Rapid excruciating pain - could it be rhubarb?

Has anyone had an intense reaction to a food which brought about severe arthritis like pain?? I’m new to this journey and have been diagnosed with OA in both knees. The pain is bearable and I also get aches in other places. Last night after a fairly normal dinner I’d used some rhubarb to make a crumble. Within an hour my wrist was unbearably painful and no amount of painkillers helped. This morning the pain is still incredible but more bearable.

is it possible for a food to trigger arthritis? As it was such a rapid reaction I can only think it’s something new that I’ve not had in years and maybe it’s the rhubarb.

Thanks for any opinions or advice.


  • CarylW
    CarylW Moderator Posts: 233

    Hello @SuzyB

    I am glad you have found our online forum. We are a supportive and friendly group with a great deal of knowledge and experience of arthritis.

    I understand that you have osteoarthritis in both knees and you are wondering if a severe food reaction can bring on arthritic pain. I am posting below a couple of links which you may find helpful, and I hope you will soon get some replies from members who may have experienced something similar.

    Do keep in touch and et us know how you get on. We look forward to hearing from you.

    Best wishes


    Need more help? Call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 358

    Hi @SuzyB and welcome to the Forum.

    It's only a personal opinion but I don't think there is any research to show that Rhubarb is a food to avoid with Arthritis. However, if as part of the crumble you made sugar and margerine or butter was added then these could well have had an adverse effect because these are known to have side-effects for us sufferers. Gluten's another red flag as well and I guess there'd have been flour in the crumble itself.

    I have severe OA in both my knees and eat a varied diet that includes all the things I'm supposed to avoid but have little or no side-effects but everyone's different and maybe you're susceptable?

    Hope this helps,


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,608

    I'm not a great believer in foods affecting arthritis apart from the value of eating a broadly speaking, Mediterranean-type diet. But I can see rhubarb having an effect as it's so acidic. Our freezer is currently stuffed with frozen, stewed rhubard as Mr SW loves his crumble. I can't eat much of it as my stomach protests. I don't think It's ever gone to my joints, though, but I guess it's a matter of suck it and see. Try a small quantity at first. But also, did you do anything else that day that could have caused it? OA can take a sudden exception to stuff it formerly allowed.

    P.S. Plum crumble's good too!

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
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