Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder and chronic inflammatory illness that impacts the lining of the membranes, known as synovium, that border the joints. Living a normal life with this illness can be hard since it causes a painful swelling in the affected area of the joints. If left untreated and a rheumatoid arthritis treatment diet is not followed, the condition can worsen and result in bone erosion and joint deformity. Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is available in the form of medications; however, the rheumatoid arthritis treatment diet also plays an important role to curb its symptoms.
Some ways in which rheumatoid arthritis treatment diet can help are-
- It can decrease the sensation of inflammation in the joints
- It helps in relieving pain
- It decreases the chances of loss of functionality that may be a result of pain in the joint, bone erosion, or deformity
- It can lower down the degeneration of the bones affected by rheumatoid arthritis
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
The main parts of the body that are affected by rheumatoid arthritis are the joints. The symptoms are usually not visible in the early stages and its first signs can only be seen a few weeks or months after the illness starts. The symptoms that confirm that you might suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and need to talk to a doctor soon are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis causes stiffness in the joints making it harder to use them and move as well as they should. The stiffness is especially more common during the morning and it takes more than an hour before the joints start to feel loose.
- The joints are swollen, puffy, and tender due to the accumulation of fluid in them
- Rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation inside the affected joints, which is painful irrespective of whether one is moving that area or not. As time passes, it causes further damage and pain.
- Patients will notice redness around the affected area and the joints will be warmer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it was found that the symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis affected the same joints on both sides of the body. Patients experienced the symptoms every now and then and sometimes they would completely disappear or become mild during a remission. However, at other times the symptoms would flare up and become severely painful.
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can also go beyond your joints. This means that you could also notice the symptoms in other areas of the body which might cause you to feel:
- Pain in muscles
- Loss of appetite
- Utter discomfort
The joints that are mainly affected by rheumatoid arthritis includes:
Foods to avoid if you have Rheumatoid Arthritis
There is no particular rheumatoid arthritis treatment diet that can miraculously treat the disease. However, there are certain foods like nuts, fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids that can assist in reducing inflammation caused by it. Speaking of a healthy diet, patients with rheumatoid arthritis are also suggested to stay away from certain foods because they increase inflammation, thus causing more discomfort.
To have a clearer understanding of this, let us have a look at the rheumatoid arthritis diet foods to avoid and lead a healthy and discomfort-free life.
- Red meat and dairy
These are some of the main sources for saturated fats. Saturated fats are responsible for causing inflammation in the joints, thus increasing discomfort in rheumatoid arthritis. Some other sources of saturated fats that a patient with rheumatoid arthritis must avoid are full-fat dairy products, grain-based desserts, and pasta dishes.
- Corn Oil
Corn oil is a source of omega-6 fatty acids which is another harmful food ingredient that causes inflammation in the joints. Not only that but omega-6 fatty acids also lead to weight gain which is not a healthy option for people with rheumatoid arthritis.
- Fried, fast & processed foods
These foods are the main source of trans fats. Trans fats are harmful because they are created by adding hydrogen to vegetable oil for extended shelf life. Trans fats trigger inflammation throughout the body, increases bad cholesterol levels and lowers the good type.
- Sodium or salt
People with rheumatoid arthritis are recommended to consume no more than 1500 milligrams of salt per day because it is harmful to one’s blood pressure and holds on to your body more easily if you are taking steroids for rheumatoid arthritis.
Sugar is bad food for people with rheumatoid arthritis because it sends the signal to your body to release some chemicals called cytokines that increase the inflammation process. Foods with fructose and sucrose also fall under this category.
Alcohol is a complete ‘no-no’ for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Mainly because it could get in the way of your medications. If you are taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen, mixed with alcohol it can cause bleeding in the stomach or ulcer that can be fatal for you.
Following a rheumatoid arthritis treatment diet is not going to make the illness go away. However, it can help you to slow down the process and alleviate pain and inflammation. It can be a daunting task to fight the battle against rheumatoid arthritis alone. But, the good news is that you don’t have to do it alone. At HCAH, we offer our patients a certified and trained team of professionals and experienced physiotherapists who provide the best possible treatment with individualized plans.. To get more details about our services, call us on our toll-free number 1800-102-4224.