Arthritis and Food

May is Arthritis Awareness Month. But, for people suffering from arthritis, every month is arthritis month. The pain can be excruciating and debilitating and it can completely run person”s life. Arthritis is not a simple disease. It actually includes more than 100 disorders that cause inflammation of the joints, for a number of reasons.

What causes arthritis?

Joints are complex structures and they can get inflamed when one of more of their vital parts is damaged. Cartilage, which keeps two bones in the joint from rubbing each other, can get worn out. Synovial fluid, the liquid that fills the space between two bones, which provides nutrients to both bone and cartilage, sometimes leaks out. Various autoimmune diseases as well as infections can also cause joint inflammation. Different problems require different treatments, so your doctor needs to find out what is causing your arthritis before deciding on the therapy. But, we can do a number of lifestyle changes to help our joint pain regardless of the cause. Particular dietary changes can bring relief from pain, and sometimes even a total cure.

Food and joint pain

There are strong indications that obesity can make some types of arthritis much worse, particularly gout. With all other types of arthritis, carrying excess weight causes increased pressure on joints and increases pain. Whether the obesity affects arthritis in other, metabolic way, has still to be determined. Losing at least ten percent of weight is the first order of business for obese people in coping with their arthritis.

Some foods have always been known as ” Ëœpoison” ™ for people suffering from arthritis, as they induce inflammation. Vegetables from the night shade family are best known.  Eggplants, tomatoes and potatoes contain alkaloids that affect calcium metabolism, causing pain and inflammation in joints. Foods rich in saturated fats, milk and milk products and all kinds of meat are also commonly fount to trigger painful arthritis attacks.

Interestingly, not the same foods are causing arthritis pain in all people. People have different triggers, some particular foods or food ingredients affect them worse than others. The trick is finding out which. Scientists  suggest that fasting and elimination diet might help with finding out individual particular trigger.   Interestingly, rural people in developing countries who subside mostly on vegetables almost never suffer from arthritis. Vegetarian diet has been extensively researched as potential relief for the arthritis patients.

The most common arthritis triggers are:

·             Meats
·             Dairy products
·             Corn
·             Oat, wheat, rye
·             Tomatoes
·             Eggs
·             Citrus
·             Potatoes
·             Coffee

Some foods have been found to relieve painful inflammation in joints. The results of various studies suggest that drinking large quantities of green tea may be very beneficial. Fatty fish, nuts and whole grain cereals rich in omega-3 fatty acids are also found to provide relief from inflammation which causes joint pain. Tart cherries, pomegranates, ginger and many other spices and vegetables are also fond to be beneficial for relieving inflammation and joint pain.

Elimination diet

Since arthritis has different triggers for different people, it is vital to find out what is your particular food enemy. One way to determine that is with elimination diet. Start with diet completely free of all well known trigger listed above. Try eating very simple meals for   3 to 4 weeks, based on brown rice, little salt, green vegetables, cooked or fresh fruit like cherries, pears and cranberries. Drink only water. If your arthritis pain is gone, it means that something in your diet was causing it. Start adding one potential culprit at the time, until you find what is causing pain in your joints. It can be a long process, but if it frees you from arthritis, it is well worth it.


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