Case study: Joint pain

By naturopath Margaret Jasinska

Heide is a 28 year old Polish lady who came to my clinic seeking help for pain in her wrists, and she wanted to lose some weight. The wrist pain started three months ago. First it was just in her right wrist, but a month later her left wrist started hurting as well. Heide initially thought it was due to all the computer work she does, but when both wrists became painful and swollen she decided to see her doctor.

Heide was given a blood test for rheumatoid arthritis, which was negative. She was mildly positive for Antinuclear Antibodies (ANA) though, and this can present as joint pain.

Heide wasn’t keen on taking prescription medication for joint pain, so she wanted to know if a dietary supplement could help her. She did some reading on the internet and wanted to try a gluten free diet. She wanted to do everything possible to eliminate the pain and prevent the progression of the disease. Heide thought that perhaps following a gluten free diet would also help her lose some weight.

The excess weight was mostly around Heide’s torso. All the women in her family had this body shape, and many of them developed type 2 diabetes in their 50s. Heide knew excess weight around her torso wasn’t good for her liver, but she was also fed up with trying hard to lose weight yet only managing to drop a few kilos.

My recommendations for my patient

  • Heide knew that too much carbohydrate wasn’t good for her liver or her weight because she had read that in my fatty liver book several years ago. However, Heide found it extremely difficult to stay away from carbs. She actually said she didn’t think she could continue living life if she couldn’t eat bread and pasta. We came to a compromise; I explained that she could eat smaller quantities of bread and pasta as long as they were gluten free. However she had to get rid of the biscuits, ice-cream and sugary breakfast cereal. I gave her Synd-X Slimming Protein powder that she could make into a filling smoothie for breakfast or as a snack. A lower carbohydrate, higher protein diet helps with weight loss because it reduces elevated blood insulin levels, which assists with weight loss from the torso.
  • To relieve the joint pain I gave Heide Natural Pain Manager capsules. They are a combination of green lipped mussel, turmeric and black pepper, to enhance the absorption of turmeric.
  • Along with avoiding gluten, I asked Heide to minimise her intake of dairy products and sugar. This would help to reduce the overall inflammation in her body. Some people with joint pain have a sensitivity to eggs and nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, eggplant, capsicum and potatoes). I didn’t want to make Heide’s diet overly restrictive at this stage, so I told her she could keep eating those foods.

Heide is due to return for another appointment in four weeks.

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