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 Arthritis  Holistic-online.com

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Diet Therapy

Diet has been strongly implicated in many forms of arthritis. Food can cause arthritis; it can also help in the cure. Several special "arthritis diets" exist. Many of these special diets originated from the observation that RA is not found in societies that eat a more 'primitive' diet. It is predominantly found in societies consuming the so-called western diet. You can manage RA by eating a healthy diet rich in whole foods, vegetables and fiber and low in sugar, meat, refined carbohydrate and saturated fat. This diet is helpful both in the prevention as well as in the treatment of RA. Food also influences RA because of the connection between RA and food allergy.

Food allergy 
Elimination of allergic foods has been shown to offer significant benefit to some individuals with rheumatoid arthritis. Eliminate all foods you suspect may be the cause of the RA. Then gradually introduce them 1 at a time. This way you can determine which food you are allergic to. Once determined, do not eat those foods that you are allergic to. Virtually any food can result in aggravating RA, but the most common offending foods are wheat, corn, milk and other dairy products, beef and nightshade family foods (tomato, potato, eggplants, peppers and tobacco).

Dietary fats 
Fatty acids are important in inflammation mechanism through their ability to form prostaglandins, thromboxanes and leukotrienes. Manipulation of dietary oil intake can significantly increase or decrease inflammation, depending on the type of oil being increased.

Avoid foods that contribute arachidonic acid. Arachidonic acid is a fatty acid that is derived almost entirely from animal sources (meat, dairy products, etc.) It is converted to to inflammatory prostaglandins and leukotrienes that contribute significantly to the inflammation.

Consume coldwater fish such as mackerel, herring, sardines and salmon. These fish are rich sources of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) which competes with arachidonic acid for prostaglandin and leukotriene production. The net effect of consumption of these fish is a significantly reduced inflammatory/allergic response. Several clinical studies have attested to the beneficial effect of EPA. Studies have also shown that cod liver oil also has beneficial effects when in comes to inflammation and RA. Cod liver oil is an inexpensive way of providing the body with its required EPA.

Fasting 
Patients with RA have benefited from fasting. Fasting decreases the absorption of allergenic food components. It may also have an effect on the immune system.

See Also: 

Food/Diet Therapy for Arthritis

Food/Diet Therapy for Osteoarthritis

Next Topic:

Herbal Medicine

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