There isn’t a miracle diet that can cure arthritis, but studies have shown that you may find some relief by avoiding or including certain supplements or food. Arthritis is a general term that describes a variety of conditions that can include pain, inflammation, and stiffness of the joints. Although there is no miracle diet for arthritis, everyone will be able to benefit from eating a well-balanced arthritis diet.
Arthritis is a disease that is caused by trauma to the joints, through normal wear and tear, or by genetics. It causes your joints to be chronically inflamed and symptoms often include stiffness and a reduction in motion.
Your joints are cushioned by cartilage. This is what absorbs shock and prevents your bones from rubbing against one another. When you are affected by arthritis, the cartilage slowly breaks down.
Your body will try to make up for the lost cartilage by producing a fluid where your cartilage once was. This fluid acts as a cushion or water-bed. However, it actually causes swelling which stretches out the capsules in your joints, causing pain.
As the disease progresses, the cartilage reduces even more causing more and more pain. The pain may either be sharp or dull and can occur during all hours of the day. People often find that the pain is more noticeable after long periods of using their joints, such as grasping or repetitive motion. The pain may be noticeable right away or can even occur the following day.
Those with arthritis may notice that they are unable to enjoy the activities that they once did and their quality life is decreasing. This is a major reason why people are looking to see if there are any special diets that can reduce the pain and restricted joint movement associated with arthritis.
Before you change your diet, it is important to consult with your doctor or a dietitian. Restricting yourself from certain foods can cause malnutrition.
Those who are experiencing inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may see some improvement by eating foods high in omega-3s. Good examples of this include oily fish, such as salmon or sardines, canola oil, walnuts, fortified omega-3 products, or even supplements.
Some general recommendations for arthritis diet include:
– Avoid fad diets or fasting
– Eat a well balanced meal
– Increase calcium intake to reduce risk of osteoporosis
– Drink plenty of fluids
Dietary recommendations for gout
– Restrict or avoid alcohol and binge drinking
– Avoid fasting or fad diets
– Restrict offal meats (kidney and liver)
– Avoid shellfish (scallops, oysters, clams, prawns)
– Avoid certain seafood (herrings, anchovies, mackerel, sardines)
– Restrict foods containing yeast (Vegemite, beer)
– Drink lots of fluids
Obesity and arthritis are correlated. If you are overweight, the extra weight is tough on your joints and could be making your arthritis symptoms even worse. This is especially true for arthritis in the knees, hips, or spine. You may find it helpful to lose weight when you are active and eating a healthy balanced diet. However, this can be difficult for people with arthritis and are in pain with stiff joints. For professional advice, it is best to see your family doctor or dietitian.
If you are unsure of what foods are making your arthritis worse, it may be helpful to keep a journal of all the foods you eat and the symptoms you get. After a month or two, you may have an idea of which foods are making your symptoms worse. Be sure that you are not cutting out entire food groups out of your arthritis diet.
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