Food plays an important role for patients with autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Diet can increase inflammation if it's full of processed carbohydrates like sugar and white flour, or decrease inflammation if it's full of Omega-3 fatty acids and plant based compounds.
The first step for those looking to influence their RA with diet is to try low glycemic eating. It will automatically eliminate many of the inflammatory foods and may make a difference in your symptoms.
If that doesn't work, you may be one of the people who has a food intolerance, or a delayed food sensitivity.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet - Delayed Food Sensitivities
By Barbara Allan
Is there a rheumatoid arthritis diet that can lessen the symptoms or even cure rheumatoid arthritis? For many people the answer is yes.
One study published in the medical journal "Lancet" found that 37% of their study participants (who all had rheumatoid arthritis) had food sensitivities that were one of the causes of their arthritis. The list of problem foods was different for each person. But when these individually determined foods were eliminated from their diets, they all felt much better.
For about a third of people with RA, this type of individually tailored rheumatoid arthritis diet can make the difference between suffering with a challenging illness and enjoying good health.
This is because delayed food sensitivities are one of the underlying causes of rheumatoid arthritis. They are not the same as classical food allergies, which usually cause symptoms immediately or within a few hours. Instead, delayed food sensitivities usually take between 24-36 hours for symptoms to occur. This delay can make it hard to track the connection between eating a problem food and worsening of arthritis symptoms, especially if a problem food is a regular part of your diet.
To make the problem worse, normal allergy tests are not a reliable way to test for these sensitivities either.
Luckily, however, there are ways to test for delayed food hypersensitivities.
One way is a blood test called the ALCAT test.
Another way is eliminating all your suspected problem foods for a week and then selectively reintroducing them into your diet, no more than one each 24 hours. When the foods causing delayed sensitivities are removed from the diet, the body goes through a withdrawal period, similar to a drug withdrawal period. It becomes hypersensitive to those foods. If you reintroduce any of these problem foods into your diet during this time, the reaction tends to be quicker and more noticeable than any other time. This is a great aid in getting accurate test results.
It takes about 7 days to eliminate all traces of a given food from your body after you stop eating it. That is why the elimination phase lasts a week. The hypersensitivity period begins at this point, so that is why the testing by reintroduction begins then. This hypersensitivity period can last for week to months, so don't worry about missing it if you have a long list of foods you have eliminated that need to be tested.
If you do react to something you test, go back to your safe foods for a few days until your symptoms have calmed down again. The fewer symptoms you are having when you test, the easier it is get clear results when you test a new food. You need these clear results to create you're the exact rheumatoid arthritis diet you need to heal.
If delayed food sensitivities are a problem for you, then identifying your problem foods and eliminated all of them from your diet, will make a huge difference in how you feel.
There is no one rheumatoid arthritis diet out there that works for everyone, but this type of individually tailored rheumatoid arthritis diet can work miracles if you do happen to have delayed food sensitivities.
At age 25, author Barbara Allan developed a type of arthritis similar to rheumatoid arthritis. Within a few years she ended up using an electric cart to get around. She is now completely free of arthritis and writes about effective arthritis treatment , including rheumatoid arthritis diet.
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