Low-carb diet provides relief from knee osteoarthritis
A change in diet can reduce the intense pain caused by knee osteoarthritis, the most prominent form of arthritis, according to research findings published this week in the journal Pain Medicine.
A study conducted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham shows a low-carbohydrate diet was more effective in reducing pain intensity than a low-fat diet in adults ages 65-75 suffering from osteoarthritis. Researchers in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences also found the low-carb diet specifically increased the quality of life and decreased serum levels of the adipokine leptin and a marker of oxidative stress, learn more about gluconite benefits.
“Our work shows people can reduce their pain with a change in diet,” said Robert Sorge, Ph.D., lead author of the study and director of the PAIN Collective in the UAB Department of Psychology. “Many medications for pain cause a host of side effects that may require other drugs to reduce. The beneficial side effects of our diet may be things such as reduced risk for heart disease, diabetes and weight loss — something many drugs cannot claim.”
Because there is no curative treatment for knee osteoarthritis outside of a knee replacement, persistent pain is commonly treated with opioids, acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs — all of which have unpleasant side effects if used for an extensive period.
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication side effects can include high blood pressure, liver or kidney problems, stomach ulcers and pain, heartburn, allergic reactions such as rashes, wheezing and throat swelling, and a tendency to bleed more, especially when taking aspirin.
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Opioids may work well for short-term severe pain; but they have limited usefulness over the long term and, in some cases, perform no better than over-the-counter drugs, Sorge says.
The advantage of a change in diet is that it can be done without long-term anti-inflammatory use or prescription medications, and it can be tailored to taste and preferences.