By: TIMES OF INDIA
01/7 5 foods to avoid if you’re suffering from arthritis
Arthritis is a medical condition where a person suffers from joint pain because of inflammation in his/her joints. Arthritis can affect a person in different ways, with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis being the most common ones.
Osteoarthritis is a non-inflammatory type of arthritis that occurs when the cartilage at the end of our bones wears off. On the other hand, Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory type of arthritis that not only damages the joints but also affects other systems of our body. It occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the cells and tissues in our joints.
While arthritis affects the bones and the joints, it may also cause pain in other areas of the body based on the type. Pain in the joints, stiffness, swelling, redness on the skin and restriction in movement are some of the symptoms of arthritis. While management of the condition, medication and therapy can help relieve some of the symptoms, there are also some foods doctors advise patients to minimize or limit in the diet to avoid aggravating symptoms and pain:
Added sugars are generally found in chocolates, sodas, candies, juices, soft drinks, cereals and even some sauces. You should avoid foods that contain added sugar because it accelerates the pain of arthritis. Joint pain tends to increase quickly after consuming sugar-sweetened items and desserts. Sugar also increases one’s risk to develop arthritis. Even in general, one should try to consume as little sugar as possible as it also results in other health issues. People suffering from arthritis should especially avoid it.
Gluten is a type of protein that is generally found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. Anything made from these grains also contains gluten like items such as bread, buns, cakes, pasta and more. Gluten is said to increase inflammation in your joints which could result in worsening the pain. Avoiding gluten in your food can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Several studies have also been conducted showing that following a gluten-free, vegan diet reduces inflammation. Also, being allergic to gluten or gluten intolerance can increase one’s risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
Foods that contain high amounts of salt like processed meats, soups, some varieties of cheese and pizza should be avoided if you have arthritis. A study of PubMed Central on mice found that arthritis in mice who were being fed salt rich foods was more severe than those who were on a low salt diet. The inflammation was lower in the latter and wearing off of the cartilage was also lesser in them. High sodium intake in the form of salt can also increase one’s risk of developing arthritis. Shifting to foods with low salt content can help reduce the inflammation and severity of your arthritis.
05/7Highly processed foods
Highly processed foods like ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, junk foods, juices and other such things generally contain all of the above things. They contain added sugar, refined grains and preservatives which together contribute towards worsening the pain of arthritis. Inflammation in your joints increases by consuming such foods and hence, they should be avoided. Processed foods should also not be consumed because they hamper our overall health.
Alcohol may also worsen inflammation and pain of arthritis. A few studies have found that consuming alcohol accelerated spinal damage in people suffering from axial spondylarthritis. It is a type of arthritis that mainly affects one’s spinal cord and joints of that area. Alcohol is also said to increase the pain of gout which is caused due to high uric acid content in one’s blood. One also faces a greater risk of developing osteoarthritis from alcohol consumption.
07/7The bottom line
Arthritis is a disease that occurs generally over time as the cartilage at the end of our bones wears out. Although elderly people generally develop this disease, even young adults, teens and children can. You may not be able to control developing this disease, but if you already suffer from it, you may be able to reduce the pain, inflammation and severity of it by making a few dietary changes. Avoiding foods that accelerate your pain can help you to deal with the disease better.