Should any Foods be Avoided?

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  • Can avoiding acidic foods help arthritis?
Some people feel that eating acidic foods including oranges and lemons can make their arthritis feel worse. Everyone is different though and other people find that these foods make no difference to how they feel. There is no evidence that eating acidic foods makes arthritis any worse or that avoiding these foods can help treat arthritis but if you feel that your arthritis is affected by these foods, provided you are eating all the vitamins and nutrients you need from other parts of your diet, there is no harm in avoiding certain foods.

 

  • Can avoiding Nightshade foods help with arthritis?
Some people believe that foods from the nightshade group of plants such as tomatoes, potatoes and peppers can make their arthritis feel worse. There is no evidence that this is the case or that avoiding these foods can help treat arthritis. If anything, there is good evidence that tomatoes contain chemicals called lycopenes which may have beneficial anti-oxidant effects and reduce the risks of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Again, provided your overall diet contains all the vitamins and nutrients needed, there is no harm in avoiding a few foods if you feel that this helps your arthritis.

 

  • Can avoiding gluten-containing foods help arthritis?
Gluten is a protein found in certain grains such as wheat and oats. Some people are very sensitive to gluten in their diet and have a condition called coeliac disease which leads to problems absorbing food, diarrhoea and weight loss. Coeliac disease can be cured with a diet free of gluten. Some people with coeliac disease have a type of arthritis linked to their coeliac disease and this can also be cured by a diet avoiding gluten. Coeliac disease can only be accurately diagnosed with a biopsy (sample) of the intestinal lining, and there is no evidence in people with arthritis who do not have coeliac disease that avoiding gluten-containing foods such as bread will have any effect on the arthritis. Again though, everyone is different, so if you feel that your arthritis is made worse with gluten-containing foods, as long as the rest of your diet is healthy, you will not come to any harm by avoiding gluten.

 

If you think you may be intolerant to certain foods it may be worth keeping a food diary to record your food intake and symptoms. Make sure that you speak to your GP before trying to eliminate any foods from your diet. 

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