The right diet can ease and even remedy some of the symptoms of arthritis.
There are two kinds of arthritis.
Osteoarthritis – A degenerative condition that often occurs with age. Osteoarthritis causes stiffness and pain in the affected joints. Being overweight can sometimes worsen symptoms due to the greater load on the joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis – an inflammatory condition involving multiple joints. The joints often swell and cause pain. Sometimes the sufferer (typically adult women) will go through periods of remission.
Nutrition to Relieve Arthritis Symptoms
Unfortunately there is conflicting advice regarding diet for arthritis. Despite some clinical trials taking place, many results are considered to be a placebo affect. However there are some guidelines that may help.
Oily fish – such as cod liver oil supplements, tuna, salmon, and sardines.
Vitamin C – found in many foods such as kiwifruit, peaches, oranges.
Vitamin E – Unsalted nuts
Turmeric and ginger – anti-inflammatory foods (use in curries, soups, or stews).
Some report that a vegetarian or vegan diet has helped.
Conquering Arthritis: What Doctors Don’t Tell You Because They Don’t Know by Barbara D. Allan, has many helpful tips for sufferers based on Barbara’s years of experience working with RA patients in her medical practice.
Some report that vegetables from the solanum (or nightshade) family cause problems – potatoes, capsicums, eggplant, and tomatoes.
Foods high in saturated fat – such as full-fat dairy, fatty meat, baked foods.
Finding What Helps You
The only way to find out if something is aggravating your arthritis is to constantly monitor your diet. Do this by keeping a journal of what you have eaten, and what pain you experience. If you begin to notice any patterns (such as joint pain the day after eating a certain food), you will need to try and isolate the cause.
Take the food out of your diet for a week, and see if you experience the same arthritic symptoms. In order to make any correlation, you will need to do this 3 times.
Allan, Barbara D. Conquering arthritis : what doctors don’t tell you because they don’t know : (9 secrets I learned the hard way. Saint Louis, Mo: Shining Prairie Flower Productions, 2009. Print.
Panush, R. S., Stroud, R. M., & Webster, E. M. (1986). Food‐induced (allergic) arthritis. Inflammatory arthritis exacerbated by milk. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 29(2), 220-226. link
Hafström, I., Ringertz, B., Spångberg, A., Von Zweigbergk, L., Brannemark, S., Nylander, I., … & Klareskog, L. (2001). A vegan diet free of gluten improves the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis: the effects on arthritis correlate with a reduction in antibodies to food antigens. Rheumatology, 40(10), 1175-1179. link
Darlington, L. G., Ramsey, N. W., & Mansfield, J. R. (1986). Placebo-controlled, blind study of dietary manipulation therapy in rheumatoid arthritis. The Lancet, 327(8475), 236-238. link