Arthritis: 'No evidence' copper bracelets help says Dr Nighat
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In the UK, more than 10 million people have arthritis or other similar joint conditions, though signs and symptoms can vary. The symptoms of arthritis you experience will vary depending on the type you have. As well as causing pain and stiffness, inflammation can cause permanent damage to a joint, so starting effective treatment early on can help to minimise damage.
There are some lifestyle habits and changes that might help manage symptoms.
These include eating a healthy diet and managing your weight. If you are overweight it can increase complications of arthritis and contribute to joint pain.
“It’s very important to eat a healthy, balanced diet if you have arthritis. Eating healthily will give you all the nutrients you need and help you maintain a healthy weight,” says the NHS.
The Arthritis Foundation says you should eat beans “twice a week” or more.
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It says: “Beans are loaded with fibre and phytonutrients, which help lower CRP, an indicator of inflammation found in the blood.”
It adds that beans are also “an excellent and inexpensive source of protein” and are an antioxidant-containing food.
The charity explains that although no diet can cure arthritis, certain foods have been shown to strengthen bones, maintain the immune system and fight inflammation.
It suggests that adding these foods to your balanced diet may help ease pain and other arthritis symptoms.
The NHS said: “If you’re overweight, losing weight can really help you cope with arthritis. Too much weight places excess pressure on the joints in your hips, knees, ankles and feet, leading to increased pain and mobility problems.”
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the UK, affecting around eight million people, while rheumatoid arthritis affects more than 400,000 people.
Rheumatoid arthritis often starts when a person is between 40 and 50 years old, and women are three times more likely to be affected than men.
The NHS explains that living with arthritis can sometimes mean carrying out everyday tasks that can often be painful and difficult.
Nonetheless, there are a number of factors that can ease pain. Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis aims to slow the condition’s progress and minimise joint inflammation.
You should also try to quit smoking. “Smoking causes stress on connective tissues, which can increase arthritis pain,” says the Mayo Clinic.
The symptoms of arthritis can vary from week to week, so joint pain may come and go.
Versus Arthritis explains that a joint is where two or more bones meet, such as in the fingers, knees, and shoulders, and they hold bones in place and allow them to move freely within limits.
The Arthritis Foundation states: “Morning stiffness that lasts longer than an hour is good reason to suspect arthritis. Two other key signs are swelling and difficulty moving a joint.”
If you have arthritis, your joints will most likely feel stiff and be hard to move, you may also find that the area around your joints may feel warm, look red or puffy.
Symptoms can include weight loss, dry eyes – as a result of inflammation – and chest pain.
The main goals of arthritis treatments are to reduce symptoms and to improve quality of life.
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