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Dietary starch, joint pain, and the No Starch Diet (NSD)

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  • Dietary starch, joint pain, and the No Starch Diet (NSD)

    I'm hoping others here can shed some light on the link between starch and joint pain.

    A year ago I developed pain in the middle joints of my fingers. It started in one ring finger, a month or so after an injury. Then it spread to both hands and got worse (but never in my thumbs or pinkies). I would wake up unable to bend my fingers because they were so stiff and sore. Making a fist was impossible. Pain might last from 5 to 45 mins. On bad days a few of my fingers would swell and stay swollen for most of the day. No redness, no heat, just some puffiness. On my worst days, my top finger joints (the DIPs) would also hurt, pain and stiffness would last all day, and all the joints were tender when pressed.

    All tests have been negative (including HLA B27). A rheumatologist told me the pain was in my head!

    Suspecting spondylitis, I discovered the No Starch Diet. I had already been eating paleo (more or less) for years after figuring out that avoiding dairy and grains dramatically improved arthritis in my knee and my rosacea, so I was already halfway there. I had always suspected another food factor, but could never figure it out, even with meticulous food tracking. Never in a million years would I have guessed starch!

    Within a month of dropping all starch the pain in my fingers reduced by 90%. I'm sensitive even to low starch foods like carrots, apples, and grapes, so my diet is very strict. If I stray the pain comes back. I even experimented with a "full starch diet", eating really starchy foods like bread and rice, which I had been avoiding for years, to confirm the link. By the end of two weeks I was in agony. My fingers became unusable for most of the morning, and while the stiffness would subside, pain would last all day. My whole body stiffened, especially my lower back and neck and I couldn't touch my toes. I had other weird symptoms, like shortness of breath and mood swings. Again, when I cut out the starch, everything improved.

    So now I find myself with an effective treatment but no clue about the underlying cause. The finger pain has really distinct characteristics and a clear pattern, which I would have thought would make it easy to identify. Apparently not. I was also surprised to find little research on dietary starch and inflammation. Apart from the research on Ankylosing Spondylitis, there isn't much at all.

    So, interwebs, I'm turning to you for your n=1 experiences: has anyone else experienced something similar? Any symptoms, joint-related or otherwise, that seem to be affected by dietary starch? If so, any insight into the underlying cause? Any solutions other than total starch avoidance?

    I am very keen to hear from others about this. My partner is supportive but my doctor is skeptical, the rheumatologist completely dismissive, and my friends and colleagues largely perplexed. It's been a strange, lonely journey.
    Last edited by kelbel; 05-03-2017, 03:59 PM.

  • #2
    Certainly never heard of this, not an inkling. I have always thought of starch as the "safest" of macronutrients. Super easy to digest, our enzymes easily break it down into simple glucose.

    Get a new rheumatologist. The fact that you see one immediately raises the question of "Why?" You didn't tell us your age or why you were already seeing one.

    Comment


    • #3
      I was referred to a rheumatologist because of the finger pain. She dismissed it based on test results. My doctor is reluctant to refer me to another rheumatologist since my test results won't be any different, though she agrees the pain is real. I'm in my early 40's and the fact that the pain is responsive to starch leads me to think there is more than just wear and tear going on.
      '
      Last edited by kelbel; 05-06-2017, 03:44 PM.

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      • #4
        It could be a consequence of persorbing large starch granules. If boiling the starch for a while decreases the pain it causes, that would be evidence for this.
        My opinions and some justification

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        • #5
          Carbs do feed inflammation. I noticed that my foot pain due to calcification and heel spur and the inflammation around it almost doesn't even care that I am 90lb lighter. It went when I went on atkins first @ 238lb and promptly returns even @ 155 when I eat carbs.
          Thanks.
          Srinath.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by srinath_69 View Post
            Carbs do feed inflammation. I noticed that my foot pain due to calcification and heel spur and the inflammation around it almost doesn't even care that I am 90lb lighter. It went when I went on atkins first @ 238lb and promptly returns even @ 155 when I eat carbs.
            Thanks.
            Srinath.
            Interesting! It does lead me to wonder if it's really the starch in the carbs that causes your inflammation. What kinds of carbs are you eating when your inflammation returns?

            Last edited by kelbel; 05-06-2017, 04:16 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by kelbel View Post

              Interesting! It does lead me to wonder if it's really the starch in the carbs that causes your inflammation. What kinds of carbs are you eating when uour inflammation returns?

              Sugar. Why would I eat anything else. LOL, no seriously, I did Potato hack yes, however before that I'd still get inflammation flared up, and I am not kidding, sugar is my vice. In fact I'd avoid anything that wasn't atleast 90% sugar. 30g sugar in my chai, and lots of white chocolate and rasgullas and whatever else.

              Thanks.
              Srinath.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by srinath_69 View Post
                Carbs do feed inflammation. I noticed that my foot pain due to calcification and heel spur and the inflammation around it almost doesn't even care that I am 90lb lighter. It went when I went on atkins first @ 238lb and promptly returns even @ 155 when I eat carbs.
                Thanks.
                Srinath.
                This is just typical paleo carbphobia. I've been eating nearly 300g carbs/day or about 75%+ carbs for over 2 yrs now and my last test for inflammation - High Sensitivity CRP - was 0.2mg/L (normal is 0.00 - 3.00 with ideal being <1.00). So no, carbs are not inflammatory unless your main source of carbs is pure junk food.

                I eat primarily whole unprocessed plant foods, but also consume about 200 calories of pure sugar daily (added to tea, coffee, smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes etc). So based on my lab tests, whole food carbs/starches/grains/legumes/fruits/ starchy veg are clearly anti-inflammatory. So such generalized statements as "carbs feed inflammation" are clearly false.
                *Starting Wt - 151 lbs (January 2015) * Current Wt - 113 lbs (November 2016)
                *95% Plant-Based (from June 2015) ~ *75%Carbs *10-15%Protein *10-15%Fat
                *Exercise ~7-10 hrs/week

                Comment


                • #9

                  Originally posted by KimLean125byMar15 View Post

                  This is just typical paleo carbphobia. I've been eating nearly 300g carbs/day or about 75%+ carbs for over 2 yrs now and my last test for inflammation - High Sensitivity CRP - was 0.2mg/L (normal is 0.00 - 3.00 with ideal being <1.00). So no, carbs are not inflammatory unless your main source of carbs is pure junk food.

                  I eat primarily whole unprocessed plant foods, but also consume about 200 calories of pure sugar daily (added to tea, coffee, smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes etc). So based on my lab tests, whole food carbs/starches/grains/legumes/fruits/ starchy veg are clearly anti-inflammatory. So such generalized statements as "carbs feed inflammation" are clearly false.

                  Point well taken.
                  Not all carbs are created equal. Much like my 10X cooked and cooled potatoes didn't do much other than cause gas for me. The inflammation all kicked in when I started eating sugar.
                  Thanks.
                  Srinath.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KimLean125byMar15 View Post

                    This is just typical paleo carbphobia. I've been eating nearly 300g carbs/day or about 75%+ carbs for over 2 yrs now and my last test for inflammation - High Sensitivity CRP - was 0.2mg/L (normal is 0.00 - 3.00 with ideal being <1.00). So no, carbs are not inflammatory unless your main source of carbs is pure junk food.

                    I eat primarily whole unprocessed plant foods, but also consume about 200 calories of pure sugar daily (added to tea, coffee, smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes etc). So based on my lab tests, whole food carbs/starches/grains/legumes/fruits/ starchy veg are clearly anti-inflammatory. So such generalized statements as "carbs feed inflammation" are clearly false.

                    You are also making a very generalized statement; you're basing your conclusion that carbs are NOT inflammatory bases solely on your own lab results! Unless you have health issues that respond well to a low/no carb (starch) diet, you cannot come to the conclusion that it's all "paleo carbphobia"....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      10X heated and cooled potatoes............Holy mofo, obsessed much? Are you aware of diminishing returns?

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                      • #12
                        Its not 10x really, barely 5X, BTW it will not cook fully in less than 3. I run it at super low temp and I only run it 1 hr and I don't 1 layer them. They will warm and slowly think about cooking. Its a minimum 3x to cook. Only 2-3 iterations after that. Its also not specifically cooled. I just leave it in the thing with it off.
                        Its the easier and lazier way.
                        Thanks.
                        Srinath.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by WanderingCuppa View Post
                          You are also making a very generalized statement; you're basing your conclusion that carbs are NOT inflammatory bases solely on your own lab results! Unless you have health issues that respond well to a low/no carb (starch) diet, you cannot come to the conclusion that it's all "paleo carbphobia"....
                          Thank you.


                          Originally posted by kelbel View Post
                          I'm hoping others here can shed some light on the link between starch and joint pain.



                          So, interwebs, I'm turning to you for your n=1 experiences: has anyone else experienced something similar? Any symptoms, joint-related or otherwise, that seem to be affected by dietary starch? If so, any insight into the underlying cause? Any solutions other than total starch avoidance?

                          I am very keen to hear from others about this. My partner is supportive but my doctor is skeptical, the rheumatologist completely dismissive, and my friends and colleagues largely perplexed. It's been a strange, lonely journey.
                          This is the question OP asked. Not how many carbs you can eat or whether you're doing well on the PH...

                          This is info on the KickAS, which OP already is aware of:

                          http://www.sickopportunity.com/get-s...alan-ebringer/

                          And no, I ain't got no n=1 experience but this might put the thread back on track...

                          "Don't sweat the small stuff and relax about the whole process"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by srinath_69 View Post

                            Sugar. Why would I eat anything else. LOL, no seriously, I did Potato hack yes, however before that I'd still get inflammation flared up, and I am not kidding, sugar is my vice. In fact I'd avoid anything that wasn't atleast 90% sugar. 30g sugar in my chai, and lots of white chocolate and rasgullas and whatever else.
                            How do you know its the sugar and not the' package' you're eating it in? I ask because chai spices and rasgulla are both very high in starch (though white chocolate isn't). Are your sugary foods also starchy foods?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by lovebird View Post

                              This is the question OP asked. Not how many carbs you can eat or whether you're doing well on the PH...

                              This is info on the KickAS, which OP already is aware of:

                              http://www.sickopportunity.com/get-s...alan-ebringer/

                              And no, I ain't got no n=1 experience but this might put the thread back on track...
                              Thanks lovebird.

                              For the record, I'm definitely not a carbophobe. Up until I discovered the starch link I was eating lots of carbs: lots of sweet potatoes, tiger nuts, plantains, etc. Eating starch free is in no way a free choice. It's why I'm desperate for answers.

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