Dietary tips?

Hello fellow suffers! I am new to this and have recently been diagnosed with OA in my left knee and my GP has told me there are visual signs of arthritis in both feet/ankles, elbows and several fingers. I am waiting to see a Rhematologist later this month to determine what type of arthritis I have. Like all of you the pain, stiffness and swelling is unbearable most of the time. My husband has AS and Reactive Arthritis, fortunately both well managed with exercise and medication, so he is brilliant as he fully understands what it is like.

I was wondering though if anyone has any dietary tips? We eat organic meat, veg, fruit and everything we cook is cooked from scratch. We don't eat processed food and I don't add sugar to anything (unless I'm cooking for company). Any thoughts about what to increase/stop eating would be greatly appreciated.

I would just like to say that I feel for so many of you who write in - you are right, it is so depressing being in so much pain and having no energy or enthusiasm for anything. Your stories have given me a lift though - it is a relief to know there are many others out there.

Thank you.

9 Replies

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  • I have started eating some pineapple every day because I read somewhere it helps with the inflammation and I do feel slightly less achey

  • Pressed the wrong button then!! I do feel slightly better (I have o/a in my hip, lower back, knees and neck) and today I bought some Turmeric from Holland & Barrett so watch this space! I was feeling really low last week - I'm sure o/a has a big effect on one's moods. You seem to be eating all the right food - Good luck Frances 64.

  • Thank you olly17man. I had heard of someone who recommended turmeric, but hadn't heard if it made any difference. The pineapple is interesting so I'll try that as well.

    I agree arthritis does have a huge effect on one's moods, I just have no energy or enthusiasm even when I have a couple days respite!

    Thank you for your tips. Hope you keep as well as poss.

  • Hi, does it matter if pineapple is from the tin? Where I live, everything is seasonal

  • There is a lot of information out there on the web about the possible benefits of dietary changes that can help RA. Be wary because you can spend a lot of money easily and it may not help you. Big triggers for me were oils and dairy (I didn't and don't eat meat/fish). So cut out all oils in cooking including extra virgin olive oil and save yourself money - and help your RA at the same time. Whatever meat you eat, no matter how lean and cooked clean is still 30% fat minimum, so I'd cut down on that as well.

    Some people find fruit a trigger. If you are okay with fruit then fresh/frozen cherries pack a punch at pain relied better than any NSAID, with no side effects.

    If you go down the supplements route then potassium is one to look at. I never took it but I have heard it can be beneficial. Even better is to get potassium from your diet. Avocados are extremely high in potassium but they are also high in fats. Sweet potatoes are a fabulous source, and because of their flavour after baking they don't need a ton of margarine to make them taste nice, imo.

    Bromelain, the beneficial ingredient in pineapples is fantastic. Again,if you cannot tolerate fruit then consider supplements.

    Always eat whole fruit rather than juice. The pulp from the fruit helps to stop a sugar rush which juice (esp shop bought) can give - which in some people can cause RA symptoms

    Every day, and possibly every meal & drink I have turmeric with black pepper. Fresh turmeric is better than powdered, but always ensure you have it with black pepper since it increases the potency by a massive 2000%. (So anyone who found turmeric does not help might want to retry with black pepper. You don't need a lot of BP, just some to be consumed at the same time.)

    There is so much you can do. Depending on your symptoms effective good use of foods can keep the worst of RA at bay, and in my experience very, very much more than that.

  • Hi Andyswarbs. Thank you so much for your tips. I am introducing turmeric into my chilli chai tea (I don't like Indian tea, but have chilli chai and peppermint instead) so am waiting to see how that goes and will add black pepper as well. Someone else mentioned cherries and pineapple too so will definitely give them a try. I think it will be a bit of trial and error to start with until I know what the triggers are and what helps. I've just started researching the web for advice as well - as you say there is loads out there! I appreciate your suggestions and hope you continue to keep your RA under control.

    Thank you.

  • Very interesting And.yswarbs. I think I'm already eating most of the foods you mention but I thought I should eat as much oily fish as possible??? Am I doing wrong? Unfortunately the Tumeric I have is in tablet form but I'll carry on with them for now and see what happens. I've got O/A and at the moment it is at its worst. Thanks Andyswarbs.

  • Fish oil is better than meat fats, by a mile. The DHA for instance helps with brain power, and some people think it can help prevent alzheimers. I am not convinced about the benefits for someone with arthritis.

    For people with RA I hold that you need to stay away from oils of all types as part of a process to aid recovery, despite any benefits of fish oils. (Just giving up fish/fish oil won't help someone recover from RA.)

    Then not all fish are the same. Wild salmon is much healthier than farmed salmon. I saw one analysis and farmed salmon came out as unhealthy on all counts. But who goes to a restaurant and asks for wild salmon?

    Also fish, especially bottom feeders are at high risk of bringing heavy metals into whoever eats it. And that might over decades of consumption build up and increase the likelihood of dementia in later years!

    There are also the ethical issues. We have all heard of loss of fish stocks, usually related as stories about people losing a living. But to provide fish / fish oil for human consumption lots more dying fish simply discarded back into the sea.

    My personal conclusion is there are much better & sustainable ways of seriously helping one's health. if I was going to consume fish / fish oil, I'd make sure it came from good quality wild & sustainable sources and of the right type.

    PS My dad used to take Cod Liver Oil and swore by it, and I am sure a lot of other people do as well. Whatever works in helping someone recover from RA must be a good thing.

  • You are pretty much eating the right foods...though there are lots of antiflamatory foods out there, that will keep pain at bay, but doesn't get rid. Manuka honey has healing properties, and there are lots of recipes of teas with cayenne that relieve.

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