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Arthritis… where to start?

Over 4.6 million Canadians suffer from arthritis.

It is the number one cause of disability among Canadians.

Every 60 seconds, there is a new diagnosis of osteoarthritis in Canada.

And there is no cure.

So- what do we do?

I have had many patients come to me with arthritic issues- the degree of severity, the joint, the disability involved all varies, but it is still arthritis. Can we cure it? No… but we can manage the symptoms, prevent secondary problems, and help cope with the disease. And every patient of mine has benefited from their treatment and has learned coping mechanisms, exercises and strategies to deal with the disease. And for right now, that is the best we can do- cope, manage, and live with it. Because there is no cure.

Simply put, arthritis is an inflammatory disease of joints that destroys the cartilage which lines joint cavities. Since there are many factors that contribute to arthritis, it is impossible to prevent them all- genetic, environmental, emotional, immunological factors all have been proven to play a role in the onset, severity, and course of the disease. These many factors make arthritis frustrating, difficult to manage, and impossible to prevent.

On top of regular physiotherapy treatment, and check ins with a rheumatologist, research has shown that following a diet that includes foods that limit inflammation can help decrease the progression of the disease. There is still plenty of studies being condtucted, but to date, research has shown the following foods to be beneficial in decreasing the inflammation in the body:

Omega 3 fatty acids: Research has demonstrated that omega 3 fatty acids decrease inflammation by suppressing the production of cytokines and enzymes that erode cartilage. Good foods include, salmon, eggs, rainbow trout and walnuts.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: contains the “good” monounsaturated fat, which protects the body against inflammation because it contains antioxidants called polyphenols. Use Olive Oil instead of butter when cooking.

Onions: Contain Anthocyanidins and proanthocyanidins which are powerful antioxidants known to reduce inflammation. Foods such as broccoli, kale, leeks and elder berries contain these antioxidants too!

Vitamin C: Is a major component of cartilage. Citrus foods are good sources of vitimain C.

Sweet Potato: Contain beta carotene and studies show it may reduce the risk of developing inflammation-related disorders. Butternut squash, carrots and apricots contain beta carotene too.

Tumeric: Scientific studies have shown that turmeric may help arthritis by suppressing inflammatory body chemicals. Use this spice while cooking. Ginger has also been proven to have similar effects.

As I said, I could write forever about arthritis! Research is continually being completed to help give more insight into the disease, ways to manage, and ways to cope. There are so many different ways to help mitigate the negative effects of this disease, and diet is just one of many factors.

If you suffer from arthritis, please call us today and we will help you with your pain and symptoms!


– ALPHA Health Services