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RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS AND MILK


I received this letter from a dairy farmer.

Should any of your friends or relatives have this painful condition, please feel free to print this for them. Please also feel free to post this on your internet site. I require no credit or link to my website. Helping people is my reward. Making a positive difference in this world is one's highest pursuit.

Dear Mr. Cohen,

You and I have stood on different sides of the fence for a number of years, but I've got a story to tell you, and an apology to offer. Catherine (my wife of 21 years) and I both grew up on dairy farms. We've been raising Holsteins as long as we can remember. Cath is just 42 years old, but she is crippled with rheumatoid arthritis. There is no record of this disease in her family, but she has been in pain for the past two years, much of it bedridden.

We've tried traditional and alternative therapies and medicines, but she only got a little short term relief. We even tried acupuncture. Try finding an acupuncturist in the rural midwest! It was expensive, and didn't really work. Catherine's pain has been unbearable at times.

Despite there being no information on the internet linking dairy consumption to rheumatoid arthritis, and nothing in medical journals (I've searched online medline), we made a resolution together to discontinue drinking our own milk, and not eat cheese or any other dairy product for six months, just to see if there would be some improvement.

Damn. I have to tell you this. Catherine feels like she's been to Lourdes. She's cured. There is some pain, but most is gone. I've had changes too which I'll discuss some other time. I thank you, and curse you at the same time. Milking cows is my livelihood. I've always believed that what I was doing was the right thing. I'm not going to sell my cows and sell my farm. I love the business. I just don't feel that good about it anymore. You were right about the arthritis. I don't know about the cancer and heart attacks, but you have given us a miracle that doctors were not able to provide. It did not take us three to six months to learn the truth. It took just three weeks. I've ridiculed your work in the past. Please accept my apology.

Your friend,

Tom

Please do not give out my EMAIL address or last name. I live in farm country and, well, you understand. Thank you.

Dear Tom,

My dear friend, Jane Heimlich (wife of Dr. Henry Heimlich, the "Heimlich Maneuver" physican), included this in her book, "What Your Doctor Won't Tell You."

"Of the nearly 7 million Americans who have
rheumatoid arthritis, most are women. Symptoms
are stiffness, aching muscles, fatigue, pain that
accompanies motion, and tenderness. Nutritional
therapy, not drugs, is the cornerstone of alternative
treatment. A treatment for arthritis that relieves
symptoms in a large percentage of patients is
based on the theory that most arthritic symptoms
are allergic reactions."


I've found many examples of physicians and scientific studies linking dairy cosumption to rheumatoid arthritis. I've included a few of the following citations in my new book, MILK A-Z.

"Rheumatoid arthritis is more severe than osteoarthritis, is most common in the hands and feet, and is characterized by swelling of joints. Since this type of joint pain can be a symptom of a food allergy, dietary change sometimes has a profound effect. Dairy products, the most common food allergen, are one likely candidate as a contributing causative factor."

Vegetarian and Vegan Nutrition by George Eisman, M.A., M.Sc., R.D.

"...43 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, those assigned to a vegan diet...had improvement in rheumatoid arthritis symptoms."

British Journal of Rheumatology, 36(1) 1997

"In the case of the eight year old female subject, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis was a milk allergy. After avoiding dairy products, all pain was gone in three weeks."

Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 1985, 78

"Controlled trial of fasting and a one-year vegetarian diet eased symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis."

The Lancet, 1991, 338

"In 1964, I learned of the experiences of Dr. William Deamer of San Francisco. He had pointed out the frequency of milk protein's casual relationship to musculoskeletal pain in children and especially the so-called 'growing pains.' Since that time, I have had several children with what appeared to be early rheumatoid arthritis relieved and returned to good health by little more than reassurance and careful dietary manipulation."

Don't Drink Your Milk, by Frank Oski, M.D.

"In systemic arthritis, like Rheumatoid, the cause is coursing through the blood, and it got there through the diet. When all of the joints are involved, the cause is not physical, but chemical. It's usually casein.(Eighty percent of milk protein is casein). I once saw a 65 year old man, Bob, who complained of neck stiffness and headaches. His hands were so stiff and sore. Bob lived to play golf. I instructed him to give up all milk and dairy products. Since giving up dairy products, he no longer experienced pain and headaches, and his hands were also pain-free. Joy, a 42 year old woman noticed that her knees were pain-free after eliminating dairy products. Once, after drinking a glass of milk, her knees swelled within 20 minutes."

No Milk, by Daniel Twogood, D.C.

"There is a colossal amount of information linking the consumption of milk to arthritis... and a multitude of other problems as documented by Hannah Allen, Alec Burton, Viktoras Kulvinskas, F. M. Pottenger, Herbert M. Shelton, and N.L. Walker, among others."

Fit for Life, by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond

"Certain foods trigger the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, and eliminating these foods sometimes causes even long-standing symptoms to improve or even remit entirely. It is important to avoid the problem foods completely, as even a small amount can cause symptoms. All dairy products should be avoided: skim or whole cow's milk, goat's milk, cheese, yogurt, cream, etc."

Neal Barnard, M.D. www.pcrm.org


Robert Cohen
http://www.notmilk.com

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