Is There a Link Between Arthritis and My Diet?

Is There a Link Between Arthritis and My Diet?

Arthritis is not one disease, although it’s often talked about like it is. If someone says, “I have arthritis,” they say they have some condition affecting their joints. It could be osteoarthritis, which is caused by normal wear on their joints, or it could be rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune condition in which your immune system attacks the lining of your joints—or any of about 100 other joint diseases! 

All of the many types of arthritis have some things in common, like the fact that your joints are affected and, more importantly for your day-to-day life, pain. The providers at all three locations of Apex Medical Center treat patients with various types of arthritis. Our goal is to help you manage your pain and live well. 

Inflammation

Inflammation is one of your body’s main defenses and is important in helping you stay healthy. One example of how inflammation can help you is when you get a splinter. The area becomes inflamed to prevent bacteria from spreading and causing an infection.

Most of the time, inflammation is acute—that is, it’s short-lived. If you have certain diseases, you may have chronic inflammation, which means you always have some level of inflammation in your body. Several types of arthritis cause chronic inflammation.

It’s possible to help tame inflammation by changing your diet, so if you have swollen, tender joints, you may want to consider adopting an anti-inflammatory diet. 

Eating to calm inflammation

Some foods tend to increase inflammation, and you’re probably not going to be surprised to learn that they include:

An anti-inflammatory diet is the same as a balanced, healthy diet. You should eat more fruits, vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, and whole grains. Consuming plenty of fiber is also beneficial when it comes to lowering inflammation. 

Benefits of a healthy diet

Aside from the obvious benefits of excellent and well-balanced nutrition to your health, you may lose some weight following an anti-inflammatory diet. If you have arthritis and are overweight, losing some pounds could ease the stress on your joints. 

Lower inflammation means less joint damage if you have rheumatoid arthritis, which is beneficial. Slowing the disease's progression is the treatment's goal, after all. 

Diet isn’t a cure

As much as we wish we could tell you that you could cure your arthritis through your diet, it's simply not true. For one thing, if you already have damage to your joints, good nutrition won't repair them. For another, most forms of arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, which are the two most common types, don't have a cure.

When we treat patients with arthritis, we aim to slow the disease's progression and manage your symptoms. Eating to reduce inflammation can help with those goals, so it's certainly a worthy effort.

If you're experiencing joint pain, schedule an appointment at Apex Medical Center's most convenient location. We can provide dietary advice based on your specific circumstances and help you manage your pain. 

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