The word arthritis is used to describe pain, swelling and stiffness in a joint or joints.
There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, ranging from the very common to the extremely rare.The most common types include osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), fibromyalgia and gout. All of them cause pain in different ways.
People of all ages, sexes and races can and do have arthritis, and it is the leading cause of disability worldwide.
People with diagnosed diabetes are nearly twice as likely to have arthritis, indicating a diabetes-arthritis connection.
Certain forms of arthritis may be more common in people with certain types of diabetes.
People with type 2 diabetes have higher risks of developing osteoarthritis and gout, which is likely on account of the fact that obesity increases the risk of type 2 diabetes as well as these forms of arthritis.
People with type 1 diabetes have significantly higher risks of having rheumatoid arthritis. Both conditions are autoimmune diseases and research suggests that certain genes may increase the risk of both conditions.
The classic sign of any autoimmune condition is inflammation and that may be the link between these two diseases. In diabetes, the immune system attacks the pancreas, whereas in inflammatory arthritis it attacks the joint tissues.
Diabetes causes musculoskeletal changes that lead to symptoms such as joint pain and stiffness, swelling,nodules under the skin, particularly in the fingers,tight, thickened skin, trigger finger,carpal tunnel syndrome, painful shoulders and severely affected feet.After having had diabetes for several years, joint damage called diabetic arthropathy can occur.
Another reason so many people with diabetes develop arthritis, and vice versa, could be a matter of shared risk factors and lifestyle behaviors. Non-modifiable risk factors, such as your age, gender and genetic make-up, are primary ingredients for a diagnosis of either arthritis or diabetes.
Similarly, modifiable risk factors that include smoking, diet, obesity, and physical activity also affect your likelihood of developing either arthritis or type 2 diabetes.
Research and experts agree physical activity is essential. The benefits of exercise include improved physical function and mobility, reduced blood glucose levels and weight control . All of these factors can affect disease progression and lower your risk of complications in diabetes and arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) causes your joints to become stiff, swollen, and painful. As a result, you may not want to exercise. One study found that 42% of people with RA aren’t physically active. Not staying active raises your risk for type 2 diabetes.
Being in control of both arthritis and diabetes is possible through good management, self-care and consistent physical activity.
Medical Treatments For Arthritis
Arthritis treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and improving joint function. You may need to try several different treatments, or combinations of treatments, before you determine what works best for you.
The medications used to treat arthritis vary depending on the type of arthritis. Commonly used arthritis medications include:
1.Analgesics These medications help reduce pain, but have no effect on inflammation. Examples include acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), tramadol (Ultram, Ultracet, others) and narcotics containing oxycodone (Percocet, Oxycontin, others) or hydrocodone (Norco, Vicoprofen, others).
2.Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) NSAIDs reduce both pain and inflammation. Over-the-counter NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve). Some types of NSAIDs are available only by prescription. Oral NSAIDs can cause stomach irritation, and some may increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. Some NSAIDs are also available as creams or gels, which can be rubbed on joints.
3.Counterirritants Some varieties of creams and ointments contain menthol or capsaicin, the ingredient that makes hot peppers spicy. Rubbing these preparations on the skin over your aching joint may interfere with the transmission of pain signals from the joint itself.
4.Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) Often used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, DMARDs slow or stop your immune system from attacking your joints. Examples include methotrexate (Trexall) and hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil).
5.Biologic response modifiers Typically used in conjunction with DMARDs, biologic response modifiers are genetically engineered drugs that target various protein molecules that are involved in the immune response. Examples include etanercept (Enbrel) and infliximab (Remicade).
6.Corticosteroids This class of drug, which includes prednisone and cortisone, reduces inflammation and suppresses the immune system. Corticosteroids can be taken orally or be injected directly into the painful joint.
If conservative measures don’t help, your doctor may suggest surgery, such as:
1.Joint repair. In some instances, joint surfaces can be smoothed or realigned to reduce pain and improve function. These types of procedures can often be performed arthroscopically — through small incisions over the joint.
2.Joint replacement. This procedure removes your damaged joint and replaces it with an artificial one. Joints most commonly replaced are hips and knees.
3.Joint fusion. This procedure is more often used for smaller joints, such as those in the wrist, ankle and fingers. It removes the ends of the two bones in the joint and then locks those ends together until they heal into one rigid unit.
Arthritis that follows joint injury could be prevented by adhering to safety regulations and trying to avoid becoming injured.
Arthritis related to infection (for examples, septic arthritis, reactive arthritis, Whipple’s disease) could be prevented by not becoming infected in the first place!
This can be avoided by taking more antibiotics!
Natural Treatments For Arthritis
Doctors traditionally treat arthritis with anti-inflammatory medications and painkillers. However, some medications cause side effects, and a natural approach to pain relief is becoming more popular.
Remember always to consult your doctor before trying these natural remedies.
For more great Health and Nutrition Tips refer to the website positivehealthwellness.com.
Your weight can make a big impact on the amount of pain you experience from arthritis. Extra weight puts more pressure on your joints ,especially your knees, hips, and feet.
Reducing the stress on your joints by losing weight will improve your mobility, decrease pain, and prevent future damage to your joints.
Losing one pound removes four pounds of pressure on swollen, painful joints. Maintain a healthy weight by combining a balanced diet with regular physical activity. Make sure you choose food from the five important food groups (fruits, vegetable, lean protein, low-fat dairy and whole grains). Try to do 30 minutes of low-impact exercise five days a week.
While there is no specific “diet” that people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), should follow, researchers have identified certain foods that can help control inflammation. Many of them are found in the so-called Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fish, vegetables and olive oil, among other staples.
Certain types of fish are rich in inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6, two inflammatory proteins in your body.
How much: At least 3 to 4 ounces, twice a week
Best sources: Salmon, tuna, sardines, anchovies and other cold-water fish.
I enjoyed a walk along the river Suir today in Carrig a town near me!As you can see from the picture below it is a beautiful river with lovely scenery and plenty of activity this Saturday morning!
I loved to see all the people enjoying the river,they were walking their dogs,cycling their bikes,listening to music while keeping fit,talking and laughing or just doing some fishing like the man you see in the picture below!
The man below didnt see me taking this picture I hope he doesn’t mind!
He was too busy concentrating on what he was doing,I think this is a good thing.I am inclined to daydream a lot and not focus on what is happening around me,so today I thought I would take some pictures!
Fishing looks like a very relaxing and healthy hobby!I especially like the thought that people enjoy fishing,it’s not just that fish is good for you to eat,even trying to catch fish is an enjoyable experience,there is a sense of achievement!
Every person you meet on a walk has a story to tell!People who were walking their dogs looked happy and relaxed,even an old man walking his little terrier was enjoying the river,a young man was sitting on the bench with his red setter and golden retriever relaxed and playing with his two dogs!
That’s what I find people love to go for a walk especially in the summertime,it’s early July and the weather is not great,a bit dull for this time of the year as you can see from the picture above!
Also I think people love to talk more than we think!For example I stopped to ask the young man about his two dogs because as you know from this website I love dogs!
He was friendly and nice although we were strangers!I hope you all enjoyed this little story and if you did please let me know all about the things you notice and see when you go for a walk as I would love to hear all about it!
Fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants, which support the immune system – the body’s natural defense system – and may help fight inflammation.
How much: At least 1½ to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of veggies per meal
Best sources: Colorful foods such as blueberries, blackberries, cherries, strawberries, spinach, kale and broccoli
Nuts are full of inflammation-fighting monounsaturated fat, protein and filling fiber, too – a bonus if you’re trying to lose a few pounds.
How much: Eat 1.5 ounces of nuts daily (about a handful)
Best sources: Walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios and almonds
Beans have several antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. They’re a low-cost source of fiber, protein, folic acid and minerals such as magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium.
How much: At least one cup, twice a week
Best sources: Try pinto, black, red kidney and garbanzo beans
Olive oil contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, antioxidants and oleocanthal, a compound that can lower inflammation and pain.
How much: Two to three tablespoons per day for cooking or in salad dressings or other dishes
Best sources: Extra virgin olive oil is less refined and processed. It retains more nutrients than standard varieties. For optimal freshness and quality, opt for oils close to the purchase date.
Sesame coated tuna steak with broad bean, lime and coriander stir-fry. This has a lovely Asian/European fusion thing going on. I love combining multiple influences, it opens up a whole new world of cuisine.
SERVES 1 1 leek, sliced 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced 1 tbsp olive oil sea salt 300g canned broad beans, drained 2 handfuls of baby spinach 1 tsp soy sauce juice of ½ lime 1 sprig of coriander 4–5 tbsp sesame seeds 1 tuna steak.
Sauté the leek and garlic in the oil, with a good pinch of sea salt, until the leek has softened. Add the broad beans and spinach and stir-fry until the spinach has wilted.
Add the soy sauce and lime juice, then tear in the coriander. Mix well, then set aside.
Sprinkle the sesame seeds out over a large plate. Roll the tuna steak through the seeds several times to ensure it is fully coated.
Gently fry the tuna steak over a low heat (so the seeds do not brown too much) for five minutes, turning. This will give the tuna a seared/pinky finish at this temperature.
If you prefer your tuna cooked more thoroughly, keep going for longer, turning regularly. Warm through the broad bean stir-fry, then place in the centre of the serving plate.
Cut the tuna steak in half to reveal the pink centre, then lay the two halves over the stir-fry. Serve.
Best Spices for Arthritis
The more anti-inflammatory foods and spices you eat, the more you are reducing chronic inflammation.When you have arthritis, your joints and sometimes other parts of your body become inflamed, and many spices inhibit inflammation.
With that in mind,here are some spices to consider the next time you are in the kitchen.
Garlic is a tasty addition to just about any savory dish. Garlic can help fight the pain, inflammation and cartilage damage of arthritis.
Opt for fresh garlic from the produce section of your market because preservatives may be added to bottled garlic and processing may decrease some of its strength.
Curcumin is the active chemical in turmeric root. Several human trials have shown an anti-inflammatory benefit, which can translate to reduced joint pain and swelling. The yellow spice is popular in curries and other Indian dishes. It is most effective in combination with black pepper, which helps the body absorb it better so eat the two together when possible.
Along with its anti-inflammatory properties, some studies have shown ginger can also reduce osteoarthritis symptoms.
Ginger is a versatile spice and can go in both sweet and savory dishes. It’s best to use it in its fresh form. A great way to add ginger to your diet is to boil it into a tea: Put a one- to two-inch piece of fresh ginger root in boiling water for a few minutes.
Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde and cinnamic acid, both of which have antioxidant properties that help inhibit cell damage caused by free radicals.
Cinnamon is delicious mixed with oatmeal or added to smoothies. Used in combination with other foods and spices, it may offer a cumulative anti-inflammatory effect over the course of the day.
Chili peppers contain natural compounds called capsaicinoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Cayenne and other dried chilies spice up sauces, marinades and rubs. Chilies can be hot, so start with just a dash or two.
When trying a new spice, start small and add more after you’ve taste-tested your dish. Anywhere from a half teaspoon to a full teaspoon is generally a good place to start for most spices, except cayenne (start with a ¼ tsp or less of cayenne).
And remember the wide variety of foods you can spice up. They are wonderful in rubs, marinades and sauces, on steamed or roasted vegetables, mixed into pasta, potatoes, rice, couscous and quinoa and in soups and stews.
There are more benefits to exercise than just weight loss. Regular movement helps to maintain flexibility in your joints. Weight-bearing exercises such as running and walking can be beneficial. Also, try low-impact exercises such as water aerobics or swimming to flex your joints without adding further stress.
A little gentle stretching can make a big difference.Reach your arms above your head, point and flex your toes, roll your ankles and gently move your head side to side. Rock your hips left to right, bend and straighten one knee at a time. Repeat until you feel less stiff.
Physical therapists can provide various ways to reduce strain and pressure on painful and swollen joints. These include manual therapy and counseling on proper positioning and body movement. They can also recommend assistive devices such as braces and splints to support joints and shoe inserts to relieve stress on the lower extremities.
Gentle manipulation with moderate pressure has been shown to reduce joint pain and stiffness, and even improve motion. However, timing is important. Listen to your body. Massage may not be as helpful during a very active flare when joints are especially tender and sensitive.
These gels work by stimulating sensory nerve endings in the skin and the body responds by reducing pain signals through the nervous system. Voltaren Gel and capsaicin cream are two options.
Often used by physical therapists and chiropractors, transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TENS) is a form of electrical stimulation used to relieve pain. Small electrodes are placed on the affected area and electromagnetic current is delivered through the skin.
Hot and Cold Treatments
Simple hot and cold treatments can make a world of difference when it comes to arthritis pain. Long, warm showers or baths , especially in the morning , help ease stiffness in your joints. Use an electric blanket or moist heating pad at night to keep your joints loose.
Cold treatments are best for relieving joint pain, swelling, and inflammation. Wrap a gel ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables in a towel and apply it to painful joints for quick relief.
Natural sunlight sends signals to your brain and body to wake up. It can also raise levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in your brain, which is linked to better moods. Open your blinds or curtains as soon as you wake up to help stay focused and refreshed.
A vitamin D deficiency can affect both physical and mental health, but many people have low levels of vitamin D without realizing. The physical symptoms of a deficiency may include muscle pain in the joints, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA) pain, which often occurs in the knees, legs, and hips.
Vitamin D builds and maintains strong bones, aids with calcium absorption,helps prevent osteoporosis and helps regulate cells responsible for autoimmune functions.
Most of us are probably aware of the overall benefits of drinking water – it prevents kidney infections, keeps our skin cells strong, supports our immune system and generally keeps things ticking over. On average, we should be drinking about 8-10 glasses of plain water a day, depending on our gender and lifestyle.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune illness where the immune system starts to attack the tissues surrounding the joints. It normally presents itself in the smaller joints such as the fingers or toes, and can be exacerbated by dehydration.
This is why it is critical that we continue to drink water as it can stimulate our production of synovial fluid, reduce inflammation around the joint and encourage the growth of new cells in the cartilage tissues.
Physiotherapy is an important part of treatment for most people with arthritis.Various forms of physiotherapy can be a great help in relieving the pain brought on by arthritis. A physiotherapist will be able to give you a better understanding of how arthritis will affect your joints and muscles. They’ll also be able to give you some useful advice on how to manage your pain with some physiotherapy.
Treatment may include:
A programme of specific exercises
General advice on increasing your activity level
Pain-relief treatments such as heat or ice packs, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machines, massage, manipulation, acupuncture or taping
Providing walking aids or splints to help you stay mobile and independent.
Keeping active is very important when you have arthritis. Many people are afraid that exercise will increase their pain or cause further damage to their joints, but your joints are designed to move and the muscles and tissues around them become weaker if they’re not used.
Your physiotherapist can advise you on increasing your activity level at a rate you can cope with and on finding the right balance between rest and activity.
It’s important to start gently, pace yourself and gradually increase your activity. You may have a slight increase in pain when you first start, but this should improve as your confidence and strength increase.
Graded exercise starts slowly and increases in small steps. This will help you to strengthen your muscles and joints and increase your fitness. Improving your general fitness and stamina will help you to increase your activity level without increasing your pain.
Regular exercise will also stimulate production of your body’s own natural pain-relieving hormones (endorphins).The important thing is to find a form of exercise you enjoy so you do it regularly.
Both environmental and genetic factors play a role in who gets rheumatoid arthritis, and smoking is considered one of the most important environmental risk factors.
Smoking is linked to the development of rheumatoid arthritis, particularly for people who have smoked 20 years or longer.
Research shows that smoking is harmful to your bones, joints and connective tissue as well. No matter what form of arthritis you have, you’ll be doing your joints and yourself a favor by quitting.
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