Friday Favorites: Fasting for Rheumatoid Arthritis and Autoimmune Diseases

Fasting, followed by a plant-based diet, is put to the test for autoimmune inflammatory joint disease and autoimmune diseases such as lupus, ankylosing spondylitis, chronic urticaria, mixed connective-tissue disease, glomerulonephritis, and multiple sclerosis, as well as osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.

For more on fasting, see:
• Benefits of Fasting for Weight Loss Put to the Test ( )
• Is Fasting Beneficial for Weight Loss? ( )
• Is Fasting for Weight Loss Safe? ( )
• Alternate-Day Intermittent Fasting Put to the Test ( )
• Is Alternate-Day Intermittent Fasting Safe? ( )
• The 5-2 Diet and the Fasting-Mimicking Diet Put to the Test ( )
• Time-Restricted Eating Put to the Test ( )
• The Benefits of Early Time-Restricted Eating ( )
• Benefits of Fasting for Healing ( )
• World’s Largest Fasting Study ( )

For more on rheumatoid arthritis, see Turmeric Curcumin & Rheumatoid Arthritis ( ) and Why Do Plant-Based Diets Help Rheumatoid Arthritis? ( ).

I’ve done three webinars on fasting. All of the videos are available for free on, but they are also available on digital download—as a bundle or separately:
• Intermittent Fasting ( )
• Fasting for Disease Reversal ( )
• Fasting and Cancer ( )

To see all of the fasting videos on, go to the fasting topic page ( ).

Here are more videos on using diet to prevent and treat autoimmune diseases:
• Dietary Treatment of Crohn’s Disease ( )
• Cancer as an Autoimmune Disease ( )
• Clonal Selection Theory of Immunity ( )
• Clonal Deletion Theory of Immunity ( )
• The Inflammatory Meat Molecule Neu5Gc ( )
• Potassium and Autoimmune Disease ( )
• Treating Multiple Sclerosis with the Swank MS Diet ( )
• Turmeric Curcumin and Rheumatoid Arthritis ( )
• Alpha Gal and the Lone Star Tick ( )
• Tick Bites, Meat Allergies, and Chronic Urticaria ( )
• How to Diagnose Gluten Intolerance ( )
• Preventing Crohn’s Disease with Diet ( )
• Why Do Plant-Based Diets Help Rheumatoid Arthritis? ( )
• Does Casein in Milk Trigger Type 1 Diabetes? ( )
• Does Bovine Insulin in Milk Trigger Type 1 Diabetes? ( )
• Benefits of Turmeric Curcumin for Inflammatory Orbital Pseudotumor ( )
• Sodium and Autoimmune Disease: Rubbing Salt in the Wound? ( )
• Does Nutritional Yeast Trigger Crohn’s Disease? ( )
• Anti-Inflammatory Diet for Lupus ( )

Thanks for watching. I hope you’ll join in the evidence-based nutrition revolution!
-Michael Greger, MD FACLM

Dave McKinnon

  • meir schottenstein says:

    What do you mean by fasting? How long?

    • Belinda Elisa says:

      Fasting is not eating anything for a length of time. Fasting usually helps the body by not eating for at least 12 hours.

    • Christopher Brand says:

      Did you watch/listen to the video? It mostly relates a number of case reports of autoimmune disease treated at least in part by fasting. The time course of the fast is described in most of the reports, it seems nearly all were extended water-only fasts. One exception was a fasting mimicking diet.

    • KST says:

      I thought the same … then noticed there are two videos! I’d stopped after the first thinking it had finished.

  • Paul David says:

    At 58 my life changed within 4 months. I fast for 18-6 and 23-1 on a Sunday. 1

  • Кристина Молодиченко says:

    My doctor told me that for RA I need to add fish oil and bone broth😢

  • pjcd1961 says:

    Loved the video. Please turn on the auto-translate caption for all languages feature please. There are many billions of people who cannot read or understand English. Thank you. PS: If you do not know how, leave a message and I will show you a video that explains the very simple process. It is a 3 minor steps process that takes maybe at a maximum 1 minute. My wife has lupus, but does not english well enough to get this.

  • Matt Willett says:

    I was in the midst of an unrelenting flare and did a 96 hr fast. The only pain I experienced was hunger.

  • Path to Wellness says:

    The body is self healing. If fasting is done correctly, the body will heal itself.

  • Nathan B says:

    Fasting isn’t just the impetus to get how you to change how you eat. I have anecdotal evidence. I have put my aged mother on a whole food vegan diet. Her pain hasn’t went away or even improved, sadly. We are about to do a short fast and see how she tolerates it. Hopefully it will be, if not the panacea, the impetus to clearing up her pain.

    • Vaundey says:

      I agree, my personal anecdote shows the same. The calorie deficit seems to be the key. This can be done gently with a small deficit of 500 calories per day, or drastically with an absolute or modified fast.

  • Thomasita Taylor says:

    What about osteoarthritis?

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