Gut Trigger Causes Arthritis? (WEIRD)

I’ve had patients make some pretty strange claims about their arthritis.

Many folks swear they can “feel a storm coming” in their joints. And I’ve heard this one so often (and had them be spot-on about that storm) that I believe it’s true.

Other patients claim their joint pain gets worse when eating tomatoes. And if you do a little digging, you’ll find some experts believe nightshade vegetables can trigger arthritis pain.

And then there are the folks who insist that putting salt in their shoes makes their joint pain disappear.

My take? These days I’m open to anything that works. And if shaking salt into your socks makes your pain go away, then go for it!

But I’ll admit, if a patient had sat down in my exam room 10 years ago and blamed their arthritis on BUGS, I might have had difficulty repressing my laughter of disbelief.

Surely nothing THAT strange could possibly be true…


But 10 years is a long time in the medical world. And the number of studies linking the bacteria in our guts (our microbiome) to specific diseases is overwhelming.

Plus, I’ve (somehow) managed to grow wiser in that time.

This is why I wasn’t all that surprised when a new study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine uncovered a belly bacterium that could be the smoking gun in arthritis.

The newly discovered bug doesn’t even have a name yet. But it was found in folks who have rheumatoid arthritis. And when the research team infected healthy animals with the bacterium the critters also began to show signs of arthritis.

The study’s authors make a hopeful reference to “different technologies that are just starting to come out that could selectively target a bacterium in the gut.”

But you and I know it’s far more likely that mainstream medicine will throw antibiotics at the bugs. And we don’t need a crystal ball to see THAT approach will cause more problems that it fixes.

Your best bet is to work on the health of your microbiome instead.

Here’s how:

  • Start with a good probiotic. Yes, probiotics are your gateway to a healthy colon. But probiotics do more—they also help with brain health, immune function, whole-body inflammation, and weight loss.
  • Avoid foods you’re sensitive to. Because of the genes you inherited from your ancestors, certain foods agree with your body, and others don’t. Most folks know which foods they should avoid because of how they feel when eating them. If you suspect certain foods are an issue eliminate them from your diet for a couple of weeks to see if your symptoms improve.
  • Reduce inflammation. Avoid added sugars, most vegetable oils, and ultra-processed foods, all of which can trigger inflammation. And consider taking supplements that calm inflammation, such as fish oil (EPA/DHA) and herbs like curcumin and bacopa.

P.S. The best way to keep arthritis pain under control is to drive down your inflammation levels. Adding more of THESE inflammation-busting foods to your diet could help.


“Clonal IgA and IgG autoantibodies from individuals at risk for rheumatoid arthritis identify an arthritogenic strain of Subdoligranulum.” Science Translational Medicine, 2022; 14 (668) DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.abn5166

Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.

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