Arthritis Diet

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

arthritis-dietThere are two kinds of arthritis.

Osteoarthritis – A degenerative condition that often occurs with age. Osteoarthritis causes stiffness and pain in the affected joints. Being overweight can sometimes worsen symptoms due to the greater load on the joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis – an inflammatory condition involving multiple joints. The joints often swell and cause pain. Sometimes the sufferer (typically adult women) will go through periods of remission.

Nutrition to Relieve Arthritis Symptoms

Unfortunately there is conflicting advice regarding diet for arthritis. Despite some clinical trials taking place, many results are considered to be a placebo affect. However there are some guidelines that may help.

  • Oily fish – such as cod liver oil supplements, tuna, salmon, and sardines.
  • Vitamin C – found in many foods such as kiwifruit, peaches, oranges.
  • Vitamin E – Unsalted nuts
  • Turmeric and ginger – anti-inflammatory foods (use in curries, soups, or stews).
  • Some report that a vegetarian or vegan diet has helped.

Conquering Arthritis: What Doctors Don’t Tell You Because They Don’t Know by Barbara D. Allan, has many helpful tips for sufferers based on Barbara’s years of experience working with RA patients in her medical practice.

Helpful Videos

Foods That May Aggravate

  • Some report that vegetables from the solanum (or nightshade) family cause problems – potatoes, capsicums, eggplant, and tomatoes.
  • Foods high in saturated fat – such as full-fat dairy, fatty meat, baked foods.
  • Dairy products

Finding What Helps You

The only way to find out if something is aggravating your arthritis is to constantly monitor your diet. Do this by keeping a journal of what you have eaten, and what pain you experience. If you begin to notice any patterns (such as joint pain the day after eating a certain food), you will need to try and isolate the cause.

Take the food out of your diet for a week, and see if you experience the same arthritic symptoms. In order to make any correlation, you will need to do this 3 times.

Bookmarks – Official site of the Arthritis Foundation. – National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

Allan, Barbara D. Conquering arthritis : what doctors don’t tell you because they don’t know : (9 secrets I learned the hard way. Saint Louis, Mo: Shining Prairie Flower Productions, 2009. Print.
 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Jennifer

    Millions of older women suffer the pain and stiffness of arthritis, especially in their knee joints, which can severely curtail everyday activities like climbing stairs or getting out of a car. It turns out there may be a way to protect our knees and avoid the discomforts of aging: strong thigh muscles.

  • anna

    Let me know if you get help I have the same symtoms as you, I was diagnosed with RA.
    Thank you

  • sandra arevalo

    I suffer from sjogrens syndrome what expectation of having a good life do I have plus medicine is not helping me please answer me thankyou

  • valeriah wanjala

    I have been using alot of spinach but recently I have been. found to have alot of calcium in my b my body which my doctor says its dangerous. what should I do? since 2008, I have. been using. salazopyrin 500mg it was helping. until. 2011 when it stopped. to help. And am 100kgs which loosing has been hard too. Now. what to use for. my pain is aproblem. kindly. advise?

    • Hayley

      If your medications are no longer working and you are swollen in your affected joints you need to get to your doctor as the inflammation can be deteriorating your joints. I have recently started using Actemra. Its now been a months since my first infusion and i have noticed a massive difference and now only require extra meds of Naproxyn, Arava and Methotrexate once week. Please get a second opinion if your current rhuematologist is not helping as in my experience your quality of life can improve 100%. Excercise even just walking 40 mins a day may help the weight loss. Best of luuck! :)

  • denoso

    ANITHA spinach has oxalate which interracts with calcium therefore it should be leafy vegetables but avoid the green ones

  • Mary

    I have had Artritis since I was 12years old; I’m now 35. What it has helped me is to eat healthy. (Lots of fruits and vegetales). I don’t use medicatios instead I Drink tes of ginger, and parsley. I try to keep my instestine clean by avoiding gluten in my diet. Its hard at the beganning but it is worth it.

  • peejay

    my uncle has something sort of like athritis because his ankle and knee joints swell quite often and he is unable to walk so he stays in bed for a couple of days until he feels better. He takes indocede to help him ease the pain but doesnt heal him..
    Please tell me what I can do to help his discomfort.

    • C.Cooper

      Your uncle has Gout. He needs to see a doctor and be tested for this. If he in fact, does have gout, the doctor can prescribe medications that will prevent future attacks.

  • Lourdes Douglass

    I don’t know what kind of arthritis I have, but I’m experiencing pain in my fingers, wrists, sometimes the ball of my feet, toes, ankles, and knees. I am 42 and I don’t know if I should see my doctor. I have heard that there is no cure and that sometimes the medications that they give you do not work. I want to change my diet and see if that helps. I used to be very active and worked out a lot, but my busy life has changed that. I also find that I am very tired after coming back from work and I don’t have the energy to work out. Something that I noticed is that after my Summer vacation I have more pain than ever before. I’m thinking that diet had a lot to do with this.My question is should I see my doctor to find out what kind of arthritis I have or should I try to do this on my own?

    • Ray

      never stop working out always move, eliminate a lot of starchy foods and try to keep inflammation out of your body by using tumeric/ginger use a omega oil like flaxseed oil everyday and to regain my energy I take maca root powder which is a superfood and you can add it to yogurt. All of this has helped me. The most important is exercise!

    • Anitha

      I suggest you increase intake of greens – spinach is a good source of natural calcium and vegetables, you can have moderate quantity of steamed/boiled potatoes, do not have fried or tinned vegetables or foods. Lots of Fruit juices without sugar, overall if you gave nutritional food your energy level will increase and slowly you will be able to manage your pain. Personally I am not for seeing a doctor for this, but as you are above 40 and annual total health check up may help you figure out if you have anyother problem.

  • Trudie Watson

    please will you send me a letter to say what to eat and what is bad for you or a diet thank you Trudy

  • Mouna

    I am having swollen ankles and cracking joints following an erithema nodosum. Is there any helpful diet for that ?
    Many thanks in advance.

  • jesh

    Hi -im using xycam and prednisone daily
    It helps most days
    Is there. Any long term side effects

  • Marie


    I suffer from OA and had my left hip replaced 4 years ago, literally 4.5 months after the birth of my daughter, and have just been advised that my right hip needs replacing when I simply can’t take the pain and disruption to normal life any more. I have a strong pain threshold and lead a busy life so I have to delay the inevitable as long as I can. It has been suggested that a wheat free diet may help does any one have any positive experience of this?

    Kindest regards and many thank.

  • carol C

    I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and I take 5 caosules of Salmon oil each day: One in the morning, one at lunch, one at supper and two at bedtime. Salmon oil is different from fish oil and it works better for arthritis pain. I research for a reputable company and the companys name is Carlsons. They don’t use defective Salmon nor salmon with mercury, I learned about Salmon Oil relieving arthritis pain at a Rheumatoid Arthriris seminar at our most reputable hospital when I was diagnosed vwith RA 15 years ago. They said not to take more than 10 because your body will emit the smell of fish. I can even lower my amount of 5 per day without feeling more pain. my husband takes 5 capsules for osteo in his wrists and he too gets pain if he doesn’t take his 4 vsalmon oil neach day.

  • Kimberly

    Does anyone else have trouble in HOT weather? My parents hurt when it is cold, but I stiffen up more in the heat and humidity of summer. I actually feel better in the cold.

    I am lactose intollerant. I would hate to see how bad the pain would be if I was still eating dairy and red meat.

  • Judy

    Watch the meloxicam, it is very hard on your stomach, it does work like magic, make sure you eat before taking it and try not to take it too much.

  • Phylis wanjiru

    Hi. i was diagnosed with osteoathritis in 1998 when i was 23. since then, i’ve been taking some pills known as MELOXICUM and it’s very helpful. my problem is my weight i am not able to bring it down please help.the pain is toooo much sometimes.

    • Jennifer Wamuyu

      Hey Phylis,
      try and follow the diet and try 100% not to eat prosessed sugar and red meat. Avoid chicken and eat more fish. Cook foods that are a healthier type, ie, brown rice, vegetables and use pure vegetable oils. Also, try make natural juices like vegetable juice in the morning, afternoon and evening half an hour before meals. Lastly, Eat a big breakfast(even food instead of the usual tea n toast, etc), a smaller lunch and an even smaller portion of dinner. I lost 10KGs in a month following this diet. Hope it helps.

    • emilly

      Hi, Phyllis,

      How about the use of (Predinsone/predinsolone and Cox b 200mg)

      • myrna cox

        be very careful with the use of predinsone. I was put on 20 mg for months and the side effects are so devastating. I am finally coming down from this awful drug. It takes the pain away, but at a price that your body may not be able to pay. I am willing to try diet, or anything to avoid the use of some of these harmful drugs.

      • Ray

        Your risking your life ,Don’t do it it, will kill you be fore the RA does.

    • Hillary

      Hi Phylis,
      I have a girlfriend who has this disorder of Arthritis and she’s experiencing much pain when its cold.Does temperature has any r/ship wit the condition?
      What’s the impact of pregnancy on the same.
      Would be grateful to hear from you

    • Barani Kumar

      Dear Phylis,

      I have found taking honey with warm water in the morning helps reduce weight.
      Go about your normal routine. After brishing your teeth, etc have one spoon of honey mixed with lukewarm water – maybe a mouthful or so. Gulp it down. Leave a gap of an hour in case you are going to have breakfast. Do this for 3/4 days. Check the weight. This is just a non medical way as there are no medicines involved – you don’t suffer any side effects. Also make it a point to have a glass of water 15 minutes before every meal. It breaks down your food better.

  • Reni Panjaitan

    I was diagnosed Degenerative happened just a week after my 57 th birthday,i was so distressed,the pain on my knee joints and my fingers all stiffed in the morning.I hate medicines…it troubled my digestion I really cant do anything.but after a few weeks I was given pain killer and I woke up…woke up..try to set my mind to reject the pain.I really hard to join the Yoga class 2x a week..walking every morning at 5 AM 45 min.the pain still there,but different pain..the pain less and less.I try not to cry cause of the pain but I am be a friend of the exercise is the most medicines to ease my pain.keep on exercise…

    • dr chetan

      degenerative arthritis can be cured by homoeopathy , i am treating arthritis cases by homoeopathy since from 15 yrs

  • Danielle

    I need to know what I can do to let the swelling go down and what to eat

  • anup

    i am diagnosed with anklosing arthritis .please suggest me with diet. Is homeopathy or ayurved a solution to it?

    • dr chetan

      homoeopathy is d best solution for it try for ,

  • jessica

    iam 33yr old female i just found out i have RA i would like advise on food diet thank you


    I am 39 yrs old,at menupausal state, OVERWEIGHT,sufering from OESTOARTHIRITIS,SPLEENOGALAMMY,MILD ULCER&hav terrible pain in both my legs especially feets.I am sugested to take calcium supplements,exposure to early morning sun rays and to consume painkillers if required.PLS suggests me what else can i do in a natural way

    • dr chetan

      try homoeopathy … natures way ………

  • grace

    is arthritis curable completely

    • emilly

      Hi, Grace
      Its controllable but not curable.

    • April

      Methotrexate helps the most, with the least permanent side eftcfes when compared to other drugs, Also, It is still the most effective treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatologists will always use it in conjunction with other treatments.Prednisone is a bridge medicine to help you manage symptoms until the disease treatments become effective. As with any medication it is always a question of benefit vs. side eftcfes, but your symptoms would have to be severe to stay on it indefinitely.You should check out the second website I listed below if you really want information on something safe.

      • emilly

        Hi, April,
        Methotrexate seems to do wonders for RA one can also try Colecobix 200mg

  • ena

    Is there any relief for arthritis in all the joints with cartlidge damage except surgery and handfull of tablets?

  • dolly

    tnx 4 having some pointers

  • glenn

    A cousin of mine and the grandmother of my flatmate, are drinking boiled avocado leaves that is sundried for a day or two. After long years of drinking this sort of tea, arthritic sympthoms dissappears and they are even eating all kinds of foods ought not to be eaten by an arthritic sufferer, i mean high purine foods. The grandma i mentioned includes avocado bark with those leaves. Both of them no longer drinks water, and the only fluids they drink all throughout the day is the avocado tea leaves.

  • Cyndi

    I am a 48 year old woman and have suffered lower back pain for the past 8 years. Also, my pinky joints began hurting the past year and they started to change shape. I’ve done a lot of experimenting with food the past year, and what I have found to cause me the most pain is anything that has dairy in it. Now that I don’t eat dairy, my lower back pain is completely gone and my fingers stopped hurting. Anytime I have dairy (cheese is the worst), I have lower back pain and pain all over my body for two days (the stiffness is awful!). I’ve tried again and again, and it’s always the same, the pain comes back the next day after eating dairy. Dairy has the protein, casein, in it which for some people is hard to digest. The older we get, I believe, we get more of a “leaky gut” where we can’t digest like we used to. Dairy also causes lots of inflammation in the body especially the joints. I now use almond milk, coconut creamer, and once in awhile soy milk. The pain is so much better. I just can’t do dairy! I hope this helps anyone reading this. Go cold turkey on the dairy; your body will notice a difference. I noticed a difference in three days of going cold turkey, and I’ll never go back. I’ve had two friends do the same, and they have had great results too. “Milk” is so overrated in this country; we are brainwashed into thinking we need to have it. Thanks to the Dairy Association.

  • Nicky

    From my research so far I found out that candida and high acidity in the body can be creating the conditions for developping cancer. Geans of course play role in it. i assume this applies to arthritis, too. According to Chinese medicine people with arthritis are sensitive to cold, wind and damp. I have always been like that and I have always felt the weather in my joints, but after I got 57 a few months ago, it has been real pain in all joints. Rest helps but also mild exercise. I noticed that when I was going to remedial Pilates class every Friday night,the weekend after that was great! Also, resting enough in the warm room and not being stressed to go to work helped. I have my warm shower in the evening and then I apply my massage oil. I am aromatherapist, so the proportion is: 3 drops of essential oil in one table spoon in carrier oil (i use almond oil from the Asian shops). Lavender and tea-tree are both good for inflammation, with lavender helping good sleep. Rest and de-stress are very important as anxiety tends to create acidity in the body and I suspect it triggers the arthritis. Also, after you had enough sleep, you can look after yourself better. I am looking into improving my anti-candida, anti-acidity, gluten-free diet, as in the last few years I had neglected the care for myself due to my worries and anxiety around my children’s health problems.
    Acupuncture helps definitely. If you type John Tindal and then cllick on John Tindal Acupuncture, you can see his three short videos demonstrating Qi Gong. One of them is specially for arthritis, but I recommend yo learn the sequences of all three because all the systems in the body are related and their functions affect each other’s.
    Arthritis is an outoimmune disease, so you need your immune system strong, to be able to protect you from colds and other infections as they could trigger the arthritis to flare up.

    • Rosal

      Thank you, Nicky, for sharing your personal healing experiences.
      As we live, our body reacts to many stressful situations. I believe that when we offer our situation to the Almighty God, our burden becomes lighter and our body becomes less stressed. Of course, we are also to use other healing means to deal with the residual effects of stress.

  • Nicky

    My son was diagnosed with cancer of not known origin at the age of 23. When I took him to a Chinese acupuncturist in London, she said he had arthritis. This was the first mentioning of it in relation to cancer and since then I have been looking into it. My daughter was diagnosed with “reactive” arthritis at the age of 29. She also has pre-cncerous cells in her cervix.

  • Dawn

    I just was diagnosed today with RA..My blood work came back positive..I am a 44 year old woman, fairly active..I am working to lose 10 pounds, so I am not really overweight…I have severe pain in my fingers and wrists..I have developed tendonitis in the past few weeks..It rotates between my right and left forearms..I would appreciate any info anyone could give me..I do believe I need to adjust my diet drastically..Thank you…

    • Jean

      I was also diagnosed with RA but started taking 9 alfalfa tablets a day and got a lot of relief. Mix natural, raw apple cider vinegar and pure honey together and put 1 tablespoon of the mixture in a glass of water first thing in the morning. Check your ph and keep it around 7.0. Avoid processes food as much as is possible. Eat foods that have no bar codes.

  • linda

    I have had pain since 1985. Fibromyalgia even before they had a name for it.
    As years have gone on now I have been told i have Osteoarthritis. Now other things are going on … hands, wrists, feet, toes have pain so bad i could cry. So now i am being looked into for possibly RA. It never ends. By having this pain for so long, I have put on weight … which does hurts my condition even worse. does anyone know of a fast but healthy way get some of this weight off sooner then later. This heart ache just adds to the pain and lack of energy i already have. I wish everyone less pain in the new year.

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