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Foods to Avoid with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Foods to Avoid with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can affect almost anyone. The pain it causes stems from an autoimmune and inflammatory disease that causes the body’s own immune system to attack. RA primarily attacks the joints in the knees, hands and wrists. While there is medication available to treat the pain, there are also certain foods that can be avoided to prevent flare ups from occurring in the first place.

Some foods can trigger pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis RA can cause swelling and inflammation of the knees, knuckles and wrists. While there is usually no need to change your diet drastically, skipping the following foods can be beneficial in the long run:

1. Alcohol
Alcoholic drinks including liquor, wine and beer can be problematic to those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Too much alcohol can enhance medication-induced toxicity in the liver. While this may not seem to relate to rheumatoid arthritis, the effects of toxicity in the liver can have anti-inflammatory repercussions. The alcohol intake recommendation for men is approximated at two drinks per day. For women, one drink a day can ensure moderation.

2. Fried food
Whether it’s fried chicken or fried ice cream, foods that have artificial trans fats can also increase inflammation. Margarine, coconut oil and shortening are among some of the worst oils for rheumatoid arthritis flare ups. Cooking fried food also requires high heat which can release advanced glycation. This is also known to increase inflammation.

3. Diet soda
Aspartame is difficult to digest for most people. While it may seem like a safe substitute for sugary beverages, it can result in inflammation within the body. If you are unsure if aspartame is in your soda, look at the calories listed on the label. If you are drinking a zero calorie soda, there is a high chance aspartame is included.

4. MSG
Monosodium glutamate is known for its inflammation-triggering response. It can be found in prepared or processed foods and is a frequent ingredient in Asian foods. Soy sauce, certain deli meats and potato chips can all contain MSG.

5. Yogurt
Dairy products such as cheese, yogurt or milk can cause arthritis flare ups. Because calcium can increase inflammation, a large amount of dairy consumers notice symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Milk and yogurt in particular can be problematic because they provide a significant amount of saturated fats.

Rheumatoid arthritis can make day-to-day activities difficult. When joints are sore, swollen and achy, even simple tasks can feel like a burden. Walking up stairs or typing on a computer can feel excruciating if rheumatoid arthritis is not correctly treated. While there are many medications associated with relieving this type of joint pain, side effects can be a problem. To reduce the use of prescription pain medication, having a healthy diet is important for anyone with an autoimmune disease that is prone to flare ups. To reduce the inflammation that causes joint pain, prevention is recommended.

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