Rheumatoid Arthritis: Do Diet Changes Help?

The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, including pain and stiffness, can damage the quality of your life. While rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can't be cured, you may be able to successfully manage your RA symptoms. With less pain and inflammation, you can be active again, without worrying about the risks of long-term joint damage.

At Pleasanton Arthritis and Osteoporosis Medical Center, our experienced team can help you manage your RA symptoms and slow the progression of your condition. Led by expert rheumatologist Iraj Sabahi, MD, we support new and existing patients with RA in our Pleasanton and Turlock, California offices.

To reduce your RA symptoms, you may want to reconsider your dietary intake to support your system and reduce inflammation. Together with other treatments, changes to your diet can successfully get your RA symptoms under control. 

Here's what Dr. Sabahi wants his RA patients to know about their dietary needs, including foods to try, and food triggers to avoid.

Foods to try

Many foods can actually lower levels of inflammation throughout your body. Reducing inflammation can relieve your RA symptoms of joint pain and swelling. Here are some foods and diet plans you can try:

Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids

You can find omega-3 fatty acids in some types of fish (tuna, salmon, and herring) or in nuts and seeds (walnuts, flax seeds, and almonds). 

Consume plenty of dietary antioxidant vitamins and minerals

For example, vitamins A, C, and E, and the mineral selenium. Good sources of antioxidant vitamins and minerals include fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and green tea. 

Some spices work to actively reduce inflammation around your body. Consider adding more turmeric, ginger, and chili pepper to your meals!

Consider the mediterranean diet 

Many RA patients find they achieve good results with the Mediterranean diet, recommended by the Arthritis Foundation for its effects on inflammation.

This regional diet includes foods like whole grains, fresh fish, fresh fruits, and vegetables. It also relies on olive oil instead of other fats.

Foods (and drinks) to avoid

Some foods and beverages can increase inflammation in your body. For people living with rheumatoid arthritis, it's often helpful to identify and avoid dietary triggers that can make your symptoms worse.

Some of the common trigger foods for arthritis include: 

Expert guidance and support

If you're struggling with disabling arthritis, you don't have to cope alone. The care team at Pleasanton Arthritis and Osteoporosis Medical Center are ready to help you put together a personalized treatment plan. 

With the right dietary and lifestyle changes, supplemented by other treatments and therapies including medications and infusions, we can relieve your RA symptoms and slow the progression of your disease.

Left untreated, RA can irreversibly damage your physical health and personal wellness. Let us help you plan for a better future with RA. To schedule an appointment, contact Pleasanton Arthritis and Osteoporosis Medical Center today.

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