Tuesday, December 29, 2009 ibme, Community Member, asks

Q: Does anyone know of any foods that cause flair ups?

I was wondering if anyone knows what foods to stay away from? I know we are all different, and what might upset one, might not the other. My friend and ate at this great Italian place the other day, and the next morning I was miserable. Any info would be appreciated. ThanksSmile

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Answers (11)
Lene Andersen, Health Guide
12/30/09 11:30am

My shiatsu therapist once told me to avoid tomatoes, potatoes and fried foods and I did notice that these tended to increase my symptoms. Sugar has also known to be a trigger for some people. I'd recommend the you keep a food diary for what you eat, your symptoms, your activity, etc., as it can help you identify patterns of what triggers flareups for you.

Hope, Community Member
12/30/09 7:15am

I know that if eat alot of sugar ie christmas cookies, that it makes the symptoms of my flare that much worse but does not cause it itself.  One or two  is ok but anymore than that and I have problems walking and my toes look like they just might  burst right open.  Where as my toes will not swell that much at night and it is fairly tollerable.

Kelly Young, Community Member
12/30/09 9:59am

I am not sure, but I think the Italian food could be a coincidence. You could experiment by avoiding cheese or cooked tomatoes or whatever and then adding it back, process of elimination. However, there is not scientific studies which prove any food causes RA. Here is an article about RA and diet that might help.

Good luck.

Kelly Cool


bon410, Community Member
12/31/09 11:37am

MSG makes me feel terrible for hours. I love Chinese food, but some restaurants use it and you don't know unless you ask. Italian food sometimes.


Happy New Year everyone. I pray for medical break through for arthritis that would help us feel better and stop this insidious disease.



Julie, Community Member
12/31/09 12:23pm

Hi and Happy New Year.


I am a firm believer that food can be a friend or foe. Many people have food intollerances that they may not be aware of.  Foos allergies cause an autoimmune responce.  RA is an autoimmune illness.


I have had RA since 1991.  I found out that I have Celiac Sprue (severe Gluten Intollerance) in 1998.  I do notice flare ups after eating Gluten plus other foods that an allergy test has targeted. (each person is different).  You memtioned that your friend had a flare after eating pasta.  She may want to be tested for Gluten Intollerance.  It is as common as 1 in 133 people. She may also want to get a food allergy test and speak with a nutritionist.


It has been noted for years that Nightshade foods can increase flares.  This includes potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers.


I hope that this helps.


I wish you and your friend a healthy New Year.



Phillip, Community Member
12/31/09 1:30pm

Hi I have had RA since 1991, I read a book by a Dr McDougleand I have tried to follow some of his ideas. Can't do the book but red meat will bring on an attack within hours and last for about two days. So as someone else relplied keep a food journal thing like orange juice just hurts and I sure do miss it . Have been lucky have not had a bad atack in three years

Wayne, Community Member
12/31/09 2:28pm

Potato chips are a definite no no for me. I also had a flare once after eating some Carvel ice cream cake (though it may have been worth it).

In general, I try to stay away from any highly processed foods, and also foods that contain "bad" oils. Hope this helps.

Jacki, Community Member
1/ 1/10 12:13pm

Without a doubt all your night shade veggies will affect your arthritis.  Green peppers, egg plant, potatos and tomatos.  Dairy also bothers me.  Since switching to vegan I have much less problem with my arthritis.  Sometimes I do fall off the wagon and I can always tell I did. 

madilisa, Community Member
1/ 1/10 10:57pm

Peppers of all kinds, some tomatos, eggplant, some potatoes, too much sugar and too much wheat or carbs.  If you eat Italian, try to order the dishes that have little or none of the above foods.  I am still ok with cheese and dairy but have cut back on the amt. I eat.  Good luck..  BTW, my rheum doctor doesn't believe any of this but too many people have the same symptoms from these foods.

Jessica, Community Member
1/ 6/10 11:45am

I know that for me tomato products are very harsh. Fresh tomatoes are not as bad to me. I do stay away from all. (No I do not eat out; it has made a huge difference)

Pork and potatoes also cause flares in my body. I avoid them also. Preservatives are very bad for me.

When I do slip up and eat them I have very bad flares.

It may take you a while to figure out what foods and which seasonings that is harmful to you. It took me almost two years.

Now I eat what is called whole foods. I cook everything. Even my bread. (Now days I eat very little bread) (I am lazy)

Hope this helps!


ibme, Community Member
1/ 6/10 8:24pm

Thanks for the info Jessica. So, basically most all the foods I love are on the "do not eat list". Your right, it is gonna take me some time to weed out The good, bad and ugly.

Take good care and thanks again!


sarah, Community Member
1/ 9/10 5:21pm

I have had RA for 5 years and am still trying to figure it out.. I recently ate Chinese Food and the next morning I noticed that I was more stiff and achy then I ahd been the day before. Then the next day I had Progresso soup for lunch and by 3:00 in the afternoon I could not hold a pencil in my hands. I hurt so bad that I had to leave work early and I missed the next day. So, my deduction is maybe the msg or possibly the sodium. Since they both had msg and high sodium levels, I don't know which to blame it on.



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By ibme, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/26/10, First Published: 12/29/09