Arthritis is an inflammatory disease that primarily affects joints. It takes the form of acute crises, followed by periods when the illness appears to be dormant. Both the crises and the remission periods can last from a few days to a few weeks, even a few months. During the crises, sufferers experience fatigue, stiffness in their joints (particularly their hands), and pain.
Periodically, "miracle cures" are advertised as being able to "heal" arthritis. Unfortunately, no diet has been proven to have an effect on treating arthritis and some can even be harmful to your health. However, by paying particular attention to your diet, you can help control the symptoms of arthritis:
- Take control of your weight
Any excess weight puts an unnecessary load on your joints.Try to maintain a healthy weight. If you need to lose some excess weight, talk to your dietician who will suggest ways to modify your diet. Once you reach your healthy weight, try to maintain it by eating balanced meals.
- Eat more fish
Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids. These natural fats may have some anti-inflammatory activity which could help reduce pain and stiffness caused by arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are especially abundant in sardine, herring and mackerel. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements are also available.
- For a balanced diet
Don't hesitate to have your diet assessed by a nutritionist. He/she will prepare a diet for you, based on your medication and the severity of your illness. For example, during crises, you may be advised to take a nutritional supplement.
Depending on the severity of the illness, its effects may interfere with your activities of daily living including preparing meals and running errands. Arranging for regular or occasional help could help improve your quality of life.
Some authors recommend taking Evening Primrose Oil on a regular basis. This oil contains gamma-linoleic acid, a precursor of an anti-inflammatory agent found in the body. Evening Primrose oil is not found in food but supplements are available. The efficacy of Evening Primrose Oil supplements has not been established, but they are associated with no adverse effects and many arthritic patients use them.
Always watch your diet: it has a strong impact on your health!
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The patient information leaflets are provided by Vigilance Santé Inc. This content is for information purposes only and does not in any manner whatsoever replace the opinion or advice of your health care professional. Always consult a health care professional before making a decision about your medication or treatment.