Do your joints like the foods you’re eating?


Even when gluten wasn’t headline news, I suggested eliminating all wheat products to people who want to lose weight. Not only did they lose weight, but often their joint pain disappeared. I recall telling one amazed client, “Yes, just those two slices of bread could cause two pounds weight gain and bring back your joint pain!”

Today even conventional medicine recognizes the existence of “reactive arthritis.” So if you have a joint health concern here are some thoughts to keep in mind.

Why food choices cause joint pain

Allergic or hypersensitive responses to foods occur when partially digested proteins leak through the gut and get into your bloodstream. Your white blood cells attack these “foreign invaders” with acids and harsh chemicals that can cause body wide inflammation. Your joints can be the target of this unwanted inflammation.

Do you have a food allergy/hypersensitivity?

You can start to detect your food/joint pain connection with a simple elimination diet. A way to begin is to avoid the foods which commonly cause inflammation in sensitive individuals. Begin by picking one of these food groups and eliminate all items in this group for a week. If you feel up to it, eliminate all of the food groups listed below at once.

Try this simple elimination diet

Step #1: Eliminate first-line suspects, including:

• Gluten products (wheat, rye, barley, spelt, Kamut, triticale)
• Dairy products and all beef products
• Nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers)
• Food additives, preservatives, colors, artificial ingredients and sugar
• Other foods or chemicals you know, or suspect, you react to

Step #2: Eat an alkaline diet. Consume a healthful diet of vegetables, fruits, adequate meat and fish (not-beef) and nuts, seeds and spices. Drink plenty of pure water, perhaps with lemon juice. In other words eat a whole foods alkalizing diet.

Step #3: Record what you eat. Keep track of what you eat at each meal and jot down the degree and location of joint pain. You might also want to jot down your morning weight and your evening weight to see if you gain more than two pounds. This often signals unwanted inflammation.

Step #4: REINTRODUCE. After one week your body has had the opportunity to detoxify and reset itself from any allergic or hypersensitive reaction. Start to reintroduce the foods one at a time and see if you notice any change in joint pain. As 80% of all food reactions are delayed and can take place up to four days after the food was eaten, introduce one new food every four days.

Step #5: Sit down and analyze your data and let me know what you discover. Also remember, laboratory testing is available for detecting many of your hidden and delayed food hypersensitivities.


5 myths about joint health

When it comes to joint health, what you may be told as “fact” may actually be fiction – and can do way more harm than good. 

Over and over, I see some of the most popular myths about joint health be disproven with the work I do with my clients at the Center for Better Bones.  Here are the top 5 common myths about joint issues so that you can avoid making common mistakes:

Myth #1:  Joint pain naturally happens as we age
While it’s tempting to rationalize nagging joint pain as something that just happens to everyone as they get older, this isn’t true. Many healthy people around the world age well without experiencing degeneration of their joints.  Those with chronic inflammation, low anti-oxidant status, excess acidity and toxic overload are more prone to aging joint woes – but you can do something about these factors.

Myth #2: Foods we eat don’t affect joint pain
I commonly see women whose joint pain is caused by a reaction from eating wheat and other gluten products as well as from beef, dairy, soy or other foods. Even arthritis specialists recognize the existence of “reactive arthritis.”

Myth #3:  Excess weight is a major cause of joint pain
While it’s true that our joints bear the burden of our weight, our weight alone is rarely to blame for joint discomfort.  Our joints are designed to support body weight. It’s only when they become inflamed and unable to adequately repair themselves do we end up with joint pain.

Myth #4: Joints get damaged as we use them and exercise can aggravate this damage
What we commonly think of as joint “wear and tear” is really “cumulative repair deficit” —when we don’t support our body enough to repair the natural damage caused by using them.  We can benefit from exercise through increased circulation and delivery of nutrients to the joint tissues to promote tissue health and renewal. Gentle full range-of-motion exercises actually stimulate and help heal the joints, especially when used with nutritional joint support.

Myth #5: The drugs and medications used to ease joint pain are safe to use without side effects
It may be easy to pop an ibuprofen or a naproxen, but these anti-inflammatory painkillers aren’t without their side effects. High dose, long-term use of these medications can lead to damage to various organs including the heart, stomach and kidneys and also increase the risk of stroke.   The even stronger steroid medications, such as prednisone, have system-wide negative effects, not the least of which is osteoporosis.  An estimated 20 percent of all osteoporosis in this country is due to steroid use.

Now more than ever, we’re finding how nutritional, lifestyle, and environmental factors provide lifelong bone health. Remember, by taking heart and taking action, each of us can use this knowledge to stay strong and naturally create better joint health.


Best joint support: Antioxidants and specialized ingredients

Have you ever had pain in your hip, knee, back or wrist and wondered where the problem was coming from?

When many of my clients come to see me about their bones, we often discover the issue is really with their joints. Unfortunately, both bone loss and joint pain are more common among women, especially as we age.

I’ve known for years that the processes for successfully repairing bone and joint tissue have a lot in common, especially when the cause of pain and discomfort is inflammation. Many conventional practitioners say there’s not much to be done for joint issues other to wait until you have to resort to drastic measures like joint replacement.

However, there are natural solutions that are highly effective for improving and supporting joint health in women. Just as it is with bone health, getting the right amount of key nutrients and specialized ingredients is critical to the health of your joints. Below are some of the most powerful:




Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:105-25.

Cobb CS, Ernst E. Systematic review of a marine nutriceutical supplement in clinical trials for arthritis: the effectiveness of the New Zealand green-lipped mussel Perna canaliculus. Clinical Rheumatology 2006; 25(3):275–84.

Brien S, Prescott P, Coghlan B, Bashir N, Lewith G. Systematic review of the nutritional supplement Perna canaliculus (green-lipped mussel) in the treatment of osteoarthritis. QJM 2008; 101(3):167–79.