Posted by: eaubeauhorn | March 23, 2008

One solution to joint pain

Years ago, I was having trouble with what appeared to be osteoarthritis; at one point the joints in my spine hurt so badly that it was difficult to turn over in bed at night. Since osteoarthritis runs in my family, reluctantly I started myself on an ibuprofen regimen, which did take away the pain. Then I happened upon a book; I don’t remember its title exactly because I’ve been unable to find it again, but it was along the lines of “Arthritis: DON’T learn to live with it!”  Most of the book applied to RA, but there were about 30 pages at the front that applied to OA; the essence of this section was that OA joint pain could be gotten rid of by not eating nightshades. The nightshades are tomatoes, hot and sweet peppers, white potatoes, eggplant, and tobacco. The book said that some people got relief in a few weeks, while others would have to wait as long as nine months.

I decided that this was one of those treatments that was free and could do no harm, so I tried it. In two weeks my pain was not gone but it was distinctly less, and I decided to stay off nightshades. I had to be a detective; there are hidden nightshades in many things. I would have a flareup every time I ate tuna fish, of all things, and finally I realized from reading the label that canned tuna fish often has something called “vegetable broth” in it for flavor. Well, guess what was in that vegetable broth in the can of tuna fish? Nightshades! I became an obsessive reader of labels, and was astonished at what I had been eating in terms of chemicals. I cleaned up my act.

For many years I stayed completely off nightshades, and had no joint pain problems. Since I was and am a musician, that was important. I also type a lot in my work….not a good idea to have aching finger joints. Then, five or six years ago, I found I could again eat nightshades without noticible consequence, and I went back to enjoying salsa and baked potatoes. Never was a fan of eggplant.

Then, in the last couple of months, my hip started bothering me. Well, now I’m almost 60 and that is “normal” at this age, right? Well….remembering my past experience with giving up nightshades, I did it again. It took about two weeks, again, for the pain to go away, and now I am on another quest to find out what I’m eating that contains nightshades. Especially one has to beware of anything that tastes spicy-hot, since likely it has hot (chili) peppers in it. I did a “food challenge” yesterday with a favorite salad that I buy from the local health food store. The last ingredient on the label is “spices” and it does have a nice zesty taste. This morning at 4 a.m. I was awakened by strong painful twinges in my hip, and I have my answer. Sigh…so many allergies, so few things I can eat without a reaction.

If anyone reading this knows how to de-sensitize the body to allergies in general, I’d like to hear about it. When I lived back East I had major pollen allergies; here out West they are not that bad most of the time. But I still react strongly to various foods and would like to find a way to calm down my immune system so that it doesn’t make me miserable with reactions.

So if you have OA, or even RA, and you have the discipline to give up nightshades, I’d give it a year to find out what happens. All it takes is determination and focus.



  1. Thanks for sharing. This is really interesting. I’m pretty healthy all around and I’m only 27 but my finger joints started aching a few months ago, and it hasn’t ever really gone away. I don’t know what triggered it – one morning I woke up and they were just stiff and throbbing. I do have a family history of arthritis though.

    I’ll give this a try. I’m glad you found something that helped you that didn’t involve drugs.

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