Nutrition and diet play several important roles in the management of knee arthritis.
Knee osteoarthritis and weight reduction
It has been medically shown that even modest weight loss makes a big difference to knee pain, as for each unit of weight lost there is a four-fold decrease in the unit of load on the knee.
As osteoarthritis of the knee often has a physical originating cause (eg. meniscal tear), it is clear that even small people may suffer from arthritis. Being overweight, however, simply puts more strain on the joints and most sensible weight reduction regimes will benefit arthritis sufferers
You can check your ideal weight on average height and weight charts.
Knee osteoarthritis and chronic dehydration
There are several studies which indicate that we do not drink enough water (on its own - not in coffee, tea or soft drinks) - and that this chronic dehydration can aggravate arthritic pain.
Osteoarthritis and dietary supplements
Certain supplements are of particular interest in arthritis -
- omega 3 fatty acids - are known to reduce the production of inflammatory substances in the body. 2-4 gm per day are recommended. They are commonly obtained from fish oils such as cod liver oil, but vegetarian sources, eg walnuts, are also readily available.
- glucosamine - recommended at doses of 1,500 mg per day, glucosamine appears to enhance cartilage production and reduce arthritic pain
- chondroitin sulphate - recommended at doses of 1,200 mg a day. Appears to slow cartilage breakdown and also reduce arthritic pain.
A combination of glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM is the most economical way to take the last three supplements. The tablets can be quite large and a liquid drink is a palatable alternative.
Osteoarthritis, processed food and food allergy
This excellent book challenges the Arthritis Foundation, and highlights research showing links between arthritis and what we eat -
How to eat away arthritis: Gain Relief from the Pain and Discomfort of Arthritis Through Nature's Remedies. by Laurie M Aesoph
Medical research has also found a link between smoking and the development of osteoarthritis.
Diets for gouty arthritis
Some arthritic disorders are specifically triggered or aggravated by particular foods, eg gout.