Although there is no evidence to support most of the dietary claims out there, such as avoiding nightshade vegetables or following elimination diets, there is some support to promote the Mediterranean diet, consuming omega-3 fatty acids, and vegetarian diets.2
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Explore This IssueNovember 2013
Rheumatic diseases are risk factors for cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.3,4 Obesity, hypertension, and kidney disease are also concerns for rheumatology patients.5 Patients who present with these additional health risks should be guided on heart-healthy diets and weight-management guidelines, and counseled on adequate calcium and vitamin D intake.
Registered dietitians can educate patients on these guidelines, and can help patients make the necessary lifestyle and behavior changes needed for increased adherence to nutritional guidelines and overall good health.
Sotiria Everett is a clinical nutritionist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. She studied Nutrition and Applied Physiology at Teachers College at Columbia University.
- Ikuyama S, Imamura-Takase E, Tokunaga S, Oribe M, Nishimura J. Sixty percent of patients with rheumatoid arthritis in Japan have used dietary supplements or health foods. Mod Rheumatol. 2009;19:253-259.
- Stamp LK, James MJ, Cleland LG. Diet and rheumatoid arthritis: A review of the literature. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2005;35:77-94.
- Sinicato NA, da Silva Cardoso PA, Appenzeller S. Risk factors in cardiovascular disease in systemic lupus erythematosus. Curr Cardiol Rev. 2013;9:15-19.
- Vis M, Güler-Yüksel M, Lems WF. Can bone loss in rheumatoid arthritis be prevented? Osteoporos Int. 2013;24:2541-2553.
- Hollan I, Meroni PL, Ahearn JM, et al. Cardiovascular disease in autoimmune rheumatic diseases. Autoimmun Rev. 2013;12:1004-1015.