Nutrition & Arthritis: An Introduction

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One of the most common questions people with arthritis ask is, can the foods I eat affect my arthritis? We know for sure than excessive weight gain will affect your arthritis, and many researchers have looked at the role diet may play in the treatment of arthritis. There are over 100 different types of arthritis, and there is no magic diet to cure them all. You must recognize that no diet can cure arthritis, a healthy balanced diet is best. Simply, it will make you feel better. However, there is increasing research that different types of food may help manage some of your symptoms.

We will be exploring nutrition and arthritis in depth in several posts, as it is something you can change yourself, a way to help you manage your pain independently. This article is just an introduction, look out for more posts or check out our nutrition category to discover more about how nutrition can influence your arthritis.

Firstly it is important to recognize, that a general healthy diet will have benefits for all persons with arthritis. This should be the first change you make, from there you can delve further into the possibilities of certain types of foods and supplements. A healthy well balanced diet includes plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grain products, sugar salt and fat in moderation. Make sure you are getting the recommended daily amounts of vitamins and minerals. A good diet will promote your overall health and will ensure that you control your weight. Which is one of the biggest factors in pain management.

Special Diets?

There are so many claims out there that certain diets, foods or supplements can cause or cure arthritis. These will obvious get quite a lot of publicity, as they indicate a way to cure your pain. Most of these claims haven’t been scientifically tested.

In this introduction post we will just skim the surface of all the frauds out there. So if you hear claims of cures for arthritis through nutrition, keep these things in mind. (table from arthritis.org)

Questions About Diet Claims When you hear diet claims in the treatment of arthritis, ask the following questions:

  • Does the diet eliminate any complete group of foods from the Food Guide Pyramid?
  • Does the diet stress only a few foods or eliminate others?
  • Does following the diet have any potentially harmful effects?
  • Does the diet have only personal testimonies, rather than scientific evidence, to support it?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, it is probably an unproven diet.

If you do hear about a certain diet or supplement that claims to cure arthritis, check with your doctor before you make any major changes. If certain foods are giving you trouble, you might simply have a food intolerance. Before cutting that out completely, go to your doctor and get that checked out. We do stress, any information that we give you on nutrition here, is only in addition to the healthy, well balanced diet that you should be undertaking in your quest for pain management.