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Updated July 2023
A strategy to help manage arthritis symptoms and improve overall wellbeing is seeking the guidance of an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD).
A dietitian can play a crucial role in helping individuals with arthritis make healthy dietary choices that can reduce symptoms, inflammation, and enhance their quality of life.
In this article, we will explore how a dietitian can be a valuable ally in arthritis management.
Each person's experience with arthritis is unique, and the impact of dietary choices can vary among everyone. A dietitian takes a personalised approach, considering factors such as the type of arthritis, its severity, any related health conditions, medication usage, and individual dietary preferences.
By tailoring the dietary recommendations to the specific needs and goals of someone with arthritis, the dietitian can optimise the
effectiveness of dietary interventions.
Unfortunately, no diet has been proven by research to cure arthritis. There is also very little proof that specific foods have an effect on arthritis.
Some people with arthritis report improvements after avoiding certain foods. However, arthritis symptoms usually vary day to day, which makes it hard to know if a change in symptoms is because of a particular change in food or just coincidence.
The best diet for arthritis is a healthy, balanced one which helps us to maintain a healthy weight, look after our general health, and to prevent other medical problems.
A dietitian may recommend an eating plan that includes foods rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and other anti-inflammatory
compounds that may help with your arthritis symptoms. These foods may include colorful fruits and vegetables, fatty fish, nuts, seeds, olive
oil, and whole grains.
In Australia, the Australian Dietary Guidelines provide up-to-date advice about the amount and kinds of foods that we need to eat for health and wellbeing.
Following the dietary patterns recommended in the Guidelines, helps us to ensure we get enough of the nutrients our body needs for good health. It also helps us to reduce our risk of chronic health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and obesity.
Following a healthy eating pattern can help maintain a healthy weight. This is essential for managing arthritis, as excess weight can place
additional stress on the joints. Weight management may significantly improve joint function and reduce pain for people with
Not everyone with arthritis will need to see a dietitian. However, a dietitian may be of help to some people with arthritis if they:
Dietitians work in both public and private health systems and fall into the group of health professionals called 'allied health professionals'. To see an allied health professionals, speak to your GP about organising a GP Management Plan.
GP management plans (GPMP) and team care arrangements (TCA) can help people with a chronic health condition to access needed care from a range of allied health professionals.
Healthy eating and arthritis information sheet (2017). Arthritis Australia.
The Guidelines - Eat for Health(2020). Australian Government, NHMRC
Why choose an Accredited Practising Dietitian. Dietitians Australia