Arthritis is a chronic condition that induces inflammation and pain in the joints. Various factors, including genetics, age, and injury, can cause it. While there is no medication for arthritis, there are things you can do to manage the symptoms and reduce inflammation. One of the essential points you can make is to pay attention to your diet. Certain foods can make the rash worse, increasing your pain and discomfort.

Here are foods that can worsen the inflammation of your arthritis:

1. Sugary Foods

Sugary foods such as candy, soda, and other sweets can cause inflammation in the body. When you consume sugar, your blood sugar levels spike, leading to inflammation. Additionally, sugar can cause an imbalance in the gut microbiome, leading to inflammation.

2. Fried Foods

Fried foods, including French fries, fried chicken, and onion rings, are high in trans fats and omega-6 fatty acids, which can contribute to hand pain. These fats are also found in processed foods, so it’s essential to read labels carefully and avoid foods that contain them.

3. Red Meat

Red meat is rich in saturated fat, which can increase inflammation. Additionally, it contains a molecule called Neu5Gc, which has been linked to inflammation and autoimmune diseases. If you must eat red meat, choose lean cuts and limit your consumption to once or twice a week.

4. Dairy Products

Dairy products, including milk, cheese, and ice cream, can cause inflammation in some people, especially lactose intolerant. If you think dairy may contribute to your arthritis symptoms, try cutting it out of your diet for a few weeks to discover if your symptoms improve.

5. Processed Foods

Processed foods such as chips, crackers, and other snacks are often high in sugar, trans fats, and other inflammatory ingredients. It’s best to avoid these foods altogether and opt for whole, unprocessed foods instead.

6. Refined Sugar

Refined sugar is found in many processed foods and can contribute to inflammation in the body. It can also cause weight gain, which can worsen arthritis symptoms. Examples of foods high in refined sugar include candy, soda, and baked goods.

7. Salt

High salt intake can cause water retention and inflammation, worsening arthritis symptoms. Avoid adding salt to your food and choose low-sodium options.

8. Alcohol

Alcohol can cause inflammation in the body, especially when consumed in excess. It can also dehydrate the body, which can worsen arthritis symptoms. If you love alcohol, do so in moderation and stay hydrated.

9. Gluten

Gluten is a protein identified in wheat, barley, and rye. Some people with arthritis may be sensitive to gluten, which can cause inflammation. If you suspect that gluten may contribute to your symptoms, try cutting it out of your diet for a few weeks to determine if your symptoms improve.


If you have arthritis, paying attention to your diet and avoiding foods that can worsen inflammation is essential. Focus on a diet plentiful in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to help reduce inflammation and manage your symptoms. Additionally, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian for personalized advice on hand pain treatment for arthritis management.

The North Florida Hand and Wrist Center are excellent for individuals seeking expert care for hand and wrist injuries, conditions, and discomfort. Whether you require surgery, therapy, or other specialized treatments, we are here to help ease any discomfort or pain you may experience in Jacksonville, Florida. See our team today to schedule a hand pain treatment and start your journey toward restoring your hand and wrist health.