Musculoskeletal impacts

This section is essentially focused on joints and bones and some of the effects of atopic disease on these skeletal systems.  Two diseases in particular are seen to play a role in the misery of many folk.  They are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.

For the author, it was consumption of any of the grass family, Poaceae (formerly Gramineae) such as wheat and cane sugar, that caused rheumatoid arthritis in many joints, but first noticeably in the finger joints.  This still applies.  I remain free of arthritis symptoms unless I eat even a trace of cereal.  I choose what I eat very carefully!  In the grain harvest season I try to avoid the dust-laden air.

Osteoporosis caught my eye after reading a paper relating milk consumption to bone density in nurses.  The surprising finding in this work was that the nurses who consumed the most milk had lower bone density.  This indicates that there must be some atopic process going on.  In an atopic process it is very likely that affected nurses would consume dairy products addictively, therefore consuming more milk overall than the other subjects of study.

So, osteoporosis is not directly linked to shortage of calcium in the diet for most sufferers in western civilisation. It would seem to result from changes to the cycling of calcium within bones, either by direct immune reaction or by impact on the control mechanisms of bone growth, perhaps through an atopic disease process.  Avoiding foods of bovine origin may help to stop the progress of osteoporosis, allowing bones to rebuild from other sources of calcium and phosphorus in the diet.  Dairy milk appears to be such a good source of minerals and vitamin D that it is difficult to accept it as the problem rather than the solution.  Many cultures have lived and do live without consuming dairy products.  We just need to examine the methods they used to get the minerals they need into their diet.  Soused herring and sweet and sour ribs are examples of foods where the cooking process puts minerals into solution from the bone.  For vegans, many pulses and green vegetables have sufficient calcium, magnesium and phosphorus content for effective building of bone.  Natural vitamin D can come from sunlight on skin, or be extracted from certain plant or lichen sources.

Perhaps, the most important step for anyone with these tissues affected by arthritis or osteoporosis is to pursue an exclusion diet, following an established format such as that described by Gamlin and Brostoff (1989) in their “The Complete Guide to Food Allergy and Intolerance”.