My Story: Arthritis At Age 25
My name is Ann Marie. I was only twenty-five when I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I was about to graduate from college and getting ready to start my first job at a digital ad agency in Silicon Valley. And I couldnt get out of bed in the mornings. I wasnt sleeping well the pain in my knees would wake me up at night. And the joint pain was spreading from my knees to my fingers and elbows. I was living on pain medication. I knew my problems were only going to get worse because arthritis is a degenerative disease.
In addition to the arthritis, I also had chronic sinus infections and seasonal allergies. I was always sneezing and coughing, I had chronic itchy, watery eyes, and post-nasal drip, a white coat on my tongue, and I was always blowing my nose and rubbing my eyes.
To top it off, I had chronic fatigue syndrome and multiple chemical sensitivity . I used to think these were made-up illnesses made up by lazy people. I found out the hard way that chronic fatigue syndrome is real and its debilitating. Coffee was my best friend.
I was only twenty-five and I had the energy of a senior citizen. I never felt rested in the morning, felt exhausted all day long and forget about going to the gym or going out swing dancing at night like all my friends .
What Types Of Lifestyle Changes Can Help With Rheumatoid Arthritis
Having a lifelong illness like rheumatoid arthritis may make you feel like you dont have much control over your quality of life. While there are aspects of RA that you cant control, there are things you can do to help you feel the best that you can.
Such lifestyle changes include:
When your joints are inflamed, the risk of injury to your joints and nearby soft tissue structures is high. This is why you need to rest your inflamed joints. But its still important for you to exercise. Maintaining a good range of motion in your joints and good fitness overall are important in coping with RA.
Pain and stiffness can slow you down. Some people with rheumatoid arthritis become inactive. But inactivity can lead to a loss of joint motion and loss of muscle strength. These, in turn, decrease joint stability and increase pain and fatigue.
Regular exercise can help prevent and reverse these effects. You might want to start by seeing a physical or occupational therapist for advice about how to exercise safely. Beneficial workouts include:
- Range-of-motion exercises to preserve and restore joint motion.
- Exercises to increase strength.
- Exercises to increase endurance .
What Are The Four Stages Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Stage 1: In early stage rheumatoid arthritis, the tissue around your joint is inflamed. You may have some pain and stiffness. If your provider ordered X-rays, they wouldnt see destructive changes in your bones.
- Stage 2: The inflammation has begun to damage the cartilage in your joints. You might notice stiffness and a decreased range of motion.
- Stage 3: The inflammation is so severe that it damages your bones. Youll have more pain, stiffness and even less range of motion than in stage 2, and you may start to see physical changes.
- Stage 4: In this stage, the inflammation stops but your joints keep getting worse. Youll have severe pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of mobility.
Also Check: Will Arthritis Pain Go Away
Where To Buy Lab Grade Products
There are a lot of extremely inferior products on the market. Still worse, many of the cheap herbal supplements found in Amazon.com and on the shelves of local drugstores are not inspected by third party regulators with FDA oversight. The majority are selling weakly concentrated ingredients, and there is growing concern that many products are testing in the danger zone for toxic chemicals and fillers.
Below are two companies that weve tested and found to produce lab grade turmeric and boswellia serrata. Their cost is higher due to the quality of ingredients and their strict self-imposed testing standards. Still, the cost is small compared to prices of pharmaceuticals.
The Bread Basket May Be Doing You More Harm Than You Think
In my experience treating patients with RA, coming off gluten, dairy, and processed sugar helps at least 60 to 70 percent of people, Dr. Levitan says. Some research, he says, indicates that gluten may be pro-inflammatory whether you are sensitive to it or not. This means that in addition to ditching junk food like cookies and cupcakes, cutting back on foods like bread and pasta, even if theyre whole grain, may help.
Its a good idea to talk to your doctor before making any dramatic changes in your diet. They may be able to give you pointers on how to follow an elimination diet temporarily to see if there are any trigger foods that affect you personally.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Worst Vegetable For Arthritis
More Ways To Treat Ra
Over-the-counter medications treat RA symptoms, but not the underlying disease.
These medications include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , like ibuprofen and naproxen sodium .
Your doctor may prescribe you stronger NSAIDs, available by prescription only, to combat the inflammation and pain caused by RA.
Corticosteroid medications may also be used to reduce RA inflammation and reduce joint damage. Prednisone can be effective in relieving acute symptoms of RA, but long-term use carries risks.
Physical or occupational therapy can help keep your joints flexible. Assistive devices like beaded seat covers in cars and book stands to give the hands a break can reduce stress on joints when going about daily tasks or enjoying leisurely activities.
Surgery, which can reduce severe joint pain and improve everyday functions, is sometimes elected by people with RA.
Nutritional Supplements And Dietary Changes
There’s no strong evidence to suggest that specific dietary changes can improve rheumatoid arthritis, although some people with rheumatoid arthritis feel their symptoms get worse after they have eaten certain foods.
If you think this may be the case for you, it may be useful to try avoiding problematic foods for a few weeks to see if your symptoms improve.
But it’s important to ensure your overall diet is still healthy and balanced. A Mediterranean-style diet, which is based on vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish and unsaturated fats such as olive oil, is recommended.
There’s also little evidence supporting the use of supplements in rheumatoid arthritis, although some can be useful in preventing side effects of medicines you may be taking.
There’s some evidence to suggest that taking fish oil supplements may help reduce joint pain and stiffness caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
- National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society : diet and rheumatoid arthritis
Page last reviewed: 28 August 2019 Next review due: 28 August 2022
Also Check: How Do You Know You Have Arthritis
Ways To Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis Naturally
If You Have Been Suffering From Ra For A Long Time Here Is How A Diet And Exercise Regimen Can Change Your Life
Written by Pavitra Sampath | Updated : May 4, 2015 10:50 AM IST
Rheumatoid arthritis is an extremely painful condition that can be quite often debilitating. But despite what you might know about the disease, living a life with the condition is definitely possible — with the right kind of diet and exercise. In this post Rachna Chhachhi, a certified nutritional therapist, says that she has devised a unique method for people with RA. She says that with her regimen people can reverse their condition and lead a healthy life. Here are excerpts from the interview.
What is rheumatoid arthritis? How does it affect people?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an immune disorder, where your immune system works against you. Unlike other forms of arthritis, RA is caused by age and lack of adequate calcium. Basically, RA is your immune system s response to things going wrong within your body. The smaller joints get affected first, then larger ones and slowly the organs of the body also get affected. It is not very uncommon for RA patients to develop heart and other organ related diseases as their immune system works towards destroying their bodily functions. Read more about rheumatoid arthritis causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.
Recommended Reading: What Medication For Rheumatoid Arthritis
What Are The Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis affects everyone differently. In some people, joint symptoms develop over several years. In other people, rheumatoid arthritis symptoms progress rapidly. Many people have time with symptoms and then time with no symptoms .
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:
- Pain, swelling, stiffness and tenderness in more than one joint.
- Stiffness, especially in the morning or after sitting for long periods.
- Pain and stiffness in the same joints on both sides of your body.
There Is No One Cause Of Ra
We know there is no single cause of RA, and indeed there may be many different causes that lead to the disease, says Carl Ware, MD, head of the scientific advisory board of the Arthritis National Research Foundation and director of the Infectious and Inflammatory Disease Center at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute.
This is important because it helps explain why some patients have strong results from a treatment that doesnt work well for others. Your doctor should be personalizing your therapy, helping you find which treatments work best for your individual situation, he adds.
Also Check: What Causes My Arthritis To Flare Up
Natural Remedies For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that can significantly reduce a persons quality of life. Medications can help manage symptoms, and some people also benefit from natural remedies.
RA affects about 1.3 million adults in the United States, which equals 0.6-1% of the countrys population. About 35% of people with the condition experience disabling symptoms that interfere with their ability to work.
There are several medication-free measures that may help a person reduce the discomfort of rheumatoid arthritis for some people.
This article covers a range of natural remedies for RA symptoms, as well as dietary and lifestyle changes that can help.
, targeted physical therapy can benefit people living with RA. This may involve stretching, exercise, and alternating between hot and cold.
Can Ra Symptoms Be Reversed With Diet
Clint Paddison shares his journey about severe rheumatoid arthritis, and how he eliminated his RA symptoms with a strict diet and exercise regime.
I have rheumatoid arthritis, but I dont have chronic joint pain thanks to regular exercise and a strict anti-inflammatory diet. When I say strict, I mean a whole foods diet with no dairy, no processed sugars, no animal proteins, no oils, and no alcohol. A lot of people tell me they couldnt do what I do, but for me, eating a restricted diet beats the heck out of being in pain every day.
There is evidence that certain foods may reduce inflammation and improve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. SeeManaging RA Fatigue Through Diet and Exercise
It took me years to get to this point. When I was initially diagnosed in 2006, my doctor told me I would have to take an RA drug like methotrexate for the rest of my life. Taking such powerful drugs seemed scaryand frankly, counterintuitive to meand I refused them. I tried to relieve my symptoms with diet and alternative therapies, but nothing worked, and for the next year I was in agony. Nearly bedridden, I finally gave in to taking medications.
The medications relieved my symptoms and allowed me to live my life again. I also had a cortisone shot to relieve painful, intractable swelling in my left knee. But I didnt give up hope that I could get off the medications one day.
Read Also: How Do I Know If I Have Hip Arthritis
Understanding Arthritis To Better Treat Knee And Joint Pain
Although theres no cure for arthritis that causes knee and joint pain, advances in research have allowed us to better understand the different forms of the condition and develop treatments. It is important to be familiar with the type of arthritis you have. Theres a huge benefit to addressing arthritis early and taking steps that can help manage the condition.
How I Reversed Crippling Rheumatoid Arthritis With A Plant
Im a 35-year old artist who lives and works in Cincinnati. In August of 2015, I was diagnosed with crippling rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder that affects the joints. My symptoms started about six months before my diagnosis. The arthritis pain started in my feet and worked its way up to my knees, hip, rib cage, shoulders, and elbow. It had eroded a bone in my foot and attacked my left hand, which was devastating since Im a portrait artist and love my work.
The pain was so excruciating that I couldnt sleep, stand, sit, walk with ease, lift anything, or even breathe sometimes. I was severely depressed and laid on the floor crying most mornings because I couldnt even lift my arms up to take a shower. I was scared to close my eyes at night because I didnt know how immobile I would be in the morning. I was losing my hair, the tingling sensation in my legs was unbearable, and I was having suicidal thoughts.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Biologic For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Dont Want To Be One Of The Over 16500 Americans Who Unnecessarily Die Yearly From Arthritis Medications Although These Medications Can Sometimes Be Helpful Natural Remedies Have Been Shown To Be More Effective And Very Safe In Addition They Help Heal Your Joints As Opposed To Medications Which May Actually Accelerate Arthritis Heres A 6
Donât want to be one of the over 16,500 Americans who unnecessarily die yearly from arthritis medications? Although these medications can sometimes be helpful, natural remedies have been shown to be more effective and very safe. In addition, they help heal your joints, as opposed to medications which may actually accelerate arthritis. Hereâs a 6-week proven program to help you get relief naturally!
Do not presume that joint pain is arthritis. It can also come from the muscles, tendons, and ligaments around the joint. This is so even if the x-rays are abnormal . The treatments below can help these as well but other treatments are more effective.
Natural TherapiesI recommend you begin with a program that will decrease inflammation and help to repair the joints. This has 4 main components:
Repair: The joint cartilage can be repaired using a combination of glucosamine sulfate , MSM , and, if the arthritis is severe, Chondroitin . It is also critical that you get broad nutritional support .
Reverse inflammation: Use natural anti-inflammatories to prevent damage and decrease or eliminate pain. I recommend a combination of several natural remedies, many of which can be found in combination. The mix I like the most combines:
If you have inflammatory arthritis also take a teaspoon or more of fish oil daily, which acts as an excellent anti-inflammatory.
November 19, 2019 By Alex Hirsch
Spend Time With People Who Support You
I felt best when I was with people who cared about me, so I did more of that. I also tried to connect with other people who had rheumatoid arthritis.
When I couldnt find a local rheumatoid arthritis support group, I started one. Being connected to a community of people who understood what I was going through really helped. It removed those feelings of isolation and self-pity that can sabotage healing.
Don’t Miss: How To Improve Rheumatoid Arthritis
Home Remedies For Arthritis But Only One Works
Arthritis is a common disease affecting millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of new cases are identified each year in the United States.
When you are suffering from arthritis, it quickly becomes clear that its not just joints that are affected. RA can also cause severe fatigue, fevers, weight loss, anemia, in addition to causing additional problems throughout the major organs . Sufferers often experience dry mouth, dry eyes, shortness of breath, damaged nerves, malaise, and small skin lumps, just to name a few.
So, how do you get relief? If you would prefer not to take prescription medications nor undergo surgery, there are several natural home remedies that have some reported rates of success in treating symptoms of RA. Want to know whats so great about these methods, in addition to getting some relief from your symptoms? The products used in these natural remedies are very easy to find. The following seven treatments are the most common homeopathic remedies. Bear in mind that response to these remedies will be different for each individual as the disease presents and progresses differently in each individual. Make sure to discuss with your doctor any home remedies that you are considering as they may interact with your body and prescription medications in ways that you did not realize.