Arthritis warning: The popular breakfast drink that may ‘irritate the tissue around joints

Arthritis: Doctor gives advice on best foods to help ease pain

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Arthritis is an umbrella term for more than 100 conditions affecting the joints. The conditions are distinguishable by their cause. For example, inflammatory arthritis is joint inflammation caused by an overactive immune system. It is important to establish the cause of your arthritis because it can help you manage the condition.

For example, certain foods are known to inflame joints, which could prove pertinent if you have an inflammatory form of arthritis.

According to health body Avera health, research suggests if you face inflammatory arthritis, dairy products, such as milk and Ice cream may worsen symptoms.

This is because a protein found in these dairy products has been shown to “irritate the tissue around joints”.

Other risky dietary decisions can include:

  • Fried and processed foods
  • Red meat, such as burgers and steaks
  • Processed meats like hot dogs, brats and other sausages
  • Unnatural sugars and refined carbohydrates like the ones you find in breads and pastries.

What the research says

Researchers exploring the link between dairy and inflammation have turned up conflicting evidence, however.

“It’s clear that a diet high in saturated fats – which are plentiful in cheese and full-fat dairy products – can increase inflammation,” explains the Arthritis Foundation. The diet can also raise your risk of heart disease.

But the picture is more complicated when dairy products are isolated from the rest of the diet.

A study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that eating dairy foods increased low-grade inflammation in a small sample of German adults.

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And a study of more than 40,000 people with osteoarthritis (OA) found that those who ate more dairy products were more likely to need hip replacement surgery.

Osteoarthritis – the most common cause of arthritis in the UK – is a condition that causes joints to become painful and stiff.

On the other hand, several studies have found that drinking milk and eating yogurt can lower the risk of gout.

Gout is a type of arthritis that causes sudden, severe joint pain.

What’s more, a review of 52 clinical studies, published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, concluded that dairy generally has anti-inflammatory effects, except in people allergic to cow’s milk.

Still, the authors of that review noted there’s surprisingly little known about what components of dairy products might be helpful versus harmful.

Milk-based products also contain all sorts of nutrients and active compounds, including calcium, vitamin D and a variety of fats and proteins.

And the proportions of those nutrients vary from food to food.

“If you decide to cut back on dairy, make sure you’re choosing other foods with those nutrients,” advises the AF.

Good sources of calcium include collard greens; kale; soybeans; chickpeas; almonds; and calcium-fortified juices and non-dairy milks (soy, almond, hemp, rice).

“For Vitamin D, look to eggs and fortified juices, cereals and non-dairy milks,” adds the AF.

“Make sure to check the label of milk substitutes.”

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