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Tips on foods to avoid

Citrus fruits and plums gave me a gout flare

I've read your information on gout and found it very interesting. May I suggest you give greater emphasis on diet? It's what we eat, more than what we drink, as many of us don't drink, that can cause gout.

One definite no-no is citrus fruit, particularly grapefruit, oranges etc., and also plums. With the recent surplus of plums in the supermarkets, I bought a punnet of about 8/9 plums for £1. Being a lover of them, I indulged in stewed plums for about three weeks, only to suffer from gout.

I helped to overcome the pain by rubbing my toe with a gel for the easing of pain in joints. Obtainable from Boots, it is called Jointace. Within two to three days, the pain had gone but the toe was still very red, which lasted for about five weeks. I hope you find this of interest.
Richard, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset (Spring 2014)

Cutting out oranges and tomatoes

I've had osteoarthritis for over 35 years and am now 86. I had my right hip renewed in 2001 and got back on my feet. A lady once said to me: 'Don’t eat as many oranges and tomatoes and you will see the difference.' I did what she said over six years and there was a great improvement.

A couple of months ago I went back to eating them and the pain came back – so I've stopped again.
Mrs C Grayson, Teesside (Autumn 2010)

The wonders of an acid-free diet

I was interested to read in your Hints Box that not eating tomatoes reduced the pain for one person and that eating citrus fruit and plums made it worse in another case. My rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis has been completely cured by going on an acid-free diet recommended by a private clinic.
R Jackson, Hartlepool (Winter 2015)

Avoiding starchy foods

I’m 89, have had osteoarthritis for many years and have two hip replacements. I was also having trouble with my right knee, which was very painful. But I think my diet has helped me because it no longer hurts. I don’t eat bread or potatoes or anything starchy. I eat a small amount of red meat and sugar. My diet is largely fruit and vegetables and I thrive on it.

I feel that if I had followed these simple dietary rules from the beginning I wouldn’t have had the trouble with my hips. I no longer have pain in my knee nor take painkillers.
Barbara, Cardiff (Spring 2012)

Cutting out gluten may reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis

My husband has rheumatoid arthritis and was on methotrexate until being diagnosed as well as a coeliac and he had to cut out gluten. He felt so well he came off all medication and 13 years later only has symptoms when he's mistakenly eaten some wheat or gluten. Worth a mention?
Sue, via email (Winter 2014)


I came across a letter in an old edition of Arthritis Today from someone who had experienced an anti-inflammatory effect from drinking champagne. I believe there's definitely something in this as I too find my joints (especially my knees) are less swollen after drinking alcohol.

I thought it was the dehydrating effect of the alcohol itself but now I'm left wondering if it's in fact the polyphenols which are found in the grapes. I've had inflammatory arthritis since the age of three. I don't take any second-line drugs since having an ulcer, and as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) stopped me ovulating I no longer take these. So I am always looking for an effective alternative. Currently I take plant isoflurance or plant oestrogens, but have also read that green tea may help?

I think more research should go into the effect of wine/champagne and also statins.
Zoe, Suffolk (Winter 2010)

Editor’s Note: Although we have no immediate plans to investigate the beneficial effects of champagne or wine on arthritis, we're co-funding a £1 million trial with the British Heart Foundation to find out if more people with rheumatoid arthritis would be at reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease by taking statins.

All hints and tips are provided by readers of our Arthritis Today magazine and aren’t necessarily the views of Arthritis Research UK.

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Links to sites and resources provided by third parties are provided for your general information only. We have no control over the contents of those sites or resources and we give no warranty about their accuracy or suitability. You should always consult with your GP or other medical professional.


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