Arthritis is a disease affecting the joints of bones, which results in painful inflammation and subsequent stiffness in joints. It basically affects the fibrous cartilage that cushions the gap between two bones, allowing them to smoothly glide over each other without friction. This cartilage, when affected by inflammation, is gradually stiffened or lost, causing pain when the joints are moved. Over 46 million Americans are suffering from this disease and over 61% of these are women.
Causes of Arthritis
The cartilage that cushions the joint space can be affected due to old age and in postmenopausal women. This involvement can also be auto-immune, where the body grows defensive against its own cells, like in rheumatoid arthritis.
This condition can also be seen in young children and adults. Women are more commonly affected due to a variety of reasons, a less knee cartilage quotient than aman being one of the most prominent. Hormonal differences are another reason for the sexual predilection.
Important tips to prevent arthritis
This condition can affect anyone with time hence there are certain risk factors and preventive measures that can be monitored to prevent it. The most important are maintaining a healthy active lifestyle. Exercise should be an integral part of the daily routine to ensure proper flexibility of the joints. Here are a few tips prescribed by experts for preventing arthritis.
- Maintain a healthy body weight
By changing your diet to include fiber rich food items and less fat, you can amazingly benefit against arthritis. Every extra pound of body weight is thought to exert 4 extra pounds of stress on the load bearing joints. Losing those few extra pounds can help you in many ways, skeletal health being one of them. By including fresh fruits and vegetables, cutting down fats and eating a low carbohydrate diet, you can easily maintain a healthy weight.
- Increase your daily intake of Calcium and Vitamin D
Calcium and Vitamin D are crucial to bone health. It is a no brainer that people that are deficient in Vitamin D and calcium frequently experience bone and joint pains. Increasing your dietary supply of calcium can be a great way to keep the reservoirs of body calcium full.
Vitamin D supplements can be taken at prescribed doses. Include green leafy vegetables, eggs, milk and dairy products in your daily routine to get your daily required dose of calcium.
- Drink a lot of water
People that suffer from osteoarthritis of thespine or degenerative disc disease are frequently advised to increase their daily water intake. When the body is dehydrated, the water from the inter-capsular area and cartilage are soaked in. This dry condition makes the cartilage more prone to wear and tear. To prevent future joint pains a daily intake of 6-8 cups of water are recommended.
- Practice yoga
Forms like yoga are great for body and mind health. Unlike heavy exercises like lifting weights, yoga, Pilates, swimming, martial arts are ideal for providing a complete range of movements to the joints without putting extra stress on them. You can also ask your trainer for some arthritis exercises to keep the disease from happening.
- Avoid smoking and drinking
Gout and rheumatoid arthritis are the two most common types of arthritis. While some forms of arthritis are linked to genetics and cannot be modified, these two common types can be prevented by quitting smoking. Drinking alcohol and avoiding purines in the diet are also highly beneficial in reducing the risks of gout.
- Avoiding soda drinks and purines
Purine-rich diet includes oily fish, liver, shellfish, mushrooms, prime ribs. Purines increase the risk of gout by 5 times and are products to aid arthritis . Beer and wine also contain purines and are better avoided if you want to save your joints. Soda drinks contain sugar that contributes to weight gain and are strongly contraindicated for people at high risk of osteoarthritis.
Arthritis is a growing problem in the modern times. With thelack of physical motion in daily routines and low fiber diet, arthritis is slowly growing to the status of an epidemic. A healthy routine in diet, physical activities, avoiding smoking and drinking, are natural remedies for lowering the risks of this disease in later ages.