It is now more than three years since my doctor diagnosed me with Dupuytren’s disease and recommended an operation. A surgeon in the hospital confirmed the doctor’s diagnosis and offered to operate straightaway. Fortunately, however, this website in its earlier form already existed, and so before agreeing to the operation I was able to read what other people said. There I learnt that the traditional operation, so far from always being a permanent cure, sometimes only seems to accelerate the disease; it also involves weeks of discomfort and almost certainly a period off work. I also learnt that in some cases the disease does not progress very fast; one person, some years ago, wrote that his parents told him that the lumps on their palm would 'come and go'. It was also clear that if an operation is thought necessary, the less invasive technique of NA might often be more appropriate. Since my Dupuytren’s was not very advanced I therefore decided to wait.
Meanwhile I continued to research. I read, for example, how Dupuytren’s is often associated with apparently unrelated illnesses such as diabetes and frozen shoulder; and one research project showed that many Dupuytren's sufferers have, if not full diabetes, above average fasting blood glucose, and that it more often affects people with a low BMI (i.e. thin people) than fat ones. You can read about my ideas on this in my postings in the thread ‘High Glucose and Insulin Resistance’ (Archive 2 no. 4); see also ‘Dupuytren’s and Sleeping Posture’ (Archive 2 no. 3).
I came to the conclusion that Dupuytren’s, although apparently sometimes precipitated by injuries to the hand, etc., seems also to be connected in some way with sugar in the blood; and I suggested that the reason that fatter people, and middle-aged women (who tend to have more fat proportionally than men) are less disposed to get Dupuytren’s may be because their fat cells are protective in some way. Presumably these cells help to absorb excess sugar rapidly before it is able to cause damage to the blood vessels and other tissues. I proposed that the best way to counter Dupuytren’s might be to eat a more sparing diet, and to avoid foods and drinks which put excessive amounts of sugar in the blood in a rush, such as cakes, doughnuts, wine, coffee, cheese and so on.
Readers of my earlier postings may be interested to hear how, after three years, my proposal has worked out. Well, in my case it does seem to have worked. The lump on my hand is now much reduced; I less often feel it throbbing or being ‘active’. My hand, which I had difficulty putting flat before, can now be put quite flat, and I can bend the fingers back almost as much as the other hand. At the same time during these three years my trouser size (fat round the waist is said to be a clear indicator of insulin resistance and high blood glucose) has shrunk from 37 inches to 34, the size it used to be when I was young. (to be continued)
(continued from my previous posting). Of course I cannot say for sure that the improvement in the disease has been caused simply by a change of diet. It may be that my Dupuytren’s arose from a completely different cause, for example, as a result of the malaria-drug-induced hepatitis which I had seven years ago; or possibly the improvement is merely temporary. However, since anecdotes of a reversal of the disease seem few and far between, I thought it would be interesting for readers to hear about it. To improve one’s diet in the direction of less sugary food surely cannot do any harm, and it may even slow down or reverse the progression of the disease. I hope this information will be helpful to others.
I'm a bit confused and may have read this wrong? You say that Dups statistically hits thin people (of which I'm one) but your condition has improved depite becoming thinner and reducing your BMI. IMO there is much healthwise to be said for healthy eating and positive thought (and I wish that I could practice what I preach) and it seems to be more of that to be honest, but hey, whatever works is good, and in fact brilliant if you can avoid surgery
From what I've read over the years, there's a growing body of evidence that over-consumption of sugar is causing a whole collection of problems, and that DC is among them. No smoking gun yet, but my chips are on this square. Sugar seems to contribute to continuous low-level inflammation.
Andrew, thank you for your post...that is good news! It was very interesting to me. I read the article by Kevin (http://www.dupuytrens-a-new-theory.com/) in which he suggests that insulin resistance is the underlying trigger for Dupuytren's. Starting about four months ago, I have been following the diet recommended for people with insulin resistance (there is a lot about this on the internet so I won't elaborate) and also following recommendations by health guru Udo Erasmus, (his "food pyramid" for people with inflammatory disorders....which is very similar to the recommendations for people with insulin resistance): http://udoerasmus.com/firstscreen.htm.)
The reason I did this is that besides the Dupuytren's, I had a couple of symptoms that occur with diabetes. My general practioner did blood work during my annual exam and said everything was normal, but I decided to alter my diet anyway. I am a thin person, but I had a grandfather who was also thin, and developed diabetes when he was around 50. I don't know whether I have actually lost weight, but my waist-line has become thinner, even though I'm now eating a diet with more fat in it.
I also read your posts with great interest. Beyond the genetic predisposition that sets our systems up to get this disease, I also believe that there is a relationship between DD and other indicators of emerging imbalances in our metabolisms.
I have diabetic history in my family and I have always been hypoglycemic. When I eat very carefully over a period of time my hands hurt less or not at all and I feel better. I realize that the cell abnormalities that occur as the disease process moves may be active regardless of my diet, but I do think that inflammation caused by diet and an acidic balance to my system worsens the situation. If eating very carefully and watching my blood sugar helps slow this disease even somewhat, it is well worth it. Thank you for all your posts and keep writing about what you discover.
I had DC appear at least 10 years ago. It then spread to both hands. Interestingly, I was also relatively thin at 165 lbs. My DC has been in remission and mostly asymptomatic for a few years now. Why? I read somewhere that a strict vegan diet would cure DC a few years ago. Coincidentally, my family went to a vegan diet a few years ago, and the DC has been in remission and improved. Before that the animal products I ate were mostly fish and chicken. On the few occasions I have eaten fish in the last few years there have seems to be a noticeable tingling in my hands following day sometimes. In the interest of correlation to others I did have a liver biopsy due to abdominal pains which I have had for 20 years to some degree, and the biopsy said the liver cells had the appearance of having had a prolonged level of higher blood sugar. Interesting, yes? I eat no refined sugars for the most part and never did, but my diet has often included lots of carbohydrates and orange juice and nuts or peanuts. One author I was reading last night attributes the higher blood sugar not to fruit or complex carb intake but to high fat which sort of "gums up the works" for sugar metabolism. I confess I eat a lot of nuts at times, and I do better when I limit them. Bottom line: I think there is a definite dietary connection and would suggest trying the low fat vegan route with lots of fresh vegetables and fruits and leafy greens. Alternatively, you could try diet Andrew was suggesting. It is hard to say with certainty which diet is best, but at least I know the mostly vegan diet has resulted in remission and improvement of DC for me. It would be good to have Diet as a heading under alternative therapies. Another question remains, and that is the relationship between a dysfunctional liver and DC. I want to add one more possible antagonist. I experimented with Viagra a the time I developed DC. After going vegan I didn't really need it, nor would I ever chance inflaming DC again by taking it. Enzymes and the liver have a strong relationship. I would find a way to ditch any drugs to remove burden on the liver.
Many thanks for all your posts. It is interesting to read that others too have experienced remission from Dupuytren's - something which most of the other threads don't say anything about. Yes, it is odd that losing fat can improve the symptoms if Dupuytren's more often affects thinner people. But fat round the waist is different from fat elsewhere, say, podgy hands - fat on your palms may protect your hands from Dupuytren's, who knows? I look forward to reading more posts on this topic and I hope we shall hear from more people who are have had a positive experience from eating a healthier diet. Congratulations, by the way, Megan, on your improved symptoms. I too sometimes get symptoms, such as finding it difficult to read in the morning if I eat too starchy an evening meal and breakfast, as if my eyes were rheumy. Whereas normally I read perfectly well, and without needing glasses.
I have had dupuytrens for several years now. I had NA with Dr. Eaton 4 yrs ago. I am going to Dr Denkler soon for another NA procedure. I have been a type 1 diabetic for 50 yrs. For the past 4 yrs I have been eating an extremely low carb diet. I eat no more than 30 carbs a day. My Ha1c is 4.6. I am in good health.
During the last year, my hands have started bending once again. I have 4 fingers and my thumbs involved. My average bloodsugars are lower than most non-diabetics. Although I do believe that my dupuytrens might have been originally caused by my diabetes, I don't believe the past 4 yrs of very tight control of diabetes has had an affect on my hands. My father who is not a diabetic also has dupuytrens, but his aren't bad.