December 22, 2018
A diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can be overwhelming. If the condition isn’t well-managed, you may struggle with flares that can be painful and interfere with everyday tasks. Self-care is essential for your physical health, mind, and soul when dealing with a chronic health condition.
Your doctor at Healthcare Associates of Texas understands that a proper medical regimen can help you manage your disease and still live a full life. Keep reading and learn the essential self-care tips you need to know to manage this condition.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic diet that will minimize your RA symptoms. However, research has found that some foods might fight inflammation. Start with a balanced diet, then add in foods rich in antioxidants. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to minimize swelling and include foods like olive oil, greens, and fish.
Foods packed with fiber can help lower your levels of C-reactive protein, an indicator of inflammation. Foods rich in fiber include beans of any variety, such as red, pinto, or kidney. In addition to boosting fiber, these also contain iron and potassium, which are useful for heart and immune system health. Limit your intake of processed and fast foods, which can increase inflammation.
Get Plenty of Rest
Sleep is essential to managing your condition and overall health. When you’re experiencing inflammation and fatigue, increase the amount of sleep you get at night. Take frequent rest periods during the day to help your body heal.
Try Alternative Therapies
When pain strikes, you need to have a few non-drug methods of controlling the discomfort. Try practicing guided imagery, meditation, and visualization to relax and reduce your pain. Acupuncture — the practice of inserting tiny needles into your skin — may help reduce the inflammation of swollen joints, but more research needs to be done to verify this.
Herbal remedies have been used around the world for decades to help with conditions of every variety. A few supplements that might help ease your pain and swelling include turmeric, omega-3, and ginger. Before starting any new medications, schedule an appointment to speak with your physician.
While your joints may be swollen and painful, it’s vital you move regularly and exercise. Try a low-impact exercise plan such as walking, yoga, or Pilates to keep your joints well lubricated and moving smoothly.
Stick to Your Medicine Regimen
Taking your drug regimen precisely as prescribed by your physician is key to controlling flares. If you’re unable to take your medicine for more than a day, talk to your doctor to create a plan to manage your symptoms.
Being healthy with a chronic illness like RA can be challenging. Practicing self-care can be the key to controlling your RA symptoms.
Request an appointment today at Healthcare Associated of Texas to discuss setting up an appointment to manage your RA symptoms or contact us at (972) 258-7499 to learn about our many available healthcare services.