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Reverse the Early Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis Before It is too Late
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the body's immune system starts attacking the joints, creating pain and stiffness. Although RA is an autoimmune disease and there is currently no known cure, these simple and natural tips can help stop progression when signs of RA first start to appear. Read on to learn more!
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system to attack the lining of the joints. It typically starts slowly with slight discomfort and progresses over weeks or months.
Symptoms vary, and sufferers experience a cycle of remission and flare-ups. But how do you know if your loved one is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis?
The following symptoms are early warning signs: Below is a list of common warning signs that could indicate that arthritis is on the way:
Do you have strange feelings of unexplained fatigue, particularly in the join areas? This could be a sign of arthritis. The pain usually comes in waves and can last for several days or even weeks. You may have general feelings of malaise or tiredness. After the wave of pain, your joints may feel fine for several weeks or months before another attack hits.
Fatigue alone may not be a big sign of impending arthritis, but when combined with other early warning signs, may indicate a lifestyle change is necessary to avoid developing arthritis or minimizing arthritis symptoms. Unexplained fatigue is often the first sign of developing arthritis.
If you wake up and feel stiff or like you have exercised for an extended period, this could be an early sign of arthritis. The joints may feel sore, stiff, or harder to move than normal. Stiffness may occur after sitting in one position for a long time or after naps. You may feel stiff for several hours after waking.
Stiffness that occurs in the hands, no matter what time of day it strikes, is a likely indicator of developing arthritis. Stiffness that lasts just a few minutes may be a sign of developing OA, while stiffness that lasts for several hours may be a sign of developing RA.
If your joints feel tender, it could be an early sign of arthritis. Tenderness can occur during resting or movement. Usually, tenderness starts in the wrists and fingers, moves to the feet and ankles, and finally strikes the knees and shoulders. Tenderness will not have any relation to activities like exercising or sitting still for extended periods.
Do you notice any swollen joints? Swelling around the hands, feet, ankles, and elbows are particularly related to early signs of arthritis. Swelling may also cause the joints to feel warm to the touch, or appear slightly red. Usually, swelling is temporary at first- and may last from several minutes to several days.
If you have a minor fever and some of the other symptoms, this is a warning sign of developing RA. By itself, fever is not an indicator for the disease.
When joints swell, it can place increased pressure on the nerves. This creates a numbing, burning, or tingling sensation in the joints. Joints may also creak or crack due to extra pressure placed on the nerves. If your nerves start to feel sensitive, it could be a sign of impending RA.
Although reduced range of motion is not usually an early sign of arthritis (it usually occurs after arthritis has already progressed and damaged the joints), it may be an early warning sign in some cases. If your joints are difficult to bend or straighten due to inflammation, you may be developing RA.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which means that in some cases, it may not be preventable. Medical professionals are not quite sure why RA starts or what can prevent it. However, it is linked with a variety of health conditions that may increase your likelihood of getting the disease. Namely, a large amount of inflammation in the body seems to trigger the immune system to start attacking healthy cells, leading to inflammation and deterioration in the joints.
According to Healthline, there are four risk factors that could increase a person’s chance of developing RA.
First, women are more likely to develop RA than men. About 70 percent of all RA cases in the United States are women.
Secondly, many RA patients have specific human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes. However, not everyone with these genes develop RA.
Third, smoking has been linked with an increased risk for developing RA. Finally, leading a sedentary lifestyle and being overweight also increases a person’s risk.
Therefore, by eliminating these problems, you reduce your risk of getting RA or seeing it progress further. Additionally, improving the immune system may help prevent further development of the disease. If you have early warning signs of arthritis, here is what you can do to slow or reverse the progression of the disease:
Before you do anything else, stop smoking. There is a definitely link between RA and individuals who smoke. Something about smoking interferes with the body’s immune system and lead to the development of the autoimmune form of arthritis. Smoking is bad for you in all areas of health, so quitting will benefit you in multiple ways.
Individuals who are overweight have a greater amount of inflammation in the body. This means that you are promoting the progression of arthritis by remaining overweight. Other research also shows that daily exercise can lessen RA symptoms and reduce the chance that the disease will progress.
Any form of exercise can benefit RA symptoms, particularly range of motion exercises. One of the easiest ways to maintain a healthy weight is through diet. In fact, it takes a lot more effort to lose weight through exercise, and without proper nutrition, all systems in the body suffer- including the immune system. Eat foods that are immune system-building to provide the optimal building blocks that your body needs to stay healthy and prevent inflammation.
In addition to eating healthy foods to promote a healthy weight, there are also a variety of foods that directly reduce inflammation in the body and may prevent the progression of arthritis. These nutrients include:
Vitamin B5: Some studies have indicated that individuals with RA are lower in vitamin B5 than individuals without RA. In 1980, a small study was conducted on patients with RA and found that individuals who took 2,000 MG daily of vitamin B5 had improved symptoms of RA.
MSM: MSM contains organic sulfur which is used to form connective tissue in the joints. It also has analgesic properties which lessen nerve impulses transmitting pain, which works to reduce pain felt from RA symptoms.
Fish Oil: Fish oil contains high levels of the anti-inflammatory ingredient, Omega-3.
Vitamin E: According to the University of Maryland, vitamin E supplements have been linked with a reduction in the pain of RA symptoms. Vitamin E does not reduce inflammation, but it can help manage pain.
Vitamin C: A 2013 study published in Journal of Modern Research in Inflammation found that vitamin C may be a viable treatment option for managing RA. High doses of vitamin C were able to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in study participants. Often, RA patients had trouble absorbing vitamin C and maintaining healthy levels of vitamin C in the body through normal diets. In this study, participants were given between 7.5 g-50 g of vitamin C intravenously. Taking such large amounts of vitamin C without the supervision of a doctor can be dangerous, so when supplementing, always take the recommended amount unless under the advisement of a qualified medical professional.
GLA: This fat has been linked with a reduction of inflammation throughout the body, according to Arthritis Today.
Turmeric and Garlic: Turmeric and garlic are two well-studied herbs that can reduce inflammation throughout the body. Raw garlic was shown to have the most benefit, but powdered turmeric appears to be as effective as fresh.
Cat’s Claw: Arthritis Today states that Cat’s Claw has anti-inflammatory properties and can help lessen the symptoms of RA.
Boswellia: According to Arthritis Today, Boswellia contains boswellic acid, which is an active compound that has both anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. This can inhibit the autoimmune process, which makes the herb particularly effective at slowing the progression of RA.
Chondroitin Sulfate: According to Arthritis Today, chondroitin sulfate enhances the shock-absorbing properties of collagen, reducing pain and stiffness in the joints.
Although early stages of arthritis can be treated naturally, in advanced cases, it is beneficial to visit a qualified health professional to help manage pain and other symptoms associated with arthritis. Not to say that advanced arthritis cannot be reversed or benefited by natural treatments for arthritis, but if you are in extreme pain or have greatly reduced range of motion, a combination of natural and medical treatments can help improve your quality of life faster.
If you have any of the following symptoms, consult with a qualified health professional:
While it may not be possible to prevent all forms of RA for forming- simply because not all triggers are known, if you identify arthritis symptoms in the early stages and work to reverse and halt the progression of the disease early, it is likely you will never have to deal with the extremely painful side effects of RA. In general, a healthy weight, not smoking, exercising regularly, and eating anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting foods are the best way to prevent arthritis from occurring or getting worse. If you feel like you may be developing rheumatoid arthritis, don’t delay! Take charge of your health to stop the progression of this painful condition.
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