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Foods people suffering from arthritis should avoid

Updated on February 9, 2010

Diet may play a major role on stiffness and pain


While information on arthritis highly abounds over the Internet, not many arthiritis sufferers today are aware of the fact that food may play a major role in causing or preventing their all too well known, arthritic flare ups.

The most common foods an athritis sufferer ahould avoid are those that we commonly already label as "bad" such as: sugar, caffeine, red meats, and fatty foods to just name a few.

The nightshade family has been blamed as a culprit for bouts of arthritis pain. If you are wondering what foods are part of the nightshade family, they are:





Avoiding these foods may prove challenging as you will have to read all prepared food labels carefully. Potato starch, tomato paste, flakes of pepper can easily be found in many common prepared foods. Also, it is challenging to figure out if you are sensitive to any of these vegetables or other foods, since their effects may be felt from 48 hours up to 6 months!

Other arthritis sufferers have noticed that foods that are affected by mold have played a good role in worsening symptoms. Foods that are particularly vulnerable to mold are:





Always check these foods carefully for mold or avoid them all together.

Some sufferers have noticed improvements by reducing their gluten intake. It appears that gluten increases the inflammatory state of joints that causes much pain in artitis sufferers. Cutting on gluten would mean you would have to avoid foods containing gluten such as:





You must also be concerned about calcium and phosphorus ratios. If certain foods have too much phosphorus you must increase your calcium intake as well. The reason behind this is because too much phosphorus will cause a decrease of calcium, so you must compensate this loss by increasing your calcium.

Arthritis sufferers have noticed their symptoms aggravated after using dairy products, they have seen improvement after banning:




There are a couple of beverages as well you may want to stay away from:

Soft drinks


Soft drinks are too high in phosphoric acid and coffee causes loss of minerals and important nutrients.

Rhubarb especially when eaten in excess can create arthritis problems. It's oxalic acid content causes improper absorption of calcium and iron that may be found from other foods.

Citrus fruits have a bit of a contradiction. As a fruit it should help arthritis sufferers but some say their acidic content actually worsens symptoms. To avoid citrus fruit take away from your diet:






Many arthritis sufferers have found good results once they altered their diet. Banning certain foods may turn out though the most challenging part.

If you feel overwhelmed by the varieties of foods you must avoid try to think of it in a lighter, positive note, rather than focusing on all the foods that need banned, focus on all the good healthy foods available to eat!


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    • profile image

      Mel colyon 6 years ago

      I found all the information very helpful. I have had Rheumatoid arthritis since March.

      I am interested in eating the vegan raw diet which I understand can reverse this, but it seems most recipes have all the night shades which seem to make this almost impossible. I would love some help if anyone can offer it .

    • naturalpainrelief profile image

      David 6 years ago from Peterborough, Ontario

      Great tips! You could also mention some foods that may help arthritis: Fish, nuts or anything that is high in Omega 3 may help relieve the inflammation associated with arthritis.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 6 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Good hub. Unfortunately, I have arthritis, but am also a vegan, so avoiding all of the veggies, fruits and grains on the list would leave me with very little left to eat! I do limit my coffee, but drink a lot of tea (which also has caffeine). At least I don't consume dairy....

      Also, berries have flavenoids that are supposed to be very good for the brain, and I'm trying my best to avoid Alzheimers Disease (which both my parents had). If I had to make a choice between arthritis and AD, I'll bet you know which one would win!

      It's too bad that some foods which have been found to help prevent certain types of conditions, such as AD and cancer, are bad for arthritis.

      However, I don't take a lot of pain meds for chronic pain because I don't want to go through the rest of my life in a haze. I've learned to cope with chronic pain and limited mobility pretty well, I think.


    • profile image

      trudy hoare 6 years ago

      having avoided certain of these foods etc( tomatoes,citrus fruits and dairy) for the last 3 weeks the pain in my feet has improved so much,i shall certainly contine

    • profile image

      Christoper Jel Lacsamana 7 years ago

      well. thank you for the information that you share to us.

      I hope my Dad can cured easily by following the given information. :)

    • profile image

      amin19692 7 years ago from Karachi

      It is very good and informative article my younger sister has this disease i will tell about this hub thank you

    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 7 years ago from Philippines

      I had read this over and over again and funny- I'm proud to have taken away a long time ago from your list- only 2! coffee and soft drinks! This is so cruel, most of these avoidables are my favorites. But actually, I'm having flare ups today, and now I know it's because I had a big helping of potatoes and bananas last night.

      I'll now have reasons not to suffer from RA pain. I'll follow these suggestions- for my health. Thank you.

    • dnewman profile image

      dnewman 7 years ago

      Not only do I have RA, but I also am a Post-Polio survivor! Food absolutely, in my humble opinion, makes a huge difference in how I feel!

      Great article!

    • Roseann Cole profile image

      Roseann Cole 7 years ago from Midwest USA

      All of the foods listed are my favorites, so it would be shameful to have to avoid all of them. But, Arthritis pain is awful and I hope to avoid as much of it as possible, even if it means giving up my favorite foods. Great hub, Thanks.

    • Challah1202 profile image

      Challah1202 7 years ago from Chandler, TX

      Good job. It does make you wonder what is left to eat. On the other hand, if it helped it would be worth it.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 9 years ago from USA

      Thank you very much for bringing that to my attention, apparently the article was accidentally cut off for some reason. I have edited it properly now. Again many thanks!

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

      good hub, but " rather than focusing on all the foods that need banned, focus...?"