Psoriatic arthritis: The do's and don'ts to reducing pain

Stiffness, burning, pain, swelling around the joints.

These are typical symptoms for those suffering from psoriatic arthritis.

The difference between Psoriatic Arthritis (PA) and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is the way it affects the body. RA tends to affect the body symmetrically, so both sides of the body are affected ie: both wrists, both feet etc. With PA this isn’t always the case. However they both are an inflammatory auto-immune condition that needs to be treated with anti-inflammatory protocols.

Besides mainstream medicine providing treatments centred around immuno-suppressants such as Methotrexate there are some differences that exist when treating arthritis through Chinese Medicine.

A Chinese medicine practitioner takes into account the type of symptoms that are present. For example burning sensation and swelling will be treated differently to someone that has stiffness and deformity. With that same principle in mind the food that is recommended is different as well. For example a person with burning pain and swollen joints will be best to avoid spicy hot food which includes spices such as turmeric, garlic, cinnamon and the like. Although turmeric and garlic are anti-inflammatory they are warm and generating warmth in the body of someone with burning pain in their joints will only inflame the situation even more.

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On the flip side someone who has stiffness and deformity of the joints without the burning sensation would greatly benefit from spices such as turmeric and garlic.

Foods that are best avoided by both scenarios include:

  • Sugars and other sweeteners
  • Coffee and other caffeinated beverages
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Refined Carbohydrates
  • Carbohydrate rich diet (even if Low GI carbohydrates)
  • Charcoal and BBQ meats
  • Excessive food consumption

Foods of benefit include:

  • Anti-inflammatory foods such as green leafy vegetables
  • Drinking minimum 2 litres of filtered water per day
  • Lean meats such as turkey breast, lamb eye fillet and chicken
  • Fish especially the oily fish (fresh is best)
  • Flax seeds are a great anti-inflammatory but for joint inflammation fish oil is better (flax seeds best suited for those with psoriasis on their body
  • Low GI carbohydrates such as brown rice and quinoa
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These foods are beneficial to assist whatever treatment you are doing. It is important to recognise that food is one piece of the puzzle when treating PA. Ideally the treatment you are focusing on is assisting the inflammation in the body and the diet plan is aimed to reduce inflammation entering the body as well as potentially reducing the presence of a trigger that may exacerbate your PA.

 

Tell us, what else works for you?