8 foods that trigger arthritis flareups
Arthritis is a leading cause of joint problems among adults across the country. Such a collection of conditions usually results in pain, stiffness, swelling, and inflammation in the vital joints. Many trigger factors of arthritis, including certain foods and beverages, could worsen the symptoms to a level of intolerance. Here are eight common food triggers that should be taken in moderation or eliminated to manage arthritis in the long run.
Processed foods bought off the shelves in the supermarket contain omega-6 fatty acids, saturated fats, and trans fats. For example, corn, hydrogenated vegetable, safflower, and sunflower oils contain excess amounts of omega 6. These are some of the most commonly used products in daily cooking, meaning unhealthy fats are indirectly taken. Also, meat and dairy products contain saturated fats that could trigger cholesterol problems. And most of the prepared foods and snacks contain traces of trans fats that add flavor to the food but make it very unhealthy to have regularly. Any form of processed fat can trigger inflammation among those suffering from arthritis. It is best to limit or moderate having these foods.
Sugar and sugary products
Sugar triggers inflammatory pain in people with arthritis, which does not always mean the sugar added to tea, coffee, or when used as a condiment for popular foods. Processed foods, including breakfast cereals, snacks, baked goods, confectioneries, and flavored beverages, are all laced with sugar. Regularly having these foods can imbalance blood glucose levels, which triggers health complications linked to arthritis. Even natural sugar substitutes like honey, agave nectar, and jaggery contain fructose, a form of sugar to limit or have only in moderation.
Foods with additives and preservatives
Canned goods and long shelf-life products are often laced with preservatives and additives that can trigger flareups among those already suffering from arthritis. MSG is the most common additive in hundreds of products and food preparations. Some products’ preservatives include sugar syrups and salt to cure meats, fruits, and vegetables. Also, canned goods are the worst form of processed foods as the excess sugar and sodium intake increase the risk of weight gain and insulin resistance. Both trigger health complications that can pressure the joints and increase inflammation causing long-term discomforts.
Refined carbohydrates and gluten
Carbohydrates and calories are the main energy source for the body. Carbs are broken down into glucose used for various body functions. However, refined carbohydrates found in processed foods are stripped of the fiber and nutrients necessary for the body. These empty calories add no nutrition but trigger weight gain, cholesterol, and blood glucose problems. These complications increase the risk of arthritis flareups, mainly triggering inflammation. Similarly, gluten, a protein found in grains, can trigger resistance and intolerance among those unable to process it. Eliminating gluten and switching to complex carbohydrates over refined options can help counter the inflammation.
Dairy foods and beverages, including milk, cheese, heavy cream, and yogurt, maybe a rich source of calcium and protein necessary for the bones and muscle health. However, at the same time, dairy is rich in a compound called casein. Studies show that excess casein can trigger inflammation problems in the gut and trigger intolerances that could lead to potential inflammatory flareups for arthritis.
Meats contain a substance called purine that is released during cooking. When the body presses purine, it converts into uric acid and could be deposited in and around vital joints. Excess accumulation of uric acid can result in gout problems among inflammatory flareups linked to arthritis. Avoid or moderate having red meats, including beef, ham, bacon, liver, and even some seafood options like scallops or mussels. Nutritionists suggest vegetarian substitutes to include among daily foods to create a purine-free food habit.
Certain nightshade vegetables
Eggplant, tomatoes, bell pepper, chili pepper, and even potatoes all belong to a class of vegetables called nightshades. While they may not directly trigger arthritis symptoms, conclusive studies and research trials show that eliminating these vegetables improved the outlook for flareups among arthritis patients.
Flavored sodas, carbonated fizzy drinks, fruit juices, and other sweetened beverages should be avoided to prevent inflammatory flareups caused by a blood sugar imbalance. These sugary drinks include fermented beverages that contain substances and compounds designed to mimic dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins (all feel-good hormones). These beverages induce pleasure and should be eliminated as regularly having them only increases the risk of gout.
Prescriptions for arthritis
Daily nutrition and lifestyle changes can be supplanted with active prescriptions suggested for treating distinct types of arthritis:
- Tremfya® is an FDA-approved prescription used to treat active psoriatic arthritis among adults. It helps manage joint pain, stiffness, and swelling symptoms.
- Actemra® belongs to a class of interleukin-6 receptor antagonists suggested for treating mild to moderate symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It is often suggested in combination with other prescriptions for RA.
- Interestingly, Plaquenil is an FDA-approved oral prescription that is primarily suggested for the treatment of malaria. However, the prescription’s efficacy has also been useful in relieving inflammation, swelling, joint pain, and stiffness.
If the symptoms persist, immediate medical attention is advisable. Also, it is better to consult with a certified nutritionist to understand the pros and cons of changing daily foods.