Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease which the immune system attacks healthy tissues and joints, resulting in chronic inflammation. It causes pain, stiffness, swelling and even lack of mobility. RA may come and go, but many find the symptoms are worse upon waking and gradually subsides as the day progresses.
Diet & Research
While there isn’t a research-based link between diet and RA, studies have shown that the inflammation in RA can be modulated by certain foods. Inflammatory foods are usually foods that have been highly processed or cooked at a high temperature. Focusing on foods that are anti-inflammatory, like fruits, vegetables, fatty fish may help support the inflammatory response.
One of the best diet for RA is the Mediterranean diet as it is high in anti-inflammatory foods and focuses on fruit and vegetables, whole grains, EVOO, and seafood over red meats and one of the best choices for your body and RA.
Celiac disease is another autoimmune disorder, which causes inflammation when consuming gluten.
Many people with celiac disease also experience symptoms similar to RA symptoms such as sore and painful joints, fatigue, depression, and anemia. By following a gluten-free diet, many RA patients have reported a decrease in inflammation. Because having autoimmune disorder increases the likelihood of having another, some doctors suggest being tested for celiac disease if you’ve already been diagnosed with RA.
The body may lose weight with RA due to the inflammatory response which may cause the body to burn more calories that needed. Another reason for malnutrition may be the medications used to help treat RA. These medications have been known to cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies, may cause stomach ulcers, and other digestive concerns.
Common nutrient deficiencies:
While it’s always best to receive nutrients through food, in some cases it may be necessary to take supplements. Always speak to your doctor or rheumatologist before taking any nutritional supplements as some may interact with your current prescription medications and cause serious side effects. To reduce the risk of further symptoms or complications, your doctors will be able to advise which supplements are safe for your unique case.
If you need help picking out the right supplement, checkout our online supplement store and schedule a visit with us today.
Top Tips for Your Diet
Focus on eating healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, fish and nuts and try to limit intake of processed foods and red meats.