6 Healthy Habits for Your Rheumatoid Arthritis

People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) constantly feel pain in their joints and muscles.  Many of them believe eating healthy foods and dietary supplements can cure RA, which is not true. Certain foods and supplements can help ease pain, reduce inflammation in the joints but can’t cure RA. So if you want to get relief from Rheumatoid arthritis pain, you need to make some changes to your lifestyle. Here are some of the healthy habits you should follow to get relieve from RA issues:  

1. Quit smoking and limit alcohol

Do you know, smoking worsens your Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and makes your treatment less effective? To ease your RA symptoms and pain, you should quit smoking. Talk to your doctor to get help in quitting smoking. Your doctor can give advice and recommend medications to help with withdrawal symptoms. As far as drinking is concerned, it’s okay to drink alcohol occasionally but regular drinking can worsen the side-effects of RA and can damage your liver.

2. Stay active

Exercise strengthens your muscles as well as offers flexibility to your joints. If you’re overweight, you should exercise daily to reduce your extra pounds and to ease the stress on your joints. The exercises that can help relieve the pain in your joints, joint stiffness, and other symptoms due to RA are, cycling, tai chi, yoga, stretching, walking, Pilates, and strength training, etc.  If exercise is not helping you, consult with a physical therapist. Your therapist can make a workout plan and show you what to do.

3. Eat healthy foods

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, “The best approach to food for people with RA – or anyone else – is a well-balanced diet.”  Approximately two-thirds of your diet should come from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and the other third must include low-fat dairy products and lean sources of protein. Healthy, delicious foods such as nuts, seeds, fish oils, green leafy vegetables, and tea, etc. are good for your whole body, although they don’t cure rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Foods such as fish oils, nuts, and tea, etc. can help with joint swelling. Make sure to limit your intake of sugar and saturated fat, as they can worsen your joint problems.

4. Snack Every Three Hours

Your blood sugar levels can drop if you haven’t eaten for three hours or more, worsening your arthritis pain. If arthritis is sapping your energy, you need to snack at regular intervals. Stay away from the empty calories of candy bars or salty snacks. Instead snack on high-fiber carbohydrates and lean protein — like whole-grain crackers and peanut butter, or yogurt with walnuts, etc.

5. Give it time to work

RA treatments can ease your pain, stiffness, and fatigue, but not overnight. Your treatment can take a few weeks or months to ease your pain. If your doctor prescribes a new medicine to you, ask your doctor when you should begin to notice some releif, what sorts of changes to expect, and will there be any side-effects. Let your doctor know if you don’t feel any better.

6. Take Supplements

Whole foods are the best ways to get vitamins and minerals. However, if you’re not getting enough amount of minerals and vitamins through your diet, add multivitamins and supplements to your diet, with your doctor’s approval. Make sure that you don’t add any supplements to your diet without your doctor’s approval.

The bottom line

To treat RA pain, you need a nutritional, well-balanced diet, which includes plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. However, if your pain doesn’t get better with time, consult with your general physician to get the right treatment.

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