Rheumatoid Arthritis: What Can We Eat And What Not?

The rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that leads to progressive disability patient: in the advanced stages, affected individuals become unable to perform job duties and even perform simple actions of personal care. It is an autoimmune disease: for reasons, still unknown, the immune system attacks the tissues of the joints and damages them, and also acts at a systemic level causing irreversible damage to the respiratory, circulatory and nervous system.

According to data from epidemiological studies on the population, rheumatoid arthritis is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis. This disease occurs most frequently between 60 and 65 years, and in 6 out of 10 cases that are women. Sometimes affects much younger ages, there is idiopathic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis that affects children and adolescents under 16 years.

Let’s see what the symptoms of this disease are and how we can improve the well-being of people who suffer from it by looking at the right nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.

Symptom Checker

Rheumatoid arthritis is initially manifested by a certain rigidity upon awakening. This symptom usually disappears after about an hour.

You may also experience fatigue, lethargy, apathy, loss of appetite, and fever.

In fact, these are non-specific symptoms, that is why rheumatologists diagnosis are based on diagnostic measures such as the patient’s history and a specific analysis to each patient.

Diet and lifestyle

All patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis should follow a healthy and balanced diet based on the model of the Mediterranean diet. The balanced supply of nutrients needed to ensure the body is in good condition and maintaining adequate weight control are essential for this disease. It’s no nonsense, think that a few extra pounds on the joints still hurt the patient more and make it more annoying to wear.

Affected individuals should regularly consume cereals, especially whole, and at least three servings of fresh fruit and two vegetables and vegetables every day. Regular consumption of high-fiber foods promotes good bowel function.

Exactly as suggested by the basic principles of the Mediterranean diet, the meat – preferably white and thin – should be consumed only 3-4 meals a week and should be encouraged eating fish. The latter is a source of omega 3 that has been shown to have a great anti-inflammatory action, which is a luxury in this disease. We can also find it in oils such as canola, corn, olive, linseed or soy.

Do not confuse it with omega 6! This other fatty acid has the opposite effect and worsens the state of inflammation, is the one found in fried food, fast food, egg yolk and meat grilled or fried very high temperatures above all.

Includes yes or yes virgin olive oil in the diet. It is a natural anti-inflammatory that can exert an action similar to an ibuprofen or aspirin in these cases of inflammation, thanks to its content in oleocanthal that confers this nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory action (NSAID). The similar amount of a 200mg ibuprofen would be 3 tablespoons and a half of olive oil (representing about 400 calories).

The milk If it contains 3% fat or more it is not recommended, moreover, it should be avoided, like hard cheeses with more fat content. Why? They affect the inflammation of the disease worsening its condition. In addition, often people with rheumatoid arthritis (not always) also suffer lactose intolerance, which means that cow’s milk is not recommended, so use is good to use an alternative milk.

Of course: you should limit the maximum intake of saturated fat, salt, and refined sugar. These foods are linked to having a greater risk of suffering serious diseases of the cardio-circulatory system.

In addition to the necessary adjustments in the diet, it is good for patients with rheumatoid arthritis continue, within the limits of the stage of the disease, an active lifestyle.

It is advisable to visit a physiotherapist regularly, not only in the most serious if not at all. Physiotherapists can help maintain good muscle tone. Whenever possible it is advisable to take walks daily and to do each day the exercises that the specialist has indicated.


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