Arthritis: Doctor gives advice on best foods to help ease pain
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Arthritis refers to more than 100 conditions characterised by swelling and tenderness of one or more of your joints. The symptoms can be highly debilitating; making even simple tasks hard to perform. Although there is no cure for arthritis, modifying aspects of your lifestyle can curb some of the more severe symptoms.
According to the Physicians Committee, a US-based nonprofit organisation of more than 17,000 doctors, certain fruits can be “common pain triggers” for arthritis.
- Citrus Fruits
It is worth noting that other types of fruit have been shown to alleviate arthritis symptoms.
According to the Arthritis Foundation (AF), studies show that eating watermelon reduces the inflammatory marker CRP.
CRP, also known as C-reactive protein, is a marker of systemic inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis, a common form of inflammatory arthritis.
“Watermelon is also 92 percent water, which makes it great for hydration and weight management,” notes the AF.
Why it’s important to lose weight if you have arthritis
Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial to keeping a host of health problems at bay but it also provides direct benefits for arthritis.
The NHS explains: “If you’re overweight, losing weight can really help you cope with arthritis.
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“Too much weight places excess pressure on the joints in your hips, knees, ankles and feet, leading to increased pain and mobility problems.”
Other key lifestyle tips for managing arthritis
In addition to moderating your diet, exercising regularly can help to reduce the impact of arthritis.
Exercise may seem off-putting, but staying as active as possible can reduce your pain and the symptoms of your condition.
According to the health body Versus Arthritis (VA), as well as reducing your pain, exercise can:
- Improve your muscle strength which keeps your joints strong and well-supported
- Reduce stiffness in your joints
- Help your balance
- Improve energy levels and feelings of tiredness
- Help you manage your weight
- Boost your mood.
“It’s important to start off slowly and gradually build up, as if you start too fast you might find the activity painful and be put off,” advises the VA.
To build up your activity, the health body says to gradually increase the following:
- Frequency – how often you do it
- Duration – the length of time you spend exercising
- Intensity – how hard you try.
“If you have any concerns or worries, a healthcare professional, personal trainer or fitness instructor may be able to help,” it adds.
Arthritis – symptoms to spot
The symptoms of arthritis you experience will vary depending on the type you have.
Although, as the NHS points out, common symptoms include:
- Joint pain, tenderness and stiffness
- Inflammation in and around the joints
- Restricted movement of the joints
- Warm red skin over the affected joint
- Weakness and muscle wasting.
When to see your doctor
The AF explains: “When pain doesn’t subside on its own after a day or two, interferes with everyday activities or steadily gets worse, it is time to see a doctor.”
It adds: “To determine if joint pain and other symptoms are caused by arthritis or a related condition, your doctor will gather information.”
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