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Thread: Can Foods Trigger Arthritis Pain?

  1. #1
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    Feb 2007
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    Default Can Foods Trigger Arthritis Pain?

    I find this very interesting since I see arthritis so often.

    Q: Are there foods that can cause arthritis pain to be worse?

    A: If you are overweight and affected with one of the symptoms of arthritis (pain, limited range of motion, others), the answer is yes: Unhealthy food choices may be contributing to the extra pounds stressing your joints and causing pain (arthralgia). Additionally, if you have been diagnosed with gouty arthritis—foods high in purines such as bacon, liver, turkey or even alcohol may cause a flare-up—or reactive arthritis (due to an infection from bacteria in contaminated food), the answer may also be yes. While genetics, autoimmune disorders and injury are the most likely causes of pain from most other types of arthritis, sometimes there is no clear reason.

    Arthritis is a general term used to describe more than 100 medical conditions with a common theme: They all affect the areas of our bodies where two or more bones meet, known as the joints. While some forms cause a local reaction that is limited to one joint in a specific region of the body (osteoarthritis, tendonitis, others), other forms of arthritis (systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, rheumatoid) may cause inflammation, joint stiffness, pain and swelling of several or more joints. Additionally, these forms have the potential to affect other areas of the body (skin, heart, lungs, blood vessels, others) and cause symptoms such as fever, circulatory disorders, swollen glands, anemia, fatigue and unintentional weight loss.

    Getting back to your question, I need to add a personal caveat. Over the years I have learned to really listen to my patients and have realized that not all results can be explained by scientific studies. That being said, some of my patients found a definite link between the kinds of food they ate (highly refined simple carbohydrates in breads, pastries and more, fatty foods), as well as type of drinks (alcohol, sugary drinks, others) with increased flares of their arthritic or accompanying body symptoms. Some have noticed an improvement (decrease in arthritic symptom flares or occurrences) when consuming a more nutritious and well-balanced diet (oily fish such as salmon that contain omega 3 fatty acids, as well as a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains), in addition to drinking healthier beverages such as water or other non-alcoholic or low-sugar or sugar-free drinks.

    While I cannot prove whether the positive changes were due to the cyclical nature of the symptoms of arthritis or to a better diet, it just reinforces the fact that we need to listen to our bodies, fuel up with foods containing more nutritious and healthier ingredients, as well as make positive lifestyle changes to ensure we are giving ourselves the best chance in the fight against any illness or disease.

    Lastly, it is important to schedule regular check-ups with your family doctor, internist or rheumatologist. They work with you to prevent or decrease the arthritic pain, potential joint destruction, or other body system concerns that may accompany your form of arthritis. Their suggestions may include a combination of medication, physical therapy and lifestyle changes including better nutrition. This last one helps to ensure your body is getting the needed amount of vitamins and minerals to help in its’ battle against your arthritis. It would also be good to meet with a registered dietician to ensure you are getting the most up to date nutritional advice on your road to healthier living.
    Source: Dr. Rob for MSN Health & Fitness

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Default Low purine diet - for gout

    Low Purine Diet

    What is it? A low purine diet means eating foods that do not have many purines in them. Purines are found in some foods. Uric acid comes from the breakdown of purines. The body does not use uric acid so it is usually filtered by the kidneys and taken out in the urine. When uric acid builds up in the body, it can cause pain and swelling known as gout. It may also cause kidney stones. You may need to follow this low purine diet if you have these problems.

    Gout is often treated with medicines that help the body get rid of extra uric acid. But, eating the right foods can help limit the amount of purines in your body. This will lessen the amount of uric acid in your body.

    Eat a diet that has at least 50% of calories as carbohydrates. Do this by eating 6 to 10 servings of bread or starchy foods, and 5 fruits and vegetables each day.

    Also, eat a low fat diet to limit the amount your fat intake to 30% or less of your total calories. Ask your caregiver for the CareNotes™ handout about following a low fat diet.

    Do NOT drink alcohol unless OK'd by your caregiver. Alcohol can cause gout to flare up.


    Eat or drink the following things as often as you like while following an eating plan for staying at a good body weight. You may also eat any other foods that are not on the medium and high purine food lists.
    • Breads and cereals: low fiber, white flour, or refined grain types
    • Coffee and tea
    • Cream-style soups made with low-fat milk
    • Eggs (limit to 3 to 4 per week)
    • Fruits and juices
    • Gelatin
    • Fats and oils in small amounts
    • Low-fat and fat-free cheeses
    • Milk: skim or 1% (limit to 24 ounces per day)
    • Nuts and peanut butter: limit if trying to lose weight
    • Pasta and macaroni
    • Soda pop
    • Soups made without meat extract or broth
    • Sugar, syrup, and other sweets in small amounts
    • Vegetables not on the lists above

    Eat only 1 serving per day of these items when your gout is under control. Avoid them when your gout is flaring up. A serving of meat, fish, or poultry is 2 to 3 ounces cooked. A serving of vegetables is 1/2 cup. A serving of liquids is 1 cup.

    • Asparagus
    • Beef, lamb, pork, and other red meats not on the high purine list above
    • Broth, consomme, and bouillon, or soups made with meat or poultry stock
    • Cauliflower
    • Dried beans, peas, lentils
    • Fish and shellfish not on the high purine list above
    • Fresh beans and peas
    • Meat soups, broths, gravies
    • Mushrooms
    • Oats and oatmeal
    • Poultry foods not on the high purine list above
    • Spinach
    • Wheat germ and bran
    • Whole grain foods
    • Yeast: all types

    HIGH PURINE FOODS: Avoid these foods all of the time.
    • Anchovies
    • Broths, boullions, and consommes
    • Caviar or roe
    • Game meats, like goose, duck, and partridge
    • Gravies
    • Some fishes, like herring and mackerel
    • Meat extracts
    • Mincemeat
    • Organ meats: brains, heart, kidney, liver, sweetbreads
    • Sardines
    • Scallops and mussels

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