Arthritis affects more than 40 million Americans and is referred to as the most common chronic disease in people over 40.
Doctors believe there are over 100 different forms of arthritis, all sharing one main characteristic: they all cause joint inflammation.
What can you do to relieve the symptoms of arthritis? A lot.
There is a great deal of debate in the medical world about the effects of overall diet on arthritis and using diet toward alleviating the condition.
Doctors have known for a long time that diet affects gout, a specific type of arthritic condition, however the jury remained out for a long time on other common types of arthritis such as rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.
What is known however, is that overall dietary health is important and does come into play. Weight and nutrition are two factors that play a role in arthritic pain.
Being overweight can affect certain arthritic conditions, forcing some joints to carry more of a load. This added weight stresses the joints, causing overuse or more wear to components, and pain, especially in the knees.
If you suffer from arthritis make sure you eat good foods and get help from healthcare providers to create and follow a well-balanced dietary plan.
To begin with, here are some vitamins, minerals, foods, supplements and herbal applications to consider.
Vitamins that have shown to reduce tissue swelling or provide relief include Vitamins B5, B6, B12, the antioxidant vitamins C and E, and vitamin K, which improves bone health.
Several independent studies have found that rheumatoid arthritis patients given increased doses of zinc showed marginal improvement.
Other minerals to consider include Boron, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese (not to be taken with calcium), Copper, Germanium and Sulfur.
The National Institutes of Health is studying the food supplements, glucosamine and chondroitin, for use in relieving symptoms of pain and stiffness for some persons with osteoarthritis.
Patients with osteoarthritis taking blood-thinners should be careful taking chondroitin as it can increase the blood-thinning and cause excessive bleeding.
Fish oil supplements have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Increasing dietary fish intake or fish oil capsules (omega 3 capsules) can relieve inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
For more information, see Omega 3 Fats
Glutathione is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties and can be safely boosted by consuming its precursors available in the supplements, N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) or undenatured whey protein.
For more information, see Glutathione.
Quercetin is also known to help reduce inflammation, while Type II Collagen plays a role in growth and repair of joints, articular cartilage and connective tissue.
Because of the risk in overdosing, one should be discouraged from taking doses of vitamins that are higher than recommended without a physician's direction.
Some vitamins and minerals can actually worsen certain conditions, and the concentration that can be attained through vitamins can be dangerous. It is always better to increase in vitamin or mineral intake through your normal diet.
Foods To Avoid
There are many factors to consider with regards to arthritic diets and nutritional healing, and each factor may not apply to each individual.
For example, certain people are allergic to specific foods, and these allergies can indeed worsen arthritic conditions. The best way to approach the situation is to examine each arthritic condition and tailor one's approach based upon the specifics.
Ingesting foods that contain sodium nitrate or tartrazine can inflame rheumatoid arthritis, while ingesting foods containing a substance called hydrazine can contribute to an arthritic condition connected to lupus.
Black walnuts can cause flare-ups in people a rare type of arthritis called Behcet's Disease.
With osteoarthritis, deterioration of cartilage is a concern. Since there is some evidence that Vitamin A, contributes to cartilage deterioration, those with osteoarthritis should avoid large doses of it.
Although clinical proof is not available, anecdotal evidence suggests that in the case of fibromyalgia, eliminating wheat, dairy, citrus, sugar, aspartame (Nutrasweet), alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco can provide relief.
Many nutritionists and naturopaths suggest that those suffering with rheumatoid arthritis avoid dairy products all together, as they seem to exacerbate rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups.
The report "I Cured My Arthritis You Can Too" suggests that white flour aggravates arthritis symptoms.
Disclaimer: The information here is not provided by medical professionals and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your physician before beginning any course of treatment.
Priya Shah is the Editor of The Glutathione Report, a newsletter featuring regular updates on the health benefits of glutathione. For a comprehensive report on arthritis, read the Arthritis Relief Report online