Can your diet affect your arthritis? My 20-year-old daughter has mild…


Can your diet affect your arthritis?
My 20-year-old daughter has mild juvenile arthritis. I was wondering can your diet affect your arthritis? Or does only genetics play a role?

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This is a 2 part question. The first part deals with the relationship with food and arthritis, Certain illnesses, like celiac disease, is directly related to the ingestion of gluten and the development of an immune reaction. Celiac patients may develop joint pain as a component of this immune response. In other conditions. the relationship of joint pain and specific foods is less clear cut. In juvenile arthritis, no specific food is related to the development or persistence of the disease. A good diet of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein tends to be less inflammatory. It is difficult to eat enough anti-inflammatory foods ( fatty fish, ginger, tumeric) to control inflammatory diseases.

The second part of the question asks about genetics.Many disorders have a genetic component. Some illnesses, such as sickle cell anemia, are specifically related to a single change in the genetic code that causes an illness to occur. Many illnesses have a component of the frequency of the illness related to inheritance and genetics. If parents have an illness, a possibility exists that their offspring will also have that disorder. If one parent has a disorder, and the other does not, the chance of developing the illness in their children is less.

To learn more about genetic predisposition to illness involving HLA-B27, go to

David G. Borenstein, M.D. MACP., MACR.
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