The not infrequent mistake of diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis as gout, and the consequent placing of the patient on a restricted and spare diet, has undoubtedly led to the development of severe and incurable forms of the disease. It is essentially a disease that requires good and nutritious feeding, and I have seen many cases of rheumatoid arthritis which had gone thoroughly to the bad through the initial error of mistaking the disease for gout, and treating it with a spare diet. The diet should be as liberal and as good as the patient can digest, and animal food should be partaken of freely, though not to the exclusion of vegetables. The exclusion of the red meats, and of such articles as sugar, potatoes, cauliflower, peas and beans, on the assumption that they do harm in rheumatoid arthritis, is, in my opinion, not only unnecessary but is absolutely opposed to the treatment I have adopted and the careful observations I have made, in the dieting of patients suffering from this disease.
A moderate quantity of wine or stout should be taken with lunch and dinner. Any kind of wine that agrees with the patient may be taken; but perhaps a generous red wine, such as Burgundy, is the most suitable. If the tempero-maxillary joints are so much affected as seriously to interfere with mastication it is necessary to give meat in a minced or pounded form. In such cases as much generous liquid nourishment as possible should also be given.