Patients who have rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can agree with me that diet can either worsen or help manage the symptoms. Obesity, combined with a high trans-fat diet, is a growing concern worldwide. It’s even more troubling for RA patients. If you or anyone you know is suffering from RA, you shouldn’t suffer in silence. Book an appointment with Jeffrey Miller, MD of the Tampa rheumatoid arthritis and Osteoporosis Center for customized treatment.
The relationship between food and health is well known since ancient times. A good example is a famous quote from Hippocrates, “Let the food by thy medicine.” It’s, therefore, no surprise that a proper diet is crucial for pain management in RA patients.
There are several diet interventions that people with RA could adopt to minimize the symptoms of RA.
Studies show that subtotal fasting for seven to ten days among RA patients can suppress the symptoms. This diet should entail partial intake of juice extracts, vegetable broth as well as a decoction mash of potatoes.
Unfortunately, some RA patients relapse once they go back to their regular eating habits. This intervention should, therefore, be considered a short-term treatment option.
RA patients are advised to adopt a vegan diet for disease remission. This diet should entail vegetables and fruits and no animal by-products or products. Animal-based products contain specific food antigens that create immune-reactivity among RA patients.
RA patients that adopt a vegan diet have reported a decrease in the amount of time in which they experienced morning stiffness.
A Mediterranean diet is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, unrefined carbohydrates as well as oleic acid. This is because it involves a large consumption of olive oil, fruits, fish, cereals, and legumes.
Studies reveal that RA patients that follow a Mediterranean diet experienced reduced inflammation and an improvement in their physical functions. This is mainly due to the incorporation of olive oil, which has anti-inflammatory properties.
Additionally, an investigation conducted using mice demonstrated the clinical benefits of olive oil. The result of feeding olive oil in mice was a reduction in joint oedema, arthritis development, and cartilage destruction.
An elemental diet is an intravenous feeding technique of foods composed of sugars, amino acids, vitamins, and fats in their simplest form.
A two-weeks clinical trial demonstrated the benefits of an elemental diet in RA patients. 72% of patients showed a 20% improvement in morning stiffness as well as pain.
It’s well known that particular foods may worsen the symptoms of RA. An elimination diet is therefore recommended whereby RA patients eliminate the food antigens that may be aggravating the symptoms.
These food antigens are found in meals that contain preservatives, additives, among others. RA patients that eliminate such food experience reduced inflammation proving the benefits of adopting an elimination diet.
There’s little evidence linking alcohol consumption to the progression of RA. However, it’s important to note that, if you are on particular medication such as Actemra (tocilizumab) and Azulfidine, it’s advisable not to drink alcohol to avoid liver problems.
Finally, apart from maintaining a smart eating plan, you should visit an experienced rheumatoid arthritis specialist such as Dr. Jeffrey Miller for advice on how to improve your joint functions and minimize the symptoms of RA.