Rheumatoid arthritis mistakenly thinks healthy tissues in the body are harmful and begins to attack. This autoimmune disorder attacks the lining in the joints, resulting in inflammation and pain. Over time, rheumatoid arthritis can lead to joint deformity and bone erosion. In addition to this, damage can occur in other tissues and organs within the body, including the cardiovascular system, the eyes, the lungs, and the skin.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease; however, the symptoms and severity of the symptoms come and go from time to time. When symptoms increase, it is referred to as a flare. Alternatively, when symptoms subside, and the pain and inflammation disappear, it is referred to as going into remission.
Although rheumatoid arthritis cannot be cured, there are many things that you can do to reduce the severity of your symptoms and decrease the amount of damage rheumatoid arthritis causes. You can maintain your bone health through supplementation, healthy eating habits, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting enough exercise.
A healthy diet is not only good for your heart; it is also good for your joints. Eating whole grains, fatty fish, plant-based proteins, spices, and fruits and vegetable reduce pain levels and inflammation. Some of the top foods to eat include:
- Leafy green vegetables like kale, broccoli, cabbage, and spinach
- Fruits including blackberries, cherries, and raspberries
- Healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts, and avocados
- Plant-based proteins like beans
- Whole grains, including brown rice, oatmeal, and whole wheat
- Spices such as turmeric and garlic
- Fatty fish like tuna, sardines, and salmon
Exercise strengthens muscles around your joints and helps them move easier. In addition to this, exercise will help you shed any unwanted weight. For best results, you need to include flexibility exercises, strength training exercise, and a cardio workout. Before starting an exercise program, talk with your physician. Your doctor may recommend working with a trainer or physical therapist.
Pace yourself throughout the day
Although experts recommend remaining active to reduce the effects of rheumatoid arthritis on the body, you should make time to rest throughout the day. Rheumatoid arthritis often causes fatigue; therefore, you may need to take more breaks than someone who is not suffering from RA.
Get enough sleep
It can be tough to get a full night’s when you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. However, getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night can help reduce the effects of rheumatoid arthritis in the body. Your body heals itself as you sleep; therefore, you need to do what you can to get to sleep and stay asleep.
Avoid grilled and seared foods
Researchers have discovered that searing, roasting, grilling, or frying foods at high temperatures produce advanced glycation end products. These compounds trigger an inflammatory response, which can increase the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
To help reduce the number of rheumatoid arthritis flares you experience, reduce the cooking temperature of your foods, avoid microwaving your food, and decrease the amount of processed food that you consume. Instead, simmer your meats in a cooking liquid or sauce.
Reduce stress levels
Stress causes systemic inflammation. Lowering your stress levels can help reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. There are many different stress relief techniques that you can do to improve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, including:
- Guided imagery – Sit in a comfortable and quiet place and take some deep calming breaths. Close your eyes and think of a relaxing place like the beach, the forest, or atop a mountain. As you focus on this image, imagine the sounds and smells of the relaxing place to make the image more relaxing and more vivid.
- Deep breathing exercises – Inhale deeply through your nose as you relax your shoulders and neck muscles. Purse your lips and exhale slowly. As you exhale, envision your stress leaving your body. Continue deep breathing for five to ten minutes to lower stress.
- Yoga – Rheumatoid arthritis causes joints to become stiff and painful. that increases flexibility, reduces inflammation, and aids with weight loss. Unlike other types of exercise, many modifications can be done to yoga poses to adapt to your unique needs.
- Journaling – Journaling helps you connect your thoughts, behaviors, and feelings by writing down the things that are bothering you. In addition to this, journaling enables you to clear your mind. In addition to journaling your thoughts, creating a gratitude journal can help you see the good in your life and decrease your stress levels.
Rheumatoid arthritis can deform your joints and cause them to shift out of place. These six healthy habits protect your joints and tissues from the effects of rheumatoid arthritis while helping to minimize inflammation in the body and reduce the pain and discomfort experienced during a flare.