diet and symptom control

hi, My husband bought me a book about diet and arthritis. I really am not keen to restrict my foods and work out which foods are "good" and "bad"...I love my food,a nd would like to continue eating what I like!! However, my husband keeps suggesting i try altering my diet and doing what the book suggests. (i haven't read the book by the way as am not really interested).....I kust wondered if anyone has done any kind of diet and what the resulkts have been, good and bad!! cheers x

8 Replies

I went to a talk given by an Consultant Rheumatologist - when asked about Diet he said that no research has shown any benefits from special or exclusion diets. I know that people with Osteo Arthritis get some benefits from fish oils and in terms of heart health that can't do any of us any harm.

Once again people confuse RA (an autoimmune disease} with OA {wear and tear} - there are books aimed at people with OA ie 'Eat to Beat Arthritis' - perhaps your husband is confusing the type of arthritis you have?

Given the increased rate of cardio-vascular disease in people with RA a good balanced diet and awareness of your cholesterol levels is important and the joints definitely don't like excess weight, but with all the steroids and other meds that can be difficult.

I know that some people on here follow an alkalising or anti-inflammatory diet so perhaps they can tell you about how that works for them.

Cece x


I went to the NRAS lunch and the consultant rheumatologist there did a little presentation he advocated the mediterranean diet.


Fizzy, i personally think that there could be some sort of link between diet and ra, indeed i feel that a few auto immune diseases are partly caused by food - celiac; diabetes 2 etc. but like Cece says conventional research has not led to a link between food and ra.

From my reading though, the alternative world of medicine definetly see a link, though its more about how the body has digested food in the past and the impact that has had on the digestive system. However despite what i think, i am finding it completely impossible to modify my diet, if anything it is getting so much worse. i feel as though i need a good detox.


Hi Fizzy, I did read somewhere that a high protein, low carb diet was better and it is consuming too many carbs that can cause problems as it creates excess sugar. Fruit in moderation, again because of the sugars, and plenty of veggies but not cooked or coated with butter. Don't know if this works or not. Sometimes it is trial and error to find what suits you. So long as you get a balanced diet, you can't go far wrong. LavendarLady x


Hi Fizzy, there's loads of diets and people who say some work/some don't, personally I believe we all have trigger foods which our body reacts to. It's a case maintaining a diary of foods eaten and record how your body is and what seems to aggravate the RA. It can be a long process of elimination.

My advice would be to stick to a healthy balanced diet, with plenty of oily fish, which is good for any arthritic condition and brain food! xx


Hi Fizzy,

I too went to a RA group a few weeks ago and my consultant said that there is no proff that diet helps except if you carry less weight its less weight bearing for your joints, he told us that there wasnt any foods to aviod and he basically fobbed it all off as codswallop! However some people find it helps them so Im not calling it, when questioned about the mediterranean diet like Alison mentioned he said it wouldnt help the RA, but would help if you needed to lose a few pounds or stone in my case lol.

Take care and dont let anyone push you into there quick fix snake oil remidies no matter how much they genuinly care.

Julie x


i have looked at the book, and it is for general srthritis, but it has specific sections for specific types of thoughts were that if there was some evidence in it the specialist health care professionals would tell you to try it (if they were up to date with things)! I'm not in the frame of mind to try eliminating foods, I kind of think why should I !! I know I should eat more fish, but apart from that I eat a good diet....perhaps could do with losing a few pounds as my BMI is 26, but I'm pretty happy as I am, its the exercise thing that is restricting, if I could do some aerobic exercise it would help, but with my joints as they are I can't....I walk alot and that is painful....I tried swimming and I just can't swim at the speed I used to so I don't see any point in going to just swim leisurely.....its a lot of faff when theres little benefit!! arghh!


I am HORRIFIED by the answers you have received. Yes, the RA establishment does not recognize the role that elimination diets or any diets have in RA treatment, but the fact is that thousands of people experience great relief, and many even cure from RA, by following strict, low-fat vegan diets, often gluten free as well.

Please read about Dr. McDougall in the USa, and Clint's Cure in Australia, Claudette Duchesne in Chile and any naturopath would probably back this up with plenty of evidence. I am not saying it works for everyone, but I was diagnosed 2 years ago, and have not taken any meds for 1 month and I am OK. I started a vegan diet 4 months ago and I have experienced HUGE relief. I was on Prednisone for 1,5 years, and tried EVERY med out there.

Aside from diet changes, you must makes some deep psychological and physical changes: maybe therapy, yoga, biking, and definitely SAUNA daily, or sun baths, cold water showers to alternate with heat. This has been the single greatest help for me.

There isn't one-cure fits all, but there is a way not to live in RA hell, and it does begin with dietary and life habit changes. It is a profound disease of the body and the mind. Never underestimate the power of both to bring you back to health!!!

YOU CAN DO IT!!! If I can.

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