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Rheumatoid Arthritis - Diet You Must Follow!

Written and reviewed by
MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine, Fellowship in Rheumatology, MRCP Rheumatology (London)
General Physician, Khammam  •  10 years experience
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Diet You Must Follow!

Researchers believe that not much can be done for providing you relief to a great extent, in case you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. But, they also say that a lot can be controlled by changing your diet. There are certain foods, which are known to add on to the problem of arthritis. These foods increase the pain of arthritis. However, there are also certain foods, which are known to cause relief to the patients by reducing the pain and getting rid of the factors causing it.

It has been a common practice that people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are constantly trying to ease its symptoms with food and by taking dietary supplements. There are several studies that indicate a connection between certain types of foods and the inflammation. This inflammation characterises the autoimmune condition. But, it is always advisable that you must consult your doctor before embarking on a new diet chart or taking supplements. Therefore, the best approach towards curing this disease with the help of foods is to take a well-balanced diet.

Foods that can help fight Rheumatoid Arthritis

  1. Omega-3 fatty acids: It is important that your diet includes cold-water fish as herring, mackerel, trout, salmon and tuna. These fish have omega-3 fatty acids. This is known to have anti-inflammatory effect on the patient. Fish oil can provide relief in joint pain and help in easing morning stiffness. You may also consult your doctor to know whether you can or should take fish oil supplements. The doctor will prescribe you the dosages, depending upon your joint pain. But you should also remember, higher doses of the supplements can have negative effect. They tend to react with other drugs and increase blood pressure.
  2. Fibres, Whole grain: You must increase the amount of fibre in your diet. So, don’t forget to eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. This will help in reducing the inflammation. Fibre is known to lower the levels of C-reactive protein in the patient’s blood stream. It is an indicator for inflammation in the body.
  3. Extra virgin olive oil: This will reduce inflammation. It works in the similar fashion as non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen works. Researchers believe that virgin olive oil contains a compound called oleocanthal. This compound blocks the enzymes that is known to cause inflammation.
  4. Vitamin D: You must have foods rich in vitamin D that is usually linked to calcium and provides protection against osteoporosis. Talk to your doctor, if you are needed to have vitamin D supplements.

Foods That Can Cause Inflammation
There are certain foods that can increase the inflammation and the pain. The inflammation is increased by meats, protein-rich foods, like pulses, etc. Also, omega-6 fatty acids containing foods such s corn, soyabean, etc. can make things worse. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a General Physician.

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