Thursday, June 13, 2013

Arthritis and Foods You Should be Eating or Avoiding

One illness that most of us dread as we get older is arthritis.  There is no cure for it and about half of us will experience at least a bit of discomfort from this degenerative disease as we grow older. Some of us will suffer extreme pain and loss of mobility as a result of this diagnosis.  For Baby Boomers, this means that our Golden Years may not be as pleasant as we once hoped.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control keeps records of the prevalence of arthritis in the United States.  Here are some of the facts I found on their website:

Almost one out of two people will have symptoms of osteoarthritis in their knees by the time they are 85.  The rate is even higher if they are obese.

One in four people will have pain from arthritis in their hips during their lifetime.

About 50 million American adults have been informed by their physicians that they suffer from osteoarthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia or lupus ... which are all related autoimmune disorders.  This number will rise to about 67 million by the year 2030.

By the time we reach age 65, about half of all adults report that they have been diagnosed with arthritis.

Even our children and grandchildren are not immune.  About 1 in 250 children have been diagnosed with some type of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis.  (I understand how frightening this diagnosis is.  One of my granddaughters was diagnosed with it when she was only five years old.  While she currently gets by quite well, from time to time she does have a painful flare-up of her condition.)

Common Arthritis Treatments


Once we have begun to develop the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis, the most common treatments are over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers, and many seniors consume large quantities of these medications in order to alleviate their discomfort. Unfortunately, this can contribute to other health problems.  However, what if you could reduce the amount of painkillers you take by adding certain foods to your diet, and eliminating your consumption of others?  It would certainly be worth a try.

Below are three lists of foods which affect arthritis in our bodies, according to the AARP website.

Arthritis and the Best Foods to Eat

Fatty Fish like sardines, herring, tuna and salmon
Other Omega-3 foods such as flax seeds, soy beans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and canola oil
Vitamin D from the sun or low-fat milk
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sweet peppers, citrus fruits and other foods containing Vitamin C
Brazil nuts
Onions and leeks
Tart cherries - fresh, frozen, canned or dried
Green tea - but make sure you drink the caffeinated, not the decaffeinated, kind


Foods to Avoid If You Have Gout or Gouty Arthritis

Shellfish - clams, oysters, mussels
Red meat
High-fat dairy foods
Beer
Anchovies, Herring, Mackerel
Organ meats like liver, brain, kidney and sweetbreads

(I found the mention of herring interesting, because it is considered good for other types of arthritis, but not gout.  It is important to know the type of arthritis that is causing your pain.)

Foods to Avoid for All Types of Arthritis

Sugar
Sunflower, safflower, corn and soybean oils
(Both are common in many commercial baked goods and snacks.  Anyone who suffers from arthritis should avoid baked goods, especially those that are ready-made in the grocery store.)


Resources:

If you are interested in learning more of the specifics about why these foods are good or bad for people suffering from arthritis, you may want to go directly to the full article on the AARP website, shown below:


http://www.lifescript.com/health/centers/rheumatoid_arthritis/tips/fight_arthritis_10_foods_that_help_and_hurt.aspx?utm_source=outbrain&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=arthritis_rheumatoid

CDC Statistics on arthritis:

http://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/data_statistics/arthritis_related_stats.htm

If you are interested in reading more about medical issues as you age or about planning your retirement, check out the index articles listed below.  Each one contains general information as well as links to additional articles on that topic:

Gifts, Travel and Family Relationships

Great Places for Boomers to Retire Overseas

Great Places to Retire in the United States

Health and Medical topics for Baby Boomers

Money and Financial Planning for Retirement

You are reading from the blog:  http://baby-boomer-retirement.blogspot.com

Photo of tart cherries courtesy of www.morguefile.com

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the excellent information. You mentioned how symptoms are higher with obesity. I'm fascinate by this because I know someone who had knee hip problems. When he lost 25 pounds, the problem and his pain disappeared. I wonder if there are studies of direct links between excess weight and arthritis.

    ReplyDelete

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