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Which Foods Make Arthritis Worse? 8 Foods to Avoid

Processed foods, salt, red meat, alcohol and other foods may exacerbate the joint pain and inflammation of arthritis. Stick to low-calorie whole foods with lots of vitamins and fiber, like leafy greens and beans.
Processed foods, salt, red meat, alcohol, and other foods may exacerbate arthritis' joint pain and inflammation. Stick to low-calorie whole foods with lots of vitamins and fiber, like leafy greens and beans.

Certain foods may make arthritis worse by contributing to joint inflammation or weight gain or both. Foods to be avoided in arthritis are:

  • Red meat
  • Dairy products
  • Corn, sunflower, safflower, peanut, and soy oils
  • Salt
  • Sugars including sucrose and fructose
  • Fried or grilled foods
  • Alcohol
  • Refined carbohydrates such as biscuits, white bread, and pasta

Are mushrooms good for arthritis?

Eat fish to curb inflammation
Salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which are superstars in the fight against tender joints and stiffness.

Mushrooms are good for arthritis patients as they are rich in nutrients and they retard inflammation. They are the richest vegetarian source of vitamin D, which is important in maintaining healthy bones, muscles, and immunity. Other foods which are good for arthritis are:

  • Fatty fish like sardines, salmon, and fresh tuna
  • Unsweetened cocoa
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and chard
  • Bananas and plantains
  • Berries such as blueberries and blackberries
  • Spices such as turmeric, paprika, ginger, and garlic
  • Beans
  • Lean meat such as skinless chicken
  • Lentils
  • Soy, including soybeans and tofu
  • Nuts
  • Green tea
  • Citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, and grapefruit
  • Broccoli
  • Cherries

What exactly is arthritis?

Arthritis, or joint inflammation, describes swelling and tenderness of one or more of the joints. Its main symptoms include joint pain, swelling and stiffness. Arthritis is a general term for a group of over 100 diseases causing inflammation and swelling in and around the joints. 

Joint inflammation is a natural response of the body to a disease or injury, but becomes arthritis when the inflammation persists in the absence of joint injury or infection. Arthritis usually worsens with age and may even lead to a loss of joint movement.

There are different types of arthritis such as:

Arthritis may progress to limit everyday activities such as cooking, bathing, walking and dressing. It affects almost one in five Americans. Arthritis can affect people of any age and gender. It is the leading cause of disability among Americans over age 15. 

What are the symptoms of arthritis?

Different types of arthritis may cause different presentations. For example, fever may be seen in arthritis due to tuberculosis, but not in osteoarthritis.

Some of the common symptoms of arthritis are:

  • Joint pain
  • Swelling around the joints
  • Stiffness
  • Warm skin over the joints
  • Redness of the skin over the joints
  • Reduced range of movement.

What causes arthritis?

The cause of arthritis may vary according to the type of the disease. Most types of arthritis do not have a known cause. Research has revealed the role of three major factors in certain types of arthritis:

  • Genetic (inherited) factors cause some types of arthritis to run in families
  • Physical activity and diet affects arthritis symptoms
  • The presence of other medical conditions such as infections and chronic diseases such as lupus puts you at risk for Arthritis.

Several factors may increase a person’s risk for arthritis:

  • Age: The risk of getting arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis, increases with age. Age may also worsen the symptoms of arthritis.
  • Gender: Arthritis generally affects women more often than in men.
  • Weight: Being obese or overweight puts extra stress on the joints that support an individual’s weight. Increased weight beyond the normal range for a person’s age and height increases joint wear and tear, and the risk of arthritis.
  • Occupation: Certain jobs may involve the worker to keep doing the same movements repeatedly. These include jobs where one needs to do heavy lifting or repeated fine work as done by musicians. It can cause joint stress and/or an injury, which may lead to arthritis.
  • Injury: joint injury or trauma may cause osteoarthritis
  • Autoimmune diseases: these may misdirect the immune system towards the joints as seen in rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
  • Infections: certain infections may lead to joint inflammation as seen in tubercular arthritis and septic arthritis.

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