There have been many studies on how certain foods and drinks can affect the symptoms of arthritis. Although there is some conflicting advice nearly everyone agrees that a healthy diet can only improve the lives of someone who is suffering from arthritis.
Someone suffering from gout should be looking to reduce the uric acid in their body by eating a diet low in purines so therefore eating fresh vegetables will be better than red meat. Some of the foods people eat daily however might not be as good for arthritis sufferers as they think.
How many types of arthritis are there?
Arthritis is a way of explaining pain, swelling and other problems with joints rather than one particular disease. Arthritis can come in various forms and refers to over a 100 different conditions.
Refers to a condition where the immune system is not working properly and instead attacks the joints and inflames them. This can cause joint erosion over time. Inflammation can cause damage to other parts of the body too including internal organs and the eyes. Gout, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis are types of inflammatory arthritis.
When we eat food that is high in purines it forms uric acid in our body as these purines are broken down. Some people produce more uric acid than they need and this acid can cause crystals in the joints. These crystals can result in severe pain and swelling often in the big toe. The pain from gout can be episodic or continuous and untreated can cause chronic pain and disability.
Can be triggered by a bacterium or a virus entering the joint. This can be caused from food poisoning, STD or other infections. Often this can be cleared with antibiotics.
The most common type of arthritis is possibly osteoarthritis and this is caused by wear and tear. Over time the cartilage wears away and this causes pain, swelling and stiffness when bones rub together.
A good clinic such as The Spine & Rehab Group can help you with your condition and manage pain. If you have any symptoms then you should consult a specialist as soon as you can.
Does diet affect arthritis?
Almost certainly eating badly can make the symptoms of some types of arthritis worse. Being overweight puts pressure and stress on joints and would worsen the symptoms of gout and may lead to joint replacement in someone with osteoarthritis.
Saturated fats can cause inflammation and thus lead to pain and swelling in the joints. Eggs are low in purines so may be a good source of protein for someone with gout but would be bad for a rheumatoid arthritis sufferer because of the saturated fat levels.
Can you still eat bananas and other fruits if you have arthritis?
Fresh vegetables and fresh fruit should generally be a part of anyone’s diet but with arthritis there are specific reasons to avoid certain foods and eat others.
Bananas in particular are great for people suffering from arthritic conditions. They contain very high anti-inflammatory properties which can help sufferers of gout, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. It is well known that bananas contain high levels of potassium. Many people swear by them as a hangover cure but for arthritis patients the mineral can help with everyday life.
Bananas have the highest amount of potassium in any natural food source and the mineral has anti-calcification properties. They can help reduce bone loss and reduce sodium retention in the body. They are full of vitamins too such as folic acid, vitamin B6 and C and other vitamins with antioxidant properties. Inflammation can cause a loss of essential vitamins so this fruit is ideal for replacing them.
Another property that bananas have is that they can help promote a good night’s sleep. They contain tryptophan which the body converts into serotonin. Rest is very important for anyone with arthritis so a banana before bedtime could help.
Is a plant based diet the way to go?
Some people advocate a plant based diet for fighting arthritic symptoms. Of course eating vegetables and fruit should be part of a healthy balance diet but are there any other reasons why this diet would help?
There have been some studies and research that may show a plant based diet can reduce joint pain, stiffness and swelling. This may be however due to a plant based diet being naturally lower in fat especially saturated fat that can cause inflammation. Fibre found in vegetables and fruit may help improve the health of your gut which in turn can help reduce inflammation especially in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
What sort of diet should you have?
There is a difference of opinion on whether a vegan or plant based diet will significantly help with arthritis conditions however there are some things that should be eaten in moderation or avoided completely. The worst foods for arthritis include pizzas, sausages, sodas, candy, french fries and milk in some cases.
This is because these foods contain one or more of the following, sugar, saturated fat, omega-6 fatty acids, processed meat or refined grains. Pizza is maybe the worst offender with refined grains in the crust, saturated fat in the cheese, sugar in the sauce and possibly processed meat if you add pepperoni on top.
Fried foods and saturated fat cause inflammation. Processed meat contains AGEs (advanced glycation end products) along with sodium which causes inflammation and makes symptoms worse. Swap foods you enjoy for lower fat, lower sugar and lower sodium versions to help alleviate symptoms.
A diet with foods like bananas will help you to retain a healthy weight and keep the strain and stress off of your joints lessening pain and swelling. Ask your physician to recommend a diet sheet to help you manage your condition. A good clinic can help you to manage your condition. Back pain and other arthritic symptoms can be improved with modern techniques without resorting to surgery. Physical therapy and medication with a good diet can result in a healthy active life.