What is rheumatoid arthritis?
Who is prone to this type of disease?
What are the signs and symptoms you should look out for?
Can you find plant based diet rheumatoid arthritis help and relief?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that affects many people. It is a chronic disorder that attacks the joints as well as other parts of the body and can cause problems with the eyes and lungs, among other organs, too.
This is a very painful disorder that can cause significant inflammation throughout the body, particularly at the joints. It may lead to deformity of these joints and can also damage the bones as the disorder progresses. This is why it’s crucial to find a treatment plan that works.
Some of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include swollen joints that are very tender and warm to the touch as well as severe joint stiffness. Sufferers may also have a lot of fatigue, frequent fever, and problems with the skin, eyes, bone marrow, lungs, heart, and more.
This disease is more common in people between ages 30 and 50, and it is much more common in women than in men, although both men and women can be affected. If you have a genetic history of rheumatoid arthritis, you may be more prone to it, and if you are a smoker, your risk increases as well.
A plant based diet may offer relief to sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis. Read on to learn more.
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Diet and Rheumatoid Arthritis *FACTS*
There are some correlations between diet and rheumatoid arthritis. Before we delve deeper into the use of a plant-based diet as treatment, it’s a good idea to understand the basics.
- Many studies show that diet has an effect on rheumatoid arthritis. Those who eat foods that may contribute to overall inflammation in the body may suffer worse from symptoms related to rheumatoid arthritis. Although diet is not the cause of this disease, it can absolutely be a contributing factor.
- The reason diet and rheumatoid arthritis are linked is because eating the wrong foods can contribute to inflammation throughout the body—and inflammation leads to arthritis symptoms. Inflammation in the joints causes pain and stiffness, and that inflammation eventually spreads to other organs and parts of the body, too. The more foods you eat that cause inflammation, the more likely you will be to suffer and experience significant pain with your rheumatoid arthritis.
- Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the effects of rheumatoid arthritis as well. When you lose weight and keep your body at a healthy ideal weight for your individual needs, you’ll be doing your joints a favor. If you are overweight, your joints have to work even harder to support your body, and your bones may become weaker for the same reason. The right diet can help you lose weight and maintain the right weight, too.
Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Most of the commonly-recommended treatments for rheumatoid arthritis are not diet changes. In this section, we’ll give you some information about some of the treatments for this disease that may be prescribed by your doctor. It’s crucial to educate yourself on these treatments to determine which ones you may not feel comfortable trying.
- Common treatments for rheumatoid arthritis include taking NSAIDs, steroids, and DMARDs. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) include Advil, Aleve, and Motrin, and there may be prescription-strength options too. DMARDs (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs) may slow down the disease but do not get rid of it. Steroids can help with acute symptoms but cannot be taken long-term.
- The prognosis for these treatments can vary depending on the person. Many times, steroids help for a little while before the next flare-up, but it may not be safe to take them again so quickly, either. NSAIDs can help with lesser symptoms, and DMARDs can help with stopping the disease from spreading as quickly throughout the body. Overall, though, these are not long-term solutions.
- It may take a long time to see results from these medication-based treatments. Depending on the type of medication your doctor prescribes, you may not see results for a long while. You might need to continue taking these medications and, in some instances, they may not ever make much of a difference.
- Side effects may include irritation and damage to the stomach, kidneys, liver, bone marrow, lungs, and heart. Depending on the medication, some of these risks may be much higher than others. For example, you can take Motrin within the recommended daily dose without worrying too much about these risk factors, but if you take too much, you could damage your kidneys. It’s important to follow your doctor’s advice for any of these medications to reduce the risk of side effects.
Plant Based Diet and Rheumatoid Arthritis
A plant-based diet can make a big difference in your rheumatoid arthritis treatments. In this section, we’ll give you the basics on just what makes this diet plan work.
*HOW* does it help?
- A plant-based whole foods diet cuts back on inflammatory foods that can contribute to the pain and joint stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis. It can also help you lose or maintain weight and keep your body healthier overall while improving your energy levels, too.
*WHY* does it work?
- Plant-based whole foods reduce inflammation in the body and make it easier to digest and process food, too. They’re also packed with nutrients and antioxidants that can help your body fight illnesses and disease more successfully.
*WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO* to stick with it?
- You should work with a dietitian or nutritionist to make a meal plan that works for you. From there, be sure to stick to it and remove animal products as well as chemical additives and processed food from your diet. Don’t forget to add exercise as recommended by your doctor as well. Over time, you may replace more and more foods with plant-based alternatives for best results.
MORE INFO: https://youtu.be/0unvSXUjid8
Did you learn some valuable information about using a plant-based diet to treat rheumatoid arthritis? Is this a doctor-recommended or recognized treatment solution? Do you need to proceed with caution if you go this route?
Many studies have shown that there is a correlation between following a plant-based diet and improvement in rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and flare-ups. However, this method may not be recommended by all doctors, and it is not yet widely recognized; a Mediterranean diet is more commonly prescribed.
If you are interested in trying a plant-based whole foods diet for rheumatoid arthritis, be sure to speak to your regular doctor about this first. As with any changes in your diet and lifestyle, it’s important to proceed with caution and work with a medical professional before you get started.
Remember, too, that this type of diet plan may not work for everyone’s rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. If you give it a try and don’t see significant changes soon, it may be a good idea to try another diet plan instead. This is yet another reason why it may be helpful to work with a medical professional. Your doctor may refer you to a nutritionist or dietician if you are still need of guidance when it comes to your meal plan treatment options.