To prevent any disease, first, you need to understand that disease, how that particular disease affects your body, and how your body is reacting to it. What are the points to be taken into consideration while managing that disease?
In managing any disease, food and lifestyle play an extremely important role. In a disease condition, the damage that has already been done to the body is out of our control. But limiting the disease’s spread and reversing its effect is totally on our hands.
So, let’s see how to prevent and manage arthritis.
What is arthritis?
It is a joint disorder featuring inflammation with stiffness and joint pain. It can be of one or more joints—a joint means where two different bones meet for the purpose of permitting body parts to move.
Types of Arthritis
There are more than 100 types of arthritis. Two of the most common types are Osteoarthritis (OA) and Rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
The breakdown of cartilage is called Osteoarthritis. Cartilage is the protective hard, slippery tissue that caps the ends of bones where two bones form a joint. Cartilage cushions the ends of the bones and is responsible for smooth and frictionless movement. When this protective layer gets damaged, it results in friction between the bones.
The continuous friction causes pain and restricts joint movement. It mainly occurs in the hands, neck, knees, hips, or lower back.
Causes of Osteoarthritis
- Injury to joints or ligaments
- Joint infection
- Low levels of estrogen hormone in women (mainly after menopause)
RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS (RA)
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the joints — mainly the lining of joints (called synovium). This results in inflammation of the affected tissues in and around joints.
Eventually, inflammation destroys the joint, and the joint loses its shape and alignment.
Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms include:
- Joint pain
- Swollen joints
- Joint stiffness, usually in the mornings
- Joint redness
- Joint deformities
Who is prone to rheumatoid arthritis?
- Adults over 55 years
- Mostly women
- Obese people
What do antirheumatic medications do?
RA medications actually don’t treat arthritis but slow the damage that arthritis can cause to your body by reducing the pain and decreasing the inflammation.
The pain-relieving nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduce pain and inflammation by blocking an enzyme called, COX-2 enzyme and reduce the production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are chemicals that promote pain, inflammation, swelling, and fever.
While another class of drugs, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) slow down the progression of rheumatoid arthritis by reducing the response of the immune system.
The problem with these drugs is that they may have serious side effects. The RA condition can be easily managed with food therapy. Our motive is to include foods in our diet that are natural COX-2 inhibitors and to exclude foods that promote inflammation in the body.
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PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF ARTHRITIS THROUGH FOOD
Diet has a massive impact on arthritis conditions. Some foods cause inflammation in the body, either by increasing free radicals in the body or by enhancing the release of pro-inflammatory proteins.
You can prevent arthritis by avoiding any food that causes inflammation in the body. But, for that, you must know the types of foods that cause inflammation or aggravate the pain. Similarly, some foods are potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory.
These foods are considered superfoods for arthritis because they act as natural COX-2 inhibitors and prevent inflammation in the body as well as promote the secretion of the anti-inflammatory protein, which reduces inflammation by preventing oxidative stress in the body.
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