Diet and Nutrition in Arthritis

If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, you know just how painful the diseases can be. It is unfortunate to have to report that there is no miracle cure for either one. But I can say that both can be managed with an effective treatment strategy focused on pain medication and healthy living.

As an early inflammatory arthritis specialist, I have come to appreciate how diet and nutrition affect rheumatoid arthritis presentation. While there is no single diet that can stop the progression of the disease or make every patient feel better, it is common knowledge within the medical profession that dietary changes can be beneficial to many patients.

We Are What We Eat

You have undoubtedly heard the old adage that says we are what we eat. It is essentially true. What we eat is the fuel our bodies have to work with for fighting disease, repairing damage, and just getting us through the day. Bad fuel translates into poor performance. Better fuel boosts performance.

Never forget that rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. As such, it makes sense for rheumatoid arthritis patients to alter their diets in such a way as to promote immune system health. Beyond that, there are other considerations as well. These include reducing inflammation and managing weight

Being overweight contributes to the pain of arthritis by forcing the joints to support more mass. It can also interfere with some of the medications prescribed to manage arthritis pain. Furthermore, being overweight can lead to other sorts of problems including heart disease and diabetes.

A Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is key to effectively managing the disease that is rheumatoid arthritis. The best private rheumatologist in London would recommend that you focus on establishing a balanced diet rich in the types of nutrients your body needs to maintain a healthy weight and strong immunological support.

As an arthritis specialist, I recommend a good selection of foods from all five food groups:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Meat, fish, eggs, and beans
  • Starches
  • Dairy foods
  • Fats and sugars.

The key here is balance. For example, it is a good idea to consume five portions of fruits and vegetables daily. Daily portions of dairy and some dairy alternatives are good, as is regular consumption of starchy foods. And of course, the healthiest diets are punctuated by 6 to 8 glasses of water per day.

Be Careful of Fad Diets

I think it important to remind readers suffering with rheumatoid arthritis to be careful of fad diets. Embracing fad diets for the purposes of losing weight can be a dangerous proposition even without arthritis; such diets can make arthritis pain worse.

There is some research suggesting that the Mediterranean diet – rich in fresh vegetables, whole grains, poultry, and fish – can help some rheumatoid arthritis sufferers feel better. However, the research is not conclusive. The Mediterranean diet might work for some and not for others.

Should you decide to try the Mediterranean diet, or any other diet for that matter, please consult with me or another arthritis specialist before beginning. We want you to make wise decisions regarding your health. The last thing we want is to see you suffer needlessly by adopting dietary and nutritional habits that make your symptoms worse.

In the meantime, I am here to help. If you are looking for the best private rheumatologist in London, I would be honoured by the opportunity to treat you.

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