A woman is concerned about a client of hers who has been advised to take Methotrexate for rheumatoid arthritis and spondylitis in his neck. From what she has heard, the side effects of this drug are frightening. Do any readers have experience with Methotrexate? One woman with rheumatoid arthritis has been on this drug for 2 or 3 years. Though it helps considerably, she is constantly looking at alternatives; her aim is to discontinue treatment. Why? Methotrexate lowers your white blood cell count so that overall inflammation is reduced, but this can also leave you with lowered immunity and liver problems (monthly blood tests check your blood count, your inflammation levels and your liver function). As alternatives, she is taking turmeric capsules (anti-inflammatory), fish and flax oil (anti-inflammatory) and enzymes containing bromelain and papaine (taken between meals to lower inflammation). It's worth reducing foods high in oxalates and those that increase uric acid as these can aggravate the condition. Such foods include members of the nightshade family as well as sweet potatoes, chocolate, rhubarb, spinach, beets, berries (strawberries and cranberries) and nuts - especially roasted nuts. Food intolerance and leaky gut often play a part in rheumatoid arthritis, so an elimination diet may be worth doing. Nettle tea reduces uric acid; also tell him to try meadowsweet and celery seed. Another reader who has taken Methotrexate for about 4 years reports no problems other than occasional nausea, thinning hair and tiredness on dosage day. However, be aware that your client should not attempt to start a family within a year of taking the drug - it is potentially dangerous to the foetus. Still another reader suggests ditching methotrexate for MSM (a naturally occurring sulphur compound). It may take a while to work, but many people notice immediate improvement. Tell him to work chiropractic or massage therapy visits into his routine as well.