Arthritis: Three food types you should think about avoiding – they could worsen symptoms

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Arthritis causes chronic joint inflammation that can spread to other parts of the body. Researchers are finding more evidence for how certain foods either help to reduce arthritis symptoms or make them far worse. If concerned about your arthritis symptoms or potential risk, experts advise avoiding three food types.

A study published in the National Library of Health, looked at arthritis symptoms and how different foods may help or hinder the condition.

The study involved 217 subjects who were asked whether they consume each of 20 foods and whether these foods make their rheumatoid arthritis (RA) symptoms better, worse, or unchanged.

Twenty-four percent of subjects reported that foods affect their RA, with 15 percent reporting improvement and 19 percent worsening.

Blueberries and spinach were the foods most often reported to improve arthritis symptoms, while soda with sugar and desserts were most often reported to worsen arthritis symptoms.

The study concluded that among a list of 20 specific foods, blueberries and spinach were most often noted to improve arthritis, while soda with sugar and desserts were most commonly reported to worsen arthritis.

“While we cannot draw strong conclusions based on this survey, past work has shown that greater consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with increased risk for developing arthritis,” added the study.

“A potential link between sugar consumption and inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis warrants further study.”

The link between sugar and arthritis flare ups is nothing new.

Many people assume that the autoimmune disorder started happening only recently, however, it was first seen by Western doctors in the late 19th century, when sugar became more widely available to the public.

With the rise in sugar products so came the rise in tooth decay and gum disease.

Experts hypothesise that sugar causes a change in bacteria in the mouth which in turn increased some people’s risk to arthritis.

Sugar can affect your gut microbiome, the balance of good and bad bacteria in your digestive tract, said nutritionist Melissa Ann Prest.

She continued: “Sugar encourages the growth of bad bacteria, and some research already suggests that patients with arthritis already have gut microbiomes that are out of whack.

“The more off-kilter your gut bacteria are, the more likely you are to have inflammation that can worsen your arthritis symptoms.”

Eating excess sugar can also cause the body to produce more cytokines, which are inflammatory proteins.

People with arthritis already have high levels of cytokines, so increasing inflammation can make symptoms far worse.

Researchers have been studying how sugar affects the body in order to understand how sugar may increase a person’s risk of developing arthritis or worsen existing symptoms of the condition.

Numerous studies found that people with arthritis who consumed a higher quality diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish had lower inflammation and disease levels.
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