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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Posted by on May 9, 2013 in Self Care Tidbits | 0 comments

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Rheumatoid arthritis is about the most debilitating of all arthritis, causing joints to ache and throb and eventually become deformed.

Sometimes these symptoms make even the simplest activities like opening a jar or taking a walk, difficult to manage.

Unlike osteoarthritis, which results from wear and tear on your joints, rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition. The exact cause is unknown, but it’s highly probable that it is caused by acid-toxic plagues. It is also believed that it is the body’s immune system attacking the synovium, which are the tissue that line your joints.

Just over two million Americans are affected with rheumatoid arthritis. It generally strikes between the ages of 20 and 50 and it is two to three times more common in women than in men. Rheumatoid arthritis does also affect young children and adults older than age 50.

Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may come and go over time.

They Include:

  • Pain and swelling in your joints, especially in the smaller joints of your hands and feet.
  • Generalized aching or stiffness of the joints and muscles, especially after sleep or after periods of rest.
  • Loss of motion of the affected joints.
  • Loss of strength in muscles attached to the affected joints.
  • Fatigue, which can be severe during a flare up.
  • Low grade fever.
  • Deformity of your joints over time.
  • General sense of not feeling well, which is called malaise.

Rheumatoid arthritis usually cause problems in several joints at the same time. When rheumatoid arthritis first begins, joints in your wrists, hands, feet and knees are the ones most often affected. As the disease progresses, your shoulders, elbows, hips, jaw and neck can become involved. It generally affects both sides of your body at the same time; for example the knuckles of both hands.

Causes
Rheumatoid arthritis involves inflation of the joints as is the case with other forms of arthritis. Lining each of your moveable joints is a membrane called synovium. When you have rheumatoid arthritis, white blood cells, who’s normal job is to attach unwanted invaders such as bacteria and viruses, move from your blood stream into your synovium. There, these blood cells appear to play an important role in causing synovial membrane to become inflamed (synovitis).

Self Care

Exercise regularly. Different types of exercise achieve different goals. After asking your doctor or physical therapist, begin a regular exercise program for your specific needs.

Walking is a good starter exercise if you’re able, if not, try a stationary bicycle or hand and arm exercises. A chair exercise program may be helpful or try an aquatic exercise option.

Every day it’s good to move each joint in its full range. Maintain a slow steady rhythm as you move but don’t jerk or bounce. Also, remember to breathe; holding your breath can temporarily deprive your muscles of oxygen and tire them. It’s also important to maintain a good posture while you exercise. Stop if you feel new joint pain. It probably means that you’ve overdone it if you get the new pain that lasts more than two hours after exercise.

Control your weight

Excess weight puts added stress on joints in your back, hips, knees and feet, which are the places where arthritis pain is commonly felt. Excess weight can also make joint surgery more difficult and risky.

Eat a healthy diet

A healthy diet emphasizing fruit, vegetables and whole grains can help you control your weight and maintain your overall health. This will allow you to better deal with your arthritis.

Arthritis pain
responds incredibly quickly to water fasting. It may seem extreme, but depending on the severity of your condition, 7 to 14 days, even up to 40 days on water or fresh juice can totally remit nearly all arthritic conditions.

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