Living with Osteoarthritis

October 23, 2018| Health and Wellbeing /

Life with osteoarthritis can certainly be painful, but are there any dietary changes that can help you feel better? We look at some of the food myths and theories surrounding osteoarthritis.

In Australia today, one in 11 people are living with osteoarthritis – a condition that occurs when the cartilage covering the ends of the bones in your joints begins to breakdown.

When this occurs, the bones in your joints begin to rub together and cause pain, swelling and loss of motion. Osteoarthritis worsens over time and generally affects the hands, spine and joints like those in your hips, knees and ankles.

Although there aren’t any foods that can cure osteoarthritis, there are some studies that suggest certain foods can help reduce pain and inflammation caused by the condition.

People with osteoarthritis are encouraged to eat a healthy, balanced diet with more omega-3 fatty acids, like those in oily fish. It is also believed that a Mediterranean diet with lots of fish, pulses, nuts, olive oil, fruit and vegetables can be beneficial for those with osteoarthritis.  

Unfortunately, there also tends to be a lot of diet myths and misconceptions about the effect that diet can have on osteoarthritis. Some people believe that certain acidic fruits like lemons and oranges, or nightshade vegetables like potatoes, can cause the symptoms of osteoarthritis to become worse. There has also been popular belief that meat or dairy products can worsen the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

However, none of these claims have been based on any scientific evidence and avoiding things like dairy products can actually be really risky for people with osteoarthritis. The calcium in diary is extremely important for maintaining strong healthy bones and as a result, avoiding dairy can lead to osteoporosis later in life.

For all people, but especially for those with osteoarthritis, it’s important to maintain a balanced diet and a healthy weight to sustain a good quality of life. For people with osteoarthritis, their weight will directly affect the strain that they are putting on their joints.

Many people with osteoarthritis find that the pain in their joints limits them from doing exercise. As a result, many people find they are gaining too much weight. Controlling portion size and avoiding excessive fats and sugars can be an alternative way to limit weight gain.

Whist it’s important to take a proactive approach to your health, it’s imperative that you consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, lifestyle or exercise regime. Everyone is different and your doctor will know how to best manage your condition.

For some people with osteoarthritis, it may also be necessary to undergo joint replacement surgery. You can find out more about this type of procedure at Epworth here.



Isabel Stewart

Contributor

Join the conversation on The Village



November 14, 2018| Health and Wellbeing/

What to expect when you visit the Emergency Department

The emergency department assesses & treats people with serious injuries as well as those in need of emergency treatment.

November 14, 2018| Healthcare News/

Imaging Safety

Getting an x-ray is not the frightening concept it once might have been. We know so much about all types of scans and the potential hazards and how to avoid them, and technology is rapidly advancing. Some hospitals even boast an EOS now, which allows them to complete scans with 6-9 times less radiation than typical x-rays.

November 13, 2018| Our Community/

Get in Touch with Nature Without Leaving the City

It’s rarely contested that being around nature has benefits for your health. It ensures you’re spending more time outdoors, gives you a sense of connectedness with the world, and has been found to lower stress and reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety. The best news is that even in the city there are many places to get in touch with nature. Here are five of them:

November 13, 2018| Our Community/

Camino de Compostela Fundraiser

Twenty-five weary participants have just returned home after completing the final section of the Spanish Camino de Compostela.

Walking 115km over six days they were blessed with perfect weather, some authentic historic farmhouse accommodation and knowledgeable guides.

November 12, 2018| Our Community/

Our Favourite Victorian Farmer's Markets

It’s easy for anyone who has travelled overseas and comes home to Australia to realise how fortunate we are when it comes to affordable and readily available fresh, wholesome food.