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#426161 - 12/26/10 09:03 AM Question about lower back pain and diet.
ValsMum Offline

Registered: 07/05/10
Posts: 1183
I have been dxd with RA but the last 9 months my lower back hurts more than my bad joints -knees ,wrists, ankles etc.

When I have had the flu and threw up all day or I water fasted I felt better, joints and my lower back.. everything feels better.

The minute I eat, I feel crappy again. Has this happened to you? Has your pain gone away when you have had very little food because of a flu or something?
Thanks again.

One more thing, I'm having a colonoscopy next week to help rule out lymphoma. Can they tell if I have celiac with a colonoscopy?


Edited by ValsMum (12/26/10 09:06 AM)
Diet change has improved my RA. I feel best eating raw veggies and some fruits and avoiding grains, sugars, nightshades, beans and dairy. Sed rate dropped from 65 to 19, but it took over a year.

#426166 - 12/26/10 10:52 AM Re: Question about lower back pain and diet. [Re: ValsMum]
WendyR Offline

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 5231
Loc: BC, Canada
Hi ValsMum,

It's curious you're having that problem. My lower back hadn't been a problem since I was diagnosed but, when I had to stop taking methotrexate for a couple of weeks, gradually my lower back began to kill me. It's now improving again as I've been back on mtx for three weeks but it got so back it was making me hobble.

Early on as the RA began to get bad, when my CRP and ESR were skyrocketing, I had an exquisitely painful tailbone that caused me a lot of pain in my butt (and led to the confusion that it might be my SI joints - hence my arrival on this site). But this has been different - definitely lower back and into my sacrum. I'm not convinced it was my SI joints - there's a good test for that, putting your foot onto the opposite thigh and pushing the bent knee down to flex the SI joint. It was my sacrum.

My tailbone inflammation has not returned. The other joints that got bad again quickly while off the mtx were my shoulders and sternoclavicular joints. My hips got a bit worse and my hands got stiff again. Also my toes got swollen again.

All that is backing off again now that I'm back on mtx but it did make me curious and, for the first time, I did question my diagnosis and wonder once more about spondy. I wasn't aware that RA affected the spine, so now I'm probably going to do some more research about that.

I tried NSD when I thought I might have AS a couple of years ago. I kept it up for nearly three months. It was tough but I'm already on a celiac diet so not much of a stretch to go the extra way. I had no change whatsoever. When I got the RA diagnosis, I realized that, even if the diet works for some people, there was no logical reason why it might work for me.

Oddly enough, I fasted for three days at the beginning of the diet and did have some slight reduction in symptoms. However, continuous fasting isn't an option. Also, all this was early on when my symptoms were not actually all that bad. I thought they were at the time - it seemed miserable - but later, when I got really bad, I finally understood what real inflammatory arthritis pain can be like. At that point I would have given anything to go back to the early symptoms. Mtx has taken me back to that.

I foolishly expected mtx to make me pain free! Ha ha! It's taken me back to the level I was at when I first started going to rheumatologists. Sometimes, the chronic pain makes me weary and frustrated but a couple of weeks without mtx reminds me to be grateful not to be in the state I was in when my CRP was 110.

Celiac is usually tested for with an endoscopy. I don't think it's possible with a colonoscopy - you're coming at it from the wrong end!

Hope this is helpful.

Edited by WendyR (12/26/10 11:39 AM)
Edit Reason: correct typo

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Methotrexate, Celebrex, Plaquenil

#426172 - 12/26/10 12:34 PM Re: Question about lower back pain and diet. [Re: WendyR]
EricaK Offline

Registered: 06/23/10
Posts: 3845
Loc: Colorado, USA
This is my non-scientific theory: viruses, biologics, NSAIDS, and other "pathogens" so to speak, distract an overzealous immune system, which causes a decrease in inflammation and thus pain.

I would just call and ask your doc for a pre-op order for a celiac blood test. It's a cheap blood test, and the antigens show up if you eat wheat the week before. I think they only do the endoscopy now if the blood test is negative and the celiac symptoms continue.

Is that right Wendy?
ANA+ RF+ Rh- HLAB27+
Dx JRA 1967, GAD 1997, AS 2009, HMs 2010, CPS 2013
pulmonary edema w/ NSAIDS 2009

Movin' it so I don't lose it!

#426173 - 12/26/10 01:01 PM Re: Question about lower back pain and diet. [Re: EricaK]
WendyR Offline

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 5231
Loc: BC, Canada
Yes definitely - a pre-op blood test would be normal now. Endoscopies are intrusive and can be avoided if the blood tests show up positive.

Back when I developed celiac, there were no reliable blood tests available.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Methotrexate, Celebrex, Plaquenil

#426207 - 12/27/10 01:03 AM Re: Question about lower back pain and diet. [Re: ValsMum]
Sue22 Offline

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 21341
Loc: Upstate NY
i'm not sure they can do a celiac biopsy during a colonoscopy. i had one done when i was having an upper endoscopy; they were already down there looking to confirm my gastritis symptoms, making sure it wasn't an ulcer, and so while down there, they did they celiac biopsy from the beginning of my small intestine.

but as the others have said, in addition, i've had blood work too:
a few tests that test for various antibodies
a few genetic tests as well DQ genes
was told by my gastroenterologist that all these tests together were about 99% accurate in ruling out celiac.

as for your GI symptoms, sorry can't help you with that, but hope the doctors figure it out and you feel better soon. hugss


Spondyloarthropathy, HLAB27 negative
Humira (still methylprednisone for flares, just not as often. Aleve if needed, rarely.)
LDN/zanaflex/flector patches over SI/ice
vits C, D. probiotics. hyaluronic acid. CoQ, Mg, Ca, K.
walk, bike
no dairy (casein sensitivity), limited eggs, limited yeast (bread)

#426233 - 12/27/10 11:20 AM Re: Question about lower back pain and diet. [Re: Sue22]
Lon Offline

Registered: 09/11/01
Posts: 8397
Loc: Gillette, Wyoming
I have found that when I first start to diet even vegetables make me ache. Sometimes I can eat themn later. but for now I am not on any diet. Just trying to exercise several times a day.
2 days of fasting shrinks my stomach and I am in less pain!
I keep the New Covenant,
when I fail....I am pulled
back into place by HIM.

#426330 - 12/28/10 03:33 PM Re: Question about lower back pain and diet. [Re: Lon]
ValsMum Offline

Registered: 07/05/10
Posts: 1183
Thank you all for your help and replies.

Wendy, Our pains sound similar, I have dull achey pain in my lower back all the time and so I am going to stop the starches and just see what happens. I'm so sick of the pain. I never noticed it to be my tailbone as you mentioned but just that general area including the upper buttocks.

Well I will have to wait and see what the tests say, maybe they'll be of some use.

Thanks again.
Diet change has improved my RA. I feel best eating raw veggies and some fruits and avoiding grains, sugars, nightshades, beans and dairy. Sed rate dropped from 65 to 19, but it took over a year.


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