Posted on 08/02/2018
Arthritis is a chronic disease that affects a person’s joints. I can occur at any age but it usually becomes a more severe condition for patients who are 40 years and older. Thankfully, more studies explore natural ways to combat the pain and swelling caused by arthritis. While there is no known cure, we are sharing 3 lifestyle changes that can significantly decrease the pain you experience when suffering with arthritis.
Eat More Vegetables and fruits
Like you haven’t heard this before. Eating your veggies is important in general but it becomes even more critical if you are suffering with arthritis.
Ideally you should plan on 5 to 10 servings of vegetables and fruits every day. Dark green or bright orange are the best to provide beta-carotene. For example broccoli, pepper, cabbage and Brussels sprouts for vitamin C and Citrus, berries (blackcurrant, rosehip), melon and kiwi for vitamin C. This vitamin is important in the creation of collagen. So eating foods that contain this vitamin can slow down the progression of osteoarthritis.
Don’t forget to add some avocados for Vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that fights Arthritis.
Studies have shown that antioxidants such as vitamin C, beta-carotene and vitamin E also help fight the effects of free radicals, which would damage tissues in rheumatoid arthritis.
In a study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine in 2015 , some researchers believe that fasting followed by a strict vegetarian diet (veganism) for 3 months can also relieve some symptoms. According to them, fruits, vegetables and grains provide many antioxidants that help counteract inflammation.
This diet contains little or no animal fat (which can be known to promote the production of inflammatory immune compounds). If you decide to change your diet, talk to a nutritionist. He can help you ensure your diet is still balanced and test you for allergies which cause inflammation.
Focus on the Omega 3
It’s time to befriend your local fishmonger. Different research has shown that edema, joint pain or redness can be significantly reduced if the person suffering from rheumatoid arthritis adds omega-3 fatty acids to their diet. These fatty acids are abundant in salmon, mackerel, sardines and other fatty fish. They have anti-inflammatory properties. Be careful not to mix them with the more common omega-6 fatty acids (found in sunflower, corn and soybean oils). Omega-6 have the opposite effect and can promote inflammation.
Fish oils are also great at reducing omega-6s and increasing omega-3s if you happen to find yourself eating too many omega-6 fatty acids.
Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is another essential fatty acid with anti-inflammatory properties. The best sources are borage oil (up to 24% GLA), primrose oil (8-10%) and blackcurrant seed oil (15-17%).
Fish oils and GLA need to be taken over several months if you want to see an actual improvement. There appears to be no risk in increasing the GLA dose, but pay attention, excessive intake of fish oils may increase the risk of bleeding. We recommend you ask your doctor for advice.
It is also very important to stay active… so we recommend following an exercise regime.
You can start slowly and gradually increase the intensity. Remember: your goal is not to run a marathon, but to stay fit!
A good support or brace can also help relieve arthritis pain by providing warmth, compression and comfort. There is a wide range of support and compression products available and which one you choose will depend on where you are experiencing the most pain.
We recognize that it is challenging to remain active if you are suffering from severe pain. So go talk to your local pharmacy about devices that can assist. Many mobility devices like ours, the BiKube, allow you to stay active without putting pressure on your joints, which can be a big relief in and around the house.
While there is currently no cure for arthritis the future looks more hopeful as researchers continue to explore ways to reduce the symptoms and innovators like us work to create supportive solutions.
Want to to know more? Check out our blog post about 8 Foods to avoid if you have arthritis.