The 10 Best Foods To Eat If You Have Arthritis
4 minute read time
Did you know that there are over 100 different types of arthritis? And that each type has individual causes and treatments? Here we explore and understand more about arthritis and how what we eat can affect the condition.
Does lifestyle really play a part in the onset? Whats an arthritis diet plan that can help arthritic symptoms? Are there foods to avoid with arthritis? Lets find out.
Avoid These 5 Inflammatory Foods To Ease Joint Pain
As a leading orthopaedic practice serving patients throughout the Triangle region, we care about your bone and joint health. Not only do we offer comprehensive surgical and non-surgical orthopaedic care, but we also advise our patients about things they can on their own to increase strength and mobility and improve their overall health. Choosing the right foods is a basic place to start.
Smart food choices are important for everyone, especially for those who suffer from joint pain and inflammation. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a well-balanced diet should be full of plant-based foods. The FDA recommends a diet of two-thirds fruits, vegetables and whole grains, leaving one-third for lean protein and low-fat dairy.
While some foods may help fight inflammation in the joints and muscles, studies have found that others can exacerbate inflammation, causing pain in the knees, back and other parts of the body. Compounds found in certain foods can trigger the body to produce chemicals that cause inflammation as well as other health issues such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
To help decrease joint and muscle pain and inflammation, try eliminating these foods from your diet or consume them in moderation:
What Exactly Is Arthritis
Arthritis, or joint inflammation, describes swelling and tenderness of one or more of the joints. Its main symptoms include joint pain, swelling and stiffness. Arthritis is a general term for a group of over 100 diseases causing inflammation and swelling in and around the joints.
Joint inflammation is a natural response of the body to a disease or injury, but becomes arthritis when the inflammation persists in the absence of joint injury or infection. Arthritis usually worsens with age and may even lead to a loss of joint movement.
There are different types of arthritis such as:
- Warm skin over the joints
- Redness of the skin over the joints
- Reduced range of movement.
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What Causes Porphyrin Dogs
This discoloration is caused by a chemical called porphyrin.
Porphyrins are excreted primarily through bile and the intestinal tract, but in dogs a significant amount of porphyrin is excreted through tears, saliva and also urine.
One of the best-known Porphyrins is heme, the pigment in red blood cells.
Food That Causes Arthritis Flare Ups
There are hundreds of types of arthritis, with the most common being osteoarthritis. Your joints become a “dump” of trash from the normal wear and tear of life. Over a long period of time, you can get an accumulation of waste products in the joint. Extremely acidic foods will cause your joints to get more waste build up in the joints.
Soda can really cause the symptoms to become much worse. In fact, soda is the number one worst thing you can consume to cause arthritic flare ups. Did you know it takes 27 glasses of water to off set the effects of one soda? Think diet is better? Well it’s actually worse, it takes 32 glasses of water cancel out a diet drink.
Physical Therapy can help you reduce the pain and weakness that accompany arthritis. Don’t feel like you have to live with the pain, talk to your Dr. about getting physical therapy today or if you have or know anyone who is in pain, contact a physical therapist!
Depending on your insurance, you may be able to go to physical therapy without a prescription from your doctor. If your insurance does require a prescription, we may be able to help you get one. If you are unsure if your condition can be treated with physical therapy, contact our office and we can set you up with a FREE screen to determine if you are a good candidate for physical therapy.
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Rheumatoid Arthritis Flare Triggers
There are many challenges to living with rheumatoid arthritis , but one of the most frustrating is its unpredictability. It can feel as if you never know from one day to the next even one hour to the next how youll feel and whether you can keep your plans or will be stuck on the couch dealing with a flare. Identifying the triggers that cause a flare can help you reduce the ups and downs and get more control over your life.
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Knowing When To Seek Medical Help
Sometimes you just have to know when enough is enough and to seek medical help for an OA flare-up. Although chronic pain and osteoarthritis can be difficult to properly treat, there is a diverse array of modalities a trained physician can use to help relieve your flare up.
This might sound like wishful thinking, but I am a testament to medicine helping to relieve my osteoarthritis flare-ups. Before I was treated with radiofrequency ablation in my spine, I would get flare ups about once a month that lasted about three to seven days.
I had simply accepted it as a reality of life that I would experience for the foreseeable future. However, after a devastating flare-up, I went to a physician in desperation and the rest is history.
I still get flare-ups now but they are few and far between. While I cant promise everyone will get adequate pain relief after seeing a physician, but it is definitely an option worth pursuing.
I have struggled with the flare-ups of OA for about five years now. Although it is not a perfect system, these methods have helped me cope with the pain and continue to function as normal as possible.
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How Diet Affects Ra
Although there is no demonstrable link between diet and RA, studies have shown that the type of inflammation experienced in RA could be modulated by certain foods. Increased inflammation has been attributed to processed foods or foods cooked at higher temperatures.
It is recommended to increase consumption of foods that are considered to be anti-inflammatory, such as fruits, veggies, and cold water fish . As a result, inflammatory symptoms may improve and possibly lead to fewer flare-ups.
How Does Osteoarthritis Evolve
It is likely that in the early stages, damage to the cartilage might be completely reversible, thanks to the healing capacities of the lesions, especially in the very young.
Once these lesions become significantly established and especially after a certain age, it will be difficult for the body to repair these lesions, osteoarthritis will then evolve to a worsening stage which means that there will be an increasingly greater loss of cartilage.
This loss of cartilage evolves in 3 clinical forms:
- a slow and progressive deterioration over several decades
- or, conversely, a very rapid deterioration leading to loss of cartilage in 12 to 24 months (this is known as rapidly destructive osteoarthritis
- or an intermediate form in which the evolution is punctuated by periods in which the osteoarthritis evolves very quickly and other periods, on the contrary, when the osteoarthritis does not evolve or evolves very little.
Osteoarthritis does not evolve uniformly, it is unpredictable. It can remain silent for a long time and not manifest itself even though the joint looks very damaged on the X-ray. But it can also worsen rapidly over several weeks or months at a stage when the X-rays are almost normal. It is this imbalance between pain and radiographic osteoarthritis which makes it difficult to understand and evaluate.
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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.
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.
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.
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Safflower Sunflower Corn And Soybean Oil
Safflower, sunflower, soybean and corn oil all have one thing in common: Theyre composed of more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. Given that omega-6s are pro-inflammatory fatty acids, as opposed to the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, these oils can make arthritis symptoms worse. Try swapping these oils out for avocado oil, walnut oil, flaxseed oil or cod liver oil.
Is There An Ra Diet
In one study of women with RA, those who took a cooking class on Mediterranean-style foods and ate that way for 2 months had less joint pain and morning stiffness and better overall health than those who didnât take the class.
Aim to eat a healthy diet with:
- Lots of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. They should make up two-thirds of your plate.
- Low-fat dairy and lean proteins, which should make up one-third
- Small amounts of saturated and trans fats
- Limited alcohol
Although no food plans are proven to help with RA, you may read about some that claim to do so or about people with RA who say a diet worked for them.
Before you try one, itâs a good idea to discuss it with your doctor, especially if it calls for large doses of supplements or cuts out entire food groups.
Instead of getting fixated on fasting or finding the perfect foods, be sensible about eating. Don’t make huge changes to your diet. Don’t skip meals. Eat three healthy meals and a couple of small snacks a day, says M. Elaine Husni, MD, director of the Cleveland Clinicâs Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Treatment Center.
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What Is The Arthritis Diet
For people with arthritis, following an anti-inflammatory diet may help with managing symptoms such as pain and swelling. Many of these foods are found in the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fruit, vegetables, beans, fish, and healthy fats such as olive oil, notesDeborah McInerney, clinical nutritionist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.
Those with rheumatoid arthritis have an increased risk of heart disease because they experience systemic, or body-wide, inflammation. Therefore, a heart-healthy diet can help manage arthritis symptoms and lower the risk of developing other chronic illnesses such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, says Hinkley.
People with obesity are at increased risk of developing osteoarthritis because carrying extra weight puts more strain on the joints, especially those in the lower body, Hinkley adds. Due to that elevated risk, those with osteoarthritis often benefit from following a heart-healthy diet due to its ability to help with weight loss.
What Foods Make Arthritis Worse
Which are the foods to avoid with arthritis or if youre following an anti-inflammatory arthritis diet plan?
Anything fried, processed or containing hydrogenated oils triggers systemic inflammation. Ensure to eliminate fast food, fried breakfasts, sweets and doughnuts from your diet.
Research shows that sugars, of any kind, release cytokines into the body. Cytokines are known to cause inflammation, aggravating arthritis in its many forms, and should be completely avoided.
Love pizza smothered in cheese? Bad news. Saturated fats, found in red meats, dairy, pasta and desserts, worsen inflammation and arthritic symptoms.
Consuming a pinch of sunflower or any other oil should be okay, but eating Omega 6 fatty acids in great quantities can cause inflammation.
Other foods and drinks to avoid include refined carbohydrates , alcohol, MSG and gluten. Studies show that there may be an overlap of those who suffer with arthritis and those who have coeliac disease. If you think you may have the latter, its important to go to your GP and find out by taking a simple test.
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Malnutrition In Ra Patients
Patients with RA are often at a higher risk of malnutrition for multiple reasons. First of all, weight loss is a common symptom in RA patients. Its thought to be due to the autoimmune condition itself producing inflammatory responses which cause an increase in metabolic rate. This means that the body burns through more calories than normal, which can lead to weight loss. This is not considered healthy weight loss. This type of weight loss can potentially leave the patient undernourished or malnourished.
Secondly, many patients taking the common disease-modifying antirheumatic drug called methotrexate, have been known to have a deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals. Many RA medications produce side effects such as stomach ulcers and other digestive concerns which can make it difficult to eat. These conditions combined with weight loss further compound the problems of malnourishment in patients. Some of the most common nutrient deficiencies in RA include a lack of the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin B6
A proper diet for RA that is rich in these vitamins and minerals is important for keeping patients healthy.
Finally, many RA patients are at risk of developing osteoporosis, a weakening of the bones caused by a calcium or vitamin D deficiency. RA patients should be aware of this potential risk and ensure their diet accounts for this potential deficiency.
Follow Your Healthcare Providers Advice
Because arthritis flares are somewhat inevitable, you should know what your healthcare provider wants you to do when a flare occurs. Have a conversation with your healthcare provider ahead of time. Flares are typically inconvenient, meaning they can occur during the night or on the weekend when your healthcare provider is unavailable.
Know the maximum limits of your pain medication. Discuss whether you should always have a backup on hand or ready to be refilled. Know what your healthcare provider wants you to do.
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What Causes Arthritis
The cause of arthritis may vary according to the type of the disease. Most types of arthritis do not have a known cause. Research has revealed the role of three major factors in certain types of arthritis:
- Genetic factors cause some types of arthritis to run in families
- Physical activity and diet affects arthritis symptoms
- The presence of other medical conditions such as infections and chronic diseases such as lupus puts you at risk for Arthritis.
Several factors may increase a persons risk for arthritis:
- Age: The risk of getting arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis, increases with age. Age may also worsen the symptoms of arthritis.
- Gender: Arthritis generally affects women more often than in men.
- Weight: Being obese or overweight puts extra stress on the joints that support an individuals weight. Increased weight beyond the normal range for a persons age and height increases joint wear and tear, and the risk of arthritis.
- Occupation: Certain jobs may involve the worker to keep doing the same movements repeatedly. These include jobs where one needs to do heavy lifting or repeated fine work as done by musicians. It can cause joint stress and/or an injury, which may lead to arthritis.
- Injury: joint injury or trauma may cause osteoarthritis
- Autoimmune diseases: these may misdirect the immune system towards the joints as seen in rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
- Infections: certain infections may lead to joint inflammation as seen in tubercular arthritis and .
Stay A Healthy Weight
The most important relationship between diet and arthritis is weight. Excess weight can make some specialist medications ineffective, may increase disease activity and delay remission. If you are carrying more body weight than you should, try and lose the excess weight by combining healthy eating with regular exercise.
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Joint Replacement For Osteoarthritis
Prior to considering joint replacement surgery it is important that you have tried to optimise the management of your arthritis with none surgical treatment methods. the short video below discusses the importance of this.
Whether to go ahead with a joint replacement is a big decision. The NHS has developed a tool to help you explore the issues around this decision. This can be accessed here:
If you would like to discuss hip replacement with us please discuss an MSK referral with your GP.To fill in an Oxford knee Score to facilitate your assessment click here.