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Rheumatoid Arthritis Tips

Rheumatology Patients - How To Relieve Their Pain?

Rheumatology Patients - How To Relieve Their Pain?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. It affects the joints as well as the skin, lungs, heart, eyes and blood vessels. This condition is most notorious for the pain and discomfort it causes in the joints. Unlike osteoarthritis, it does not attack the cartilage but affects the lining of the joints.

This results in erosion of the bone tissue and can even cause deformities. There is no known cure for this condition and treatment is mostly focused on relieving the pain caused. Some of the ways to manage your pain are:

  1. Medication: Medication can help control the inflammation and pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs or DMARDs are usually the first course of treatment. These may be accompanied by steroids and help reduce inflammation. The best medication to relieve pain is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. In some cases, stronger pain relievers may be prescribed but these should be used cautiously. Excessive dependence on pain relievers can cause addiction.
  2. Change Your DietA diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids can help control inflammation. In turn, this can help relieve discomfort and slow the progression of the disease. Cold water fish and fish oil supplements are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids. In addition, it is important to have a well-balanced diet and to avoid excessive carbs and sugars that can lead to weight gain. It is important to note that heavier people suffer from more pain as their weight puts pressure on the joints.
  3. Exercise Regularly: Rheumatoid arthritis makes movements difficult and hence exercising may seem counterintuitive but this can help in the long run. Avoid high-intensity workouts and pick low-intensity activities like walking, cycling, swimming etc. Water aerobics is one of the best forms of exercise for rheumatoid arthritis. Yoga can also be very beneficial. Regular exercise is important but it is also important not to overdo it. Put exercising on hold during acute flare-ups and avoid doing anything that increases your pain. It is a good idea to consult a physical therapist to know what the best type of activity is for you.
  4. Hot and cold packs: Heat and cold therapy can help relieve pain immensely. A hot pack will help relax the muscles while the cold pack will numb the pain. Heat packs and cold packs can be used alternatively. Alternatively, you could soak the affected joint in hot water and cold water.

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Know The Ayurvedic Treatment For It!

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Know The Ayurvedic Treatment For It!

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which the body recognizes the body's own system as foreign and produces an inflammatory reaction. The synovium which is the space between the bones and the joints and contains a lubricating fluid which allows easy movement of the joints.

Inflammation of this space leads to painful, swollen joints that can also turn red and become stiff over a period of time. The joint surfaces can gradually progresses to produce deformities (the swan-neck deformity of the hand for instance) and disability.

Because it is an autoimmune disorder, the exact etiology is not known but lifestyle, stress, cold weather are supposedly predisposing factors. That being the case, it is not surprising that Ayurveda has a variety of options, both in terms of do's and don't's to manage rheumatoid arthritis - both the severity of symptoms and further progression of the disease.

Do's: A well-planned diet will help by supporting optimal functioning of the immune system and nourish the affected joints.

  1. People diagnosed with RA should follow a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables. Drumsticks, bitter gourd, carrotpapaya, green leafy vegetables, cabbage, etc., reduce inflammation and hyperactivity of the immune system. The antioxidant properties in these neutralize the free radicals circulating in the body (responsible for increasing inflammation). This helps control the longstanding inflammation of the joints
  2. It is also advisable to eat them as whole fruits and not as juices. The fiber in the whole fruits helps digestion
  3. Sprinkle pepper powder over cooling food items like cucumber and radish
  4. Include garlic which is an excellent remedy for RA, can be mixed with buttermilk
  5. Whole grains such as wheatbrown ricemilletbarley are beneficial for RA, their high fiber content helps in proper digestion and promotes regular bowel movements
  6. Honey mixed with water
  7. Drink boiled milk to which dry ginger powder is added; this can replace teaand coffee
  8. Milk mixed with turmeric powder is also helpful in controlling inflammation
  9. Work at reducing weight

Don'tsIn addition to adding the above to your diet, there are some things to avoid, which can worsen symptoms of inflammation.

  1. Avoid overall unhealthy and irregular diet habits which affects the immune system and aggravates symptoms
  2. Avoid sleeping during daytime and staying awake at nights
  3. Avoid deep fried foods and fermented food items
  4. Given its autoimmune nature, it is better to avoid regular allergy-inducing foods like dairy products, soy, peanuts, processed foods, artificial additives, etc. These could trigger an enhanced allergic reaction.
  5. Avoid alcohol, tobacco
  6. Avoid tea and coffee and other caffeinated drinks

With simple daily food habit and lifestyle changes, the severity of RA can be managed effectively.

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Persistent Stiffness in Joints - Is It A Symptom Of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Persistent Stiffness in Joints - Is It A Symptom Of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune chronic disorder that might cause abnormal swelling in the joints when the joint tissues are attacked by the human immune system. The more frequently used body joints, such as the knees, fingers, shoulders, wrists, elbows and hips commonly get affected by the disease. Rheumatoid arthritis can also occur in the ligaments or tendons and might affect areas such as the kidney, bone marrow, eyes, lungs, and heart.

If rheumatoid arthritis is not diagnosed on time, it might lead to future complications, such as blood cancer in the lymph regions, osteoporosis (a medical condition resulting in the weakness of the bones), infections, stiffening of the arteries and dry mouth.

What exactly causes the disease is not known, but a significant damage to the immune system might cause the inflammation of the joints, resulting in this condition. Obesity, a family history of this condition and other lifestyle habits such as smoking tobacco put one at higher risks of this disorder.

The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis might vary among people. The most common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are;

1. Severe pain in the morning
2. Episodes of mild fever with severe pain
3. Redness and inflammation of the joints which might cause intense pain
4. Stiffness in the joints
5. The pain might increase in low-temperature conditions
6. Acute lethargy and weight loss

Treatments
The treatment of rheumatoid arthritis includes a prescribed dosage (depending on the intensity of the condition) of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, anti-rheumatoid drugs such as methotrexate and steroid drugs such as prednisone to reduce the swelling and the subsequent pain. Performing regular exercises in order to retain the flexibility of the joints with appropriate consultation from the physiotherapist might cure rheumatoid arthritis.

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Arthritis - How To Combat It?

Arthritis - How To Combat It?

Arthritis is a very painful disease. It restricts you from doing a lot of the activities you would love to engage in. However, there are steps you could take to reduce the chances of it happening to you.

Here are some of them:

1. Take Omega-3 fatty acids
Research proves that the regular consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids, present in fish, result in decreased risks of rheumatoid arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in foods such as olive oil and walnuts.

2. Take Vitamins and olive oil
Vitamins are crucial, especially A, C and D. Vitamin A can be found in carrots. Vitamin D can yet again be found in fish while Vitamin C can be found in strawberries, mangoes, pineapples and oranges. Olive oil is also useful because it contains polyphenols which reduce the chances of developing arthritis.

3. Eat ginger and broccoli
Ginger and broccoli are two of the most therapeutic foods for various reasons and the chances of getting arthritis are also proven to reduce due to these foods.

4. Avoid injury
Although this is very hard to do sometimes, avoiding injuries do reduce your chances of getting arthritis.

5. Control your weight
This is very important, especially for your knees. It has been proven by researchers at Johns Hopkins University that if you are 10 kg overweight, then 30 to 60 extra kilograms of weight fall on your knees.

6. Exercise
Strengthening your muscles around your joint decrease the pressure on the joint. If there is less pressure on the joint, then the chances of arthritis are reduced. The best way to decrease pressure on the joint and strengthen your muscles is to exercise.

2356 people found this helpful

Learning More About Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis!

Learning More About Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis!

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is also known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis is commonly occurring arthritis in children under the age of 15. Some common problems that are faced by patients with this disease include stiffness, joint pain, and swelling. While the symptoms might persist for a few months for some patients, for others it might continue for the rest of their lives. Patients might face serious complications such as inflammation of the eye, problems related to growth, etc. The treatment of this condition focuses on preventing the bones from getting damaged, pain control and improving the function of the body.

What are some of the common symptoms of juvenile arthritis?

  1. Pain: A child suffering from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis might face extreme pain in the joints. They might limp after a nap or night sleep due to pain or stiff joints.
  2. Swelling: Larger joints such as the knee might swell frequently. The swelling might occur in smaller joints too.
  3. Stiffness: In addition to limping the child might appear rough and clumsy after waking from night sleep or a nap.

Other conditions could include rashes, swollen lymph nodes, frequent fever, headache, etc.

What are the causes of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis occurs when the immune system of the body attacks its own tissues and cells. It is still unclear as to why it happens, although, researchers believe that the environment and heredity have a role to play. Certain genetic mutations might make a child more vulnerable and susceptible to microbes that can trigger this condition.

What are the complications involved?
There could be several complications that might arise due to this condition. It is, therefore, wise to keep a close watch on the child. Seeking immediate medical attention can go a long way in mitigating the risk of these complications.

  • Problems related to the eye: Juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis can damage the eye by causing an inflammation known as uveitis. If this condition is not treated, it might result in other conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, blindness, etc.
  • Growth problems: Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis could result in growth problems. To treat this, a child would require a dose of corticosteroid.

How to diagnose juvenile arthritis?
It is not very easy to diagnose juvenile arthritis. Doctors often prescribe blood tests to get an idea of erythrocyte sedimentation rate, rheumatoid factor, C-reactive protein, anti-nuclear antibody, cyclic citrullinated peptide, etc. A doctor might also prescribe imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI, etc to detect congenital defects, fractures, tumors, etc.

What are the treatment options available?
Some of the medications that are prescribed for this condition include NSAID such as ibuprofen and naproxen, DMARD such as Trexall and Azulfidine, TNF blockers such as Humira and Enbrel, immune suppressants such as Kineret, Rituxin and Orencia. In addition to this doctors would also prescribe corticosteroids and therapies.
 

2291 people found this helpful

Arthritis - 6 Effective Ways To Treat It!

Arthritis - 6 Effective Ways To Treat It!

Arthritis is a very painful disease. It restricts you from doing a lot of the activities you would love to engage in. However, there are steps you could take to reduce the chances of it happening to you.

Here are some tips, which help you in preventing Arthritis:

  1. Take Omega-3 fatty acids: Research proves that the regular consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids, present in fish, result in decreased risks of rheumatoid arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in foods such as olive oil and walnuts.
  2. Take Vitamins and olive oil: Vitamins are crucial, especially A, C and D. Vitamin A can be found in carrots. vitamin D can yet again be found in fish while vitamin C can be found in strawberries, mangoes, pineapples and oranges. Olive oil is also useful because it contains polyphenols which reduce the chances of developing arthritis.
  3. Eat ginger and broccoli: Ginger and broccoli are two of the most therapeutic foods for various reasons and the chances of getting arthritis are also proven to reduce due to these foods.
  4. Avoid injury: Although this is very hard to do sometimes, avoiding injuries do reduce your chances of getting arthritis.
  5. Control your weight: This is very important, especially for your knees. It has been proven by researchers at John Hopkins University that if you are 10 kg overweight, then 30 to 60 extra kilograms of weight fall on your knees.
  6. Exercise: Strengthening your muscles around your joint decreases the pressure on the joint. If there is less pressure on the joint, then the chances of arthritis are reduced. The best way to decrease pressure on the joint and strengthen your muscles is to exercise.
4445 people found this helpful

Arthritis - Know Surprising Facts About It!

Arthritis - Know Surprising Facts About It!

Arthritis is a disease that affects the joints, muscles and soft tissues, which cause stiffness, disability and pain. It is one of the complex conditions and has also been discovered in the remains of people living more than 500,000 years ago.

Although it is usually found in people above 50 years, in rare cases, it can affect younger generations as well. The three most common forms are osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. The symptoms of some arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, include the following:

These symptoms typically last more than two weeks.

Few facts about arthritis

Most people, even though diagnosed with arthritis, are unaware of the following facts:

  1. Snakes, bees, and ants: After years of treatment, some people have turned to specific natural therapies that come from snakes, bees and ants. As per a study by researchers in Brazil, bee sting venom helps reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
  2. Gout is a form of arthritis: Repeated flare-ups, pain and swelling are the results of uric acid, built around the joints. This can be due to genetic predisposition, some diseases and consumption of excess meat, seafood, fructose-sweetened drinks or alcohol. The bunion joint that connects the big toe to the foot is often affected first in people who have gout.
  3. Children get arthritis too: Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is the most common amongst children and affects kids between the ages of 1 - 3 or 8 - 12 years. It strikes girls about twice as often as boys. As per a recent survey, 1 in every 250 children globally suffers from arthritis.
  4. Injuries increase the risk of arthritis: Injured joints are prone to develop osteoarthritis (OA). People with knee injuries have six times the chance, while those with hip injuries are three times more likely to develop OA.
  5. Climate cannot cure: People have a misconception that wet, cold climates cause arthritis rather than a warmer climate. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Orthopaedics confirmed the same frequency for both warm and cold climates. However, sore joints find warm atmosphere more soothing.
  6. Obesity increases the risk: Excess weight is one of the primary causes of osteoarthritis, especially for weight-bearing joints like knees, and to less extended hips. But there is also a higher risk to joints like ankles, back, big toes and hands.
  7. Animals can also develop: Not only humans but animals like dogs, cats and others can also develop osteoarthritis. The symptoms are almost the same as the ones faced by a human. It can also lead to a loss of appetite, which can cause weight loss.
  8. Race counts: Both whites and African Americans experience arthritis at similar rates. However, blacks have higher chances of severe joint pain and limitations in activity as compared to whites.
  9. Women are prone to arthritis: Statistics show that women have a significantly higher risk for all types of arthritis except gout. As per the Arthritis Community, Research & Evaluation Unit, women are twofold more prone to arthritis than men.
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Diet To Be Followed In Rheumatoid Arthritis!

Diet To Be Followed In Rheumatoid Arthritis!

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an auto-immune disorder which induces inflammation in the joints. What causes the condition is not exactly clear, but a lot of studies have been done to establish a connection between various factors such as, diet, exercise, etc., with this condition. These studies have come up with a correlation between foods and rheumatoid arthritis. There are some foods which should be a part of your diet, and some that should definitely be avoided if you have to keep the joint inflammation under control. Read on to know the top 5 foods to eat and to avoid.

What to eat?

  1. Soy: Being rich in protein and fibre and low in fat, soy is great food for RA. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids and vegetarians especially should ensure they get enough soy in their diet.
  2. Fish: Salmon and tuna are fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and these are proven to be natural anti-inflammatory agents. Therefore, it is highly recommended that people with RA eat fish about 3 to 4 times per week.
  3. Oils: While an oily diet is definitely to be avoided, some healthy oils should be included. These include sunflower oil, walnut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil. These are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and are beneficial in people with RA.
  4. Green tea: Known for their polyphenols and antioxidants, green tea reduces damage caused by inflammation in RA. People with RA are recommended to have at least 2 servings of green tea daily.
  5. Beans and legumes: The high content of fibre, protein, folic acid, zinc, iron, potassium, and other minerals makes beans a must-have for RA patients. The red and kidney variety of beans are the preferred ones.

What to avoid?

  1. Grilled foods: Grilled chicken or red meat have high levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) which are known to worsen inflammation. So, while they are good for weight watchers, not so if you have RA. These also contain higher levels of saturated fat, which is again not advisable for RA.
  2. Fried foods: These contain 6-omega fatty acids, which have been proven to worsen inflammation. They are also high in saturated fats, which is a strict no-no for inflammation.
  3. MSG: Monosodium glutamate which is used generously in various Oriental dishes including soups, salad dressings, etc. should be avoided as it affects liver health and worsens inflammation.
  4. Salt: Reduce overall salt intake. Limiting the intake of pickles, salad dressings and processed foods, etc., which contain high amounts of sodium.
  5. Alcohol: This again increases inflammation and should be avoided in RA.

A healthy lifestyle improves not just the overall quality of life but also reduces the severity of symptoms of RA.

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Orthopedic Problems - Know Forms Of It!

Orthopedic Problems  - Know Forms Of It!

Orthopedic disorders include all the issues and ailments that are related to the muscles, joints and ligaments. Orthopedic disorders are so widespread and so large in number that it is very difficult to list all of them down.

However, among them the five most common orthopedic disorders are:

1. Arthritis

It is a chronic and a long lasting orthopedic disorder in which you witness the swelling or inflammation of one or more joints in the body. This condition is very painful in nature and it tends to deteriorate gradually. This condition usually affects elderly people and it also worsens with age which ultimately causes stiffness of the joints and limits your routine body movements.

2. Osteoarthritis

This is a degenerative joint disorder which leads to immense levels of pain and discomfort in the joints of the body. This is one of the most serious forms of orthopedic diseases that have been noticed. This disease involve degradation and decline in the overall quality of the bones and joints in the affected areas.

3. Lower back pain

This condition refers to periods of pain and discomfort in the lower part of your spinal area. This condition is very common nowadays and as a result of this pain your back usually becomes tender, swollen and stiff. This pain also stops you from doing your overall routine activities.

4. Rheumatoid arthritis

It is an orthopedic disorder in which there is severe amounts of swelling of a particular joint accompanied by small lumps on the affected area that further degrade the external appearance of the skin of the area. In case of adults, this disorder lasts for a lifetime and worsens with time, if left untreated.

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Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis - How To Track It?

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis - How To Track It?

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is also known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis is commonly occurring arthritis in children under the age of 15. Some common problems that are faced by patients with this disease include stiffness, joint pain, and swelling. While the symptoms might persist for a few months for some patients, for others it might continue for the rest of their lives. Patients might face serious complications such as inflammation of the eye, problems related to growth etc. The treatment of this condition focuses on preventing the bones from getting damaged, pain control and improving the function of the body.

What are some of the common symptoms of juvenile arthritis?

  1. Pain: A child suffering from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis might face extreme pain in the joints. They might limp after a nap or night sleep due to pain or stiff joints.
  2. Swelling: Larger joints such as the knee might swell frequently. The swelling might occur in smaller joints too.
  3. Stiffness: In addition to limping the child might appear rough and clumsy after waking from night sleep or a nap.

Other conditions could include rashes, swollen lymph nodes, frequent fever, headache, etc.

What are the causes of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis occurs when the immune system of the body attacks its own tissues and cells. It is still unclear as to why it happens, although, researchers believe that the environment and heredity have a role to play. Certain genetic mutations might make a child more vulnerable and susceptible to microbes that can trigger this condition.

What are the complications involved?
There could be several complications that might arise due to this condition. It is, therefore, wise to keep a close watch on the child. Seeking immediate medical attention can go a long way in mitigating the risk of these complications.

  • Problems related to the eye: Juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis can damage the eye by causing an inflammation known as uveitis. If this condition is not treated, it might result in other conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, blindness etc.
  • Growth problems: Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis could result in growth problems. To treat this, a child would require a dose of corticosteroid.

How to diagnose juvenile arthritis?
It is not very easy to diagnose juvenile arthritis. Doctors often prescribe blood tests to get an idea of erythrocyte sedimentation rate, rheumatoid factor, C-reactive protein, anti-nuclear antibody, cyclic citrullinated peptide etc. A doctor might also prescribe imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI etc to detect congenital defects, fractures, tumors etc.

What are the treatment options available?
Some of the medications that are prescribed for this condition include NSAID such as ibuprofen and naproxen, DMARD such as Trexall and Azulfidine, TNF blockers such as Humira and Enbrel, immune suppressants such as Kineret, Rituxin and Orencia. In addition to this doctors would also prescribe corticosteroids and therapies.
 

4070 people found this helpful
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