Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder of the bones, joints, and connective tissue. Painful inflammation that can cause damage to a variety of body systems that include the skin, eyes, lungs and circulatory system, are the hallmarks of RA. Because the condition is chronic and progressive, maintaining your quality of life with Rheumatoid Arthritis may become more challenging with time. To accomplish this, it takes a combination of mental toughness and physical strength, proper nutrition, and a solid support system.
Strong Mind-Strong Body
Yoga and Tai Chi have been found to reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and may be beneficial when used with conventional treatments for RA. Yoga, which combines physical movements, breathing techniques, meditation, and relaxation. When properly performed, yoga can be a safe and efficient therapy for people with RA, as it has been found to reduce pain while building muscle strength and increasing flexibility. Another beneficial program is Tai Chi, which features slow and fluid movements with gentle stretching and deep breathing. Practicing Tai Chi has been found to increase strength, as well as, reducing stress and pain.
Nutrition Impacts Quality of Life With Rheumatoid Arthritis
The role of diet plays a big part in maintaining and improving the quality of life in patients with RA. There are several nutritional benefits that these foods provide:
* Salmon, Tuna, and Mackeral. These oily fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids which are known to reduce inflammation in the body. ?
* Cranberries, Blueberries, and Blackberries. These berries are all fantastic antioxidants. ?
* Walnuts, Almonds, Flax Seeds, and Chia. These are all packed with protein and fiber. Nuts and seeds, especially walnuts, have been proven as having strong anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial for RA sufferers. ?
* Red Wine. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of red wine are well known. It also contains a natural compound known as Resveratrol which, in moderation, is helpful with RA symptoms.?
Also, there are many foods, in which the RA sufferer may want to avoid to control symptoms better. The foods that are thought to be inflammatory include:
* Nightshades which include, pepper; cayenne, paprika pimento, chili, bell, banana, tomatoes
* Refined Sugar
Mental Health and Support Needs for RA Patients
Chronic pain and inflammation can wear on the psyche after a time. For many RA patients living with the disease means having bouts of depression, feeling isolated and hopeless. Good mental health, including positive attitude, is one of the most important factors in maintaining the quality of life. RA sufferers are encouraged to participate in support groups and seek outside help when life becomes too much, emotionally.
Research into autoimmune diseases continues to advance treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis and other similar diseases. Treatment and medication regimens are improving symptoms in many sufferers daily. Understanding that mental fitness is as important as physical fitness, and extra support may be needed when depression strikes, is key. Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis while having a happy and healthy life, is a worthy and reachable goal.