As a practitioner specialising in autoimmune conditions, I consult numerous patients with related disorders, of which Arthritis is one that I discuss regularly. This uncomfortable condition can make even everyday tasks feel like a big challenge. But, there’s always hope for healing and a lot of it comes down to the food that we consume daily.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an auto-immune disorder which is connected to inflammation in the system.
Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis…
Many of us may be unaware that there are multiple types of Arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is different from other types, including osteoarthritis, which is an autoimmune disease. RA is caused by an underlying issue with the immune system, that causes it to attack your body’s own tissues. Autoimmune diseases can target any part of the body, including the skin, brain, eyes, pancreas, thyroid gland and colon. But in this case, the body’s immune attack is aimed at the joints, fluid and tissues that surround them, causing the cartilage, bone, and ligaments in that area to deteriorate and cause stiffness, swelling and pain. RA mostly targets the wrist and hands or the feet, ankles, and knees.
Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis:
RA symptoms can be more centralized than other types of arthritis. For example, you may experience fatigue, muscle aches, loss of appetite, or a random low-grade fever along with the following common symptoms:
- Swelling or heat around the joints
- Stiffness in the morning or after sitting or laying down
- Loss of mobility
- Nodules under the skin around the joint that are hard to the touch
If not treated at the right time, it can lead to a more systemic illness, called Inflammatory Arthritis, which can cause complications like an increased risk for cardiac disease, shortness of breath and recurrent chest pains, carpal tunnel syndrome, kidney problems, anaemia, inflamed nodules, brittle bones, frequent infections, headaches and loss of appetite.
Some common Inflammatory-Autoimmune triggers include Toxin exposure; Infections (bacterial, yeast, viral, or parasitic); Leaky gut syndrome; Poor diet; Chronic stress; Nutrient deficiencies and Mould toxicity.
How Is Inflammation Connected To Food?
For every medical condition, there are foods and ingredients that either help heal or worsen the condition. One of the biggest factors to take into account is the drastic change in food habits, over the past few decades, due to rise in processed foods and artificial preservatives. However, our genetics haven’t changed, and we haven’t been able to adapt to these changes in the food we eat. This has contributed to the rise in autoimmune conditions.
What Foods Should Be Avoided For RA?
While there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ diet, some foods are inflammatory for most people, especially for those who already suffer from autoimmunity. While you should consider your own bio-individuality, there are some foods that are generally known to make arthritis worse and should be avoided. These include Coffee; Gluten; Dairy; Refined sugar; Tomatoes; Bell peppers; Potatoes; Eggplant (Baingan); Seed oils like canola oil, corn oil, grapeseed oil, rice bran oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil and vegetable oils.
Every individual will have a different response to these foods. While for some, gluten might be a problem, for others it may not. The same goes for dairy and veggies. It’s important to work with a practitioner who understands this and will chalk a plan that is customised for you!
Foods That Help For RA:
There are some foods reduce inflammation while offering a well-rounded amount of nutrients that your body needs to function optimally. These include Healthy fats (Salmon, Tuna, Avocado oil, Coconut oil, Nuts and seeds, Olives, Olive oil); Cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower; Antioxidant rich fruits like blueberries, pomegranates, and apples; Herbs and Spices like turmeric, ginger and black pepper; Green tea and Earl grey tea.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune condition that doesn’t have a set healing plan for every single individual. In my telehealth clinic we run a comprehensive look at your health to put together a diet plan that works for you! Healing is possible! With the correct approach, you will be able to live a stress-free life!
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