For those struggling with rheumatoid arthritis, the winter season can magnify the aches and pains associated with this condition. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic condition that causes pain, stiffness, swelling and limited motion and function in many joints. While RA can affect any joint, the small joints in the hands and feet tend to be impacted most frequently.
RA is not something to ignore, as it is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system, which normally protects its health by attacking foreign substances like bacteria and viruses, mistakenly attacks the joints. This creates inflammation that in turn causes the tissue that lines the inside of joints, (the synovium) to thicken, causing swelling and pain in and around the joints.
Rheumatoid Symptoms According to Ayurveda:
- Body aches, lethargy.
- Constipation, indigestion.
- Stiffness in the knees, back, fingers and toe joints.
- Joints make crackling sounds, (sounds like popcorn popping)
- Joint pain with swelling.
- Lack of sleep, altered sleep patterns.
- Based on RA’s manifestation in the heart and other organs, specific symptoms like stiffness in heart have also been mentioned.
According to Ayurveda, the root cause of RA lies in impaired digestion and metabolism. Beyond doing yoga three to five times a week, try doing daily self massage, and incorporating anti-inflammatory foods that are known in Ayurveda to alleviate some of the pain associated with RA.
Suffering with RA? Try incorporating some of these fruits and veggies in your diet that will help with the inflammation:
Avocados: Contain anti-inflammatory fatty acids.
Berries and Cherries: Contain anti-inflammatory phytochemicals.
Broccoli: Contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant phytonutrients.
Cantaloupe: Contains anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.
Flaxseed: Has omega-3 fatty acid which helps inflammation.
Garlic: Has high anti-inflammatory sulfur-containing compounds.
Ginger, long pepper and pepper – These all help to correct digestion and metabolism.
Green tea: Contains anti-inflammatory polyphenols.
Kale: Has 45 anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory flavonoids.
Lemon: Has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory vitamin C.
Pineapple: High in anti-inflammatory bromelain.
Turmeric: Contains curcumin, known for its high anti-inflammatory properties.
Beyond the above, try sipping hot water throughout the day. As consuming hot water has been shown to improve digestion. Regular consumption of hot water helps to bring lightness to the joints and improves flexibility for those suffering with RA.
Wishing you good health as we head into 2017!