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Diet and arthritis. What food to eat? Posted by Dr. Badsha

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THE FOOD CONNECTION

 

Generally it is thought that arthritis is not caused by any one type of food. Certain individuals can be sensitive to one particular type of food. If you think that dairy products, orange juice, or one particular food consistently increases your symptoms you may try to eliminate it from your diet. Beware however, of trying to eliminate too many foods from your diet. You may then be unable to get nutrition from a healthy, balanced diet. Beware of fad diets which claim to cure arthritis. Diet is extremely valuable to patients with gout but even in these people additional treatment with medications may be needed.

 

Diets

  • Eliminate nightshades. One of the most common diet claims is that eliminating nightshades, which include potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, and most peppers, relieves arthritis. This diet probably isn’t harmful, but there are no studies to support it.
  • Alkaline diet. The alkaline diet presumes both OA and RA are caused by too much acid. Among the foods it excludes are sugar, coffee, red meat, most grains, nuts, and citrus fruits. It’s meant to be followed for just one month. It may be that people feel better because they lose weight, reducing stress on joints, which eases pain. This diet eliminates most vitamin C sources. There are no studies to support it.
  • Dong diet. This restrictive diet relies heavily on vegetables, except tomatoes, and eliminates many of the same foods as the alkaline diet. There’s no evidence it affects arthritis..
  • Vegetarian diet. Some people report improvement in symptoms, but evidence is mixed. One small study of people with RA showed improvement in four weeks, and follow-up studies of those who stayed on the diet showed continued improvement after one and two years. However, other studies have not shown benefits. Eliminating red meat could help your general health but not proven to help arthritis
  • Switching fats. One of the known correlations between food and arthritis is that omega-6 fatty acids increase inflammation, and omega-3 fatty acids reduce it. Limit intake of meat and poultry, and increase your intake of cold-water fish, such as sardines, mackerel, trout, and salmon. For salad dressings and cooking, substitute olive, canola, and flaxseed oils for corn, safflower, and sunflower oils.
  • Gin-soaked raisins. Lots of people claim it works, but experts say there’s no evidence. Grapes and raisins do contain anti-inflammatory compounds, but not in amounts that would be therapeutic. The gin might dull pain, but drinking to excess sabotages health benefits of nutrients and vitamins, and introduces a whole new set of problems.
  • Green tea. Drinking three to four cups of green tea a day could help people with RA. Studies funded by the Arthritis Foundation showed that giving the polyphenolic compounds in green tea to mice significantly decreased the incidence and severity of RA. Human studies have not yet confirmed the results.
  • Fasting. Fasting produces improvement in arthritis patients but these benefits end and symptoms return when the fast ends.

Be aware that many supplements interfere with or enhance effects of medications you’re already taking. For example, a number of supplements increase the effects of blood-thinning medication.

 

 

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This web site is run by an Arthritis Specialist based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. On this site you will find news about the latest in arthritis, information about research results in the field, tips and information and diet and exercise, and much more.

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