… Continued …
Fish oil supplements
Omega-3 fatty acids are the most essential element of these supplements. Among supplements for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), omega-3 may be the most promising.
According to some studies, fish oil supplements may help ease the pain and stiffness in people with RA, reducing the use of NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). In other words, they can act as anti-inflammatory agent.
But be careful, they can interact with some medications for RA, too, Furthermore, they increase the risk of bleeding. That’s why again, discuss with your doctor first before taking these supplements!
Natural Herbs to ease inflammation
These include turmeric (curcumin), ginger, boswellia, and green tea extract. All of them can act as anti-inflammatory agents, too – even they work almost similar to ibuprofen (an anti-inflammatory medicine) but at lesser level.
The use of ginger, turmeric, and boswellia are common in Ayurveda treatment (a traditional technique that may work for some inflammatory conditions). However there are some precautions you need to concern before taking these herbs.
For instances, curcumin and boswellia could pose the risk of upset stomach. Ginger as herb is commonly not recommended if you have diabetes, heart problems, or bleeding problems. Other drawbacks may include the risk of kidney problem and rash.
It may help ease tenderness and swelling in the joint affected by RA. It may also help reduce the use of steroid such as prednisone.
Side effects may include upset stomach and bloating. In a few cases, it may cause bleeding or hurt the liver, especially if it is used together with certain medicines such as anti-blood clotting medicine or some NSAIDs.
- Cat’s claw. Some herbalists think that it may help ease swelling and pain in arthritis. However, there is still any conclusive evidence!
- The extract of avocado & soybean oils, called avocado-soy unsaponifiables. It might help regenerate and improve normal connective tissues of the body.
In traditional Chinese medication, there is a term called ‘Qi’ (pronounced ‘cheey’). It describes the life energy. Since RA is painful and inflammatory condition, it affects the balance of Qi.
Some clinicians believe that acupuncture can help restore the balance of Qi and may help control acute inflammation. But scientifically, there is no conclusive evidence.
If it does work, it may help treat RA indirectly. For instance, it can be one of good options to relieve stress. And as noted before, it’s also important for sufferers to control and manage their stress as well.
Nevertheless, some new studies showed the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating chronic inflammation conditions.
According to a Chinese study, the use of both modern (electro acupuncture) and traditional acupuncture may help lower VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) and TNF-alpha (tumor necrosis factor-alpha). VEGF and TNF-alpha are often linked to chronic inflammation, both are inflammatory markers.
The bad news, it is also thought that acupuncture doesn’t work for anyone. If it does works, you may need to take it for several times, not only once!
Furthermore, there are also many practitioners and styles of acupuncture. And finding one that works best for you is not always easy.
Your metabolism runs optimally during sleep at night. Getting adequate good night sleep is also important to restore your energy. And this is important to help get quickly recovery and cope with the pain of RA.
On the other hand, sleep deprivation poses the risk of some problems that can trigger your RA to worse. For instance, lack of sleep could make you have stress more easily or even gain weight more quickly (see more in this article)!
Unfortunately, it is not always easy to have a good night sleep when your joint is painful. If your RA does affect your sleep cycle, tell your doctor – and never take any sleeping pills without prescription! See also tips to cope with sleep deprivation!
This means doing your daily routines in the effectively and safely ways so thus will not significantly jar your joint. Furthermore, it’s also important to not ignore the signal of when your body needs to take a rest.
Below are other tips:
- Place your body position in the right way when doing any daily routine. For instance, when you need to lift heavy object such as a sofa or cupboard, position your body as close as possible with the object, see more the guidance in here (especially if you have RA in the back)!
- If necessary, use self-help tools such as zipper pulls, reach extenders, or jar openers. They can be helpful devices when you need to do some activities that can put more pressure in the joints of your fingers.
- Spread the pressure over many joints if you could! This can prevent one joint from getting too much pressure alone.
- Change or move your position as often as you could, and avoid staying in one position for long periods!
- Know your limit and respect it! As well we know that exercise is great for anyone even if you don’t have RA. But if you feel pain that lasts 1-2 hours or more after exercise, this may signal that you have pushed your body too far!
- Make your work as simple as possible! Plan ahead so thus you can handle you work better!
- And don’t be shy if you do need help from someone else to do certain activity!
In addition, build a good relationship with your family and friends! Being socialize can be a good distraction in dealing with pain of your RA, and also helpful to keep you far away from the risk of depression and stress due to chronic condition.