SAA’s Helpful Hints: Community Wisdom – Diet’s Impact on Inflammation and Symptoms of Spondylitis.

By Spondylitis Association of America

Monday, August 26, 2019

Helpful Hints is a recurring feature, aimed at sharing our community’s knowledge and experiences. Good nutrition can improve health and well-being, and some diets may help decrease inflammation in those with arthritis. Are there any specific food items, or diets that you have found helpful? In contrast, are there foods that you find increase inflammation or make you feel worse? We share a sample of responses with our thanks. Have your own to share? Email them to us at!

Apparently, turmeric is meant to be really good for inflammation. I have a bag myself, that now because of your question, I'm going to start. Could be worth looking into.
~Steven P.
A paleo diet minus nightshade vegetables and intermittent fasting.
~Anna P.
I avoid meats with a passion. I am trying to eat plant based which isn’t always easy living in an Independent Living Facility. I am doing the best I can. Once you figure out how foods affect you, it is not hard to give them up. (Except M&M’s—M&M’s are hard).
~Joyce U.
Fish seems to make me feel better and stronger. I eat a lot of fish and learned that as a kid from my Dad and at first I didn't believe it. One day I was in a flare and feeling generally exhausted, very stiff and in a lot of pain. My husband spent the day fishing and brought his catch home. Cod for dinner. A few hours later I had more energy and my pain and stiffness felt so much better. I try and eat a well-balanced diet, everything in moderation. I don't drink alcohol except on special occasions. I drink decaf tea most of the time and occasionally coffee. I drink a lot of water, it must be icy cold for me. In contrast, Chinese food is an instant flare so I avoid it now. Beef and I also don't agree in terms of my AS, but I can't pass on a good cheeseburger so it's a sacrifice I am willing to make, lol, you got to live right?
~Kellianne M.
Absolutely no dairy, a sad goodbye to cheese
~Kathy C.
I am eating sort of a cross between the anti-inflammatory and Mediterranean diets, they're easy to follow and seem to really help me! Processed food and rich or heavy stuff tends to make me feel terrible.
~Diana W.
I eat fruits, fresh salads, nuts, and minimize my sugar intake. Fish is great; milk makes me feel bad. Still eat cheese in small amounts and low fat if possible. No pork or bacon. I’ve seen improvement.
~Anna T.
Corn and soy (and products with those in them) make my joints worse.
~GM G.
Last November I decided to give Keto a try. In just 30 days my CRP and Sed rate went back to normal for the first time in 15 years. Sugar is absolute poison but it’s even worse for those of us with inflammatory arthritis. I will never go back to eating the way I did, I just wish I had done it sooner. Keto hasn't cured my AS or Uveitis, but it has made a huge difference in how I feel every day.
~ kenmare14
Gluten is very bad!
~Jeff M.
A healthy diet helps make everything better. There is no miracle magic diet.
V8 does feel like a magical elixir though. But it doesn't help with AS flare ups. I think it became required drinking at 40.
~Rick Y.
I eat a hyper nourishing diet of over a 10 cups of raw leafy greens and cruciferous veggies (plus some fruit and any other veggies I want to eat), drink a gallon of water a day, and consume 1/2 cup to 2 cups of chia seeds and flaxseeds daily. I make a giant smoothie daily with the leafy greens and flaxseeds plus add some fruit to make it taste better. :) And I'll have some kind of plant based cooked dinner. I eliminated all animal products (meat, dairy, fish, and eggs) as well as all oils and processed foods. After doing that, my rheumatologist was able to take me off my medications. I don't even take Advil. I have zero flares. No psoriasis. Zero stiffness. I've tried all kinds of other things like functional medicine, paleo, Wahl's protocol, AIP, and no starch.
~Ashley L.
Must be lactose-free, but brie and gouda cheese are fine for me. No spicy foods at all – killers. I find gluten free works. No corn, soy or night vegetables. Most of all do yoga, exercise and walking. You have no idea how much better you will feel. Keep your muscles and joints moving at all times. Get acupuncture treatments. Read articles like this for support.
~LaRae K.

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