Natural Remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis
When fatigue and joint pain are working together, pushing through to exercise can be a daily struggle. It may feel as though you are doing the opposite of what you want to be doing: resting.
Knowing when to rest and when to exercise gently may never be 100 percent foolproof. Do try to exercise as often as you can, as flexible joints are happy joints.
Swimming, walking, yoga, and tai chi are low impact activities that can keep you moving better throughout the day and improve your mood. Avoid high impact activities that can aggravate the joints.
Depending on where you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, there are numerous tools on the market to improve your daily routine. From kitchen utensils to modifications on your car, you can look into how these devices can improve your day. Be sure to speak with a physical therapist for even more specific ideas for your particular needs.
Managing a chronic pain condition like rheumatoid arthritis is exhausting and time-consuming. It can feel very overwhelming on top of the day to day responsibilities we all have. Carving out time for self-care, relaxation or a conversation with a therapist or trusted friend can help keep the stress manageable.
Many people have found the practice of acupuncture to be relaxing, aid in pain relief and improve mobility. Very thin needles are poked just under the skin to release endorphins. Be sure to ask for recommendations and check the qualifications of your therapist.
Getting enough sleep can be a challenge if rheumatoid arthritis pain is keeping you up at night, or if you have sleep apnea. Eight hours of sleep (give or take) will help your body get the rest it needs to battle RA. Talk to your doctor if you are having bouts of insomnia or if you suspect you have sleep apnea.
Good sleep health includes staying away from caffeine in the late afternoon, going screen free for at least an hour before trying to sleep and keeping the bedroom dark and cool. If you do suffer from sleep apnea, a mask can be worn at night to improve your breathing.
Rheumatoid Arthritis and Nutrition
Your stomach can really have a rough time with rheumatoid arthritis.
Not only can the disease itself cause inflammation, but medications can give your stomach trouble, especially NSAIDs. If the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed, you can have a hard time absorbing needed vitamins. A regular blood test will be able to pinpoint any deficiencies.
Eating a diet of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits are considered an anti-inflammatory diet. Foods typically associated with inflammation include processed food, sugar, fried food, dairy, meats, and foods high in fat. If you are having trouble switching to a different diet, you may want to consider working with a nutritionist to help you develop a rheumatoid arthritis diet or until you feel comfortable on your own.
Certain foods have stood out when talking about an anti-inflammatory diet. Turmeric and curcumin are two spices with widely accepted properties to help curb inflammation, as well as cherries, foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like fatty fish, and garlic.
Alcohol, red meat and foods containing gluten can make your stomach work harder than it needs to and lead to inflammation, so it is best to avoid these foods.
Next page: Tips for living with rheumatoid arthritis, including building a support team, ways to stay optimistic, and self-care practices.