Arthritis is a condition that causes pain and inflammation in the joints and is thought to affect around 10 million people in the UK. The most common types include Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Gout.
Here Bridget, our Senior Clinician, Naturopath, and Nutritional Therapist helps your understanding of these conditions and gives some “Food as Medicine” tips.
The most common type of arthritis in the UK. Usually occurring in adults over 40, Osteoarthritis affects the smooth cartilage lining of the joints, causing bones to rub together. This causes stiffness and pain and can eventually change the shape of the joint. Osteoarthritis most commonly affects the hands, spine, hips, and knees.
About Rheumatoid Arthritis
Unlike Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune condition, which occurs when the body’s immune system attacks selected joints, causing pain, and swelling. Naturopathic assessment will therefore look to the immune system to reveal the underlying causes and treatment will aim to modulate immunity.
Gout is a form of arthritis that is caused by excess uric acid in the bloodstream, which causes crystals to form in the joints of the body, resulting in severe pain and swelling. Gout most commonly affects the joint in the base of the big toe.
Our Top Food as Medicine Tips for Managing Arthritis:
- Bone Broth contains an abundance of minerals, glucosamine, and chondroitin to help keep cartilage healthy and joint pain at ease
- Ginger is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to get some anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action into your diet. Therapeutic doses of ginger start at just 2g (approx. 1 tsp). Ginger can easily be added to soups, stews, porridge, and smoothies, or simply grated into warm water with lemon for an afternoon drink.
- Tumeric contains a compound called Curcumin which is believed to be one of the main phytochemicals responsible for Turmeric’s impressive anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action. Curcumin works on the same pathway as conventional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) but where they damage the gut microbiome or the liver, Turmeric supports these organs. A 2017 study showed that patients who took Turmeric had significant changes in their clinical symptoms at the end of the trial when compared to placebo.
- Shiitake Mushrooms are a great dietary inclusion for arthritis with research showing that they can reduce both inflammatory mediators but also modulate the immune system – making them a great option for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis specifically.
- Cherry Juice may bring relief to Gout sufferers as it has been shown to reduce uric acid in the bloodstream, thanks to its anthocyanin content.
- Celery Seed has also long been used as a traditional remedy for Gout. It works as a diuretic to flush uric acid through the kidneys and contains an abundance of different anti-inflammatory compounds.
No Purines for Gout Sufferers
Purines are a class of compounds known to trigger episodes of Gout; these should be avoided in people prone to Gout. Sources of purines include alcohol, pork, turkey, organ meats, shellfish, sardines, haddock, trout, and codfish
How Optimal Health Can Help
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