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No Knee Pain with my Vegan Diet

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No Knee Pain with my Vegan Diet

Old 05-30-19, 10:06 AM
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Classtime 
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No Knee Pain with my Vegan Diet

My knees are bad. A couple of scopes over the last 20 years and the normal arthritic afflictions. My dad has bad knees (expected at 85?) and the pain is only relieved when he's pedaling. Our bedroom is on the second floor and each morning, for years, I would cringe while trying to descend the stairs in some manner that would not hurt -- which was impossible.

Lately, it occurred to me that I no longer have ANY discomfort coming down the stairs each morning. Weird! The only change during the last few years is changing to almost zero animal products in my diet. (I am not peta -- We have dogs, leather clothes, etc.) My wife fixed several related health issues with her vegan diet over the last 9 years, and over those years, my meals more and more closely matched her's. It just became too much a PITA to cook for two different diets. 99% of my meals are now vegan and when I do get nostalgic about a steak or burger when we go out to dinner, and I go for it, the next morning I pay with a painful trip down the stairs in the morning.

I searched the forum for vegan in the title but there was only a mention of some vegan glucosamine product. So, I thought I would share my experience and maybe someone else might be able to benefit and start getting around with less discomfort. My cycling hasn't been adversely affected by this diet. I've been on STRAVA since my open heart surgeries 8 years ago and I continue to get solo PRs on occasion.

Jeff
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Old 05-30-19, 10:46 AM
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Was there pain with an omnivore diet?


I'm OK on the bike because I've been a fairly slow pick the right gear touring , not racing, cyclist for over 40 years


now 70...
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Old 05-30-19, 12:09 PM
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Certain types of arthritis are inflammation related and certain types of inflammatory disease are exacerbated by animal products so certain types of riders with inflammatory pain do better on a vegan diet. Iím glad you found something that works for you.
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Old 05-30-19, 12:16 PM
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I figure as a vegan he can't develop enough power to hurt his already-injured knees.

(Just vegan-baiting---you know they can't tolerate vegan jokes.)

Glad the OP can enjoy riding again.
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Old 05-30-19, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
My knees are bad. A couple of scopes over the last 20 years and the normal arthritic afflictions.........
Any action whether it be changing one's diet or exercise routine that reduces inflammation and the pain caused by it is helpful in improving life. As DScott mentions, maybe yes or maybe no with meat.

BTW, I just received the following regarding meat----

https://doctorsofsarasota.com/blog/entry/can-eating-red-and-processed-meats-really-cause-cancer?utm_source=exact-target&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=healthy-living&utm_content=May-2019
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Old 05-30-19, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Was there pain with an omnivore diet?
Yes there was. Every morning. AND getting up from a chair after a sit. Now, there isnít.
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Old 05-30-19, 07:42 PM
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Eat some animal products, if you are so inclined, and see if it comes back.
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Old 05-30-19, 08:49 PM
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I’ve heard of anti-inflammatory diets, but what are they?

And are they the same for all?
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Old 05-30-19, 09:33 PM
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[QUOTE=wgscott;20955121]Eat some animal products, if you are so inclined, and see if it comes back.[/QUOTE

That experiment has been done and repeated while I made the transition. Morning after an animal protein dinner brought it back.
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Old 05-31-19, 04:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
I’ve heard of anti-inflammatory diets, but what are they?

And are they the same for all?
A search will yield volumes of info, e.g. -- https://www.webmd.com/diet/anti-infl...to-good-health covering foods to eat and avoid. My arthritis was first diagnosed and drugs prescribed in the early '80's. Didn't like the drug reactions so OTC pills were taken instead. Wised up and changed diet to eliminate most added sugars and amp up on spices, herbs, fins rather than feet and basically whole root based rather than processed. Meat in 4oz portion (if at all) and not the 16oz steak or full rack of ribs or double burger with cheese and bacon and ......



Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Eat some animal products, if you are so inclined, and see if it comes back.
That experiment has been done and repeated while I made the transition. Morning after an animal protein dinner brought it back.
Meat eaten should be FREE RANGE and ORGANIC in only 4oz portion with plenty of veggies if wanting to include some to enjoy.
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Old 05-31-19, 08:33 AM
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I have been a vegetarian for 30+ years and a vegan for about 5 years. I'm 64 almost 65 and have the normal aches when I over exert on a ride , but , for the most part , feel fine. I am not sure I can tell anyone else what to eat , that is a sketchy proposition. I do have a sense of humor about it as I used to race on a sailboat with a bunch of guys that were hunters, and meat eaters( I always brought my own food on board) and was the target of a few pokes. I was wearing a cap that my wife bought me on a clearance rack that said Real Tree on it . I honestly had no idea what that meant but it was a great cap and I wore it everywhere. One of the hunters on the boat asked me ( set me up) what a vegan was doing wearing a Real Tree hat. I quickly figured out what the logo was about and responded " Look man, just because I don't eat 'em doesn't mean I don't like to shoot 'em!" That was it! I was part of the gang, Joe
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Old 05-31-19, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Eat some animal products, if you are so inclined, and see if it comes back.
That experiment has been done and repeated while I made the transition. Morning after an animal protein dinner brought it back.
Thanks. I'm curious. I'm not vegan, and my wife and I occasionally eat fish, but we don't have a lot of animal products in our diet. I'm wondering if you have any suggestions what else to try to eliminate. She has hip arthritis, and mine recently started to act up a wee bit, so if there is a dietary fix, I am all for it.
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Old 05-31-19, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Thanks. I'm curious. I'm not vegan, and my wife and I occasionally eat fish, but we don't have a lot of animal products in our diet. I'm wondering if you have any suggestions what else to try to eliminate. She has hip arthritis, and mine recently started to act up a wee bit, so if there is a dietary fix, I am all for it.
If you don't already, cooking with the Holy Grail (of sorts) anti-inflammatory spices is a must !!!

https://health.usnews.com/wellness/f...sing-arthritis

By using the above and other items I have been able to delay knee replacements and a wrist replacement/fusion even though bone on bone; however, the right shoulder had to be done in 2016 due to restricted movement.
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Old 05-31-19, 10:26 AM
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@wgscott you could go all in. It takes some time to adjust to new habits. The last thing for me was giving up the cheese on my habitual pizza on Friday night. Now I pile my pizza crust with tomatoes, onions, spinach and mushrooms. I think taste buds adapt? My wife is a black belt vegan. I don't anticipate enjoying some of the plates she fixes for herself. If you haven't seen the movie "Forks over Knives", I highly recommend it. and the website https://nutritionfacts.org has a ton of info.
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Old 05-31-19, 06:38 PM
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Over the past 5 years my diet has dramatically changed as I am eating more meat and less carbs. Sugar is evil, and my body lets me know it. Vegan is appealing as I really like spiced food, however I don't cook, have no interest in it, and eat what my wife puts together. Truth is I spend as little time eating as possible as there are more exciting things to do.

Turmeric is a huge help with inflammation in the knees and back, but not a cure-all. Going back to 20 years of age is the cure.
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Old 06-01-19, 07:45 AM
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While it's good to have reduced pain, the bigger problem may be little or no cartilage left in the knee joints. My knees were nearly shot at 57. I quit cycling to do other things and finally had both knees replaced at 64. A year later, I started cycling again. No problems so far.
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Old 06-01-19, 07:59 AM
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I'm not prepared to go vegan, but my knees have been bothering me all week. The left one is keeping me from riding this morning. I'm hoping that working in the sun outside today will make it feel better.
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Old 06-01-19, 08:15 AM
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I have been on a meat free diet for over 12 years . At almost 62, my health is fantastic. I don't even have a doctor.
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Old 06-01-19, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by DSL6 View Post
I don't even have a doctor.
Same here. Haven't seen one since maybe 1999.

Crappy insurance and spending my money on other family members medical expenses will do that sort of thing.
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Old 06-01-19, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by DSL6 View Post
I have been on a meat free diet for over 12 years . At almost 62, my health is fantastic. I don't even have a doctor.
I should probably find another doctor. I tried to see "my" doctor for a TB test for work but he wouldn't see me. He has a policy that if a patient doesn't visit within 3 years, he drops you and you can't come back. I got the test at a clinic. I do have a cardiologist that likes me to have an echo once a year to check on my porcine aortic valve that is 8 1/2 years old but he always says, "Don't change anything. See you next year."
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Old 06-01-19, 04:53 PM
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On the one hand, I'd say that anything that seems to help and does no harm is valid. If it seems to work for you and doesn't entail long term complications, keep doing it.

But my lifelong experience with chronic pain, notably frequent severe headaches, has taught me that the road to relief is fraught with many misleading signposts, recursive loops, dead ends and meandering trails to nowhere. Every time I think I've found the path, it turned out to be some diversion I happened to enjoy for a moment, but didn't actually get me where I was planning to go.

I tried a mostly meatless diet last year, not quite vegan but pretty close. It did absolutely nothing for my health issues, which were beyond the influence of any dietary changes. It took a competent medical diagnosis and treatment to fix the real problem. Any benefits I might have thought I gained from dietary changes were inconsistent, temporary and probably imaginary based on desperate hope for a cure.

After lab tests related to my real underlying illness revealed I was borderline anemic and showing premature osteoporosis, I went back to a moderate, balanced omnivorous diet. The most significant changes I made were to cut back on, but not completely eliminate, alcohol and sugar. Instead of 2-3 beers a day several times a week, I drink 2-3 beers a month, usually one or two with friends at dinner after group bike rides. I use less sugar in coffee, don't drink sodas or sweet tea, and if I do eat cookies or donuts it's in conjunction with a hard workout in physical therapy and a spirited bike ride. I've lost 10-15 lbs since 2018, mostly from cutting way back on beer and sugar. I'm not any faster on my bike but hill climbs seem a bit easier now.

Unless there are diagnosed or diagnosable illnesses and complications that indicate dietary changes, I'm doubtful that a balanced moderate omnivorous diet does any harm. Any unbalanced or extreme diet is likely to cause harm, unless we're genetically adapted to it as are some isolated groups of people.

Sure, we could cut back on sugar. Many of us consume far more than we should, and even more than we're aware of since sugar is often hidden in foods without need or our awareness. I remember some popular 1980s restaurant chain that sweetened almost everything this sugar, even vegetables. These "down home" or homestyle Southern influenced menus may have unwittingly been influenced by a tradition steeped in poverty and necessity. When areas suffer from poverty caused by drought, blight or war, they resort to whatever they can find to eat. That doesn't mean it's healthy to continue eating sugar cane, sugar beets, nothing but peanuts for protein, fried pork fat, etc., or waste time preparing last-ditch greens like pokeweed that demand special preparation to reduce toxicity. Ditto, drinking sweet tea and beer as the main sources of water. Those habits developed from the advantages of preparations that happened to sterilize water from contaminated sources. But having spent my youth divided between the Deep South of the 1960s and northern and western states, I've seen some unhealthy dietary habits persist long after economic and situational necessity, usually justified by misplaced regional "pride". If the South is gonna do it again, whatever it is, they'll need to lose about 50 lbs per person and get off the insulin to do whatever it is.

My most persistent chronic pains over the decades have been sinus headaches and joint aches. The one and only consistent factor in those has been... the weather. Specifically, barometric pressure changes, usually rapid drops but occasionally rapid increases. That's all. In years of keeping a pain journal, the one and only consistent factor has been the weather. And it took the smartphone era with apps that can incorporate weather reports to help identify that factor.

That surprised me because as a kid I used to laugh when my grandparents would claim they could feel a "blue norther" coming by the pain in their backs and knees. Well, I ain't laughing now that it's happened to me. But I'm sure my grandparents would get a satisfying laugh over it if there were still around.

Sinus allergies are also a major factor. So I use antihistamines and anti-inflammatories almost every day. It helps. It also helped reduce my need for decongestants, which do work but can cause elevated heart rate and blood pressure.

But that's what *seems* to work for me. I'm not attached to any of it as a lifestyle or flag of my identity. I'll make any changes that might help while not causing any harm.
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Old 06-01-19, 05:04 PM
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If it works... then keep doing it.

I've had "bad knees" for quite some time.

I can't say for sure when it started.

In my mid 30's, I was running some... weekends? But, I ran two very slow marathons in the late 90's.

Then by 2000, my life changed, and I pretty much stopped running.

By my 40's, my knees were bothering me some. I remember a car break-down, and walking a couple of miles around 2008... Whew!!! Some knee swelling with a greenhouse project with my brother.

Then about 5 years ago, I started riding my bike more... A LOT MORE. Mashing, pulling, and some spinning. Whatever feels right at the time.

I've lost a few pounds. Not a lot, but down 10 or 15 pounds from my high.

My knee pain has almost completely vanished. For everything. Walking, climbing, cycling, etc.

The knees are best if I ride at least 3 days a week, for quite some cumulative distance.

I always rode some, just a lot more now.

Anyway, I'm not saying for the OP that the Vegan diet did or did not make the difference. My guess is that several things were changed simultaneously which did have a combined impact.
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Old 06-02-19, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
If it works... then keep doing it...

...I'm not saying for the OP that the Vegan diet did or did not make the difference. My guess is that several things were changed simultaneously which did have a combined impact.
Bingo. I know lots of folks who've made dietary changes and reported feeling better, less chronic pain, etc. But after chatting awhile it turns out they made lots of other changes, any or all of which probably contributed to their feeling better.

Often those changes include drinking less alcohol or quitting drinking altogether; less sugar; getting more exercise.

In other cases there were major life changes occurring around the same time, ranging from changing residences and/or jobs, losing or gaining relationships, all kinds of life stressors that can contribute to chronic and acute pain, or relieve those when the stressors are eliminated or reduced.

The single most effective pain reducing factor I've found -- other than analgesics -- is low impact exercise. I almost always feel best immediately after a bike ride or PT session (mostly stretching, resistance and light weight training).

But like pain pills, it's always temporary. The pain returns 2-8 hours after an exercise session. So my worst time of day is always immediately after waking in the morning, or after a long nap. I can't recall the last time I actually felt better upon waking. It's almost always much worse. But I know from experience that I'll feel better if I get up and move around.

Most older folks I know, particularly in my family, ended up living with chronic pain and using lots of analgesics -- everything from aspirin to prescription opiates to booze and illegal drugs -- to cope with the pain. But they rarely exercised. Can't say I blame them. They didn't grow up in an era when people exercised for recreation. Their generation didn't do that, and didn't have time for it. Like my granddad, who worked all kinds of hard manual labor jobs until getting a desk job in his 40s, they associate "exercise" with hard, painful, debilitating physical labor. They never got any buzz from the chemicals the body and brain produce that give us a bit of a high and pain relief. So it's difficult for them to imagine that walking for "pleasure" or any form of physical therapy could help with their chronic pain.
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Old 06-02-19, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
If it works... then keep doing it.

Anyway, I'm not saying for the OP that the Vegan diet did or did not make the difference. My guess is that several things were changed simultaneously which did have a combined impact.
There are/were no other changes.
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Old 06-02-19, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Bingo. I know lots of folks who've made dietary changes and reported feeling better, less chronic pain, etc. But after chatting awhile it turns out they made lots of other changes, any or all of which probably contributed to their feeling better.

So my worst time of day is always immediately after waking in the morning, or after a long nap. I can't recall the last time I actually felt better upon waking. It's almost always much worse. But I know from experience that I'll feel better if I get up and move around.
No other changes. Not a lot of changes or even a few changes. No other changes. After years of trying everything and finally resigned to living with it until replacement time, serendipity has provided this relief. My wife is vegan, and I am lazy, so slowly changed my habits and I eat what she eats. And guess what? It doesn't hurt to climb down the 1 1/2 flights of stairs in the morning. You can't say that you tried it unless you have gone all in. There were years of slowly transitioning to making my plates look like my wife and the trip down the stairs was a cringing affair.
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