How Diet Affects Arthritis

Arthritis sufferers can help reduce their pain by changing their diets. There is no solid proof that any particular food helps or hurts. Sufferers are advised to have a healthy diet, keep their weight down, avoid eating excessive amounts of carbohydrates, keep a low-fat diet, and avoid soda and acidic foods. Most physicians recommend the oral intake of glucosamine, which is a natural substance found in almost all tissues in the body and involved in the biosynthesis of glycosaminoglycans, the main ingredient of the fluid that fills the space between joints and cartilage. Glucosamine is not found in food sources; rather the body produces it naturally. If for some reason the body does not produce enough of it, the deficiency can lead to the development of arthritis.

There are several foods and dietary supplements that may be useful for treating arthritis. Antioxidants, including vitamins C and E have been known to provide relief. Research has suggested that drinking a glass of orange juice daily may lower the risk of developing some inflammatory forms of arthritis, as carotenoids including beta-cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin have been found to have a protective effect. Beta-cryptoxanthin is an active form of Vitamin A. Vitamin A is recognized as being important for skin and bone health, as well as immune function. Some fruits and vegetables that are rich in this vitamin are yellow apples, apricots, cantaloupes, grapefruit, lemons, mangos, oranges, peaches, pineapples, carrots, sweet corn, and sweet potatoes.

Some doctors and sufferers believe that particular foods act as allergens and trigger arthritis flares. Suspected foods include caffeine, dairy products, nightshade vegetables (for example, tomatoes and peppers), sugar, additives and preservatives, chocolate, red meats, and salt. Doctors also recommend weight loss for some sufferers since it can help serve in the relief of the pressure on the joints. A healthy diet, as everyone knows, is essential in weight loss.

Other helpful dietary supplements include ginger, which has been known to moderately alleviate knee symptoms, and Omega-3 fatty acids in the form of fish oil. Vitamins B9 and B12 have been found to significantly reduce hand pain by presumably reducing systemic inflammation, but only when taken in large doses. Patients with arthritis may have a vitamin D deficiency, so supplementation with vitamin D3 is recommended for pain relief. Often times a person's diet depends on the type of arthritis they suffer from. Those suffering from osteoarthritis are told to increase their saturated fat intake while those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are urged to maintain a diet high in protein and calcium but avoid too much weight gain. However, there is no one effective dietary plan to totally alleviate arthritis pain.

More Articles

Childhood Joint Pain: An Introduction To Juvenile Arthritis

... Juvenile arthritis, also known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis, is the most common form of arthritis in children. Juvenile arthritis can occur in both boys and girls at any age, but symptoms most commonly begin during the toddler or early teen years. The cause of juvenile arthritis is still unknown, ...

Read Full Article  

Sweet Dreams: How To Deal With Arthritic Insomnia

... be diagnosed with short-term insomnia, intermittent insomnia, or chronic insomnia. People who suffer from arthritis also commonly find they suffer from chronic insomnia, or insomnia that simply does not disappear and occurs for a long period of time. There are many reasons chronic insomnia is prevalent ...

Read Full Article  

So Many Medications, So Little Time

... inhibitors, which are more gentle on the stomach; traditional NSAIDs, which are available in low dosage over-the-counter forms; and salicylates, which include aspirin and are potentially dangerous if used in large dosages. The second type of arthritis medication is known as analgesics. Unlike NSAIDS, ...

Read Full Article  

Healthy Living: Common Arthritic Mistakes

... you could hurt your chances of a pain-free future. Taking the wrong dosages is a common mistake as well. Ask your pharmacist to cut your pills if needed and get help from a relative with filling a pillbox every week. Certain drugs interact with the body and with one another in ways that could be deadly ...

Read Full Article  

Psoriatic Arthritis: Millions Searching For A Cure

... begin is between 20 and 50 years of age. This condition is tricky to treat because patients are essentially dealing with two fused diseases-one of the skin and one of the joints. Because of this, it is important to talk with your doctor or other medical professionals about the drugs you are taking for ...

Read Full Article