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  • Writer's pictureDr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Natural Home Remedies


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a long-term condition that causes inflammation in the joints, leading to pain, stiffness, swelling, and reduced movement. RA can also affect other parts of the body, such as the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, and blood vessels. There is no cure for RA, but there are many ways to manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life of people with this condition. Besides taking the medications that your doctor prescribes, you may also benefit from some natural home remedies that can help lower inflammation, ease pain, and promote wellness. Here are some of the most common and effective natural home remedies for RA:


Exercise

Exercise is one of the best ways to keep your joints healthy and flexible. Exercise can also strengthen your muscles, improve your mood, enhance your sleep quality, and lower your risk of other health problems. However, not all types of exercise are good for people with RA. You should avoid activities that put too much pressure on your joints, such as running, jumping, or contact sports. Instead, choose activities that are gentle on your joints, such as walking, swimming, cycling, or yoga. You can also do some stretching and strengthening exercises that target the muscles around your affected joints. A physical therapist can help you create an exercise program that suits your needs and abilities.


Heat and Cold

Applying heat or cold to your painful joints can provide temporary relief and comfort. Heat can help relax your muscles, improve blood flow, and reduce stiffness. Cold can help numb the pain, reduce swelling, and decrease inflammation. You can use heat or cold packs, hot or cold water, or heating pads or ice packs to apply heat or cold to your joints. However, you should be careful not to apply heat or cold for too long or too often, as this may harm your skin or make your symptoms worse. You should also avoid applying heat or cold directly to your skin, and wrap them in a towel or cloth before using them.


Diet

What you eat can also affect your RA symptoms and your overall health. Some foods may cause or increase inflammation, while others may help fight it or protect your joints. Some of the foods that you should avoid or limit if you have RA include:

  • Processed foods, such as chips, cookies, cakes, and fast food, that are high in salt, sugar, fat, and additives

  • Red meat, especially if it is fatty, processed, or grilled, as it may contain substances that cause inflammation

  • Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, that may contain proteins that trigger an immune reaction in some people

  • Gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, that may cause inflammation in some people with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease

  • Alcohol, especially in large amounts, as it may interfere with your medications, damage your liver, and increase inflammation

Some of the foods that you should include or increase in your diet if you have RA include:

  • Fruits and vegetables, especially those that are rich in substances that protect your cells from damage and inflammation, such as berries, citrus fruits, leafy greens, and tomatoes

  • Whole grains, such as oats, brown rice, quinoa, and buckwheat, that can provide you with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other substances that can support your digestive and immune health

  • Fish, especially those that are high in substances that can help lower inflammation and improve your heart health, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines

  • Nuts and seeds, such as walnuts, almonds, flaxseeds, and chia seeds, that can also provide you with substances that can benefit your joints and overall health, as well as protein, healthy fats, and other nutrients

  • Spices and herbs, such as turmeric, ginger, garlic, rosemary, and basil, that can add flavor and smell to your dishes, as well as substances that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that can help ease your RA symptoms


Supplements

In addition to eating a balanced and nutritious diet, you may also consider taking some supplements that can help with your RA symptoms. However, you should always talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, as some of them may interact with your medications, cause side effects, or be unsafe for you. Some of the supplements that may help with RA include:

  • Vitamin D, which is important for your bone health, immune function, and inflammation control. Many people with RA have low levels of vitamin D, which may make their symptoms worse and increase their risk of bone loss. You can get vitamin D from sunlight exposure, foods that have added vitamin D, or supplements.

  • Fish oil, which contains substances that can help lower inflammation and pain in your joints. You can get fish oil from eating fish or taking supplements.

  • Turmeric, which is a spice that contains a substance that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. You can get turmeric from adding it to your food or taking supplements.

  • Probiotics, which are good bacteria that live in your gut and help with your digestion, immunity, and inflammation. You can get probiotics from eating foods that have fermented, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, or kimchi, or taking supplements.


Stress Management

Stress can have a negative impact on your RA symptoms and your overall health. Stress can trigger or worsen inflammation, pain, fatigue, and mood problems, such as anxiety and depression. Therefore, it is important to find healthy ways to cope with stress and relax your mind and body. Some of the stress management techniques that you can try include:

  • Meditation, which is a practice that involves focusing your attention on your breath, a word, a sound, or an object, and letting go of distracting thoughts and feelings. Meditation can help calm your nervous system, lower your blood pressure, and improve your mental and emotional well-being.

  • Yoga, which is a form of exercise that combines physical poses, breathing exercises, and meditation. Yoga can help stretch and strengthen your muscles, improve your posture and balance, and enhance your mood and self-awareness.

  • Massage, which is a therapy that involves applying pressure, rubbing, or kneading your muscles and soft tissues. Massage can help relax your muscles, improve your blood flow, and reduce your pain and stiffness.

  • Acupuncture, which is a traditional Chinese medicine that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on your body. Acupuncture can help stimulate your nerves, muscles, and connective tissues, and regulate your pain and inflammation.


Summary

Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term and complex condition that requires medical attention and care. However, you can also use some natural home remedies to complement your treatment and improve your symptoms and quality of life. These remedies include exercise, heat and cold, diet, supplements, and stress management. Remember to talk to your doctor before trying any new remedy, and follow their advice and recommendations. With proper care and support, you can live well with RA and enjoy your daily activities.


Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)

Internal Medicine Specialist


Kify Hospital

Danavaipeta

Rajahmundry

Phone : 85000 23456

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