Subject: Re: Just a Patient Case Study - but further food for thought
My personal view is that the Mediterranean Diet has even less scientific standing as the much heralded 'China Study' that compare disease prevalence and diet across China. There are good things about the diet - with the fish, Olive Oil but the factors that control disease are much more complex than just diet.
Also the Mediterranean Diet was not a study of the Mediterranean as a whole it was based on few Italian towns I believe.
This is sort of backed up by the European studies on arthritis - to be honest the figures are all over the place - Greece has high incidence of RA, France low, with Sweden, Denmark, Finland all high - UK very high. The hygiene hypothesis (more diverse gut bacteria!) also seems to come in to play with prevalence of RA lower in rural communities.
People in the Mediterranean have developed more defense against the proteins in wheat than many of us northern Europeans. They also lost a larger number from their gene pool to plague / disease in the middle ages at the rise of the agricultural revolution - and it will have been those that were weakened by the 'new diet' that would have succumbed - the genetically stronger ones survived.
I have a strong biased view :) that we can trace some of the of mass disease such as plague to introduction of new proteins in to the diet - a loose link is that new strains of high yield wheat that was imported from Egypt - (the same fertile plain that had caused mass arthritis amongst the Egyptians centuries before)
So a personal view, but a common one - I would not put bread at the heart of any diet for anyone with any auto-immune disease. There is simply too much evidence that it is an inflammatory food for virtually everyone, but of course some people do tolerate the onslaught (but only if they have the genes, strong protective gut bacteria).
The only diets I would recommend are ones that focus on gut health (with 100% grain free, with the possible exception of trialing GF oats and Sourdough Rye Bread) and my very strong view now is that NSAIDs are complete poison - maybe a necessary poison at a time of crisis - but long term they destroy any chance of recovery (for some long term users it might be too late to regain gut barrier).
And today in the studies they show it's not just Celiac and arthritis - The amino acids in wheat have been shown that how they contribute to neurodegenerative conditions such as Multiple sclerosis, Alzhemierās, Huntingtonās disease, and other nervous disorders such as Epilepsy, Attention Deficit Disorder and Migraines.
For me it's a no brainer.. I had brain fog most of the time before I went GF
As regards other foods - I've been shot down too many times to say salad is good or fish is good - understanding the mechanism of autoimmune disease I can see that with a distinct flow of events that many proteins in any food could become problematic - for a given individual.
So starting with an elimination diet with a few foods that are very unlikely to cause an immune response is a good way to go -
Gradually introduce herbs and spices
In fact I saw this which ties up with my top of my head list... So easy reading for diet...
It says you MUST eliminate always to start...
*Dairy products (lactose and casein) - (I would say include Sheeps and Goats Yogurt)
*Wheat (and other gluten-containing foods)
Eggs (whites particularly)
All citrus fruits and juices (I would say omit peaches too)
Your Rheumi team are likely to say the usual... 'there is no evidence' etc etc... my view is what do they know about it - they did 2 weeks on diet in medical school!
Perhaps show them this study - It suggests that wheat proteins DO get in to the synovial fluid in the joints and cause an immune response 33% for RA - 42% for PsA and 11% for OA !!!! What they are describing here is a Celiac type reaction of the bones....
I am going to study for BCNH Nutritional Degree - starting with a Science Foundation in September - then 3 years and a 1 Year Clinical Practice course for nutrition. One of my daughter friends Mum has been doing the course and is about to enter her last year - she told me last week that I had more knowledge than some on the course already. BTW - This lady doing the course reacts to RICE!
Good Luck with you rheumi visit!