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This Is What Your Need To Know About The Link Between Diet and Hypermobility

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The link between diet and hypermobility hasn’t yet been fully established. But, we do know that certain foods can make the symptoms associated with hypermobility worse.

In this article, we’ll explore how diet can impact hypermobile joints, and how making certain changes to your diet can help manage symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.

What’s The Link Between Diet and Hypermobility?

The food you eat isn’t the direct cause of your hypermobility. After all, hypermobility is a genetic condition and cannot be developed through food choices.

The link between diet and hypermobility isn’t clear-cut. But, research suggests that diet plays a role in the symptoms linked to hypermobility. 

Inflammatory foods are one of the biggest issues for people with hypermobility. As their name suggests, inflammatory foods cause inflammation in the body. This is the last thing you want when you already have pain in and around your joints.

Examples of inflammatory foods are:

  • Sugar
  • Fried foods
  • Refined carbohydrates
  • Red meat
  • Processed meat

Can Diet Affect Hypermobility?

Absolutely! 

Remember the well-known saying ‘you are what you eat?’ Eating healthy, nutritious foods will make you feel good and give you energy.

Common symptoms of hypermobility include:

  • Joint pain – As already mentioned, inflammatory foods cause joint pain, so it’s best to avoid these foods.

  • Gastrointestinal issues, including IBS which is is common in hypermobility – Gastrointestinal issues vary greatly in hypermobility. Fried food, citrus fruits, and artificial sugars are generally behind these issues. Avoiding these foods is advised.

  • Poor wound healing – Your diet may also affect your wound healing. Wound healing is a common problem in hypermobility and is often delayed. Unhealthy, processed foods, such as cookies, doughnuts, and burgers prolong wound healing. Stay clear of these foods, particularly when you have a nasty injury.

  • Bladder problems

Some foods can irritate the bladder and this is another example of how diet affects hypermobility. These foods include:

  • Tomatoes
  • Citrus fruits
  • Chocolate
  • Spicy foods
  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Sugar

Not everyone with hypermobility will have bladder problems when eating all of these foods. It’s best to trial which ones do and don’t work for you and eliminate the problem ones from your diet.

What’s the Best Diet for Hypermobility Syndrome?

There isn’t one specific diet that’s recommended for hypermobile people. Instead, they are advised to eat a healthy, balanced, and nutritious diet.

However, some people with hypermobility report feeling better when they switch to a strict diet. These diets include:

  • Gluten-free
  • Low FODMAP
  • Vegan
  • Dairy-free
  • Sugar-free
  • Soy-free

Often, finding the best diet for your hypermobility is a case of trial and error. Unfortunately, what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another.

Can Diet Help hEDS?

Yes. As hEDS involves hypermobility, individuals with the condition can benefit from eating the right foods. 

The foods people with hypermobility, including hEDS, should eat are:

  • Antioxidant-rich foods
  • Fiber-packed foods
  • Whole grains
  • Beans, pulses, and legumes
  • Lean protein or plant-based protein

It’s clear to see that a link between diet and hypermobility exists. Sadly, there isn’t yet enough research into this area to determine for definite which are and aren’t the best foods for hypermobility. Despite this, foods known to trigger inflammation and worsen hypermobility-related symptoms should always be avoided and healthy choices should be made instead.

Sources:

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/johns_hopkins_bayview/_docs/medical_services/gynecology_obstetrics/bladder_irritants.pdf

Author

  • Amy

    Amy lives with hypermobility spectrum disorder (HSD). She spent years not knowing what was wrong with her body, before eventually being diagnosed in her 30s. She has two young children - both of whom are hypermobile.