How Regular Bowel Movements Can Lower RA Pain

How Toxic Re-absorption and Constipation Worsen Your Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms And What To Do About It

Do you have Rheumatoid Arthritis? Do your medications give you side effects? Are you feeling frustrated?

Then it's time for a little poo talk.

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Many people with RA have no idea that the contents of their bowels plays such an enormous role on their joint pain. But the truth is, when you have Rheumatoid Arthritis the importance of regular movements cannot be overstated. Think about what happens when you don't remove the trash from your house - pretty soon the whole house starts to smell. The same thing is going on with your body.

For me, I learned a lot of this out the hard way. When I was suffering at the worst of my RA I was able to detect a relationship between my bowel movements (or lack thereof) and my RA pain. In fact, if I went to bed at night without going to the bathroom after my evening meal I would wake up with distinctly more pain. After many tests on this initial theory, I was able to conclude that the longer I 'held' my waste the more pain I felt as a result. So, I always made sure I went to the bathroom as soon as I feel I need to and never wait a minute longer than I need to. In fact, I used to do enemas before bed many nights to clean myself out so I would sleep poo-free. This had the remarkable effect of reducing my morning stiffness the next day.

How Are Bowels And Joint Pain Linked?

Science tells us that people with RA have a bacterial overgrowth in their intestines [1], and that the more bacterial overgrowth the more severe the RA [2]. We also know that the levels of 'good' bacteria such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are lower if you are constipated, and a constipated person also has more ‘leaky gut’. A constipated person also has more potentially more pathogenic bacteria and/or fungi in their intestines. [3] The good news is that once the constipation is resolved, the intestinal permeability is dramatically improved also. In one study the intestinal permeability was able to be reduced down to 26% of it’s original severity via 3 months of straight forward laxative therapy. It was concluded that constipation actually causes leaky gut and a bacterial imbalance, rather than being the result of such. [3]

In a nutshell, the problem with having poo sit inside you for too long is that there is a higher re-absorption rate of toxins back into the body. By moving your bowels quickly, these pathogens are removed so there is minimal reabsorption and the gut has a better chance of healing it's intestinal wall.

How To Reduce RA Symptoms By Improving Bathroom Regularity

There optimal number of bowel movements per day will differ from person to person. Generally, an elimination for every meal is a good guideline, thus producing 3 easy-to-pass bowel movements per day. Some people will go more regularly, and some a little less regular, but at least once per day should be an absolute minimum. Here's how to keep things moving like clockwork and keep joint pain low:

  • As soon as you need to go, then go. Prevent toxic reabsorption by getting rid of the waste as soon as it makes itself known to you
  • Exercise more. Simply walking more with move things along, or any form of exercise will help
  • Drink more water. As poo moves through your intestines, water is taken from it back into the body. So to avoid hard, brittle poos that take time to pass you need to drink more water.
  • If you're really irregular, you could try some coffee enemas at home. These are just quality coffee, warm water, a home enema kit, and let gravity do the work. I don't endorse regular colonics (at hydrotherapy centres) since without extraordinary after-treatment care this can deplete you of too much healthy bacteria
  • Most of all, it's necessary to follow the Paddison Program for Rheumatoid Arthritis to heal and seal your troubled intestines with fiber-rich, anti-inflammatory foods and eliminate the cause of the pain


Intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and the severity of that overgrowth, effects Rheumatoid Arthritis by contributing to leaky gut and acting as antigens when these bacteria enter the bloodstream. By establishing very regular bowel movements, through regular exercise and the ideal RA diet, you can reverse the bacterial overgrowth and heal the gut wall, which all will be very noticeable via a reduction in external joint swelling and inflammation. This was exactly my experience, allowing me to get off all the toxic drugs and get my life back, and I'm here to help you do the same.

[1] “Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in patients with rheumatoid arthritis” Ann Rheum Dis. 1993 Jul;52(7):503-10.
[2] “Intestinal flora in early Rheumatoid Arthritis” Oxford Journal of Rheumatology (1994) 33 (11): 1030-1038.
[3] “Alterations in the colonic flora and intestinal permeability and evidence of immune activation in chronic constipation” I.L. Khalifa, E.M.M. Quigleyb, E.A. Konovitcha, I.D. Maximovaa


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About the Author

After recovering from chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis, Clint Paddison now teaches other RA sufferers how to heal naturally so they can get on a path towards wellness. Get Clint's free RA reversal tips here


Do not take this information as personal medical advice. Do not change your diet if you are ill or on medication without the advice of a qualified health care provider (your physician, for example).