Health Headlines: Foods that make arthritis symptoms worse

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Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 9:04 AM CDT
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ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Nearly one in four people in the US are living with arthritis. It’s the leading cause of work disability, costing billions in lost earnings. Age, obesity, and genetics are risk factors that can lead to arthritis but what you eat can also cause your symptoms to worsen.

Achy, sore, and stiff joints are classic signs of arthritis, and they don’t just affect the elderly.

Mathew Pombo, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon at Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center says, “We’re seeing arthritis at an earlier age, not only in the knees, but shoulders, really everywhere.”

Arthritis can severely impact a person’s day to day.

Stephen Messier, PhD, Prof. of Health & Exercise Science at Wake Forest University says, “The main symptom is pain, decrease in quality of life, decrease in mobility.”

And that pain often limits a person’s ability to work. According to the CDC, one in 10 adults have to limit their activities due to arthritis. But experts say you may be able to reduce the severity of your symptoms by avoiding certain arthritis-inflaming foods. Wheat products like pasta, bread, bagels and crackers contain gluten and it is a protein that can aggravate arthritic joints. In fact, studies have shown that people with celiac disease are at an increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, but those who went gluten-free were able to alleviate their symptoms.

Added sugars are another thing to avoid if you have arthritis. A study in New England found those who drank sugary beverages five times or more per week were three times more likely to have arthritis. Other foods that can increase your risk and worsen symptoms include red meats, processed foods, alcohol, and foods high in omega-six fats like vegetable oils. Helping you to live pain-free.

Your diet is not the only factor in arthritis pain. Experts say managing your smoking status, activity level, and body weight can also help ease arthritis symptoms.

Contributors to this news report include Milvionne Chery, Producer; Bob Walko, Editor.