Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Practice A Patient’s Journey

Rheumatoid arthritis

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 31 December 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c7095

Rapid Response:

A life with arthritis - a different way

I find Ailisa Bosworth's rheumatoid arthritis history painfully
difficult to read.

I also became ill suddenly when I was aged 30, shortly after my third
child was born. Although I had a new baby and two other children age 2 and
4, I was barely able to get out of bed with all my joints painful and
stiff. Even talking on the phone made my tempo-mandibular joints sore! I
was not given a diagnosis but I was determined not to take steroids
because by 1965 I had found damning evidence of the dangers of hormonal
steroid contraceptives. I resorted to bed rest alone and gradually got
better. I have carefully tried to avoid becoming cold and over doing
physical activity ever since.

Cold or stress can cause flare ups of my arthritis which was
diagnosed as ankylosing spondylitis in the 1970s. I am now aged 76 and I
still have never taken steroids or any other drugs or had any surgery on
my joints. Instead, our migraine research at the Charing Cross Hospital
Migraine Clinic highlighted the importance of monitoring copper and zinc
levels in all illnesses. Since then my patients and myself have had our
essential nutrients and toxic metal levels monitored and deficiencies
supplemented. I take a wealth of nutritional supplements and have also
needed to deal with too high white cell sensitivities to toxic metals like
dental mercury and ubiquitous, but potentially carcinogenic, nickel.

When, I wonder, will today's Medicine catch up with investigating
cell molecular biology rather than merely blindly using damaging drugs?
Please see my website

Competing interests: No competing interests

02 January 2011
Ellen CG Grant
Medical practitioner
Kingston-upon-Thamers, KT2 7JU