About Meera Oza Md Facr
Dr. Meera Oza has been practicing rheumatology since 1985 in Orange Park and has served the greater Jacksonville area for more than 35 years. She completed her medical school at Lady Harding Medical College in India and finished her internal medicine and Rheumatology training at Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan. She is a fellow of the American College of Rheumatology and is board certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Study Design And Cohort
The Brigham RA Sequential Study is a single-center longitudinal RA registry that has enrolled > 1400 subjects since 2003. All subjects were diagnosed with RA by a rheumatologist, and 97% of subjects meet ACR 1987 RA criteria. Rheumatoid factor and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody are tested at enrollment. Patient-reported data collected every six months include demographics, RA medications, comorbidities, and self-reported disease activity scores . Physician-reported disease activity measures are collected annually at a study visit. All elements of this study were approved by the Partners Healthcare Institutional Review Board.
Work With Your Rheumatologist
Changing what you eat should be based on your specific type of arthritis, and you should always talk with a rheumatologist at an arthritis treatment center before modifying your diet.
If you suffer from an autoimmune and inflammatory form of arthritis, it is important to avoid foods that are known to boost your immune system. However, forms of non-inflammatory arthritis may not be benefitted from these types of dietary changes.
Read Also: What Foods To Avoid With Arthritis Inflammation
How Can I Keep To A Healthy Weight
Keeping to a healthy weight is important for your general health, but it can also have benefits for people with different types of arthritis.
Being overweight can put more strain on your joints particularly those in the legs. The force put through your knees when walking can be two or three times your body weight, so losing even a small amount of weight can make a difference. Being overweight can also increase inflammation in the body, which could cause you more pain.
You may be more likely to develop certain types of arthritis if youre overweight, including rheumatoid arthritis, gout, back pain and osteoarthritis.
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.
Read Also: Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Affect The Jaw
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:
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.
Recommended Reading: What To Do When You Have Arthritis In Your Knee
Impact Of Foods On Ra Symptoms
At least one food was reported to affect RA symptoms in 24.0% of subjects. In 10.1% of subjects, some foods improved and some foods worsened RA symptoms. Foods only worsened RA in 9.2%, and foods only improved RA only in 4.6%. Additionally, 24.3% of all subjects reported avoiding foods because they worsen their RA.
Among subjects who reported eating the specific foods listed, blueberries and fish were most often noted to improve RA symptoms . Soda with sugar and desserts were most frequently noted to worsen RA symptoms among subjects who consumed them. Caffeinated coffee and caffeinated tea were each reported to affect RA in less than five percent of subjects.
Specific foods that affect subjects’ RA symptoms, displayed as the percentage of subjects who eat the food
Mayo Clinic Minute: Fighting Arthritis With Food
Millions of Americans suffer from symptoms of arthritis that are often debilitating. The most common form is degenerative arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis, followed by inflammatory or rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. John Davis III, a Mayo Clinic rheumatologist, says what you eat may help with some of the inflammation associated with arthritis.
Journalists: Broadcast-quality video is in the downloads at the end of this post. Please “Courtesy: Mayo Clinic News Network.” Read the script.
Can avoiding foods like potato chips and pizza help ease your arthritis pain? Maybe.
“Some foods can increase inflammation levels and contribute to symptoms of arthritis, especially really fatty foods simple sugars or carbohydrates, lots of salt, or salty food,” says Dr. Davis.
Symptoms may include swollen and achy joints, discomfort and pain.
“Arthritis relates to a diverse set of disorders where there is inflammation that occurs in joints,” says Dr. Davis.
He says that while medication may help joint pain, exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and paying attention to the food you eat play important roles.
“Small amounts of weight loss can lead to reductions of just overall inflammation in the body, which can have overall benefits,” says Dr. Davis.
Add more fruits and vegetables, healthy fats like olive oil and nuts, whole grains and fish. These foods are thought to reduce inflammation and help with pain.
Read Also: Does Anti Inflammatory Diet Help Arthritis
Antioxidant Vitamins Or Mineral Supplements
There is no scientific evidence to support the use of antioxidant vitamins or mineral supplements in the treatment of RA. A healthy diet contains all the nutrients needed by the body. However, if your diet is very restricted or your appetite is poor, a general multivitamin or mineral supplement may be beneficial. Speak to your doctor before taking a new supplement.
What Foods Can Help Prevent Arthritis Attacks
Some foods, such as those rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, can reduce inflammation and alleviate arthritis symptoms:
- Fruits: Cherries, blackberries, and blueberries are rich in antioxidants.
- Veggies: Cauliflower, mushrooms, Brussel sprouts, and broccoli contain tons of nutrients that can help fight inflammation.
- Whole grains:Fiber-rich, unprocessed foods such as brown rice, quinoa and oatmeal help lower inflammation as well.
- Beans: Beans are high in both fiber and antioxidants, which make them anti-inflammatory.
- Nuts: Nuts have omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fats, in addition to monounsaturated fats, which all help to prevent inflammation.
- Fish: Consuming salmon, tuna, and sardines can help fight inflammation because they contain omega-3 fatty acids and various antioxidants.
Read Also: Do You Use Heat Or Ice For Arthritis
Inflammatory Foods For Rheumatoid Arthritis
In addition to medication treatment plans that include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs , limiting or eliminating altogether certain foods from your diet can help you to feel better as well.
Inflammatory foods are foods that can produce or trigger inflammatory symptoms in joints and in the digestive system. These are foods that are generally processed, cooked at high temperatures, or contain lots of chemical preservatives and unnatural ingredients. Be sure to check all foods labels carefully for any of the below ingredients.
Foods That Help Reduce Inflammation
It may seem as if all of your favorite foods are on the do not eat list as it relates to joint and muscle pain. However, there are actually a variety of nutritious and delicious foods that can help reduce inflammation. A Mediterranean diet offers an excellent guideline, including these foods:
- Potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips and yams
- High-fat fruits such as avocados and olives
- Olive oil and coconut oil and other healthy fats
- Whole grains
- Salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, anchovies and other fatty fish
- Almonds and other nuts
- Bell peppers and chili peppers
- Dark chocolate
- Legumes such as beans, peas, lentils, pulses, peanuts and chickpeas
- Spices such as turmeric, ginger and cinnamon
Sticking to a diet consisting of these foods will not only help combat inflammation and pain but also help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce risk for many diseases. For more information on foods that can help with inflammation, read 10 Foods That Help Reduce Joint Pain.
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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.
The 10 Best Foods To Eat If You Have Arthritis
If you have arthritis, you know just how devastating this condition can be.
Arthritis is a term for a class of diseases that cause pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. It can affect people of all ages, genders and ethnic backgrounds.
There are many different types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is one type, which develops in joints with overuse. Another type is rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks your joints (
Fortunately, there are many foods that can ease inflammation and may help relieve some of the joint pain associated with arthritis.
In fact, one survey found that 24% of those with rheumatoid arthritis reported that their diet had an impact on the severity of their symptoms (
This article will look at 10 of the best foods to eat if you have arthritis.
Recommended Reading: What Parts Of The Body Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Affect
Foods That Can Trigger Arthritis Symptoms
Healthy Eating And Arthritis
Your body works best when you eat a wide range of healthy foods. Most people find that they feel better if they eat a balanced and varied diet to get all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients their body needs.
Try to eat a Mediterranean-style diet which includes fish, pulses, nuts, olive oil and plenty of fruit and vegetables. Eating a balanced diet and having an adequate fluid intake can also help provide you with better energy levels, help to maintain your weight, and give you a greater sense of wellbeing, which may improve your symptoms.
Always seek the advice of your doctor or dietitian before changing your diet. You may be restricting your food intake unnecessarily or taking too much of certain products that may have no impact on your condition at all. Some supplements may also interact with your medication.
Recommended Reading: What Pain Medication Is Good For Arthritis
Ra Inflammatory Foods: What Foods Should I Avoid
For rheumatoid arthritis patients, controlling inflammation is critical in being able to live a better quality of life and improve overall health. An important way to help control inflammation is by adhering to the right diet and choosing healthy foods. Just as there are certain foods to seek out in your diet, there are also foods that should be avoided or eliminated altogether. These foods stimulate the immune system and the inflammatory process, worsening the pain, stiffness and other health complications associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
Should I Avoid Solanine
The nightshade family of vegetables includes tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers. These contain the chemical solanine. Some people believe this chemical can cause arthritis pain, but no studies or research have ever shown this claim to be true.
A person with OA needs to maintain a healthy weight, because excess weight puts additional strain on the joints. This means more pain, inflammation, and swelling.
Here are some tips to help people maintain a healthy weight.
Satiety: Natural fiber can make people feel fuller for longer, and they may help lower cholesterol or prevent diabetes. Rough oatmeal, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables are all good sources of fiber.
Cooking methods: Opt for baked, grilled, steamed, and some raw foods rather than fried or roasted in oil. Deep-frying adds extra calories and takes away much of the nutritional content.
Exercise: This is important for overall fitness and maintaining a suitable weight. Knee pain may make some exercises more difficult, but simple stretching and other motion exercises can help strengthen the leg muscles, and this will make it easier to walk.
Recommended Reading: Do X Rays Show Rheumatoid Arthritis
Exclusion Diets And Food Intolerance
A vegetarian diet may help relieve symptoms for some. Speak to your doctor or dietitian to make sure you are still getting enough nutrients. Some people believe that a food allergy or intolerance causes or exacerbates inflammation in RA, but there is no evidence to support this theory. However, a small number of people with RA may have a genuine intolerance to one or more foods. Offending foods can be identified through an exclusion programme under the supervision of a dietitian. Fasting is an extreme and temporary way of controlling pain and inflammation in RA and is not recommended.
When To Seek Treatment For Your Arthritis
Arthritis doesnt have to spell the end of an active life. If you are experiencing worrisome symptoms or persistent pain, the renowned arthritis specialists at Summit Orthopedics can help. We work with you to confirm a diagnosis and develop an appropriate conservative treatment plan. If nonsurgical treatments fail to support your lifestyle goals, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons will consult with you and discuss appropriate surgical options. Summit is home to innovative joint replacement options. Our Vadnais Heights Surgery Center is one of only two surgery centers nationally to receive The Joint Commissions Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement.
Start your journey to healthier joints. Find your arthritis expert, request an appointment online, or call us at to schedule a consultation.
Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MN, Plymouth, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and southern Minnesota.
Also Check: Should You Eat Tomatoes If You Have Arthritis