Could Autoimmune Diseases Be Caused by Preservatives, Additives, etc. in the Foods We Consume

Miriam Diaz-Gilbert
7 min readJul 31, 2023
Photo by Jack Lee on Unsplash

I recently listened to a discussion on NPR’s 1A podcast that resonated with me. The topic was the complexities of autoimmune diseases. The guests — three doctors — spoke about lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and psoriatic arthritis.

The discussion was very informative, but what struck me the most was what the research suggests are the causes of autoimmune diseases. The causes appear to be genes, environment, and hormones. I found this interesting because my experience with two autoimmune diseases are not the result of my genes, the environment, or my hormones.

In 2013, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA is a chronic inflammatory disorder. I was prescribed methotrexate and Plaquenil. Both did nothing to heal my RA. After coming across an article about processed foods as a cause of inflammation, I stopped taking methotrexate and Plaquenil.

My husband and I emptied our cupboards of foods that are known to cause inflammation: processed foods, wheat, flour, sugar, dairy, pasta, rice, and beans. We started eating a Paleo diet. In a couple of weeks, my swollen, stiff, and painful joints were back to normal. At my next visit with the rheumatologist and another blood test, my rheumatoid factor was in the normal range. I…

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Miriam Diaz-Gilbert

My debut memoir Come What May, I Want to Run: A Memoir of the Saving Grace of Ultrarunning in Overwhelming Times is published. Website: miriamdiazgilbert.com