Arthritis: Doctor gives advice on best foods to help ease pain
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According to researchers from the division of rheumatology, immunology and allergy at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, America, the drinks you choose to consume could be having an effect on your arthritis. Zoning in on rheumatoid arthritis in particular, 217 subjects who were mailed a diet survey reported that drinking soda made their symptoms feel worse. The researchers noted: “Past work has shown that greater consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with increased risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis.”
What is rheumatoid arthritis?
The NHS outlined the main symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis:
- Joint pain
- Joint swelling
- Joint stiffness
The joint pain is described as a “throbbing” and “aching” sensation that is worse in the mornings and after a period of inactivity.
Swollen joints may become “hot and tender to touch”, and nodules can develop under the skin.
Some people with rheumatoid arthritis may have more general symptoms too, such as:
- Tiredness and a lack of energy
- A high temperature
- A poor appetite
- Weight loss.
READ MORE: Rheumatoid arthritis: How to spot arthritis bumps – location and size
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition whereby the immune system attacks healthy tissues surrounding the joints.
This causes the thin layer of cells that cover the joints (known as the synovial) to become sore and inflamed, releasing chemicals that damage:
- The bones
- The cartilage – the stretchy connective tissue between bones
- The tendons – the tissue that connects bone to muscle
- The ligaments – the tissue that connects bone and cartilage.
These chemicals can cause the joint to lose its shape and alignment, eventually destroying the joint completely.
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Several scientific studies have also highlighted that alcohol intake may increase the frequency and severity of gout attacks, Healthline stated.
Drinks that may make your arthritis symptoms worse:
- Sugary drinks
What is gout?
“Gout is a type of arthritis that causes sudden, severe joint pain,” said the NHS.
This pain is usually felt in the big toe, although it can affect other joints in the body.
The severe joint pain may be accompanied by hot, swollen, red skin over the affected joint.
A gout attack can last up to seven days, which may recur every few months or years.
The NHS recommends having “some alcohol-free days each week” to help make the condition more manageable.
This is because drinking too much alcohol is recognised as a “trigger” for a gout attack.
Drinking alcohol also increases your risk of developing gout in the first place.
To be specific, the UK Gout Society pointed out that drinking beer can increase the likelihood of gout developing compared to wine or spirits.
“Alcohol can raise the level of uric acid in the blood,” warned the UK Gout Society.
This means frequently drinking more than 14 units of alcohol weekly might led to more painful symptoms of arthritis.
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