Best Fish For Arthritis
Adding more marine life to your meals could help calm inflammation
Arthritis is for the most part a disease of inflammation. When your joints swell, turn red and feel warm to the touch, what youre witnessing and feeling are inflammatory processes in motion.
One way to calm inflammation is with medicine your doctor prescribes. Another way is to add a few key anti-inflammatory foods to your diet. Among the most potent edible inflammation fighters are essential fatty acids called omega-3s particularly the kinds of fatty acids found in fish.
Omega-3s and Inflammation
Eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid are called marine fatty acids because they come from fish. What makes these omega-3 sources worthwhile menu additions for people with arthritis is their ability to inhibit inflammation. Omega-3s interfere with immune cells called leukocytes and enzymes known as cytokines, which are both key players in the bodys inflammatory response.
The marine omega-3 fatty acids nip inflammation in the bud before it ignites. They really help to tamp down inflammation in the body on a cellular level, says Kim Larson, a Seattle-based nutritionist and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson.
Research finds that people who regularly eat fish high in omega-3s are less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis . And in those who already have the disease, marine omega-3s may help reduce joint swelling and pain.
Which Fish are Best?
Farm-Raised, or Wild-Caught?
What Are The Risks Of Taking Chondroitin
- Side effects. Chondroitin seems to be safe for most people. Side effects are rare. Some people have reported headaches, mood changes, rash, hives, diarrhea, and other symptoms. If you have any side effects, stop taking the supplement and see a doctor.
- Risks. People who have asthma, or prostate cancer should not take chondroitin supplements without talking to a doctor first. There have been some instances of hypersensitivity in people with shellfish allergies. Since chondroitin might work as a blood thinner, there is a theoretical risk of bleeding, especially in people with bleeding disorders. Some initial reports that chondroitin may affect blood sugar levels in people with diabetes have not been shown to be true in larger, more recent research studies. Also, because chondroitin is derived from animal sources, there are some concerns about contamination. Make sure that the product being used comes from reputable companies and manufacturers.
- Interactions. If you take any medications regularly, talk to your doctor before you start using chondroitin supplements. They could interact with drugs like blood thinners and NSAID painkillers or supplements like ginkgo biloba, garlic, and saw palmetto.
Why Do People Take Chondroitin
The evidence that chondroitin helps with osteoarthritis is mixed. A number of studies seemed to show that it is effective. Researchers found that chondroitin appeared to reduce pain, increase joint mobility, and decrease the need for painkillers.
However, several more recent studies have been less promising. Several found that chondroitin supplements had only a small benefit, if any. If you’re interested in using chondroitin for arthritis pain, talk to your doctor about the latest evidence.
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Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D
Your doctor can order blood tests to determine whether youre getting enough vitamin D, but here are a few more telltale signs of a deficiency:
- Chronic pain or aches that last for weeks, similar to symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis
- Melancholy or depressed mood
- Osteoporosis and brittle bones
- Fatigue and weakness that doesnt seem normal
- Excessive sweating, especially on your forehead
Maintaining an adequate vitamin D level is essential in the management of rheumatoid arthritis, says Elizabeth Ortiz, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and a rheumatologist at Keck Medicine of USC. It has been shown to help with pain control and may even be beneficial in controlling inflammation and disease activity.
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.
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Rehmannia Or Chinese Foxglove
What does it do?Chinese foxglove is an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine. Its used to treat conditions including asthma and RA.
Chinese foxglove is rich in amino acids and vitamins A, B, and C. Its anti-inflammatory properties may also be effective in reducing joint pain and swelling.
Does it work? There arent any major studies to support whether it works. Because its often added to other herbs, researchers have difficulty pinpointing Chinese foxglove as effective.
Dosage: There have been very few human studies showing Chinese foxglove is a safe and effective treatment. You should talk to your doctor before trying this herb.
The following remedies arent directly meant for RA symptoms. But they may still benefit your health.
Healthy Weight And Arthritis
If youre overweight or obese, the extra load on your joints may be making your arthritis symptoms worse, especially if the affected joints include your hips, knees, feet or spine. Theres also a clear link between being overweight and an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis.
To lose excess weight you need to be active, but this can be challenging for people with arthritis due to pain or stiffness. See your doctor, dietitian or health professional for information and advice.
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Common Ingredients In Arthritis Pain Supplements
The default ingredient list of many arthritis pain supplements includes glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM. However, manufacturers are not restricted to these ingredients. Here is a list of potential ingredients which should be clearly displayed on product packaging.
GlucosamineGlucosamine is a natural substance produced by the human body. It is usually found in joint fluids, bone marrow, and shellfish. It helps with the repair of cartilage damaged by inflammation. It can raise blood sugar levels in diabetics but is generally considered safe. There is no established therapeutic dose.
ChondroitinChondroitin is similar on a molecular level to glucosamine and is also found naturally in human joint tissue. Several reputable studies link the use of chondroitin with significant relief from osteoarthritis pain. It has some blood-thinning properties, so users taking blood-thinning medications or certain cancer drugs should caution.
MSMMSM is naturally found in green plants, but it is also produced in the human body. It is often touted as a miracle supplement that can help with a wide variety of medical conditions. The primary function of MSM in arthritis pain supplements is to deliver beneficial sulfur to damaged tissues.
TurmericTurmeric is a spice with a number of claimed health benefits. It is commonly found in prepared mustards and Indian food. As a supplement, turmeric is considered to have anti-inflammatory properties.
A Healthy Dose Of Vitamin D
Everyone needs vitamin D. It helps your body absorb calcium. It also helps your bones grow properly and stay strong.
Getting enough vitamin D may be especially important for people with RA. Thats because some RA medications can raise your risk of vitamin D deficiencies. This can lead to complications.
A Variety Of Healthful Pantry Staples Fit Within An Arthritis
Verywell / Nusha Ashjaee
If you are what you eat, then it goes without saying that diet can affect your healthfor worse or for better. For decades, researchers have looked at diet in relation to health and well being. In particular, they have studied whether foods can impact arthritis treatment. Scientists have thought that dietary factors might trigger certain types of arthritis. Because of this, changing the foods you eat could have a strong impact on arthritis symptom relief.
A diet rich in plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and beans, as well as fish, is not only great for overall health but can also help manage arthritis symptoms. Things as simple as cherries and almonds or tuna and broccoli can be helpful.
Foods can have powerful impacts on health. Potential benefits of healthful eating include anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic effects, strengthening bones, and boosting the immune system.
Best Grains For Arthritis
Making smarter choices in the bread and pasta aisles might reduce inflammation.
Choosing which type of pasta to cook for dinner or what bread or cereal to have with breakfast doesnt seem like a big decision, until you consider the effect certain grains can have on your body. Eating the wrong types can aggravate inflammation, potentially making your joints hurt more than they already do.
When contemplating your options in the bread, cereal and pasta aisles, youll want to avoid refined grains. Not only are these highly processed grains limited in nutrition, but they can also worsen inflammation throughout the body.
Grains are made up of three parts: The bran is the outer skin of the grain kernel, the germ is the innermost part that grows into a new plant, and the endosperm is the center part that provides food for the plant. Whole grains contain all three parts. Refined grains have removed the bran and germ, where most of the vitamins, minerals and protein are centered.
Examples of food made with refined grains are white bread, white rice, cookies and cakes. Because of their simple structure, these carbs break down in the body rapidly. The body turns them into sugar more quickly and sugar is highly inflammatory, says Barbara Olendzki, nutrition program director of the Center for Applied Nutrition at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester.
Should You Avoid All Grains?
Better Grain Choices
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Vitamins And Other Supplements For Joint Pain
A healthy diet can do wonders for many aspects of your well-being. Complementing your diet with supplements including vitamins can prevent colds and build strong bones. But many supplements can also help alleviate your joint pain.
Before you start taking any supplement, speak with your doctor to ensure that you are taking the right dosage and it doesnt interfere with any over-the-counter or prescription medication you currently use. Plus, too much of a good thing may be toxic to your system. Like with any medication, take supplements only as prescribed or directed.
Here are some key supplements you may want to consider adding to your health regimen to relieve joint pain.
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.
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Folic Acid And Bromelain
Other supplements may also help relieve joint pain and reduce your risk of complications from RA treatments.
If methotrexate is part of your RA treatment, you may need to take a folic acid supplement. Another name for folic acid is vitamin B9. MTX affects your bodys ability to absorb it. If you dont get enough vitamin B9, you may develop anemia or other health problems.
Your doctor may also encourage you to take bromelain. This compound is made from a group of enzymes derived from pineapple. According to the Arthritis Foundation, some evidence suggests it might have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
Using Vitamins To Your Advantage
There isnt a specific diet for osteoarthritis, but certain compounds seem to target the joints more than others. Recent research has returned some welcome results on how a few common protective vitamins can directly impact your skeleton, with benefits ranging from fewer bone marrow lesions to a stronger bone and joint network.
These findings are good news for OA patients who want some more control over their disease management. But while a dietary shift may be an easy and safe route to better bone health, its not a cure-all and in some cases, increasing your vitamins can work against you.
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Best Fruits For Arthritis
Pick these fruits for a bowlful of anti-inflammatory benefits.
Fruits are naturally sweet and many offer a substantial dose of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Some have components that may help lower the inflammation that often affects people with arthritis and is linked to other serious conditions, such as heart disease and stroke.
The vast variety of fruits means you have lots of great options for a healthful boost. Many berries, for example, are loaded with antioxidants, such ascorbic acid and anthocyanins and carotenoids, which give soft berries their deep colors. These compounds help rid the body of free radicals that promote inflammation and they help prevent heart disease and certain cancers.
Whatever your favorite fruit, try to choose seasonal, locally grown produce, says Mitzi Dulan, a Kansas City-based dietician and team sports nutritionist for the Kansas City Royals. Although frozen fruits retain some of their nutrients, buy fresh for the best taste and highest concentration of beneficial compounds.
Studies, which often use the concentrated juice of Montmorency cherries, have found tart cherries may relieve joint pain in people with osteoarthritis and lower the risk of flares in those with gout. In addition, Dulan notes, recent studies suggest tart cherries may improve the quality and duration of sleep.
- How Cherries Help Fight Arthritis
- Research Shows Apples Can Cut Cholesterol and Inflammation
Arthritis Pain Supplement Prices
Blends containing glucosamine, chondroitin, and/or MSM are among the pricier supplements on store shelves. There are several reasons for this, including high consumer demand and a challenging manufacturing process. However, prices vary between well-known and lesser-known brands. Beware of imported products sold in bulk a deep discounts. Heres a general idea of what to expect.
Under $15: At this price range, many supplements contain minimal amounts of glucosamine, chondroitin, or MSM. The rest of the ingredients are generally a blend of natural and artificial vitamins, fatty acids, and gelatin. Effectiveness varies, and the product may only be available in pill or capsule form.
Between $15 and $25: This price range includes many of the commercial brands sold in the dietary supplement aisle. The ingredient list typically touts a blend of glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM, along with other anti-inflammatory ingredients such as turmeric, shark fin cartilage, and hyaluronic acid. The supplements may be in pill, capsule, or powder form.Over $25: High-end arthritis pain supplements are generally sold online and in specialized health food stores. Most include therapeutic levels of glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM, along with an array of vitamins and minerals. Calcium, vitamin D3, and hyaluronic acid are common ingredients. This is also the price range where flavorless powders are sold in bulk.
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Supplements And Vitamins For Arthritis
There are a large number of vitamins, minerals, and herbs that are thought to help people manage their arthritis symptoms, but some of them are not supported by science. Here, we take a closer look at supplements and vitamins thought to aid people with arthritis and whether there is research to support those claims.
Why People With Ra Need Vitamin D
According to researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, people who take oral steroids have a heightened risk of vitamin D deficiency. If you take corticosteroids for RA, youre twice as likely to be short on this crucial vitamin than the average person.
If you dont get enough vitamin D, your bones can become soft and brittle. This can raise your risk of bone fractures, deformities, and other problems.
For people with RA, vitamin D can have additional benefits: RA is an autoimmune disorder, and vitamin D plays a role in the immune system. People with RA also have high levels of inflammation, and vitamin D helps mediate this condition.
If you have RA, get your vitamin D levels checked regularly, and take steps to correct any nutritional deficiencies.
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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.