The term arthritis is used very commonly especially among the senior citizen group, and it literally refers to an inflammation of the joints. While there are more than 100 types of arthritis, the most commonly-recognized type of inflammation is osteoarthritis, which comes about when the joints are subjected to wear and tear, and rheumatoid arthritis.
The following facts about arthritis should help you understand the condition better:
1. Eating healthy and maintaining an active lifestyle helps in treating arthritis. Why? Eating healthy does not have a direct correspondence to arthritis symptoms, but when you choose healthy food and have enough regular exercise, chances are, you get to lose weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is important for people with arthritis because it reduces the weight strain on the joints that bear weight, such as the feet, the hips, and the spine. Meanwhile, arthritis in other body parts may also benefit from getting enough nutrients daily to give you the energy to accomplish daily tasks. The funny thing is that some people mistakenly think that having arthritis means they cannot exercise anymore. The truth is, having an exercise regime actually helps keep the joints as well as cartilages healthy; exercise not only improves fitness, it also enhances a person’s flexibility. Of course, if you happen to be new to exercise, be sure to consult your doctor, or possibly your physiotherapist to help you work out an exercise program that will work best for you.
2. Special diets do not ease rheumatoid arthritis. Some people get the mistaken notion that following a special diet will cure pain from arthritis. The truth is, certain types of diet, such as going vegetarian, removing dairy from diets, or even fasting, have received much publicity but has actually not shown any evidence of helping arthritis symptoms; in some cases these extreme diets may even be detrimental to a person’s overall health.
3. Arthritis does not just hit the older generation; anyone can get arthritis. This is because wear and tear on the joints is not the only cause of the condition. Genetics or an injury may also cause it. With the more than 100 types of arthritis, certain types are actually not related to wear and tear on joints, such as juvenile arthritis, which hits children below 16 years old, gout, common among middle-age men, and rheumatoid arthritis, which strikes women mostly between the ages of 25 to 50.
4. Food allergies do not cause arthritis. Indeed, many have held to the myth that pain from rheumatoid arthritis comes from food allergies or by food particles entering the blood stream. However, scientific studies have found no proof to require arthritis patients to abstain from certain foods to relieve arthritis pain.
5. Stocking up on vitamins and minerals is needed for people with arthritis. Interestingly, these vitamins and minerals work more for preventing complications from arthritis rather than treating the condition itself. For example, calcium is known for improving bone health and preventing osteoporosis. The importance of making sure you get enough calcium is because arthritis patients have a higher risk of getting osteoporosis. Vitamin D is also crucial because it aids in the absorption of calcium in the body. Iron will also be important, as many people who have arthritis also suffer from anemia, sometimes as a result of taking arthritis medication; iron will help form haemoglobin in the red blood cells, and these carry oxygen to the various body parts. Omega-3 fatty acids have also gained publicity in recent research, as they have been speculated to help inflammatory arthritis. Antioxidants like vitamin E, selenium, and vitamin C are also known to be a possible help in getting rid of certain compounds in a person’s body that may trigger inflammation.
6. Some supplements may help heal pain from arthritis. While some vitamins and minerals are important to take in to prevent other complications, some supplements, especially herbal ones, have been known to relieve pain from arthritis. For example, chondroitin and glucosamine have become popular for people with severe pain in the knee due to osteoarthritis, largely because these elements are found in joint cartilage; as such, taking these as supplements are speculated to help rebuild worn-out cartilage. Collagen is also becoming popular, with the speculation that taking collagen from animal sources might trick the body into not attacking its own collagen, which causes inflammation. However, these herbal supplements are still undergoing research to confirm their efficacy and safety.
From these little facts, you will likely feel better-armed to deal with your arthritis. Just remember, a healthy lifestyle will always be beneficial, whatever conditions you may have.