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Thinking About Paleo

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 21, 2012 at 4:26 AM

So I'm in my early 20s, and I keep having joint pains... Actually, it's hard to tell if it's the joint or tendon or what. Moves around from wrists to knees. I also hear my knee clicking sometimes. I've been evaluated by a rheumatologist and nothing suspicious. I am not an athlete and I barely work-out so overuse is not really an issue. I was doing some stair climbing OCCASSIONALY.

More than a month ago I acquired a horrible headache and decided to take an Imitrex - bad idea? Because I don't know if it was a coincidence but the next day I had arm pain horrible and could barely type. Then it slowly subsided but seemed to travel to my knees.

After about a month, the pain has been waxing and waning. Sometimes I don't feel much, sometimes I do. My knees are always pretty achy. I asked my doc and she said that a drug allergy should be gone by know...

What are other possibilities? It doesn't seem like it could be osteoarthristis because it came on so suddenly. However, I did have an episode of bad joint pain several years ago and was treated with Superoxide Dismutase (Is this even safe???) which seemed to clear it up until now... Not even sure if it's the same kind of pain as back then (It was worse).

I also have ammenhorea... Not sure if it's relevant.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on March 06, 2012
at 07:42 AM

Do not eat “vegetable oils”. ... Remember: if you can put it in a truck and the truck starts, it’s not food. That is too funny!!! And true of course :-)

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4 Answers

2
00c8eb3f6e6a1884216044ca29cf868a

on February 21, 2012
at 05:53 AM

It is quite possible that you have a type III allergy to Imitrex. Allergies to sulfa drugs are reasonably common. If you have a known allergy to other sulfa drugs, this is a slam-dunk, but it's possible even if not. Keep in mind that most allergists won't even admit the existence of type III allergies (immune-mediated), despite the fact that they appear prominently in every undergrad microbiology text. And your doc is incorrect: type III allergies can continue on for weeks after initial exposure.

Whatever's going on, it's clearly inflammatory. Joint pain is a known side effect of many inflammatory and autoimmune diseases...bound immune complexes build up in the joints and cause pain. There will be no swelling or other outward sign, just pain and sometimes crepitus (clicking), which sounds exactly like what you're experiencing. It will not show up on X-ray or any other evaluation.

My response would be to switch to a highly anti-inflammatory diet, i.e. functional paleo. The biggest and most important step is to get control of your omega 3/omega-6 ratio. Be a fascist about kicking all n-6 fats out of your diet: no 'vegetable oil', nothing that contains it. Cook with butter and coconut oil. Eat only fatty fish or red meat: pork and chicken have high n-6 ratios. Take a few grams of fish oil each day: you don't want to do this forever, but it's much more important to get the inflammation under control.

Keep in mind that changes in n-3/n-6 ratio take a few weeks to notice and 8 weeks to take full effect, as they're physically being incorporated into cell walls and other body tissues.

You might also look into foods you're eating that you might be Type III allergic to. I don't know if any foods cross-react with sulfa drugs, but it's worth investigating.

JS

Disclaimer: you are responsible for your own health. This includes your decision to take (or not take) anyone's advice -- even your doctor's.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on March 06, 2012
at 07:42 AM

Do not eat “vegetable oils”. ... Remember: if you can put it in a truck and the truck starts, it’s not food. That is too funny!!! And true of course :-)

0
Febcfb45a6bec019a69101cfa8104d30

(463)

on February 21, 2012
at 05:24 AM

I have had similar problems myself. I started by having knee pain in early college, just from normal walking--I was never an athlete or anything like that. I also had foot pains occasionally and wrist pain. After a while (and I started exercising more), I began to have shoulder and neck pain. I've been able to get rid of my knee pain though exercise under the guidance of a physical therapist and some of my shoulder pain through surgery, but I'm still working on neck pain.

After going to several ignorant doctors and chiropractors (most of whom were no help whatsoever to me), I found that it was due to an innate hypermobility that I had apparently developed in some joints. That is, my shoulder capsule was too loose, which caused more friction than there should have been; same with my knee (although it was tendons, not the capsule). I recently discovered that this is probably due to something called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which is a heritable genetic defect that apparently leads to mistakes in the production of collagen. It cannot be completely cured, but its effects can be mitigated by things like high vitamin-C intake, hyaluronic acid, and strengthening of certain muscles (core and stabilizer muscles). There's more, I'm sure, but I've only started looking into it.

Paleo itself has not given me any relief, but eating more vegetables does seem to help for some reason.

However, since you don't know what you have, I'd look into it yourself in addition to finding an excellent physical therapist and/or orthopedist. Overuse can be an issue even without exercise; if you aren't very physically active, the repetitive motions of using a computer a lot or walking can cause overuse injuries. A physical therapist can help mitigate that.

0
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on February 21, 2012
at 05:08 AM

I would try paleo for sure. It is a good match to what you are trying to help.

0
64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on February 21, 2012
at 04:33 AM

Rheumatoid arthritis is very closely linked to gluten intolerances. You may wanna try a paleo diet for a month, being extra sure to be gluten free, and see how you feel.

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