Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

© www.PeterSmithUK.com 

Rheumatoid arthritis is essentially elevated inflammation throughout the whole body but particularly attacking the joints causing horrible pain. When most people especially people with arthritis think of inflammation they think of it as a bad thing but inflammation is a normal, essential and healthy part of our immune system; what inflammation does is it break things down the reason we need inflammation is to break down things like bacteria and viruses invading and attacking our body and when we have an injury causing dead and damaged cells we want the area to become inflamed to break down those dead and damaged cells so that they can be cleaned away. I think of inflammation a little bit like I think of the bleach, it’s corrosive and breakdown bacteria and viruses; in my house, sometimes I want strong drain bleach to clean up an area if my cat has been sick or worse, in other situations I want a mild bleach say in my kitchen or sometimes for laundry, but what I don’t want to do is to use really strong drain bleach on a delicate surface and then leave it there for a long period of time because it will go beyond just killing the bacteria and start damaging whatever I’ve put it onto. Elevated and persistent inflammation in the body when it’s not needed begins to break down delicate structures in the body. 

The goal of rheumatoid arthritis treatment therefore is to reduce persistent elevated and unnecessary levels of inflammation. The body uses glucocorticoid steroid hormones like cortisol to inhibit and therefore control the level of inflammation our immune system produces and people with rheumatoid arthritis have been consistently found to have low levels of glucocorticoid hormones. 

Standard mainstream medical treatments involve the use of anti-inflammatory drugs and or the use of glucocorticoid hormones, there are some natural remedies that possess anti-inflammatory effects similar to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (like ibuprofen) there are also some dietary practices that encourage your body to produce more of its own natural glucocorticoid hormones. 

A new diet approach for rheumatoid arthritis

A pilot study in the Journal of pain found a reduction in pain by a third by following a very high potassium diet (6000 mg plus per day[i]). 

Besides controlling inflammation another function of glucocorticoid steroid hormones is that they enable the kidneys to excrete excess potassium preventing potassium levels building up in the body, today most people don’t eat enough potassium but our Paleolithic ancestors ate enormous amounts of potassium. It has been observed that in people with rheumatoid arthritis not only are glucocorticoid levels low but also people with RA have lower levels of potassium. The theory is that if you massively increase your potassium intake ideally getting at up to Paleolithic levels this will trigger the adrenal glands to increase the levels of circulating glucocorticoids which will then reduce inflammation and pain[ii]. As I just mentioned above a pilot study testing this theory was able to produce a one 3rd reduction in pain with 6000 mg plus per day of potassium.

If 6000 mg per day reduced pain by a 3rd why not aim for an even stronger effect by consuming the 10,500 mg of potassium a day that archaeologists believe our Paleolithic hunter gatherer ancestors ate. Today the standard British and American diets deliver a mere 2500 mg. A high potassium diet has several other protective effects, it is associated with reduced blood pressure, less strokes, less deaths from cardiovascular disease and less cancers although the reduced cancer effect may not be due to the potassium in the high potassium diet it may be due to the high intake of cancer fighting antioxidants polyphenols that are inherently included in high potassium vegetable foods.

A super high potassium diet is safe and healthy to do unless you have kidney disease or kidney failure but if you don’t have this problem you can safely try high potassium diet and also keep well hydrated to give the kidneys plenty fluid to flush the potassium out and see if it improves your RA.

To reduce inflammation and rheumatoid arthritic pain you should aim for 8000 to 10,000 mg of potassium a day. 

The top of potassium containing foods

Bananas are famous for containing potassium but an average banana only contains about 420 mg of potassium 3 even if you ate 10 bananas a day it would only take you to 4200 mg and it would make you terribly constipated and overload your body with an unhealthy dose of fructose. We now think fructose is potentially quite a harmful sugar and that the daily intake should not exceed 25 g a day and an average banana contains about 12 g suggest to bananas a day and you used to be fructose budget, I eat one banana per day divided between 2 smoothies. 

There are many other foods which are actually higher in potassium than bananas including:-

  • White beans, a single cup of cooked white beans can contain a whopping 829 mg potassium, because they lack colour white beans are unfortunately not a good source of polyphenols compared to other beans but I compensate for this by covering them in a thick home-made tomato herb sauce which is super rich in polyphenols. (Polyphenols a type of antioxidant found primarily in plant foods that also exert an anti-inflammatory effect in the body, interestingly polyphenols are the actual compounds that give plant foods their bright colours, the purple in blueberries are polyphenols, the red in a red pepper are polyphenols, red onions have more polyphenols than white onions, black beans and pinto beans have a lot of polyphenols white beans don’t so you can serve them with other brightly coloured foods).
  • Swiss chard, 1 cup (178 g) contains 960 mg of potassium.
  • Cooked tomato paste is quite high in potassium, 3 tablespoons (about 50 g) contains 486 mg of potassium, it is also super high in polyphenols, particularly protective against prostate cancer. The consumption of tomatoes when you have rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis is controversial, the situation is that there is no established scientific link between consuming tomatoes and any type of arthritis, if tomatoes encouraged arthritis wouldn’t arthritis be an epidemic in let’s say Italy, but it isn’t; one could argue that the Mediterranean diet may be so protective against arthritis that compensates for the high intake of tomatoes but to mistake to think that most people in Italy follow a Mediterranean diet, there’s a lot of pork and sausages. Despite the lack of scientific evidence of a link between tomatoes and are a there are many people that insist that giving up tomatoes and foods from the same family improve their RA so my advice is avoid tomatoes and all the other foods in the same family completely for 6 weeks to allow any antibodies that they may have provoked to have drained away and then go crazy and have tomato and potato soup with eggplant and see what happens if it causes a flareup there’s your answer tomatoes and related foods are not for you, but wouldn’t it be nice to know that you can eat these versatile and tasty foods.
  • Avocados contain 487 mg of potassium per half avocado but they come with a lot of fat so don’t eat more than half a day
  • Sweet potatoes, a medium-sized sweet potato contains 540 mg and they are also very high in polyphenols making them a true superfood.
  • Black beans, a cup (472 g) of black beans contains 611 mg potassium, they are also a high polyphenols containing superfood
  • Spinach, a cup (156 g) of frozen spinach contains 540 mg potassium I usually use fresh spinach 2 cups a day divided between 2 smoothies.
  • Coconut water, a cup (240 mL) of coconut water can contain 600 mg of potassium.
  • Butternut squash, a cup (205 g) of butternut squash can contain 582 mg of potassium, it’s also high in polyphenols.
  • Potatoes, a 130 g potato can provide 515 mg of potassium, BUT watch out for the glycaemic index from potatoes, they are pure starch and some potatoes have a very high glycaemic index meaning that break down into sugar very quickly, large baking potatoes break down into sugar incredibly quickly they are a diabetic promoting food however small new potatoes have a medium and completely acceptable GI. Cooking increases the GI so when you cook new potatoes do not overcook them so that they are soft, if you could mash them don’t eat them they should still be al dente. An interesting phenomenon is that you cook potatoes either normally or al dente and then refrigerate them overnight some chemistry occurs in the fridge causing the starch molecules to shrink making them break down more slowly and therefore lowering the GI, so a potato salad is a healthy way to eat potatoes.
  • Pomegranates, a single pomegranate can contain 660 mg of potassium and they are very rich in polyphenols, you can see that in the red colour.
  • Watermelons and dried apricots are also very high potassium containing foods but I don’t recommend them because watermelons have a really high GI which is a shame because the red colour in watermelons would be good to eat, and the problem with dried apricots is that contain far too much fructose to be considered a healthy food, I just use a few in baking to deliver a sticky quality.
 
Cooked vegetables can contain more potassium and raw vegetables
Potassium is not destroyed by cooking it may however be lost if you boil your vegetables and then throw the water away along with some of the potassium; although it’s common to see potatoes and carrots added to vegetable soups/stews I do not recommend using a lot of carrots and potatoes because of their high carbohydrate content and absolutely do not cook carrots and potatoes for an extended period because this breaks down the carbohydrate and increases the speed at which carbohydrates are turned into glucose i.e the glycaemic index goes up. You can use some sweet potatoes carrots and new/small potatoes but have them towards the end of cooking so that they are still al dente. I recommend using lentils as a thickener and a simple hand blender is quicker and easier to use than a big mixer.
 

Smoothies are the only practical way to consume 8000+ milligrams of potassium a day

To consume 8000-10,000 mg of potassium a day you need to eat 10 to 12 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, a portion is a medium-sized carrot, a serving of broccoli or a handful of blueberries, now I tried eating 12 portions of veg and fruit and it was completely impractical I had to eat continuously for hours whilst working at the same time (on the computer not with clients!)  so unless you intend to quit your job and become a full-time hunter-gatherer you have to use a blender.
 
By far the most practical and time saving way to consume potassium is to buy blender/smoothie maker. The old style blenders are usually too big and slow, the new compact high-speed smoothie makers such as the nutribullet are cheap and very effective. I originally had the 12 piece set Nutribullet in my own kitchen and highly recommend it, today I use the nutribullet RX because it has a super mode where runs continuously for 9 minutes producing a hot soup, my standard recipe is a sweet potato, half a can of tomatoes, a spoon of tomato sauce, half a can of cooked white beans for protein and more potassium, lots of flavoursome herbs like garlic, ginger which is also anti-inflammatory, coriander and anything else like celery and mushrooms.
 
PS I do not recommend the Vitamix S30 it’s expensive and has a terrible performance, Vitamix are very expensive and highly marketed as being the best blender you can buy, perhaps the larger models are good but the small one is 2 to 3 times the price of a nutribullet and inferior.
 
What you can do the blender is have a smoothie with 4 portions worth of vegetables and fruits with whatever you’re having for breakfast, you can make up a 2nd beaker and take it to work with you, keep it in the fridge and then have it with whatever you’re eating for lunch, this means you have quickly and easily consumed 8 portions of veg and fruit before your evening meal. With your evening meal you may have more time to sit and eat a large portion of salad and cooked vegetables vegetable soups, if not have another smoothie.
 
There are 2 caveats to using a blender, firstly if you drink the smoothie down quickly you will not mix in enough of the enzyme contained in saliva called amylase needed to start the digestive process; there are 2 ways around this problem one is that you swish each mouthful of the smoothie in your mouth before you swallow it, to be honest that’s a bit tedious and when you do it in front of other people it looks a little strange, I preferred the alternative technique which is to buy some digestive enzyme capsules containing amylase and empty the contents of one of the capsules into each beaker.
 
The 2nd caveat is that you must not put a lot of high fructose containing sweet fruits into your blender, no mangoes, pineapples, peaches, melons, passion fruits because they contain too much fructose, too little potassium and too few polyphenols. Basically if you make a smoothie and it tastes really great you’ve messed it up!
 
Another important thing is if when you first start consuming smoothies don’t start on 3 cups a day, it can cause very uncomfortable indigestion, start with a small beaker on day one and build up over two weeks.  
 
My standard mis is a half a banana, broccoli spinach along with slightly round teaspoon of Amla powder (Amla powder is super high in antioxidants and combat high blood sugar which is another source of inflammation), a big piece of ginger root (another potent anti-inflammatory) and frozen berries, more blackberries than blueberries because they are lower in fructose.
 

Natural anti-inflammatory remedies for rheumatoid arthritis:

BioPerine: (bioperine is slightly anti-inflammatory in its own right but its main purpose is to increase the absorption of the curcumin from turmeric)
1 tablet twice a day with breakfast and dinner. Chew the tablet just before you start eating to give it a head start before the curcumin starts to be absorbed, this practice significantly increases the amount of curcumin you absorb. [Source Naturals 10 mg available from the UK Amazon or iherb.com
Available from the UK Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Source-Naturals-Bioperine-Pepper-Extract/dp/B000GFSRAY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1429758026&sr=8-2&keywords=Piperine
 
Turmeric
The active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin, curcumin has anti-inflammatory, BDNF boosting and antidepressant effects. Unfortunately curcumin is very poorly absorbed from regular turmeric and the difficulty has been delivering sufficient quantities of curcumin to the human brain, in laboratory experiments curcumin is often administered to rats by injection. The new turmeric preparations now deliver sufficient curcumin to the brain to make it a useful medicine for human brain/mental health.
 
Preparations that I have found to be effective include:
 
Natures Best Turmeric
In the UK I recommend Natures Best Turmeric 10,000 mg
http://www.naturesbest.co.uk/turmeric-tablets-10000mg-p135/?src=gotume 

Super Bio Curcumin 
1 capsule twice a day after breakfast and dinner.
This is available from iherb or the UK Amazonhttp://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-Extension-Curcumin-Vegetarian-Packaging/dp/B00IZ15BOG/ref=pd_sim_d_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=07WAMTWW6YA7Q07M3HKB
Another alternative is to buy a big bag of organic turmeric powder, this is nothing like as concentrated or potent as the products above and you have to take about 1-2 full desert spoons in place of one of the above capsules. I've tried this alternative myself, it does deliver good results when combined with the BioPerine. It is considerably cheaper to use this method than the super bio curcumin but only slightly cheaper than the nature’s Best turmeric tablets and because it is very unpleasant tasting and inconvenient to mix the powder I no longer recommend this method. You can buy large bags of organic turmeric powder online including from Amazon.
 
Boswellia
Another herb specifically useful for treating rheumatoid arthritis is Boswellia
1 capsule twice a with meals.
http://uk.iherb.com/pr/Now-Foods-Boswellia-Extract-500-mg-90-Softgels/57586
 
EGCg (EGCg’s are optional extras they are the antioxidants obtained from tea particularly green tea)
1 capsule twice a day with meals.
Now Foods: http://www.iherb.com/Now-Foods-EGCg-Green-Tea-Extract-400-mg-180-Veggie-Caps/11598
 
 
SAM-e (SAM-e is optional, it’s a super powerful anti-inflammatory, unfortunately however it’s very expensive and some people find it a little harsh on the stomach, if your situation is bad and you in a lot of pain it may be worth buying enough SAM-e for the initial 4 to 6 weeks just to speed up the healing process)
800 mg once a day on an empty stomach.
SAM-e is quite expensive, I recommend Dr's Best 200 mg.
http://www.iherb.com/Doctor-s-Best-SAMe-200-60-Enteric-Coated-Tablets/17130
 
Super Omega-3 with Sesame Lignin and Olive Oil (supplementing high doses of omega-3 EPA and reducing the intake of omega-6 oils from vegetable oils is a central component of reducing inflammation).
This product comes in two sizes: the capsules in the 120 capsule bottle size contain twice as much as the capsules in the 240 capsule bottle.
 
Take between 1500 and 2000 mg of EPA per day for the first six weeks or until you feel signs of improvement, at wh are ich point you can experiment with reducing the dosage to about 1000 mg and see what dosage you need to take to maintain the improvements. These doses may seem high but this is what it takes to switch off inflammation.
 
Some people find if they take the fish oil supplement after a meal it gives them an upset stomach so always take it at the start of your meal so that the food sits on top of it.
Omega-3 fish oils are very delicate and breakdown when exposed to light and heat so it’s important to keep them in the fridge or ideally the freezer and avoid exposing them to direct sunlight.
 
http://www.iherb.com/Life-Extension-Omega-Foundations-Super-Omega-3-120-Softgels/67018
 
Low-Dose Aspirin
Some people don’t want to take aspirin because it’s a pharmaceutical drug however at low doses it has numerous health promoting qualities, aspirin was originally an extract from willow bark and it’s safe for most people to take especially at the very low doses I recommend.
 
I recommend taking a single 75 mg baby aspirin (which is the smallest can buy) once a day.
 
Aspirin reduces the formation of a fat called arachidonic acid and reducing arachidonic acid levels is the central target of the anti-inflammation diet you should follow to improve the health of your brain; furthermore it’s been observed that inflammation promoting arachidonic acid builds up in the bipolar brain and one of the ways lithium is works is that it counteracts this problem.  By combining a very low dose of aspirin with the anti-inflammatory diet gives the lithium you’re taking a helping hand so that you get a bigger effect from the low dose.
 
NB this very low dose of aspirin should not present any problem interactions however please consult with your Dr before combining aspirin with other medication.
 
Ginger
Ginger is a well researched anti-inflammatory remedy with useful properties in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
I recommend Jarrow ginger 500 mg 1 capsule 2 to 3 times a day with meals
http://uk.iherb.com/pr/Jarrow-Formulas-Ginger-500-mg-100-Capsules/204
 
Nigella Sativa Seeds
The seeds are commonly called black cumin or black caraway they are not to be confused with black sesame seeds.
Nigella seed oil improved rheumatoid arthritis in 40% of cases in a small study[iii], in my practice I’ve employed nigella seeds successfully to lower blood sugar in people with type II diabetes and insulin resistance.
The dosage is just a half a teaspoon of seeds a unfortunately however they do have to be grounded in a coffee grinder just before use, they can be sprinkled into a smoothie. When you buy them in a little bag as a spice their expensive but you can find 1 pound or half a kilogram bags more cheaply online.
 
Probiotics
Probiotics can significantly improves outcomes; they reduce inflammation throughout the body including the brain and specific strains can induce specific brain health benefiting effects.
 
Lactobacillus rhamnous and reuteri encourages GABA production and calm down overactivity in the HPA axis, and lactobacillus plantarum and bifidobacteria longum encourage BDNF production and may have an overall antidepressant effect.
 
Primadophillus superior probiotic multi-strain for these two bacteria, it’s available in capsules and powder which is cheaper.
https://www.iherb.com/pr/Nature-s-Way-Primadophilus-Reuteri-Superior-Probiotic-90-Veggie-Caps/4674 
 
I recommend starting with the Primadophillus probiotic to assist down regulating overactivity in the HPA axis for the first 2 to 3 months and then moving onto a multi-strain such as hyperbolic’s pro 15.
 
**The above products are usually sufficient and will work on their own however if digestive health problems especially leaky gut are also a feature of your condition or if you’ve had a lot of antibiotics in the past you could consider adding the following a high potency probiotic containing a high number of Lactobacillus plantarum bacteria. You could consider taking this additional probiotic for up to the first six months but even just a single month in the beginning will help to kickstart your recovery.:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005HXRLYS/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=1PK3QW4YKX5YR&coliid=IK2W4G4MT4N7F
I don’t think iherb sell this product so you have to shop around for US suppliers or find something equivalent with a high dosage of Lactobacillus plantarum.

Vitamin D 3
Vitamin D3 levels in observed below in people with rheumatoid arthritis and supplementing D3 can enhance the effectiveness of other treatments[iv].
I recommend 5000 IUs vitamin D either continuously or the first six months thereafter no more than 3000 IUs without blood tests stop
 
Taurine (you would include taurine if you have high blood sugar or if you want to enhance your memory by growing new cells in the hippocampus)
Take 3000 mg 2 times a day I recommend buying this in powder form it is cheap and completely tasteless, you can put the powder in your drinking water and consume it throughout the day. (Now Foods or any brand you can find)
 

Cortisol Adrenals and Rheumatoid Arthritis

As already mentioned people with RA have lower levels of circulating corticosteroids, and another technique I’ve employed in my practice to reduce inflammation in the body is to strengthen the adrenal glands to help them make more helpful corticosteroids; to do this I employ to techniques specific natural remedies and brain training techniques to change the way we manage stress physiology so that the adrenal glands are given rest bite from relentless stress and the opportunity to heal and regenerate. When our adrenal glands are too exhausted and week to make sufficient glucocorticoids to control inflammation is the point at which we need to take prescription steroid hormones to make up the deficit.
 
Adrenal Support Remedies
(remember that glucocorticoid hormones are manufactured in the adrenals)
 
Pantothenic Acid (pantothenic acid significantly helps the adrenal glands to regenerate -see below for the connection between the adrenal and rheumatoid arthritis- when taken in large quantities pantothenic acid is very non-toxic and safe at high doses).
3000 mg twice a with meals.
I recommend Now Foods 500 mg pantothenic acid capsules. If you want to cut costs by pantothenic acid in powder form with empty size 00 capsules, it’s easy to fill by hand while watching the television example.
http://uk.iherb.com/pr/Now-Foods-Pantothenic-Acid-500-mg-250-Capsules/326
 
For your information: I do not particularly recommend adrenal function tests that simply take measurements of cortisol throughout the day because they susceptible to producing false readings.
 
Also if you’re adrenals are very exhausted it can be worthwhile taking the bioidentical hormone DHEA, it’s probably a good idea to have blood tests before supplementing DHEA but supplementing up to 25 mg especially if you’re over the age of 50 is probably safe even without testing.
Normal levels depending on age are: 16.2-49 2 mcg/dL for men and 12-40 7 mcg/dL for women.
Optimal levels are: 350-50 0 mcg/dL for men and 275-400 mcg/dL for women.
 
DHEA can be difficult to obtain without a prescription in some countries including the UK, you can however find it online.
 
A recent development is to substitute 7-Keto for DHEA, 7-Keto is a metabolite of DHEA that is not converted into either oestrogen or testosterone like DHEA can be and therefore does not have the possibility of upsetting other hormonal balances; unfortunately however it’s not clear to me yet whether or not 7-Keto is an appropriate substitution with regard to inflammation and RA.
 
Liquorice
When choosing a liquorice product to regenerate the adrenals you must choose one that has not been de-glycerided, the glycerides are often removed because long-term use can lead to high blood pressure but this component is what we want for the adrenals, if you have high blood pressure avoid using liquorice.
http://uk.iherb.com/pr/Nature-s-Answer-Licorice-Alcohol-Free-2-000-mg-1-fl-oz-30-ml/5253
 
Two per Day (Life Extension): 
1 capsule twice a day with breakfast and dinner.
This multiple vitamin/mineral contains methylfolate in place of folic acid, we must avoid taking the synthetic folic acid form of this vitamin just in case you have the MTHFR gene mutation, if you take folic acid and you have this mutation it blocks your ability to methylate and control inflammation. It also contains the right type of methylcobalamin or B12 which further reduces inflammation in place of the more typical cyanocobalamin.
http://www.iherb.com/Life-Extension-Two-Per-Day-Tablets-High-Potency-Multivitamin-Mineral-Supplement-120-Tablets/67025
 
Magnesium Citrate 
2 tablets twice a day with breakfast and dinner.
[Now Foods they do a 250 tablet bottle available at a good price from iherb.com alternatively you can buy magnesium citrate from Now Foods in powder form, take 400 mg of magnesium twice a day]
 
Change the way your brain manages stress responses as part of your treatment for rheumatoid arthritis
What should happen is we should get a 3rd of cortisol 1st thing in the morning and then cortisol levels should decline rapidly to the afternoon to minimal levels throughout the night, so the weights post work is the adrenals work hard in the morning but then rest and regenerate while we sleep. Unfortunately this is not what happens in many people, they may have overactive stress physiology preventing, studies have shown that prolonged periods of excessive stress responses can result in chronic inflammation[v], one reason for this is it exhausts the adrenal glands.
 
When our body produces a stress response hypothalamus in the brain tells the pituitary in the brain to tell the adrenal glands to release the corticosteroid hormone cortisol this is known as the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis (HPA axis) and prolonged periods of stress can lead to permanent over activation of the HPA stress pathway. Initially this leads to prolonged elevated cortisol levels that results increased inflammation (increased cytokine levels), what happens is persistent elevated cortisol causes our body to become desensitised or resistant to cortisol so that the cortisol we make works less efficiently. To make matters worse gradually over time our adrenals can become exhausted, worn out and able to make less and less cortisol.
 
Eventually combination reduced cortisol production from exhausted adrenals and needing higher than normal levels of cortisol due to cortisol resistance results in chronic inflammation that will take some concerted effort to shift.
 
One of the essential components to eliminating chronic inflammation is to restore health to the adrenal glands, my observation is that the adrenal glands have a remarkable ability to regenerate and recuperate, we can use natural remedies to stimulate regeneration in the adrenals but you absolutely must not just start stimulating regeneration of your worn out adrenals without either before or at the same time taking measures to switch off excess activity in the HPA stress pathway. When I began practice in the late 80s I didn’t know this and treated people with chronic adrenal fatigue syndrome with natural remedies to boost their adrenal function; initially the treatment seemed to be working fantastically as the adrenal support restored their deficient levels of cortisol resulting in decreased inflammation, stronger immune system and more energy; unfortunately however 6 to 9 months later their energy levels crashed again because we hadn’t switched off the chronic overactivity in their HPA axis so their adrenals and cortisol levels used the remedies, revved themselves up then collapsed again. This problem is easy to avoid by implementing the following.
 

Switching off Overactive Stress Physiology

There are three ways you can reduce excessive unwanted stress responses:-
1/ You may or may not be able to reduce the sources of external stress in your life, but of course life will subject you to high levels of stress that you cannot control from time to time; in addition to external life events causing stress much of the stress responses we produce in our body are generated within our own mind by our psychology or the way we think. Talking psychotherapy can be very helpful at changing ways of thinking that provoke unnecessary stress responses and if you are really serious about combating inflammation you should try some form of psychological therapy to remodel this source of stress responses.
 
2/ You can train your brain how to switch off stress responses quickly and efficiently (see The Stress Solution), this involves performing at least 30 and I would recommend 45 to 50 hours of lying on your back and inducing a deeply and profoundly relaxed state. We now know that when you repeatedly perform an exercise for sufficient hours you can hardwire the ability to perform the exercise into the brain. When you perform this exercise and induce a deeply relaxed condition you hardwire into the brain and enhanced ability to switch off stress responses, I like to think of it as throwing a bigger of superior off-stress switch to compensate for the bigger on-stress switch your brain will have grown in response to a prolonged period of elevated stress.
 
People often think meditation and deep relaxation of the same thing but they are distinctly different physiological conditions and it’s a mistake to think that meditation can achieve the same brain training effect as a course of deep relaxation training; when your primary goal is to set off overactivity in the HPA axis do 45 to 50 hours of deep relaxation brain training first and then optionally follow this on with meditation. If you suspect you carry a significant amount of psychological trauma you may want to start with psychotherapy or dinner psychotherapy simultaneously with deep relaxation training, you may also need to repeat another round of 45 to 50 hours of deep relaxation brain training after the course of psychotherapy.
 
3/ Meditation has been shown to reduce stress related cortisol production[vi]. Great meditation systems include mindfulness meditation where you focus your attention on either your sensations such as your breathing, hearing et cetera, or focusing openly on your thoughts, focused based meditations where one focuses on chanting a mantra, meditating on cultivating the ceiling and psychology of compassion and lovingkindness. Choose any meditation that you enjoy doing and practice about 20 minutes a day, even just 15 minutes is better than nothing. If you wanted to sample several meditation techniques to find a method that works for you I offer one-to-one coaching sessions, alternatively I do small group meditation classes. 
 

Anti-Inflammatory Diet

last but not least you must follow an anti-inflammation diet which consists of:
  1. the size of your own palm of protein,
  2. a very small quarter portion of carbohydrates with the glycaemic index less than 70,
  3. half the meal must be coloured vegetables and fruit,
  4. have only olive oil and coconut oil in your kitchen,
  5. reduce your intake of omega-6 oils by avoiding vegetable oils, avoiding non-organic meat ideally using organic grass fed meat or avoiding meat altogether and avoiding ready-made meals,
  6. supplement high-quality EPA with every meal that doesn’t contain oily fish. 
 
[i] A Pilot Study of Potassium Supplementation in the Treatment of Hypokalemic Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Randomized, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Trial Reza Rastmanesh, Reza Rastmanesh et al. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpain.2008.03.006
[ii] Med Hypotheses. 2009 Oct;73(4):564-8. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2009.05.035. Epub 2009 Jun 27. Hypothetical hormonal mechanism by which potassium-rich diets benefit patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Rastmanesh R1. PMID:19560875 DOI: 10.1016/j.mehy.2009.05.035
[iii] Phytother Res. 2007 Sep;21(9):895-7. Effects of thymoquinone (volatile oil of black cumin) on rheumatoid arthritis in rat models. Tekeoglu I1, Dogan A, Ediz L, Budancamanak M, Demirel A. PMID: 17562570 DOI: 10.1002/ptr.2143
[iv] Rheumatology (Oxford). 2014 Nov;53(11):1994-2001. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/keu173. Epub 2014 Jun 6. Associations between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and disease activity, inflammatory cytokines and bone loss in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Hong Q1, Xu J2, Xu S3, et al. The aim of this study was to describe the associations between serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and disease activity, inflammatory cytokines and bone loss/erosions in patients with RA. PMID: 24907153DOI: 10.1093/rheumatology/keu173
[v] J Endocrinol Invest. 2002;25(10 Suppl):19-23.
Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis impairment in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis and polymyalgia rheumatica.
Cutolo M1, Foppiani L, Minuto F. PMID: 12508908
[vi] Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Oct 23;104(43):17152-6. Epub 2007 Oct 11.
Short-term meditation training improves attention and self-regulation. Tang YY1, Ma Y, Wang J, et al PMID:17940025 PMCID:  PMC2040428 DOI:     10.1073/pnas.0707678104 
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Hi my name is Peter Smith I specialise in treating and coaching people how to live well with mental health problems, digestive health problems/IBS, sleep problems and type II diabetes using natural therapies.
I used these techniques to overcome and live well with my own bipolar disorder and IBS. I've been in practice as a natural medicine practitioner since 1988.
 

What I Treat

  • Brain Chemistry and Mental Health problems (depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, addiction, OCD)
  • Digestive Health: IBS, bloating, SIBO (which can be the cause of  60% of IBS) and parasites (with external lab testing)
  • Mercury and Heavy Metal Detoxification (with external lab testing)
  • Addiction (by balancingbrainchemistry, supporting healthy dopamine levels etc.)
  • Meditation and Relaxation brain-training for mental health problems, and adrenal exhaustion (individual and small classes)
  • Cognitive hypnotherapy and NLP
  • Drug-Free better Sleep
  • Insulin resistance, pre- and early type II diabetes
DISCLAIMER 
 
If you’d like treatment for any of the issues discussed in this article I specialise in treating and coaching people how to obtain better mental health with natural remedies and self-help techniques. If you would like me to look into your individual case and develop a tailor-made programme of natural remedies, dietary advice and brain training exercises I’m available for private consultations and I’m available for private consultations at my London clinic and online for people that live too far away.
I also run regular meditation classes in London and online.
I’m passionate about treating mental health and I’d be very happy to work with you.
Click on the
bookings tab to make an appointment.
To Book an Appointment
At my London clinic please call the Hale clinic reception:
020 7631 0156
(online bookings will be made available soon on the Hale Clinic website**)

For a Skype coaching session email me letting me know where you are located/what time zone you are in:
hello@PeterSmithUK.com

For enquiries/further information:
Mobile: 07941 331 329
Email: hello@PeterSmithUK.com

(please keep your email brief)

As a general rule improvements are seen within 2-3 appointments so you can quickly know if the treatments are helping you and you are making a good investment.
For a more information about me and what the conditions I treat click here: About About Peter Smith
 
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I’m giving you the information first instead of selling the information as an e-book and then asking you to make a donation if you feel that the information has helped you and would have been happy if you had bought it as an e-book you could buy me a couple of coffees or more :) using the PayPal Donate below Button below
 
Another way you could contribute to this site by helping me with the proofreading. People regularly point out that there’s a large number of errors on my site which I find quite embarrassing, but I’m quite dyslexic and I don’t notice them myself.
If you find spelling and grammatical errors in the text please email the page and paragraph of the error, I really appreciate the help.
©Peter Smith. Please feel free to download or print my work for personal use, I wrote it to help people. You can copy and distribute my work on your web pages and in literature but please give me credit for the fruits of my labour and don’t turn yourself into a plagiarist. When you copy my work please indicate where you got the information from (e.g. from or according to the website balancingbrainchemistry “…”) and include a reference/link to my name and the website or book you used. [#22]