Thursday, May 5, 2011

Possible RA Flare-up Triggers?

It's been a while since my last post, but not much has changed with my condition or any new information that I have found. I am no longer on a reduced meat diet nor vegetarian, and have found that overall, my flare-ups are still about the same.

For the last few months I was doing great. I have been going to the gym and eating healthy on and off(even though I know I should be doing it regularly). I am not sure if maybe my RA was in remission, or if I was doing something that had been helping to keep inflammation down and the pain to a minimum.

The last two weeks, however, my RA has been making itself known. I think there are a few contributing factors to the recent flare-up, which could be:
a) It has been raining for the last 18 days, with several low pressure systems(I live in Atlantic Canada and this is our wet season).
b) I have been eating a lot of dairy lately(mostly cheese).
c) I have been eating/drinking foods and drinks higher in sugar(pops, chocolate, cookies, ect)
d) I have been eating more starchy foods lately(white pasta and white bread)
e) I haven't had a flare-up in a while

Do you find any of the things listed can cause flare-ups in you? I am not sure if any of them have led to my current flare-up, but it is always a possibility.

I have noticed that the last few flare-ups that I have had have also included a lot of pain in my shoulders. There is also a spot on the back of my neck/spine that is very painful during my flare-ups, but I am not sure if that is due to the inflammation or not. It is the spot directly below the neck between the shoulder blades on the back of my neck, do you know where I am talking about?

I am not sure if I may have the RA in my shoulders, and would like to get in to see my doctor but I DO NOT want to be put on any form of medication. That is simply not an option for me.


  1. Sugar definitely plays a part in my flares as well as grains. I don't eat much dairy anymore because it is one food that my stomach responds to immediately as a food it doesn't like. If I had never eliminated it for a long period of time, I would never had known its effects on me. I hope you feel better soon. It is so hard to figure out what is causing the flares.

  2. Thanks for the reply, Cathy :) Do you find it is just white sugar you react to, or brown sugar as well? This might sound silly, but how do you do with honey, maple syrup and other natural sweeteners?

  3. Stacie, I find I react to most types of sugar. Since going grain free,rather than just gluten free, it has been a lot easier to stay away from all sweeteners, even the natural ones like honey. However, when I do crave something yummy, I use small amounts of honey. And, sometimes I will eat chocolate covered almonds and go ahead and pay the consequences. :)