Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the joints, especially those at the hands and feet. What happened in rheumatoid arthritis is that the body’s immune system launches an attack on its joints, tissues, and in severe cases, its internal organs. When this happens, the joint linings become swollen, sole, and painful and can cause joint deformity and bone erosion.
Currently, there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis. Medication and physiotherapy only slow the disease’s progression. So you can only manage the symptoms.
Before we go into discussing the health tips for managing rheumatoid arthritis, let’s check out some of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
The symptoms include:
- Joint tenderness
- Joint pain
- Joint swelling
- Slight fever
- Weight loss
- Stiffness of the joints
- Joint redness
Health Tips for Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis
Below are some health tips for rheumatoid arthritis that can help you manage the condition and prevent it from getting worse.
1. Quit smoking
If you smoke, one of the most efficient health tips for managing rheumatoid arthritis is to quit smoking.
Smoking worsens rheumatoid arthritis. Also, it places you at risk of other diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases that worsen rheumatoid arthritis complications. It can also interfere with your medication by reducing its effectiveness in the body.
If you have trouble quitting, you can ask your doctor for programs and lifestyles that will help you quit.
2. Lose weight
The fat cells in the body release proteins that result in inflammation. This do not only worsens the joint pain but it can render the medicine ineffective.
Studies have shown that thinner humans have lower disease progression than those who are obese. Even a small drop in fat matters a lot. One of the best ways to lose weight is to combine a healthy diet with regular exercise. Even a 10 pounds drop does wonder.
3. Get adequate sleep
Poor sleep and increased rheumatoid arthritis pain go hand in hand. The joint pains make it difficult for you to sleep. When you don’t sleep well, you become more sensitive to the pain and this can set up fatigue and depression.
So you must try to have enough sleep each night. If you have trouble sleeping at night, you should avoid taking caffeine in the evening or night, ensure you exercise during the day and limit your time on the screen before bedtime. In cases, where these tips didn’t work, you have to go talk to your doctor.
4. Engage in physical activities and exercise
Physical activity/exercise does a lot of wonders that help you to manage rheumatoid arthritis effectively. Some of the benefits of physical activity/exercise are:
- Relieves pains in the joints
- Improves sleep
- Reduces inflammation.
- Strengthens your bones and joints
- Aids weight loss
- Enhances joint mobility.
If you are exercising with rheumatoid arthritis, you need to protect your joints.
Joint injuries can cause or worsen arthritis symptoms. Thus, choose activities that won’t cause pain on the joints such as walking, bicycling, and swimming.
You can start with less aerobic exercises and gradually progress to more aerobic ones. Aim for cardio-related exercise and weight loss exercise. If you have challenges in starting, you can consult a fitness therapist for advice on how to go about it.
5. Take care of your gum
Gum disease or infections can cause rheumatoid arthritis to progress faster and more painfully. It can even lead to greater cartilage and bone damage.
While managing rheumatoid arthritis, you must take care of your gum and ensure nothing affects it.
To take care of your gum, ensure you brush and floss daily. Also, maintain a regular checkup routine with the dentist.
6. Reduce or manage your stress
Stress triggers rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. It fastens the progression of the disease in the body. To manage or reduce stress, you have to look for proven ways to do it.
Below are some of the practical ways you can reduce or manage stress:
- Spends time with friends and family
- Practice yoga.
- Visit the beach
- Visit a relaxation spot (nature and artificial)
- Adequate rest.
7. Consult with to your doctor often
It is imperative that you consult with your doctor if you experience joint pain or any other arthritis symptoms.
This will help you to get an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible so you can begin treatment. Early and effective treatment is important to reduce symptoms and prevent rheumatoid arthritis from getting worse.
Rheumatoid arthritis is not a life-threatening disease, but it can make your life a painful and limited one. This is why you must learn how to prevent it by maintaining a healthy and active life. Adhering to the above health tips for rheumatoid arthritis will help you stay healthy despite your condition.
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