Success Story: Healing Psoriatic Arthritis With The Paleo Diet

Healing Psoriatic Arthritis With The Paleo Diet | The Paleo Diet

I posted this at and wanted to say thanks as you are the person that started this.  I moved from Houston to Denver a couple of months ago so if you ever want to go out for a lunch or something let me know.

Anyone interested in something like this or someone doing studies might find this interesting. At 27 I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis and was bad enough for me to take Enbrel. C-reactive protein was around 8 and I had pain in my upper back, knuckles on rt hand and wrist, rt knee, rt foot, and was starting to get at my shoulders as well. Enbrel did an excellent job and I was back to 100% in 3 days….I cried when the pain went away.

This worked great for over 3 years and then I started to read about what I was injecting into my body. You hear about cancer and infections etc as it is a blatant warning but in my case I really didn’t care as from what was happening to me in regards to pain it was simple to justify the medication. Every box comes with a little square that unfolds into the size of a page of news paper and it has two sides with charts and the lettering is really small so you don’t want to read it. I ended up getting sick and got a new shipment of my wonder drug and I opened the package unfolded the paper and started to read…… made me think about the lack of long term studies as in “I am 30….do I take this forever?” and looked into diet.

I went for gluten free as I started to look at gut permeability and would be relativity easy for me to do. Gave up pasta/pizza etc. Carb level was still high as plenty of brown rice, potatoes, and other gluten free starches so still had roasted gralic mashed potatoes. I kept it up till I got a cold and got an excuse to “see if this works” and the pain came back quickly so back to the drawing board.

Under a search for diets for arthritis paleo came up in a couple of places so I checked it out. Started with Primal Blueprint and after reading purchased both cook books and went all in. I took Enbrel the whole time but changing the way I ate and did the whole lift something heavy twice a day and getting in 3hrs of relaxing biking with a sprint here and there. In a very shot time I started to loose weight in a dramatic fashion and had blood work done every quarter and numbers were starting to improve. HDL started a 38 and went to 68, Triglycerides started at 302 wend down to 72, Blood pressure started a pre hypertension and medication to 118/72 with no medication. The weight started at 265 and went down to 210.

During this time I studied more about this stuff in books like Nourishing Traditions, Paleo Solution, Paleo Diet and lots of reading stuff from good websites. Learning more about the “why” part of eating opened my eyes and really solidified that this is now permanent to me. My workouts changed and I gained 20 lbs of muscle as I came into a lucky situation with a perfect training partner with just working out twice per week. He was amazed at how I could do this on a “low carb” diet and for 7 months didn’t have to change diet. Month 8 I started to carb up with white rice as it is a safe carb for what I do this for in terms of auto immune issues.

Here is a way of eating and physical activity and to look at the transformation in terms of health I started to gain the trust in my research and try stopping Enbrel. I got an ear infection about 9 months ago and have not had to take one ever since. I have a little bit in my wrist but I can press an 88lbs kettlebell over head and do high rep dips and push-ups so nothing in terms of lifestyle or comfort. C-reactive protein is now 5.2 and triglicerides are now 50. Forgot to mention that I have not had any supplements the whole time, no fish oil, protein powder, vitamins, etc.

Just something to throw out there with my little study of myself for anyone that is interested.

About The Paleo Diet Team

The Paleo Diet TeamThe Paleo Diet, the world’s healthiest diet, is based upon the fundamental concept that the optimal diet is the one to which we are genetically adapted. The therapeutic effect of The Paleo Diet is supported by both randomized controlled human trials and real-life success stories.

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“32” Comments

  1. So wonderful to hear that people are finding a way to treat their diseases at home, with food. I have a similar story.

    In 1997, at the age of 40, I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis, IBS-c. These ‘diseases’ [I put quotes around that term because if we can eliminate these bodily problems with food… ARE they diseases?]. In addition to the diagnoses, my issues came with side-factors such as, extreme fatigue, migraine headaches, depression.

    I was prescribed multiple medications such as Methotrexate [made me very sick] Enbrel [worked like magic for 5 years then was completely ineffective] plus about ten other prescriptions. At this time, [5 years into being ‘treated,’] because of how MDs acted towards me [in their frustration to my inability to accept side effects of pharmas] by the medical folks, I gave up on “western medicine” and began looking for a natural treatments.

    For years & years, I read everything I could find. Still do. Tried dozens & dozens of natural treatments, such as curcumin [Turmeric’s active ingredient] etc, etc, etc. At this point, I’ve probably tried 100 different products and spent thousands trying them. This went on until last November. November 1, 2018 to be exact.

    I ‘reset’ by doing an elimination diet. No wheat, dairy, eggs, grains, legumes, sugar(s) caffeine, fruit, etc. To my complete astonishment, in 3 days all my joint inflammation, which was all over my body, was gone. I remember sitting in my living room thinking, “is this really happening”? “I’m sure it [my life long buddy… pain] will be back any minute, especially because I lived in NW Oregon, and at the time, it was fall… lots of big storms, plenty of barometric pressure drops & rises, that usually exacerbate my swollen joints.

    But, 5 days later… no pain. 10 days later… still no pain. A month later I realized, 1. I hadn’t had a headache of any kind, let a lone a migraine. Normally I’d have daily headaches and a migraine once a week, at least. 2. I hadn’t had an IBS episode either. That was a big switch from having maybe 2 to 4 a week. To this day, not 1 headache, of any type… who doesn’t have a headache once in a while?? Me. Not 1 IBS episode either.

    I was on to something and … it wasn’t a pill??? I’ll make this long story short. Today, my arthritis is gone. Unless I eat like a 9 year old whose parents have left for the weekend. If I stay true [paleo, + balanced 3 to 6 omega FAs, etc] keep away from certain triggers, sugars, milk, even raw milk, wheat, etc… I’m living pain free, headache free, tons of energy! And no depression. But…

    I still have the psoriasis. That’s a super tough one. Today I’m further refining my diet. I hope to re-post here someday with more good news.

    I will add, I take a high quality Probiotic and enzymes everyday along with L Glutamine and prebiotics.

    If you are having issues, please give Paleo a try. God Bless.

  2. So I go to the doctor every three months because I have psoriatic arthritis (connected to psoriasis)… My doctor said, “Wow! Did you have a face lift?” No kidding the doctor could see the difference in my skin. I was using the Made from Earth Rooibos Tea Day Moisturizer. I am so thankful for finding this moisturizer for my psoriasis. It’s a super easy regimen. And the results are nothing short of miraculous. This system has completely cleared up the dry, red, irritated skin around my eyebrows, cheeks and chin that I have struggled with for decades.

    It is a new product. The jar lasts about 2-3 months of daily use. If you google Made from Earth Rooibos Day Moistuirzer, you can find which one I am talking about.

  3. It would be really good if the people who have posted would give us newbies an update on how they are getting on. Also, I have tried to find the main success story on Marks Daily Apple, but am unable to. Please, can the Paleo team post the link to this success story, as I’m sure there will be some interesting posts that follow and I would very much like to read them all in their entirety.

  4. I’ve been diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis 8 years ago, being always fairly healthy and active, I refused to take conventional medication and tried many holistic modalities, such as naturopathy, homeopathy, acupuncture and lately Ayurveda and now Paleo (Bulletproof Diet). Following all these modalities, I was still in pain and experienced stiffness, best improvements were noticed when I was on a strict Ayurvedic diet(about 3 years). But since I was still in pain I now decided to try the Bulletproof Diet (Sort of Paleo), its only been two weeks. I still experience stiffness. My Psoriasis has been under control (95% of the time) for the last year.I’m not sure what should I do now as I still experience some pain and stiffness. I’m very reluctant from going on medication. Can anybody suggest what to do.

  5. My son has sever dry skin that turns into rough red patches that itch like crazy! I have tried everything dr.’s and friends have recommended. I did dermalmd psoriasis serum morning and night and have finally got rid of the rash. Now it’s just used after baths or pool time to keep the skin from getting irritated again.

  6. hi. all these posts give me hope. i was just diagnosed and am really freaking out with how limiting psa is. i barely have skin psorisis…it has mostly attacked my joints and all. i am going to try to paleo or anti inflammatory diet. is it really possible to get my energy back and feel better? i would love to hear how people are doing now.

  7. I too have psoriatic arthritis and I was advised to go on to Humira but decided against it due to a heart condition I have. I’ve been on steroids for years and as I wanted to come off those too I decided to look at diet to help my PA. I started with the Paleo diet and then went onto the auto immune protocol and it’s the best thing I ever did.

    I’m almost off the steroids. My pain levels are lower than they’ve ever been and my psoriasis is much better. I’m documenting my progress on my website:

    • Hello I came across your blog and was wondering if you can give me some information. I am trying to find a good diet to help my condition and help it from developing to diabetes or heart failure. I have had psoriasis for a very long time. Was in Embrel. I stopped due to a pregnancy my baby is 3 I just recently broke out in my scalp no big deal but now I ha e terrible joint pain and inflammation. I diagnosed myself hence I’m in the medical field but my doctor said I was correct and I’m back on Embrel but my sugar is elevated and there concerned now. So I been looking through the Internet to see what foods hell what don’t. If you have any suggestions I’m open thank you

      • Cheryl,

        Try a diet that only includes pasture raised meat and eggs, fruits, vegetables, and nuts and seeds. Only cook with coconut oil, olive oil, or beef tallow. Get plenty of healthy fats in your diet (omega-3’s, saturated fats, monounsaturated fats). Get plenty of sleep (8 hours per night) and keep stress to a minimum. You have to remember that most modern medical conditions are the result of inflammation from our modern western lifestyle.

      • I had Psoriatic arthritis in my scalp and horrific body wide pain and went gluten free with very little sugar and am massivly better all over with the rash healed and the pain a fraction of what it was.

  8. I was diagnosed with psa when I was 23. I tried metho, embrel, humira, and more. Nothing worked to relieve me of my pain. I started worth the paleo diet and it worked wonders. No more meds. I find that my body adjusted to that diet and wants a even cleaner diet. If that makes sense. I’m now eating organic and trying to eat mostly fruits and veggies. Seems like fats (avocado, fish, etc) are bothering me now:-(

    I don’t ever want to go back on those meds!

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  10. I’ve had psorasis for years. Last year I went gluten free for months and cleared up the majority of my plaques. I ate wheat again and the plaques came back. For Lent I went paleo and gave up all grains and gluten, but nothing happened. The plaques remained, despite seven weeks of no grain or gluten. When Easter came, I started eating rice and corn again but remained gluten free. The plaques are going away again.
    I thought it was very strange.

  11. What, I’ve connected to your blog page post the following: On that site I ‘michael talking about dermatitis pictures also, revitol and so everything else related to psoriasis, skin cases, skin care or health. What kind of is usually an individual’s favourite psoriasis treatment? Each that allowed me to the most getting an publication and a face skin cream from revitol named “dermasis”.

    Regards, Mimis

  12. So great to read this. I was diagnosed with PsA and AS in 2006, after years of gut issues and psoriasis. My treatment started with Mtx and Arava, but my liver quickly disagreed with the approach. I got off the meds as soon as I could and looked for an alternative. I have always eaten a reasonably healthy diet and enjoy yoga and pilates, but it wasn’t quite enough. In February, I did an ellimination diet and never added back the dairy and gluten. I started to feel so much better. In May, someone mentioned the starch angle and I’ve been a loose interpretation of Paleo ever since…I still eat olive oil, dairy-free chocolate and have a glass of wine in the evenings. After 6 months, I feel fabulous! My ESR is back to normal, I actually live mainly pain free, the fatigue is almost non-existent and as a bonus, I’ve lost 15lbs. I don’t think it will work for everyone, but it has definately worked for me.

  13. So great to read this. I was diagnosed with PsA and AS in 2006, after years of gut issues and psoriasis. My treatment started with Mtx and Arava, but my liver quickly disagreed with the approach. I got off the meds as soon as I could and looked for an alternative. I have always eaten a reasonably healthy diet and enjoy yoga and pilates, but it wasn’t quite enough. In February, I did an ellimination diet and never added back the dairy and gluten. I started to feel so much better. In May, someone mentioned the starch angle and I’ve been a loose interpretation of Paleo ever since…I still eat olive oil, dairy-free chocolate and have a glass of wine in the evenings. After 6 months, I feel fabulous! My ESR is back to normal, I actually live mainly pain free, the fatigue is almost non-existent and as a bonus, I’ve lost 15lbs. I don’t think it will work for everyone, but it has definately worked for me.

  14. In plaque psoriasis, skin rapidly accumulates at these sites, which gives it a silvery-white appearance. Plaques frequently occur on the skin of the elbows and knees, but can affect any area, including the scalp, palms of hands and soles of feet, and genitals. In contrast to eczema, psoriasis is more likely to be found on the outer side of the joint.,;^-

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  15. I have been suffering with Psoriatic Arthritis since 2005. Was put on Enbrel and the effects were amazing. However, after 2 years, the liver enzymes started rising and the doctor cut my dosage down to once every 10 days, twice a month and then stopped me altogether. At the beginning of 2009, I lost the job I held for almost 11 years, and with it went my health insurance. I have not been treated since then, because I have not been able to find a job that offers medical insurance and cannot afford it on my own – I am 58 years old.
    The pain and inflammation episodes are getting more frequent and the psoriasis is getting more aggressive (my whole scalp is covered with it and I have it under my finger and toe nails). I am in pain all the time (I have sort of gotten used to it), but then I have a new pain incident (I’m having one right now) and the pain is excruciating.
    I’m going to try this diet and see what happens. Does it help with the psoriasis too?
    Thank you for letting me vent

    • I’m trying to help my brother heal his PsA thru nutrition and I came across your post.
      If you are still not working you should look into your states expansion of Mediciad. Thanks to Obama, low income adults, usually making up to $13,000 or less a year- can apply for both Medicaid and food stamps. I had to swallow my pride and apply and am very grateful to have been approved. There’s help and resources our there. Don’t give up. Best of health to you all!

  16. I was diagnosed with inflamatory arthritis, likely ra. I started paleo and all my symptoms are improving. It is incredible. They are not fully gone, but it has only been about 1 1/2 months. Also stress reduction is a must for me. When I stress my joints swell and hurt more. Good luck!!!

    I also take fish oil, drink ginger tea with lemon, walk daily, take cherry extract, tumeric, multi vit, vit d (mine was low), msn, pinapple enzymes, and occasiinal glucosamine and condrotin dribk mix packs.

  17. Hi i am 27 and have been trying to cure my rheumatoid arthritis disease for 4 years. I keep getting worse and im looking for diet answers. Will paleo cure this disease? Please help!

  18. I too have been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. I have been on every drug available for periods of time with some effect. Have stopped all my meds but methotrexate and have started the paleo diet. Feel terrible, very very sore and unable to do much of anything at this time. I have read that this can happen at the beginning. The good news–I have lost 10 lbs! How long til you felt better?

  19. I came across Loren’s work on the paleolist forum in the late 1990s. I’d had psoriatic spondylitis for several years, and had reduced it about 70% by going off grains and dairy.

    However learning about paleo & implementing the diet was the final nail in its coffin. The disease vanished. My ESR (blood inflammation) went from 43 to 1 – the lowest possible reading.

    The spondylitis has never returned.

  20. My thyroid went very low as a result of not using table salt,(iodine). I had been using sea salt for a few years as a salt substitution and I figured I was getting what I need from other foods. I wouldn’t suggest omitting salt from your diet completely!

  21. This sounds very familiar
    I was diagnosed with arthritis at 27 and within 2 years I was also injecting with enbrel. The relief of waking up pain free after just 2 days also made me cry. I too didn’t read or want to read the side effects information as I thought I couldn’t live without it so what was the point in scaring myself? No Drs ever discussed exercise and nutrition and my care was solely based around medication. I joined a gym to have a hobby and was unsure if it was the right thing to do.
    It was the right thing to do.
    I now do spin classes and weight train as often as I can, lifting as heavy as possible. I’ve also changed to a paleo lifestyle. As a result, I no longer inject, I still have occasional pain in my right wrist, but I can get along without it being a problem. I completed a half marathon last year in a surprisingly decent time. Since weight training my body fat has dropped down to 18%.
    More importantly I feel well and happy. I can pick up my children for a cuddle without wincing. I feel that if my care had been more holistic and I had been better educated I may never have needed enbrel.
    It’s so good to read your view point. Thank you.

    • I am so hopeful this will work for me. Diagnosed with PsA 4years ago. Last year I took myself off the Mtx and other meds. I had no energy, and was sick every day and still pain and swelling in both wrists, fingers, ankles and toes. I have 3 children and I’m a landscape gardener. You can imagine… Some days were a struggle but you have to keep smiling……desperate, I started researching the implications of my diet affecting my PsA. I cut grains, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and dairy out of my diet. The change was almost instant, so I knew I was on to something. But after time I slipped back into my old diet and back came the pain and swelling. Before PsA I ran regularly, competing in road races. Once the joint pain started I stopped running, scared I would do more damage. Thankfully I have stumbled across the Paleo diet, a much clearer way for me to make this lifestyle change. Only 1 week in and already I can feel a difference! AND I’ve been out running! Something I thought I’d never manage again! Sometimes I think we have to take responsibility for ourselves. Only we know how we feel. Drs and Nurses I’ve spoken to about changing my diet have been less than helpful, always pushing the meds. I am determined this will work and I will remain active and healthy despite this disease! So, THANK YOU!

      • Hi Guys,

        I’ve come across this page and have read the beginning of many success stories. I’m wondering how everyone is getting along?
        I’m hoping to start the diet in a week or so as I can’t cope with excruciating pain.

        Any feedback would be much appreciated!


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