What foods (if any) can bring on an attack

I'm fairly new on here but please can someone advise as to whether there are particular foods that set off an attack. My husband has |RA and is injecting, he works part time. Some weeks he seems ok but other weeks he has attacks, we were wondering if he's eaten something that has brought this on. Looking at the RA information, all it says is that you should eat a healthy diet. I have heard that tomatoes and oranges can be bad for arthritis but don't know if this includes RA, thanks for any information you can give me. xxx

42 Replies

  • I believe it is trial and error for everyone as we are all different and there are so many variations of RA or RD (rheumatoid disease as many of us like to use) there is no 'one size fits all'. Some people find they have food triggers whilst others don't. Farm

  • Thanks for your reply x

  • For a great number of AI patients it makes a big difference if you leave out all gluten, dairy and sugar. This is often recommended when starting a anti- inflammatory diet. After 3-4 weeks you see the difference if these foods trigger inflammation, they are the most common. If you really want to try the whole diet you go to the next step where you eliminate foods that are often triggers and so on. Its's really worth a try. For me the diet has made a huge difference.😊 Good luck!

  • is coffee bad for ra xx

  • Coffe is not recommended. But the funny thing is that for some RA patients coffe is ok. In fact there is a test for it. In the autoimmune diet they recommend no more than one cup a week😟. I have switched to matcha latte with coconut milk and call it my afternoon coffe😊 Green tea is a powerful anti inflammatory and taken in powder form really gives me a boost.

  • thanks simba i have heard of green tea i expect they do that in health shops never seen it in tesco but i certainly keep a lookout for it was on sulfalazine for long time but didnt agree with me i am on remission since oct only inflamatary in my left hand but that needs op which i was told wouldnt be successful so leaving that thanks for tip definetley look into that xx

  • Starbucks make it. You can try it there😊

  • I have two mugs a day Mary (we grind from beans) & it has no negative effect. I drink peppermint tea or water (& the odd Coke Zero) the rest of the day. The only way to find out is test yourself, try one coffee one time, then add another, see what your limit is before respond negatively (if you do), I never have, it's my choice to limit coffee mostly because my h hasn't been going over to Spain as often & so unable to bring our favourite beans, plus they're so expensive here! x

  • nomoreheels i think i have wrote this in wrong place just to let u know my blood pressure has come down at last also when i was at doc this morning i asked if i could have copy of my rhumy results to see what is happening since i stopped drugs she gave me confidential patient report but not easy to understand so all good hope u r keeping well cant believe xmas nearly here take care xx

  • That's good news your BP has come down Mary. Mine was absolutely fine last Wednesday so yay for me too! If you don't understand your results your GP should be able to interpret them for you. We're find, just got in from my h having two steroid injections in his chest so he's a bit fetch me carry me, drive me as well lol, though the last was on the advice of the doctor at the Pain Clinic who did them. x

  • I've been drinking green tea and you can buy it absolutely everywhere now as it's become really popular. You might have to try a few to find one you like. My favourite is the Clipper with lemon variety. I also take 3 fish oil (not fish liver oil) capsules a day and think it has helped me.

  • thanks hilary anything worth a try do u put milk in green tea it sounds awfull lol i remember hearing keep away from tomatos its because of the acid no good for artherites but i am not sure on that one i do eat them xx

  • just been to tesco and bought box of green tea twinings lemon green tea will try it later they only had that and peppermint which i didnt fancy how many a day do u drink xx

  • Hi. I've gone from 2 cups of coffee in the morning and an occasional one in the afternoon to no coffee at at all but about 4-5 cups of green tea. I don't miss the coffee and do have one occasionally (about once a month). I don't add milk to green tea - I don't think many people do as it's a bit delicate for that.

    I haven't changed the rest of my diet particularly since being diagnosed other than trying to watch what I eat a bit more and trying to eat more oily fish which is anti-inflammatory. I also take fish oil capsules. Some people say that 'nightshade' vegetables like tomatoes and peppers are bad for RA but on the other hand a Mediterranean diet is recommended. I haven't found that anything particular sets my arthritis off with the exception of finding that if I eat a lot of cheese I sometimes seem to have a bad day or two. So, I try not to eat too much cheese too often! I think you have to find out what works for you. I have found the Arthritis Care, Arthritis Research and NRAS websites all really useful. They are worth looking at as they do talk about which things there is some scientific evidence for. Good luck!

  • hi hillary did have one cup of green tea liked the taste lemon but vomited it up after mayby not enough food in my tummy dont know will try it again today u are right we have to find what is right for us have u heard of a new ra drug called remicade for ra i just googled it put in rhuematoid 2016 very interesting but very exspensive woth a look thanks for info hope u having a good day xx

  • Hi Mary,

    Sorry, have been busy at work last few days. Sorry also to hear you didn't get on well with the tea but give it another go if you can! I don't know anything about remicade, I'm afraid. I was diagnosed this summer and am on hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) and methotrexate which are working well for me, luckily. Good luck,


  • thanks hillary i dont think it was the green tea that nade me sick havent been well think i picked up the dreaded bugs that been going around stating to feel better the last few days glad your medication is working for you good luck keep busy lol i think keep moving is good i know some poor people cant take care xx

  • Green tea has MANY positives. But no need to buy it from health food shops, just get the decent bagged versions eg Twinings Jasmin tea from your supermarket.

    Don't use the whole bag - just cut it open and put a sprinkle in a cup or better still in a teapot and have a couple of cups. I have been drinking green tea for about 20 years now.

    I allow myself 2 cups of regular tea during the day but come the evening its green tea. According to my SE Asia pals we make it all wrong here, ie throw a pinch into a cup not the whole bag.

  • The Washington State University did a study of Green tea and RA


  • ty will take a look at that link xx

  • Thank you Mary, that's interesting, I drink rooibos tea which is caffeine free (I have MS), don't think hubby drinks coffee but will enquire, he's not into trying things like green tea, unless his medics told him about it. xx

  • There is recent research on the anti- inflammatory effect of green tea in RA😊 I am am sure you find it on google.

  • yes simba been reading about the green tea on google xx

  • I found out about green tea from (I think) the arthritis research website which has lots of information about things that have got some scientific evidence for. It's worth a look.

  • Washington State University has done a study on this.

  • ty x

  • Hi, There are many, many, many ideas and diets which promote all sorts of variations on diets. It can be confusing, at best, and hazardous for some (IMO).

    It's the usual suspects as far as diet goes as mentioned by Simba: sugar, gluten & dairy. To which I'd add processed foods. Some people like to jump in and go to one end with vegan-type of diets. Then you start to introduce various foods that might be causing the symptoms to see which one lights up your disease.

    I prefer to remove food types to see just what is affecting my pains. So far I've take out wheat (I eat spelt bread if I feel the urge), massively reduced sugars and moving towards taking out dairy.

    I prefer the measured approach and so far taking out refined sugars has decreased my symptoms - when I'm not flaring!

    And the best bit is that I feel better for it. A great deal better. Take sight of one thing in your diet and remove that. Wait a month or more then take out something else.


  • This sounds very much like my diet MJ, except I add fish to this diet. I am hoping it will help my ms and so far, so good, unfortunately, it's not a diet that my husband will go for and he's the one with RA. Thank you for your reply x

  • Are you familiar with Dr.Terry Wahls protocol? Dr. Wahls is a neurosurgeon that was suffering from MS already in whealchair, having tried all medications when she started her research in nutrision. She built up a protocol that put her MS in remission and is now treating AI patients and doing research on the effects of the diet. Interesting read.

  • simba where did u read about dr terry wahis xx

  • I came across her name when doing my google research and ordered her book :"The Wahls Protocol" A radical new way to treat all chronic autoimmune conditions using paleo principles. She is the founder of the Wahls Foundation and a well known speaker at scientific forums. I think I got the book on amazon.

  • thanks simba will go on google see what i can find xx

  • Here is the link between the MS society and Dr. Wahls


  • Oh, fish! Don't forget oily ones!


  • MickeyJoints is absolutely correct to encourage a measured approach to find out what works and does not work for you. Stopping everything instantly is not to be recommended. I stopped Gluten a year ago and then two months later started to phase out dairy. Coffee I stopped instantly October a year ago - not bad since previously I had drunk up to a litre a day and replaced with green tea. My latest project is removing oils which is a slow process because you need to adapt recipes and cooking techniques.

  • I'm Coeliac and do not believe food can induce any sort of immune response unless of course someone is allergic to a substance which is a different matter. So my suggestion is that you keep a diary and see if you can id any substance which has a negative impact. But do not eliminate anything without getting medical advice as to be tested for Coeliac you absolutely must be eating gluten. In itself Coeliac has risk for other medical conditions and its vital to get an accurate diagnosis.

  • I do agree with medway-lady . When I was diagnosed with RA, I read that dairy was bad hence I stopped all dairy for about 2 years. I was in remission after 1 1/2 years treatment. I introduced back dairy after 2 years and I was/am perfectly okay until today.

    I think it is more like individual respond to the food you eat, so do test it out yourself by eliminate one food at a time and reintroduce it one by one. Keep a record of what good and bad for you each time you stop and reintroduce the food.

    My rheumy insisted I should take dairy to ensure enough calcium intake instead.

  • The best source of calcium is leafy greens, not as we have learned to believe, dairy. Calcium supplements do not have a good absorption potential so sticking to leafy greens is a good choice.

  • Thank you Simba for the message, will try to eat more leafy greens.

  • Thank you for all the replies, interesting and I also follow a diet, not unlike Wahls; and I feel that it helps my MS; if nothing it helps to keep my weight down, unfortunately, my husband is a 'nuts and bolts' individual and is not interested in changing his (not that healthy) diet. We're inclined to believe this attack in his shoulder is caused by the painting he did at work on the weekend and the change in the weather, resting has helped it some but it's still very sore, hoping the injection he has tomorrow will ease it even more. x

  • I have found that sugar is extremely bad and also gluten. All my doctors have given the same advice regarding these culprits and when I cheat and indulge I pay dearly. Well worth the effort to stay away from it!

  • I am in remission due to diet alone. Sugar, dairy and gluten set off my RA. I prefer Almond milk now over diary any day. With RA the gut has to be healed which makes a huge difference.L-Glutamine powder, high dose probiotics and fresh organic juices all help a lot - vegetable juices and hold off on too much on the fruit and fruit juices. I followed the autoimmune paleo but for support and a way to remission google Clint Paddison - am Australian guy who cured himself and is now helping others.

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