Arthritis and diet - are they really connected?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 10/21/2007 8:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Does anyone have any information or links to reliable online resources regarding arthritis and diet?  Any personal experiences would be great too.  I have heard several people claim that certain types of foods are good or bad for arthritis.  Some of these claims come from unreliable sources (aka people who don't have arthritis).  I've heard some people claim tomatoes are great for arthritis and I've heard the exact opposite before too.  My aunt from California claims to have finally and completely fixed her arthritis that she had for years and years strictly by changing her diet and was able to come off all medications completely (we will actually be visiting in just a few weeks - I will report back here with what she told me).
My personal experience with diet and arthritis seems very backward when thought about logically.  I had had various aches, pains and swelling for years, but my arthritis became it's most severe ever only a few months after I completely changed my entire diet for the better.  My entire food life up to that point had been filled with whatever the heck I felt like eating.  The major changes were that I had suddenly and completely cut out ice cream, sodas, fast food, fried food, fatty food and excessively sugary food, and any food that had anything artificial at all even in trace amounts, including any food that had "natural flavor" (which is in reality artificial in most cases).  I replaced my nearly entire diet with fresh fruits and vegetables and was actually briefly meat-free until I found a local slaughterhouse that grew antibiotic-free, grass-fed cows and such.  about five months after the dietary switch and being down 30 pounds and absolutely filled with energy, I was mule-kicked in the arse with racking, unbearable arthritis pain almost everywhere.
While I did calm down on my avoidance of food additives, my diet stayed pretty healthy for a long time.  Fatty and fried foods slowly found their way back in though, but about two months ago I cleaned up my diet once again.  I eat very very clean now and make a wide variety of different types of meals.  I feel "better" now (although I attribute this mostly to the increase in physical activity and exercise) but my arthritis symptoms seem very very unchanged as of this time (i.e., the symptoms are still very there).


Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 100
   Posted 10/22/2007 8:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Hmmmmm Lee,

I wonder about the diet too.
You are a really good girl to try these diets, what meds are you on??


Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 499
   Posted 10/23/2007 2:30 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi there,

How are you doing?  Wow, you sure have been through the diet mill haven't you?  I sure do give you credit for being that disciplined!!   Just left a post for nana about this same subject.  Saw my rheumy today, and we went discussed this very thing.  She said that she has been keeping track of her patients to see if there is any diet/ra connection, and so far, she can't find one to recommend to everyone.  She feels it's a very individual thing.  Some people seem to do better if they stay away from certain foods, but for others it makes no difference.  She suggested charting foods and symtoms to see if there are any common triggers for me, and it will just take alot of trial and error on my part.  It sounds like you've already pretty much done that.

She also is tracking supplement use among her patients to see if there is anything to recommend there as well, and so far, she just said to stick with a multi-vitamin, calcium, fish oil, and the folic acid she perscribed.  Oh, and I did get my vitamin D levels checked, guess that can be found sometimes with ra.

Hope this helps some!
Take care,

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 10/26/2007 7:32 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm on tons of medication, and about to add an injectible... the usual meds - methotrexate, celebrex, plaquenil, folic acid, and I also take a high quality muti-vitamin from GNC and glucosamine too. about to add enbrel and the doc wants to phase out the plaquenil and celebrex since they seem to be doing nothing at all. Oh, and I'm a male, although my name is taken from a female movie character!

The diet I'm on now isn't really that hard. I mean I really love fresh fruits and vegetables much more than any candy or snack food. My wife thinks I'm insane eating radishes as a snack!

My only guess - and it really is a bit backward sounding - is that all the artificial crap I had been injesting daily before somehow was inhibiting the arthritis. Sort of like how chemicals can block receptors in synapses or whatever. When I went off chemicals the illness was finally let completely loose in my body. That's the explanation that seems to fit the scenario...

Anyway I've been keeping a food diary. It has helped me to realize I take in too much sodium, but I haven't noticed any arthritis changes since the most recent food clean-up...

Joan M
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2044
   Posted 10/28/2007 4:39 PM (GMT -7)   
I am overweight and that is bad for arthritis. I heard ginger is great for both asthma and arthritis. It sure tastes good in stir fry. Peace
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