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I developed arthritis in 1981, when I was 56 years living in Baltimore, MD.  It got worse where I had extreme difficulty getting up from a low chair and had to step up onto the sidewalk sideways, one leg at a time.  The pain was so bad at times that I sat on the bed at night actually crying with pain in my arms.  My knees were swollen and my hands crooked, swollen, very tender.  Early in 1982 my doctor referred me to Johns Hopkins.  I was admitted in May1982 for ten days to determine if my body could take the side effects of a new gold drug.  Tests showed the disease was progressing rapidly.  Without treatment, I could be in a wheelchair by year's end.
Within months the gold did work and I got better.  But I was still taking Indomethacin SR and twelve aspirins a day.  Side effects were periodic severe stomach pains.  By 1983 my misshapen finger joints were beginning to straighten and by 1984 I could walk straight across the road.
In 1983 I heard about the nightshade plants.  I loved tomatoes and green and red peppers and ate a lot of them.  I immediately put the theory to test to see if it applied to me.  It did.  And how!  With much sorrow I gave them up and a lot of the pain went away and I felt much better.  I did not give up potato.  I thought that wasn't too important it I gave up all the others, and it wasn't too difficult for me.  (Was I wrong!)  By the summer of 1984 I was living a more or less normal life, with periods of serious pain.  My work involved a lot of traveling, stress, and eating in restaurants.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it was not helping my health so I decided to take early retirement although it meant giving up five years of high earnings.  We moved back to rural England in 1985.  Doctors at York District Hospital kept me on gold and Indomethacin and replaced aspirin with codeine and paracetamol (acetaminophen).  Until the summer of 1985 I was managing fairly well but with many periods of a few days when I really felt terrible and was aching all over.  In almost every case we tracked these episodes to inadvertently eating a nightshade.
Summer of 1995 I started to get much worse, so I increased the dosage of Indomethacin for pain.  Some days I was taking three 75mg capsules.  Finally, the inevitable happened and I came down with severe stomach pains and bleeding.  I gave up gold and Indomethacin immediately.  Normally this would cause pains to get worse.  Luckily, in September I had written to Dr. Childers to ask him what happened to the theory I had read about in the early 1980's.  He wrote to tell me exciting things had happened, including the publication of his book, fifth edition.  I ordered a copy.  It arrived just as my stomach was in bad shape, so I immediately went rigidly on the Diet.  The pains did not materialize and the pains I did have went away.  Now, in May 1996, I have not had gold for six months and only bits of Indomethacin.  I am almost completely without pain and am feeling better than I have for the last fifteen years.  I can now easily reach above my shoulder with no pain.  Before, I could reach up only very slowly with considerable pain.  I shave with an electric razor and splash pre-electric shave lotion on my face first.  For many months I was unable to splash lotion onto the right side of my face with my right hand.  Now I can reach anywhere on my face with the right hand with perfect ease.  My right foot is badly distorted.  The big toe is angled over to the right and under the toe next to it.  This toe was swollen and the joint very tender and sensitive so that wearing normal shoes put pressure on it causing it agonizing pain.  The arthritis consultant said he could either cut off the toe or arrange special shoes.  I chose the shoes!  After five months rigidly on the Diet my toe stopped hurting.  It is no longer sensitive.  I am back to wearing my old shoes.  This is a major breakthrough!  I am astonished at the difference between casual observance of the Diet and rigid compliance.  I read the labels on every can of food.  It is amazing how many include green or red pepper and, of course, tomatoes in everything.  For nearly six months I have been a new person and I am slowly improving each month.  I am feeling great and have more get-up-and-go than I had fifteen years ago.  The Diet does not have to be boring.  Read Dr. Childers' book for all kinds of interesting ideas and recipes.  Why didn't I do this years ago?  My advice to anyone with arthritis is to buy Dr. Childers' book, read it, and follow it.  You have nothing to lose but pain!
I am hoping to give lectures on the Diet to local groups- particularly the Women's Institutes.  This is a very large national organization, with groups in nearly every community providing fellowships and information to women of all ages.  It has a very strong lobby in Parliament and gets some good legislation passed.  I am hoping to take orders for the book.  Maybe some of your retired people will get the idea too!

Peter Marsden 
Quices Cottage, Spring St.    
Easingwold, Yorks England  406-3BN