Refined carbohydrates can make arthritis ‘flare-ups more common’

Ruth asks This Morning doctor about milk helping arthritis

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Arthritis flare-ups can be excruciating to deal with. There are ways to reduce the risk of this happening. Stopping activities if they get painful is one way to avoid a flare-up. Changing what food you eat can also be valuable too.

Avera Health explains: “You can avoid those [foods] that make flare-ups more common and eat foods that will lessen the symptoms.”

In particular, the health body recommends that you “cut back” on “refined carbohydrates like the ones you find in breads and pastries”.

Refined grains are specifically found in white bread, white rice, biscuits and cakes, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

The organisation said: “Eating refined grains might aggravate inflammation, potentially making your joints hurt more.

“Not only are these highly processed grains limited in nutrition but they can also worsen inflammation throughout the body.”

It explains that better choices include whole wheat, whole oats, barley, brown rice, buckwheat, and rye.

Avera Health also suggests cutting back on alcohol and tobacco, excessive salt, vegetable oils, margarines, soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages.

Instead, it suggests consuming fatty fish among other foods like nuts, fruits, tomatoes and olive oil.

Fatty fish contains lots of omega-3 fatty acids that studies have shown can cut back on inflammation.

A past study by the University of California fed mice major sources of omega-3 fatty acids and found remarkable results.

When the mice were triggered to have an inflammatory response, the fatty acids were shown to stop the action of an enzyme that creates a hormone called prostaglandin that is involved in kick-starting inflammation.

Other minerals to make sure you’re getting

Calcium is an essential vitamin whether or not you have arthritis.

The Arthritis Foundation explains that it “regulates muscle contractions” and is vital for bone health.

“It also helps prevent osteoporosis (loss of bone density) and fractures, which are higher risks among people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and those taking corticosteroids.”

There are plenty of over the counter pain medications that can help relieve occasional pain caused by arthritis flare-ups.

The type of painkiller will depend on how bad your arthritis is.

Paracetamol is often the first port of call for arthritis but your doctor may also prescribe opioids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

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