Joint Pain and Proteins? What’s The Link?

More often than not, we find ourselves complaining about joint pain. It doesn’t matter if you’re old or young. Chronic or persistent pain could mean that you may have a condition known as arthritis. It is a disorder that can be managed easily by lifestyle changes and proper medication. Some proteins have been linked to worsening this condition. In this article, we will focus on the foods that contain joint pain protein.
Let’s first straighten some facts about chronic/ persistent joint pain in arthritis. Further on, we will explain the link between protein and arthritis. Then finally, which food item to avoid and why.


Arthritis is a disease that affects joints of the body. The prime symptom of this disease is chronic joint pain. There is no specific cause for this issue; it can be because of genes, external triggers, gender, age, etc. Arthritis is broadly categorized into two namely, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis.

Difference Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. In this type of condition, the body starts attacking its own tissue and bones. This causes inflammation and results in joint pain.

Often people with advancing age complain about having joint pain; if it’s chronic, they fall under this category. In this type, the cartilage, responsible for protecting the bone (joints), wears off with time.

Protein and Joint Pain

Sounds weird, right? You must be wondering, how can a nutrient essential for the human body cause joint pain? Well, here’s your answer.
Protein is a nutrient required by the human body to develop healthy nails, hair, bones, blood, etc. A diet containing protein in an adequate amount is necessary because our body is not designed to store much for spontaneous availability. Some proteins aggravate inflammation of the joints in arthritis patients, hence increasing pain. It does so by targeting the inflammatory markers in the body.
There is no specific protein that can be named as the ultimate joint pain protein. Many different kinds can cause joint pain.

Top 7 Food Items to Avoid with Arthritis and Why.

1. Eggs

Who doesn’t like eggs? They are the most common food item, abundant in proteins and healthy for the human body. However, arthritis patients should avoid its consumption because of arachidonic acid’s presence in the yolk, which triggers inflammation.
Here’s a tip, if you’re a fan of eggs, separate the yolk and enjoy egg whites instead.

2. Dairy

The most common dairy product, milk, contains casein. Casein is the protein that causes joint pain.
However, there are many substitutes available, e.g., Soy milk or almond milk.

3. Processed Meat

Purines and nitrites found in processed meats are known to increase inflammation and pain in the joints.

4. Food That Contains Gluten

Gluten is a protein present in grains like wheat, rye, barley. It increases pain by acting on the inflammatory markers.

5. Breakfast Cereals

The most common and easy breakfast option is harmful to arthritis patients since their core is refined grains.

6. High Salt Intake

Although salt is not a protein, it shows adverse effects when combined and topped with items like bread, pizza, and pasta.

7. Fried Foods

The presence of omega-three fatty acid and low saturated fat worsens inflammation. It is advised to use more omega three while simultaneously cutting the omega-six fatty acids intake.


Modification of lifestyle always helps in the longer run. This article has enlisted most common foods containing proteins and its link with joint pain.

But, if the pain gets worse please consult our experts at Rheumatology Care in Houston. We assure you that we will provide you with the best treatment available. Call 832.532.9779 for appointments or queries.

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