My arthritis is worse during the cold winter months, what can I do to help my body naturally? Also, what’s the difference between treating arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis?
Arthritis describes the sensation of joint discomfort, achiness, and sometimes pain. From a doctor’s perspective, it can be classified as inflammatory (Rheumatoid and autoimmune arthritis) or degenerative (osteoarthritis).
Most people have degenerative arthritis—a condition that stems from wear and tear in the cartilage.
Both types of arthritis respond to anti-inflammatory medications (ibuprofen for example), but few hear about the anti-inflammatory supplements or foods that also can help.
On the diet side, anything that is highly saturated with fat or is high in sugar content (including high fructose corn syrup) will increase inflammation. So avoid any foods that are high in fat like fried foods, sugary foods, and saturated red meat. To decrease inflammation, eat foods with high nutrient contents such as leafy green veggies, whole grains (not too much), and high-fiber foods such as raspberries, pears (with the skin), and whole-wheat spaghetti.
There are also a number of supplements that have been shown to reduce inflammation. Some studies have indicated that turmeric, ginger, hops, fish oil, and ground flax seed are great for helping to relieve joint pain. Some of my patients have even added glucosamine and chondroitin supplements and found good results, though the clinical studies have had mixed results.
Lastly, lifestyle modification goes along way for relieving joint pain because it gives the body more healing time. Giving yourself adequate sleep (enough to be refreshed) and paying attention to balancing and decompressing stress can reduce inflammation and enhance your body’s capacity to heal by leaps and bounds.