When in flare, most patients lose weight, so it is important to maintain a diet high in protein and calcium, but avoiding too much weight gain. Many of my patients have found that certain foods may reduce their symptoms, or conversely, make their disease flare. Examples of diets that seem to reduce patients discomfort are those high in fish oil, and low in night shade plants. Nutritional therapy for arthritis, however, has been generally disappointing.
Despite the many acclaimed diets advertised in books, magazines, and patient testimonials, no universal diet has proven successful in permanently curing an arthritic patient.
My general advice to patients with arthritis is to avoid all foods that seem to make their symptoms worse, and to enjoy what is left on the table. Most physician studies feel that diet neither harms nor cures rheumatoid arthritis. (Answer provided by the late Dr. Raymond Federman, aka Dr. Bones, who passed away on September 2, 2003. The care of his patients even in retirement was always his joy.)