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Can Your Diet Help Relieve Rheumatoid Arthritis?

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What Supplements Are Good for RA?

It’s always best to get your nutrients from food, but some supplements may be worth a look. Always talk to your doctor before you add them to your diet. Some don’t mix well with certain medications. A list of popular ones includes:

  • Folic acid, or folate, is a B vitamin that helps your body make red blood cells. If you take methotrexate, your doctor will probably tell you to take folic acid to hold off the drug’s side effects.
  • Calcium and vitamin D are important additions to your diet, especially if you take corticosteroids (like prednisone) that can cause bone loss. Check with your doctor to see how much you need.
  • Fish oil and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) each lower the need for pain relievers in some people with RA. Fish oil offers the same omega-3 fatty acids as fish. GLA is an omega-6 fatty acid that comes from plants. You may hear it called evening primrose oil, borage seed oil, or black currant.

Spice Things Up

If you’re not afraid to add some spice to your diet, you might try turmeric or ginger. Check with your doctor if you’re taking blood thinners though -- turmeric can prevent blood from clotting.

Alcohol and Rheumatoid Arthritis

If you take any RA medication, ask your doctor if it's OK for you to drink alcohol. Avoid alcohol if you take methotrexate, because liver damage could be a serious side effect.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on November 20, 2014
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