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Knee Osteoarthritis: A Low Carb Diet May Relieve Symptoms

Dr. Areej Haroon

1 min read

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Knee osteoarthritis is characterized by knee pain, joint swelling and stiffness. This disease culminates into difficult mobility and poor quality of life. As of yet, there is no cure for knee osteoarthritis except knee replacement surgery, for which many people are not willing. Mostly, the older population is affected by this disorder—prevalence is about 40 percent in individuals above the age of 70 years.

The mainstay of medical treatment includes NSAIDs, pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs that tackle inflammation and pain together. However, these medications are associated with a horde of side effects, especially in the elderly. For this reason, research on dietary intervention for knee osteoarthritis is underway.

The director of PAIN Collective in the University of Alabama, Robert Sorge, PhD, led a study that compared the efficacy of two diets that could impact knee osteoarthritis: a low-fat diet, and low carb diet. The results showed that a low carb diet reduced the level of functional and self-reported pain. Moreover, the oxidative stress in the body of those taking a low-carb diet was relatively less as compared to the individuals taking a low-fat diet. Oxidative stress is the balance between free radicals, and the ability of the body to fight them through anti-oxidants; oxidative stress tends to rise with age.

Pain reduction:

The effect of the diet showed a great way to reduce pain, to the extent that activities of daily living could be performed with ease. However, this diet does not cause complete cure from disease. As a result, there is a decreased need for NSAIDs and pain relievers like opioids.

Benefits of low carb diet:

These findings could be helpful in treating osteoarthritis in patients who have developed tolerance to pain relievers, are dependent on them, or have an adverse reaction to them.

For instance, patients of gastritis cannot tolerate NSAIDs and aspirin and therefore have to look for alternatives. The anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed for knee osteoarthritis are also associated with a host of side effects, including liver problems, kidney disease, stomach ulcers, heartburn, high blood pressure, as well as allergic reactions like throat swelling, rashes and wheezing.

Moreover, the beneficial effect of this diet could mean a reduced risk of heart disease, weight reduction, and management of diabetes. It must be noted, however, that weight loss alone could not reduce pain, and as such the quality of diet consumed also mattered greatly.

Low carb foods:

A great benefit of this diet is that it could be tailored to suit the taste and lifestyle of the patients. Great options for low-carb foods include lean meats like chicken breast, fish, butter, nuts and seeds, eggs, olive oil, leafy green vegetables etc.

If you are suffering from osteoarthritis and you want to manage this disease in addition to medical therapy, then seek professional help in designing a low carb diet plan for you. Book an appointment with top nutritionist in Karachi, Multan and Islamabad through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT professional for your concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Areej Haroon - Author Dr. Areej Haroon is a Dietitian practicing in Karachi. Dr. Areej Haroon has the following degree: MBBS and has 13 years of experience.She is very passionate about her field and likes to write articles for the sake of educating people.
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