Male, age 61 – Rheumatoid arthritis

A 61-year old retired male presented to the office with a 15-year history of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Patient was seeking relief from the excruciating pain through acupuncture. He was taking Remicade from 2001-2009 and described it as a “miracle cure.” Patient was able to return to work while taking Remicade. In 2009 he developed a drug reaction to the medication and was hospitalized due to the complications. He was unable to continue taking the Remicade. He was started on Kenalog injections once every 3 months without success. He is currently taking Prednisone 5 mg daily and Methotrexate 15 mg once a week and glucosamine chondroitin and MSM in a liquid form.

Patient describes having bilateral foot pain, bilateral shoulder pain, bilateral knee and leg pain, swollen, stiff and painful wrists, elbows and ankles, numbness in his fingers and toes and weakness in his arms and legs. He experiences pain when bending, standing, sitting and walking and muscle spasms. He cannot make a fist with his left hand and says he wants to “cut off” his right hand. Both hands appear swollen with limited movement. He describes pain in trapezius muscle that moves down his arms to his elbows like “lightning bolts.”   observed the patient sitting forward in the chair to keep from putting pressure on his shoulders as it would cause pain down his arms.

During the initial consultation, the patient and I discussed the SHAPE Program as an option to decrease the RA pain instead of acupuncture. Patient was instructed to consume the foods within the Nutrition Protocol but was not limited on quantity as the main goal was to decrease inflammation, not lose weight. The patient started the program weighing 193.4 with a BMI of 29. The secondary goal was to lose 25 lbs. and have a BMI of 25.

In 2 weeks, the patient had no sharp pain, just soreness. He felt well enough to mow the lawn and shampoo the carpets and still had energy and decreased pain after activities. In 4 weeks, the patient reported that he was no longer having the excruciating pain and stated he could finally relax. At 6 weeks, he said he was doing great! Described having the best week he had had in a long time. Finally, at 8 weeks, the patient said he was still feeling great and was working in the yard. He said he could see his knees and elbows for the first time in years. The patient weighed 168.2 lbs. and achieved a BMI of 25.

Submitted by Dr. Michele Moul