Rheumatoid arthritis diet

There is some evidence that a connection exists between diet and rheumatoid arthritis. However, no dietary therapy is widely accepted. Some experts believe that diets high in refined foods and food intolerances and allergies may lead to the development of the disease. Many sufferers find that eating meat and dairy products worsens symptoms while some people have benefited from avoiding foods of the nightshade family which contain a substance called solanine.
Rheumatoid arthritis diet These include potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and tobacco. Avoiding caffeine, alcohol and food additives may also be helpful. Vegetable juices containing carrot, celery, beetroot and cucumber may also be beneficial in some patients.

Certain foods, such as oily fish, which contain anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce the pain of tender joints and morning stiffness of rheumatoid arthritis. In a 1996 population-based case-control study, researchers compared 324 women with rheumatoid arthritis cases and 1245 women without the disease. They used a food frequency questionnaire to ascertain diet during a one-year period five years before the women first visited their physicians because of joint symptoms. The results showed that women who ate broiled or baked fish more than twice a week had almost half the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.

Recent research also suggests that a vegetarian diet may lessen the symptoms of arthritis in some people. It is unclear whether benefits come from eating more of certain foods or less of others. Fasting is also an effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, but most patients relapse when they start eating again. In a Norwegian randomized, single-blind controlled trial done in 1991, researchers assessed the effect on 27 patients of fasting followed by one year of a vegetarian diet. After a seven to ten day fast, patients were put on individually adjusted gluten-free vegan diets for three and a half months.
Rheumatoid arthritis diet They were then allowed to eat a lactovegetarian diet for the remainder of the study. A control group of 26 ate an ordinary diet throughout the whole study period. After four weeks, the diet group showed a significant improvement in both symptoms and laboratory measures of disease severity. In the control group, only pain score improved score. The benefits in the diet group were still present after one year.Follow-up studies done a year later found that those patients who had benefited from the vegetarian diet continued to show improvement in symptoms.

Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers are often poorly nourished. Many people lose their appetite and tend to lose weight during the active phase of the disease. Drug treatment and the intestinal changes which can occur in the course of the disease may worsen malnutrition. Deficiencies of folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, magnesium, selenium and zinc are often found in patients with rheumatoid arthritis but it is unclear whether nutrient deficiencies are a cause or a result of the disease.

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