Arthritis Diet Claims: Fact or Fiction (cont.)

Use Caution

Experimenting with foods and supplements is not without risks. "I know people get desperate enough to try anything, but I would not feel comfortable eliminating whole groups of food," says Gerbstadt. "Before you eliminate any foods or modify your diet, check with a nutritionist."

"The best advice is to eat a healthy, well balanced diet and stay close to your ideal body weight so affected joints have less extra weight to carry around," says Wilson. "Also get plenty of rest and exercise and decrease stress."

Be aware that many supplements interfere with or enhance effects of medications you're already taking. For example, a number of supplements increase the effects of blood-thinning medication. Check with your doctor.

Published Aug. 6, 2004.

SOURCES: Archives of Internal Medicine, July 14, 2003. The Arthritis Foundation's Guide to Alternative Therapies, by Judith Horstman. Hayes Wilson, MD, medical advisor, Arthritis Foundation. Christine Gerbstadt, RD, MD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. Arthritis Foundation. Web site of Jason Theodosakis , MD.

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Last Editorial Review: 3/16/2005