The Worst Foods That Cause Arthritis

by JB Bardot

If you’re suffering from arthritis you can manage your pain by making changes to your diet. Sounds almost too simple, but it’s effective. There are many foods that contribute to pain and discomfort associated with joint and muscle conditions. According to Harvard Health Publications, over 46 million people are affected by arthritis in the US alone. By eliminating certain foods from your diet, you may be able to reduce the frequency of painful arthritis attacks and reduce their severity.


According to The University of Washington Orthopedics and Sports Medicine department, alcohol can cause joint pain and arthritis attacks. Those suffering from gout, in particular, may find that their pain increases after drinking alcohol. This is because alcohol increases the formation of uric crystals that causes pain and inflammation. Cutting alcohol from your diet should bring some significant pain relief.


MSG is a preservative and flavor enhancer that is used in a wide variety of foods. Anecdotal and clinical evidence suggests that there is a link between monosodium glutamate and joint pain. MSG is extremely unhealthy for the body and causes joint and muscle pain, dizziness, headaches and cognitive dysfunction. It is often found in processed and packaged meals and is used in restaurants to preserve food that is left out in food bars. Sticking to fresh, organic, whole foods is the best way to avoid MSG.

Wheat and Wheat Gluten

Eating wheat and products that contain wheat can result in arthritis and joint pain in certain people. According to the University of Washington Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, those who have an allergy to wheat can develop a type of arthritis that is known as sprue. This condition also can lead to other unwanted symptoms such as weight loss, diarrhea, gastrointestinal upset, and even osteoporosis. In order to avoid painful attacks of sprue, you will need to eliminate all wheat and gluten products from your diet. Consult a nutritionist or dietician who can help you devise a healthy eating plan for your illness.

Nightshade Vegetables

Nightshade vegetables include eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and tobacco. This family of vegetables contains a chemical known as solanine which has been linked to musculoskeletal pain in certain people. According to the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, anecdotal evidence suggests that nightshade vegetable can act as triggers for arthritic pain. Additionally, smoking tobacco may aggravate symptoms due to their being in the nightshade family. Joint pain and stiffness may appear immediately after eating nightshades, or within several days of entering the blood stream. Eliminating them from your diet may bring some much needed pain relief.