Rheumatoid arthritis is commonly associated with highly variable symptoms. Individuals diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis typically establish a baseline of symptoms that are considered normal or everyday. A rheumatoid arthritis flare is an episode when these symptoms worsen quickly. Typically the onset of rheumatoid arthritis occurs gradually. The initial symptoms include:
- Joint pain
- Loss of appetite
- Morning stiffness
- Muscle aches
However, as the condition continues to develop, more symptoms may appear. These symptoms include:
- Burning, discharge, and itching of the eyes
- Deformities of the hands and feet
- Range of motion limitations
- Pleurisy (lung inflammation)
- Nodules, round and painless under the skin
- Swollen glands
- Skin inflammation or redness
Rheumatoid Arthritis Flare
The rheumatoid arthritis flare is typically associated with the presence of increased amounts of swelling and inflammation. These symptoms are often then correlated with the presence of furthered joint pain, stiffness, and fatigue. The flare of rheumatoid arthritis is typically caused by an environmental stimulus. However, there are certain natural ways to attempt to avoid and reduce the amount and severity of these flares.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Flares: Natural Treatment Methods
There are a variety of ways to naturally decrease the amount and severity of rheumatoid arthritis flare ups.
- Healthy Diet: A healthy diet is cause for many positive effects on the body, including having positive effects on rheumatoid arthritis. While there is no special diet specifically for RA, it is recommended to eat a variety of healthy foods including fruits, vegetables and whole wheat products. It should be noted that certain foods can cause RA flares, however this is an individual consequence.
- Regular Exercise: A schedule of physical activity can serve to strengthen the muscles associated with the joints, decreasing amounts and severity of flares. However, exercise should be taken slowly and should not be continued if pain is present. Simply taking a walk or a gentle water aerobics class can serve to show improvements.
- Relaxation: There are correlations between rheumatoid arthritis flare ups and the presence of stress. Find ways to decrease overall stress levels.
- Joint Protection: Use common sense here, if it hurts, take it easy. Learn to utilize other parts of your body to reduce strain on your joints, especially when pain, swelling, or inflammation is present.
- Application of Heat: The application of heat can serve to relax tense or painful muscles, in addition to easing pain. Heat can be applied through the use of hot packs, heat pads, or even warm water.
- Application of Cold: The application of cold, using ice packs or cold water, can serve to dull pain sensation to areas, effectively decreasing muscle spasms. Cold should not be used by individuals with poor circulation or current numbness.
Rheumatoid arthritis is accompanied with the presence of flares. However, the amount and severity of flares can be decreased with healthy dietary and lifestyle habits.