Can Diet Improve Arthritis Symptoms
Through the centuries, many claims have been made about the influence of dietary habits and nutritional supplements on arthritis. Some of these claims are supported by medical evidence and some are reasonable theories. However, for most of these claims, we are just not sure.
Even without all the proof, there are many healthy nutritional ideas that you can consider.
Glucosamine And Chondroitin And Arthritis
The supplements glucosamine and chondroitin are popular yet evidence about their effectiveness in treating arthritis is very limited.
Some studies show that glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin, taken either separately or in combination, may improve pain slightly for people with osteoarthritis. There is no evidence that these supplements are effective for any other forms of arthritis.
Glucosamine and chondroitin may interact with other medication, including warfarin, and should only be taken after consultation with your doctor.
What Foods Should You Avoid If You Have Arthritis
Inflammation, a key cause of arthritis, is frequently exacerbated by a persons diet. Changing ones diet can help alleviate arthritis symptoms for some people. This may entail avoiding foods that cause inflammation, such as saturated fat and sugar. It could also entail avoiding high-fat foods.
While there is no cure for arthritis, there are a number of effective therapies available. The most important of these is to avoid foods that aggravate joint pain and eat ones that relieve it.
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Foods High In Purines
For people who have gout, a doctor may advise a low purine diet combined with the medication.
Purines are substances in foods that the body converts to uric acid. Uric acid can build up in the bloodstream, causing a gout attack. According to the , the following foods are high in purines:
- red meat
What a person eats can help:
Usually, inflammation protects the body from harm by helping defend against bacteria and aiding wound healing. However, when inflammation persists for an extended period, chronic symptoms can develop.
What a person eats has an impact on inflammation levels. Some foods are inflammatory, and others are anti-inflammatory.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, numerous studies show that anti-inflammatory foods can reduce arthritis pain and progression.
A persons body weight also influences inflammation levels. Fat cells produce cytokines, which are immune cells that increase inflammation.A person can use diet to maintain a moderate weight, which may help with inflammation and also reduce pressure on the joints.
Finally, some types of arthritis have specific trigger foods. For example, foods that are high in purines
Consuming the following foods may benefit people with arthritis.
People With Arthritis Might Want To Avoid These Foods
While there is no list of arthritis-triggering foods that all people with arthritis should avoid regardless of their health circumstances and specific condition , there are certain foods that may promote inflammation and possibly aggravate symptoms. Whether or not a specific type of food is problematic can vary from person to person. If you have arthritis, you might want to experiment with limiting certain foods in your diet to see if you get some arthritis relief. Heres what you need to know.
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Vegetarian And Vegan Diets
Many people choose to take up vegetarian or vegan diets for personal, religious, ethical, health or environmental reasons. Generally speaking, vegetarians dont eat any meat or fish, and vegans dont eat meat, fish, dairy, eggs, and other animal products.
Theres no evidence that avoiding foods such as red meat can help with rheumatoid arthritis.
Eating a plant-based diet has lots of health benefits, but its important to make sure youre still getting enough nutrients and making sure that any substitutes for animal products are still healthy choices.
Some people find that a vegetarian diet does help with their symptoms but before you change your diet, you should speak to your doctor or a dietitian to make sure youre still getting all the nutrients you need.
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Dietary choices are always important to overall health, but if you have arthritis, the foods you choose can have a surprising impact on your joint health. You may find some arthritis trigger foods cause pain, stiffness, and swelling, while others actually alleviate your symptoms.
There are several common trigger foods to avoid if you have arthritis. For happier, healthier joints, try these simple food swaps.
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Vitamin D During Pregnancy
Weve also funded a trial that showed that taking vitamin D supplements during pregnancy improved the bone mass of babies born during the winter the time of year when vitamin D levels are naturally lower.
As a follow up to this, were funding another study to find out whether this increased bone mass continues into childhood. If successful, this could lead to further discoveries in how diet and physical activity affect bone mass in children and could help make a case for taking vitamin D supplements during pregnancy.
Nightshade Vegetables Cause Inflammation
Tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, and peppers all contain the chemical solanine, which some blame for arthritis pain. However, the Arthritis Foundation say that there is no scientific evidence for this. Adding these nutritious vegetables to the diet can have many benefits for chronic health conditions.
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Do Any Foods Interact With My Medication
Your doctor should tell you if there are any foods you need to avoid or eat more of while taking the prescribed drugs for your condition. There should also be information in the patient information leaflet included with your drugs.
Complementary treatments, such as supplements or herbal remedies can also interact with certain medications and could increase the risk of side effects. Its important to let your doctor know if you take any complementary treatments.
Some drugs prescribed for arthritis do interact with certain foods. Below youll find information on some of the most common interactions.
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice contain compounds that can block enzymes in your body. These enzymes are needed to break down certain drugs, but if theyre blocked, this can increase the levels of the drug in your blood. This could then cause new or worse side effects.
This can happen with some drugs to treat arthritis and related conditions, including:
An Introduction To Arthritis
Have you been diagnosed with one form of arthritis, and you cant seem to deal with the pain that comes with it? Does the food you eat actually affect your health condition? If so, what are the foods to avoid with arthritis?
So many questions on your mind as you read this and we understand why, but the good news is that we have answers. Arthritis is a common condition that affects the joints of the body, causing swelling, soreness, stiffness, or pain in the joints of the body.
According to a study published by the CDC, over 54 million people in the United States23% of all adultshave arthritis. Yes, its that common. Thats why managing the symptoms that come with the health condition is of utmost importance.
When dealing with the symptoms of inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis and alleviating some of the pains that come with the condition, the foods you eat play a significant role.
In this article, Ill be sharing with you 8 common foods to avoid with arthritis that can potentially aggravate your symptoms and cause you more pain.
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Are There Any Foods That Help With Arthritis
Theres no specific food that will help with arthritis. But some people feel that certain foods help reduce their symptoms.
Making changes to your diet might help you, but this shouldnt be done instead of treatments youve been given, and its a good idea to speak to the person treating you before making any big changes.
Many foods have been said to help with arthritis or have anti-inflammatory effects. However, theres no evidence that things like apple cider vinegar and manuka honey can improve symptoms, and they can be expensive. Some people say they have helped, so theres no harm in trying them, but you should keep an open mind about whether theyre helping you or not.
Its important to have a healthy, balanced diet when you have arthritis, but there are some foods, vitamins and nutrients you may need to make sure you get enough of, to reduce the chances of other health problems, which are covered in the following section.
Foods You Should Stay Away From
- Tobacco & Alcohol
Tobacco and alcohol can aggravate arthritis while also causing a number of other health problems. Smokers are more likely to get rheumatoid arthritis, whereas alcoholics are more likely to acquire gout, according to HealthLine.com. Cut back on drinking and smoking to keep your joints healthy. Promote a balanced diet, regular exercise, and a regular sleep schedule. Your body will be grateful!
- Preservatives & Salt
Excess salt consumption has been linked to joint inflammation in a number of patients who suffer from arthritis. Many people are unaware that many goods contain excessive amounts of salt and other chemicals in order to extend their shelf life. If possible, avoid frozen meals and read food labels to decrease your salt intake.
- Milk and Dairy Products
The types of proteins found in dairy products may contribute to arthritis discomfort. These proteins may irritate the tissue around the joints, according to HealthLine.com and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Some arthritis sufferers have found success converting to a vegan dietwhich excludes all animal products, they write. Switching to alternate protein sources like spinach, beans, lentils, and quinoa may assist if meat and dairy are your primary sources of protein.
- Sugars and refined carbohydrates
- Foods that have been fried or processed
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Do Any Foods Make Arthritis Worse
Some people feel that certain foods are bad for arthritis and that cutting them out helps with their symptoms. Some of the foods people worry about include:
- citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons and grapefruit
- vegetables from the nightshade family including potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, chillies and aubergines
- gluten, a protein found in pasta, bread and cereals.
Theres no evidence that diets where certain foods are cut out, also known as exclusion or elimination diets, are helpful for people with osteoarthritis. They have been shown to sometimes help people with rheumatoid arthritis, though the food that may cause symptoms is likely to be different for each person.
This could be for a number of reasons, including the person being allergic or intolerant to the food they cut out, rather than being directly related to the arthritis. If healthy foods are not affecting your symptoms, you dont need to cut them out of your diet.
If you want to try cutting certain foods out of your diet to see if it improves your symptoms, the important thing to remember is to speak to a doctor or dietitian first. Theyll be able to support you and make sure youre trying out the change to your diet safely. Some foods are present in things we dont realise, so they can also help make sure you really are cutting out everything you plan to.
Maintaining A Healthy Weight
Being overweight can put extra pressure on the joints, and excess fat stores in the body can cause further inflammation. Maintaining a healthy weight can lessen the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Keeping to a healthy weight can be difficult for some people, especially those who have a medical condition that reduces their mobility, such as osteoarthritis. A doctor or dietitian will be able to provide advice.
Including specific foods in the diet can strengthen the bones, muscles, and joints and help the body to fight inflammation and disease.
People with osteoarthritis can try adding the following eight foods to their diet to ease their symptoms:
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Eating To Reduce Pain
At the weekend we ran one of our Healing Foods workshops, and I discussed food that helps pain management.
In my clinic I often work with clients who experience pain on a regular basis. This may be in relation to arthritis, headaches, period pain or aches and pains from training in the gym. There is so much we can do to help manage pain purely by diet. Here is some information about how pain occurs and my top tips for eating to keep it at bay.
WHERE THERE IS PAIN THERE IS INFLAMMATION
The underlying cause for inflammation may be due to a number of factors. Some common areas for consideration are:
Hormones: Some hormones are connected with the inflammatory response .
Fats: The amount and type of fat in the diet is directly linked with inflammation, especially the essential fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6 .
Digestion: Our digestive system also has the power to mess about with inflammation in the body. If the digestive system is struggling then localized damage may occur in the gut leading to inflammation and food sensitivities .
EATING TO REDUCE INFLAMMATION
Diet And Autoimmune Arthritis
Consistent pain in the joints which at times gets unbearable and makes you immobile is a major symptom of arthritis. The first thing one could do to prevent this symptom from worsening is to avoid certain foods that might trigger arthritis. There are some foods that are rich in saturated fats and sugars and can increase inflammation, increase the chances of heart diseases and cause overall damage to the body . But, there are some food items that can reduce inflammation and keep morning stiffness and soreness in check. There is no known cure for arthritis, but its symptoms can be under control by modifying your diet .
Consuming anti-inflammatory foods and avoiding certain foods that are bad for arthritis will help alleviate the symptoms. For example, olive oil and onions are foods that soothe arthritis pain. Carotene rich foods are good for curing arthritis . However, there are also some foods that aggravate arthritis pain. If you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, uric acid-rich foods like tomatoes can increase joint pain .
As studies point out, there is no specific diet for arthritis. And one survey had pointed out that 24 per cent of individuals with rheumatoid arthritis reported that their diet had an impact on the severity of their symptoms .
One has to be careful in picking anti-inflammatory foods and limiting or avoiding foods that may trigger joint pain, so as to help relieve the symptoms related to arthritis.
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Sugar And Refined Flour
Your blood sugar levels can surge after you’ve eaten simple carbohydrates that are easily broken down by the body. Such foods include sugary snacks and drinks, white-flour bread and pasta, and white rice. A spike in your blood sugar prompts the body to produce pro-inflammatory chemicals called cytokines, which can worsen your RA symptoms if the inflammation affects your joints. These foods can also cause you to put on the pounds, stressing your joints. There is no real replacement for these foods, but you can try gluten-free alternatives, which can be helpful, says Domingues.
Red Meat And Fried Foods
Meatespecially red meatis high in saturated fats, which may cause high cholesterol and inflammation. In addition, meat contains high levels of advanced glycation end products that stimulate inflammation, particularly when it is broiled, grilled, roasted, or fried.1
Its not just fried chicken that you should avoid, though. Other fried foods, such as donuts and french fries, contain trans fats in addition to AGEs.
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Can My Diet Affect Medication
Its important that you take any medication youve been given as youve been told to by your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Some drugs need to be taken in a specific way, such as before or after food, or with water you should be told about this, but the information leaflet included with your medication will also explain this, so make sure to read this carefully.
Taking certain drugs with food or after youve eaten can help to reduce the risk of certain side effects such as indigestion, stomach ulcers, feeling sick or vomiting. It can also help your body to absorb the drug properly and can make sure its not washed away by food or drink, for example if you use mouthwashes or gels.
Citrus Fruits Cause Inflammation
Some people believe that they should avoid citrus fruits because the acidity is inflammatory. However, this is not the case. In fact, citrus fruits have anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as being rich in vitamin C and antioxidants.
Grapefruit juice can, however, interact with some medicines that doctors use to treat arthritis. People who are undergoing treatment should check with a doctor before incorporating it into their diet.
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Advanced Glycation End Products
AGEs are inflammatory compounds that can accumulate in tissues, particularly as someone ages. An article in Patient Education explains that people with diseases such as diabetes and RA often have increased AGE levels. So, reducing AGE levels may help reduce inflammation.
Fat and sugar both increase AGE levels in the body. Some food processing methods and high temperature cooking also increase the AGE levels in food.
The 7 Best Foods For Arthritis
I am frequently asked what foods someone should eat to help a particular condition, and it usually comes back to the basics: fruit, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein sources, says McInerney. She also notes that the best diet depends on the type of arthritis, weight status, and any medications that the patient takes that may affect certain foods.
Hinkley agrees: Overall, eating a heart-healthy or Mediterranean type of diet will have the biggest impact on arthritis symptoms, but learning how to incorporate more possibly anti-inflammatory foods and spices in your diet may help you discover new nutritious meals that you enjoy. In fact, this type of diet is often recommended by a registered dietitian for those who want to improve their overall health and wellness.
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