rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic illness that progresses over time. There is presently no cure for this condition.   While you may already be taking over-the-counter and disease-modifying medication to ease your symptoms, one of the best ways to manage the discomfort and pain often seen with RA is to incorporate  a healthy diet with positive lifestyle changesain.. You can pair your ongoing treatment with exercise and diet changes to ease your symptoms.

 

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Lifestyle Changes

Physical therapy, paired with balanced rest, can benefit people with RA.

Stretching

Stretching the muscles around the affected joints can suppress RA pain. Simple stretches and strengthening exercises can reduce pain in hands and wrists.

Exercise

You can also combine your stretches with some low-stress exercises such as swimming and cycling to strengthen the muscles around the affected joints. 

Lose weight

Your weight can have a significant impact on the pain you experience from RA. Fat deposits around the affected joints can worsen the pain and accelerate the progression of the disease If you are overweight, incorporate both diet and exercise to shed the extra pounds.

Hot and Cold Therapy

Hot and cold therapy can help bring temporary relief to RA symptoms. However, there is not enough medical evidence to support the benefits of this treatment.

Rest

Rest is crucial to relax your joints and treat the aches. The caveat to this is that too much rest can worsen the pain.It is important to find the right balance between resting and exercising to help effectively manage your symptoms.

Reduce Stress

Stress, both physical and emotional, is directly correlated to an increase in the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Practicing stress-relieving techniques like yoga and meditation can help reduce stress and manage RA more effectively.

 

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Diet changes

Inflammation is the primary cause of arthritis. For this reason, foods that encourage inflammation should be strictly avoided. These foods include:

  • Processed foods
  • Refined carbs
  • Cheese and high-fat dairy
  • Fried foods and red meat
  • Alcohol
  • Omega-6 fatty acids

Here are some foods that have been shown to be effective in alleviating the pain and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Garlic

Garlic is an anti-inflammatory agent and can be a significant source of relief for people with rheumatoid arthritis. Inflammation is caused by cytokines, which are pro-inflammatory proteins. Garlic restricts the production of cytokines, which reduces the progression and symptoms of arthritis. However, garlic is most effective when eaten raw. Once cooked, it loses its anti-inflammatory properties.

Ginger

Systemic inflammation is caused when the T-cells in your body attack your healthy cells. Ginger reduces the action of these cells, which helps in decreasing systemic inflammation. While the amount of ginger needed to decrease the inflammation is unclear, adding a bit of it to your diet may help.

 

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Cinnamon

Cinnamon bark containsanti-inflammatory properties, which can help to alleviate the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. It is also known to be an excellent remedy for aches and pains, especially those which get worse with cold weather. However, in large doses, cinnamon can have adverse effects on your health, especially in pregnant women.

Willow Bark

The bark of willow trees contains the active ingredient salicin, which has anti-inflammatory properties and can help relieve RA pain. Be sure to closely monitor the quantity you ingest, as large doses of salicin can affect kidney function.

Black Pepper

Black pepper contains capsaicin, which makes it an effective remedy to treat pain and swelling. You can use black pepper to treat pain in the short term as the relief is only temporary.

Turmeric

Turmeric may also be effective in reducing RA symptoms, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Boswellia Serrata

Boswellia serrata is a medicinal plant used for treating several medical conditions, including brain injuries, joint pain, swelling, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. You can either eat the leaves or purchase its extract and use it in your meals and drinks.

Green Tea

Green tea contains polyphenols, which have anti-inflammatory and joint-protecting properties. In addition, green tea also contains antioxidants that suppress the immune system and slow down the progression of rheumatoid arthritis. Green tea also has benefits related to weight loss and the improvement of metabolism.

Inflammation is the major cause of rheumatoid arthritis. Eliminate  inflammatory foods from your diet and increase the consumption of anti-inflammatory foods to manage joint pain and discomfort. Supporting your diet with the right amount of exercise and rest can go a long way in managing RA symptoms.

 

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