Who Is Most At Risk For Developing Osteoarthritis
Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disorder with an unknown etiology, osteoarthritis is far better understood. According to most physicians, scientists, and researchers, the following factors can significantly increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis:
Age According to a study published by the CDC , doctor-diagnosed arthritis, which includes osteoarthritis, is highest among individuals who are age 65 and over.
Gender While there is no scientific data that clearly explains why there is a disparity, multiple studies have found that women are more likely than men to develop osteoarthritis.
Obesity Not surprisingly, being overweight or obese can place a tremendous amount of strain on weight-bearing joints, causing them to become worn that much faster. That said, the more you weigh, the more likely you are to develop osteoarthritis that affects the knees, hips, and feet.
Genetics For 35 to 65 percent of the U.S. population, osteoarthritis is caused by 1 of 9 genes that are associated with the disease, according to a study published by ScienceDaily, an online resource that provides information related to science, health, the environment, and technology.
You May Like: What Helps Arthritis In Legs
Measures To Reduce Bone Loss
Inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis can cause bone loss, which can lead to osteoporosis. The use of prednisone further increases the risk of bone loss, especially in postmenopausal women.
You can do the following to help minimize the bone loss associated with steroid therapy:
- Use the lowest possible dose of glucocorticoids for the shortest possible time, when possible, to minimize bone loss.
- Get an adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D, either in the diet or by taking supplements.
- Use medications that can reduce bone loss, including that which is caused by glucocorticoids.
- Control rheumatoid arthritis itself with appropriate medications prescribed by your doctor.
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:
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.
You May Like: What Is The Best Over The Counter Medication For Arthritis
Causes Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. This means your immune system attacks the cells that line your joints by mistake, making the joints swollen, stiff and painful.
Over time, this can damage the joints, cartilage and nearby bone.
Its not clear what triggers this problem with the immune system, although youre at an increased risk if:
- you are a woman
Find out more about the causes of rheumatoid arthritis.
Sugars And Refined Carbohydrates
Digesting anything that has sugars or refined carbohydrates releases cytokines that signal inflammation in the body.
Soda, juices, and pastries are perfect examples of food and drinks that are full of sugars.
People living with RA should also be on the lookout for sugar substitutes and any foods that contain glucose, fructose, and sucrose.
Read Also: Is Arnica Cream Good For Arthritis
Canola And Olive Oils
Skip the vegetable oil or corn oil and reach for these two varieties, which have a good balance of the omega-3 and omega-6 acids, both of which are essential fatty acids. Studies have found that a component in olive oil called oleocanthal has anti-inflammatory properties and is known to be especially good for heart health, too, Dunn says.
Eat And Drink Less Dairy On A Diet For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms may flare in response to specific proteins found in dairy products. Some people with rheumatoid arthritis who report intolerance to milk have antibodies to milk proteins, Dr. Michet says. The body forms these antibodies to protect itself from what it mistakenly perceives as a harmful substance, but the antibodies attack other parts of the body in addition to the milk. Cut dairy products from your diet to see if that reduces your RA symptoms.
Try rice, cashew, or almond milk as anti-inflammatory alternatives, says Ulka Agarwal, MD, a staff psychiatrist at George Washington University in Washington, DC, who advocates a vegan diet. Milk may be a food to avoid with arthritis to see if it helps with RA pain.
Also Check: Does Ra Cause Back Pain
Recommended Reading: What Can You Do For Arthritis In The Hands
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.
Oils Rich In Omega 6 Fatty Acids
Linoleic acid accounts for a major proportion of dietary omega 6 fatty acid. It comes from cooking oils such as corn oil, cottonseed oil and sunfloweroil etc. Such oils with high omega 6 fatty acid content when metabolized, produce mediators of inflammation. Plants, unlike animals, do not have arachidonic acid they have linoleic acid instead.
Read Also: What Blood Work Shows Rheumatoid Arthritis
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 Its Time For An Ra Treatment Change
Even if your rheumatoid arthritis has been under good control for years, your medication can stop working after years of being on it, says Dr Schulman.
Luckily, there are many treatment options now and each works differently . If one type of medication is no longer providing adequate relief, a medication with a different mechanism of action may be a better fit for you.
If you think theres a link between your medication and increased RA pain, you might want to ask your rheumatologist the following:
- Is it possible that my medication has stopped working?
- Are there any other medications we should try?
- Are there any different medication combinations we should try?
- If we change medications, how long might it take for me to see results?
- What do I do if my symptoms come back?
- Are there any alternative or complementary treatment options that could help with pain?
The bottom line: Addressing pain with your rheumatologist is essential for feeling your best and living a full life. With so many rheumatoid arthritis treatment options available, there is no reason to settle for feeling only fine instead of great.
Recommended Reading: What Are The Worst Foods For Arthritis Sufferers
Other Arthritis Treatment Options
Remember, lifestyle and diet changes work best when combined with the proper medical treatments. For example, rheumatoid arthritis IV treatment has proven to eliminate pain for many patients who struggle with joint disease. Infusion for arthritis has many benefits and is known to quickly deliver nutrients to your body and joints.
Inflammatory Arthritis Versus Osteoarthritis
Knowing the type of arthritis, you have is the key to recognizing and managing a flare up. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It is caused by wear and tear of the cartilage linings of your joints. Since wear and tear takes time, this type occurs mostly in older people. It may be more common in a joint that you injured at some time. It causes pain, stiffness, and swelling, but not inflammation.
Inflammatory arthritis may be caused by a disorder of your immune system. Your immune system is your bodys defense system against foreign invaders like germs. If you have an immune system disease called an autoimmune disease, your immune system attacks normal body tissues, including your joints. The symptom of the attack is inflammation of tissue in around your joints.
Autoimmune inflammatory arthritis affects many joints all over your body at the same time. This is also called inflammatory polyarthritis. This type of arthritis is a long-term disease that is often diagnosed in young adults. Both rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis are common types. Inflammation adds symptoms of redness and a feeling of warmth to affected joints along with pain and swelling.
Read Also: Can And Bottle Opener For Arthritis
What Causes Gout To Flare Up
Gout is a complex form of arthritis that can flare up suddenly and severely. It occurs as a result of having high levels of uric acid, which makes it easier for urate crystals to form. These sharp crystals can deposit in your joints, causing inflammation, swelling and pain.
The most common trigger of gout is eating purine-rich foods, since high levels of purines can increase the amount of uric acid in your bloodstream, explains Dr. Alam.
Gout-sufferers can help avoid flare-ups by avoiding foods rich in purines, including:
- Certain types of seafood, including tuna, scallops and trout
- Alcohol, particularly beer
- Fruit juices and other beverages that contain fructose
Similar to rheumatoid arthritis, a flare-up of gout can be alleviated by using a cold compress on the affected joint, which helps reduce the inflammation thats causing your pain, swelling and stiffness, says Dr. Alam.
Foods That May Worsen Ra Symptoms
Theres no proven diet that will do anywhere near as well as the current drug therapy, says Vinicius Domingues, MD, a rheumatologist based in Daytona Beach, Florida, and a medical adviser to CreakyJoints. Theres no diet thats going to put your arthritis in remission.
But what you eat or dont eat can make a difference. Here are some foods to think twice about, because they contribute extra calories and provoke inflammation that worsens your RA symptoms.
Dont Miss: Cure For Arthritis In Hands
Recommended Reading: What Medication For Rheumatoid Arthritis
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.
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.
Read Also: What Type Of Mattress Is Best For Rheumatoid Arthritis
What Foods Should You Avoid If You Have Oa
If you have OA, you may be able to decrease the severity of the inflammation by minimizing or avoiding certain food and drink, including the following:
1. Red and processed meats
Red and processed meats are associated with inflammation which could increase your symptoms of arthritis. Diet rich in red and processed meat tends to lead to high levels of inflammatory markers, such as:
A study¹² involving 217 individuals with rheumatoid arthritis found that red meat worsened RA symptoms.
Another study¹³ involving 25,630 individuals showed that a high intake of red meat could increase the risk of inflammatory arthritis.
2. Added sugars
While it is important to limit your sugar intake for overall health, it is especially important if you have OA. The same study referred to above involving 217 individuals with RA noted that among 20 different foods, sugar-sweetened desserts and soda were most often reported to worsen RA symptoms¹². A similar effect is also suggested for OA.
Consuming soda or other sugary beverages may significantly increase your risk of developing arthritis. For instance, a study¹ involving 1,209 adults between the ages of 20 to 30 found that those who drank fructose-sweetened beverages at least five times a week were three times more likely to develop arthritis than those who drank few to no fructose-sweetened beverages.
4. Highly processed foods
5. Foods high in AGEs
Grilled or pan-fried steak
Ra Diet: What Foods To Eat If You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis patients require a stable, healthy diet for a number of reasons. Patients may become overwhelmed by their chronic pain and inflammation, remain undernourished, or develop medical complications.
Maintaining a healthy diet is an important part of protecting your overall health, managing weight, improving energy levels, boosting your mental health and boosting your immune system. While diet alone cant treat your symptoms, the right diet for RA can certainly go a long way in helping you feel better overall.
Recommended Reading: Is Drinking Wine Bad For Arthritis
If Youve Got Arthritis Youve Probably Experienced The Intense Pain Of Flares Heres How To Handle Them
Youre feeling good, barely thinking about your chronic pain, and then wham an arthritis flare hits you like a Mack truck. These periods of increased disease activity take a toll on you physically and emotionally, especially because they can come on unexpectedly. If youve got either osteoarthritis or an inflammatory type of arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis, you probably know what were talking about.
So how can you deal with an arthritis flare-up when it happens? I remind myself, This, too, shall pass, arthritis patient Beth Bloomfield told us on Facebook. Like a kidney stone! another patient, Katie Resnick, joked back. Although arthritis flares are never pleasant, there are techniques that can help shorten their duration. Also important: Being able recognize when a flare is starting and avoid the triggers that may cause your flare-ups in the first place.
Dont Go Overboard With Olive Oil
It’s a tasty part of the good-for-you Mediterranean diet. But itâs also high in calories, so make sure you donât drizzle too much on your salad. That said, olive oil is a âgoodâ fat. And âextra virginâ versions have a natural chemical called oleocanthal, which shares similar properties with the anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen. Nuts, avocados, and olives are other âgoodâ fats you can enjoy in moderation.
Read Also: How Can I Find Out If I Have Arthritis
Advanced Glycation End Products
When you grill or fry your food or consume foods that have been cooked at high temperatures, including pasteurized foods, your body produces toxins called AGEs. These toxins can damage proteins in your body, which triggers your immune system to destroy the AGEs with cytokines. Cytokines cause inflammation.