Do you feel:
- Inflammation in your joints?
- Unpredictable abdominal swelling?
- Frequent bloating and distention after eating?
- Unpredictable food reactions?
- Aches, pains, and swelling throughout the body?
If you are experiencing any of these situations, then you might be experiencing a low intake of fiber in your diet, causing inflammation.
Throughout several decades, Americans have lost much diversity in their diets, impacting their gut microbiome, and the contribution to the autoimmune disorder epidemic. The vast majority of people have a less than perfect diet that is consists of high in calories, short on nutrients, and low on fiber intake. Research has stated that about only 10 percent of Americans have met their daily fiber requirements.
The diet is a significant environmental trigger in autoimmune diseases. Dietary approaches can provide the most effective means of an individual to returning balance and the dysfunction with the gastrointestinal system. Researchers have found out that the role of dietary fibers can help with rheumatoid arthritis as there is new and developing research on this discovery.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a long term, progressive, and disabling autoimmune disease. It causes inflammation, swelling, and pain in and around the joints and organs of the body. It affects up to 1 percent of the world’s population and over 1.3 million people in America, according to the Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network.
Rheumatoid arthritis is also a systemic disease, which means that it affects the whole body, not just the joints. It occurs when an individual’s immune system mistakes their body’s healthy tissues for foreign invaders. As the immune system responds to this, inflammation occurs in the target tissue or organ. Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can include:
- Pain, swelling, and stiffness in more than one joint
- Symmetrical joint involvement
- Joint deformity
- Unsteadiness when walking
- A general feeling of being unwell
- Loss of function and mobility
- Weight loss
Fiber and Inflammation
Individuals who eat healthily knows that eating fibers in their diet can help reduce the risk of developing various conditions. The AHAEP (American Heart Association Eating Plan) has stated that people should be eating a variety of food fiber sources in their diet. The total dietary fiber intake that a person should be eating is 25 to 30 grams a day from foods, not supplements. Currently, adults in the United States eat about 15 grams a day on their fiber, which is half of the recommended amount.
Eating a high fiber diet can provide many rewards to the body. Eating fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and whole grains can provide a boost of vitamins, minerals, protein, and healthy nutrients in the body. Studies have been shown that eating a high fiber diet can help lower the markers of inflammation, which is a critical factor in many forms of arthritis.
The body needs two types of fibers, which are soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibers are mixed with water to form a gel-like consistency, which slows digestion and helps the body absorb nutrients better and helps lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Insoluble fibers help the digestive system run more efficiently as it adds bulk to stool, which can help prevent constipation.
There have been a few studies that found that people who eat high fiber diets have lower CRP (C-reactive protein) levels in their blood. CRP is a marker for inflammation and is linked to rheumatoid arthritis. When a person eats a high fiber diet, it not only reduces inflammation to their bodies, but it helps lower the body weight as well. High fiber-rich foods feed the beneficial bacteria living in the gut, and then it is releasing substances to the body, promoting lower levels of inflammation.
A study has been shown that patients with rheumatoid arthritis that they consumed either a high fiber bar or cereal for 28 days while continuing with their current medication had decreased levels of inflammation. Researchers noticed that they had an increase of T regulatory cell numbers, a positive Th1/Th17 ratio, a decrease in bone erosion, and a healthy gut microbiome.
Gut Health and Inflammation
The gut plays a crucial role in the immune function as well as digesting and absorbing food in the body. The intestinal barrier provides an effective protective barrier from pathogenic bacteria but also being a healthy environment for beneficial bacteria. With a high fiber diet, it can lead to the production of SCFAs (short-chain fatty acids) in the gastrointestinal tract, thus playing an essential role in T regulatory cell activation, which regulates the intestinal immune system. When inflammation comes to play in the gut, it can disrupt the intestinal permeability barrier and cause a disruption, leading to leaky gut. Probiotics and a high fiber diet can help prevent inflammation and provide a healthy gut function.
Eating a high fiber diet is essential to prevent inflammation, not on the joints, but everywhere in the body. Even though individuals eat half of the recommended amount of fiber in their diets, due to their hectic lifestyle, eating a high fiber diet is beneficial. Incorporating fiber in their diet gradually is ideal as well as drinking water with the fibers to make the process work more effectively in the body. Some products can help aid the body by supporting not only the gastrointestinal function and muscular system but making sure that the skin, hair, nail, and joints are healthy as well.
October is Chiropractic Health Month. To learn more about it, check out Governor Abbott’s declaration on our website to get full details on this historic moment.
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal and nervous health issues as well as functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or chronic disorders of the musculoskeletal system. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
at UCSF Medical Center, Healthcare Specialist. “Increasing Fiber Intake.” UCSF Medical Center, 2018, http://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/increasing_fiber_intake/.
Brazier, Yvette. “Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): Symptoms, Causes, and Complications.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 16 Oct. 2018, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323361.php.
Hakansson, Asa, and Goran Molin. “Gut Microbiota and Inflammation.” Nutrients, MDPI, June 2011, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257638/.
Jurgelewicz, Michael. “New Study Demonstrates the Role of Fiber in Rheumatoid Arthritis.” Designs for Health, 11 Oct. 2019, blog.designsforhealth.com/node/1125.
Unknown, Unknown. “More Fiber, Less Inflammation?” Www.arthritis.org, 25 June, 2015, http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/arthritis-diet/anti-inflammatory/fiber-inflammation.php.