RA Triggers to Avoid
Its been said that our habits can make or break us; our habits are activities we do constantly, and anything done repeatedly can trigger health conditions.
Eating and chewing on ice cubes, for example, feels wonderful on a hot day. However, if done repeatedly, you may crack dental work, according to dentists. Sure, it does feel good when the temperature outside is over 100 degrees. Dental materials do not respond well to cold temperature and can become weak and brittle.
Chewing once may not break a tooth, but the habit of continually chewing ice can create health issues that require emergency intervention.
If you’ve been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, you may be displaying habits that are acting as RA triggers. Some examples of these habits are:
- Procrastinating on dental cleanings
Everyone postpones things that don’t seem immediately relevant during stressful times in their lives. If you have a dental appointment on your schedule and you’re under a lot of stress or in a period of chaos, do not cancel your appointment!By delaying dental cleanings, you’ll increase the amount of bacteria in the mouth. Studies show that these types of bacteria can make their way into the bloodstream. Once in the circulation, the bacteria may travel to your joints, which are already infected by RA, and contribute to inflammation, infection, and destruction of the joints.Studies have also found a link between periodontal disease and the hardening of arteries; stick to your regular schedule of dental cleanings. You may even decide to have your teeth cleaned more often, once every 2-3 months instead of once every 6 months, for example.
- Wearing high heels
Rheumatoid arthritis affects the metatarsal joints of the feet, so it’s important to protect these delicate joints at all costs; do not give them extra stress. Wearing high heels, for example, places stress on the balls of the feet, exactly where these metatarsal joints are located. This stresses these joints and it’s not a good idea if you have rheumatoid arthritis.
- Using a big fluffy pillow
A big fluffy pillow on the bed sure does look inviting but it also serves a practical purpose. Your neck has a C-shape, which doesn’t match a pillow. A pillow will change the angle of the neck, which subsequently alters the C1-C2 vertebrae alignment. This is a potential problem for those with rheumatoid arthritis as the disease targets the upper cervical joints.It’s not uncommon for the upper cervical joints to misalign simply because someone has RA, and a big, fluffy pillow will hasten this process. Use a flat pillow, and take your pillow with you to the chiropractor to determine if it fits matches the curve of your neck.
These habits are easy to break. When you do eliminate them, remember you are reducing triggers of your RA and extending the time you’ll feel well and healthy.