Diet is important part of treatment for the rheumatoid arthritis. It is known fact that some foods may reduce inflammation related to rheumatoid arthritis. With adequate diet, symptoms of this condition can be controlled and the immune system can be improved.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that causes inflammation of the small joints in the hands and feet. This leads to painful swelling in the joints that over time leads to bone erosion and joint deformity. Apart from the joints, some forms of rheumatoid arthritis can affect other organs as well. Rheumatoid arthritis is just like gout and osteoarthritis type of arthritis that is common and affects approximately 1.3 million of Americans. Unlike osteoarthritis that commonly affects older people, rheumatoid arthritis can be seen in people of all ages. However, it is more common in women than in men.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when body’s immune system mistakenly attacks cells that line the joints. This causes joints to become swollen, stiff and painful. Over time, this leads to damage to the joints, cartilage and nearby bone. Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may come and go. Stiffness and pain in the joints can cause difficulty moving around and performing daily tasks. The condition can be also followed by loss of appetite, muscle pain, fatigue, fever and weight loss. In severe cases, rheumatoid arthritis may affect internal organs like lungs, heart, liver, kidneys and lymph nodes.
Diet for Rheumatoid ArthritisRight diet can provide relief from rheumatoid arthritis. Diet for rheumatoid arthritis should consist of legumes, fruits, bread, cereals, skim milk and vegetables oils with low saturated fat. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effect and should be incorporated in the diet. Sources of omega-3 fatty acids are salmon, mackerel, herring, eggs, soybeans, fish oil, canola and flaxseed oils. They can also prevent the pain and further progression of the disease. Foods high in calcium, iron, vitamin V and vitamin C should be regularly consumed too. On the other hand, person with rheumatoid arthritis should avoid foods that may trigger and aggravate the symptoms. This includes milk and dairy products, meat, fried and grilled foods, processed foods, refined wheat, citrus fruits, excessive salt, saturated fats, alcohol and coffee.
Apart from diet, exercise is also important in dealing with rheumatoid arthritis. With exercise, one can relieve the pain caused by the disease and increase mobility as well. Exercise will also help to control body weight which is important since excess weight additionally affects the joints and may exacerbate the symptoms.