An RA Update

People have long feared rheumatoid arthritis (commonly called RA) as one of the most disabling types of arthritis. The good news is that the outlook has greatly improved for many people with newly diagnosed (detected) RA. Of course, RA remains a serious disease, and one that can vary widely in symptoms (what you feel) and outcomes. Even so, treatment advances have made it possible to stop or at least slow the progression (worsening) of joint damage.

We are all aware our Rheumatologists now have many new treatments that target the inflammation that RA causes. They also understand better when and how to use treatments to get the best effects.

RA is an autoimmune condition, which means it is caused by the immune system attacking healthy body tissue. But so far it is not clearly known what triggers it.

Your immune system normally makes antibodies that attack bacteria and viruses, helping to fight infection.

If you have RA, your immune system mistakenly sends antibodies to the lining of your joints, where they attack the tissue surrounding the joint.

This causes the thin layer of cells (synovium) surrounding your joints to become sore and inflamed, releasing chemicals that damage nearby; bones, cartilage, tendons and ligaments.

Small joints in the hands and feet are most commonly affected. Sometimes RA can affect your organs, such as eyes, skin or lungs

Have been working on ppt presentations on the above – a basic patient awareness version which I have accumulated through my various visits to all the medical professionals through the last 18 years!

Coming soon…

Food for Thought

 

With pain in our joints, determination in our minds and hope in our hearts we start
digging and turning over every rock or mortar we can find to see if there is some
sort of relief. We all know by now that, many claims have been made about the
influence of food habits and nutritional supplements on arthritis. Some of these
claims are supported by medical evidence and some are reasonable theories.
However, for most of these claims, we are just not sure. the research into food and
diet as a real treatment option has lagged in my opinion. Food does much more
than simply provide you with fuel. It may promote or worsen health, depending on
what you eat.
However, I would like to share my side of the story as I have been living with RA
for over 15 years plus. I definitely have relied on my medications prescribed by my
Rheumatologist, and feel safe and secured in my present moment. To support my
medications, I have arrived at one important personal conclusion that eating the
right foods definitely has helped me through my journey with RA!
Having a Food Plan is that YOU are in charge. It’s your choice to check out the
various options and it’s up to you to measure and monitor what’s happening with
your body. The successes are what help you “stick with it” when it’s tough. If you
know that certain foods hurt you, and you’ve been able to document that by
conducting your own personal case journal study then it will be that much easier to
say “no thank you” to certain foods.
Because some symptoms are commonly associated with many different things that
you’ve probably never stopped to consider that they might be caused by the foods
you’re eating. It is easy to write off nausea as food poisoning or a runny nose with
the cold. But sometimes these symptoms are a sign of food tolerances or an allergy
that you didn’t even know you had.
Correct diagnosis, counseling, and avoidance advice based on valid allergy test
results reduces the incidence of symptoms and need for medications, and improves
quality of life. To assess the presence of allergen-specific IgE antibodies, two
different methods are usually used: a skin prick test, or an allergy blood test.
I have undergone both the tests. The skin prick test specifically resulted in me
being allergic to certain foods and medicines. Immediately I was cautious and kept
them away and have experienced more pain free days. The bottom line is -there’s
no established arthritis diet plan. What works for one person may not work for
someone else. Trial and error will help you determine which foods you need to
remove from your diet. In general, arthritis warriors need to make genuine efforts
towards having lifestyle changes that can help to increase their chance of
maintaining a good quality of life. We are what we eat!

PROPER NUTRITION – a fact of life to regain your health – Part 2

Cellular inflammation has been shown to be the underlying marker in nearly every major health problem.  Every single day our body is attacked by free radicals, cells are damaged, and inflammatory mediators are produced and triggered throughout our body.  Fortunately, the Almighty gave us an incredible ability to heal and regulate abnormal cell development.  He also provided us with a way of life to reduce and negate the negative effects of lifestyle stress.

These foods could help to reduce some aspect of inflammation:

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: The healthiest of fats for people with arthritis or other inflammatory disorders are omega -3 fatty acids. More than a dozen studies have demonstrated that omega-3 fish oils can drastically reduce symptoms of RA. It is recommended an omega-3-rich diet (and in some instances, fish-oil supplements) to all my clients with arthritis. Some of the best foods for omega-3 fatty acids include salmon (wild, fresh, or canned), herring, mackerel (not king), sardines, anchovies, rainbow trout, Pacific oysters, ground flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, seaweed, and soybeans (edamame).
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: In addition to healthy monounsaturated fats, olive oil contains a natural compound called oleocanthal which may help prevent arthritis-related inflammation. These compounds block the same inflammatory pathways as ibuprofen and aspirin, medications commonly used to fight arthritis pain. It is recommended using olive oil when cooking instead of vegetable oil or butter (substitute in equal or lesser amounts). For the highest antioxidant content, choose “extra virgin” olive oil; the stronger the taste, the higher the amounts of oleocanthal the oil is likely to have.
  • Antioxidants — vitamin C, carotenes, bioflavonoids: Antioxidants protect the body from the effects of cell-damaging free radicals and are a critical part of an anti-inflammation diet. Research has also demonstrated that certain antioxidants may help prevent arthritis, slow its progression, and relieve pain. The best are: Vitamin C — found in guava, bell peppers, oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, pineapples, kohlrabi, papayas, lemons, broccoli, kale, potatoes, and brussels sprouts. Beta-carotene — found in sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, butternut squash, turnip greens, pumpkins, mustard greens, cantaloupes, sweet red peppers, apricots, and spinach. Beta-cryptoxanthin — found in winter squash, pumpkins, persimmons, papayas, tangerines, peppers (red chili and red bell), corn, oranges, apricots, carrots, nectarines, and watermelon. Quercetin — found in onions, kale, leeks, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, blueberries, black currants, elderberries, apricots, red apples with skin, and red/purple/black grapes. Anthocyanins — found in blackberries, black currents, blueberries, eggplant, raspberries, cherries, red/black/purple grapes, strawberries, plums, cranberries, rhubarb, red onions, and apples.
  • Vitamin D: Studies have shown that getting adequate amounts of vitamin D reduces the risk of both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Among people who already have osteoarthritis, those who have a vitamin D deficiency are more likely to develop worsening disability over time. Getting even the basic daily requirement of vitamin D leads to greater muscle strength, improvement in physical functioning, and preservation of cartilage. Some of the best foods for vitamin D include wild salmon, mackerel (not king), sardines, herring, milk (skim or 1 percent low-fat), soy milk, egg yolks, and UV-treated mushrooms.
  • Spices — ginger and turmeric: Certain spices seem to have anti-inflammatory effects and therefore should be considered for arthritis treatment. Among the most promising are ginger and turmeric. Ginger has been shown to lessen the pain of knee osteoarthritis when taken in highly purified, standardized supplement form. Scientific studies have shown that turmeric may help arthritis by suppressing inflammatory body chemicals. The research isn’t strong enough yet to support taking ginger or turmeric in supplement form, but it is highly encouraged adding generous amounts of these spices to food (they’ll add delicious flavor, too!).

The above information is collated from a lot of nutrition sessions I have attended or through various readings.

 

PROPER NUTRITION- a fact of life to regain your health. – PART 1

Good nutrition is an important part of your overall health. A healthy diet allows the defense systems to work to its full capacity removing antigens that enter the system and removing immune-complexes from the blood. Healthy eating is not about strict dietary limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, improving your health, and boosting your mood. If you as an arthritis patient feel overwhelmed by all the conflicting nutrition and diet advice out there, you’re not alone. It seems that for every expert who tells you a certain food is good for you, you’ll find another saying exactly the opposite. But by using simple commonsense and self-experimented tips, you can cut through the confusion and learn how to create—and stick to—a tasty, varied, and nutritious diet that is as good for your mind as it is for your body.

Specific food groups that are supposed to increase inflammation include:

  • Trans Fats: Trans fats were created by scientists to give baked goods a longer shelf life. Trans fats are thought to be at least as damaging as saturated fats in terms of inflammation and other health problems. They may even be worse. You won’t have to go to great lengths to determine whether a food contains trans fats or not. Manufacturers are now required to list the amount of trans fats right after listing the saturated fats on the nutrition label.
  • Saturated Fats: This category includes fats in and from animal products, such as fatty meat, poultry skin, and full fat dairy foods. Saturated fats are also found in palm oil and palm-kernel oil, which you may find in the ingredient lists of any number of items on your shelves, including crackers, cookies, bars, nondairy creamers, and other packaged baked goods. We should try to dramatically limit our intake. In addition to carefully reading labels, choose reduced-fat or fat-free dairy products, lean cuts of meat, and skinless chicken.
  • Simple and Refined Carbs: Sugary foods, white-flour baked goods, white rice, bread, crackers, refined carbs increase the inflammation in the body, causing increases in pro-inflammatory compounds.

Suggest try and limit these foods if you want the best chance of reducing arthritis pain and limiting its progression. We are all aware but the internal discipline to get started, trying experimenting and implementing is the initial hurdle, just ignite it within and you will find your journey to wellbeing well aligned.

A healthy diet should include a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean proteins and healthy fats. This gives your body the nutrients and energy it needs to function properly.

Along with the use of medications, a proper diet can curb the inflammatory responses from the body that cause pain. Eating the right foods also helps you maintain a healthy weight, which is incredibly important since your hips and knees support most, if not all, of your body weight.

And a well-balanced diet also is vital for building your body’s immune system and healing power. That’s why nutrition can be your ally in fighting pain and inflammation. In short lifestyle modifications are very important for helping someone manage their pain. So go for it!

Next post coming up… foods that are supposed to reduce inflammation.

The above information is collated from a lot of nutrition sessions I have attended or through various readings.

 

LET’S USE FOOD TO RECLAIM OUR WELLNESS

LET’S USE FOOD TO RECLAIM OUR WELLNESS

We as arthritic warriors are always interested in alternative treatments to relieve our enervating condition. My interest in dietary interventions has always been spiraling upwards!  I genuinely believe that one should promulgate diet therapy for Arthritic patients alongside the regular DMARDs and anti-TNFs that are provided for effective management.

The debate that food can cause or relieve arthritis isn’t new. More recently, some health writers have insisted that arthritics should eat or not eat specific foods.

A great deal of discussion as to whether foods ameliorate or perpetuate arthritis, or have any effect at all is hot topic for discussions at forums, support groups.

But through the years I have seen there is a wealth of data supporting the positive impact of food in assisting to decrease or atleast maintain the disease activity. I have been reading a lot and understand the positive effects of nutrients on our immunity and inflammation levels.

We should work to educate and capacitate ourselves with the benefits of eating more vegetarian/vegan diets, eliminate potentially allergic food components, and introduce more poly unsaturated fatty acid/oleic acid/synbiotics in our diet plans. Considering that these foods are not as expensive as any regular therapeutics, they can be easily incorporated for people from any economical background. Personally over the years I have noticed spices like turmeric, ginger, fresh fruits and vegetables and legumes especially the green ones do make me feel better as compared to when I eat processed or high salt, animal products,

A better patient compliance is very crucial for effective care and management of Arthritis.

I will conclude by saying that it may not cure the patients; however, an effective incorporation of these food items in our daily food plan will help to reduce the disease activity, delay disease progression, and reduce joint damage, and eventually a decreased dose of drugs administered for therapeutic treatment of patients.

Will share some interesting food diet recipes, tips, tricks and inspiration which are tried and tested by myself and shared by others… so watch out for the upcoming articles for a healthier, happier you!

Remember: True healthcare reform starts in your kitchen, not in any country’s capital!