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Osteoarthritis: how to live with the disease

Osteoarthritis is the most common inflammatory joint disease. Requires a comprehensive treatment because the disease affects the entire body and has a negative impact on the psyche. Unfortunately, in rheumatoid arthritis there is no effective drug. However, you can limit the progression of the disease – but it largely depends on the patient.

It is not easy to reconcile with the idea of an incurable disease that gradually lose efficiency. However, if it is diagnosed early and will be well treated, it can lead almost normal, active life. Rheumatoid arthritis requires a comprehensive treatment because the disease affects the entire body, not just the joints, leaves its mark on the psyche. For proper treatment consists of medication, physiotherapy, physical therapy, but primarily a lifestyle change, what is also adequate nutrition. It should also benefit from the experience and ideas of other patients, to make your life easier with RA.

Treatment of osteoarthritis – do not introduce changes in therapy

Prescribed treatment, do not attempt to modify or stop – even if you feel better. The discontinuation or change drugs can decide only rheumatologist. The same applies to a variety of vitamins and dietary supplements. Do not use the herbs that miraculously heal your joints. Such conduct can quickly lead to another relapse.

Joints like gymnastics

People suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are afraid to exercise because they think that this will harm the joints. On the contrary – the systematic exercises improve the joints, strengthen muscles, improve well-being. Our findings can handle the everyday duties. You do not have to give up the sport, but you should choose a discipline that does not compromise on overloading joints, such as swimming and Nordic walking. An excellent exercise for arthritis hand is washing the dishes, walls or countertops, kneading the dough. It helps maintain the strength of a handshake and mobility of joints wrists, elbows and shoulders.

Diseases that often follow osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis patient is at risk many additional diseases, and therefore, are regular checks. Here are the diseases that RA can cause:

Osteoporosis – take daily 1000 mg calcium, eat cheese, yogurt, milk, small fish with bones, beans, cabbage. Calcium is harder to absorb in the absence of vitamin D3, which can be found in oily fish. Come for a walk every day, because vitamin D is formed in the skin when exposed to sunlight.

Anemia – may be caused by inflammation alone, but also by regular medication.

Heart disease-RA alone, and drugs used in the treatment of atherosclerosis favor. Therefore, regularly measure the pressure and examine blood cholesterol levels, do not forget about traffic and proper nutrition.

Periodontitis – increases the risk of bacterial infections, which is dangerous in people with impaired immunity. Gum disease and tooth promote heart disease.

Malnutrition-may be a consequence of changes in the gastrointestinal tract and malabsorption. Lack of appetite is a side effect of medication. Therefore, take care of the varied and wholesome meals. Deficiencies of vitamins and minerals – sick usually deficient in vitamin C, D, E and B group are frequent shortages of magnesium, calcium, zinc and selenium, which promotes joint destruction. Ask your doctor that you pointed appropriate supplements, because diet alone can’t compensate for shortages. If you take methotrexate or sulfasalazine, do not forget about folic acid. Get him in the days when not taking these drugs.

Depression – the cause is often a life in pain and fear of resulting loss of autonomy.

When you have sick joints learn to move differently

»If you need to move something heavier, such as a bag of soil for flowers, press it to your chest and forearms supportive.

»When you open the door of the elevator, push them with hip or arm to save the hand joints.

»Each action, such as pouring water from kettle, disassembles many ponds, which hold the kettle in both hands.

»When household chores use of fine features: brush with a long handle, would not stoop without the need; openers for bottles and jars to save the wrist joints; what you can, move, instead of lifting.

»Avoid activities that involve small joints, so for example screwing.

»Getting up from a chair, do not lean on the wrists or fingers of the hand. In time, each patient will develop his own method to relieve joint pain.

»Sleep on a high bed, from which it is easy to get up. If you sleep on your side put small pillow between your knees to keep your hips in a natural position. If you sleep on your back, the head should be no higher than 5 inches above the mattress. But when you have stiffened his neck, place as many pillows as you need to head lay freely, without having to strain your neck muscles.

Enter the small comforts

»If you can, replace the toilet seat to make it easier to use. Install a bathtub and toilet handles for easy getting up. Ordinary taps, replace the battery with a lever, which pick up the arm.

»Avoid the use of soft couches from which it is difficult to pick up. Arrange furniture so as to have free access to them.

Take care of varied diet

It is not true that the diet can replace the pharmacological treatment of osteoarthritis, but proper nutrition effectively supports the entire therapy. Fasting and cleansing diets, driven by healthy people, are not indicated in rheumatoid arthritis – may harm, lead to malnutrition. The diet of the patient should be placed in the appropriate proportions of grain products, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, eggs, meat and fish or their replacements – beans, peas, soybeans, lentils, and fats. Choose the least processed products without preservatives and dyes, because these compounds potentiate inflammation in the joints. Facilitated by a food rich in saturated fats, ie meat, meats, cheeses.

For a long time there is a discussion about the vegetarian diet in RA. Some experts argue that it is irrelevant, and others, that the long its application to reduce the pain and swelling of the joints. Regardless of who is right, a vegetarian diet or a diet with limited amounts of meat – especially beef and pork – a beneficial effect on health. These types of meat, contain a lot of histamine, a compound that promotes inflammation. Similarly, can act on the joints tomatoes and spinach. Other products, such as strawberries or chocolate, although not contain histamine, but intensify its secretion. Compounds of activity similar to that of histamine are also found in citrus fruits. This does not mean that those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, you have to completely eliminate these products from your diet, but better to be limited so as not to provoke the exacerbation of the disease.

Scientists like to be based on hard scientific evidence, because patients with RA recommend a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in oily fish (tuna, salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel, halibut) and fish oil produced from them. The source of these acids are also eggs, flaxseed oil and canola oil, and walnuts. Regular consumption of omega-3 and omega-6 not only reduces pain, swelling and inflammation of the joints and their morning stiffness, but also beneficial effects on the circulatory system, which in RA patients are particularly susceptible to many diseases. It is important and that the unsaturated fatty acids from food and those taken in tablet form does not interact with drugs used to treat RA.

It is important to also limit the intake of salt – because it stops the water in the body, increases swelling. These, in turn, restrict movement of joints.

Do not be afraid to drink coffee, but limit yourself to 1-2 cups a day. Eat 4-5 times a day, but small portions to maintain proper weight. Being overweight, even a small amount, it is an unnecessary burden on the joints, as well as a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

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NSAIDs in osteoarthritis: irreplaceable or troublesome guidelines?

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