4 tips for managing rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder wherein the immune system attacks and damages the healthy cells, affecting the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis and is diagnosed in 1.5 million adults in the country each year. Currently, there is no cure for it; however, FDA-approved prescriptions and healthy changes in lifestyle habits can help alleviate symptoms. Here are a few tips for managing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis:

Treating rheumatoid arthritis
Actemra® is a prescription for treating moderate to severely active rheumatoid arthritis among adults. It helps block the action of specific proteins that trigger symptoms. Doctors also suggest Tremfya® for active psoriatic arthritis to block the interleukin-23 proteins that trigger pain, swelling, and stiffness. Additionally, Plaquenil® can be combined with other prescriptions to help relieve joint pain and inflammation.

Foods for symptom management
Foods like salmon, tuna, herring, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help lower inflammation. Colored fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants that help counter oxidative stress. Also, whole foods like oats, brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat grains are rich in fiber and nutrients that help lower the risk of associated health complications related to rheumatoid arthritis. Legumes are a rich source of protein necessary for muscle growth. Popular choices include peas, black beans, garbanzo beans, and kidney beans. These legumes are low in fats and rich in antioxidants and other nutrients, including iron, zin, potassium, and magnesium, that boost overall immunity.

Lifestyle changes
Physical activity will help alleviate most of the pain and discomfort linked to rheumatoid arthritis. Walking, swimming, or biking engages the muscles and joints. This improves strength and boosts immunity. It is also important to maintain a healthy body fat percentage, as it reduces the stress on joints. This helps, especially when the symptoms flare-up. Alternative therapies like guided meditation, deep breathing, and muscle relaxing techniques can further help manage stress.

Suggestions for managing rheumatoid arthritis
With rheumatoid arthritis, it is important to manage daily activities smartly. Since the symptoms disrupt daily routine, it is essential to plan the day ahead to minimize any discomfort. Rest is crucial for managing rheumatoid arthritis, as physical exertion can trigger pain and stiffness. Support groups and counseling can also help patients learn to live with this autoimmune condition. More importantly, never hesitate to reach out to friends and family for help.