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Tea and joint pain?

Sometimes when I over-indulge in tea I get pain in my joints and tendons, particularly black tea. I am concerned about the long-term effects on my joint and bone health. I understand green tea is anti-inflammatory so it’s good for arthritis. But on the other hand, I have read black tea increases risk of arthritis. Also I know caffeine leaches some calcium from the bones, so I try to get plenty of calcium in my diet. Finally, there is the slight concern about fluoride, which can cause joint pain through skeletal fluorosis, although I believe this is somewhat rare. I do try to drink good quality loose leaf teas to reduce the fluoride exposure.

Is the temporary pains and aches I feel from too much tea just exhaustion from the caffeine?

11 Replies
Serenity said

Hi, I’m so sorry something you enjoy gives you a negative consequence. I have not heard of this connection, but I know everyone is very unique in his or her response to food and drink, and so forth. I would, however, suggest you consider seeing a rheumatologist. I have a form of arthritis that is autoimmune based, rather than due to aging. Best wishes for best health.

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Lala said

I have heard the same thing regarding green tea acting as a type of anti-inflammatory.

Also I don’t think you have to be worried about skeletal fluorosis unless you are drinking extremes amounts of tea, up to hundreds of cups a day. I think a bigger fluoride concern would not be from the tea but from the water you use to make it with.

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Bonnie said

Green tea usually has more caffeine than black tea. Fluoride can be reduced by only using spring or filtered water (which I always do for the best flavor anyway). The l-theanine content of green tea might be a bit higher than black tea but I prefer the lower caffeine (I like puerh which is good for the stomach and blood pressure). I have fibromyalgia and migraines. Tea reduces pain for me by calming the pain messages in my brain.
Another thing I avoid is artificially flavored tea’s. Rooibos and licorice in tea make me sick because I have nightshade allergy (they are legumes). Always drink the best tea you can get from good sources. You don’t want tea that has been sitting in a warehouse for a year.

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KatNa said

I have heard that tea is a good natural anti inflammatory, but as already said everyone is different. Something you might consider is your sodium intake which if high could be helping to retain more fluid in your body and in your joints, hence making them more achy.

Maybe reduce your sodium intake on days you know you might be drinking more tea, and see if you notice a difference.
I have psoriatic arthritis and I’m extremely sodium sensitive, reducing salt has helped me with pain even when I drink more beverages.

Bonnie said

I don’t use salt either but drink lots of liquids which is beneficial to reducing water weight (I know sounds wrong but it’s really true).

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This happens to me too sometimes and I hate it! It usually only happens after I have had several large pots a day, in which case I know I should probably not have had that much tea to start with. I have no idea what causes it, but I would be very interested to find out why it happens! It never happens when I drink tea at school but happens all the time at home. I have noticed that the tea at at home is harder than the water at school, and that may be a large reason why!

Bonnie said

Really worthwhile to have a filter bottle. I bought one at Best Buy that has a fat filter that works quickly and looks nice. Comes in colors and wasn’t expensive. Even though the water here is very good, I can taste things other people can’t due to a side effect of fibromyalgia.

Thanks Bonnie! I will have to try that out!

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52teas said

If I over-indulge in black tea, like a gallon and a half of iced tea in a day (yeah, it happens sometimes), there’s a chance that my gout will flare up a bit. I’ve read that there is some connection between gout flare-up and high-volume tea consumption. I don’t think it’s a stretch to incorporate other forms of arthritis.

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I now realize that the issue is inflammation. I went to an acupuncturist about this and they gave me a list of inflammation causing and reducing foods. The first thing to avoid was dairy. I cut it out for a few days and the arthritic symptoms got much better! But I can’t live without dairy (even though I am now on exclusively goat milk) so I ended up having some again, and the pain returned to some degree. So while excessive tea can aggravate the inflammation I think dairy is a bigger problem for me.

OMGsrsly said

Dairy is a tough one, for sure. There’s almond and coconut milk creamers, yogurts and ice creams that are pretty good if you can do nuts. I don’t care for soy as much due to other health concerns, and rice stuff can be OK depending on the brand. :) I wish you the best in finding your favourite substitutes. It’s a bit of trial and error, but it can be done.

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