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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Arthritis and the artist

    For the past 5 years (since I was 16 or so) I've had this weird pain in my right wrist and elbow. I couldn't write or draw for more than an hour without considerable discomfort and pain. I finally got a diagnosis this monday— it's seronegative arthritis. That's pretty upsetting, since it only gets worse with time and use, and I can't imagine living if it's impossible for me to create anything (thank god I'm not an artist by trade, I guess). I just wanted to know if anyone here has the same problem, or ways to deal with it, or something. Thanks.


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  3. #2
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    Geez, I'm sorry. Is it in both arms? Or...will it pop up elsewhere too?

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    Sorry to hear that at your young age. I've got pretty sever arthritis in knees, neck and lower spine...nasty stuff. Fortunately not in my hands yet but a big concern. I figure I'll wire brushes to my stumps if necessary though. Sorry, not much in the way of advice or how to deal...just do what you think is best, listen to the experts (but don't always believe them - it's your body and your life). Best of luck to you.
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  5. #4
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    Try googling some of the following terms.

    Arthritis +

    - Paleo Diet
    - Lectins
    - Nightshades
    - Legumes
    - Fasting
    - Leaky Gut
    - Celiac
    Last edited by DamnDirtyApe; May 15th, 2011 at 03:11 AM.

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  7. #5
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    Really good idea actually DDA!
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  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bourin View Post
    For the past 5 years (since I was 16 or so) I've had this weird pain in my right wrist and elbow. I couldn't write or draw for more than an hour without considerable discomfort and pain. I finally got a diagnosis this monday— it's seronegative arthritis. That's pretty upsetting, since it only gets worse with time and use, and I can't imagine living if it's impossible for me to create anything (thank god I'm not an artist by trade, I guess). I just wanted to know if anyone here has the same problem, or ways to deal with it, or something. Thanks.
    http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=84401 -this thread has some insightful info, plenty of ergonomics advice, also check link to Daarken's website I've posted there

  9. #7
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    Damn, so sorry to hear that Having arthritis whilst being an artist as an occupation is like a death sentence, regardless if it's just a hobby, or a full time profession. I consider arthritis to be the 2nd worst disease I could possibly be afflicted with - the worst one being Alzheimers. As I'd frankly rather lose manual dexterity and finesse in my hands than lose my mind. In anycase, I'd rather have cancer than either any of the previous two conditions.

    Still...having arthritis at 16/21 years old is tragic...and I'm turning 24 in two days. The worst bone disorders I've had to deal with are some minor pains in my lower back, tennis elbow, and crackling bones.

    I've got no advice unfortunately, as I've never had that many medical problems thankfully, aside from depression and slight panic attacks.. I hope that your condition doesn't become too debilitating, hang in there.
    "Never regret thy fall from grace, O' spirit of Icarian flight, for the greatest tragedy of them all to face, is to never feel the burning bright"
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  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirana View Post
    Geez, I'm sorry. Is it in both arms? Or...will it pop up elsewhere too?
    It can spread to other joints, and organs as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by DamnDirtyApe View Post
    Try googling some of the following terms.

    Arthritis +

    - Paleo Diet
    - Lectins
    - Nightshades
    - Legumes
    - Fasting
    - Leaky Gut
    - Celiac
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by ikken View Post
    http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=84401 -this thread has some insightful info, plenty of ergonomics advice, also check link to Daarken's website I've posted there
    Thanks to you too! I actually use a really ergonomic mouse now (I used to have one of those crappy apple soap bar mice, for 4 straight years— I'm pretty sure it contributed to some of the pain). I got it from here: http://www.contourdesign.com/

    Thanks for the support guys

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    My mother had very severe rheumatoid arthritis in just about every joint in her body. Her life was one of constant pain, yet she was an artist and did wonderful acrylic paintings, even though her hands were crippled. She has been an inspiration to me throughout my own artistic career.

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  13. #10
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    So sorry to hear Bourin, I can sympathize what you're going through.


    After a long period, my mother was diagnosed with arthritis as well, there was a period of around 6 months where she could barely walk or come out of bed, she's doing better now after going on a long vacation and switching medication.

    Actually that reminds me, on the april the first this year, I got ill, I just felt weak and nauseous, but I also started to have this pain in my lower back, and it started to spread to my upper back, and my left wrist. And the frequently pain would come and go, sometimes it felt pretty severe, like a sharp sting, and it felt like it was going to get worse. I thought maybe I pulled something when I was working out. But at 3 different places? And it something just felt off. And since arthritis runs on my mother's side this didn't bode very well for me. I started to have a lot of trouble walking and sleeping too. This lasted about 10 days, then it was strangely completely gone. I've been doing everything I did before that aches, lifting weights and all with no problems.

    But I felt really distressed and extremely depressed during that short time. It felt like a death sentence. And it was so unfair to have a debilitating disease at 28. But I'm off the hook apparently, for now.
    Last edited by MidgardSerpent; May 15th, 2011 at 04:25 PM.
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  14. #11
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    Bourin,

    I urge you to experiment a month eating only meat (beef, chicken, pork, fish etc) eggs and vegetables (aside from tomatoes and peppers). Cook with butter, olive oil, or coconut oil. Instead of bread eat sweet potatoes or white rice

    Totally avoid all wheat containing items such as bread and pasta. Eliminate beans (legumes), tomatoes, bell peppers and hot peppers such as cayenne. Eliminate refined sugar and industrial seed oils such as soybean, canola, corn, safflower etc.

    The reason for all this is that Rheumatoid Arthritis, like other autoimmune diseases such as Celiac and MS, is likely a result of food particles crossing the gut barrier and passing into the body where they are destroyed by the immune system. Gluten and lectins and other proteins found in wheat and nightshades look very similar on a molecular basis to proteins found in the body itself and when the immune system destroys the food "invaders" it also ends up mistakenly attacking your own cells.

    Until recently the mechanism for causing this was not fully known, but a protein called Zonulin has been identified that controls the tight junctions of gut cells ( ie the spacing between them). It appears that gluten and lectins probably stimulate the release of zonulin which opens up the cell walls. Once inside the body, those food particles cause havok as the immune system confuses your tissues with the foreign particles. Gut permeability is implicated in a huge host of problems.

    Strictly avoiding gluten and lectins has shown remarkable success in most people with RA. The problem is that most processed foods contain gluten and lectins to varying degrees, so eating home cooked meals where you know what items you are putting in your body is best.

    While there are no lectins or gluten in refined sugar or industrial vegetable oils per se, they are highly inflammatory and since the goal is to reduce systemic inflammation it's best to avoid them as well.

    My own grandfather suffered with RA, but sadly back in the 70s the medical community had no idea what caused it. My mother said she remembers him lying in bed and moaning from the pain at night. RA is a brutal fate.

    Ironically, during the night while he was fasting, his gut would start to heal but then the next day he would eat breads and other foods that probably caused his systems, thus starting the daily cycle all over.

    Incidentally, the reason that extended fasting gives temporary relief of symptoms again traces back to the notion that certain foods, if avoided, allow the stomach to heal. Since fasting means taking in no food at all, it's sort of a shotgun-approach to filtering out every food item, not just certain foods.

    Sadly, the mainstream notion of a "healthy diet" high in grains and beans and certain vegetables like tomatoes is the exact thing likely promoting RA and other auto immune diseases. Clearly RA is heavily determined by a genetic propensity for the problem since not all people eating those items get it, but for people who DO have the disease, diet is about the only thing you can do to mitigate it. Research has shown that people with Celiac disease (another auto-immune disorder ) produce as much as 30 times more zonulin that normal people, even if they are not eating gluten at all! That just goes to show how heavily genetically linked these things are on a fundamental basis. So the point is that you may not be able to cure the problem completely, but you should be able to reduce your symptoms by eating better. Eating the wrong food will surely exacerbate your problems.

    Unfortunately many doctors are not up to date with research in the field and will typically just prescribe NSAIDs for the pain and send you on your way.
    Last edited by DamnDirtyApe; May 15th, 2011 at 04:18 PM.

  15. #12
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    My grandmother has arthritis and she take's Aloe Vera extract and drinks Aloe Vera juice (?) for it.
    Also, gotta rep for my "crazy Chinese cult" but there are many benefits to doing Falun Dafa exercises. I've heard of it helping people with Arthritis and I know it has helped me with tendinitis, so I'd say it's worth a shot.

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    Remember kids, check for actual clinical double-blind studies before you go believing anything on the Internet because there's a lot of bullshit out there. You don't want to change your lifestyle for the placebo effect when you could get the exact same results by drinking a cup of tea and reading in bed.

    Not to say that there might not be things that work, but there are also plenty of things that don't work and are harmful to either your health or your pocketbook. Be skeptical!
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  17. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DamnDirtyApe View Post
    Bourin,

    I urge you to experiment a month eating only meat....... snipped for brevity.
    Justa note, seronegative arthritis is typically characterized by the absence of RA factor.

    I have seronegative affecting large joints, starting about 15 years ago when I was around 25, that later got compounded with scleroderma, and the diet that works for me is rather different then what DDA recommeds. My body has trouble metabolizing most proteins properly, while OTOH, glutens and most complex carbs pose no problems.

    So, anyway, I would urge OP to find what works for them personally. Not all arthritic conditions are created equal.

    You adjust, find what works for you, and learn to avoid doing things that cause flareups. ...and you'll be able to predict weather changes....

  18. #15
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    While you're at it, you could experiment with your drawing / writing technique to reduce the load on the affected joints. Wear a brace, even. It's easy to eliminate most of the wrist motion. It's difficult to draw with reduced motion in the elbow, but not impossible.

  19. #16
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    I second going sugar free, avoiding breads and white foods that are high on the glycemic index (like white potatoes and white rice and pasta), and any store bought fruit juices.

    I also recommend lots and lots of water and stretching. You will be very surprised how often arthritis is actually simply muscle tension pressing against nerve fibers.

    Also, you must exercise, and not just aerobics. If you do not exercise your muscles will begin to atrophy and hurt. And you will think it is arthritis when actually it is simply muscle strain or tendon weakness.

    Important Notice: Kev Ferrara's post is not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. Kev's statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Please consult your doctor before starting ANY exercise or nutritional supplement program or before using kev's suggestions during pregnancy or if you have a serious medical condition.
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  20. #17
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    holy shit man hope everything turns alright for you. you can try drawing with your other hand though.

    i heard that an olympics spear-thrower broke his right hand during an accident, but he learned how to throw with his left hand so he won. so maybe that can work for you gl!!!!

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