Unfortunately arthritis does not yet have a cure, but there are some habits that you can practice to help alleviate the pain of arthritis symptoms. One question that patients frequently ask is, “Are there foods that can help? What foods should I avoid?” So far, there is no conclusive evidence that eating more or less of a particular food will affect symptoms or joint function. Throughout the ages, there have been many claims made on the influence of dietary habits on arthritis. Many of these claims are mostly anecdotal, though there are some reasonable theories.
Diet impacts many aspects of health, so it is possible that it can affect arthritis. Researchers are currently interested in the role of the microbiome in health and disease. The microbiome refers to the large population of microorganisms living within our bodies. We know that diet impacts the microorganisms in the intestinal tract and that these organisms may affect immune function. Because rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition, there is a possibility that changes in the microbiome can affect the activity and severity of rheumatoid arthritis.
Previously on this blog, I covered foods that can help arthritis pain, and this month I’m following up with some more healthy nutritional ideas for you to consider. One idea that is supported by medical evidence is weight control. Being overweight is a major risk factor for osteoarthritis, and weight loss can reduce the stress on joints. One study found that losing a pound of body weight reduces the load on your knees by four pounds. The best way to reach that healthy weight is to keep a healthy diet rich in vegetables and low in fat and to engage in regular physical activity.