If you are dealing with arthritis are there certain foods that can worsen joint pain?
Yes, absolutely! There are several mechanisms by which food can irritate the joints. The two most
common are food sensitivities/allergies and oxalates.
Food sensitivities that cause IgG antibodies to be high, as a result of leaky gut, create inflammation. The leading cause of joint irritation that we see in our practice, is dairy. That includes not just milk but all milk products. Surprisingly we find that most people react to both cow dairy and the non-cow sources as well, such as goat and sheep, so if you decide to try an elimination diet, switch to plant based non-dairy products.
But choose carefully! Oxalates are highly reactive naturally occurring molecules that occur in many plant based foods. They bind calcium and magnesium in the body and can form crystals (like glass shards), which become very irritating and painful and are a leading and hidden cause of both osteoarthritis and osteoporosis (osteoporosis because of the leaching effect on calcium and magnesium). Top oxalate rich foods are wheat, spinach, beets, nuts, and soy.
So if you do decide to try a dairy free/oxalate free diet to see if it helps your joints, avoid almond and soy milk products!
You may want to get tested for oxalates using our Metabolomix test. It takes the guesswork out of the oxalate question and checks whether you have an oxalate build-up, most often caused by genetic predisposition. Knowing whether you have an oxalate sensitivity allows you to make wise dietary choices to compensate for a genetic polymorphism. And of course, the earlier you are aware of the need to make those changes, the better.
If you think your suffering from joint pain that may be caused by your diet you can be tested and find out. The Metabolomix checks many other markers as well, including carbohydrate and fatty acid metabolism, Omega 3,6,9, saturated and trans fat status, amino acids, hidden infections and many other very useful indicators of how you can improve your health and sense of well being. Contact our office to find out the next steps.