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Why does turmeric make my inflammation worse?

 
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I love cooking with turmeric and when I started having trouble with inflammation (arthritis and Crohn's), even my doctor recommended I use turmeric for managing the inflammation.  (I should mention that the doctor knows I'm bad at taking pills but good at changing my diet, so the doctor always tries diet with me first).  

But the problem is, days after eating turmeric heavy foods, my arthritis is worse.  MUCH worse.  Isn't it supposed to help?  
 
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r ranson wrote:I love cooking with turmeric and when I started having trouble with inflammation (arthritis and Crohn's), even my doctor recommended I use turmeric for managing the inflammation.  (I should mention that the doctor knows I'm bad at taking pills but good at changing my diet, so the doctor always tries diet with me first).  

But the problem is, days after eating turmeric heavy foods, my arthritis is worse.  MUCH worse.  Isn't it supposed to help?  



Hmmm.... have you ever had an allergic reaction to turmeric? Or maybe to something you're eating it with/in?
 
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Are you sure it's the turmeric? I mean, how did you prepare those foods?

I'm sure that with your medical history, you have heard about people of primarily European ancestry developing issues with foods originating in the New World. I had a conceptual problem with this at first, as I am of Polish descent (my mother and my dad's parents were all born there), and have never had issues with potatoes that I know of, which were known first in Poland as Amerykany (from america) when brought back to Poland from Vienna by Jan III Sobieski in the mid-1600s.

Then I reflected on this fact. Perhaps we'd had over three hundred years for our gut microbiomes to adapt to potatoes, and perhaps also tomatoes, though those arrived later, with Italian queen Bona Sforza, around 1510, I think. But I didn't know about squash until I met my very Canadian other half (Northern Ontarian by way of Quebec and Nova Scotia, four confirmed ancestors on the Mayflower, for those to whom it makes a difference; she's more Canadian than Canada). It could be that some foods originating in the Americas might be too "new" to some stomachs.

In the same vein as food sensitivities, could it be an allergy?

I would love to know the answer to this. We all have inflammation issues to one degree or another, I think. Please keep us posted, and good luck.

-CK
 
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Tumeric helped in my case for a period of time and then seemed to taper of in efficacy. I have been trying Moringa and whether placebo or it is really working I have been very impressed with the pain reduction. I still take the tumeric but I believe the moringa is helping.
 
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Chris Kott wrote:Are you sure it's the turmeric? I mean, how did you prepare those foods?



definitely the turmeric.  I've tried the same recipes with and without, and it's the common ingredient.

Cinnamon has the same effect to a lesser extent, but it's not so bad if I add black pepper.  
 
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My experience is that when I start something like an anti-inflammatory I detox for a while before it feels good. Imagine an inflamed area, full of whatever bad stuff is built up in there, now drain out some, where does all the ick go? Your body has to deal with it, and that feels awful. For me, the detox reaction takes a bit to go down, but then the positive effects are generally worth it. Look up Herxheimer reactions.

Something else I'd wonder though, is whether there is a contaminant in your turmeric you might be reacting to.
And I agree that it's possible your body is not reacting well to it due to your basic biology, or due to other factors that are not as obvious (fungus comes to mind.)
And it also possible that whatever is causing your pain is not something turmeric can help. I have a shoulder injury that I had to lower my turmeric intake for, taking down the swelling results in more grinding, and it was slowing down the healing. The inflammation in that area is doing it's job, protecting and healing the joint, lowering it was causing additional damage and slowing the healing.  

Bodies are VERY complex, and there is seldom anything that has only one effect, and symptoms that have only one cause. Makes it hard to say "This fixes that."

Edit: what is called arthritis is actually a symptom that has multiple causes. One of the common causes is high calcium levels making painful crystals, wonder if turmeric is high in calcium? If so, it might amplify it, IF that's the type of arthritis involved... Again, bodies are complex.
 
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You often see tumeric in combination with pepper to improve its effects, if they both are problematic for you that really sucks.
 
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could it be a question of contamination? i ask because powdered turmeric has become a "hot" ingredient here in the last couple years as people hear about the health benefits. I grow it in my garden but also buy the powdered stuff for certain recipes where grating up the fresh root won't work. I noticed recently that the color of the powder (which I buy in bulk from a trusted spice dealer) was really different, and I asked about it. The salesperson said the color was varying a lot, they were trying various different sources as there had been contamination (the spice being "cut" with flour, cornmeal, etc, for example). I know sometimes I have brought it home and found the flavor to be off (like dirt?)
 
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I think I have the answer...

Turmeric is very high in oxalate. I also had to stop it!

Cinnamon is also high in oxalate, and black pepper too... Also chocolate, black tea, rhubarb, chards, beet, spinach, quinoa, buckweat, sweet potatoes, nuts in general, and many beans and grains.

I have written a bit on oxalate if you use the search (I can answer more where the topic is addressed specifically), but I am usually not believed when l say it is an important issue. Please believe me that it is overlooked and not rare and it is far from causing only kidney stones! All sort of bone, joints, muscle pains, UTIs, itchy eyes, skin rashes, salivar and gum pain with white plaque... And it damages mitochondrias.

Please be very careful in general with the notion of detox crisis, most are not! And if they are, it means too fast detox or pathways that were not enough prepared. About oxalate, it is not a detox but simple elimination. The problem is VERY difficult to understand when you don't know its specificity: you feel the effect of oxalate either when you really have reached a "too much" or when you remove them too fast. In that case you cannot believe the food is bad, because you get better when you reintroduce it! (it just reduces its elimination...)

Raven, if you have both guts and bones inflamation, please do the oxalate dumping, read Sally K. Norton, contact me if you want, I have been dumping for nearly 2 years. Eliminating must be slow, don't ditch oxalate foods cold turkey, as it can be strong. Increase your sulfur foods and take Epsom salt baths. I have reached the lowest intake of oxalate now, but still have to eliminate from bones, where 80% is stored... You can stop your inflamatory issues actually!
 
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I'm confident it's not contamination as I've done these experiments over several years with different sources of turmeric.  

I'm also pretty sure it's not a detox or herx as I'm familiar with these and the symptoms are whole body, not targeted like the turmeric symptoms.

oxalate is something new.  Many of the foods on the list help me feel better, but some of them produce the same symptoms (beet, buckwheat especially).  Something new to learn about.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Due to what you react to and your health issues, I am pretty sure this is about oxalate! Which mean you can have gut and joints recovery...  It is very very little known but gaining recognition. Even a lab told me doctors here look for it more. But it is not easy to detect, as the dumping in urine is periodic, so people rely on symptoms.

Have you ever had something like UTIs or candida, skin rash, red itchy eyes though not smoking, moments of your life when you had to make an effort to hold pee and run to the toilet, or have to pee at night or before the bladder is full and a heavy bladder? Even nearly feeling hot. Others have vulvodynia, slow lymph, fatigue. The symptoms vary and move and change place or appearance.

Detection is complicated by the fact that we start to react only when to capacity to store is overwhelmed, and then, removing the culprit can often make dumping worse, so the paradox is to feel better if eating a high oxalate food! Actually it will only mean that it slows the dumping. This is why we can feel better with some high oxalate foods... as you mention. Also, you can have some benefit from something in the plant + having the oxalate drawback. Mainly, oxalate creates long term consequences, and this is why they are overlooked. I have also noticed through testimonials, that people react to some oxalate-high foods more than to others!

When we have some in urine, it becomes cloudy. So peeing in a bucket helps to see it. Then if you just empty the bucket and clear it with water, it will deposit and become very visible.
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:Edit: what is called arthritis is actually a symptom that has multiple causes. One of the common causes is high calcium levels making painful crystals, wonder if turmeric is high in calcium? If so, it might amplify it, IF that's the type of arthritis involved... Again, bodies are complex.


No, turmeric is high in oxalate, not in calcium, and the calcium crystals are calcium oxalate, and it is NOT caused by high calcium at all, up to the point that calcium is given to people suffering from those cristals. Actually, spinach is high in calcium and this calcium has been found to be totally un-available. It is not even enough to buffer the effect of the high oxalic acid found in spinach!

Many traditional ways of cooking show that recipes for high oxalate foods included dairy. Black tea with milk is such an example, and making chaï instead of infusion in water is another example. Oxalate cristals have nevertheless been found in old momies, showing that what we can think "healthy" not always is. It takes time to react to oxalate, and when the damage is done, this is complicated and long to remove it, as it is stored everywhere and mostly in bones.

And again as the word "detox" was in your comment Pearl, in the case of oxalate, this is not a detox, as it does not involve liver detox phases.

And even for real detox, involving a transformation by liver, it is possible to have less, by preparing the excretion channels well and by going slow. When we detox under the threashold of what liver can process, there should not be reactions. Some doctors now start to write articles on line about warning to not conclude that having a Herx reaction or a detox reaction is necessary. And it is so easy to confuse with a problematic reaction and being re-intoxicated by what we have moved... I write all this because I saw that nobody reacted to my post, I guess because what I say is rather new, while your comment had many apples, showing that it matches what is the current paradigm. I am also not a good writter and not english, and tend to pack too much in as few sentences as possible, but this does not mean that my content is as bad as the style!

So please you all, I don't ask to be believed but at least that you enquire more about oxalate and also about detoxing, so that a defense reaction of the body is not mistaken for a detox. I have read enough in health groups about people who were detoxing with a lot of plants in juices or smoothies and big salads, only to end up ill (not only about oxalate). I know also people who went from vegan to carnivore, and the first one I knew and who gave his testimonial about healing with carnivore was on this forum.

I still hope humans can stay what I believe they are, omnivore, though having to choose according to health issues, and needing sometimes to suppress or to reintroduce foods. This is why I even created a group on FB that is called "We are omnivores, so why can't we". Not about oxalate only but having to remove or introduce foods. If what you read about oxalate talks only about kidney stones go to another source because stones are the little top of the iceberg (yet 10% of the population will deal with them). If you need, you can PM me, no problem you are welcome! There are also contradictory oxalate lists, about content in oxalate, and often using serving sizes which I find useless for practical use, so I am currently making an easy one that will be in order from little to a lot. The biggest and good list is to be found in the FB group "Try Low Oxalate". Unfortunately they mostly don't really answer inovative questions and don't approve many posts except what is repetitive that they can answer. Sally Norton and Julie Matthews have a good informative website.  
 
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Xisca Nicols wrote: No, turmeric is high in oxalate, not in calcium, and the calcium crystals are calcium oxalate


THANK YOU! That explains what I  have felt, but wasn't sure why. I watch the other oxalates, didn't realize turmeric is in that group! That will change stuff in my diet. Thank you!!
 
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Pearl, I have bought turmeric extract and milk thistle extract, because they are low in oxalate. (and I was all in favor of whole foods use!)

The kind of reaction to oxalate makes it impossible to guess which foods are culprits. Your own first guesses, and what Raven had noticed, are already prooves of a very high level of attention to body reactions!

Actually, I was using those high oxalate foods instinctively but the other way round, to slow dumping. But during the months it happened and I did not know about oxalate. I could not understand my cravings! It was a relief to learn about oxalate, and I am in shock of what I discovered after 1 month of intensive readings. It is a shame we don't know about oxalate and who can or cannot eat those foods, and how to eat them safely!

Take oregano, it is high in oxalate, but as all oils lack oxalate, it is safe to use its essential oil!

About tea, green tea has less and if you make black tea, you need to infuse it as little as possible. Then if you add milk, the calcium will bind to oxalic acid and will prevent part of the absobtion. And also, it depend on our guts, and if we have or not the bacterias that degrade oxalate, as they are sensitive to antibiotics.
 
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Robert Ray wrote:You often see tumeric in combination with pepper to improve its effects, if they both are problematic for you that really sucks.



Apparently, someone long ago used peperine (the active ingredient in black pepper) in a study with turmeric. Since then, it has been held up as the standard synergist to make turmeric (or the quercitin/curcuminoidsin the turmeric) more bioavailable...but it has never been successfully replicated. So, it appears that black pepper is ineffective at increasing bioavailability. I use a brand that is partnered with Standard Process called MediHerb. They combine their turmeric with fenugreek fiber which has been proven in studies to increase the curcuminoids in the blood about 25 times that of any other turmeric supplement tested. They are from Australia where people cannot go to a health food store and buy a supplement. If they want a turmeric in supplement form, they have to go to a medical or naturopathic doctor for a prescription. Also, the herbs they use must be made the same way as a pharmaceutical drug. Each tablet must have the chemical signature of desired active ingredients before, during and after processing or the entire batch is thrown out. If you call around to some chiropractors or look online in your area, you’ll find them. They can only be sold by doctors. Do not buy on Amazon, those are some kid in chiropractic school who buys a ton of stuff then sells it to Amazon. The supplements may have been sitting in the kid’s hot car in the sun killing all the nutrients. Plus Amazon jacks the prices up terribly!!!
 
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Have you tried enzyme therapy?  you can go to askaboutvitamins.com and there is a product called Excellacor which is enzymes that will reduce your inflammation - take 3 on empty stomach first thing in the morning.  I had an inflamed knee which I could hardly bend, started enzyme therapy and in 3 to 4 months could bend my knee without pain.  Also cleans the blood.  Blessings
 
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Mel Moyer wrote:

Robert Ray wrote:You often see tumeric in combination with pepper to improve its effects, if they both are problematic for you that really sucks.



Apparently, someone long ago used peperine in a study with turmeric. ...but it has never been successfully replicated. So, it appears that black pepper is ineffective at increasing bioavailability.
... MediHerb. They combine their turmeric with fenugreek fiber which has been proven in studies to increase the curcuminoids in the blood about 25 times that of any other turmeric supplement tested.



I had not seen about pepper being also problematic, and it increases the probability that oxalate is the problem... BLACK pepper is also high in oxalate! If mediherb is with the extract and not all the turmeric, then it is very likely to be ok, and I think fenugreek is also ok.

This of the pepper is always emphasised as ZE big news all the time we speak about turmeric!
 
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David Widman wrote:Have you tried enzyme therapy?  you can go to askaboutvitamins.com and there is a product called Excellacor which is enzymes that will reduce your inflammation - take 3 on empty stomach first thing in the morning.  I had an inflamed knee which I could hardly bend, started enzyme therapy and in 3 to 4 months could bend my knee without pain.  Also cleans the blood.  Blessings



The website is said to not be secure when I try to open it. I did anyway and then saw they say there can be a problem with PayPal but that it is a PayPal problem... which I never had anywhere, so they seem to have a security problem. Also, they just say "serrapeptase, protease and herbs", but no way to have the list of ingredients at all.
 
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Turmeric makes me incredibly sick.  I don't think some people tolerate it well.  It also seems to be genetic.  Both my mom and son cannot eat it either.
 
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to Xisca Nicolas  When I go to the askaboutvitamins.com website it shows as secured on my computer - on the website click on excellacor and the go to the bottom to find the picture labeled as original run your pointer over the picture and then click on quick view for more information.  Blessings
 
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John Opincar wrote:Turmeric makes me incredibly sick.  I don't think some people tolerate it well.  It also seems to be genetic.  Both my mom and son cannot eat it either.


Do you mean sick at digestive level? It actually works by hormesis, so it is possible that some genetics have problems to detox it in the liver.
For me, who have the oxalate issues causing me different inflamation symptoms in the body, it just globally add to the load and to the excretion of oxalate. Thus zero antiinflamatory result!

David Widman wrote:to Xisca Nicolas  When I go to the askaboutvitamins.com website it shows as secured on my computer - on the website click on excellacor and the go to the bottom to find the picture labeled as original run your pointer over the picture and then click on quick view for more information.  Blessings


I don't know where the difference is, because on my computer the pic had no click view, I tried!
I am with internet explorer, so it might need chrome...
 
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to Xisca Nicolas  - I use Opera for my browser and like it a lot - to  help your liver try milk thistle as it helps detox the liver Blessing
 
Xisca Nicolas
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ok thanks!

David Widman wrote:to Xisca Nicolas  - I use Opera for my browser and like it a lot - to  help your liver try milk thistle as it helps detox the liver Blessing


I was using it but also react to its oxalate content! So I have ordered the extract, same for curcumine instead of turmeric!
 
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r ranson wrote:

Chris Kott wrote:Are you sure it's the turmeric? I mean, how did you prepare those foods?



definitely the turmeric.  I've tried the same recipes with and without, and it's the common ingredient.

Cinnamon has the same effect to a lesser extent, but it's not so bad if I add black pepper.  



Do you add black pepper to the turmeric dishes? I’ve heard it helps with absorbing the curcumin tremendously. Also, is it organic turmeric you’re using? Just an idea, but if it isn’t organic, or even if it is organic but comes from China, it could be laden with heavy metals and other toxins which you could be reacting to. I know this can be the case with garlic but I’m sure garlic isn’t the only thing. Could also have to do with your thyroid. Are you the type that has opposite reactions to medications?( caffeine makes you tired, sleep aids wake you up)
 
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Tereza Okava wrote:could it be a question of contamination? i ask because powdered turmeric has become a "hot" ingredient here in the last couple years as people hear about the health benefits. I grow it in my garden but also buy the powdered stuff for certain recipes where grating up the fresh root won't work. I noticed recently that the color of the powder (which I buy in bulk from a trusted spice dealer) was really different, and I asked about it. The salesperson said the color was varying a lot, they were trying various different sources as there had been contamination (the spice being "cut" with flour, cornmeal, etc, for example). I know sometimes I have brought it home and found the flavor to be off (like dirt?)



I literally just had this observation yesterday. Cleaning our one old organic turmeric jar while opening a new non organic jar. The old one was bright orange and the new one was deep dark orange.
 
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r ranson wrote:I love cooking with turmeric and when I started having trouble with inflammation (arthritis and Crohn's), even my doctor recommended I use turmeric for managing the inflammation.  (I should mention that the doctor knows I'm bad at taking pills but good at changing my diet, so the doctor always tries diet with me first).  

But the problem is, days after eating turmeric heavy foods, my arthritis is worse.  MUCH worse.  Isn't it supposed to help?  



Tumeric is only approved for short-term use for medical uses, and there are other herbs that could help. https://www.healthline.com/health/osteoarthritis/herbs-arthritis-pain

Are you cooking it with black pepper to help it work? https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-turmeric

 
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r ranson wrote:I love cooking with turmeric and when I started having trouble with inflammation (arthritis and Crohn's), even my doctor recommended I use turmeric for managing the inflammation.  (I should mention that the doctor knows I'm bad at taking pills but good at changing my diet, so the doctor always tries diet with me first).  

But the problem is, days after eating turmeric heavy foods, my arthritis is worse.  MUCH worse.  Isn't it supposed to help?  



Another option is to combine it with boswellia serrata. https://www.rheumatoidarthritis.org/home-remedies/
 
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