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All communities will be placed in read-only mode (you will be able to see and search for posts but not start or reply to discussions) as we conduct maintenance. We will make another announcement when posting is re-opened. Thank you for your continued support and patience, and if you have any further questions, please email

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pamzd posted:
To anyone with RA, I have recently been told that milk and dairy products are bad news for people suffering with RA; I hope not, I am a huge milk drinker. I have only recently been diagnosed with it. Please fill me in.
Byroney_WebMD_Staff responded:
Dear Pamzd,

Did your doctor or rheumatologist tell you this? If not, I would be very suspicious as to the validity of the advice. In this article on Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis , I have bolded the portion where it talks about needing to drink milk and dairy products. "People with rheumatoid arthritis have a high risk of developing osteoporosis because of the action of the disease itself, side effects from some treatments, and a decrease in physical activity as a result of disabling pain. To help prevent osteoporosis, get plenty of calcium and vitamin D. This calcium and vitamin D can come from dietary sources and supplements. If you do not consume significant amounts of milk and dairy products, you may need to take most of this requirement as supplements."

I do think some of our members here have found certain foods seem to help them feel better, and some worse. I have never seen any of them mention milk as a problem, but you are a unique individual and need to discover what helps you the most and stay away from anything that seems to cause flares.

Don't be shy talking to your doctor about these issues, too. He or she should be able to help you. You can check out RAtv for more information on Rheumatoid Arthritis, and feel free to post any time you have a question or to offer support to others.

Best wishes,

Kristekay responded:
Many people believe that diet does affect people with RA. The basis of it is this: ceratain food cause swelling in the body and certain foods help prevent swelling in the body. With RA it is the swelling in the joints which makes it so painful. So, it would make sense to try to limit that. The foods which encourage swelling are: red meat, dairy, some people think wheat, potatoes, nightshades: peppers, and eggplant. Some people have found success with limiting these foods and eating fish, chicken, beans, alternatives to milk- like almond milk, apples, cherries, other fruits, any veggies except nightshades, rice products, nuts, olive oil..
Try it and see what you think. Doctors in my experience are hesitant to even admit that it helps I think because it varies so much with people and it takes time to work. It is not a cure it just helps. Take a calcuim supplement if needed.
SallyDStanley replied to Kristekay's response:

My doctor says to try different foods and if you notice any swelling then to stay away from it. For example, I love pineapple but lately when I have eaten it, I swell up so I keep a list of items that I have reactions to so I don't eat them.

Also - sometimes I have reactions with Raw food but once it is cooked then I don't have a problem. My doctor said to do trial and error but don't do too many items at once because it can cause false information. She said that everyone is so different which makes it hard to pinpoint which foods affect the swelling from RA.
lex16420 responded:
I drink milk everyday with no issue. I do believe everyone is different though. I cannot drink orange juice. I get an immediate reaction. It's the only thing I have found so far that causes a problem.
jaxgirl1952 replied to lex16420's response:
Since I gave up dairy, I have really improved so it works for me. Sugar is next as I read that really makes inflamation worse.

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I was diag about 6 months ago w/RA I have been taking Etodolac 500 mg twice a day and lately my hands, arms, neck and feet have been ... More
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