If you have been diagnosed with the inflammatory autoimmune disease Rheumatoid Arthritis, you are intimately familiar with the pain, swelling, and tenderness that invades affected joints. By this time, you are likely already on prescription medication to combat the inflammation your body is inflicting on itself and all the associated symptoms. You may be making some lifestyle changes such as exercising more or eating healthier in a bid to give your body every possible advantage in this fight. Still, another point to consider in the battle against RA is not only what you should be doing, but also what you should avoid.
Don’t Smoke with RA
Smoking increases your risk for nearly every health condition, because it is so thoroughly damaging to the body. In the case of RA, smoking both increases the risk of developing the disease, as well as the severity of symptoms. It has also been shown to reduce the effectiveness of proven treatments, meaning that the relief a smoker gets from RA medications is likely to be much less than a non-smoker.
Don’t Exclude Omega-3s from Your RA Diet
If you are focusing on healthy eating, you are doing your body and your RA a major favor! A healthy diet gives your body the tools it needs to function optimally. In the case of RA, these tools should include omega-3 fatty acids. These particular nutrients are excellent inflammation fighters and can be found in significant quantities in foods such as fish, plant oils, and nuts and seeds. They can also be found in supplements like fish-oil or flaxseed. In addition to helping reduce symptoms of RA, a diet rich in omega-3s has also been shown to aid in the effectiveness of RA medications.
Don’t Make Workouts High-Impact
Exercise and a physically active lifestyle are important to help control RA. However, some forms of exercise can lead to painful flares. High-impact exercises can already be hard on the joints, but this is especially true if those joints are already affected by arthritis. If your RA impacts joints in your lower extremities, it is best to keep things low impact like walking, swimming, and bike-riding regularly.
Don’t Avoid RA Treatment
Perhaps you’re hoping the condition improves, plan to try some at-home remedies, or are hesitant to visit a doctor. Whatever the case, avoiding medical treatment for RA can only make the problem worse. The earlier the condition is diagnosed and treatment begins, the better the potential outcomes. If you want to live a life that is minimally impacted by rheumatoid arthritis, treatment and regular check-ups with a specialist is an absolute must.
Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis in Baton Rouge
If you have been diagnosed with RA or believe that you may have it, the physicians at Bone and Joint Clinic of Baton Rouge can help. Our team of orthopedic specialists routinely see and treat patients suffering from all forms of arthritis. To begin your own path to wellness, click below.