Lifestyle Changes That Can Help Manage Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common inflammatory arthritis among the general population. Women are more than twice as likely as men to have the disorder, and it can affect anyone from childhood through adulthood. If untreated can cause severe deformities of joints, making even basic daily activities difficult to perform. While any organ can be affected, the hallmark symptoms include swollen, tender joints and fatigue.Also Read – 5 Reasons Why it is Necessary to Get Your Child Vaccinated Against Covid-19

Medications remain the mainstay of treatment, but many lifestyle changes are proven to improve the quality of life in Rheumatoid arthritis patients. As for many other chronic diseases, rheumatoid arthritis may be exacerbated by poor lifestyle choices. Recent studies emphasise the role of nutrition and physical activity in this disease. Also Read – Sitting in AC for Prolonged Hours Can Harm Your Health: 5 Side Effects of Air Conditioner

Dr Yathish G C, Consultant – Rheumatology, Manipal Hospital Whitefield, Bangalore discuss with lifestyle changes that are proven to help arthritis patients lead a better life. Also Read – Weight Loss Guide: Loaded With Good Fats Peanut Butter Helps in Weight Loss, Consume At This Time | Watch Video

  • Diet – ‘You are what you eat !!

We have a lot of misconceptions about Diet in Rheumatoid patients. Patients often land up getting advice from so many well-wishers which will create confusion rather than a solution. If we follow a balanced diet that applies to the majority of chronic diseases life becomes simpler and helps tackle arthritis in a better way.

The basic formula To Increase Intake of To Avoid supplementing with

  1. Low fat, Low sodium Mediterranean Diet Fruits, Veggies, Whole grains, Nuts Sugar-Sweetened beverages, Red and processed meat, Trans fats Omega -3 fatty acids.
  2. Nun essential amino acids
  3. Probiotics
  • Exercise and Mind training -“ Your body can do it , it’s time to convince your mind “
  1. An appropriate physical activity programme based on an active daily lifestyle, aerobic exercise and resistance training.
  2. Sleep Hygiene measures and stress management.
  • Quit Tobacco: Yes it’s true, smoking hurts the joints as well !!

It is proven beyond doubt that smoking has a major role in the Pathogenesis of Rheumatoid arthritis. Cigarette smoking has the strongest evidence base as a modifiable lifestyle behaviour that increases seropositive RA risk. Prolonged smoking cessation may reduce seropositive RA risk and also helps in better managing the disease.

  • Weight Management: Evidence suggests that excess weight may increase RA risk.

Obesity is considered an inflammatory condition with increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines secreted by adipocytes, which have been implicated in RA pathogenesis and are current therapeutic targets. Obesity is also associated with a relative increase in oestrogen levels, which likely plays a major role in RA pathogenesis. Weight reduction not only decreases the risk of RA but also helps to reduce the damage to weight-bearing joints like knee and hip joints.

To conclude, Rheumatoid arthritis can be a difficult disease with many complicated manifestations. With a better understanding of the disease, following your doctor’s instructions, creating a strong support network, and embracing a healthy lifestyle can help sail through the tough arthritis journey smoothly.

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