Friday, December 9, 2022

What’s The Best Diet For Arthritis

The Arthritis Diet And Supplementation Plan

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By Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CN

Arthritis is something that affects a lot of people. In fact, its believed that approximately 350 million people worldwide have arthritis, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 54 million in the U.S. alone suffer from arthritis symptoms.

Rheumatoid arthritis is really autoimmune in nature and actually starts in your gut, which is surprising to a lot of people. So Im going to share with you the top natural arthritis treatments that are effective in terms of diet and supplements. Ill also mention the things you want to stay away from when following the arthritis diet.

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.

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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.

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I Heard I Should Avoid

Nightshade foods: This food group includes tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and capsicum. There is no proof that these foods have any effect on arthritis symptoms.

Acid-producing foods: Arthritis is not caused by eating acidic foods like oranges, lemons or tomatoes. Very few foods are as acidic as our digestive juices. Foods termed acidic are usually very rich in vitamin C, which is beneficial to the immune system. So avoiding these may do more harm than good.

Dairy products: There is no proof that dairy products cause arthritis. Dairy products are a rich source of calcium, which is an important building block for strong bones. Many people with arthritis are at an increased risk of osteoporosis so dairy products may be extra important to maintain bone health.

Meat and meat products: There is mixed evidence about the effects of vegetarian diets on arthritis. These diets tend to increase your intake of vitamins as you eat more vegetables and fruits. Lower levels of fat in this diet may also help you to lose weight. These factors may help with arthritis symptoms. However a strict vegetarian diet may mean you miss out on other important nutrients, such as iron and vitamin B12.

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Arthritis is a debilitating condition that causes pain and disability for one in six people in the UK. It causes pain and stiffness in the joints and muscles, stopping you from doing simple things many take for granted walking, moving, lifting and standing. Many struggle to do even the simplest of tasks, like opening a jam jar or walking downstairs. Arthritis can affect anyone at any time, including young people and children.

Although there are no diets or dietary supplements that will cure arthritis, some people do find that a change in diet can improve symptoms and help to manage pain, and the difficulties of everyday living.

The most important link between your diet and arthritis is your weight. Being overweight puts an extra burden on the joints, especially weight-bearing joints the back, knees, hips, feet and ankles. Having too much body fat may also increase inflammation in the body, making your joints more painful.

A good diet can also help to protect you against some potential side effects of arthritis medication, and a healthy diet may also help to protect against heart disease .

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What Foods Cause Arthritis Flare Ups

Processed foods, salt, red meat, alcohol, and other foods may exacerbate arthritis joint pain and inflammation. Stick to low-calorie whole foods with lots of vitamins and fiber, like leafy greens and beans. Certain foods may make arthritis worse by contributing to joint inflammation or weight gain or both.

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.

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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.

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Herbal supplements such as evening primrose and valerian may help ease aching joints.

Evening primrose is an oil containing high levels of omega-6 fatty acids. It may help to decrease pain and inflammation and reduce morning stiffness.

Valerian is an herbal supplement from the roots of the valerian plant. Valerian may help to reduce pain and ease tense muscles and joints. Valerian can have sedative effects, so people may need to use it cautiously or take it before sleeping.

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Complications Of Wrist Osteoarthritis

Wrist OA can cause various complications, including:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome : Wrist OA can sometimes lead to CTS. This happens when swelling in the wrist joint or tendons squeezes a nerve that leads to the hand. It can result in numbness, weakness, pins and needles, and pain that may worsen at night. A person should talk with a doctor if they experience these symptoms regularly.
  • Structural changes: OA in the joint between the forearm bones may damage the tendons that straighten the fingers. This may decrease the range of movement in the hand and cause deformity in the fingers.
  • Difficulties with daily activities: People with wrist OA may be unable to perform certain activities, such as opening jars and pouring from a heavy kettle. A physical therapist or occupational therapist may be able to suggest ways to make daily tasks easier.

Natural Relief From Arthritis Pain

May is recognized each year as National Arthritis Awareness Month. Arthritis is a painful and degenerative condition marked by swelling in the joints that causes stiffness and pain. It is the number one cause of disability for more than 50 million Americans.

The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis, gets worse with age and is caused by wear and tear over the years. Unfortunately there isnt a cure for arthritis but there are treatment and medication options to ease the pain. Doctors traditionally treat arthritis with anti-inflammatory medications and painkillers. However, some medications cause side effects, and a natural approach to pain relief is also an option.

  • Reduce the stress on your joints by losing weight will improve your mobility, decrease pain, and prevent future damage to your joints.
  • Get more exercise. Regular movement helps to maintain flexibility in your joints.
  • Try Acupuncture. It is thought that acupuncture has the ability to reduce arthritis pain. If you want to try this treatment method, be sure to find an experienced acupuncturist with good references.
  • Add turmeric spice to your dishes. Turmeric, the yellow spice common in Indian dishes, contains a chemical called curcumin that may be able to reduce arthritis pain. The secret is its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Try herbal supplements. Some of the herbs touted for arthritis pain include boswellia, bromelain, devils claw, ginkgo, stinging nettle, and thunder god vine.
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    Eat Right To Maintain Healthy Joints

    What you eat can help keep your joints and the bones that support them strong.

    Eating an anti-inflammatory diet will help your joints, says sports nutritionist Nancy Clark, author of Nancy Clarkâs Sports Nutrition Guidebook.

    âWe want to go toward more natural, closer to the earth, and less-processed foods, while avoiding fried and processed foods, trans fats, and charred meat,â which increase inflammation, Clark says.

    Of course, no single food is a cure-all for supporting joint health. Exercising, eating a well-balanced diet, and generally taking care of yourself are all keys in keeping your joints moving freely. Here are seven foods to include in your diet.

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    Best Diet for Rheumatoid 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.

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    A Guide To Healthy Eating

    The best diet for arthritis is a healthy, balanced diet. This can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of other health problems. Talk to your doctor or see the Australian Dietary Guidelines to learn about the amount and kinds of foods that we need to eat for health and wellbeing. You may also find it helpful to see a dietitian for advice that is tailored to your individual needs.

    CONTACT YOUR LOCAL ARTHRITIS OFFICE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND SUPPORT SERVICES.To find a dietitian, talk to your doctor, contact the Dietitians Association of Australia on 1800 812 942 or use the find a dietitian service at www.daa.asn.au

    Reducing Inflammation And Preventing Damage

    A balanced, nutritious diet will give the body the tools it needs to prevent further damage to the joints, which is essential for people with osteoarthritis.

    Some foods are known to reduce inflammation in the body, and following an anti-inflammatory diet can improve symptoms. Eating enough antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, and E, may help to prevent further damage to the joints.

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    Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Symptoms of RA may come and go, and include:

    • Joint pain, tenderness, swelling, and stiffness
    • Morning stiffness
    • Eyes that are dry, painful, and sensitive to light
    • Small lumps under the skin
    • Shortness of breath brought on by inflammation in the lungs

    Other days are fine. When I feel good, I do yoga, run, and go about life like I dont know what rheumatoid arthritis is, says Katie.

    Choosing The Right Fats

    Foods that fight inflammation (eat these!) ð?

    Research suggests that eating foods with healthy fats rather than foods with unhealthy fats may help reduce the symptoms of arthritis. While these effects are modest compared to medicines, healthier fats do not have any serious side effects. They also have other health benefits, such as reduced risk of heart disease.

    Healthier dietary fat

    • Monounsaturated fat: Researchers have found a link between these types of fats and reduced disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis. Foods that are high in monounsaturated fats include vegetable oils , avocados and many nuts and seeds.
    • Omega-3 fats: Studies show that eating foods rich in omega-3 fats can help reduce inflammation, particularly in rheumatoid arthritis. Foods rich in omega-3 fats include:
    • fish: oily fish, such as sardines and salmon, have greater amounts of omega-3 fats
    • fish oil supplements: see Fish oils for more information
    • ground linseeds and linseed oil

    Harmful dietary fat

    • Saturated fat: This is a type of fat that comes mainly from red meat, poultry and full-fat dairy products. Saturated fat raises total blood cholesterol levels, particularly unhealthy LDL-cholesterol. This type of cholesterol has been linked with increased cartilage damage in people with osteoarthritis. These fats can also increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.

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    You Dont Have To Turn To Medication For Arthritis Pain Relief

    It is fairly common for people who suffer with arthritis pain to resort to expensive surgery, steroid injections, and prescription medications to cope with their pain. Sometimes, these treatments can actually benefit patients with severe arthritis. More often than not, the better route to go involves physical therapy and natural treatments.

    Arthritis does not discriminate either, and although it tends to be found often in elderly patients, it can affect anyone at any age. According to a study on JAMA, arthritis occurs in about 5 per 1000 people and can lead to severe joint damage and disability. Arthritis is also one of the top causes for disability in America. If left untreated by a professional, patients suffering with arthritis can experience extremely painful symptoms for long periods of time.

    If you want to learn more about how physical therapy can benefit you and decrease your arthritis pain, give a call to Elliot Physical Therapy today.

    Ginger: Spice Up Your Dishes To Turn Down The Flame

    Like onions, ginger contains compounds that function in much the same way as anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen. This versatile root adds flavor too. Add fresh peeled ginger to stir-fries, eat pickled ginger along with salmon sushi, or puree some and add it to an acorn squash soup.

    Ginger supplements can also help reduce inflammation, but check with your doctor before taking them, Sandon says. Too much ginger can lead to thinning of the blood, which can be dangerous if you are taking certain drugs, like Coumadin . It can also decrease blood sugar levels, raising the risk of hypoglycemia. In addition, ginger may lower blood pressure, which could affect those taking high blood pressure medication.

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    Natural Remedies For Arthritis

  • Stinging Nettle. This common herb has been used to relieve arthritis since the ancient Egyptians. The plant has tiny stingers which cause a burning sensation. Some brave folks literally self-inject the stingers into the inflamed area and swear by its effectiveness. However, most suffers will drink as a tea, steaming several ounces of the fresh leaves in how water. You can grow stinging nettle in the garden or purchase in health food stores as dried leaves or in ointment form for arthritis. Read more about using stinging nettle for health.

  • Capsaicinthe hot chemical in red chili pepperscan relieve the pain of arthritis. Capsaicin temporarily interferes with perception of pain in the body by reducing substance P, a pain transmitter. You can make a tea by mixing red pepper into water, or simply cook red pepper in your meals or add a splash of hot-pepper sauce in tomato juice. It is also available as a topical cream, gel, or patch at drugstores. When first applied, topical capsaicin causes a burning sensation. This sensation lessens within a few minutes, and also over time with repeated applications.
  • Doses of ginger and turmeric also also been shown to provide relief from pain and swelling, thanks to anti-inflammatory effects. Recent studies have shown some support for curcumin as a treatment for osteoarthritis.
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