With so many individuals suffering from arthritis, it is challenging to navigate treatments and home remedies that work. This is why Cypress Pharmacy would like to highlight and tips for those who have arthritis. We believe that bringing awareness to triggers, treatments, and symptoms may help those who struggle to get their pain under control.
Before treating your arthritis, it is crucial to know which type of arthritis you may be suffering from. There are more than one hundred types of arthritis! But the three most common ones are Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), and Gout.
- Osteoarthritis is when the joints are overused, affecting those older in age. The joints most susceptible are the ones that bear weight, such as hips, feet, knees, and the spine. With the loss of cartilage comes inflammation, thus making daily movements and tasks painful to complete. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disorder that may get worse over time. As it is difficult to separate progression from flare, it is advised to track or journal your daily movements and activities to see which tasks could be taking a toll on your arthritis. Keep a lookout for over-activity such as gardening or exercise, as this could cause trauma to the joint. Bone spurs, repetitive motions (cooking, stirring tea or a pot of food, writing, typing), cold weather, change in barometric pressure, and weight gain could all be contributing to your inflammation.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks itself, specifically the body’s joints. The causes of RA are still unknown, but the effects are well recorded. With a gradual or sudden sensation of stiffness, pain, and swelling, RA flares can vary in intensity, duration, and frequency. Flare-ups can occur when treatments are stopped or tapered. Overexertion, stress, infection, poor sleep, general sickness like a cold or flu are more likely to occur in patients that suffer from RA. Symptoms of RA include stiffness in the joints, especially after waking from sleep.
- Gout is a form of arthritis described as a sudden attack of pain, swelling, and redness in the joints and most commonly in the big toe. Uncontrolled uric acid levels trigger crystals to form in and around the joints, causing inflammation. A sudden attack could wake you up in the middle of the night, with your big toe swollen, red and tender. High purine foods like shellfish or beer, dehydration, or local trauma to a joint may cause a flare-up.
Plans for a Flare-Up
- Flare triggers are different for different types of arthritis. A flare is a period of increased disease activity or worsening symptoms- a time where your medications might not work.
- Knowing your symptoms and arthritis will help you better track when a flare-up could occur. Whether it be the change in weather or recent inactivity, make an effort to track and keep a log of your pain and the changes in your environment that may be causing your flare-up. Common treatments include having a wrist brace on hand, keeping over-the-counter Voltaren or CBD on hand.
- It is helpful to incorporate turmeric into your diet, as this will help decrease inflammation.
- Treatments for flare-ups may help include steroids injections in the knee (administered by a doctor/health professional) and topicals like prescribed diclofenac gel.
- Over-the-counter professional-grade CBD, both oral and topical, is often helpful.
- Listen to your body- if you lack the energy to perform tasks, don’t.
- Rest is essential, so find time for a nap and perhaps try arthritis gloves.
- Attempt to meditate- there are many easy-to-use apps on most smartphones (Headspace, Mindfulness, or Calm app, for example)
Foods to Avoid
- Sugary beverages significantly increase your risk of a flare-up
- Sugars found in soda, candy, ice cream, condiments like ketchup and BBQ sauce increase inflammation
- Opt for sugar-free pastries and desserts
- Trans fats often found in processed foods have also been shown to trigger systemic inflammation.
- Limit foods high in salt like canned soups, french fries, pizza, fast food
- Processed and red meats contain high inflammatory markers
- Try gluten-free products
- Instead of refined grains, try whole grains
- Reduce your alcohol intake
- “Nightshade” vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers are thought by some to cause inflammation, although there is much debate. Learn more: Nightshades, Inflammation, and Chronic Pain
Supplements may help to decrease your inflammation and help relieve your pain
- Vitamin C
- Herbal preparations of turmeric, grape seed extract, ginger, and quercetin contain potent antioxidants that may reduce free radicals found in inflamed joints and contribute to cartilage degradation.
- Cypress Pharmacy Joint Health Support provides key nutraceuticals to help support a healthy inflammatory response, facilitate cartilage synthesis and provide antioxidant support. To help support the structural integrity of joint cartilage, glucosamine and chondroitin offer significant benefits. Glucosamine sulfate helps to support the production of cartilage in your joint tissue.
- Cypress Pharmacy InflamMove is a blend of botanical extracts and enzymes that work together to help the body’s natural inflammatory responses.