Due to the fact that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) causes fatigue, joint stiffness and pain, it can potentially paralyze you.
The disease affects over 1.3 million Americans and up to 1% of people around the world.
And although we know that it is an autoimmune disease, we are still not sure what is causing it.
Rheumatoid Arthritis – research
However, according to the new study, there is something you can do to protect yourself from its devastating effects on your health and to take away energy from you.
All you need to do to lower the risk of RA is eat healthy – and stick to this rule.
One of the publications in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases analyzed the eating habits of middle-aged and older women. None of them at the beginning of the study was diagnosed with RA and there were no symptoms of connective tissue damage. It was established that the risk of disease in the group of women aged 55 plus was one-third lower than in people who were unhealthy in the same age group.
These measurements were carried out over a monitoring period of over three decades.
On the other hand, women from the 55+ group did not observe too much change. Researchers believe this is due to the fact that early rheumatoid arthritis is associated with other risk factors than late RA.
What tells me that early intervention is crucial. No matter how young you are, it is never too early to get on the right path when it comes to nutrition.
Rheumatoid arthritis and diet
The last study discussed was a review of a cohort of two decades. Health examinations of nurses from 1976 and 1989. The size of the trials was quite large. The older study involved 76 500 women, and in the second group, over 93 300 women. However, the assumptions of “healthy eating” in the seventies and eighties of the twentieth century were significantly different from the modern requirements.
Foods considered “healthy” included fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, omega-3 fats, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. “Healthy” women also drank little alcohol.
Sugar containing beverages (including fruit juices), red meat, processed meat, trans fats and sodium were considered as “unhealthy” foods.
I have some reservations here, because I would remove all starch – even whole grains. But I would not recommend to my patients the complete abandonment of red meat or sodium. For health, you need both of these ingredients in small amounts.
According to Bing Lu, PhD medical doctor at Harvard Medical School, the overall quality of the diet is the most important. Individual food products are not as important (especially in the case of early RA). I can agree with that.
The study focused on new cases of RA . But in my opinion, even if you are already suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, a healthy diet can help in the treatment of this disorder and alleviate some of the symptoms.
A simple way to ensure a healthy diet, thanks to which you do not have to guess which choices are right, is to use a paleo diet.