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.
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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.
Artificial And Refined Sugars
Another food listed in the top 10 foods to avoid with arthritis is artificial and refined sugars. High amounts of sugar can also raise the level of advanced glycation end products in your body that cause inflammation. Moreover, sugar can also trigger the release of some inflammatory agents known as cytokines in your body.
Being very high in calories, excess intake of sugar also results in weight gain, which will put more pressure on the joints and raises pain.
Even sugar-sweetened soft drinks are also not good for the body. According to a 2022 study in the American Journal, regular intake of sugar-sweetened soda can increase the risk of suffering from rheumatoid arthritis in women without depending on other lifestyle and dietary factors.
You have to avoid having sugar-loaded foods such as candy, pastries, and snacks as well as sugar-sweetened beverages such as soft drinks, fruit drinks, punches, and pre-sweetened cereals.
Instead of artificial sweeteners and refined sugar, you can opt for other natural sweeteners such as stevia, blackstrap molasses, or honey.
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:
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.
Before We Dive Into That Check Out The Symptoms Of Arthritis:
Lakshmi said, Arthritis is the medical condition of swelling and tenderness of one or more joints. The most prominent symptoms of the disease include joint pain, stiffness, swelling, redness, and reduced range of motion. Thats why it is vital to seek immediate medical attention when one experiences these symptoms, as they usually worsen over time.
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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.
The Best Foods For Arthritis
Just as there are foods to avoid with arthritis, there are also many that can help you create a pain-relieving diet. Nature provides a veritable pharmacy of fruits and vegetables that prevent inflammation and can help reduce your arthritis pain. Active compounds in select foods work on the body by either spurring the formation of inflammation-fighting substances or inhibiting the production of those that cause inflammation.
Best of all, any food healthful enough to fight arthritis pain will provide a plethora of other health benefits as well. The best types of foods for arthritis include the following.
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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.
Vegetables From The Nightshade Family
Many vegetables from the Nightshade family have been implicated as RA triggers such as tomatoes, potatoes and eggplant etc. The previous explanation for this was their immunogenic nature and induction of antibodies but a recent theory suggests that, like some citrus fruits, it is the high salicylate content in these vegetables that triggers RA symptoms. In accordance with this theory, few members of this plant family having low salicylate content such as some varieties of potatoes can be added to diet with fewer risk of adverse effects.
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Food Ingredients That Can Cause Inflammation
Avoid these 8 food ingredients that may trigger more inflammation in your body.
1. 8 Food Ingredients That Can Cause Inflammation
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
3. Saturated Fats
4. Trans Fats
5. Omega 6 Fatty Acids
6. Refined Carbohydrates
8. Gluten and Casein
11. Beating Inflammation
Get Expert Advice
In The Kitchen With Arthritis: Foods To Avoid
The goal of an anti-inflammatory diet for arthritis is to reduce inflammation and the joint degeneration and pain it causes.What Are Anti-Inflammatory Foods?
You can influence inflammation by eating anti-inflammatory foods, such as leafy greens and colorful vegetables, and avoiding these 7 inflammatory foods:
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Foods That Make Arthritis Worse
Arthritis symptoms can fluctuate significantly depending on a wide range of factors, including diet. Though there is no cure for arthritis, there are ways to manage its effects. Doctors often recommend that people with arthritis follow a diet that can help manage their symptoms. These diets usually include foods with anti-inflammatory properties. However, many individuals dont realize there are foods they should actively avoid, as well. These foods can trigger joint pain directly or affect the disease in other ways.
More Research Is Needed
There are drawbacks to this study, which merits further research. The study included a fairly small sampling: only 44 people with rheumatoid arthritis, some of whom did not follow the protocol. While this is a decent, well-designed study, we need to take into account to what degree can you extrapolate these findings to a bigger population. I would also like to see some biomarkers added to the measurement, as opposed to more of clinical observation of disease activity. Clinical biomarkers would help strengthen the studies and result, cautions Landon, who has rheumatoid arthritis.
Dr. Kahleova agrees that the research is an intriguing start: This was basically a pilot study. While no study like this has ever been done before, more studies like this would be needed to confirm the findings in different populations and in bigger populations as well. We believe that other research groups may find it inspiring to start new studies along those lines.
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Whole Grains Legumes Fruits And Spices
The authors list the foods, grouping them under eight categories: fruits, cereals, legumes, whole grains, spices, herbs, oils, and miscellaneous.
Fruits include prunes, grapefruits, grapes, blueberries, bananas, pomegranate, mango, peaches, and apples. Cereals include whole oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, and whole rice, while the whole grains section adds corn, rye, barley, millets, sorghum, and canary seed to the mix.
Spices including turmeric and ginger olive oil, fish oil, green tea, and yogurt are also among those listed as beneficial. These can reduce the level of cytokines, or substances secreted by the immune cells that can cause inflammation in people with rheumatoid arthritis, and reduce oxidative stress, thereby improving the bodys ability to fight off toxins.
Regular consumption of specific dietary fibers, vegetables, fruits, and spices, as well as the elimination of components that cause inflammation and damage, says Dr. Gupta, can help patients to manage the effects of rheumatoid arthritis.
Incorporating probiotics into the diet can also reduce the progression and symptoms of this disease, she adds.
Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis should switch from omnivorous diets, drinking alcohol, and smoking to Mediterranean, vegan, elemental, or elimination diets, as advised by their doctor or dietician.
Dr. Bhawna Gupta
The researchers also suggest that their findings could be used to develop alternative medicines.
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.
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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.
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Sugar And Certain Sugar Alternatives
Foods that contain refined sugarincluding pastries, chocolate, candy, soda, and even fruit juicestrigger the release of proteins in the body called cytokines, which cause inflammation. Sugar is labeled many ways in food items in addition to sugar, watch out for corn syrup, fructose, sucrose, or maltose in ingredient lists.
Cutting back on regular sugar may lead people to seek out foods made with sugar alternatives, such as aspartame and sucralose, when a sweet tooth hits. However, some people are sensitive to these substances, which can cause an inflammatory response from the body. Sugar alternatives are often found in diet sodas, gum, sugar-free candy, and low-fat yogurt and pudding.
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Symptoms And Treatments Of Tick Bites
Mika, Facty Staff
Ticks are small insects that suck blood . Because they are so small – around the size of a pinhead – they are barely visible to the human eye. If you get bitten by a tick, contact your doctor for evaluation. In the meanwhile, follow some basic guidelines on tick bite treatment. Find out the top 10 symptoms and treatments of tick bites.
Foods That Can Make Arthritis Worse
Arthritis, also known as joint inflammation, is inflammation of one or more joints in your body. The term “arthritis” itself isn’t actually a single disease, but refers to 100+ types of arthritis and related conditions. Symptoms throughout the body include pain, swelling, stiffness, and reduced range of motion that makes performing certain tasks difficult, and these symptoms can intensify with age.
If you suspect you suffer from arthritis, it’s always best to meet with a healthcare professional to determine the best path of action for you. But in addition to medications, physical therapy, and potentially joint surgery, lifestyle changes can make a big impact on how severely you experience arthritis symptoms.
“With arthritis, we want to keep inflammation at bay. The less inflamed the joints, the less pain you will be in,” says Daily Harvest‘s nutritionist Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN. So how should you go about reducing inflammation? As a first step, avoid the foods that science links to chronic inflammation from your diet ASAP. An excellent starting point: ” fried foods and refined sugar while increasing less-processed whole foods can alleviate some symptoms of arthritis, like pain and swelling,” notes Chelsey Amer, MS, RDN, owner of Chelsey Amer Nutrition, adding that doing so can also help you maintain a healthy weight.
Read on for 20 of the worst foods that can make arthritis worse so you know what to skip.
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Sugar And Refined Flour
Your blood sugar levels can surge after youve 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.
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Types Of Foods To Avoid With Arthritis
The primary objective in a nutritional approach to arthritis management is to eat foods that do not increase inflammation in the joints and avoid foods that do.
Foods that cause inflammation are certainly on the list of things to avoid. It is also important to note that excess weight can cause increased pressure on already affected joints. In this way, changing to a healthy diet and losing weight can provide a healthier lifestyle for individuals dealing with the effects of arthritis.
Foods to avoid with arthritis include the following.
Salmon Tuna Sardines And Mackerel
These fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which studies have found can decrease inflammation. According to the Arthritis Foundation, eating a 3 to 4 ounce serving of these fish two or more times a week is recommended for protecting the heart and reducing inflammation.
While fresh fish can get pricey quickly, one tip to make it more affordable is by looking in the freezer section or buying canned sardines, salmon or tuna. Be sure to choose lower sodium options when purchasing canned items if you need to keep your sodium in check.
Saturated And Trans Fats
Some studies suggest a possible link between chronic inflammation and saturated fats found in red meats, full-fat dairy foods, butter and poultry skin. Similar suggestions have been made for trans fats, found in hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, some margarine brands, French fries and other fried foods.
Monounsaturated fats, namely olive oil, seem less likely to increase inflammation. So far there are no clinical trials that prove this type of heart-healthy diet is good for arthritis.
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