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Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
Arthritis Channel
Reported September 22, 2011

Easing Arthritis With Food

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- 50 million people in the U.S. suffer from some form of arthritis --including rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus and fibromyalgia. For many, medication is not enough. Pain relief can also be found in the foods you eat.
“It started in one of my wrists…shooting…shooting pains that wouldn’t go away,” Gina Marie Russo, a rheumatoid arthritis patient, told Ivanhoe.

“It’s all of the sudden, you’re stiff. You can’t move,” Kathy Abernathy, a rheumatoid arthritis patient, told Ivanhoe.

“I can’t remember a day that I don’t hurt,” Robyn Nichols, a rheumatoid arthritis patient, told Ivanhoe.

Arthritis: it’s a pain that just won’t go away. It happens when your body’s own immune cells attack healthy tissue around joints.

“Most of the medications are either symptom reduction, or actually, prevention of the progression of the disease, but there’s no cure yet,” Richard Krieger, M.D., an attending physician at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital, told Ivanhoe.

Side effects from the medications have many patients watching what they eat to find relief.

Mary Caldwell cooks to distract her from the pain. What she is cooking up could end up helping or hurting her.

Studies show saturated fats may increase inflammation in the body. That means bacon, steak, butter and cream may trigger arthritis pain. Omega 6 fatty acids -- found in vegetable oils -- may also increase inflammation and joint pain.

Omega 3 fatty acids found in salmon, tuna, trout, walnuts, tofu and canola oil may help decrease inflammation -- and decrease pain. Selenium fights free radicals that cause damage to healthy tissue. One 3.5-ounce serving of tuna gives you a full day’s requirement of selenium, and you may want to add a little hot sauce to your meal. An Oxford study shows 40 percent of arthritis patients reduced their pain by half after using Capsaicin for one month. It’s found in chili peppers.

“I did enjoy it so much,” Mary told Ivanhoe.

With the right diet and medications, Mary is able to stay active -- even taking a trip to Disney for the very first time.

You may want to pop open a cold one. A study published in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases found drinking alcohol may be linked to a significantly reduced chance of getting rheumatoid arthritis.

For additional research on this article, click here.


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If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marsha Hitchcock at



Arthritis Foundation


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