Does a plant based diet really work?

Hi all,

I was diagnosed with RA in 2020 and have been navigating my way through pain, pills and lifestyle changes since. Although I realise there are lots of problems with anecdotal info online - I'd love to know what you guys think about diet being able to 'cure' autoimmune conditions. I am consistently served content from functional medicine gurus, the Paddison Programme and various others who maintain that RA can be cured through lifestyle and diet changes alone. I have made significant changes to my diet but after a long stint of pain I am about to start on Biologics. I can't help but feel guilty that I should have tried harder to fix myself through 'natural' means. Would love to hear from anyone else who feels lost in conflicting information.



  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,038

    Hi @RachelD

    I am vegan so pretty well plant based, but sometimes a 'junk food vegan'? If you know what I mean? I can't always prepare what i want for a variety of reasons Arthritis included so can eat unhealthy food.

    That means I feel I can't really properly answer your question.

    I do think there is some sense in balancing our gut microbiome - eating healthier more veggies less processed food more fruit and variety in our diets, but don't expect a cure myself.

    What i will say for definite is you shouldn't beat yourself up for not having 'tried harder'!!!! No way! It's just tough enough getting by - never mind trying to prepare fresh healthy food when you're in pain.

    Maybe though if your biologic really helps you you can start to do more when you feel a bit better.

    Take care and best of luck with the new drug ((()))

    Toni x

  • CCM
    CCM Member Posts: 113

    Alternative treatments are sometimes referred to as "Complimentary", and that's just what they are. A balance between conventional and alternative is to be looked for. Trust your clinicians and discuss the alternatives with them.


  • JustJo7
    JustJo7 Member Posts: 2

    Hi.. I was diagnosed with RA June this year after suffering pain for 5yrs (and misdiagnosis of fibromyalgia). Tried mtx orally for 6wks, made me feel hideous. Before stopping them, I started eating plant based, following Dr Michael Greggers daily dozen (look it up if you've not heard of it). While after couple months it seemed to be controlling my pain, have just had awful flare and am waiting for app. to start mtx injections. Would symptoms and recent flare have been even worse if I was not been eating plant based? I believe they would (comparing recent pains to last few years!) and will continue eating this way. Its like I've discovered food for the first time.. cant describe the joy of eating homemade red pesto warm green salad and beet and red cabbage slaw with broccoli and chickpea frittas!! 😋

    Good luck.. Jo

  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 1,486

    Hi @JustJo7

    Welcome to the online community.

    I see you were diagnosed in June this year with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and are waiting to start Methotrexate by injection as soon as it's all set up for you. I hope you feel better than you did taking it orally.

    You have been following a plant based diet and are clearly enjoying eating healthy freshly cooked foods I am also vegan myself.

    I don't think it's possible to 100% prove that your eating prevented your recent flare being too bad.

    I am attaching a couple of links which might be of interest:


    Please do keep posting it would be good to know how you get on.

    Best wishes


    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm