Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects only 1% of the world's population, but there are still misconceptions and misunderstandings about this disease. This is also due to the fact that this disease is mysterious in many ways and research and new treatments constantly change their views on this disease, and even experts must constantly learn.
Therefore, here are 8 myths about this "commonly uncommon" disease.
Truth: RA is not "classic arthritis." Under the term "classic arthritis," we can imagine osteoarthritis, which is caused by injury or wear and tear on the joints due to our age. On the other hand, RA is a chronic, progressive autoimmune disease.
This is one of the most common misconceptions, and it even becomes more confusing if a patient suffers from both RA and osteoarthritis at the same time.
Truth: RA most commonly occurs in people between 30 and 55 years of age. This is the most common limit, but there are also cases where this disease occurred in adolescent individuals.
Truth: RA can endanger your health and independence, especially if not treated properly. It requires immediate diagnosis and adherence to treatment, which leads to maintaining your independence and joint function.
RA also increases the risk of other diseases such as cardiovascular disease, infections, or lung disease.
Truth: RA has different courses in different people, but most patients continue to live without the need for further assistance from others. However, due to its progressive nature, it causes health impairments in many individuals, and most of the available information comes from studies that are 20 to 30 years old. Research shows that up to 94% of RA patients continue to perform all their normal activities independently even ten years after being diagnosed.
Truth: If you have RA, your work habits or tasks may require minor changes, but it will not be so significant as to cause lifelong endangerment.
This myth arose in earlier times, and it is true that many people will have to limit some activities associated with their function, but a large proportion of patients do not have major problems with it. As a result of a large study of patients who had RA for more than ten years, the employment rate did not change compared to people of the same age category without RA.
Truth: This may be the worst myth of all. RA is a progressive disease, and the earlier it is diagnosed and treated, the better the chances of preventing or minimizing joint damage. Treatment options have improved dramatically in recent years, and early treatment can prevent or delay the need for surgery or joint replacement.
Truth: Although diet and lifestyle can contribute to the development of RA, the disease is caused by a complex interplay of genetic, environmental, and immunological factors.
Truth: While there is no cure for RA, current treatments can help manage symptoms, slow the progression of the disease, and improve quality of life. Many patients with RA are able to lead full and active lives with proper management and treatment.
Studies predict that if people consume certain foods, they can reduce the risk of spinal inflammation, help control certain types of back pain, and overall have a positive impact on our health.
People who have poor eating habits tend to suffer from serious illnesses such as obesity, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, sciatica, and others that cause chronic pain syndromes. Studies predict that if people consume certain foods, they can reduce the risk of spinal inflammation, help control certain types of back pain, and overall have a positive impact on our health.
Studies particularly point out these foods: olive oil, green tea, fruits, and vegetables, which have anti-inflammatory effects. Regarding vegetables, the greener the better (cabbage, spinach, and broccoli). Fruits such as pineapples, cherries, and berries can also help with back pain.
So what should I include in my diet?
Garlic - provides strong anti-inflammatory effects, helps lower blood pressure, cholesterol, reduces the risk of cancer, and helps improve lymphatic circulation. Garlic contains about 400 different substances (vitamins, calcium, magnesium, sulfur compounds - natural antibiotics).
Ginger - it has been found that ginger provides the same effect as commonly prescribed painkillers and is strongly anti-inflammatory. Other main effects of this natural antioxidant include strengthening the immune system, supporting the cardiovascular system, and effectively helping with asthma.
Fish - known for their richness in omega-3 fatty acids and help relieve pain and act against inflammation. Studies have shown that consuming fish, especially fish oil, reduces the risk of joint inflammation.
Water - even mild dehydration can contribute to muscle cramps and increase blood viscosity. All of this contributes to poor healing and inflammation. Basic rules of proper hydration include drinking enough fluids to go to the toilet at least 3-4 times a day.
Vitamin D - also, a lack of this vitamin causes back pain. It has been found that more than 80% of people between the ages of 15 and 52 with chronic back pain have a deficiency of this vitamin. And when they started supplementing it, their back pain began to subside.
All of these recommendations should not be taken as the only form of treatment, it is only about supplementing existing treatment or its prevention.
What should I avoid or limit consumption?
In addition to foods that alleviate...
The Ten Commandments of Quality Sleep with Osteoarthritis Ten proven and true tips to help ease joint pain and bring peace to your sleep.
You know the drill. Pain associated with osteoarthritis keeps you from sleeping soundly. You're constantly searching for a comfortable position to sleep in, and the lack of sleep makes your pain even worse the next day. It's a vicious cycle.
If you're one of the 27 million people suffering from osteoarthritis, sleeping soundly can be very difficult. That's why we've compiled ten proven and true tips to help ease joint pain and bring peace to your sleep.
Consider your treatment - Some antidepressants improve sleep and particularly help relieve pain. Talk to your doctor to see if this treatment is right for you.
Rule out sleep apnea - This is a common and serious condition where patients often fall asleep during the day, repeatedly wake up at night, experience temporary breathing stops, are excessively tired during the day, have headaches or signs of depression. Treating this syndrome can help improve sleep quality at night, thus reducing pain.
Change sleeping positions - The ideal position depends on which joint is hurting, but it's very difficult to recommend a specific position to a patient. Generally, sleeping on your back is recommended if your problem is not related to your back.
Choose the right mattress - What you sleep on has a huge impact on the quality of your sleep. For patients with osteoarthritis, nothing can be worse than a hard and stiff mattress. The best option is a mattress that is springy and conforms to the shape of your body. It should be firm, but not too hard.
Use pillows - Placing a pillow under a painful joint can relieve pain and also relieve pressure.
Try pain medication - Before using it, don't forget to consult with your pharmacist or doctor. These medications relieve headaches or pain associated with insomnia.
Try ice - Although small, ice is a great helper with significant effects. It provides pain relief and is more effective than heat.
Keep your osteoarthritis under control - Are you doing everything you can to avoid pain? There are currently many medications for pain relief, prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroid injections, or various therapies for pain relief. Don't forget to have regular check-ups with your doctor and consult with them regarding the medications you've chosen.
Exercise every day - Exercise is one of the best options if you fight daily with osteoarthritis. Exercise as much as possible...
Relax - Avoid drinking caffeinated drinks before bedtime and create a comfortable and quiet environment that helps you relax.