,
    Thanks for your reply - interesting.

    Re monitoring a healthy diet, I'm finding using MyFitnessPal app useful to make sure I'm still eating healthily, plus taking a daily multivitamin. I'm substituting with similar veg and feeling a lot better overall, in fact feeling 'well' for the first time in ages.

    I know everyone is different, but no-nightshade has made such a massive difference to me and it seems to be another possible route for those who have tried everything else. As you say with meat, it is all about finding the right balance.

    Cheers,
    LizJ
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Good to hear that you have found some improvement Liz.
    I wonder if in some cases the 'link' between diet and arthritis(and other conditions for that matter) is a somewhat complicated one and that's why standard scientific testing doesn't necessarily show any results one way or the other. Difficulties with a certain food can show up in different ways in different individuals. I don't tolerate wheat and have avoided eating it for 15 years now, and wonder whether my very sudden descent into the arthritis world(literally overnight) was something to do with going back to eating wheat in order to be tested for coeliac disease. In the same way a colleague of mine was plagued by IBS symptoms until a chance suggestion by a locum GP found that she has a problem with things called benzoates, found in among other things tomatoes and citrus fruit. Provided she avoids the relevant foods she is now clear of gut problems, but previous attempts to identify food triggers hadn't been conclusive due to the diverse nature of the culprits - she couldn't identify a clear pattern.
  • LizJ
    LizJ Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Dear Daffy2
    That's really interesting, thank you for this. It goes to show that individuals need to be encouraged to explore the different dietary possibilities, just in case they can find relief from their symptoms.

    I felt really intimidated by changing my diet, as I'm sure lots of people do, and wasn't sure how to go about it. There should be more support and awareness of what the triggers might be. The fact that the area is a complex one is frustrating, but I'd certainly encourage others to find out more about their own body's needs if they can.

    On the NHS web pages re arthritis there seems to be little mention of dietary triggers, only advice to maintain a healthy diet.
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    My brain had shut down before I finished that post Liz but I think you got the drift! I was trying to say that if someone has a problem with a food - and may not be aware of it - then it can affect other conditions, but that's not the same as saying that avoiding certain food(s) will improve a given condition. Ironically that can lead to situations, such as yours and my colleague, where the healthy diet recommendations can themselves cause problems - the mediterranean diet is not the best if you have problems with tomatoes or other Solanum family members. Certainly for me, if I do eat wheat(it does sometimes happen, due to lack of alternatives when food is needed) my joints do seem to tweak more, but also allergy and IBS symptoms will worsen if they are playing up, so it's a general response to something my body doesn't like rather than a direct causal link. Fortunately it's short-lived.
    As you say it can be an effort avoiding certain foods,(thank heavens for food-labelling eh?) and it's important not to get too obsessed and/or end up with an unbalanced diet and potentially cause other nutritional problems.