Knowing Your Pain: Getting the Facts Straight with Arthritis
Arthritis is a common joint pain or disease suffered by people from different races, ages, and sexes. Physicians spotted more than a hundred kinds of arthritis among millions of adults and thousands of children. The most distinguishing features of arthritis are stiffness and inflammation. Arthritis can affect people in a myriad of ways.
What are the symptoms of Arthritis?
The symptoms of this disease are inflammation, redness, pain, fever, chills, swelling, and stiffness in the fingers, arms, legs, and wrists. There are also types of arthritis that adversely affect the lungs, eyes, skin, joints, and kidneys. The enumerated symptoms may not be present always because symptoms would differ depending on the type of arthritis.
What are the types of Arthritis?
Arthritis could be osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, infectious arthritis, inflammatory arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, etc.
- Osteoarthritis -It is a common type of arthritis which affects the large and small joints in the wrists, back, hip, hands, feet, and knee. The ailment resulted from the wear and tear of the joint or as a consequence of an injury. The condition begins with slight pain, which develops until it even occurs during rest. Some persons with osteoarthritis could not work or do other physical activities because of the pain.
- Rheumatoid arthritis – It is an ailment in which the immune system attacks the body tissues and other parts of the body. Damages are found in the cartilage, lining of the joint, and eventually on the bones. Rheumatoid arthritis is an ailment in the joints. It affects the elbows, knees, fingers, and wrists. Pain, skin rash, fever, and limited mobility are some of the symptoms found in children. Erosion of the bone is the most distinguishing feature of this disease.
- Infectious Arthritis – This is a joint inflammation caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites. Some of the symptoms are fever, weakness, headache, redness, pain, and inability to move the joint. Treatment includes antibiotics. Surgery is also an option to clean out the joint. The medication for this type of ailment will differ depending on the kind of germ that caused the infection. Bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics, either orally or intravenously. Medication may take few days, weeks or even months.
- Inflammatory Arthritis – Gout is an example of inflammatory arthritis. A painful, tender, red, and swollen joint is the most common sign of this ailment. It may result in kidney stones or urate nephropathy. The condition results from high levels of uric acid. Diet and genes are the contributory factors to this ailment. Gout is common in people who eat a large amount of meat, drink a lot of liquor or beer. Gout usually affects older males. Gout is known as “rich man’s disease.”
- Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis – It is common among adolescents and children. It is a noninfective inflammatory disease. It is usually present in children aging one year to six years old. Some the signs and symptoms of JIA are joint pain, swelling joint, irritability, and refusal to walk.
- Psoriatic arthritis – It is a long-term inflammatory arthritis. Swelling of entire toes and fingers, thickening of the nails, detachment of the nail from the nail, red, scaly, and itchy plaques on the skin are the most common signs of this ailment.
- Reactive arthritis – It caused by a bacterial infection, characterized by an inflammation of large joints such as knee or sacroiliac joint, inflammation of the eyes, mucocutaneous lesions, or psoriasis-like skin lesions. It can also affect the heels, toes, fingers, low back, and ankles. This ailment is common among men between ages 20 and 50.
Healthy Tips for Persons with Arthritis
Focusing on the treatment options, appropriate physical activity, proper diet, and healthy food supplement are some of the best tips for the person with arthritis to avoid joint dysfunction, immobility, and poor health.
Proper Diet for Persons with Arthritis
For people with arthritis, eating the right and healthy food is vital to strengthen the immune system, avoid inflammation, and make the bones stronger. The wrong food is a contributor to arthritis while a healthy menu is a great help. So a person’s diet can either treat or aggravate the illness.
For rheumatoid arthritis, the best foods are fish such as salmon and tuna, soybeans such as tofu and edamame, extra virgin olive oil, nuts such as walnuts and almonds, beans, green tea, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables which are rich in fiber.
For persons with osteoarthritis, the best foods are low-fat dairy products such as milk and cheese, almonds, salmon, extra virgin olive oil, broccoli, citrus fruits such as oranges, spinach, green tea, nuts, and garlic.
Best Foods to Fight Rheumatoid Arthritis
Persons with rheumatoid arthritis suffers a painful swelling and stiffness in the joints. Diet for individuals with rheumatoid arthritis includes green vegetables such as coriander and parsley, turmeric, ginger, pineapple, blackstrap molasses, green tea, sour cherries, pomegranates, and fish oil.
Foods that Ease the Inflammation and Pain
Arthritis is painful. However, you can alleviate the pain by having the right diet. An example of foods that lessen arthritis pain and inflammation from arthritis are the following: vegetables such as Broccoli and cabbage, fish like tuna and mackerel, garlic, cherries, turmeric, fruits rich in Vitamin C such as strawberries and pineapple.
Foods that Aggravate the Inflammation and Pain
On the other hand, some foods can aggravate the inflammation. The person with arthritis should avoid the following: foods with much sugar such as pastries and chocolate bars, foods with saturated fats such as pizza and meat products, monosodium glutamate, alcohol, and aspartame.
Best Exercises for Osteoarthritis
Exercises will strengthen the muscles and joints, and considered as a non-drug treatment for reducing pain. Proper exercise will ease the pain and enhance movement. Here are few examples of the recommended exercise:
- Stretching and Flexibility Exercise – It allows your muscles to relax, improves flexibility, strengthens the muscles, and lessens the pain. Stretching is the process of elongating the muscles. Dynamic stretching and static stretching are the two types of stretching.
Dynamic stretching means you are moving as you stretch. It improves range of motion, boosts body awareness, improves your balance and coordination, enhances muscular power and performance, and activates muscles.
Static stretching is when you stretch while staying stationary. It increases movement efficiency, increases nutrients and blood supply to the joints, lessens back pain, and reduces muscular tension.
- Aerobic Exercise – It is beneficial to the muscle, lung, heart, blood pressure, red blood cells in the body, and brain. It also lessens the occurrence of diabetes osteoporosis and cardiovascular problems. It can also enhance endurance, energy, bone growth, memory and overall mental health.
Walking, running, kickboxing, skipping rope, jumping jacks, jogging, skiing, cycling, rowing, skating, swimming, skating, climbing, and aerobic gymnastics are some of the examples of aerobic exercise.
- Strengthening Exercise – It enhances your core, abdominal, back, and pelvic muscles. It will enable you to do a lot of physical activities. Some of the examples of strengthening exercises are push-ups, weight-lifting, sit-ups, squats, digging, shoveling, hill walking, and mountain climbing.
Vitamin D and Calcium are the Essential Supplements for Persons with Arthritis
Vitamin D and calcium have a significant role in the joint and bone development. Both are vital in the prevention and treatment of arthritis. The person’s body needs a correct amount of vitamin D and calcium to ensure good health to the bones.
Healthy bones start to develop during birth. Each day we need to store the necessary calcium to maintain a healthy bone. We need a high amount of calcium as we grow old. Because as our age advances, the amount of calcium in our bones also decreases. Then arthritis occurs when there will be a rapid decline of calcium in bone.
Vitamin D and Calcium are vital in the prevention and treatment of arthritis. Some other habits are also detrimental to the bone development. Here are some of the examples of those unhealthy habits: smoking, drinking alcohol, taking foods and drinks with caffeine.
Eating foods rich in vitamin D and calcium is the best recommendation for having healthy bones. Adults need 1500 mg of calcium daily.
Calcium and Vitamin D Supplement
To be able to take the sufficient amount of calcium daily, some use calcium supplements.
An example of a calcium supplement is calcium citrate. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and can be found in milk, etc. One of the examples of a vitamin D supplement is multi-vitamin.
However, It is vital to note not to take a dose higher than 2000 IU because it can cause toxicity and bone loss. You should consult the doctor to avoid the adverse effects. Sunlight is also another source of vitamin D. Sunbathing for about 15 minutes a day is also advisable. Sunscreen can be applied to your face but not to the entire body because it obstructs the absorption of vitamin D.
To lessen the pain or avoid arthritis, you should have a thorough knowledge about this illness. Research extensively on the cause, signs, symptoms, and effects of this disease. After thorough readings, create a treatment plan including healthy lifestyle strategies. Remember to give a paramount importance on proper diet, exercise, and appropriate supplement.