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Can diet help an arthritic thumb?

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Can diet help an arthritic thumb?

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The answer

Arthritis is the medical term for inflammation of the joints. There are several different kinds of arthritis, and the most common is osteoarthritis. This kind causes pain in about 8.5 million people in the UK, and largely affects hips, knees, spine and hands. The typical symptoms include pain, stiffness and reduction of movement, and stiffness tends to be worse when you wake in the morning and settle down once you are up and about. The second most common kind of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system, which usually fights off infection, attacks your own body. There has been a lot of work on the role of diet in rheumatoid arthritis but less in osteoarthritis. There is some evidence that omega 3s – found particularly in oily fish or fish oil capsules – may help. There are also some food supplements which have been found to help in some people with osteoarthritis. These include GOPO – an extract from the rosehip, sold as LitoZin – and glucosamine. Keeping your weight down will help with arthritis of hips, knees and possibly your spine, but is unlikely to make much difference to your thumbs. Keeping your joints mobile, however, will help all your joints.

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