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What is Rheumatism?

Rheumatism is a collective name for various illnesses with pain in the joints, hands and fingers or the entire body as the main characteristic. There are about 4 to 5 million people in Germany that have been diagnosed with rheumatism. Not only old people are affected by rheumatism. Even children and adolescents can get ill with rheumatism. Every second person is younger than 35 when the first symptoms of rheumatism emerge. Women are affected by rheumatism three times more often than men. Rheumatism is a disease that is virtually incurable. However, different types of rheumatic therapy can reduce pain and inflammation.

The following are the different types of rheumatic diseases:

  • Inflammatory rheumatism: chronic or recurring inflammations of the joints. (Arthritis), rheumatic fever, Bechterrew’s disease.
  • Degenerative rheumatism: cause is wear of joint, e.g. osteoarthritis
  • Soft-tissue rheumatism: Pain in the entire musculature and connective tissue.
  • Gout: (Chronic metabolic illness: deposits of uric acid in the joints lead to joint deformation.)


Rheumatism and Nutrition

Rheumatism cannot be healed with a special diet. However, a diet can decrease the pain caused by rheumatism in certain cases and medication can thereby be avoided.

Nutritional Recommendations for Rheumatism:

  • Max. 25-30% fat, thereof 1/3 from saturated fatty acids.
  • Sufficient supply of vitamins and mineral nutrients
  • Arachidonic acid (particularly in pork, giblets, egg yolk, animal fats) is transformed by the body for e.g. into eicosanoids which cause the inflammatory reaction in rheumatism.
  • Omega-3-fatty acids prevent the transformation of arachidonic acids into metabolic products that stimulate inflammation by taking their place. A diet rich in omega-3-fatty acids is favourable for people with rheumatism. Omega-3-fatty acids can especially be found in salmon, mackerels and herrings.


Super Immunity: The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body's Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger, and Disease Free, Joel Fuhrman

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