April 11, 2008

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diet, Self-Care for Arthritis Symptoms Management

Posted in Category : Bone, Joint & Muscles Disorders

If you are suffering from joint pain and stiffness for a long time, you should seek the medical treatment as these symptoms can indicate towards rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory joint disorder. There are numerous options for medical treatment of this disease to reduce the symptoms and to prevent the joint damage. There are some measures that can help to manage the symptoms and decrease the pain. They are exercise, protection of the joints, rest, healthy lifestyle and dietary factors.

Diet plays an important role as a form of treatment for the people suffering from any type of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis diet includes the whole foods, fruits, vegetables and low fat products. Adequate diet helps to lose the excess body weight which can help to reduce the stress on the joints and pains. Your diet should be rich in calcium and vitamin C and increase intake of steamed or raw foods and vegetables, whole grains, rice, fish and fruits.

Healthy fats like GLA and Omega 3 are advantageous which can be obtained from Evening Primrose oil (GLA) and flaxseeds and fish (Omega3). As Omega-3 fatty acids contribute a lot in the inflammatory pathway, intake of salmon oil, walnut oil, soybeans and avocado oil containing Omega-3 fatty acids is beneficial. Consumption of cold-water fish like herring, salmon, mackerel and sardines is a useful part of rheumatoid arthritis diet as they are the rich sources of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) that competes with arachidonic acid for the production of leukotriene and prostaglandin. Cod liver oil provides sufficient quantity of EPA and thus effective for controlling inflammation due to rheumatoid arthritis.

Your rheumatoid arthritis diet should exclude the allergic foods which may a cause of rheumatoid arthritis. The most common foods that may result in aggravating the rheumatoid arthritis are corn, beef, wheat, milk and other dairy products. Fatty acids play a significant role in the inflammation mechanism through formation of thromboxanes, prostaglandins and leukotrienes. You should avoid foods that contain arachidonic acid which is derived from the animal sources such as dairy products, meat etc. This chemical can lead to inflammatory leukotrienes and prostaglandins which significantly contribute to inflammation.

In addition to diet, there are some other self-care measures that can be useful to overcome the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Exercise helps to keep the body weight under control, makes the muscles strong and maintains the flexibility of the joints.

Protect your joints from injury and avoid the physical activities that can cause pain. Avoid excess stress on the joints and use the assistive devices to perform the activities.