Intermittent Fasting Is NOT Safe for All; What People with Rheumatoid Arthritis Should Know Before Undertaking It

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Doctors recommend intermittent fasting for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis as it may help reduce inflammation

New Delhi:

For those suffering from


arthritis, taking care of their diet is very important. Usually, your doctor would prescribe an anti-inflammatory diet, which is very close to the popular


diet. It focuses more on eating lean foods, which are high in protein like fish, legumes, fruits, and olive derivatives to help relieve joint pain.

However, those who wish to follow

intermittent fasting

for weight loss and management need to be more careful about what they eat, since the intake of specific foods not only improves arthritis condition but can also deteriorate it further.

Rheumatoid arthritis and intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is one of the most popular diets people follow across the world. There are many versions and windows in intermittent fasting which involve some windows of normal eating and others of severe calorie restriction or abstaining from food.

And so, because of its potential benefits which include reducing inflammation, doctors recommend it.

Important things to keep in mind

While going on for intermittent fasting diet while you are a patient of rheumatoid arthritis, there are a few important things you should keep in mind, like:

Choose a fasting module according to your convenience

Intermittent fasting is a broad range of a diet that provides a lot of windows and eating plans. A few are:

Selected fasting days where some people are supposed to take one day where they do not eat at all and other days follow a normal diet.

5:2 fasting is a common approach that allows for normal eating without calorie counting five days every week, but on the other two days, calories are severely restricted.

Time-restricted eating is another popular method wherein you select a window of time during the day to stop eating anything.

Always be updated on the latest research

According to recent research published in 2021 in

Clinical Rheumatology

, people who suffer from arthritis may significantly decrease symptoms of the disease when fasting and in the months following it.

However, according to the researchers, the benefits begin to dwindle after three months, so this has to be a routine feature.

Also, some early trials in various studies do show improvement in the symptoms of arthritis with fasting, but they may also reoccur once stopped.

May help in weight loss

Apart from reducing inflammation, many people with rheumatoid arthritis may also find intermittent fasting helpful as a way of managing their weight.

According to a review published in

JAMA Network

, many windows of fasting can help in a moderate amount of weight loss.

It may help regulate heart and blood sugar levels

Apart from potential weight loss, and inflammation, intermittent fasting can also help regulate the heart and blood-sugar markers, which are both especially important to people with arthritis who are at increased risk of developing heart disease.

An intermittent fasting diet helps in improving low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure, as well as blood sugar and fasting insulin.

Plan according to your medical schedule

Health experts caution people suffering from arthritis to make sure they opt for a fasting window that does not clash with their schedule of medicines.

Doctors generally prescribe


once or twice a day after meals, which decreases nausea, so you need to opt for a plan where you can eat breakfast while fasting.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.

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