November 17

Diet, exercise and stress management strategies with Charlotte

Many rheumatoid arthritis sufferers can reduce inflammation and pain by making lifestyle changes. The greatest results will be achieved on the best diet for rheumatoid arthritis and a dedication to exercise. You should also look at how your sleeping behaviours can support recovery, and to sleep in a way so as to not exacerbate joint inflammation.

In this article, we look at a particular case study where these three things combined to improve the symptoms of one RA sufferer.

Before being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, Charlotte was a registered nurse, working in primary healthcare. Charlotte didn’t see the rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis coming and found it very upsetting. However, she found it at least partially satisfying to have the diagnosis so she could put a name to put to her symptoms.

When seeing the rheumatologist, Charlotte decided to take a holistic approach to treatment first. While offered medications, the rheumatologist agreed for them to hold off on medications and to meet again in six months.

Finding the Paddison Program for Rheumatoid Arthritis

After an initial slow start using another program, Charlotte found the Paddison Program while on Facebook. She learnt more about the program and then talked it through with her rheumatologist.

She showed him the Guide For Rheumatologists that accompanies the Paddison Program. They agreed that she would commence the program and that they would continue with a follow-up every six months with a thorough examination of her joints.

Charlotte’s rheumatologist reported there had been no progression of the disease. Although there was a bit of erosion to her little finger joints, she was pleased to still not be on medication and for the disease to not be progressing.

Charlotte was well aware of the importance of staying in touch with her rheumatologist. By doing so she could get lab work done to keep an eye on her CRP, assess her joints, arrange scans as necessary, amongst other things.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Exercise

Regular exercise is essential when it comes to managing rheumatoid arthritis. [1] There are many options for rheumatoid arthritis exercise.

Charlotte found that using a stationary bike was a very big part of her healing process. Charlotte’s rheumatoid arthritis exercise plan consists of using her stationary bike for 30 minutes, 6 days a week.

Cycling is beneficial for rheumatoid arthritis, as is resistance training and walking [2]. To keep inflammation at bay, 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a day is beneficial. It is also important to make sure that you are well hydrated while exercising.

Charlotte’s rheumatoid arthritis exercise plan also included strength training with help from a personal trainer.

Bikram Yoga is another great option for rheumatoid arthritis exercise. Charlotte’s local yoga studio is quite far from her home but she did enjoy some classes with her husband. Yoga is often recommended for rheumatoid arthritis symptom relief and if you are just beginning there are numerous restorative yoga poses you can try.

Sleep Management With Rheumatoid Arthritis

A good night’s sleep and stress management are important aspects of the Paddison Program for rheumatoid arthritis. The program will look at your sleep routine and how you can improve your sleep.

For example, are you sleeping on your fingers or wrists and exacerbating your symptoms? Any pressure from one part of your body on top of an inflamed joint will likely exacerbate the joint symptoms. Ideally, sleep with limbs away from the body, gently resting beside you, so that there is no compression of synovitis in any joints.

Charlotte found she needed to learn some stress management techniques, achieve a better work-life balance, and prioritise sleep. She has found meditation techniques to be helpful in falling asleep.

Best Diet for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Celery juice was a regular drink for Charlotte to reduce inflammation. The celery juice drink is part of the Paddison Program’s cleansing phase. She could tell how great the juice is for her body and continues to have a daily celery juice.

The Green Goodness Juice recipe is really easy to follow and the final results are tasty and very healthy.

For the best diet for rheumatoid arthritis, it is important to incorporate plenty of fruits and vegetables as they have been shown to diminish symptoms of arthritis amongst other chronic diseases.

Charlotte has incorporated a wide variety into her diet. She particularly enjoys a wide range of greens including kale and spinach, which she now grows herself. A good rheumatoid arthritis diet can also include fresh fruits such as banana, rockmelon or honeydew, and freshly squeezed orange juice. Charlotte recommends adding fresh mint to smoothies for an amazing flavour. The Paddison Program tests each food back into the diet one at a time so that individual food sensitivities can be identified.

Coconut water, probiotics, spirulina, turmeric, and ginger, are all other foods beneficial for health and usually helpful for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Charlotte also enjoys buckwheat and quinoa and dulse (seaweed) in her diet as low-inflammation meals

Buckwheat and quinoa are also recommended on the Paddison Program as great sources of protein and carbohydrates. They are alkalising, non-irritating seeds (not grains) which are very gentle on your digestive system.

Conclusion for Best Diet for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Charlotte demonstrates perfectly how exercise, the right diet and a great sleep routine can support the management of rheumatoid arthritis. The Paddison program can help support you with all these aspects and more, alongside the care from your rheumatologist and support inside the forum.

Since her rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, Charlotte has started her own business, Wealth of Health, where she shared her experience on the Paddison Program.

If you’d like to learn more about the Paddison Program then a great place to start is to watch Clint Paddison’s TEDx talk


[1] Cooney JK, Law RJ, Matschke V, et al. Benefits of exercise in rheumatoid arthritis. J Aging Res. 2011;2011:681640. Published 2011 Feb 13.

[2] Bremander, A., Malm, K., Andersson, M. et al. Physical activity in established rheumatoid arthritis and variables associated with maintenance of physical activity over a seven-year period – a longitudinal observational study. BMC Rheumatol 4, 53 (2020).


Diet, exercise, Paddison Program, stress reduction

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