Maintaining a healthy diet is important for everyone, but arthritis patients can help reduce pain and discomfort by watching what they eat. A proper diet can influence some forms of arthritis, but to fully understand this, the type of arthritis and the kind of diet must be considered. One example is gout, which is affected by high uric (YER-ick) acid levels. Using a diet that is low in alcohol and purine-rich (PYRN-in) foods can lessen the severity of a gout attack. Excess body weight can also influence arthritis by placing extra strain on already impeded joints. Although no specific food has been targeted as a cause of arthritis, it's known that foods can alter the function of your immune system. Asthma, rashes, and hives are examples of immune-mediated reactions. Diets containing caffeine, dairy products, nightshade, vegetables, sugar, additives and preservatives, chocolate, red meats, and salt are often viewed as offenders. Seven guidelines you can follow to help overcome some arthritis pain are: Eat a variety of foods; maintain your ideal weight; avoid too much fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol; eat adequate amounts of starch and fiber; avoid too much sugar; avoid too much sodium; and avoid alcohol.
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