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Plant Foods Relieve Osteoarthritis Symptoms

Senior Man with Knee Arthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder in the United States. An estimated 31 million Americans are suffering from osteoarthritis. This degenerative joint disease can make life miserable for the victim; the pain, swelling, and stiffness of the joint and the loss of range of motion make it difficult for people suffering from this disease to perform simple tasks, such as opening a box, grasping a computer mouse, or even driving a car.

Drugs used to treat osteoarthritis are not consistently effective and many of them bring along some dangerous side effects. Now a new study has shown that eating plant foods can help to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis. And the good news about the findings of this study is that there are no dangerous side effects associated with the consumption of plant foods. 

This research was conducted by scientists from Michigan State University. In this study, the researchers divided 37 osteoarthritis patients into 2 groups: a control group and an intervention group. The 19 subjects in the intervention group were placed on whole-food plant-based diets for 6 weeks and the 18 patients in the control group were allowed to continue with their current diets. At the end of the intervention period, patients fed with whole plant foods reported a significant improvement in pain, stiffness, swellings, and movements in the joints compared to their counterparts in the control group. The researchers, therefore, concluded that strict adherence to plant-based diets can help alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is the leading cause of chronic disability in the United States. The symptoms of osteoarthritis are often disabling. For osteoarthritis patients in search of relief from the joint pain, stiffness, and other associated symptoms, switching to plant-based diets can be a great help. Adhering to an oil-free, low-fat plant-based diet of whole unprocessed foods permits alleviation of the symptoms of osteoarthritis and improves the quality of life for people suffering from this degenerative joint disease.

Additional Information:

(1) Arthritis Foundation: Arthritis Statistics and Facts

(2) Whole Food Plant Based Diets Alleviate the Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

(3) The Epidemiology and Impact of Pain in Osteoarthritis

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Comments (10)

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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I've been plant based for 2.5 yrs.
My osteoarthritis has never been worse.
I was diagnosed 10 yrs ago.

 
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Karen, have you been eating more of the foods which can trigger joint pain in susceptible individuals? ... such as wheat, citrus, the nightshade group of foods (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers & eggplant), chocolate.

Have you been eating more alcohol, sugar & processed foods such as oil, sugar & white flour?

Have you been ensuring yourself a good level of vitamin D? ... either via sunshine on your skin or supplements.

If any of the foods I've mentioned seem like they may be pertinent to you, here is the Elimination Diet, which may help you weed out "trigger" foods. Please scroll down to find the specific guidelines. I hope this helps you.

https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2014nl/may/tencases.htm

 
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Deborah - thanks for the reply. I followed the link to the McDougall site and read this: "Patients with inflammatory arthritis, not osteoarthritis, should expect similar outcomes."

I have osteoarthritis. The success stories all included those with rheumatoid arthritis.

 
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

That negative statement from Dr. McDougall was made before the current research highlighted by Dr. Carney became available. You may gain great benefit by using the Elimination Diet guidelines which Dr. McDougall provided in that article. The Elimination Diet is useful for relieving all kinds of issues, from joint pain to headaches, from tummy pain to back pain, from rashes to itches, etc. The body is a whole & connected organism. When we feed it food that hurt it, all sorts of issues can result. I hope you give it a try. :-)

Here is an article from the Plant-based Pharmacist, supporting the one Dr. Carney provided, explaining that selective diet can help even osteoarthritis.

http://www.plantbasedpharmacist.com/osteoarthritis-treatment-options/

 
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Deborah, I sincerely appreciate your help. I have listened to 20 minutes of this podcast. She has already given the basics to her story: nearly pain free after 10 days and off all meds in 3 months.
But that was for rheumatoid arthritis. She'd already had hip replacement surgery for her osteoarthritis and she acknowledged that osteo was wear and tear.

 
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I see that didn't help. Are you saying that you want someone to tell you that the damage to your joint(s) can be reversed before you are willing to even consider doing the Elimination Diet?

 
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Thank you both for this discussion. Dr. Carney and I are at a conference and finding very little time to monitor our websites and social media. So, it is very comforting to see this type of helpful interactions! :-)

 
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Deborah, the Elimination Diet looks very doable and i will give it a try.
It's just that it points to helping osteoarthritis yet all the success stories are for rheumatoid arthritis.
I have been searching for 10 years to see if it is reversible. I paid over $200 for another elimination diet earlier this year but it wasn't plant based and high fat so i really struggled with following it.
And even with that pgm, people with rheumatoid arthritis were improving...not osteoarthritis.

 
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I'm glad you are going to give it a go Karen! Eliminating oil, excess salt & refined carbs like sugar & alcohol from the plant-based diet is a HUGELY important step. Eliminating wheat, citrus, chocolate etc may also make a big difference. Personally, I have to avoid gluten & corn to keep my joints happy.

I'm glad the Elimination Diet Dr. McDougall provides is free. :-)

I had such bad pain in my hip joints by the time I was 30, I could barely walk up a short flight of stairs. I noticed an improvement in my overall well being almost immediately after removing the potential food triggers from my diet. Two weeks after eliminating my food triggers, I noticed a big improvement in how my joints felt. By 6 weeks, I was running up the stairs!

I never had it formally labelled by a clinician because what mattered to me was eliminating the pain. I figured that if the pain was eliminated, that probably meant the inflammation causing the damage was gone and that healing could then occur, to whatever degree was possible. I resumed an active life, running around after kids, dancing, hiking, biking, etc.

That was over 30 years ago for me and my hips are still completely...

I'm glad you are going to give it a go Karen! Eliminating oil, excess salt & refined carbs like sugar & alcohol from the plant-based diet is a HUGELY important step. Eliminating wheat, citrus, chocolate etc may also make a big difference. Personally, I have to avoid gluten & corn to keep my joints happy.

I'm glad the Elimination Diet Dr. McDougall provides is free. :-)

I had such bad pain in my hip joints by the time I was 30, I could barely walk up a short flight of stairs. I noticed an improvement in my overall well being almost immediately after removing the potential food triggers from my diet. Two weeks after eliminating my food triggers, I noticed a big improvement in how my joints felt. By 6 weeks, I was running up the stairs!

I never had it formally labelled by a clinician because what mattered to me was eliminating the pain. I figured that if the pain was eliminated, that probably meant the inflammation causing the damage was gone and that healing could then occur, to whatever degree was possible. I resumed an active life, running around after kids, dancing, hiking, biking, etc.

That was over 30 years ago for me and my hips are still completely functional & comfortable, which at my age, is rare. In my opinion, if "wear-and-tear" were the primary cause, I would be a prime candidate for it. I walk as much as 5 miles EVERY day, sometimes more. I care for a large garden & orchard, take fitness classes or roller skate, etc. In my opinion, the medical system is guessing that wear-and-tear is the cause, because they have not looked at the impact of diet.

Here is another study indicating that selective, low-fat (oil-free) whole foods vegan diet may help osteoarthritis.
https://www.hindawi.com/journals/arthritis/2015/708152/

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