I’m assuming you’re referring to osteoarthritis, the degenerative disease that can occur as we get older and is often the result of years of wear and tear. This common malady is marked by breakdown of the cartilage that cushions joints. Symptoms include pain after repeated use, especially later in the day; and swelling, pain, and stiffness after long periods of inactivity. In advanced cases, pain occurs even at rest.
Drinking water with any kind of salt won’t do a thing for your arthritis and could affect you adversely. If you’re salt sensitive, it could cause water retention and elevate your blood pressure, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
While I don’t recommend drinking saltwater, here are some simple dietary changes you can make that may help reduce the inflammation that underlies arthritis pain:
- Eat oily fish such as salmon or try another source of omega-3 fatty acids such as walnuts or freshly ground flax seed daily. You can also take omega-3 supplements (2-3 grams of fish oil a day).
- Regularly use ginger and turmeric. You can add these to foods. Drink gingeror turmeric tea, or take extracts of these anti-inflammatory herbs in capsule form.
- Eat generous amounts of organically grown vegetables and fruit every day. The antioxidantsthey contain may help reduce tissue damage from inflammation.
- Consider myanti-inflammatory diet. It will provide you with steady energy and ample vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and dietary fiber. If you need to lose weight, it can help with that as well, although the diet isn’t intended as a short-term weight loss plan. Rather, it is an evidenced-based way of selecting and preparing foods that can help you achieve and maintain optimum health over your lifetime. The first and most important step is to eliminate refined, processed, and manufactured foods.
The following supplements also may help:
- Glucosamine sulfate provides joints with the building blocks they need to help repair damaged cartilage.
- Evening primrose oil. This is a source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) that may help maintain healthy joints by modifying inflammation.
- Bone-health-supportive herbs and spices. In addition to ginger and turmeric, mentioned above, holy basil, green tea, rosemary, Chinese skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) and hu zhang (Polygonum Cuspidatum) all contain naturally occurring anti-inflammatory compounds .
Andrew Weil, M.D.
Eric M. Schott et al, “Targeting the gut microbiome to treat the osteoarthritis of obesity.” JCI Insight, April 19, 2018, doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.95997