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Arthritis And Food Allergies

If you have joint pain due to rheumatoid arthritis, relief may be closer than you think.

Many people see rheumatoid arthritis as a disease of aging, while others believe it “runs in the family”. But often, arthritis symptoms can flare as a result of food allergies.

Nightshades in particular are well known to cause flare-ups of arthritis pain. Potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers and eggplants are among the foods that can trigger an allergic reaction causing joint pain and swelling. Luckily, there’s an easy way to find out if this family of plant foods is problematic for you.

If you have arthritis pain, finding out whether your symptoms are due to food allergies is a simple process. First, avoid all nightshades for several days—at least four. Then, add one particular food item—potatoes, for instance—back into your diet. Eat a portion daily for several days and note any symptoms. Then eliminate all nightshades for another few days, and test another of the foods.

You may be surprised by the results. You may find that you can tolerate one particular food for several days before developing symptoms, while another food will cause symptoms almost immediately. Once you’ve analyzed the results, you can plan to either avoid certain foods completely or control the portions and frequency of these foods in your diet.

If you are taking prescription medication for your arthritis, be sure you discuss your results and ask questions of your physician before stopping any meds; they may have positive results beyond pain relief, and stopping them cold may have a negative effect. Also, be sure to monitor your condition with your physician, even if you manage to control the symptoms with diet. Arthritis is a complex auto-immune disease, and bears watching, whether you’re symptom-free or not.

Aldene Fredenburg is a freelance writer living in southwestern New Hampshire. She has written numerous articles for local and regional newspapers and for a number of Internet websites, including Tips and Topics.