Arthritis

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

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Is there an arthritis diet?

For most forms of arthritis, diets play little or no role in precipitating or exacerbating the condition. However, in general, oils of fish have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Some arthritis suffers benefit from omega-3 fatty acid supplements. Some feel they benefit from the curcumin that is present in curry foods.

Gout is a particular type of arthritis that is clearly diet-related. Foods that are high in purines, especially red meats and shellfish, can worsen the condition. Moreover, certain foods elevate the levels of uric acid, including alcohol (especially beer) and those foods containing high amounts of fructose (such as the corn syrup found in soft drinks). For people with celiac disease, gluten-containing foods (wheat, barley, rye) can worsen joint pains.

Are there foods to avoid when you have arthritis?

With the exception of the unique metabolic form of arthritis in gout and celiac disease, there are no universally accepted foods that must be avoided by people with arthritis. Gout can be promoted and precipitated by dehydration as well as fructose-containing foods (corn syrup, etc.), high-purine foods (seafood, shellfish, organ meats), and alcoholic beverages (particularly beer). People with gout should avoid these foods. The arthritis of celiac disease can be worsened by intake of gluten-containing foods (wheat, barley, rye).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/17/2016

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