In recent years, many specialized diets have gained popularity among some people with arthritis. To date, few of these claims have been substantiated by rigorously controlled studies. That said, some people find that certain foods trigger changes in symptoms –– either for the better or the worse. If you find yourself noticing this type of pattern, try keeping a food diary for a few weeks to test if indeed what you eat makes a difference or if you have food sensitivities.
There is, in fact, evidence that certain foods tend to be inflammatory in nature, while others can help manage inflammation.
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Whether a person is affected by a chronic illness or not, there are some straightforward guidelines that, if followed, would lead to improved health and well-being for almost everyone:
Experts agree that there are basic guidelines to good nutrition, which are:
Avoid alcohol or foods that can interact with your medication. Talk with your doctor and/or pharmacist about potential interactions.
Besides the well-known medical problems individuals can develop as a result of weight gain (high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, stroke, and heart disease), extra weight puts additional stress on joints and bones. For example, the corticosteroid prednisone causes weight gain to some degree in nearly all patients who take the medication and can lead to redistribution of body fat to places like the face, back of the neck, and abdomen.
On the other hand, underweight people can suffer from medical problems, ranging from chronic fatigue and anemia to lowered resistance to infection and clinical depression. Inflammation, certain medications, and depression associated with a chronic illness may lessen your appetite or upset your stomach, making it difficult for some people with spondylitis to maintain a healthy weight. This is especially true for those who have spondylitis with inflammatory bowel disease or Crohn's disease who experience gastrointestinal problems on top of arthritis symptoms. Any severe weight loss to should be reported to your doctor.
This program was made possible through the generous support of Novartis.
The Spondylitis Association of America is solely responsible for all of the content hosted on spondylitis.org.
Posted June 2016
Chloe is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Sports Dietitian who specializes in nutrition for arthritis and inflammatory joint disease, food intolerance, and sports...
Posted April 2016
Posted January 2016
Hillary Norton, MD is a board certified rheumatologist in Santa Fe, New Mexico and herself an ankylosing spondylitis patient. This is her story.
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